LCHS Sophomore Stokes Passion to Fly

Ready for take-off, Gaines McCollum, a sophomore at La Cañada High School, sat comfortably behind the controls of a Boeing 737, plotting his course from KLAX to KLAS.

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK An aspiring airline pilot, Gaines McCollum, 16, has spent more than 500 hours in simulated flight.
Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
An aspiring airline pilot, Gaines McCollum, 16, has spent more than 500 hours in simulated flight.

For the benefit of a guest in the cockpit on this particular afternoon, the 16-year-old explained that was pilot-speak for Los Angeles International to Las Vegas’ McCarran International: “And once I’ve been cleared, I’ll have to find my Loop Eight Departure and my Daggett Transition. I plan my entire flight because just like how there are lanes on a highway, there are lanes in the sky, so I’ll get waypoints I have to go on ….”
This flight, like hundreds of others like it, would be a virtual trip. Continue reading “LCHS Sophomore Stokes Passion to Fly”

Obituary: Bernard J. (“Jim”) Poletti

Bernard J. “Jim” Poletti

Bernard J. “Jim” Poletti was called to his heavenly home peacefully on March 7. Born Jan. 27, 1934, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to Barbara and Bernard Poletti, he was their only child. In 1939, the family moved to San Jose where Jim lived most of his adolescent life attending Bellarmine High School where he excelled at track.

Jim attended Santa Clara University and was a member of the cheer squad and he received his bachelor’s in biology in 1955. There he met the love of his life, Charlene, whom he married in 1956. In 1955 he entered Creighton Medical School where he received his doctorate in medicine in 1959. At Creighton, he was made a member of the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Society.

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Hogg’s Hollow Students Get Green Thumbs

The recent rains have not stopped Hogg’s Hollow preschool and kindergarten students from studying gardening. Thanks to an aeroponic tower garden, they have been growing vegetables such as lettuce, kale, herbs and tomatoes, and learning some early lessons in botany and self-sufficiency in the process.
Rather than planting seedlings in standard dirt-filled garden beds, the plants are growing in a tower system that circulates nutrient-infused water to feed the vegetables’ roots. Parent Christopher Lay, who is leading the class project, says they’re already seeing some success — both with the greenery and the kids’ response.

“The lesson is different with a water garden merely by the fact that there are alternatives to the norm. The kids already know about dirt gardens, now it is time to discover alternative processes that are nevertheless functionally equivalent,” said Lay. “So far the kids seem to be curious and excited.”
Hogg’s Hollow will host an open hose for prospective families and students on March 12 from 10 a.m.-noon. For more information, call the school at (818) 790-1700.

Hillside School Students Visit Edwards Air Force Base

Hillside School students were literally winging it early one recent morning as they readied for a field trip to Edwards Air Force Base in Rosamond, California. Edwards, which is an active Air Force base, is the fabled home of some of America’s most high-performing planes and pilots, including Chuck Yeager. The base hosts test flights for many military as well as NASA aircraft under development, and is the site from which most fighter and stealth aircraft leave to appear in western U.S. air shows and events.
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Girl Scout Completes Gold Award Project

Photo courtesy Doreen Aitelli

La Cañada High School student Hailey Belcher, member of Girl Scout Troop 7361, completed her Gold Award project at Jackson Elementary School in Pasadena. Her love of books has made a difference at the school. Students are sometimes frustrated when they check out a book and start reading it, only to find that it is too hard or too easy for them. Belcher worked with the school librarian to develop a system for assigning reading levels for the chapter books. Belcher labeled all the books appropriately and the new system will continue to be used as more books are purchased. Belcher also purchased some additional books and even made a reading nook area for the library.

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.

LC Teachers Association Opens Senior Scholarships

The La Cañada Teachers Association is now accepting applications for eight different scholarships it sponsors, with applications available to seniors electronically via the “Scholarship List” on the Naviance website and in hardcopy from the visual and performing arts teachers and from the school librarian.
The scholarships for visual artists include the Jeanne Maus Memorial Scholarship and the Fred Stuhr Memorial Scholarship, which were established in honor of the memory of Jeanne Maus and Fred Stuhr and their artistic accomplishments. Applicants for each of these scholarships must be planning to continue an involvement in art.
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Online Tickets For ‘Explore JPL’

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge is again using an online ticketing system for the public to sign up to attend this year’s “Explore JPL.” During the event, JPL will open its doors to the public for one weekend. To ensure a safe, enjoyable experience, advance tickets are required.
Tickets are free but limited, and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, with a maximum of five tickets per purchaser. No one will be admitted without a ticket. Visitors to JPL during the event — to be held May 20 and 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. — must have their tickets in hand, and anyone age 18 or older must show a matching ID. Tickets are not transferable and cannot be sold.
Tickets will be sold for specific time slots and will be available online at 9 a.m. PST on Saturday, March 11, at: The site also has additional information.
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CFV to Host Talk on Making a Difference in the Community

How the new political landscape may affect the ability to make a difference in the community will be addressed at a free presentation by political strategist Dan Schnur on Thursday, March 30, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Brand Library & Art Center, 1601 W. Mountain St., in Glendale. The event will be hosted by the Community Foundation of the Verdugos.

Dan Schnur

Check-in and light refreshments begin at 6:30 p.m. RSVPs are requested by calling (818) 241-8040 or emailing Individuals, families, businesses and community groups are all welcome to attend.
Schnur’s knowledge of the political world, as well as his experience with foundations and community issues, will provide a platform from which community members can continue to explore how best to leverage skills and resources to help create greater impact for good.
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