Flintridge Prep Junior Stokes Passion for Journalism

The following was written by Max Zeronian, special to the Outlook

Flintridge Prep junior and aspiring journalist Valentina Martinez, 16, attended the 66th annual California Scholastic Press Association’s High School Journalism workshop, held at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. The workshop, held from July 9-21, hosted 24 students to teach them real-world experience in the field of journalism. Continue reading “Flintridge Prep Junior Stokes Passion for Journalism”

Convalescent Aid Society Gives New Life, Independence

OUTLOOK photo Convalescent Aid Society’s program manager Rex Asucan prepares a wheelchair for one of the group’s 27,000 current clients. Asucan has worked at CAS for 15 years and helps facilitate the daily operations and deliveries of the free, loaned medical equipment.
OUTLOOK photo
Convalescent Aid Society’s program manager Rex Asucan prepares a wheelchair for one of the group’s 27,000 current clients. Asucan has worked at CAS for 15 years and helps facilitate the daily operations and deliveries of the free, loaned medical equipment.

Sylvia Macias and her son, Miguel, struggled since the day the young boy began battling a rare muscle disorder at just 1 year old. Not falling into any known medical condition, the mom fought for her son’s care, battling insurance red tape, countless appointments, misdiagnosis, unhelpful treatments, gaps in health care coverage and Miguel’s ever-changing physical disabilities and needs.
Then she met Convalescent Aid Society. It was the one bright spot during a dark time, she said, recalling the nonprofit as the easiest stop on the healthcare circuit.
“They had us like a ball, bouncing back and forth, seeing so many different specialists, one after another after another without any diagnosis,” the single mom of five recalls. Her nearly adolescent son could no longer squeeze into his childhood wheelchair, which was hurting his brittle bones and fragile frame on a daily basis.
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Pasadena’s Friedman Helps Build Dodgers into World Series Contenders

Andrew Friedman
Photo courtesy Jon SooHoo / Dodgers Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, who resides in Pasadena, has helped change baseball culture in Los Angeles since joining the organization in October 2014. The Dodgers boast the league’s best record as they seek their first World Series appearance since 1988.

The Dodgers have ruled the Los Angeles sports scene for the past several years, but the
beloved team is now the talk of Major League Baseball, and for good reason.
“The Dodgers are absolutely amazing,” ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian said on television after L.A. defeated the White Sox last Thursday. Los Angeles had notched its 31st win in the last 35 games, a feat that had not been accomplished since the 1977 Kansas City Royals. “They lead the league in ERA, they lead the league with 10 shutouts and they’re second in the league in runs scored.”
As of Tuesday, the Dodgers also have a major-league-best 69 victories and a double-digit lead in the National League West, which they have won the past four seasons.
“I think it has to do with the number of different guys who have had their fingerprints on the success of the team to date,” said Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, who resides in Pasadena. “We’ve had a few guys who have been consistently way above average, and a number of other guys who have chipped in to give us length in the lineup and rotation.” Continue reading “Pasadena’s Friedman Helps Build Dodgers into World Series Contenders”

Realtors’ Books Drive Kids’ Summer Reading Success

Photo courtesy Pasadena Unified School District Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek reads at Hamilton Elementary School at last spring’s Realtors Read Across PASadena event.
Photo courtesy Pasadena Unified School District
Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek reads at Hamilton Elementary School at last spring’s Realtors Read Across PASadena event.

The other day, children’s librarian AnnMarie Hurtado was driving down Walnut Avenue when she spotted a little girl walking, proudly carrying her reading log, a few blocks away from the library.
“I thought, ‘She’s going to the library to get her prize!’” Hurtado said, warmly recalling the moment. “This is kind of like our summer Christmas; it’s our chance to give away books and get kids excited about coming to the library and excited about reading.”
The Pasadena Public Library’s Kids Summer Reading program has steadily gained elementary-age school readership over the years, but it got a big boost in 2016 when local Realtors initiated a massive book drive for 2nd-graders, giving away more than 1,700 books to Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre public schools. In the inset of each book, there is a sticker with a list of each public library location, phone number and hours, so that families have a go-to reference for more summer reading.
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Military Spouses Treated to Rose Bowl Luxury on July 4

Photo courtesy Dani Perry Madeline Pena (from left), Crystal Zrelak, Esmer Lopez and Sarah Gibson. The military spouses got to know each other before their day of pampering began while brunching on mimosas, pastries and coffee.
Photo courtesy Dani Perry
Madeline Pena (from left), Crystal Zrelak, Esmer Lopez and Sarah Gibson. The military spouses got to know each other before their day of pampering began while brunching on mimosas, pastries and coffee.

