Council Takes Shine to Possible Mylar Balloon Ban

The City Council has asked for an ordinance to ban the sale of Mylar balloons in Glendale because of the problems they cause for electric utilities.
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

In the coming weeks, the City Council expects to take up a possible ordinance banning an innocent-looking party product that can cause nuisances that have frustrated Glendale officials for decades — the Mylar balloon.
City Attorney Michael Garcia will, at the unanimous request of the council at its Tuesday meeting, prepare an ordinance that would ban outright the sale of the metallic balloons — known to drift into power lines — in city limits. The council, for now, eschewed a ban on possession, citing enforcement issues for such a law.
“These products have unfortunately become a nuisance and we have to do the right thing by our residents and by the users of our utilities,” said Councilman Ardy Kassakhian, adding it was a “no-brainer” to enact a sale ban. “I don’t think we can do anything about the possession of them, and I think the enforcement of that becomes a little bit more difficult and troublesome. Our code enforcement is already stretched thin. Our police are now enforcing our mask guidelines and rules. I think now is not the time to add anything of this sort to their plate.”

Continue reading “Council Takes Shine to Possible Mylar Balloon Ban”

Obituary | Sally Reid Samuelson June 1, 1926 – July 14, 2020

Sally Reid Samuelson

Sally Samuelson lived a long and wonderful life.  Born in Salem, Oregon on June 1, 1926, only child of James Morton Reid and Sarah E. Reynolds, she made California her home at a young age.   Moving to Long Beach as a child, she experienced the earthquake of 1933, and went onto to live in Los Angeles County for all the years thereafter.   Sally lived in the hills of La Canada-Flintridge for more than 55 years with her husband, Jack Samuelson, before moving to Royal Oaks Manor, a senior community in Duarte.  She was an active community and church member.  She joined the La Canada Presbyterian Church in 1952 where she served as an elder, was responsible for family church dinners and knit hats and scarves for Operation Christmas Child. Continue reading “Obituary | Sally Reid Samuelson June 1, 1926 – July 14, 2020”

Coronavirus Demographics: Younger People Also Afflicted

While the tally of positive COVID-19 tests grows larger, the average age of patients has been inching lower in recent weeks as the initial wave of the pandemic has surged back with fury.
When the pandemic grew in March and April, hospitals found themselves overwhelmed and low on key supplies to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, and elderly men and women with pre-existing health conditions represented a large percentage of cases. A significant number of such patients came from skilled nursing facilities, whose residents sometimes made up a super-majority of deaths in a given community.
Now, in the weeks after Los Angeles County and state officials briefly relaxed public restrictions, it’s a different picture.

Continue reading “Coronavirus Demographics: Younger People Also Afflicted”

Racism Panel Depicts ‘Painful Reality’ of City History

Acknowledgment, the group assembled by the city contended, is a strong first step for a community to address a past marred by racism and other prejudice.
However, as the panel tasked with discussing the past and present state of racism in our society and communities emphasized, it will take more than that to truly heal from prior transgressions, even though the people of today might not have had anything to do with them.
“This is a really painful and difficult reality that I think, of course, has to be acknowledged,” said Safiya Noble, one of three panelists brought together for Thursday’s “Racism: Past and Present” discussion sponsored by the city government. “There are so many ways in which these practices remain about who belongs and who doesn’t belong, like the way we don’t need the signs but we have the customs that exist.”

