Falcons’ Stifling Defense Helps Beat Tornados, 8-5

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

With the Pacific League boys’ high school water polo regular season winding down, Crescenta Valley and Hoover matched up, both looking for some momentum to finish strong.
“Our league is super tight. There is a tremendous amount of parity,” CV coach Jan Sakonju said. “This year it’s very, very close, so every game is a must-win.”
Crescenta Valley kept Hoover’s offense suppressed, allowing the Falcons to rise up for an 8-5 victory at the Glendale Aquatics Center on Thursday.
The Falcons held the Tornados scoreless in both the first and third periods to key the win.
Continue reading “Falcons’ Stifling Defense Helps Beat Tornados, 8-5”

Tornados’ Football Program Storms Back Into the Picture

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Hoover High’s varsity football team may have fallen one victory shy of tying the school record of six wins in a row achieved in 1953, but their 5-2 start this season certainly merited attention.
Especially when one considers that the team played its first game in nearly three years on Aug. 20.
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League-Leading Bulldogs Sink Previously Unbeaten Glendale

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank High School traveled to Glendale for a battle of the last two squads undefeated in Pacific League boys’ water polo play, so the stakes were high and the players amped up.
In a competitive contest, the visiting Bulldogs hung the first league defeat on the Nitros, 16-11, Thursday afternoon at the Glendale Aquatics Center with the league championships on the horizon. It was the Bulldogs’ 12th straight win.
“It was intense. Both teams were going at it. There was back and forth in the water. There were big goal runs, then cutting the lead down,” Burbank coach David Arakelyan said. “I’d say it was one of our toughest games in our league [play].”
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Spartans’ 17-Match Winning Streak Snapped in San Diego

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ volleyball team had a strong showing in the Southern California Invitational Tournament at Alliant University in San Diego on Friday, Oct. 8, and Saturday, Oct. 9, finishing with a 5-2 record last weekend.
While the Spartans’ 17-match win streak came to a halt against San Diego’s Westview High — one shy of the school’s all-time volleyball win streak of 18 set by coach Kevin Boyke’s 1999 team — the strong performance helped move LC’s record to 26-4 overall (6-0 in league).
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Wind Leaves LCF Residents Without Power

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Gusty winds early this week left thousands of Californians temporarily without power, and some of them were La Cañada Flintridge residents.
A wind advisory that went into effect Monday afternoon lasted through Tuesday morning amid gusts surpassing 20 mph in the area, according to the National Weather Service.
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Council Approves Vaccine Mandate for City Employees

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Despite concerns that employees could quit over the policy, the Burbank City Council approved vaccination mandates for municipal workers and some contract laborers.
The mandate that the council approved by a 3-2 vote on Tuesday will eventually require city employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face termination. A separate policy for contractors, which passed with unanimous support, will require businesses to prove that their employees who come onto city property or interact with the public are vaccinated.
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City Settles Discrimination Case With Former BWP Worker

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The city of Burbank has settled a lawsuit in which a former Burbank Water and Power employee alleged he was unlawfully fired after his managers refused to accommodate his disability.
Plaintiff Evan Ayers filed the settlement notice with the Burbank Courthouse on Oct. 6; he had filed the complaint against the city last Dec. 15. In court documents, Ayers claimed his superiors at city-owned BWP fired him after pressuring him to perform jobs that required him to climb or work at “dangerously high heights” despite his severe anxiety, fear of heights and vertigo.
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Driver Evades Law Enforcement in Early Morning Pursuit

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

A driver whom authorities suspect was under the influence ran red lights and sped across local freeways last week as deputies followed, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Ultimately, deputies did not detain the driver of the black Audi, which on Saturday reached speeds of more than 100 mph while on the 2 Freeway, an incident report from the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station said. However, deputies managed to read the vehicle’s temporary license plate and identify the registered owner.
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City Offers Reward as It Seeks Hit-Run Driver

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The city of Glendale has offered a $25,000 reward for help in identifying the motorist whose vehicle struck a local man this month, leaving him with devastating injuries in the street before speeding off.
Krikor Kassabian, 44, was hit at 12:09 a.m. Friday, Oct. 1, as he crossed East Chevy Chase Drive near Glenoaks Boulevard. Kassabian remains hospitalized after undergoing three surgeries, and his family said there is no timeline for his release.
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Local Sprinter Reflects on Tokyo Olympics Feat

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

It was quite the summer for local runner Hanna Barakat. Despite not participating in the past two track and field seasons at Brown University, the 22-year-old sprinter managed to compete alongside the world’s best athletes on the biggest stage in all of sports.
Barakat, who graduated from Flintridge Preparatory School in 2017 and often trained at Glendale Community College, represented Palestine in the Tokyo Olympics during the summer, fulfilling a dream she’s had since she was a child.
“That was always a goal of mine,” Barakat said. “Growing up, the Olympics was always the bar in my household.”
Continue reading “Local Sprinter Reflects on Tokyo Olympics Feat”

