Whenever he rides out of town, Frank Ruiz will be doing it in style.
After opening Paco’s Barber Shop in La Cañada Flintridge 57 years ago, Ruiz is trying to sell the establishment to another barber. As a thank-you — and perhaps a parting gift — for all he’s meant to the community, the good-natured, 83-year-old Air Force veteran has been named grand marshal of the 43rd Fiesta Days Parade, said Pat Anderson, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.
“He’s a delightful gentleman and we’re very pleased he has accepted our request,” said Anderson, who also identified the theme of this year’s weekend-long festivities: “There’s no place like home, LCF.”
In a recent conversation, Ruiz said he had much admiration for local government and officials.
“You have such a concerned body of governors,” he said. “Pat Anderson, she’s such an outstanding woman. You have a lot of good leaders. Everybody makes the town here, and they treat you so beautifully.”
The City Council denied appeal by Kevork Aposhian that he hoped would have permitted him to operate as a pawnbroker in his Estate Jewelry Collection shop on Foothill Boulevard.
Because pawnbrokers aren’t among the accepted types of businesses listed in the Downtown Village Specific Plan, it means they’re not allowed, said Susan Koleda, deputy director of community development.
Aposhian argued that the business of banking is not much different than the service provided by a pawnbroker.
“How is jewelry as collateral different than banks, [which] give car loans and have to collect if it’s in default?” he asked. “Would you limit bank services to just transactions?”
But council members agreed with a previous ruling by the Planning Commission, which voted unanimously to maintain the ban on pawnshops in the area.
“My concern is that it opens up a Pandora’s Box … and other people might not be as reputable [as Aposhian],” Councilwoman Terry Walker said.
SISTER CITIES KICKSTARTING
Six students, hailing from La Cañada High School, Flintridge Prep and St. Francis, were selected to represent LCF when the newly formed Sister Cities Association travels to Washington, D.C., this summer for an International Youth Leadership Summit.
Those 9th- and 10th-graders — Courtney Johnson, Amr Eissa, Lukios Stefan, Naomi Stephen, Lenny Pieroni and Kelly Steele — will attend the July conference, where they’re expected to meet with diplomats and like-minded students from around the world.
For information on LCF’s burgeoning Sister Cities Association, visit lcfsistercities.org.