Noble and her peers were brought onto the virtual panel — a sign of our coronavirus-affected times, which themselves have had an outsize impact on black Los Angeles County residents — as part of the city’s commitment to facing its past-but-not-forgotten racial discrimination, whether formal or passive. That engagement was prompted by protests and advocacy that crystallized in May, when George Floyd, a black man, died while in Minneapolis police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
Locally, Glendale’s past reputation as a sundown town — in which black men and women faced potential violence if they remained within city limits after work hours — re-entered the public conversation, as did the fact that the American Nazi Party maintained its West Coast headquarters here for a couple of decades and that a prominent Ku Klux Klan leader lived and purveyed his rhetoric here.
“With respect to sundown towns and communities that have this tortured history, certainly acknowledging that is a first step. Apologizing for it is another step,” said panelist Hannibal Johnson, a lawyer and historian with expertise on the 1921 riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a white mob attacked a black district and its residents and businesses. “I guess the really meddlesome part is the atonement, making reparations, making amends: What do we do to repair the damage imposed by those systems? Acknowledgement is not enough. Apology is not enough. You need all three steps.”
Panelist Gary Keyes, an author of local history books who previously taught at Glendale Community College, said Glendale police officers were actively enforcing a sundown town mentality as recently as the 1960s. That mentality was something he said he personally observed when, as a teacher at Crescenta Valley High School, he would drive along Foothill Boulevard through La Cañada Flintridge and see scores of black men and women waiting at bus stops.
On occasion, he said, he would see local law enforcement stopping black motorists to redirect them as they journeyed to what were then African-American communities, such as Pacoima or Altadena.
“That’s where it gets really ridiculous,” Keyes said. “Some sundown cities did not allow African-Americans in the community at all, and therefore if you were going someplace you would have to detour around town.”
Noble, a UCLA professor specializing in technological and data redlining, outlined that the difference between “not racist” and “anti-racist” is that the former is a passive stance whereas the latter describes people who “actively work” to dismantle institutional racist practices. “Not racist” white people’s acknowledgment of the inherent social benefits they are afforded is not enough, she said. Noble also pushed back against the “half-and-half” designation she said she sometimes gets because her mother is white and her father black.
“Of course this is completely absurd because no place in my life have I been misunderstood or misclassified as a white person,” she said. “Every dimension of modern life is governed by racial categories …We live in systems, and it doesn’t matter if you signed up for the system or not. It doesn’t matter if you declare yourself to be not racist. You’re still a beneficiary to long-term, systemic racism.”
Johnson, pointing out that the Tulsa riot remains an obscure part of the nation’s history, said enhancing education and curriculum represented a strong first move in the right direction. Indeed, as moderator Steven Nelson quipped, the harrowing opening scene of the 2019 HBO miniseries “Watchmen” has been for many the first exposure to the tragedy.
“What we are taught in our schools really feeds into systemic and structural racism that exists,” Johnson said. “We are too often taught a sanitized version of history that is exclusive of people of color and exclusive of what I call ‘hard history.’
“That’s something that people don’t forget,” he added, referring to the riot, “and it takes years and years and years of ‘affirmative action,’ if you will, to even begin to bridge the divide between the races. One concrete step, I would say, is for the community to take a look at curriculum, particularly history. There are a number of opportunities for just the ordinary citizen to make a real difference. We’re all represented by somebody on a school board. That’s influence.”
Keyes added that in 1920 the KKK hosted a major rally, which included a cross burning, that began at Verdugo Park, and that the organization would frequently participate in the city’s parades in that era. He added that the “last gasp” for overt white racism may have occurred in the 1970s, when an industrial park planned for the south side that would have pushed out the area’s Mexican community was ultimately shot down.
“I believe Glendale has made a sincere effort to change its past,” he said, having earlier noted: “People don’t always know their history and people should always look for the dark side of American history, because if we don’t know anything about our past, we can’t do anything about it in the future.”

Hit-and-Run Severely Injures Girl, 13

The Glendale Police Department is eager for any possible leads as it investigates a hit-and-run incident last week that left a 13-year-old girl in critical condition at a local hospital.
Police are searching for a black 2019 or 2020 Lexus GX460 SUV with damage to the passenger-side headlight and right front bumper, a department spokesman said. Investigators did not have a description of the driver as of press deadline.
The vehicle struck the teenager at 3:12 p.m. Friday, July 24, in the 800 block of East Garfield Avenue, dragging her at least 30 feet before stopping and almost immediately fleeing east on Garfield toward Chevy Chase Drive, according to a police report. It remains unclear how the vehicle came to collide with the girl; that section of Garfield is an unusually long residential corridor with just one crosswalk in the half-mile between intersections.
It’s also unclear how fast the motorist was driving, but the vehicle collided with the girl with such force that it damaged the SUV. Investigators were able to determine the make and model of the vehicle based on damaged pieces of the SUV that were left at the scene. The girl was listed as severely injured and remained in critical condition this week, according to police.
The GPD urges anyone who may have seen that type of vehicle speeding through the area at that time to call the department.
“Maybe if someone in the neighborhood has a Ring camera, we can get some better information on the vehicle,” said Sgt. Christian Hauptmann, public information officer for the GPD.
Those with information should contact police at (818) 548-4911. To make an anonymous tip, call the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477, download the P3 Mobile App on a mobile device or visit lacrimestoppers.org.

