Category: News

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.”

Temple City fires city manager

Breaking: the city council unanimously votes to fire Jose Pulido at a special meeting on January 13.

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

The city council of Temple City unanimously voted to terminate City Manager Jose Pulido’s contract effective February 12 at a special meeting on Monday, January 13.

The unexpected decision gives the former city manager a paid 30-day administrative leave and a severance package valued at approximately $103,000, which is equivalent to Pulido’s six-month salary. Pulido had a base salary of approximately $207,000, and received bonuses for three consecutive years of more than $50,000 in total.

In a subsequent press release, Mayor Cynthia Sternquist commented that the city council and Pulido “enjoyed a productive working relationship” but it was mutually agreed that “stronger leadership was needed to lead Temple City into the future.”

Pulido began his service with Temple City in October 2009. He was responsible for reorganizing City Hall, as well as spearheading efforts to redevelop Temple City’s Rosemead Boulevard. Prior to joining the city, he worked in the cities of San Fernando and Montebello.

Last October, Pulido was ranked the third-highest paid city manager of the five local cities that The Temple City Voice surveyed.

Administrative Services Director Tracy Hause was appointed interim city manager.

Casa del Rey bids farewell to Temple City

After dedicating nearly 43 years of quality Mexican cuisine to Temple City, Casa del Rey’s owner, Art Rey has decided to close the doors.

Written by NATALIE JIN, Editor-in-Chief/ Published January 20, 2014

As mom-and-pop shops closed down with the downturn of the economy, Casa del Rey was one of the few withstanding family-owned businesses on Las Tunas Drive.

However, in recent years, slow business has affected the restaurant, and last December, Art Rey, the son of founders, Alicia and Guillermo Rey, decided to close the original Temple City branch.

“Letting this branch go was a hard decision, but we are going to consolidate the branches into the Sierra Madre restaurant,” Rey says. “I grew up here. I started working here since I was 14.”

The Rey’s founded the family   restaurant in 1971, and for four decades, have been serving the people of Temple City quality, lard-free Mexican cuisine. The Rey’s take extreme pride in the quality of their food, using the freshest produce and providing daily fresh-made salsa and chips.

The quality of the restaurant’s food is not compromised by its taste. Casa del Rey receives accolades from many who do give the restaurant a try.

Temple City resident Erica Wang says, “I’ve never really tried Casa del Rey until I heard they were closing, and I don’t eat Mexican food often. But now that I have, I’m quite sad that they’re closing.”

However, as the demographics of Temple City slowly changed within the last decade, the shops on Las Tunas have changed as well. Slowly, local mom-and-pop shops have gone out of business,   replaced by boba (an Asian tea with       tapioca drink) houses and Chinese       cuisine, demonstrating the gradual movement of the Asian community to Temple City.

Rey notices the cultural  transformation on Las Tunas Drive, and suggests that the demographics have also affected Casa del Rey’s business.

“I think the demographics have changed the last 10 years, and that does have an impact on our business” Rey says, noting the gradual trickling in of the Asian population and Asian-geared food chains on Las Tunas Drive. “Mom-and pop-shops like ours just aren’t as popular anymore.”

After Casa del Rey closes this February, the restaurant lot will be          remodeled into a Japanese sushi bar.

The original Temple City location will remain open until Valentine’s Day weekend.

Those who miss Casa del Ray’s Mexican cuisine can visit their Sierra   Madre location at 31 N Baldwin Ave, Sierra Madre, CA 91024.

Students decorate floats for Rose Parade

The New Year’s Rose Parade featured floats that were worked on by many of Temple City High School’s students

Written by ANDY CHUANG, Staff Writer and CLAIRE CHOW, Staff Writer / Published  January 10, 2014

This past winter break, students from various clubs within Temple City High School volunteered hours of their time and effort towards helping decorate some of the 45 rose floats that appeared in the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.

The Rose Parade is one of the world’s most popular parades with approximately 800,000 spectators attending the event and around 84 million people from around the world watching the parade via television.

The high school students volunteered at one of the four professional float-building companies approved by the Tournament of Roses. They spent an afternoon performing multiple important tasks ranging from sorting flowers and filtering seeds to gluing them onto the floats.

Temple City High School Junior Vivian Liu described her experience working on the eHarmony float as well as the RV Generator float from Honda.

“I volunteered with Key Club and I worked at the Rosemont Pavilion with Phoenix Decorating Company,” said Liu.  “It was a tiring job; I had to climb across beams, a few feet above the ground, and I had to fit in tiny places to get all of the details onto the float.”

Although these tasks were grueling and at times repetitive, the majority of the students had a great time volunteering.

Temple City High School Senior Tiffany Luong commented, “After volunteering, I was pretty tired for just working a few hours, but it was pretty cool to see how the float was being made. The jobs they gave us were tedious, but with friends it can be fun.”

When the floats are finished, they generally carry upwards to 160,000 flowers and weigh around 6 tons of pure beauty.

Students share their Christmas experiences

The spirit of Christmas is brought to life through the celebration of family traditions and warm, beautiful environments.