City, LCUSD Meet Oct. 14 Over Sports Fields’ Use

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada Flintridge and school district officials were scheduled to meet on Oct. 14 to resume the discussion surrounding the joint use agreement between the community and sports leagues.
The local joint use committee — which includes La Cañada Unified School District leaders and members of the LCF City Council, municipal commissions and staff — will hold an in-person meeting at City Hall at 2:30 p.m. to discuss possible amendments to the agreement, most notably the time when youth sports teams can begin using local facilities.
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Don’t Let Bears Be Bad News — Deny Them Food

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Signs displaying the simple message “Do not feed the animals” are prominent in zoos, aquariums and national parks, and for good reason. First and foremost, feeding wildlife is against the law, and second, following such directions can help keep animals away from urban areas.
With an uptick in bear sightings and encounters in La Cañada Flintridge, city staff members welcomed Rebecca Barbosa — a wildlife biologist who has worked for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for 20 years — and hosted a virtual presentation Tuesday to inform residents about the furry visitors and how to minimize the chances of interacting with them.
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Burbank Actress Makes Her Mark With ‘La Brea’

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

As a young girl, in the bedroom of her parent’s home in the Magnolia Park section of Burbank, Veronica St. Clair would lay on her bed and dream of becoming an actress.
That dream became stronger as each year passed, and during her time at Roosevelt Elementary School, Jordan Middle School (now Huerta Middle School) and John Burroughs High School, she began honing her dramatic skills in variety shows, talent shows and show choir.
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Hoover Falls From Ranks of Unbeaten

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

By winning their first five football games of the season, the Hoover Tornados were off to their best start since 1953.
However, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
In game number six, the Tornados hosted Castaic High and proved no match for the Coyotes, who posted a 48-6 nonleague victory last Friday evening on campus at Herbert Hoover High.
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Collins, Hobson Lead Burroughs Over Burbank

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Traditionally, crosstown rivals Burroughs and Burbank get just two shots at each other in a single volleyball season.
However, this season the scheduling has been tweaked, with the second half separated into two tiers. Both the Bears and the Bulldogs made the top tier, so a third installment of the rivalry came about. Burbank was looking to grab its first win, while Burroughs was looking to complete the trifecta.
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Falcons Pound Burroughs, 14-4

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Both the Crescenta Valley High School and Burbank Burroughs girls’ tennis teams earned a spot in the top tier of the first half of this season’s newly imagined Pacific League schedule, which puts the best against the best and the rest against the rest for the second half of the schedule.
This equaled a rematch on the same courts where they matched up three weeks ago.
Continue reading “Falcons Pound Burroughs, 14-4”

Local Women’s March Draws Dozens

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Chandler Bikeway became a marching ground last weekend as a procession walked in support of women’s rights, participating in a national event largely responding to abortion restrictions.
Dozens of masked demonstrators attended the Oct. 2 event, holding signs and chatting with other protesters as they marched on the bikeway, which also is a pedestrian path. Many had a variety of concerns, with several mentioning anti-abortion laws recently passed in other states, and said they had come to ensure those worries did not go unheard.
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GHS Student Chosen to Advise School Board

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale High School senior Brandon Doronila credited everyone involved in his academic career when he was sworn in as the student representative on the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education last week.
Doronila had to overcome emotion as he accepted his role, which is to represent all 25,000 of GUSD’s students during school board meetings and to keep officials up to date on student issues and responses to policy. Now the Associated Student Body president at GHS, Doronila previously enjoyed roles in student government at John Muir Elementary School and Wilson Middle School.
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GCC’s Role in Sprinter’s Olympic Feat

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

It was quite the summer for Hanna Barakat. Despite not participating in the past two track and field seasons at Brown University, the 22-year-old sprinter managed to compete alongside the world’s best athletes on the biggest stage in all of sports.
Barakat, who graduated from Flintridge Preparatory School in 2017 and often trained at Glendale Community College, represented Palestine in the Tokyo Olympics during the summer, fulfilling a dream she’s had since she was a child.
“That was always a goal of mine,” Barakat said. “Growing up, the Olympics was always the bar in my household.”
Continue reading “GCC’s Role in Sprinter’s Olympic Feat”

Bears Beat Arcadia, 28-19

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burroughs High School’s varsity football team earned its second straight victory to move to 3-2 overall (1-0 in the Pacific League) by defeating host Arcadia, 28-19, last Friday.
Senior quarterback Jon English helped lead the Bears to victory, completing eight of 15 passes for 135 yards in addition to rushing for 101 yards with three touchdowns on 20 carries.
Continue reading “Bears Beat Arcadia, 28-19”

In Memory of Late Coach, Golden Knights Win in OT, 32-25

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

There was seemingly no better way to honor the winningest coach in St. Francis history, Jim Bonds, who died from complications of multiple myeloma last year, than with a 32-25 overtime victory against visiting Steele Canyon of Spring Valley in a nonleague game last Friday.
St. Francis and its varsity football team honored the Bonds family with a video tribute and pregame prayer. Bonds was celebrated again at halftime, along with the 2021 St. Francis Hall of Fame inductees.
Continue reading “In Memory of Late Coach, Golden Knights Win in OT, 32-25”

BUSD Discusses Possible Student Vaccination Mandate

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

After imposing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees last month, the Burbank Unified School District shifted the conversation this week to possibly extending a similar requirement for eligible students.
Any decision by the district, however, appeared to have been rendered moot by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement last week that the state would become the first in the nation to implement a vaccine mandate for all students.
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TV, Film Union’s Members Support Strike Authorization

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Twelve hours a day, six days a week. That’s the usual work schedule for Joe Martinez, a Burbank resident and special effects coordinator.
His fiancee often points out that Martinez can’t plan any leisure activities, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 44 member said. He often doesn’t know how long he’ll be at work when he arrives there. He misses dinners, birthday parties and his son’s football games — frequently having to settle for text updates he receives while on the job.
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If Cupboard’s Bare, You Might Blame the Bear

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun. By Camila Castellanos and Oscar Areliz.

