Category Archives: History

Community leader celebrates 40 years of love with his Vietnamese family

APPLE VALLEY — Surrounded by friends and family, community leader Wally Linn celebrated what he calls “four decades of love, faith, and commitment.”
On Saturday, Linn’s Vietnamese family took center stage during a celebration in Apple Valley that began in the summer of 1975 when Linn and his wife, Vicki, visited Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and brought home the Thanh Cong Nguyen family, refugees from South Vietnam.
“This is quite the story of a family that escaped their war-torn country and began a successful life here in America,” said Linn, a Marine Corps veteran and field representative for Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley). “Today, they’re all successful through hard work and perseverance.”
Linn said for the past 40 years, the family has come together at the Linn’s home to celebrate family and to remember how much God has blessed them.
Linn introduced San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon and his wife, Michelle, to his Vietnamese family, which included Thanh Cong Nguyen, 74, and his wife Chuc, 73, and their daughter, Camtu (Christine) 42, all from Las Vegas.
The McMahon’s were also introduced to Thanh’s younger brothers; Trinh, 59, a computer engineer who lives in San Jose with his wife, Christine, and their son, Ryan, 7; and brother Tung, 57, a family physician who resides in Orange County.
“We are so fortunate to be living in America,” said Trinh, as family members began laying out containers of Vietnamese food. “If it wasn’t for the love of Wally and Vicki, and their church, I don’t know where we would be.”
Trinh said after his family survived a dangerous trip to the Philippines, aboard an old Vietnamese Navy vessel with 5,000 refugees, the family was sent to Guam before they were flown to California.
“When we got to Camp Pendleton on July 31st, there was a mass of humanity living in tents,” Linn told the Daily Press. “My heart broke as a I saw 50,000 people, young and old, who had escaped Vietnam when the Communists took control of the country.”
Linn said he first heard about the refugees in California when he heard former Vice President of South Vietnam Nguyen Cao Ky speak in Anaheim. Later, a friend told the Linns that they could sponsor refugees from the war-torn country.
“I told myself, ‘Instead of complaining, why don’t you sponsor one?’” Linn said.
Upon his arrival, Linn heard the announcement to Thanh that his family was there to meet him over the loudspeaker before he came to meet them, but it wasn’t long before they met his family too.
“Before you know it, he introduced us to his wife, Chuc, and their daughter, Camtu,” Linn said.
Just when he thought they had the entire family gathered, Linn said that Thanh asked if his brothers, Trinh and Tun, could come home with them as well.
“By August, Thanh’s family had joined our daughters, Faith and Lisa, as part of the family in La Habra Heights,” Linn said. “It was a blessing to be able to open our hearts and home to them.”
The Linn’s also have a daughter, Joy, 38, who lives in Apple Valley and son, Charles, 25, who serves in the U.S. Army, honored just last year by the town of Apple Valley for receiving an Army Achievement Medal.
Trinh said that if the roles were reversed in 1975, he doesn’t know if he would have taken in strangers from another country.
“When Wally and Vicki took us in, they gave us the VIP treatment all the way,” Trinh said. “They not only fed us and gave us a place to stay, they prayed with us, took us to church and treated us like their own family.”
After Apple Valley Mayor Larry Cusack honored the family on behalf of the Town and Council, Tung told the Daily Press that he could not believe how quickly 40 years has passed.
“As a doctor, my job is to care for people that need medical treatment, but as a grateful American from Vietnam, my job is to care for everybody, “Trung said. “It’s only right that I give back to a family and country that has given so much to us.”
Linn said the family, who also received certificates of recognition from Cook, has “set an example for others to follow.”
“They’ve taken care of themselves and worked so hard for their success today,” Linn said. “That’s why I’m so proud of them.”

Facts about Avocados

Hass Avocado La Habra Heights, CaDid you know that another name for the Hass avocado is the Alligator Pear because of its bumpy, green skin and pear shape. Avocados were used as a spread instead of butter when European sailors traveled to the New World. Learning from the past, avocados are a healthy alternative to butter, mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese.

