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Posted by on in Chamber News

Dear Fellow Veterans and Colleagues,


I’d like to pass on a couple of issues.  Information concerning the impact of Hurricane Harvey and the recent legislation signed by the President - the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also referred to as the “Forever GI Bill”.


First and foremost, our thoughts are with those of you who are experiencing the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey (and perhaps Hurricane Irma).  If you are attending school on the GI Bill and your school was or is temporarily closed due to Hurricane Harvey, the VA considers your attendance continuous and your payments will continue as normal.  


Benefit-Specific Information


If you are using Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill) or Chapter 35 (Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program): As long as your enrollment was submitted by your school, no further action is necessary to receive continued payment.


If you are using Chapters 30 or 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill) or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP): Continue to verify your attendance until further notice as if your school did not close.  This ensures continuation of your payments. Students may verify attendance using the WAVE website or by calling 1-877-VACERT.     

If your school is open but you are unable to attend due to this event (e.g., displaced from your home), please contact your School Certifying Official as soon as possible to prevent possible overpayments.

Please contact our Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. CST) for any questions about your GI Bill benefits. If you are unable to contact us by phone, you can send us a secure inquiry on our website using the “Submit a Question” button.




As you know, a few weeks ago the President signed into law the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also referred to as the “Forever GI Bill”.  This new law will implement sweeping changes to the GI Bill benefit programs that will enhance education benefits for Servicemembers, Veterans and their families.  This legislation contains several new provisions, the vast majority of which will enhance or expand education benefits for Veterans, Servicemembers, Families and Survivors. I briefly discussed some of these changes in an email that I sent to you on August 17th, and shared that we have more work to do to determine how these provisions impact our beneficiaries.


As we move forward with implementation, we anticipate there will inevitably be questions from Veterans, dependents and stakeholders.  As such, we have created a way for you to contact us regarding this new law.  If you have questions regarding the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Assistance Act of 2017, please send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   Finally, please know and understand the size and scope of this bill (there are 34 distinct sections) will require significant resources and Information Technology (IT) changes/updates.  We don’t have all the answers just yet but are working feverously to lay out a schedule and plan.


Again, please pass this information on to those who may be affected but unable to access email.


As always, thank you for your service.




Curtis L. Coy

Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity

Veterans Benefits Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Washington, DC 20420

VA Core Values: Integrity,Commitment,Advocacy,Respect,Excellence (“I CARE”)  

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Posted by on in Chamber News


Link to sign up for the State of the District: www.LAEF4Kids.org/events

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A message from Amy Payne, Executive Director, Summer Harvest:


For many families in the Los Alamitos Unified School District, summer brings space for bucket lists and vacation. Yet, for 13% of our district families or roughly 1,300 children who regularly receive free or reduced lunches during the school year, summer becomes a stressful season.  Only 1 out of 8 children that receive free or reduced lunch during the school year receive any government assisted lunch over the summer months when school is not in session.  What most of us do not realize is that the percentage of free or reduced lunch families in our district is not actually high enough to meet the government’s criteria for a summer food service program. These families are caught in a gap, a gap which creates food insecurity. 




To meet this need head-on, Summer Harvest was developed with a clear vision to eliminate food insecurity for school-aged children in affluent communities where children do not qualify for government or other help programs.  As a 100% volunteer-based 501C3, our mission is to provide healthy meals to families with children on the free and reduced lunch program, during the breaks from school. This summer we will distribute groceries including staples for meal making ensuring a solid foundation of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can get involved in this program by becoming a sponsor of a grocery bag. A gift of $75 provides a bag of groceries to a family for each of our five distributions this summer. We also encourage you to come out and pack food or help with the distribution. Donate or volunteer at http://www.summerharvest.us.  We are also doing a fundraiser on June 1st at Chipotle in Seal Beach from 5 to 9pm where 50% of the proceeds go to Summer Harvest (please find the flier here). Click here to read our newsletter with more information about Summer Harvest.


Summer Harvest


Get Involved. Donate, volunteer, or sign up to receive food! Use the links at the top of the page to get involved today!







If you are a family that falls in the gap and would benefit from groceries, please see the signup forms here and we encourage you to go to http://www.summerharvest.us/signup.


Sign up! - Summer Harvest


Sign up! Sign up as a recipient to receive food, or sign up as a volunteer - either way, we'd love to have you!


With each of us doing our part, no child in our district will ever have to feel insecure about their next meal. 


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SCE Offers New Incentive for EV Drivers



Clean Fuel Rewards Program


Southern California Edison is offering a $450 reward to customers who drive all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The incentive, which is being offered through SCE's Clean Fuel Rewards Program, applies to new, used and leased vehicles. Unlike most rebate programs, second and third owners of a vehicle are also eligible for the payment.

“We hope that making second and third car owners eligible for a rebate will help stimulate the market for used electric vehicles,” said Laura Renger, SCE principal manager for Air and Climate Policy.

To qualify for a payment, customers need an active SCE residential account and a scanned copy of the car's registration that reflects the SCE account address. They simply submit an application through the Clean Fuel Rewards website. Once approved, Clean Fuel Rewards checks are then mailed to the customer.

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LONG BEACH, Ca – At 10 a.m. May 10, the VA Long Beach Medical Center was officially renamed the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center in honor of Holocaust survivor and Medal of Honor Recipient, Corporal Tibor Rubin.

The ceremony took place in parking lot J and was open to the public.