A La Cañada Flintridge resident of the 500 block in Paulette Place experienced a break-in by an unusual visitor on Monday.
After hearing dishes fall in the kitchen, the homeowner went downstairs and discovered a bear there. The resident immediately left the house with a dog and called the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station at approximately 1:17 p.m.
According to Sgt. John Gilbert, the bear entered the home by clawing through a window screen, knocked over some small dishes and accessed the pantry to eat sugar. Deputies who arrived at the scene were able to scare the bear out of the house and it returned to the forest.
The bear sighting (and then some, in this case) is one of several that have occurred in LCF recently. Though the sheriff’s station did not specify how many have occurred, Gilbert told the Outlook Valley Sun that there have been numerous calls recently about bears here and in surrounding cities.
Local residents, meanwhile, have been tracking the active bears and posting photos to social media throughout the year. Particular concern was expressed over the summer when a bear was hit by a car on Haskell Street, leaving it with an injured back leg. Some speculated that the incident was an intentional hit and run.
After calling the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, one resident was told that the agency does not rehabilitate adult bears but that it will come out to euthanize the animal if it is in obvious physical distress.
“Apparently the bear was hit by a truck that people said aimed right for it and never slowed down,” said Mack Dugger, an avid supporter of Big Bear Alpine Zoo, to which he reached out about a potential rescue. “For someone to hit a bear, maybe on purpose … one can only hope they damaged their truck.”
The bear was seen hiding under cars and in bushes, and hobbling on three legs for several weeks: “He can’t do much on three legs, especially if he has to hunt and grouse,” Dugger added. “All the neighbors have called but the Forest Service has said the only thing they will do is come out and put him down. And we don’t want that.”
While the bears are typically frequent visitors to the homes bordering the Los Angeles Forest, the animals have begun frequenting more residential neighborhoods as they widen their search for food and water.
Carrie Smith, who lives on Daleridge Road, had never heard of one in her neighborhood before a large black bear climbed the tall pine outside her balcony. It stayed there the entire day, prompting Smith and a few neighbors to become concerned that it might be stuck.
“That was a weird, interesting day,” Smith laughed. “It kept going higher and higher and made no signs of coming down. There was quite a big response from the fire and police department.”
One bear that has a green tag with the number 162 has been repeatedly witnessed bathing in local pools and fountains, as well as tipping over trash cans, prompting some residents to reflect with concern on the old adage “a fed bear is a dead bear.”
Kathryn Leonard, who lives off of Alta Canyada, has repeatedly seen bear 162, including twice at her screen door.
“I tried to shoo him away, but he didn’t seem too concerned about me. … Next time I’m told to bang some pots and pans,” she said, noting that at least three bears have visited her cul-de-sac since summer.
Most recently, the bears have been stealing pumpkins off porches, including Leonard’s, which she found torn into pieces since they only eat the inside.
“I’m changing my way of life and being more cautious to live with the bears,” she said, explaining that she was keeping her trash containers in her garage and completely closing her door, although she prefers to let in the fresh air through the screen.
Officials have recommended that residents request bear-proof trash containers via their waste collection company.
The city recently announced that Fish and Wildlife will give a presentation on human-bear interactions on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. via Zoom. The presentation will be simulcast by Spectrum on Channel 3 (East) and Channel 16 (West) and will include topics such as how to respond and prevent human-bear conflicts.
For more information about the online event, visit cityoflcf.org or contact Christina Nguyen at cnguyen@lcf.ca.gov.

Spice Shop Keeps Old World Traditions Alive

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press. By Ani Duzdabanyan

One day last week, Anna Abelian, co-owner of Novin Herbs & Spices in Glendale, took a moment to help one of her customers find the right pepper.
She located it in a row of colorful containers filled with bulk spices, arranged by the wall under the shelf that carries symbols of ancient culture — an antique grinder, wooden statues of Indian elephants, a hookah and an old coffee-making machine. Abelian’s husband, Aaron, noted that the store smells like “magic,” with sweet, piquant and piercing aromas wafting from every corner.
“Spices doing magic,” he reiterated. “There are unlimited ways to use spices in cooking and baking!”
The Abelians, modern-day spice merchants, opened their shop in 2017, completely transforming the peculiar corner of Ocean View Boulevard and Verdugo Road with bright orange cafe chairs and a promising journey to a faraway land. The couple immigrated to the United States in 1998 and for many years continued to import saffron from their native Iran.
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Spartans Beat San Marino for 14th Straight Win