Armenian Group to Rally Today Over Foreign Conflict

The Armenian Youth Federation, through its western U.S. office in Glendale, will host a rally for unity today amid an escalation of military hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The rally will take place outside the Armenian Consulate on Central Avenue at 5 p.m.
And on Tuesday, Aug. 4, at 5:30 p.m., the local organization GlendaleOUT will host a gathering of solidarity for the Armenian community outside City Hall on Broadway. In observance of the pandemic, both events will require participants to wear face coverings and adhere to social distancing.
Similar demonstrations have occurred in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the U.S. since clashes between Armenia and Azerbajian were renewed on July 12. In the wake of the Soviet Union’s breakup, the two nations engaged in the 1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War as part of their broader ethnic conflict over territory largely occupied by Armenians but apportioned to Azerbaijan by the Soviets in their state’s early days.
The AYF plans to “celebrate our Armenian culture, heritage and strength” at today’s rally at 346 N. Central Ave.
The organization “is calling on our community to stand with us as we showcase our unity and strength and celebrate our culture and heritage in the face of Azerbaijani aggression against our homeland and Armenians around the world,” it wrote in its fliers.
This event follows a similar march, organized last week, where there were a variety of speakers and a number of signs left at the consulate. The Glendale chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America condemned the military clashes in a statement, and the House Armenian Caucus — which is co-chaired by Congressman Adam Schiff, a Burbank Democrat who also represents Glendale — called upon the Trump administration to take action to reel in Azerbaijan’s aggression.

For information about the youth federation, visit ayfwest.org.

Film Festival Founder Leaves Legacy of Passion for the Arts

Velvet Rhoades

As one close friend coined it, a light went out on Sunday, July 26, when longtime Glendale resident Velvet Rhodes, the idiosyncratic founder of the Glendale International Film Festival, died in hospice care after a four-year battle with stage-4 cancer.
Rhodes, who was 70, is survived by a brother in Tennessee and a cousin in Arizona. She leaves with her friends and colleagues the memory of a strong-willed woman whose fashion ensemble for the day would often announce her arrival to an event, whose passion for performing arts and her festival were positively radioactive, and who, by numerous accounts, would not take “no” for an answer.
“I think really that’s the thing that stood out most about Velvet,” said Elissa Glickman, CEO of Glendale Arts, which operates the Alex Theatre. “At our first meeting, she pitched me an idea and concept that I wasn’t so keen on, but what her project could have brought to the community was so important that she made us believe that our vision could be her vision and it could translate into something really special to our community.”

Continue reading “Film Festival Founder Leaves Legacy of Passion for the Arts”

Obituary | Robert Nellis November 9, 1929 – June 18, 2020

Donald Rae EDaves.

Donald Rae Daves passed away peacefully at his home in Newbury Park on June 7, 2020, at the age of 89.
Don was born December 6, 1930, in Los Angeles and grew up in Pasadena and Glendale.
He was an alumnus of USC, a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, president of Trojan Knights and an honoree of the Blue Key Honor Society and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
While at USC, Don was responsible for the expansion of the Troyscope card stunts that took place during televised sporting events, as well as beginning the tradition of the white stallion, later known as “Traveler,” taking the field at football games.
Don worked in the entertainment industry, spending 10 years as the unit production manager and director of the television show Bonanza. In 1973, he became the assistant general manager of Goldwyn Studios (later Warner Hollywood Studios) and was there for 24 years.
Don is survived by his wife of 63 years, Teri, as well as his daughters Torie and Toni and granddaughters Kathleen and Kimberly, in addition to their spouses and significant others Robert, Brad, Matthew and Sean.
Also mourning his loss are his brother Brent, his sisters-in-law Mary, Jeni and Gretchen, brother-in-law Ed, several nieces and nephews, and many dear friends.
Don will always be remembered as someone who brought love, humor, fun and adventure into everyone’s lives. His was truly a life well lived.