Written by ELLE LAM, Staff Writer / Published January 10, 2014

With its joyful grace, splendor of colorful lights, and festive jingles, Christmas is the one heartwarming time of the year when family and friends gather together in front of tall, decorated trees and goodie-filled stockings.

In celebration of the holidays, many families cultivate their own personal traditions. Whether it is simply spending the day designing gingerbread houses or watching classic Christmas movies, these developed traditions shed cheerful light upon all.

“Every Christmas, my entire family gathers around the fireplace and sings Christmas carols while enjoying each others’ company,” said Temple City High School Sophomore Elizabeth Tang.

Temple City High School Sophomore Wesley Chen overlooks the materialistic aspects of Christmas and cherishes the reconnections brought about by the holiday, as well.

“Every Christmas, I look forward to spending time with my family and close friends,” commented Chen, “It’s a great feeling to see everyone having a good time and enjoying each others’ company.”

Along with long-lasting family customs, Christmas is well-known for the high anticipations it brings. Many look forward to the galore of ornaments and the shining, sequined wreaths that eternalize the Christmas spirit.

“Every Christmas, I look forward to bejeweling my house with a bunch of Christmas decorations,” says Temple City High School Sophomore Nikki Leon, “I love the classics like the lights, the tree filled with ornaments, the stockings stuffed with goodies, and of course, the nutcrackers. I think the decorations are what make Christmas, well, Christmas.”

While Christmas always comes to an end, the memories, traditions, and hopes always stay with those who cherish them.

Teachers from Shanghai visit Temple City High School

Representatives from Shanghai’s Jinshan High School visit Temple City.

Written by LEONA CHEN, Secretary / Published December 20, 2013

On Thursday, November 21, teachers from Shanghai Jinshan High School visited Temple City High School’s campus to compare and contrast educational systems.

Temple City High School Principal Mary Jo Fosselman-King shared how this visit could possibly affect students from both schools.

“Shanghai Jinshan High School will be sending 15 students to attend TCHS for three days during the first week of February,” King said. “I think it would be great if we could take students to visit their school, but there are no plans for it at this time.”

During their visit, the six representatives were taken on a tour around the school and were shown a few classrooms.

“They were really late and we were unable to visit the classrooms we had originally intended to visit,” King explained. “So we were only able to see a few classrooms, but they enjoyed chatting with some of our students that spoke Mandarin.”

One of the classes the group of six representatives visited was 7th Period AP Language and Composition, taught by Sarah Penalora. Principal King asked for volunteers from the class who could speak Mandarin to explain what the class was doing.

Though the students of Shanghai Jinshan High School were not present, Junior Calvin Wang nostalgically shared his history with them.

“I met them in the past when they came to America and to the summer camp I worked at: TRASK scout reservation,” he added. “I asked them about what life was like in China, the technology, the advancement of cities, and how much homework they have.”

Wang also hopes for a program in the future that would allow Temple City High School students to explore Chinese high schools and their education systems.

Young Asian Americans join U.S. military

 Young Asian Americans enlist in spite of cultural barriers.

Written by AUSTIN LAM, Staff Writer / Published December 20, 2013 

Banners on Las Tunas Boulevard flutter in the wind, honoring soldiers and veterans who hail from the small town of Temple City. These banners stand as symbols of sacrifice, duty, honor, and country. But taking a closer look at them, one can’t help but observe the lack of Lee’s, Wong’s and Kim’s on the banners.

There is an evident disproportionality in the demographics of Asians in the military. Since the last decade, Temple City’s ethnically Asian population has grown abundantly, reaching a point of composing 56 percent of the town’s current demographics. However the amount of Asians who enlist in the military is wan in comparison.

Private First Class Alan Miao, a Combat Engineer in the U.S Army and Temple City High School graduate, com-ments on the initial struggle with revealing his decision to join with his friends and family, suggesting that a possible lack of representa-tion of Asians in the military is due to the lack of parental acceptance and under-standing.

“When I first told my parents that I wanted to join the military they immediately said no,” Miao said. “But when they finally understood what the military could do for me both financially and personally, they accepted my decision.”

Wesley Tsai, a Lance Corporal of the Marines and also a Temple City High School graduate, received a similar reaction from his parents and peers, attributing some of the unfavorable perceptions that many Asian Americans

harbor of the military to the influence of the media and other traditional misconceptions.

“My parents were concerned for my safety when I first told them I wanted to enlist,” said Tsai. “But when they started to overcome the stereotypes that come with the military, they became much more supportive.”

However, having been in the military, he now steps back and defeats these stereotypes. “Being Asian and be-ing in the military really isn’t a challenge to me,” he said. I think it’s actually easier for someone of an Asian upbringing to be in the military because we grew up with a sense of discipline.

“How one performs in the military isn’t decided by race; it’s decided by heart. How much heart you have defines who you are in the military – race is only an exterior look,” he added.

