LocationAlhambra , CA United States
It took one magazine, purchased at Alhambra Camera, to inspire Dean Cundey to become a cinematographer. Years later, he served as the director of photography on John Carpenter’s groundbreaking horror movie “Halloween,” shooting a pivotal scene at Alhambra’s Garfield Elementary School. Forty years after “Halloween’s” premiere, Cundey returned to Alhambra to talk to David Muñoz about making this movie.
“Alhambra gave me so much as a kid, it gave me my life and my education, but also my experiences, my attitude, my perceptions of the world,” he said.
The movement to end gun violence in schools ramped up in 2018, after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students all over the country staged protests, walkouts and other actions in the name of gun control. Alhambra High School students wrote a Congressional resolution, with the help of their teacher José Sanchez, calling for measures like universal background checks and restricting the age of gun ownership to 21 years old. This fall, Rep. Judy Chu introduced the resolution in the House of Representatives. The Alhambra Source won an INN Best of Nonprofit News award for this coverage of student activism at its finest.
Bud Taylor writes about the curious case of Evans Apartments, built by a famous former mayor Montivel Burke and then split among his descendants. This is how half of Evans Apartments was sold to a property management company, who forced out many longtime residents with astronomical rental increases, while the other half remained in the Burke family and “remained blissfully unaware of our nightmare,” Taylor wrote. He and his neighbors share a similar experience with many Alhambrans — and other renters in Los Angeles County — of struggling to live in a city where they’ve put down roots, while at the mercy of predatory landlords and a lack of tenant protections.
Similar to Bud Taylor’s rent control op-ed, our reporting uncovered the struggle of many artists and middle income families in Alhambra to afford rent without any ordinances or city leadership to protect them. Cynthia Salguero’s family moved to Alhambra because for the good public schools, while her neighbors — musician Brenden Pannell and his teacher boyfriend — enjoyed the safety and acceptance they experienced in Alhambra. Both were planning to leave Alhambra after experiencing rental increases of several hundred dollars after their building was sold to a property management company.
“I drove myself crazy wondering why my parents made the choices that they did,” wrote Peter Khant, whose parents gave up a relatively comfortable life in Myanmar to move to the United States. Khant, who participated in the Alhambra Source’s inaugural summer internship, writes eloquently about his parents’ struggle with blue collar jobs, physical disability and his own struggle to find himself in a society different from what he grew up knowing.
Seventy-five years ago, the U.S. government passed the Magnuson Act, which ended the Chinese Exclusion Act. The only U.S. law to exclude a specific nationality from immigrating to America, the Chinese Exclusion Act tore countless Chinese families apart, creating trauma that was passed down from generation-to-generation. Baldwin Chiu and Larissa Lam sat down with the Alhambra Source to talk about their documentary, “Finding Cleveland,” where Chiu traced the history of high long-lost grandfather to a surprising place — the Mississippi Delta — and discovered how the Chinese Exclusion Act shaped their family history.