Traditionally known as a day of fireworks, picnics and getting together with friends, Independence Day now has a new meaning for several military spouses: a day of pampering.
Sponsored by the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation in conjunction with 870-AM, about 30 military spouses were treated to a variety of pleasantries at the Rose Bowl on the morning of July 4.
Lauren Hall, marketing specialist for the Rose Bowl, said the event — the first of its kind — was designed to keep participants’ minds off of everything.
“They’ve come to enjoy breakfast and coffee,” Hall said. “It’s a day they’ve come to relax without children, without spouses, without worrying about anything.”
Continue reading “Military Spouses Treated to Rose Bowl Luxury on July 4”

Friends in Deed Food Pantry Feeds Hungry, Gives Dignity

Photo by Camila Castellanos
Photo by Camila Castellanos

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” so read the iconic words etched at the base of the Statue of Liberty.
But during the past week of patriotic parties, one wonders if American poet Emma Lazarus, who penned the sonnet for the country’s beacon of freedom, could have imagined that 134 years later, the nation that is considered the world’s wealthiest also would be home to some 42 million people struggling with hunger, including 13 million children and 5.4 million seniors don’t have enough to eat, according to Feeding America.
Perhaps Lazarus might take heart, however, that in communities across America, nonprofits such as Friends in Deed in Pasadena strive to combat that hunger and give dignity back to the working poor through food pantries.
Located at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Los Robles Avenue, the interfaith collaborative Friends in Deed food pantry serves as a little market, allowing clients to shop for the food they like and need, especially fresh produce and proteins such as meat and chicken.
“This place is a real life-saver — I’m super appreciative of these guys,” said Ife Sangode, who was shopping at one of the food pantry’s new Thursday openings. The pantry just expanded its hours to open three times per week from the longstanding two days.
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Bank’s Leader Bridges Culture, Finance Across Pacific

Photo courtesy East West Bank Dominic Ng has served as East West Bank’s chairman and CEO for 25 years, helping it expand to more than 130 locations across the U.S. and China and ranking among the 30 largest banks in the nation.
Photo courtesy East West Bank
Dominic Ng has served as East West Bank’s chairman and CEO for 25 years, helping it expand to more than 130 locations across the U.S. and China and ranking among the 30 largest banks in the nation.

In another life, East West Bank Chairman and CEO Dominic Ng, an avid fan of rock ‘n’ roll, might have made a living by strumming his guitar in a quaint Pasadena coffee shop.

But thankfully for the city, he instead became a financial guru for East West Bank, transforming the institution from a small savings and loan association with $600 million in assets in 1991 into a full-service commercial bank today with $35.3 billion in assets. He’s been named by Forbes as one of the 25 most notable Chinese Americans and one of the 100 most influential people in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Times.
But the arts have never been far from his heart, and as part of encouraging business ties between the U.S. and China, Ng has also made it his mission to bridge the cultural divide between the two countries, shepherding the bank to become a patron of Chinese art, music and culture throughout the region and the United States.
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Pasadena Duo Teaches Retirement Challenges, Joys

Mitchell Kauffman and Joanne Moran
Mitchell Kauffman and Joanne Moran

Life after retirement may seem a distant future filled with leisurely walks, sunsets and golf rounds, but the realization of the golden years also can be a rocky path of uncertain economic stability and feelings of futility, say those who have forged the path previously.
What should be years of joy and tranquility — oftentimes for married couples, in particular — also can morph into depression that comes with loss of purpose, changing roles and fear of change.
Those fears are what brought financial planner Mitchell Kauffman and his wife and partner, Joanne Moran, a clinical psychologist, to work together, creating workshops to help others manage the financial and emotional challenges for a successful retirement. Continue reading “Pasadena Duo Teaches Retirement Challenges, Joys”

Polytechnic Football Scores Big With Hillsides

Photo courtesy Jennifer Godwin-Minto Poly Head of School John Bracker said football coach Chris Schmoke, pictured above talking to senior John Genske, is a good mentor to all of his athletes and students.
Photo courtesy Jennifer Godwin-Minto
Poly Head of School John Bracker said football coach Chris Schmoke, pictured above talking to senior John Genske, is a good mentor to all of his athletes and students.

Hillsides has partnerships with various schools in the Pasadena area, most notably Polytechnic. The union between the foster care organization and Poly began nearly 40 years ago and remains strong to this day.
Hillsides Tutor Coordinator Ian Lee praised Poly students for taking the time to tutor their clients, but working with an agency “dedicated to healing children and young adults, strengthening families and transforming communities through quality comprehensive services and advocacy,” he felt more could be done.
“I’m pretty sure I was the first one brave enough to ask, ‘Would you be open to hosting athletic clinics?’” Lee said. “We never really made a strong connection with an athletic student body group.”
Continue reading “Polytechnic Football Scores Big With Hillsides”