Avocados don’t self-pollinate; they need another avocado tree close by to produce fruit. The avocado is an Aztec symbol of love and fertility and they only grow in pairs.

During the Super Bowl, there are more than 8 million pounds of avocados eaten across America. And during Cinco de Mayo, there are about 14 million pounds eaten.

To ripen, they have to be plucked from trees. To help ripen an avocado, place it in a brown bag and keep in a cool spot for two to three days. Avocados used to be served only to royalty and were a symbol of wealth.

Avocados can be used as an ingredient in desserts. In Brazil, avocados are a popular ingredient for ice creams and in the Philippines they purée avocados with sugar and milk for a dessert drink.

The most popular avocado is the Hass variety, named after mailman Rudolph Hass from La Habra Heights, CA. He patented his tree in 1935.

Judge when an avocado is ready to eat by squeezing it. Color alone does not indicate if an avocado is ripe. Hold the fruit in the palm and then gently squeeze, being careful not to bruise the fruit. It should be firm, but give to gentle pressure.

La Habra’s $19 million civic center project moving forward

Designs of La Habra's future City Hall show a contemporary building, light years from its current City Hall built more than 40 years ago.

Designs of La Habra’s future City Hall show a contemporary building, light years from its current City Hall built more than 40 years ago.

After years of discussion, La Habra decided on Monday to sell its Civic Center to a housing developer, swapping for commercial land across the street.

City Ventures, which has housing developments throughout Orange County, would buy the Civic Center land for $5.58 million, and build 62 townhomes and nine single family homes on the site now occupied by City Hall, the post office and the arts association, records show.

The city will buy Town Center, commercial buildings across the street, for $3.69 million from City Ventures in the deal. Read more

Admission Free Monday at Richard Nixon Library & Museum for Presidents Day

Admission will be free at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda Monday for Presidents Day, while the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley will mark the holiday with a free set of family-oriented activities.

The Nixon Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the first 100 guests receiving a free slice of cherry pie.

Actors portraying the presidents depicted on Mount Rushmore — Thomas Jefferson, Richard Nixon Library, Yorba Linda CalfironiaAbraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and George Washington — will be available for pictures throughout the day.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward Larson will discuss his new book, “The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789” at 6 p.m.

“The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789” chronicles the period of Washington’s life between his stepping down as commander-in-chief after leading the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War and taking office as president and uncovers Washington’s vital role in shaping the Constitution.

More information on the Nixon Library is available by calling (714) 993- 5075 or online at or

The Reagan Library will conduct its 23rd annual Presidents Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., including crafts, musical entertainment, storytelling and presidential and first lady lookalikes.

Admission is free to the celebration, with food available for purchase.

The library will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with its regular admission rates — $16 for adults, $9 for children ages 11 to 17 years old, $6 for children ages 3 to 10, and $13 for ages 62 and older. Children 2 and under are admitted free.

Richard Nixon Library, Yorba Linda CalfironiaMore information on the Reagan Library is available by calling (805) 522- 2977 or online at

Although commonly known as Presidents Day, the Monday holiday is still legally Washington’s Birthday.

The holiday was shifted from Feb. 22 to the third Monday in February 1971 under the terms of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968. Because the holiday falls between Feb. 15 and 21 it can never fall on the actual anniversary of Washington’s birth in 1732.

The term Presidents Day began being popularized in the 1980s, when retailers combined sales formerly held in conjunction with Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays.

La Habra Heights Faces Big Ballot Decisions

Oil Wells in La Habra Heights, Ca

PHOTO: Oil wells near La Habra Heights, Calif., are nothing new; this photo is from the 1920s. But residents will vote in March on rules to restrict new oil and gas development, and also such high-intensity drilling techniques as fracking. Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Elections in less than two months are the talk of two small southern California communities where voters will decide the future of oil and gas drilling in their areas – and the results could set the tone for other parts of the state.

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