Gateway representative says project to finish in 2014

The Gateway Project finally broke ground last fall.

Written by KRISTY HSI, Associate Editor/ Published on February 21, 2014

After years of delay, The Gateway project is coming to life at the corner of Rosemead Boulevard and Las Tunas Drive.

The 76,000 square foot Mediterranean style project is planned to include commercial spaces nestled throughout four main buildings. The completed project will have room for retail, office, and restaurant spaces. There will also be a large parking lot.

“The estimated construction cost of the project is about $20, million,” Nassef Eskander, project manager, says.

According to Eskander, developer and owner Randy Wang secured funding last September and received construction permits from City Hall in October.

Since then, The Gateway has focused on the construction of its underground parking facility.

“We have completed 40 percent of the underground (subterranean) structure,” Eskander details. “It is anticipated that the underground parking will be completed by the end of March 2014 when above-deck buildings will start to be constructed.”

Eskander notes that the project is to be completed by the end of 2014. Tenant improvements will be made once leasing is determined.

The Gateway project has had a long and tumultuous history.

The developer and owner originally envisioned a mixed-use development known first as The Temple City Galleria and later as The Piazza Las Tunas. In 2006, the city approved the project (with a scheduled completion date in 2009), but Wang failed to start, likely due to a lack of funding.

After years of non-action, a legal dispute emerged between the developer and the city. Both parties eventually settled and the current Gateway project, a commercial only development, was born.

Business spotlight: O Green Café

The new cafe recently opened in Arcadia.

Written by Sophie Ho, Staff Writer/ Published on February 21, 2014

Amidst vibrant-colored flowers, an abundance of brown, and contemporary décor stands O’Green Café, serving organic cuisine at 713 West Duarte Road, Arcadia. This café has been highly praised by health fanatics for its usage of high-quality organic ingredients and 316 titanium stainless steel cookware, which help to preserve nutrients.

O’ Green Cafe gives off an original twist by allowing diners to experience a mixed tradition of Taiwanese bubble milk tea and Hong Kong-style food in a very trendy, western environment. The cafe’s quaint yet lively interior accommodates around 20 customers, setting a comfortable ambiance for a date or a free Wi-Fi-supported study environment.

The Wild Mushroom Pasta with chicken is very flavorful. Savory mushrooms sautéed on basil are sprinkled in the bowl along with various herbs that tingles taste buds. Lightly salted chicken strips are enough to satisfy any meat lover, and the overall dish is light yet filling.

The Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Macaroon serves a nice surprise in the center with a strawberry filling and the macaroon was crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.

O’ Green Cafe serves tasty and organic food to customers and boasts smooth and accommodating service. Whether for a relaxing night out with friends or a small family dinner, O’ Green Cafe welcomes anyone who is looking for healthy and satisfying dishes and drinks.

An Interview with School Board Member John Pomeroy

John Pomeroy joined the Temple City School Board last December. 

Written by Amy Lin, Treasurer, and Kristy Hsi, Assistant Editor/ Published on February 21, 2014

John Pomeroy, who was sworn as a Temple City School Board Member last December, recently spoke with The Temple City Voice regarding his vision for the school district.

Pomeroy states that he decided to serve on the school board to ensure that the academic curriculum in the Temple City Unified School District (TCUSD) stays strong. He says he is impressed by the diverse education that students receive that includes high-performing academic courses, as well as outstanding arts and athletic programs.

“I want to grow our academic programs by meeting our high school students’ demands for Advanced Placement classes and also by incorporating art more consistently in the elementary schools,” the school board member says.

Pomeroy also wants to hear more from students, parents, teachers, and community about the opportunities that Temple City students may lack. He believes it is important the school district provide students with training for college and career.

“We need to prepare every graduate so that whenever they decide to pursue college, they are prepared and don’t need to take remedial courses,” Pomeroy says. “We also need to provide for our most gifted students a real solid preparation for college that would equal what they would get at the best public or private high school.”

To implement his vision, Pomeroy advocates for spending bond funds on upgraded science classrooms. He also wants to ensure counselors are available to students for not only college and career planning, but also unfortunate situations, for example, those that may lead to dangerous behavior.

The school board member also shared the Temple City school board’s agenda for the next few months.

Pomeroy states, “This spring we have an enormous task ahead of us as we continue to plan for the implementation of the Common Core curriculum, prepare the Local Control and Accountability Plan. In addition, it appears that we will be immediately conducting a search for a new superintendent to take over this school year.”

Pomeroy expresses his love and appreciation for Temple City and its school district, its volunteers, and employees. He looks forward to a long period of service and success for the school district’s children.

