City Hall’s $11 Million Move to Town Center OK’d

La Cañada Flintridge’s City Hall is moving to the Town Center, a “more strategic location,” Mayor Jonathan Curtis called it.
The city announced last week that it agreed to purchase the former Sport Chalet office building for $11.23 million. The purchase follows a recommendation by an ad hoc committee comprised of citizens, Realtors, city staff and consultants, as well as the completion of a 90-day due diligence that analyzed physical, legal, environmental and suitability factors.
LCF will pay La Cañada Properties Inc. a cash deposit into escrow of $5.65 million with the balance carried on a two-year, interest-free promissory note that will allow the city to consider various alternatives for paying off the balance without incurring additional costs or charges. Those alternatives will include options for the sale or lease of the current City Hall building at 1327 Foothill Blvd.

Continue reading “City Hall’s $11 Million Move to Town Center OK’d”

Former LCF Man Charged With Murders Deemed Unfit for Trial

Rather than stand trial in court, the man accused of beating to death his two nephews with a bolt cutter in Arcadia and attacking his estranged wife in La Cañada Flintridge with a wood-splitting tool will be sent to a psychiatric hospital.

Deyun Shi
Deyun Shi

On Jan. 11, Judge Roberto Longoria of the Mental Health Courthouse ruled that former LCF resident Deyun Shi, 45, is mentally incompetent to stand trial, according to multiple media reports. That means Shi is unable to understand the nature of the criminal proceedings or to rationally assist his lawyers in the conduct of defense.

Continue reading “Former LCF Man Charged With Murders Deemed Unfit for Trial”

County’s Sagebrush Ruling Postponed

The next big development in the decades-old Sagebrush saga has been rescheduled for March 8.
The Los Angeles County Committee of School District Organization’s meeting that was scheduled for Feb. 1 was canceled late last week because of the substantial amount of information members must read and analyze, according to the leader of the citizens group pushing for the territory transfer. UniteLCF wants the 385-acre westernmost portion of La Cañada Flintridge to be redistricted from Glendale Unified to La Cañada Unified.

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Obituary: Vineda Ann Smith Mitchell

Vineda Mitchell
Vineda Mitchell

Vineda Ann Smith Mitchell, 75, passed away on Nov. 17 at her home in Monrovia following a long battle with cancer. She was born on May 20, 1941, in Denver to Vincent and Edith Smith. Hence her name is a combination of their names Vincent and Edith.
Vineda grew up in Englewood, Colo., and graduated from Englewood High School in 1959. After high school, she attended John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark., where she received an associate’s degree.
Vineda married Robert Mitchell in 1962 in Englewood, and they were married for 28 years. Early in her life, she worked as a secretary while her husband finished school. She then became pregnant and motherhood began. Continue reading “Obituary: Vineda Ann Smith Mitchell”

City Approves Sport Chalet Office Purchase

City Hall will relocate to the former Sport Chalet headquarters.
OUTLOOK photo
City Hall will relocate to the former Sport Chalet headquarters.

The city of La Cañada Flintridge signed off Wednesday on the acquisition of the old Sport Chalet office building at One Sport Chalet Drive for use as City Hall, Mayor Jonathan Curtis said.
A 90-day due diligence process evaluated the physical, legal, environmental and suitability factors. Now, the city will pay $11.2 million for the 24,000-square-foot office space and the Montessori school operating on the property, Curtis said.
“It promises to bring new efficiencies and services to the community,” Curtis said. “We’re very excited about that.”
City operations have outgrown the current City Hall space, where 48 city staffers work closely in a 7,160-square-foot building at 1327 Foothill Blvd. When City Manager Mark Alexander began working for LCF 28 years ago, there were only 10 city employees in the same facility, he said.

— Mirjam Swanson

Ex-LCE Principal’s Lawyer Offers Details; Seeks Apology

Christine Castillo visited a classroom with daughter Alissa soon after she was born.
Photo courtesy Christine Castillo.
Christine Castillo visited a classroom with daughter Alissa soon after she was born.