Both Tsai and Miao are very satisfied with their decision to enlist in military services, proud to have overcome the stereotypes that hinder Asian Americans in the military, but even prouder to be serving our country.

Temple City school board reorganizes, welcomes new members

New TCUSD School Board Members Vinson Bell and John Pomeroy were sworn into their new posts. 

Written by NATALIE JIN, Editor-in-Chief / Published December 20, 2013 

Vinson Bell and John Pomeroy were sworn in as new school board members during the last Board of Education meeting on December 11.

The two new board members had taken their respective oaths of office the week prior at the California School Board Association meeting in San Diego.

However, for ceremonial purposes, Bell and Pomeroy were sworn in again at the school board meeting.

During the session, Bell and Pomeroy each gave their own welcoming speeches before the rest of the school board.

In his speech, Bell addressed students directly by discussing the importance of their education and values.

Pomeroy shared his upbringing in the neighboring Pasadena area and some of his goals as school board member.

Bell and Pomeroy replaced the former school board members Matt Smith and Joe Walker after both declined to seek re-election this November. Their terms will expire in 2017.

The new school board currently consists of Kien Tiet as president, Kenneth Knollenberg as vice president, Vinson Bell as clerk, and John Pomeroy and Bob Ridley as members.

Illuminating the spirit of the holiday season

The Christmas spirit is brought to life with the welcoming of lights on Temple City.

Written by Sophie Ho, Staff Writer / Published December 13, 2013 

Temple City held its annual holiday splendor Lights on Temple City on Friday, December 6, at the intersection between Las Tunas Drive and Oak Avenue and within Temple City Park.

Lights on T.C. is a holiday season kick-off event where Temple City Park is transformed into a Winter Wonderland with a parade, ceremonial tree-lighting, and people of all ages enjoying a festive night of activities and entertainment.

At the beginning of the evening, families lined the sidewalks of Las Tunas Drive eagerly waiting for the parade to begin. At promptly 7 p.m., the TCHS Marching Band and Pageantry Corps and Oak Avenue Auxiliaries led the mini-parade, showcasing the Prides of Temple City, including council members, Miss TC, and, last but not least, Santa Claus. Volunteers plugged in the lights wrapped around small trees along Las Tunas as Santa Claus passed by in a red convertible.

After the ten-minute parade, the crowds flooded into Temple City Park resuming their booth activities. While children proceeded to visit Santa in Santa’s House and slide down the ice slides, adults were able to enjoy musical performances under the gazebo and choose from a selection of food booths. The performing arts groups included Temple City High School’s Brighter Side show choir and Marching Band.

TCHS Brighter Side and Marching Band filled the air with music selections such as “What Christmas Means to Me,” “Skating with My Baby,” “A Holiday to Remember,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Many high school students could feel the holiday cheer around them.

“Everyone was very festive and excited to see the parade,” said drum major and Temple City High School senior Demi Gonzalez. “The support the community and people of Temple City give us makes it so entertaining and worthwhile.”

“I think Lights on T.C. is a very festive and joyous attraction for the community.” said Temple City High school senior and Brighter Side show choir member Josh Li, “Performing our Christmas numbers under the gazebo with such a friendly audience is probably the most memorable part.”

School Board says farewell to Smith, Walker

Both Matt Smith and Joe Walker decided to retire rather than run in 2013.

Written by ALBERT CHEN, Senior Editor and Celene Chang, Staff Writer / Published November 22, 2013 

Temple City School Board Members Matt Smith and Joe Walker have decided to retire.

Smith, first appointed in 1998 and subsequently elected, and Walker, first elected in 2005, have served a combined 23 years.

Since Walker and Smith both declined to run for another four-year term, the 2013 school board election was cancelled. The only two qualified candidates, Vincent Bell and John Pomeroy will be sworn into office next month.

After serving two terms, Walker has decided to step down.

“I don’t think you want to have somebody in there for 12, 15, 20 years,” Walker says. “It’s just too much.“

Smith cites his long term and the graduation of his three children as reasons for no longer continuing his career as a school board member.

“I decided not to for the school board again for two primary reasons. First, 15 years is a long time to have already served on the board; and second, my youngest son graduated from Temple City High School three years ago, so I no longer have any children attending school in the District,” says Smith.

Both Smith and Walker have high hopes for the school board candidates who will be replacing them, expressing confidence in the candidates’ abilities. They are also especially impressed by their willingness to volunteer and give back to the community.

“I saw two men that ran that I knew for years and were really good,” Walker says, “If I dropped out, those two people would automatically become board members and we could save that money to reduce class sizes or use it on technology.”

Smith states, “[Bell and Pomeroy] both strike me as being highly energetic and genuinely interested in doing what’s best for the children of our community. I applaud the fact that they have already both been very involved in working with our youth to promote development and character by volunteering their time to serve.”

For Walker, retiring from the school board is an opportunity for him to step away and delve into other activities.

“This gives me more time to be a dad and pursue other interests,” Walker says, “I can always run again in two years.”

Smith, however, will continue to stay active within the community and be involved in programs such as the Kiwanis Club of Temple City.