Evaluate yourself

Editor’s Column for February 2014

Written by Natalie Jin, Editor-in-Chief/ Published on February 21, 2014

This might just be the musings of an observing senior in high school. Within just the few years of my high school career, as I watched each new batch of underclassmen file in for orientation, I feel as if more and more students are getting more and more involved – too involved. So involved and immersed in both academic and extra-curricular rigors that I can’t help but question the moral integrity of their interests.

They’re joining clubs, a minimum of four at a time; they’re starting charities; they’re going to Africa for a summer to gain global insight; they’re taking a minimum of five AP classes per semester. And as I sit back and watch them file in to start their new clubs that Mr. So-and-so said was a great resume booster, I can’t help but wonder – have you lost yourself? What is your passion? Harvard? That’s not a passion. That’s an institution.

Don’t get me wrong. Aiming high and striving for admissions into reputable colleges is no sin. And I am certainly not devaluing the merits of these high school students: I do believe that certain individuals do have the capacity of heart and capability of mind to manage so many different realms of responsibilities. But does everybody? Or have you lost yourself amidst the struggles of plumping your resume? Has your sheer ambition taken you too far?

Let me give you a humble word of advice: you don’t have to do this.

Find things you are truly passionate about. It doesn’t have to be more than one or two. It’s quality over quantity.

Do things you truly love.

Make a difference in a field that you’d boast not only on your resume but also to your grandchildren.

Be personable, and don’t lose yourself to your ambitions.

A holiday of love

Valentine’s Day experiences are shared as Temple City residents celebrate this tradition of love.

Written By IRENE HSU, Staff Writer/ Published on February 14, 2014

A time for secret admirers to sneak notes and also a time to remember loved ones, Valentine’s Day has been a tradition for as long as one can remember. This national holiday of love was celebrated on Friday, February 14 this year.

For couples, Valentine’s Day is a day to spend time together and do something special. Some favorite ways to celebrate include going out to dinner, exchanging gifts, and also eating chocolates.

For others, Valentine’s Day is significant because it is a time to show appreciation and caring for friends and family. Some families celebrate Valentine’s Day by going out to restaurants and simply enjoying each other’s company.

Whether there is a significant other present or not, Valentine’s Day is always a day to look forward to. Members of the Temple City community share their Valentine’s Day experience.

“My favorite part of Valentine’s Day is candy,” said Longden Elementary sixth grader Angela Hsu. “I also like having a party in class.”

The Valentine’s Day spirit is also recognized through attire. “I celebrate Valentine’s Day by wearing pink,” said Melody Lin, a sophomore at Temple City High School.

Still, there are others who treat Valentine’s Day just like an ordinary day. “I celebrate Valentine’s Day like any other day,” said thirty-year-old businessman Daniel Vu. “It is not a special day or holiday to me. The meaning behind it should be done 24/7/365.”

Some find meaning behind this February holiday and celebrate while others simply see it as another typical day. Whatever one might believe, this tradition of love is a good way to spend time with loved ones as well as enjoy a few sweet treats.

Australians visit Temple City in annual exchange

The Temple City Sister City Association invites seven Australian students to experience Temple City and America.

Written by LOUISA CHANG, Staff Writer/ Published on February 7, 2014 

On December 26, 2013, seven teenagers from Hawkesbury, Australia arrived in Temple City to participate in the annual student exchange program held by the Temple City Sister City Association. This year, the Australian student ambassadors were Jamie Anyon-Smith, Adam Clark, Jordan Pearson, Tim McAlpine, Thomas Refalo, Phoebe Tracey, and Bethany Tramontano. Their host siblings were Michelle Hubbard, Janabelle Peng, Louisa Chang, Billy McGavin, Nathan Franco, Keefer Sih, and Janelle Rivera.

During their month-long stay, the Australians toured local sites, such as City Hall and the fire station, and visited iconic tourist destinations, such as Disneyland and Universal Studios. They were also able to attend classes at Temple City High School with their host siblings on designated weekdays and the annual Temple City High School dance concert.

“The school system here in America is interesting,” said exchange student Phoebe Tracey. “It’s definitely different than it is at home in Australia.”

On weekends, the exchange students were given free time to bond with their respective host families. With this free time, the students visited various attractions, including the Santa Monica Pier, Olvera Street, Beverly Hills, and Six Flags. They also spent time together by relaxing, watching movies, and playing laser tag with all of the families.

The Australians returned home to Hawkesbury on January 26 to start the Australian school year.

For more information on the Temple City Sister City Association, visit www.templecitysistercity.com.

