Tag Archives: Jean Wall

Cal High Choir Sings for WCCCC

Monday night the California High School Choir filled the Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS) theater with the cheerful sounds of old standards and seasonal favorites at a meeting of the Whittier County Community Coordinating Council (WCCCC).

Dan Hawkins conducts the California High School Choir at a meeting of the Whittier Community Coordinating Council on Dec. 6, 2010.

After President Toby Chavez called the meeting to order, Jean Wall, treasurer, introduced Hubert Chang, new executive director of Marketing and Advancement for SCUHS.

Chang said the university wishes to be a “friendly partner” and a “useful resource” for the surrounding community. The campus is a Red Cross designated disaster center.

Wall pointed out that the school allows the council to use the theater free of charge (though perhaps if they charged a fee they would be able to fix that chair whose seat fell off when I tried to sit in it).

The campus has also recently re-opened their track to the community. It had been a popular cite for locals to walk or jog, but was closed to the public in July after a rash of break-ins in the community last July, including cars broken into in the campus lot next to the track.

Next the choir filed onto stage.

Dan Hawkins conducts and Tim Gudz accompanies the California High School Choir at The Southern California University of Health Sciences Dec. 6, 2010.

Conducted by Dan Hawkins and accompanied by Tim Gudz, they entertained an audience of about 50. Wall said that local high school choirs usually provide the entertainment for each year’s Christmas program.

(More photos of the choir are available here.)

The council, a community advocacy group representing unincorporated Whittier, holds monthly meetings rotating among three locations. After the entertainment Lt. Al Reyes of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office reminded the audience to lock their cars and keep valuables out of view, and advised anyone who sees a crime to “be a good witness” without “inserting yourself in the problem.”

Andrea Villa, field deputy for Supervisor Don Knabe, fielded questions about traffic issues and hazardous waste pickup.

Lt. Al Reyes, LA County Sheriff's Department

Andrea Avila, Supervisor Knabe's office


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SCUHS Athletic Track Closed to Public

The athletic field at the Southern California University of Health Sciences in East Whittier was closed to the public after a spate of recent break-ins

The athletic field of the Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS) is closed to neighborhood walkers after a recent rash of break-ins in the neighborhood. John Scaringe, president of the university, said the closure “may not be a permanent thing,” but calls to university staff for more information have not been returned.

Jean Wall of the Whittier County Community Coordinating Council convened a community meeting at SCUHS on July 17 to alert the neighborhoods of East Whittier to a recent spate of home and car break-ins. According to people who attended that meeting (I did not), Joe Eggleston, Director of Auxiliary Services at the university, said there had been cars broken into in the parking lot adjacent to the track.

The university, on First Avenue a block north of Imperial Highway, is on the site of the former Lowell High School, closed in 1980 due to declining enrollments. Some local residents have been walking on the track for since it was part of the high school, and are disappointed at losing access.

A security guard asked Cindy Feinzimer to leave the athletic field

“I just think it’s a tragedy that the community can’t come out in the morning and take a refreshing walk,” said Cindy Feinzimer, who grew up in La Habra. She had driven from her current home in La Mirada to walk on the track last Thursday, but was asked to leave by a security guard.

The entrance to the track is blocked by a sign on a saw horse, but the signs keep disappearing, the saw horse keeps moving, and people keep coming back.

Mike Mofette, John Ramirez, and Les Hawkins defy a sign closing the SCUHS track to the public

“Stuff like this you have to meet head on,” said John Ramirez after he finished his walk.

Les Hawkins, another local using the track to exercise, thinks the university went back on their word to keep the track open.

“When they bought this from the school they announced right away that nothing would change,” he said.

Except for a brief encounter with Scaringe, I have not been able to reach anyone from the university who is willing to speak to this issue.

UPDATE 12/3/10: Joe Eggleston confirmed today that the athletic field was reopened about two weeks ago to members of the community who want to use the track. “The community is allowed access from dawn until dusk,” he said. “The insurance company is happy, everybody is happy.”


