It was a busy year in La Cañada Flintridge. Residents came together to mourn losses and celebrate victories, they made their voices heard at the polls and in public hearings, they made history in real estate and sports, and, at La Cañada High School, students were instructed to try to get a little more sleep.
Here are the 17 most important local stories of 2017:
1. LCF Loses Dave Spence
Dave Spence suffered a fatal heart attack at his home May 16. The devoted city councilman and six-time mayor was 80.
In March, he’d been re-elected for a seventh term as a member of the City Council, on which he’d served since 1992: “In my opinion, La Cañada Flintridge is one of the greatest cities in this state,” Spence said during his last campaign.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department says its homicide detectives are investigating a stabbing death of a 21-year-old Hispanic woman, identified Wednesday as Raylynn Josephine Deanna Hernandez, whose body was discovered by a hiker at about 1:20 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 24, near mile marker 30.45 in Angeles National Forest, approximately four miles north La Cañada Flintridge.
According to a release from the sheriff’s, the hiker saw the victim on a hillside just off of Angeles Crest Highway. Continue reading “Body Discovered North of La Cañada Flintridge”
Forgive Jasmine DeMatteis for wishing for an end to the holiday season and all of its focus on food — which isn’t any fun for a 4-year-old who can’t eat it.
Her youngest, Jude DeMatteis, has primarily been living off a feeding tube since he was 4 months old because he’s unable to digest proteins in food.
Until recently, doctors and other medical experts were stumped as to why. A new diagnosis has offered clarity, but life’s still difficult for the little guy, who is never far from the loving, devoted embrace of his mother and family — as well as some excellent area doctors and many others in La Cañada Flintridge who have monitored his status.
In December 2014, Jude’s condition attracted attention from local media outlets, including KTLA-TV and newspapers that reported on the “mystery illness” plaguing the toddler.
The family of a La Cañada High School special education student is suing the school district, claiming that negligence by district employees resulted in the boy being seriously injured when he fell from the bleachers during an assembly on May 20, 2016 in Hotchkin Gymnasium.
The case is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 22. Attorney Robert Glassman will argue that the district’s failure to install guardrails on the bleachers from which Ethan Kalnins, who suffers from cerebral palsy, fell. The fall caused a fractured hip and led to resulting physical, emotional and psychological duress, Glassman said.
Three female occupants were tied up in their home on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 12, as four men armed with a handgun allegedly ransacked the residence and made off with collectibles and electronics, according to Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Sgt. Alan Chu.
The residential robbery was reported in the 800 block of Inverness Drive, where the men — whose faces reportedly were covered and who were wearing hooded sweatshirts — forced open a back door at approximately 7:30 p.m.
“It’s a big deal,” Chu said. Continue reading “Residents Tied Up in Home Invasion”
Mayor Michael Davitt attended a series of federal advocacy meetings last week in Washington, D.C., focused on sober living homes, a topic that’s arisen as a concern among La Cañada Flintridge residents.
“This is not just a local issue, it’s a statewide and nationwide issue,” said Davitt, who said he and other representatives from the California Contract Cities Association spent Dec. 11-12 meeting with a dozen legislators, including members of the House of Representatives and Senate.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Davitt said he and his colleagues sat in on a subcommittee meeting on the topic, and learned about H.R. 6070, the Safe Recovery and Community Empowerment Act, a bill sponsored by California Congressman Darrell Issa that would allow communities to implement oversight of sober living facilities. Continue reading “Davitt Discusses Sober Living Homes in D.C.”
Emmanuel Eulalia would like the British Royal family to know that if they’d like to invite him, he can make room in his schedule next May to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married.
“Definitely,” said St. Francis’ theater director, chuckling, “I’ll be there for the wedding.”
Eulalia has been overseeing a robust theatrical program at St. Francis since the 1998-99 school year, when he directed “Oedipus Rex,” his first production for the school — which starred Markle as the female lead, Jocasta.
Markle, as you probably have heard, is engaged to Prince Harry, who currently is fifth in line of succession to the British throne. Continue reading “Future Royal Meghan Markle Sparkled at St. Francis”
The California Department of Education sent out report cards last week, and as usual, La Cañada Unified School District earned high marks. The district received the highest rating possible in nine of 11 measures that are intended to offer a thorough analysis of educational goals.
The new California School Dashboard report, released on Dec. 7, indicated that LCUSD students’ scores slipped slightly in some areas, but they still maintained “very high” performances in the prioritized areas of English language arts, mathematics, graduation rates and English-learning progress. The district’s low level of suspension rates increased slightly. Continue reading “LCUSD Receives ‘Very High’ Ratings in Education Performance”
An enthusiastic audience tends to bring out the best in performers, and, feeling the love, the always sweet-sounding La Cañada High School Chamber Singers were in top form as they knelt on the Palm Crest Elementary kindergarten playground last week. One little boy, boogieing down before them, was doing his part to encourage the choir.
Like students at all three of La Cañada Unified School District’s elementary schools, he had a great seat to take in the talented high school singers and orchestral musicians during the groups’ traditional holiday visits last week.
The Chamber Singers toured the campuses Thursday, and the orchestra arrived Friday, in an effort to both inspire holiday cheer and drum up interest in the music programs at LCHS 7/8 and LCHS. Continue reading “Cheery LCHS Musicians Enthrall Elementary Students”
At the insistence of the state, the City Council and La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board on Tuesday approved resolutions to consolidate their future elections with statewide elections, a shift that will set election dates for even years and add a fifth year to the four-year terms of both sitting council and board members.
The resolutions are in response to Senate Bill 415, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015 aimed at increasing local voter turnout while decreasing local election costs.
The City Council will push back its next municipal election to March 2020, a year later than the previously slated March 2019 election date. LCUSD’s next Governing Board election will be held in November 2020, instead of the previously scheduled November 2019 date. Continue reading “City, LCUSD Board Move Elections to 2020”