City Pushes Internet Provider to Improve Access

The adoption of distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on unreliable internet access that has long affected La Cañada Flintridge, and the City Council is working with Spectrum to address the issue.
During the panel’s virtual meeting on Tuesday, Councilman Keith Eich told colleagues that he and other members of a subcommittee have been working with the internet service provider, which he said has taken steps to ease its system’s congestion
Residents who have reported their broadband problems to Spectrum and the council include the Rajagopalan family, which voiced its dissatisfaction with the company in a letter posted on the city’s website.
“We humbly request the city to authorize the study of issues related to Spectrum services that were contemplated during budget deliberations,” Sampath and Nandini Rajagopalan wrote. “The quality of internet service is unacceptable in these times when so many of us are distance learning or teaching hundreds of students or working from home.”
The company has seen high internet usage from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. in the last four months and has increased its capacity by as much as 40% to deal with the spike, according to Eich.
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City Panel Advises Against Ending Pact With Sheriff’s Dept.

As demonstrations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and police reform take place throughout the nation, a subcommittee of the La Cañada Flintridge Public Safety Commission has released a report addressing concerns over the city’s contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
During a telephone meeting on Tuesday, the subcommittee consisting of chair Marilyn Smith and Maureen Siegel-Sprowles advised against terminating the city’s contract with the department after speaking with representatives from La Cañada BLM; Save Our Sheriff; Sheriffs Appreciated, Friendly and Engaged; the department; and the city staff.
“We spent a lot of time on this,” Smith said, “and I think our focus from the beginning was to be as evidence-based as possible, to find facts, to drown out the noise and just go with where the facts take us.”
The full commission unanimously approved the adoption of the report and its recommendations. The 11-page document will be sent to staff members and presented to the City Council, which will determine whether to place it on a future agenda.
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Public Safety Commissioners Meet With La Cañada BLM

For more than a month, La Cañada Flintridge officials have been inundated with comments from members of the public regarding law enforcement, a trend that continued during the Public Safety Commission meeting on Monday.
Chair Marilyn Smith told fellow commissioners that a subcommittee composed of herself and Commissioner Maureen Spiegel-Sprowles met with representatives from La Cañada BLM, a local group that has organized protests and written a petition demanding the city terminate its contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, defund the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station and invest in equitable alternatives. The petition had 451 signatures as of Tuesday night.
Smith said it was a “lengthy discussion last week” and the subcommittee will meet with representatives of a local group that lends support to the Sheriff’s Department. A report will be presented to the commission during a special meeting to determine a course of action.
“The plan is there will be a special meeting with the entire commission to put forth our findings and preliminary recommendations and whether or not we as a commission decide to go to the [City Council] with any findings or recommendations.
“That’s where we are now. There will be a special meeting where we will go over all of this and everything that has come to light. I think our goal is to gather as much input and data.”
Commissioners saw the La Cañada BLM petition online and received a detailed, 18-page document that includes links to studies, articles and footnotes supporting the group’s stance.

City management analyst Christina Nguyen notified the commission that 10 Flock license plate-reading cameras were installed on Monday, and the completion date for the installation of 29 others acquired by the municipality has yet to be determined.
There was a minor delay with the installation of the units because city officials were getting approval on some of the sites, according to Nguyen.
The cameras have been regarded as a possible public safety enhancement in a community where residential burglaries have been a concern.

City Hears From Residents Supporting Sheriff’s Dept.

Capt. Todd Deeds

A number of La Cañada Flintridge community members have voiced opposition to a recent petition calling for the termination of the city’s contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
As of its meeting Monday, the City Council had received more than 100 emails from residents in support of the department’s local presence. Many of the messages, which were posted on the city’s website but not read aloud during the meeting, opposed a petition written by La Cañada BLM that called on the city to dissolve its relationship with the law enforcement agency.
“It would be a public safety calamity to terminate our contract with LASD for policing services, or to reduce the amount of funding currently dedicated to policing in our city,” wrote Sean Carney, a prosecutor from LCF. “There are numerous public safety concerns that cannot be adequately addressed by the police alternatives currently being urged on the [council]/commission.”
La Cañada BLM has organized weekly protests in LCF, and its members recently flooded the Public Safety Commission and City Council with emails in support of the petition, citing civil rights abuse allegations against the Sheriff’s Department.
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LCF Protesters Want Sheriff’s Dept. Cut From City Budget

Following weeks of protests, a wave of petitioners are calling on La Cañada Flintridge to end its contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The city’s Public Safety Commission was rushed with emails, which were read on Monday during a lengthy public comment portion. Many community members expressed support for an online petition started by La Cañada BLM, a group that has organized several protests in recent weeks.
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Protesting of Racial Inequality Reaches LCF

Photo courtesy Mark McIntyre
About 60 protesters turned out locally to decry police brutality on people of color and the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Dozens of protesters gathered in La Cañada Flintridge on Sunday to advocate for police reform, in a demonstration that echoed others held across the nation since the recent death of George Floyd while he was in officers’ custody.
The protesters, clad in face masks, started the morning at Memorial Park before making their way to the busy intersection on Angeles Crest Highway and Foothill Boulevard. Once there, they displayed to passing drivers signs bearing messages such as “Black Lives Matter” or urging donations to funds for those who have been injured or arrested in the protests to condemn the death of Floyd, who perished in Minneapolis on May 25 after a police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes despite his pleas that he could not breathe.
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