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Local Crime Spike

Neighborhoods in East Whittier along the border between Los Angeles and Orange Counties are mobilizing after a recent rash of break-ins. Representatives of local law enforcement agencies will be on hand Saturday at a community meeting to describe the problem and explain to residents how they can help protect themselves and their property.

Someone smashed the driver's window of Robert Summer's car and stole $2400 worth of golf equipment Monday night.

Resident Robert Summers will be there. He said someone smashed the driver’s window of his Firebird some time Monday night while it was parked on Tigrina Avenue by Rancho Starbuck Intermediate School. They stole $2400 worth of golf equipment.

Three weeks ago, he said, his next-door neighbor’s catalytic converter was cut off and taken, and another man, who lives on Tigrina a few blocks down, told Summers that his car had been broken into recently and several battery packs were taken.

Summers doesn’t think of the neighborhood as a high-crime area, but he believes there’s definitely been a sudden jump in crime.

Jean Wall of the Whittier County Community Coordinating Council (WCCCC) said the Council will hold a community meeting Saturday at 10 a.m. in the theater of the Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS). Representatives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Whittier and La Habra Police Departments, the California Highway Patrol, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department will describe the problem, what they’re doing about it, and how residents can protect themselves and their property.


Wall said there have been incidents on Fireside Drive, Pounds Avenue, Tigrina Avenue, Larrylynn Drive, Maybrook Avenue, Grayling Avenue, and Richvale Drive, all in the southeast corner of unincorporated Whittier.

When I asked, Joe Eggleston, Director of Auxiliary Services at SCUHS whether there had been recent break-ins at the college, he replied¬† “No comment,” adding that he will have more to say at Saturday’s meeting. Patricia Howell, Superintendent of Lowell Joint School District, said there have been no break-ins at nearby Rancho-Starbuck Intermediate School.

Cindy Knapp, a spokesperson for the La Habra Police Department, says that La Habra hasn’t noticed a crime spike in La Habra neighborhoods that border the area of concern in unincorporated Whittier, but they are sending a representative to the Saturday meeting.

Wall blames the crimes on the poor economy and the lack of precautions by residents.

“They’re so damned complacent,” she said. Everybody thinks, ‘It’s not going to happen to me.'”

One woman told her, “Oh, Jeannie, this don’t happen to us… Oh, wait a minute!” And then she told about a man she’d recently seen in her backyard. When he saw her watching him, he began to run. Another woman Wall talked to said her favorite jewelry had been stolen.

Burglars break in and “take everything they can,” according to Wall.

She hopes Saturday’s meeting will help enlighten people who believe that they live in a safe neighborhood and have nothing to worry about. “I’m the neighborhood watch captain, and I had no idea this was going on,” she said.

The area Wall describes is under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Sheriff. Lieutenant Al Reyes said that an analyst is pulling up crime data to calculate a percent increase, but the department isn’t waiting for numbers to take action. They believe there’s been a jump in crime in the area, so they’ve deployed several special assignment teams to look for drug users.

“A zero-tolerance approach to drugs has a direct effect on crime,” Reyes said.

He also thinks it’s important for residents to take protective measures. Lock your car and hide any valuables you leave in it, including your GPS device. Know your neighbors and know who doesn’t belong. If you’re leaving on vacation, make sure a trusted neighbor will pick up your papers and call 911 if a stranger is snooping around.

You can also report crimes anonymously through Crime Stoppers, said Reyes. Call 1-800-222-TIPS, text TipLA plus your tip to 274637, or report online at Crime Stoppers.

For more information you can attend Saturday’s meeting. The Crime Stoppers site also has crime prevention information here.

Community Meeting
Saturday, July 17, 10 a.m.
Theater at Southern California University of Health Sciences
16200 E. Amber Valley Dr., Whittier, CA


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Dedication of Fire Station 194

On May 20, the ribbon was cut for Fire Station 194. Here’s a slideshow of the event. (Turn your sound on.)

And here’s my story about the station posted the day after it opened for business:¬† Fire Station 194 Has a New Home


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