LCUSD Teachers Hit Summer School for Tech Education

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Chief Technology Officer Jamie Lewsadder leads a discussion about “Thinking Routines With Technology,” one of several sessions hosted by La Cañada Unified School District educators at last week’s Arcadia Innovation Summit.

School’s out, so you might imagine that La Cañada Unified School District’s teachers are kicking back on a beach somewhere, sleeping in or catching up on their favorite TV shows — but sitting attentively in classrooms at Arcadia High School?
Well, yes. A handful of LCUSD representatives participated in the annual Arcadia Innovation Summit last week. They were there either to absorb important information related to technology in education, or to give it away.
“We have some awesome teachers,” said David Pasziewicz, an instructional technology specialist. “So this is a good opportunity to share a lot of the really innovative work our teachers have been doing in class. Continue reading “LCUSD Teachers Hit Summer School for Tech Education”

LCF Planning Commission Puts Flintridge Prep Plans on Hold

Rendering courtesy Harley Ellis Devereaux
Flintridge Prep’s upgrade plans include a new parking structure and a new collaborative leadership building, among other improvements.

After absorbing about three hours of resident testimony about Flintridge Prep’s proposed campus improvement plans at its meeting Tuesday night, La Cañada Flintridge’s Planning Commission opted early Wednesday to continue discussion of the 10-year, multi-phase project at a later date.
That will allow time for the private school’s personnel to revise its proposal in accordance with feedback from commissioners, city planning staff and the public, including perhaps eliminating a controversial request to build a two-story parking garage.
“The applicants can come in as soon as they want,” Planning Commission Chair Rick Gunter said. “And if the applicant chooses to omit portions, that’s their prerogative, or they can amend it to reflect what it is they’d like to do.” Continue reading “LCF Planning Commission Puts Flintridge Prep Plans on Hold”

Obituary: Daniel Bush Downer

Daniel Bush Downer
Daniel Bush Downer

His family and many friends lost a creative, talented, principled, caring and witty man on June 15 with the passing of Daniel B. Downer, 98, a resident of San Marino for 63 years.
Born in St. Louis and raised in Newton, Massachusetts, Dan relocated to Southern California with his family in 1939 and graduated from Pomona College in 1941. He served in the Army Air Corps during WWII in Fairbanks, Alaska, and married his college sweetheart, Mary Louise Geis of South Pasadena, in Juneau, Sept. 1, 1945. Continue reading “Obituary: Daniel Bush Downer”

Poker Bowl Hits Jackpot for Cancer Support Community

Photo by Toni LeBel / OUTLOOK
Local residents who enjoyed Cancer Support Community-Pasadena’s recent Poker Bowl included (seated, from left) Annie Swanson, Nora MacKenzie, Cindy Budzyn and Gayle Penrod. Middle row: Jay Cohen, Steve and Lisa Scharre, Danielle Gay, Priscilla Musso, Jack MacKenzie and Michael Galper. Back: Scott Swanson, Sam Gay, Joe Musso and Michael Budzyn. The event was held at the at the Flying A Garage, a private collection of American classic automobiles. More than 180 guests — a new record for attendance — enjoyed socializing over burgers and tacos outdoors before heading inside for an evening of poker and blackjack, raising more than $53,000. Money raised will go toward CSC’s programs providing free support, education and hope to anyone facing cancer.

Noted Physician to Retire After 49-Year Career

Dr. Ronald Wu, OB-GYN

Dr. Ronald Wu, OB-GYN, who for the past 49 years has delivered thousands of babies and provided care for generations of women in Glendale and Greater Los Angeles, is retiring.
Wu’s last day of practice will be June 30.
“From the bottom of my heart, I wish to thank all of my patients for a lifetime of opportunity to give my very best in the specialized care that I provide,” Wu said. “As I reflect on the multi-generations of families I’ve assisted to bring new lives into the world, these years have brought me joy and happiness beyond description.”
On his decision to retire, Wu, 75, added, “It’s time I pay closer attention to my personal health — and I’m also past due catching up with my family.”
Continue reading “Noted Physician to Retire After 49-Year Career”

Community Center Summer Sports Camp Kicks Off

Ethan Gruel holds off defenders (from left), Rhys Petroc, Ryan Repp and Ludovico Cordara during a scrimmage.

