Local Lawyer Finds ‘Second Act’ in Passion Projects

Photos courtesy Ken White
Attorney Ken White, raised in La Cañada Flintridge, has developed a following for his columns, podcasts, blogs and tweets regarding legal and criminal justice issues.

On a recent vacation, local attorney Ken White had to assure his wife that celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti was not mad at him this time.
Evidently, White — a La Cañada Flintridge native and legend in Twitter’s political and legal circles — made the calming remark while bearing the trademark grin that usually follows his acerbic, often deadpan snipes directed at social media personalities, typically for misguided interpretations of the law that match their outsized online personas. (He recently sparred with “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams on defamation, for example.)
On this occasion, White said he in fact had not prodded Avenatti, the bombastic attorney whose representation of adult movie actress Stormy Daniels paved the way for his public confrontations with President Donald Trump.
“Technically, Kid Rock,” White chuckled, recalling the answer to his wife’s query about whom he had just antagonized. Continue reading “Local Lawyer Finds ‘Second Act’ in Passion Projects”

Local Football Champ Has Skillfully Tackled World of Banking

Chris Myers, a La Cañada Flintridge native and graduate of LCHS, serves as CEO/president of Citizens Business Bank, which was ranked this year by Forbes as the No. 1 bank in California.
Photo courtesy Citizens Business Bank
Chris Myers, a La Cañada Flintridge native and graduate of LCHS, serves as CEO/president of Citizens Business Bank, which was ranked this year by Forbes as the No. 1 bank in California.

Those who knew Citizens Business Bank CEO/President Chris Myers growing up here might remember him as the smart, strapping young All-CIF cornerback who helped guide La Cañada High School to a 1979 CIF football championship, the only Spartan team ever to earn that crowning achievement.
And although Myers, 57, has achieved a lot since then, including playing football for Harvard and thriving for more than 35 years in the banking industry — including more than 13 years as CEO and president of Citizens Business Bank, which Forbes named No. 1 in California in 2019 — he still recalls his senior season in high school football as one of his proudest times.
“I still consider that as one of my greatest accomplishments ever, being a part of that team,” said Myers, who frequently visits La Cañada Flintridge to see former classmates and lifelong friends, as well as check on some of the local businesses his bank has financed over the years. Continue reading “Local Football Champ Has Skillfully Tackled World of Banking”

Facing Grave Illness, Aspiring Chef Fulfills Dream to Serve Teens

Photo courtesy Katherine Tran
Culinary student Angel Hankins, 20, worked with Hugo Bolanos, executive chef at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air restaurant, to fulfill her wish to provide a fine-dining experience for foster girls from Pasadena’s Victor Treatment Center. Hankins is in hospice care for stage 4 metastatic carcinoma.

Twenty-year-old culinary student Angel Hankins’ outlook has always been about living the best life she possibly could, despite hardships and heartaches she experienced while growing up in South Central Los Angeles. The glowing, soft-spoken young woman loves to cook, she admits, and, even more, she loves to smile. She beams even as she says it. Continue reading “Facing Grave Illness, Aspiring Chef Fulfills Dream to Serve Teens”

Efficiency Workshop Helps Students Handle Homework Overload

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Marc Montgomery, with Debbie Ourfalian, explains how students can become more efficient in their studies during a workshop at La Cañada High School last week.

La Cañada High School 9th-grade student Ava Hulett learned the difference between multi-tasking and finishing a project at a recent efficiency workshop designed for students and parents.
Marc Montgomery, former NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory productivity improvement manager, led the presentation, which showed how focusing and finishing a project was a time saver compared with multitasking. He and Debbie Ourfalian, who works at NASA JPL, showed the audience how to use a large white “productivity” board with Post-it Notes for homework assignments in various subjects. The board had a to-do list, a doing list, a done list and awaiting review/feedback list for homework.
“I think I’m going to try it out because the classes I’m taking this year are a lot harder than what I’ve done before. I think it’s interesting to see a new way that I can try to manage those,” Hulett said after the workshop presentation. “It’s separate from writing something down in a planner.” Continue reading “Efficiency Workshop Helps Students Handle Homework Overload”

LCHS Grads Believe Clothing Firm Is Tailored to Succeed

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
La Cañada High School alumni Jonathan Sotoodeh, Chris Sotoodeh and Bennet Cowdin have co-founded New Manhattan, which uses robotic machines to make tailored clothing and sells it online.

Not so many years ago, Jonathan Sotoodeh would go to an area tailor’s shop to get outfitted for La Cañada High School homecoming events, and he encountered an old-fashioned way of doing things — one that didn’t fit his style. Continue reading “LCHS Grads Believe Clothing Firm Is Tailored to Succeed”

LCHS Parents Schooled on the Risks of Vaping

Tanya Wilson, head of security for La Cañada High School, gave a vaping presentation recently at a PTSA-hosted event at LCHS.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Tanya Wilson, head of security for La Cañada High School, gave a vaping presentation recently at a PTSA-hosted event at LCHS.

With vaping linked recently to 27 pulmonary injuries and at least one death in Los Angeles County, an event at La Cañada High School where officials spoke about dangers associated with the use of e-cigarettes seemed especially timely. Continue reading “LCHS Parents Schooled on the Risks of Vaping”

Unsightly Wheel Stops at PCY Removed; City to Broach New Plan

Recently installed wheel stops, or parking bumpers, placed near Paradise Canyon Elementary School to help control what is recognized as a chaotic pickup and drop-off area, were removed, last week after pushback from local neighbors convinced the Traffic Commission to reevaluate the area and conduct a study with community input. Continue reading “Unsightly Wheel Stops at PCY Removed; City to Broach New Plan”

SMUSD Wants Public’s Advice on Fixing Facilities, Paying the Tab

The San Marino Unified School District would like your input as it works toward making a decision on its facilities needs and how to satisfy them.
On top of a town hall meeting held on Monday evening and another this morning, district officials also plan to host two walk-throughs at Valentine Elementary School on Thursday, Nov. 2, beginning at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., respectively. Additionally, residents are invited to offer their views at the district’s website, using a portal called Thoughtexchange. Continue reading “SMUSD Wants Public’s Advice on Fixing Facilities, Paying the Tab”