“We are honored to carry the name Tibor Rubin and carry on his lifelong commitment of service to our nation”- Walt C. Dannenberg, Medical Center Director.

Congressman Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach introduced legislation to rename the medical center and it was signed into law by President Barrack Obama 16 December, 2016. 

Born to a Jewish family in Hungary, Rubin and his entire family were sent to a Nazi concentration camp in Austria during World War II.  His parents and sisters died but Rubin survived 14 months until the U.S. Army liberated his camp, inspiring him to serve. 

Immigrating to the United States, Rubin joined the U.S. Army and was attached to Company I, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division as a rifleman, deploying in support of the Korean War.  He was designated a Medal of Honor recipient for his role in protecting his regiment while they retreated to the Pusan Perimeter.  He stood alone and protected the Taegu-Pusan road inflicting casualties on attacking forces and held his position for 24 hours, slowing enemy advance, allowing for the regiments successful withdrawal.   Later, when Rubin and fellow soldiers were taken prisoner he risked his life to sneak out of camp and gather food and medical supplies to bring back to the wounded and starving.

Rubin was a loved and cherished patient at the Long Beach VA Medical Center and received care there up until his death in December, 2015. 
The Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center is one of the most diversified health care systems in VA. Located along the Southern California coast, the facility provides comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, and extended care programs.


Source: US Department of Veterans Affairs


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The Griffins from our beloved Los Alamitos High School have put together a video to share with all on YouTube please follow this link to enjoy:











Special thanks to teachers Bob Ostmann (video), Moana Dherlin (arrangement), and Justin Padilla (recording),


and, of course, our amazing students!  

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On Saturday night, our show choirs, SoundTRAX and Sound FX, placed first in their respective divisions, earning them the title of National Grand Champions at the FAME Show Choir National Finals at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago for the fourth year in a row. The grand champion choirs each won awards for best show design, best choreography and best vocals with SoundTRAX also garnering the best costume award. Sophia Wackerman and Malia Rivers were named the best female soloists of the evening, and Justin Min captured the award for best male stage presence. ABC and CBS greeted them at the airport to help capture this special moment for our Griffins. 



Director David Moellenkamp also received the Aspire Vocal Vanguard Award for excellence and innovation in directing. David's dedication to our students to provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunities inspires all of us to Ignite Unlimited Possibilities!



Please join me in congratulating our choir students, Director David Moellenkamp, Assistant Director Moana Dherlin, accompanist, Eddy Clement, our booster parents, and our community supporters! 


The students are already hard at work rehearsing for the upcoming, one night only performance of the musical, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" which features many of the students who performed in Chicago. Tickets are available now at www.seatyourself.biz/losalchoir for the May 12th performance at Cottonwood Auditorium.

Seat Yourself


Step 2 Make your reservation. Pick one of the suggested seatings from the seat chart or select a different quantity of seats below.

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SoCalGas Power-to-Gas Project Selected by U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to Receive Funding

Utility to Receive $175,000 Cost Share to Advance Renewable Energy Storage Technology

LOS ANGELES, Apr. 24, 2017 – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced that its power-to-gas project has been selected by the U.S Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to receive up to $175,000 in cost share support for a new technology research and demonstration project at NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF). SoCalGas and NREL researchers will partner to conduct research to advance the development of power-to-gas technology, a cutting-edge method of storing excess renewable energy.

"Power-to-gas technology has the potential to bridge the renewable energy supply-demand gap that has become more and more challenging," said Jeff Reed, director of business strategy and advanced technology at SoCalGas. "This technology can significantly increase the amount of renewable energy integrated into the electrical supply and improve grid reliability. By using our existing gas pipeline infrastructure to store large amounts of carbon-free power, we could really make a difference in California’s clean-energy future."

"NREL and SoCal Gas will be leveraging the large-scale hydrogen system capabilities at the ESIF to accelerate the commercialization and deployment of a power-to-renewable-hydrogen-to- -natural-gas," said Kevin Harrison, Senior Engineer at NREL. "Once the renewable hydrogen and/or methane is produced, the gases can be stored indefinitely and utilized in a number of energy sectors including electricity generation, transportation, fertilizer (ammonia) production, and oil and gas. The system can also be operated in a highly dynamic mode to help stabilize the electrical grid to enable higher penetrations of renewable sources of electricity."

Power-to-gas technology takes excess renewable electricity that would otherwise go to waste and converts it to hydrogen. The hydrogen is then combined with carbon dioxide and fed to a bioreactor where organisms produce renewable natural gas, or RNG. RNG can be used in everything from home appliances to industrial processes, engines and power plants.

The conversion of renewable electricity to RNG enables long-term, monthly, or seasonal storage of large amounts of carbon-free power. Researchers note that this long-duration storage is difficult to achieve with traditional storage technology such as lithium ion batteries, which are typically designed store energy for shorter time periods SoCalGas Power-to-Gas Project Selected by U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to Receive Funding

SoCalGas’ research with NREL, located in Golden, Colorado, will seek to answer questions like whether the bioreactor can be operated efficiently and economically to follow solar- and wind-generated electricity profiles. The team will also examine the potential of power-to-gas technology to store large quantities of renewable energy for an entire year, and how it compares in performance and cost to battery storage.

# # #

About Southern California Gas Co. Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe, and reliable natural gas to its customers for 150 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.


24-Hour Media Line: (213) 244-2442 socalgas.com/newsroom | @SoCalGasNews

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Rossmoor_Community_Festival_Flyer_2017  FULL PAGE April 6.jpg

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