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ varsity volleyball team swept visiting San Marino in a Rio Hondo League match, 25-14, 25-22, 25-10, on Tuesday.
The league-leading Spartans (6-0 league record, 21-2 overall) extended their winning streak to 14, matching the length of Coach Brock Turner’s 2011 Spartans. The school’s all-time volleyball win streak is 18 set by Coach Kevin Boyke’s 1999 Spartans. That team was seeded No. 4 in the CIF playoffs and had an 18-0 record before losing to top-seeded Torrance Bishop Montgomery in the CIF semifinals.
Continue reading “Spartans Beat San Marino for 14th Straight Win”

Viar, Praised for College Stewardship, to Retire

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

After spending nearly a decade helping to right the ship at Glendale Community College, David Viar is retiring as president of the institution after the current academic year ends in June.
GCC announced the decision this week, with the college’s Board of Trustees committing to hiring an executive search firm at its Tuesday, Oct. 19 meeting to assist in identifying Viar’s successor. The board anticipates selecting his replacement on May 17.
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City Reverts to Remote Meetings, for Now

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

In response to new legislation that allows municipal officials to continue to convene remotely, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council voted to have all local government meetings held in that manner for the next month.
Council and city staff members spoke at length during Tuesday’s in-person meeting about Assembly Bill 361, an amendment to the Brown Act — a 1953 law that guarantees the public’s right to attend and participate in California local government agencies’ sessions. Signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last month, AB 361 gives cities flexibility in continuing teleconferencing meetings as long as they adhere to a new set of provisions.
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Local Royalty: Tournament of Roses Chooses 2022 Court

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

After a yearlong pandemic hiatus, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses returned to an iconic tradition to announce the seven members of the 2022 Royal Court this week, including two La Cañada Flintridge princesses.
Amid much fanfare from a masked crowd, Stephen Perry, chair of the Tournament’s Queen and Court Committee, welcomed parents and supporters as he called the 29 court finalists to the stage. Noting “what a two years it has been,” Perry gave a nod to the slew of previous cancellations, including those of the 2021 Royal Court, local Rose Bowl Game and Rose Parade, that were caused by the coronavirus and resulting public health measures.
“They will not be the first Royal Court to deal and navigate through interesting times in our history, and they won’t be the last,” he said of the girls. “But having met them, I know they will meet each and every challenge with grace and positive thinking to make their world a better place.”
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National Merit Names 9 GUSD Semifinalists

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Nine students from the Glendale Unified School District were recently selected as National Merit Semifinalists and will now compete to be finalists for the annual scholarships.
GUSD’s semifinalists include Miriam Awan, Ellena Kim, Nathan Kim, David Yoon Kim and Seon-Jae Yoon from Crescenta Valley High School; Abdullah Ahmed and Matthew Keshishian from Clark Magnet High School; Lilly Armstrong from Glendale High School; and Sarine Maridirosian from Hoover High School. They join approximately 16,000 qualifying students nationwide and represent fewer than 1% of U.S. high school seniors competing for about 7,500 scholarships. Semifinalists qualify by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and earning scores that are among the highest in the state.
Finalists are expected to be announced in the spring.

Local Kiwanis Club, With New President, Celebrates 100 Years

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Let’s step back in time about 100 years to when President Warren G. Harding made the first presidential radio address, ribbons were cut for the opening seasons of the Rose Bowl and the Hollywood Bowl, and actress and television personality Betty White was born.
In Burbank, a transport from Graysville, Ohio, named James Crawford as the city’s fifth mayor, and a charter was issued for Burbank’s first service club: The Kiwanis Club of Burbank.
Continue reading “Local Kiwanis Club, With New President, Celebrates 100 Years”

Glendale Memorial Hospital Honored With Community Award

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center is being honored with a Community Service Award from the city of Glendale and the Glendale Police Department for providing COVID-19 vaccines to essential city workers, including police, fire and city personnel.
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Nitros Narrowly Eclipse Burroughs, 12-11

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Tigran Megroyan scored a game-high four goals and goaltender Hayk Mkrtchyan made two crucial saves in the fourth quarter to lift Glendale High School’s varsity boys’ water polo team to a 12-11 victory over visiting Burroughs High of Burbank in a league match on Thursday.
The Nitros, who improved their Pacific League record to 2-0 (10-8 overall), extended their season-best win streak to three games. Meanwhile, the Bears fell to 0-2 in league (8-10 overall).
Continue reading “Nitros Narrowly Eclipse Burroughs, 12-11”

Homeless People Have New Space to Store Belongings

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

As of Friday, Burbank and the Salvation Army are offering a storage center where up to 60 people experiencing homelessness can put their belongings.
The Burbank Safe Storage and Help Center, referred to by city officials as the Safe, is located at 401 S. Front St., a city-owned lot. Run by the Salvation Army, the Safe is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and hosts dozens of locked, 60-gallon containers.
Homeless adults can ask a Salvation Army worker to retrieve their assigned containers during operational hours, allowing them to access their items. City spokeswoman Simone McFarland said the Safe could also be the second location where belongings collected by Burbank employees taking down homeless encampments are stored. The city currently holds such items at another facility.
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Leaders Praise Funding Boost for Hiking, Biking Paths