A hidden culture

Managing Editor’s Column for January 2014

Written by PROMISE LI, the Managing Editor/ Published on January 20, 2014

I was talking to a woman outside of the Metro station at Lake Avenue who told me a story about an old man whose throat was slashed open at a nearby station. Through encounters like these, I sometimes question the authenticity of the hyper-reality I live in: living in a quaint, safe, little town, and growing up with a hopeful generation of youth that is guilelessly directed towards security and success, who, if ever under those rare lapses of enlightenment, might realize the absurdity and bleakness of pursuing a future of conformity and comfort.

Beneath the façade of growth and peace, there is a brokenness that exists around us that we are sometimes too blinded to acknowledge, too blinded by our privileges and well-being, and too blinded by our individual pursuits.

We wait to receive and indulge in seasons of giving. Outside the consumerist commotion of holiday sales and warm family gatherings lay the true reality of our towns in which we have always neglected to notice. Yes, in the thriving communities of the San Gabriel Valley there are those who had been wandering for decades, victimized by random and repeating splurges of both physical and sexual violence, and broken for so long that one can see nothing behind their glassy eyes.

I never did truly stop to recognize this hidden culture of plight and suffering in our supposedly sheltered and privileged perimeters until now. I joined the staff of this publication to satisfy and cultivate my youthful desire to document, to explore, to discover.

In this season of truly exploring and communicating to more people in the streets, I must admit, my naiveté did take quite a blow. Understanding the desolation of life outside of the matrix we live in is only the first step; giving back to the community takes on a new meaning once one actually takes the initiative to give back to the community. Not until then would one realize that the issues of our society are even grittier, harrowing, and in need of aid than it seems.

Local business spotlight: URSpace Café

Newly opened restaurant UR Space serves an Asian  fusion cuisine in a chill, artsy atmosphere

Written by PROMISE LI, Managing Editor/ Published January 20, 2014

Newly opened UR Space on Las Tunas Boulevard offers a new, refreshing dine-out in Temple City.

The family-owned restaurant, owned by Art Institute sister graduates Charlene Lin and Rosanna Chen started the business early October as soft opening, and officially opened last December.

UR Space serves an Asian Fusion cuisine, combining predominantly Western dishes with an oriental spin, with items such as Japanese styled hamburger patty, macaroons, Salmon Benedict.

The restaurant has a unique and modern style and design, with a white, minimalistic overtone with   precisely placed artistic decor, and an open-air corridor in the middle section of the restaurant.

Operating Manager Michael Shih, Le Cordon Bleu graduate and resident of Arcadia for over 20 years, discusses about his experiences at UR Space.

“The family poured all their effort into this,” said Shih. “They wanted to provide a good dining environment for the town and they’ve spent two years exploring the different types of cuisines in the area and doing research to try to create a upscale dining experience for the town.”

“We are still experimenting and working on perfecting our menus, service, and quality control. We constantly ask our customers their thoughts, and no doubt, we’ve gotten extremely positive responses. Most of them said the restaurant reminded them of the diners in places such as Old Town Pasadena and Santa Monica,” he added.

He also said that they chose to open UR Space in Temple City because it was “more quiet, and less overflowing and crowded like the other surrounding towns.”

UR Space Café is located at 9619 Las Tunas Drive, Temple City, CA 91780.

An interview with School Board Member Vinson Bell

Bell shares his thoughts on becoming a School Board member and what he has in mind for the school district.

Written by ALBERT CHEN, Assistant Editor and KRISTY HSI, Assistant Editor/ Published January 20, 2014

Temple City School Board Member Vinson Bell, who was sworn into office last December, recently spoke to The Temple City Voice about his plans for the school district.

A father of a Cloverly Elementary School student and an active parent volunteer for the past four years, Bell cited his daughter as the reason why he ran for the school board.

That alone gave me valuable insight about how public education works,” Bell says. I have also participated in many other functions such as being part of the district’s Measure S bond campaign to help improve the    infrastructure at all of our schools.”

Bell is a member of the graduating Temple City High School class of 1990 and wants to pay his education forward.

“It is as much a sense of duty and the pride that I have for our district that fuels my passion to pay it forward for our future generations,” says Bell. “From a personal perspective, I see my role as a board member as an opportunity to take my turn and serve our school children. My depth of knowledge and experience day in and day out around the schools equips me with the understanding as to how I can play a positive role in helping TCUSD prepare for the future.”

Bell believes that TCUSD is a strong, well-organized school district, however, he sees issues and problems resulting primarily from miscommunication. He acknowledges the most important role of a board member as having the foresight and planning that will successfully guide TCUSD.

He states, “It is our job to ensure that our future generations graduate from TCUSD with the right tools to help them be competitive not just in their potential college years but also in real life.”