Pasadena Resident Named Envoy for Hostage Affairs

Photo courtesy U.S. State Department Pasadena resident Robert C. O’Brien (left) is sworn in as a special presidential envoy for hostage affairs by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Photo courtesy U.S. State Department
Pasadena resident Robert C. O’Brien (left) is sworn in as a special presidential envoy for hostage affairs by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pasadena resident Robert C. O’Brien was recently appointed special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, the U.S. State Department has announced.
O’Brien’s new responsibilities under President Donald Trump entail leading U.S. efforts to negotiate the return of citizens held by foreign governments.
He will also be tasked with maintaining a dialogue with the families of hostages in coordination with the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell. Continue reading “Pasadena Resident Named Envoy for Hostage Affairs”

AbilityFirst Helps Make Employment Dreams Work

Photo courtesy AbilityFirst Long-time AbilityFirst board member Mark Fedde and his son, Taylor, participate in a “Stroll & Roll” fundraiser for the nonprofit.
Photo courtesy AbilityFirst
Long-time AbilityFirst board member Mark Fedde and his son, Taylor, participate in a “Stroll & Roll” fundraiser for the nonprofit.

Like any young adult, 27-year-old Jessica
Marrero is steering her own course, working toward becoming a chef and someday earning enough money to afford her own apartment.
The clear-eyed, upbeat Marrero, a determined woman who has Down syndrome, takes her own transportation to work at HOPE Cafe and Catering. She arrives early, promptly changes into her work clothes, keeps a clean work station and smiles broadly at co-workers as she does food preparation. Continue reading “AbilityFirst Helps Make Employment Dreams Work”

Learning Works Gives Kids Last Shot at High School Diploma

Graduation day was just around the corner for about 70 seniors at Learning Works Charter School, but there were still projects and chapters to complete, papers to turn in, and the tense, palpable energy in the school’s “factory” room reflected as much.
Heads bent, papers spread out, pens and highlighters at the ready; it could have been a snapshot into any high school study hall before finals. But at this alternative Pasadena school for students in grades 9-12, the stakes are much higher. Continue reading “Learning Works Gives Kids Last Shot at High School Diploma”

Pasadena Arts League Awards Grants to Nonprofits

Photo courtesy Pasadena Arts League The Pasadena Arts League 2018 grant recipients include Teresa Daniels (front row, from left), Oakwood Brass; Katie Brandon, L.A. County Arboretum and Botanic Garden; Denise Seider, Hollywood Heart; Karen Keyana, Makoto Taiko; Helen Kim Spitzer, L.A. Children’s Chorus and Melissa Froehlich, Pasadena Conservatory of Music. Back: Thomas Simpson, Pasadena Arts Foundation; Brian Elerding, Lineage Performing Arts; Randy Lakeman, Armory Center for the Arts; and Thomas Coston, Light Bringer Project.
Photo courtesy Pasadena Arts League
The Pasadena Arts League 2018 grant recipients include Teresa Daniels (front row, from left), Oakwood Brass; Katie Brandon, L.A. County Arboretum and Botanic Garden; Denise Seider, Hollywood Heart; Karen Keyana, Makoto Taiko; Helen Kim Spitzer, L.A. Children’s Chorus and Melissa Froehlich, Pasadena Conservatory of Music. Back: Thomas Simpson, Pasadena Arts Foundation; Brian Elerding, Lineage Performing Arts; Randy Lakeman, Armory Center for the Arts; and Thomas Coston, Light Bringer Project.

Continue reading “Pasadena Arts League Awards Grants to Nonprofits”

Thomson Elected Board President at Pasadena Museum of History

Photo courtesy Jim Staub William Thomson Jr.
Photo courtesy Jim Staub
William Thomson Jr.

William Thomson Jr., a distinguished intellectual property litigation attorney with the firm Brooks Kushman P.C. and a former mayor of Pasadena, has been elected president of the Board of Trustees of the Pasadena Museum of History for 2018-19.
A staunch advocate of the museum, Thomson is dedicated to promoting it throughout Pasadena and the Los Angeles area. “Our museum offers a wide range of engaging programs and educational opportunities for people of all ages and interests. It is a well-kept secret, and we will work hard to overcome this and make sure that our mission and resources are recognized throughout Southern California and beyond.”
Continue reading “Thomson Elected Board President at Pasadena Museum of History”

LCF’s Erskine Has Book Signing April 24

Daditude

La Cañada Flintridge author and columnist Chris Erskine will take part in a reading and signing of his new book, “Daditude,” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena.
The book is a collection of Erskine’s favorite columns, which mine the rich worlds of fatherhood, marriage and suburbia. His columns are featured weekly in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and elsewhere nationwide. Erskine also is a staff editor and writer at the Los Angeles Times, as well as the author of two previous books, “Man of the House” and “Surviving Suburbia.”
For more information, visit prospectparkbooks.com or vromansbookstore.com.

Descanso Gardens to Host Earth Day Celebration

Photos courtesy Descanso Gardens
The activities at Descanso Gardens’ Earth Day celebration Sunday will give families the opportunity to plant seeds.

Earth Day at Descanso Gardens is an opportunity for people to help care for the popular botanical gardens, gain a better understanding of nature and to celebrate the planet, said Jennifer Errico, Descanso Gardens’ public relations manager.
On Sunday, April 22, Descanso Gardens will host a day of activities and volunteer opportunities in honor of Earth Day. The grounds, which include several botanical gardens and a sprawling Oak Woodland, will provide a scenic backdrop for returning members and local families seeking a visceral, hands-on Earth Day experience.
Continue reading “Descanso Gardens to Host Earth Day Celebration”

Award-Winning Chef to Be Featured at Parkway Grill

Ken Frank
Ken Frank

He got his start in Pasadena, and now award-winning chef Ken Frank will return as guest chef at a Pasadena restaurant for three days this month.
Frank, whose restaurant La Toque in Napa earned a prestigious Michelin Star in 2007, plans to bring a variety of options for Parkway Grill diners on April 17, 18 and 19 for the dinner crowd (although some specials will be available for lunch). The self-taught chef said he and Parkway Grill owner Gregg Smith have been talking about the event since January.
“I just had to find a week to sneak out and go do it,” Frank said in a phone interview. “You know, I cook all over the country four or five times a year for all sorts of different events, but I haven’t cooked in Pasadena professionally since I was in high school. It’ll be fun to be back where I started. I’ve known the team at Parkway for a long time.”
Continue reading “Award-Winning Chef to Be Featured at Parkway Grill”