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

A snowy egret practically joined a news conference this week at the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk, as if to underscore the picturesque sights that await the pedestrians and cyclists who will eventually use the Garden River Bridge project that elected officials were discussing.
The project received a major boost this week, as Assemblywoman Laura Friedman announced that she’d helped secure an additional $10 million in state funding for the bridge, on top of the $20 million allocation she’d previously helped arrange. Additionally, Sacramento has committed an extra $5 million for the Colorado Street undercrossing.
Continue reading “Leaders Praise Funding Boost for Hiking, Biking Paths”

Spartan Girls, Boys Compete in League Meet

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School girls’ cross-country team swept the varsity and junior varsity races in the first Rio Hondo League meet of the season last week and improved to 5-0.
The varsity team was more than the Rio Hondo League could handle. Sophomore star Arielle McKenzie ran a relaxed first two miles and then outkicked South Pasadena’s Sydney Morrow, who is also one of the top runners in the CIF Southern Section, to take the victory in 18:25. Katelyn Matarese followed in third in 18:32 to be part of the top three pack that gapped fourth place by nearly 30 seconds. McKenzie and Matarese give the Spartans one of the most potent 1-2 combinations in the state. Cat Mispagel continued her breakout season with a time of 19:15 for a seventh-place finish and captain Jenna Milbrodt followed in ninth at 19:24. Caroline Gill ran a solid race to be the team’s final scorer in 19:50, which was good for 10th place. Continue reading “Spartan Girls, Boys Compete in League Meet”

Burroughs Rallies Past Harvard-Westlake, 21-20

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

In Burroughs High School’s last football game before the start of league play, the Bears hosted Harvard-Westlake of Studio City in what became a nail-biter, with twists and turns and a heavy dose of drama.
When the final whistle blew, the Bears had survived the chaos and earned a 21-20 win over the visiting Wolverines at Memorial Stadium Friday night in nonleague play.
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Morikawa Helps U.S. Beat Europe, Win Ryder Cup

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Collin Morikawa hoisted yet another prestigious trophy in the professional golf world on Sunday. The 24-year-old phenom, a La Cañada High School graduate who often trained at Chevy Chase Country Club, was part of a historic U.S. team that defeated Europe, 19-9, to claim the Ryder Cup in a dominant performance at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Morikawa secured the win when he birdied the 17th hole in singles play against Norwegian Viktor Hovland, the No. 14-ranked golfer in the world, for half of a point. He tied with Hovland and finished unbeaten in his first appearance in the Ryder Cup with a 3-0-1 record, including three victories in doubles competition alongside Dustin Johnson.
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Council Rejects Parcel Tax Idea After Fierce Debate

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Following an intense discussion, the Burbank City Council voted this week not to pursue a ballot measure that would tax the city’s biggest parcels to fund the school district and municipal services.
Little information regarding the potential tax was available at the council’s Tuesday meeting, as city staff members had brought only a first-step agenda item to gather input from the group about how — and whether — to craft it. If approved by both the council and more than two-thirds of Burbank voters, it would likely have taken aim at the parcels on which Burbank’s major corporations, such as Amazon and Warner Bros., are located.
Continue reading “Council Rejects Parcel Tax Idea After Fierce Debate”

District Updates COVID-19 Safety Plan

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Unified School District modified its reopening and safety plan for the year in an effort to mitigate any more possible disruptions to in-person instruction due to COVID-19.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recently gave schools the option of adjusting their quarantine policy to allow unvaccinated students in kindergarten through 12th grade who were exposed to an asymptomatic person testing positive with the coronavirus during a school day to remain on campus. Unvaccinated students who are in close contact with a positive case while at school are not required to go home and quarantine as long as both were seen wearing their masks properly. The exposed unvaccinated student is required to wear their mask indoors and outdoors except when eating or drinking. They also must practice social distancing whenever their mask is off.
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Spirited Vigil Honors Artsakh Struggle

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Monday marked one year since Azerbaijan’s military began what would be a 44-day campaign to invade and ultimately reclaim control of most of what had constituted the Armenian-majority breakaway state of Artsakh since 1994.
The invasion would ultimately be revealed as heavily one-sided, with Baku’s well-funded and well-sourced military using sophisticated drones and ballistics to largely overwhelm Artsakh’s defenders, who stood only with Armenia against a force bolstered technologically by Turkey and Israel and, according to some news reports, in manpower by non-state militias. Continue reading “Spirited Vigil Honors Artsakh Struggle”

Mixed-Use Development Approved for Former Fry’s Site

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank Planning Board this week approved a project that is expected to bring offices, restaurants and hundreds of residential units to the site of the now-defunct Fry’s Electronics.
The mixed-use project at 2311 N. Hollywood Way, dubbed Burbank Aero Crossings, will feature two seven-story buildings with a total of 862 apartments ranging from studio rooms to three-bedroom spaces, with 80 units designated for very low-income tenants. A restaurant will be located on the ground floor of one of the residential buildings, while another will stand on its own. A five-story office building is also planned for the space.
Continue reading “Mixed-Use Development Approved for Former Fry’s Site”