Obituary | Mary Freda Lohman Patrick

Mary Freda Lohman Patrick

Mary Freda Lohman Patrick passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 27th, 2020, after a brief stay in the hospital.
Mary was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in Glendale, CA where she attended Fremont Elementary School, Clark Jr. High School and Glendale High School, Class of 1951. After high school she attended the University of Arizona, where she received her degree in Education and was in the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. After college she returned to Glendale to start her teaching career at Horace Mann Elementary School, and she also taught at St. Mark’s Day School, Campbell Hall, Crestview Prep, and to raise her family.
Mary loved giving back to Glendale, volunteering in many school events, was a 30-year member of National Charity League, and her Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni Group.
She was an avid bridge player where she played 3 days a week at the Arcadia Bridge Center. She was a beautiful needlecraft artist, where she won a Golden Needle award for best in show in 1979 and honorable mention in ’77 and ’78. She owned It’s a Stitch Needlepoint and Knitting store from 1976-86.
Mary leaves behind her Sister Sally Herdman (Jeff), Daughters Sara, Meg and Son Michael. Grandchildren Carly and Declan. Nieces Mary Palmer and Cindy Valdes (Vince) and her family. She will be missed, she loved her friends and was loved by many.
A celebration of life will be held in the near future.

Obituary | William David Evans II

William David Evans II

William David Evans II passed away on Tuesday, July 14, at his home in La Cañada Flintridge. Bill was born on October 21, 1929, in New York City. Named for his grandfather, he was the only child of parents Riva Cluff Evans and Thomas Richards Evans. Growing up in NYC, Bill’s mother would take him by subway to see the New York Giants’ games at the Polo Grounds. So, from age 5, he became a lifetime fan. Bill attended elementary school at Horace Mann School for Boys in the Bronx. After graduating from Horace Mann High School in 1947, he attended Yale University, receiving his B.A. in 1951. This was followed by Law School at the University of Virginia, where he received his LLB. Bill then began his law career with the legal department of New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in New Haven, Connecticut.
It was about this time, Bill was set up with a blind date for a Yale-Princeton football game in New Jersey by a mutual friend at Riverside Church in NYC. That date turned into a 61-and-a-half-year marriage to Frances Breeland, a recent arrival from Mississippi. In the meantime, Bill had decided to specialize in Labor Law and accepted a position with the National Labor Relations Board in their Los Angeles office. So, after marriage in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1958, the newlyweds honeymooned all the way to California, eventually settling in La Cañada Flintridge in 1961. His career continued as legal counsel for Texaco, Inc. and then in private practice in Los Angeles and Old Town Pasadena.
Bill and Fran soon started their family with daughter Sharon, then son Jeff, and finished off with son James (Jimmy). He enjoyed being a dad and participated in many of the children’s activities, including YMCA Indian Guides, Cub Scouts, coaching sports teams and chaperoning camping trips. One highlight was seeing Jim’s LCHS varsity basketball team win the CIF Southern Section championship.
The joy of family continued with five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, one daughter-in-law, one son-in-law and two grandsons-in-law. Bill participated in numerous community activities, including Tournament of Roses, Rotary International, American Field Service and LCHS Boosters Club. The Evans family was pleased to host two year-long AFS students (Stefano from Italy and Johan from Sweden), and over 25 summer program students from Japan. Bill was an avid sports fan. In addition to being a diehard San Francisco Giants fan, he loved the Los Angeles Rams, Lakers and Kings.
Bill and Fran were founding members of La Cañada United Methodist Church in 1965, remaining active through the present. Bill served as president of the Board of Trustees for many years, as well as playing on the church softball team. Great memories include their travel, both domestic and foreign. Some favorites were camping trips to the beach, desert and mountains, and National Parks, including Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier. Also, trips with Rotary to Ensenada, Baja California, to aid children’s orphanages, and visits to Europe and Japan.
The family is grateful for Bill’s long, productive life and all the friendships he had cherished. He will be missed by so many.