Valentine Enjoys Sips and Sweets at LadyBird

Photo courtesy Valentine Elementary School

Valentine parents Jenny Yessaian, Michele Esbenshade, Colleen Tripp, Parent Party co-chair Shannon Snaer, Francesca Gill, PTA President Helen Phan, Parent Party co-chair Stephanie Giardina and Kate Sinclair recently stopped in at LadyBird, a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store on Mission Street for the “Sips and Sweets” shopping day benefiting Valentine Elementary School PTA. Valentine parents and friends were treated to cupcakes and beverages as they shopped the boutique’s colorful spring apparel and gift items. This shopping event was coordinated by Gill and was held in conjunction with the PTA’s upcoming “Sweet Magnolia Night” Parent Party, which will take place on Saturday, April 8.

East Meets West Sponsors Parenting Conference

“Parental Self-Care: How Taking Care of Yourself Benefits Your Family” was the topic discussed at a recent parenting conference sponsored by the East Meets West Parent Education Club at Crowell Library. The featured speaker was Professor Marla Brassard, who is director of the School of Psychology at Columbia University. Brassard presented the results of ongoing research into the ability of parents to promote their own strength and well-being in order to be able to continue their job of positive parenting.

Photo courtesy East Meets West Education Club
Tina Wong, Flora Wang, Grace Jeong, Caroline Elliott, Jennifer Lu, Ivy Sun, Mary Brassard, guest speaker Marla Brassard, and Annie and Paul Brassard

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Swirlz Soft Serve Holds Grand Opening

Photo courtesy Swirlz Soft Serve Parlor
Swirlz owner Sepherteen Jew (second from left) stands with daughters Rioghnach, Saerlaith and Caislin Dunn.

Swirlz Soft Serve Parlor held its grand opening recently, and a steady crowd streamed through the doors to sample the organic soft-serve ice cream and yogurt for 20% off. Through the month of March, there is a 10% discount off the entire food purchase and a special of a $25 gift card for $20.
Swirlz Soft Serve Parlor is a local family-owned frozen dessert parlor featuring organic soft-serve ice cream and yogurt, vegan coconut milk, Dole Whip, gelato and custard, with more than 60 toppings to customize the treat. It is located at 2136 Huntington Drive.

Children’s Hospital NICCU Families to Reunite at Kidspace

A butterfly-themed celebration on Sunday, April 2, will reunite hundreds of patients and their families with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit at Kidspace Children’s Museum for an evening filled with play, fun and laughter.
These children, affectionately called NICCU “graduates,” all spent crucial days, weeks and months in CHLA’s intensive care unit specially designed to meet the needs of critically ill infants. About 800 patients, parents and loved ones will get an opportunity to reunite and celebrate with the physicians and nurses who cared for them during these vital early moments of life.
To commemorate the lives and accomplishments of NICCU graduates, CHLA and Kidspace have partnered to host the reunion.
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Dignity Health Honors Winner of Kindness Challenge

Photo courtesy Dignity Health – Glendale Memorial Hospital

Claire Davis of Rosemont Middle School (second from right) was recently honored with the Great Kindness Challenge Video Competition award. The competition is sponsored by Dignity Health — Glendale Memorial Hospital. From left are Tri Fritz, philanthropy manager, Glendale Memorial Hospital; Cynthia Livingston, principal, Rosemont Middle School; Jack Ivie, president, Glendale Memorial Hospital; Davis; and Marie Filipian, community relations manager, Glendale Memorial Hospital. Officials from Glendale Memorial presented Rosemont Middle School with a $500 award. Additionally, Davis received a commendation from Glendale City Mayor Paula Devine and an award certificate from the hospital.

‘Planet Earth: Caves’ at Caltech on April 1

“Planet Earth: Caves” will be presented on Saturday, April 1, at 4 p.m. in Caltech’s Beckman Auditorium. This program is part of Caltech’s Science Saturdays series.
The film, which is recommended for ages 8 and older, ventures into the underground world of perpetual darkness and the unknown while exploring caves, tunnels and caverns. The shadowy interiors of these natural structures are a breeding ground for bizarre and remarkable wildlife.
Erika Hamden, a postdoctoral scholar in astronomy at Caltech, will introduce the film and guide the post-screening discussion.
Tickets to this performance are $10 (unreserved seating) and can be purchased at the Caltech ticket office, 101 Winnett Center on the Caltech campus in Pasadena.
Beckman Auditorium is located on Michigan Avenue, south of Del Mar Boulevard, in Pasadena. For information, call (626) 395-4652.

City Appoints New PWP General Manager

Gurcharan Bawa

City Manager Steve Mermell recently announced the appointment of Gurcharan Bawa as the new general manager for the city’s Water and Power Department. Bawa has been with Pasadena Water and Power since 1992, when he joined as an associate engineer.
Bawa advanced steadily through the department with a variety of jobs, becoming assistant general manager for Power Supply in 2007 and as interim general manager since July 2016. He will oversee a department of about 440 full-time employees and an annual budget of about $272 million. PWP currently provides the power and water needs of the city’s residents and businesses, including about 65,000 electric accounts in Pasadena and 40,000 water accounts in Pasadena and portions of Altadena.
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Leadership Pasadena Discusses Fake News, Fake Science

Astrophysicist and Leadership Pasadena alumnus and past board president Gordon Squires opened the Leadership Pasadena science session at Caltech telling the class that 75% of women and 66% of Ph.D.s believe the news article they were handed at the workshop. And then he told them: None of that was true. He made it up. With that, the class began an in-depth discussion on what news is real and what is fake and what science is evidence-supported and what is fake science.

Coldwell Banker South Lake Agents Lontrice Dorton, Del Lile, Olga Neckelmann, Gary Forecast, Pat Lile and Nina Martin were recognized last week at McKinley School for their volunteer activities throughout the year. They were part of a group of seven that recently painted the girls’ two-story high bathroom, transforming it from drab and dusty to a vibrant purple and yellow. It took the volunteers three days and about 15 hours to complete.

“I thought the percentages were extreme but, heck, it was Gordon. He’s brilliant and an LP alumnus so I believed him. Wow, I was dumb!” said Cindy Bengtson, member of the Leadership Class of 2017.
Squires and Trity Pourbahrami, director of communications for the engineering and applied sciences division at Caltech and a Leadership Pasadena alumna and past board member, provided concrete tools to help the class evaluate news and science articles. Case studies were also worked on requiring the participants to defend both sides of controversial scientific projects currently drawing public opposition.

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Coldwell Banker Agents Get Volunteer Kudos

Coldwell Banker South Lake Agents Lontrice Dorton, Del Lile, Olga Neckelmann, Gary Forecast, Pat Lile and Nina Martin were recognized last week at McKinley School for their volunteer activities throughout the year. They were part of a group of seven that recently painted the girls’ two-story high bathroom, transforming it from drab and dusty to a vibrant purple and yellow. It took the volunteers three days and about 15 hours to complete.

Ribbon-Cutting Opens Credit Union

The recent opening of the Caltech Employees Federal Credit Union began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new lending branch at Foothill Boulevard and Commonwealth. Attendees included (front row, from left) Pat Anderson, City Manager Mark Alexander, Mayor Jonathan Curtis, CEFCU CIO John Barnfather, CEFCU Board of Directors chair John Patterson, CEFCU President/CEO Rich Harris and CEO board member Mike Miranda.