Toland’s Career-High 37 Kills Propels LCHS to League Lead

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The longtime rivalry league match between La Cañada High School and visiting South Pasadena’s varsity girls’ volleyball teams on Tuesday did not disappoint, as the two powerhouse programs lasted five sets.
And it was the Spartans who established themselves as the team to beat in the Rio Hondo League by narrowly claiming their 12th consecutive victory, 21-25, 30-28, 26-24, 21-25 and 15-10.
Continue reading “Toland’s Career-High 37 Kills Propels LCHS to League Lead”

LCUSD Defends DEI Initiative, Approves Oversight

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board dedicated the majority of its five-hour meeting Tuesday to formally address the elephant in the classroom that has become critical race theory amid efforts to create curriculum including diversity, equity and inclusion.
Some stakeholders have voiced concerns and reignited accusations regarding whether critical race theory — an academic movement developed decades ago that examines the dynamics of how race and racism are expressed throughout American history and its institutions, especially law — is being taught in the classroom. A series of edited videos was leaked online in early August, allegedly showing a private book club meeting among La Cañada Elementary School teachers and administrators discussing “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DeAngelo, a professor who researched whiteness studies and critical discourse analysis.
Continue reading “LCUSD Defends DEI Initiative, Approves Oversight”

Morikawa Helps U.S. Beat Europe, Win Ryder Cup

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Collin Morikawa hoisted yet another prestigious trophy in the professional golf world on Sunday. The 24-year-old phenom, a La Cañada Flintridge native, was part of a historic U.S. team that defeated Europe, 19-9, to claim the Ryder Cup in a dominant performance at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Morikawa secured the win when he birdied the 17th hole in singles play against Norwegian Viktor Hovland, the No. 14-ranked golfer in the world, for half of a point. He tied with Hovland and finished unbeaten in his first appearance in the Ryder Cup with a 3-0-1 record, including three victories in doubles competition alongside Dustin Johnson.
Continue reading “Morikawa Helps U.S. Beat Europe, Win Ryder Cup”

Hoover, Glendale Are Victorious

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Hoover High School’s varsity football team extended its winning streak to five games — its best since 1953 — with a nonleague victory over host Los Angeles Maya Angelou Community, 14-0, last Friday.
Sophomore quarterback Ethan Davis had another fine performance with nine completions for 195 yards and two passing touchdowns. He also had five carries for 12 yards, earning a team-high 207 total yards. Sophomore backup quarterback Giovanni Vartanyan completed four passes for 16 yards.
Continue reading “Hoover, Glendale Are Victorious”

GUSD, Teachers in Accord on Virus Precautions

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Glendale Unified School District and the union representing its teachers agreed this week to a series of policies and protocols codifying COVID-19-related safety measures that will last for the remainder of the school year.
Meanwhile, the district and the Glendale Teachers Association continued to discuss what is expected to be an agreement addressing the effects that quarantining has on classroom instruction.
The understanding reached this week, in short, has the district aligning with applicable guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. It does not address other related issues, such as instructional policy in the event of student quarantines, nor does it impose any new vaccination mandates. Continue reading “GUSD, Teachers in Accord on Virus Precautions”

Drop in Local, County Unemployment Rates Reported

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale’s unemployment last month appeared to be the lowest rate it has been this year, according to recently released data, after three consecutive months of minor upticks.
The local rate dropped to 10.2% in August from 10.9% in July, preliminary California Employment Development Department data shows, the biggest one-month decline reported for the city since February. The drop reflected a decrease in the estimated number of unemployed Glendale residents to 10,500 from 11,300 a month earlier. However, the labor force — representing residents who are employed or unemployed but searching for a job — fell by 1,600 people. The number of employed residents dropped by 800.
Continue reading “Drop in Local, County Unemployment Rates Reported”

Campaign Raises Funds for Saint Joseph’s New Facility

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Photos by David Laurell/Burbank Leader Enjoying a beautiful evening of fundraising are Dr. Celina Barba-Simic (from left), Dr. David Sato, and Walter and Bonnie Hill.

Icon Blue Founder Walter Hill and his wife Bonnie, who serves as the president of B. Hill Enterprises, stepped into the spotlight for the Minutes Matter More Than Ever campaign event last week.
Surrounded by more than 100 supporters of the campaign to raise funds to construct Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center’s new state-of-the-art emergency department and urgent care facility, the couple looked out at those who had gathered at the home of Donald and Elizabeth Savant.
“I’m pleased to be here this evening,” Walter said. “I’m actually pleased to be anywhere.” Continue reading “Campaign Raises Funds for Saint Joseph’s New Facility”

Tech Week Taps Into Secrets of Success

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

For A.J. Abdallat, success in tech comes down to hiring the smartest people available, empowering them to do what they do best and developing a culture in which they’ll thrive.
Those steps, he contended, helped Beyond Limits rise from a Glendale startup to a successful artificial intelligence software developer. Abdallat, the firm’s founder and CEO, shared his recipe for achievement and insight into the industry to close out Glendale Tech Week on Wednesday, serving as the keynote speaker for the wrap-up party.

