Christopher Yee is a staff writer for the Whittier Daily News. He covers the cities of El Monte, South El Monte, Alhambra and San Gabriel.
Movies & TV
EL MONTE >> When independent film director Anthony Solorzano decided to make his first feature film two years ago, he wrote it about two things he knows well —running and El Monte.His new movie, “Varsity Punks,” tells the story of a high school star quarterback who suffers an injury and is forced to join the “punk” cross-country running team in order to keep competing athletically. But the difference between “Varsity Punks” and...
The number of homeless people in the San Gabriel Valley rose 36 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to a count conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority in January.The number of homeless counted by volunteers from Jan. 24-26 in the region was 3,552. The same time last year, volunteers counted 3,142 homeless persons.Of those people counted this January, 1,179 were found living in shelters or temporary living arrangements and 2,373 were found on the...
Former South El Monte councilman says Apple product purchases uncovered by state audit were legitimate
SOUTH EL MONTE >> A former city councilman referenced in a state audit as one of the South El Monte officials who used city-issued credit cards to make thousands of dollars in purchases — including bar tabs and Apple electronics — will be one of the candidates Wednesday seeking to fill the spot on the City Council vacated by the city’s former mayor imprisoned on corruption charges.Willhans Ili was appointed to the City Council in 2010 and was elected to a...
ALHAMBRA >> For a decade, the nonprofit Alhambra Preservation Group has advocated for the preservation of historic buildings and homes built in the city’s 114 years.While the City Council celebrated the anniversary on Monday, the group’s work has just begun, said President Joyce Amaro.“This is an opportunity for us to begin to tell Alhambra’s architectural story,” Amaro said.Since its inception, the group has held five historical...
Fraud and false statements
Feds file lawsuits to seize properties across San Gabriel Valley, Inland Empire connected to EB-5 fraud
LOS ANGELES >> United States Attorney’s Office prosecutors filed nine lawsuits Thursday seeking the seizure of real estate properties across Southern California allegedly purchased with millions in proceeds from what FBI investigators said was a fraudulent visa program based in San Gabriel.No criminal charges have been filed in connection with the ongoing probe, but the lawsuits contend the two targets of the investigation “exploited” the EB-5 visa program,...
SOUTH EL MONTE >> A blistering audit by State Controller Betty Yee’s office found several leaders in South El Monte charged $290,000 on city credit cards over four years, paying for bar tabs for consultants, airfare, staff lunches and almost $40,000 on Apple electronic devices.All of the charges were made between July 2012 and September 2016. Among the leaders in the city who made purchases questioned in the audit were former City Manager Anthony Ybarra, former Councilman...
SOUTH EL MONTE >> In honor of the Mexico vs. Croatia soccer match Saturday, Mexican soccer star Luis “El Matador” Hernandez stopped by Whittier Narrows Park Wednesday to give a private soccer clinic for local youths.The legendary Mexican National Team striker remains the highest goal scoring Mexican in World Cup history. Over his 15-year career, Hernandez played in the top leagues in Mexico, Argentina and in the United States with the L.A. Galaxy. As a...
LOS ANGELES >> Slain Whittier police Officer Keith Boyer was one of six Los Angeles County peace officers honored Wednesday at the 48th annual Los Angeles County Peace Officers’ Memorial.With the six additions presented Wednesday, the new Memorial Wall at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Eugene W. Biscailuz Regional Training Center grew to 515 names of peace officers from across the county killed in action as far back as the 1850s.Boyer...
LOS ANGELES >> Four Chinese investors who believed they were each investing $500,000 in U.S. businesses in return for green cards are suing a San Gabriel consulting firm to get their money back after FBI investigators alleged the scheme was a fraud.The lawsuit, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, said that the operators of the California Investment Immigration Fund — lawyer Victoria Chan, her father Tat Chan and his wife Zheng Chan, business partner Fang Zeng and...
LOS ANGELES >> A former boys basketball coach who had a significant presence in the San Gabriel Valley pleaded no contest Tuesday to sexually abusing one of his teenage players in 2004.Tony Wong, 62, of San Gabriel, pleaded no contest to three counts of lewd acts upon a child. Wong was the longtime coach at the Alpine Recreation Center in Chinatown. Wong is expected to be sentenced July 5 to two years in state prison and be ordered to register as a sex offender for the...