As summer camp season began in La Cañada Flintridge, students participated in Assist Athletics summer blitz camps at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge.
Boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 12 have the opportunity to improve their flag football skills, as well as their baseball and soccer aptitude.
The program uses drills to improve speed and agility and incorporates scrimmages to ensure young athletes are having fun. Programs such as this are designed to promote teamwork, confidence and character-building.
The Community Center holds a variety of camps, running into August. For more information, visit

— Max Zeronian

Photos by Max Zeronian / OUTLOOK
Daniel Mahoney runs a handoff in for a touchdown in a scrimmage at the La Cañada Community Center.

State Funds Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Bill

When Assembly bill 114 passed the state Senate on Thursday, June 22, it ushered in a five-year extension of funding for the University of California’s Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program (UCBCP). Funding of the lifesaving cancer treatment effort was set to sunset on Jan. 1, 2018.
The state Senate approved Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal, which was inserted into the state budget by the state Senate budget sub-committee, which is chaired by Sen. Anthony Portantino, a La Cañada Flintridge resident who represents the 25th Senate District.
Continue reading “State Funds Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Bill”

ALF Reaches Out to Foster Children

LAUSD Foster Youth Achievement Program counselors Maral Sousani and Dianna Armenta join Assistance League of Flintridge members Julie Crum, Linda Gill, Lyn Messner, Maureen Swenson, Mary Meiding, Roz Hilton and Nana Smith.

Assistance League of Flintridge recently worked with Maral Sousani, a counselor with the Foster Youth Achievement Program in Student Health and Human Services at Los Angeles Unified School District, and Christina Castro, a counselor in the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program, to reach out to foster care youth.

Continue reading “ALF Reaches Out to Foster Children”

LCF Centenarian Honored for a Life of Progress

Photos courtesy Lyn Slotky
Mary Naff prepares to cut her birthday cake, which lauds her as an “American Pioneer.” About 70 guests celebrated Naff’s 100 birthday at the Democratic Club’s Summer Picnic at Nalini and Bob Lasiewicz’s home in La Cañada Flintridge.

La Cañada Flintridge’s Mary Naff celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by more than 100 friends associated with the Cañada Crescenta Democratic Club that she helped found 12 years ago. The crowd included some noteworthy area politicians, including state Sen. Anthony Portantino and state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman.
“We do this every year, but it was only because of my 100th that I was anything, because I’m not an officer or anything,” Naff said. “We had a mixture of all ages and races and Anthony gave me a proclamation; it was a nice little presentation. He belongs to our club, and he’s particularly important right now.” Continue reading “LCF Centenarian Honored for a Life of Progress”

Obituary: Melvin N. Wilson Jr.

Nov. 7, 1924 – May 14, 2017

Melvin Wilson with his wife, Adina.

Melvin N. Wilson Jr. was born in San Diego, California, on Nov. 7, 1924.
His parents were Frances Schaffer Wilson and Melvin N. Wilson. His dad was a prominent banker in San Diego. Mel attended Point Loma High School in San Diego; he received his Bachelor of Science in 1945 from Caltech and his Master of Science and aeronautics in 1946 from the same institution.
He was first employed by Bryan Aeronautics, then by the South Pacific Railroad as a consultant to industry, and from 1953 to 1994 he was employed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. Mel designed wind tunnels and technical facilities, including several solar simulators, the largest of which has been designated a national historical monument due to its size and the innovative use of optics, cryogenic high vacuums and other techniques simulating space environment. He received the NASA exceptional service award at retirement, as well as a number of other commendations during his career.
Continue reading “Obituary: Melvin N. Wilson Jr.”