Continue reading “Tech Week Taps Into Secrets of Success”

Police, Fire Unions Open to Vaccine Policies

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Local police and fire labor groups say they will abide by vaccine and testing requirements affecting their respective personnel, including a rule the city recently passed for municipal workers.
The Burbank policy, which the City Council approved on Sept. 14, requires all city staff members to be tested for COVID-19 weekly unless they are fully vaccinated. The testing mandate is tentatively expected to go into effect on or around Oct. 11. New hires must be vaccinated unless they have a valid medical or religious exemption. Continue reading “Police, Fire Unions Open to Vaccine Policies”

Hiker Found Dead in Park Was Local Resident

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Photo courtesy Proffitt family Local resident Nancy Proffitt, who died earlier this month, “was always a laugh or shoulder to cry on to anyone who needed it,” said members of her family.

Police have identified a woman found dead earlier this month near a Stough Canyon Park hiking trail as Nancy Proffitt, a Burbank resident.
Proffitt was reported missing on Sept. 8, the Burbank Police Department said, and her body was found the following day. Sgt. Emil Brimway, a police spokesman, said the department believes the hiker’s death was due to an accident or medical emergency, though detectives are waiting for a report from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Continue reading “Hiker Found Dead in Park Was Local Resident”

La Cañada’s Winning Streak Snapped

First published in the Sept. 23 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School varsity football team was off to a strong start to the season with wins in its first three games. Game four welcomed similarly undefeated North Hollywood Campbell Hall to town.
For most of the way, La Cañada looked headed to another victory…until it didn’t.
Despite leading for a majority of the contest, the Spartans were unable to hold off the visiting Vikings at the end and fell 27-23 in a nonleague game last Friday night.
The loss moved LC’s record to 3-1 and snapped its six-game winning streak, which dated back to the end of last season. Meanwhile, Campbell Hall improved its record to 5-0. Continue reading “La Cañada’s Winning Streak Snapped”

Council Acknowledges Complaint Against One of Its Own

First published in the Sept. 23 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Flintridge City Council on Tuesday issued a statement regarding the formal complaint filed by a resident against Councilman Jonathan Curtis.
Scott Van Dellen filed a complaint to the state Fair Political Practices Commission — a nonpartisan, five-member panel that administers the Political Reform Act — on Sept. 13 alleging that Curtis violated the act by using his position to influence a government decision concerning a proposed three-story development at 600 Foothill Blvd. Continue reading “Council Acknowledges Complaint Against One of Its Own”

Brewyard Beer, Paperback Brewing Win Gold

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale’s two craft breweries brought home a pair of gold medals from the California Craft Brewers Cup in August.
Brewyard Beer won first place among amber hybrids with its signature Jewel City lager, while Paperback Brewing earned top honors for American-style India Pale Ales with Tucked In By Strangers. The competition, held in Sacramento, featured 60 total categories.
This latest award represents the fifth accolade for Jewel City, a California Common lager that blends caramel maltiness and earthy hop flavors and with a deeper amber color that sets it apart from other lagers. The beer ultimately pushed Brewyard to create a full lineup of California Common-based beers, which use lager yeast but are brewed at ale fermentation temperatures and were pioneered during the Gold Rush. Continue reading “Brewyard Beer, Paperback Brewing Win Gold”

Stringing Together Love in Spite of Anti-Asian Hate

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Photos by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Alicia Cho is committed to raising awareness and funds for her cause by creating and selling handmade jewelry.

Some of us have really vivid memories from our kindergarten days.
Alicia Cho, a 17-year-old senior at Burbank High School does and, unfortunately, it is not a good one.
“My first racist encounter happened when I went shopping at the Grove in Los Angeles with my mom,” Cho recalls. “We were getting things for my first day of kindergarten and while we were walking around, two men approached us, stretched back their eyes and began making karate poses.”
Cho also remembers the men using racial slurs, mimicking an Asian dialect and laughing.
“I was confused. I really didn’t comprehend what they were doing or why, but what I did understand was my mother’s hurtful and scared reaction,” Cho said. Continue reading “Stringing Together Love in Spite of Anti-Asian Hate”

A New Jewel: Artsakh Farmers Market Opens

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Artsakh Gardens Farmers Market debuted this week in downtown Glendale, bringing the heart of cultural craftsmanship and artistry to the Jewel City with a first-of-its-kind market that carries the true spirit of Armenia. The weekly event will return Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is located at 222 E. Harvard St.
The result of the deep-rooted love held by local Armenians for their homeland, the market has been a collaboration with 30 vendors, who will offer a percentage of their earnings to directly benefit Armenia through its nonprofit partners — Aid Beyond Borders and Eternal Nation.
Co-founder Lilit Barsegyan said that in her effort to buy from Armenian small businesses in aid of the Artsakh War — a conflict with Azerbaijan over the highly contested territory — she was frequently en route from one vendor to another across town, some operating out of their homes. Continue reading “A New Jewel: Artsakh Farmers Market Opens”