An attorney for former La Cañada Elementary School principal Christine Castillo suggested there could be a “happy ending” to his client’s lawsuit charging La Cañada Unified School District with gender discrimination.
“A happy ending is the school district apologizes,” said Ben Meiselas, an attorney handling Castillo’s suit along with Mark Geragos, of the Los Angeles-based firm Geragos & Geragos. Castillo is seeking unspecified damages in the suit. Continue reading “Ex-LCE Principal’s Lawyer Offers Details; Seeks Apology”

City Council Cautions LCF on Rain Alert

Gregory Hisel, an assistant fire chief for L.A. County, played meteorologist at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
He cautioned La Cañada Flintridge residents to prepare for a series of storms, starting with the first phase, which is forecast to drop as much as 2 inches of rain on the Foothill area by today, Jan. 19. Two other coming storms could bring as much as 5 inches more with strong gusts of wind, he said.
“This is significant,” he said. “The ground is already partially saturated and more and more rain is building up and the ground is going to start getting oversaturated.” Continue reading “City Council Cautions LCF on Rain Alert”

‘Hidden Figures’ Inspires Female STEM Students

Photo courtesy Katelyn Biesiadecki Katelyn Biesiadecki, Taleen Sarkissian, Hannah Chew and Charlotte Strasburg were among the 50 LCHS students who attended a special screening of “Hidden Figures” last week at USC.
Photo courtesy Katelyn Biesiadecki
Katelyn Biesiadecki, Taleen Sarkissian, Hannah Chew and Charlotte Strasburg were among the 50 LCHS students who attended a special screening of “Hidden Figures” last week at USC.

Last week, about 10,000 public high school students from throughout L.A. County — including 50 from La Cañada High School — filled USC’s Galen Center for a history lesson unlike any they’ve ever had before.
They were invited by the L.A. Promise Fund, a nonprofit focused on preparing L.A. students for the future, for a mass screening of “Hidden Figures.”
And almost the entire audience, gathered to watch the movie about African-American women who helped NASA achieve some of its greatest achievements, was female.
“It was like watching a football game,” said Gayle Nichols-Ali, a computer science and visual arts teacher at LCHS. “Your team won every time the girls won.” Continue reading “‘Hidden Figures’ Inspires Female STEM Students”

Portantino Proposes Naming 134 Freeway for Obama

If a resolution presented by newly elected state Sen. Anthony Portantino is adopted, drivers on the 134 Freeway between Glendale and Pasadena will always be able to joke, “Thanks, Obama,” when they run into traffic — an “Obamajam,” perhaps? — on that stretch of roadway.
In late December, Portantino introduced a resolution proposing that the approximately 4½-mile stretch of freeway be named the “President Barack H. Obama Freeway,” in honor of the 44th president, whose second term concludes today, Jan. 19.
Obama attended Occidental College in Eagle Rock from 1979 until 1981, when he transferred to Columbia University. The freeway is nestled on the hillside above Eagle Rock. Continue reading “Portantino Proposes Naming 134 Freeway for Obama”

Speaker Urges Parents to Challenge Success

OUTLOOK photo In her address to La Cañada Unified School District families Tuesday, Denise Pope warned about the problems associated with lack of sleep for high school students.
OUTLOOK photo
In her address to La Cañada Unified School District families Tuesday, Denise Pope warned about the problems associated with lack of sleep for high school students.

Standing before a full La Cañada High School auditorium, Denise Pope asked the parents and teachers to take 20 seconds and write on a piece of paper how they define “success.”
One said happiness. Another said freedom. One said “the ability to sleep at night” and, of course, there was one man who facetiously said “Ferrari,” which elicited laughter.
Pope, a Stanford University researcher, said that in her experience, too many students seriously give the Ferrari answer, equating success with money. She said she believes this is rooted in overvaluing quantitative measures of success and leaving the development of adolescents to the sidelines.
“Success is not a straight line,” she said. “Success is a squiggly path.” Continue reading “Speaker Urges Parents to Challenge Success”