Pasadena Symphony’s Moonlight Sonata Gala Is Sept. 25

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The Pasadena Symphony Association will host its annual Moonlight Sonata Gala in-person at Pasadena City Hall on Saturday evening, Sept. 25.
The festivities will kick off with a courtyard reception, followed by dinner, auction and a music-filled program with dancing under a starry sky in Centennial Square.
Music from the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras will usher guests in with a warm welcome as guests prepare to dine with meals from Parkway Grill.
To top off the event, talented songstress Melissa Manchester will perform an intimate set of standards in an exclusive performance befitting this enchanted night of music and community. Continue reading “Pasadena Symphony’s Moonlight Sonata Gala Is Sept. 25”

Anti-Speeding Advocates Call for Safety Measures

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

As the woman walked down the street where her 19-year-old daughter had died, people watched.
She was accompanied on Tuesday by roughly 60 other demonstrators: family members, friends and sympathetic Burbank residents who knew or had heard of the three people killed last month in a car crash on Glenoaks Boulevard and Andover Drive. Speeding on Glenoaks — on which the procession marched before turning to city hall — has long been an issue the local community has experienced for years, some said, and something needed to be done to prevent further deaths. Continue reading “Anti-Speeding Advocates Call for Safety Measures”

BWP’s Stricter Water Use Rules Approved

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank residents will only be able to water their lawns with sprinklers once a week between November and March, the City Council decided Tuesday, a restriction aimed at conserving water during a statewide drought.
Besides limiting irrigation to 15 minutes on Saturdays, the City Council’s unanimous vote to approve implementation of the second stage in Burbank Water and Power’s water-use ordinance also bars residents from using non-recycled water to refill artificial or ornamental bodies of water. BWP officials said they intend to return to the City Council in about two and a half months with a plan to fine residents who violate the restrictions and a request to add a drought surcharge to water rates. Continue reading “BWP’s Stricter Water Use Rules Approved”

GUSD Teacher of the Year ‘Model for Excellence’

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

For the second time, kindergarten teacher Roxanne O’Rourke has been recognized as teacher of the year for the Glendale Unified School District and will now represent the city in the contest at the county level.
O’Rourke, who teaches at Horace Mann Elementary School, was awarded as teacher of the year in the spring but was formally recognized by the GUSD Board of Education this week as the Los Angeles County Office of Education prepares to designate the county’s teacher of the year. O’Rourke earned the accolade for her leadership in the early spring, when her school received a waiver to open doors for students to re-enter classrooms and kick off hybrid instruction. Continue reading “GUSD Teacher of the Year ‘Model for Excellence’”

City Workers Must Be Vaccinated or Tested, Council Says

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank city employees will soon have to choose between submitting to regular COVID-19 testing or getting the vaccine, with new hires required to be vaccinated.
The City Council voted 3-1 to implement the policy during its Tuesday meeting. When the requirement begins, tentatively on Oct. 11 but potentially later, municipal workers will have to undergo weekly testing for COVID-19. Those tests will be provided free of charge and during work hours, and employees who show proof of vaccination are exempt from the requirement.
The requirement for prospective employees to be vaccinated in order to be hired is a new addition to the policy, which City Council members first discussed about a month ago. The rule allows exemptions for those with valid religious beliefs or medical conditions. Continue reading “City Workers Must Be Vaccinated or Tested, Council Says”

LCF Filled With Remembrance on 20th Year After 9/11

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The local community rallied together last week to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the tragic Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when a series of hijacked airplanes crashed into U.S. targets, and to honor the sacrifices and heroism of emergency responders.
Spectators, including Palm Crest Elementary students and firefighters from Station 82, lined the sidewalk for the Patriot Day Motorcade making its way through La Cañada Flintridge as a sign of respect for the nearly 3,000 lives lost in the four coordinated terrorist attacks on U.S. targets in 2001. Continue reading “LCF Filled With Remembrance on 20th Year After 9/11”

Benatar Hits Starlight Bowl Crowd With ‘Best Shot’

There is a coming-of-age milestone that is hit when, as a young teenager, one attends their first rock concert. It’s a rite of passage, one that Darin Wolf made in 1981 while a 14-year-old kid in junior high school going to see Pat Benatar.
“Going to see her is a memory I’ll never forget,” said Wolf, who today serves as a math teacher and coach at Burbank High School. “It was my first concert, and I’ve been a fan of hers ever since.”
Having had the opportunity of making many more memories by going to see Benatar play live on numerous occasions over the past four decades, Wolf chalked up yet another one this past week, as he attended her performance at Burbank’s Starlight Bowl. Continue reading “Benatar Hits Starlight Bowl Crowd With ‘Best Shot’”

Battling NorCal Blazes, Local Firefighters Expand Skills

First published in the Sept. 11 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

In his 24 years with the Burbank Fire Department, Capt. James Moye has battled all sorts of blazes and relied on proven techniques to put them out. Even when he and a strike team of firefighters were summoned to help combat the Monument and Caldor wildfires last month, he said, the approach was largely the same.
What he wasn’t used to were the trees. In Northern California, where several devastating fires have scorched forests and forced people to evacuate their homes, charred trees presented a unique danger. Moye, who recently returned to Burbank with his team, said he heard them fall to the ground throughout the day and night. Continue reading “Battling NorCal Blazes, Local Firefighters Expand Skills”

Tech Week Returns, Aiming to Entice Entrepreneurs

First published in the Sept. 11 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

After being canceled last year due to the coronavirus, Glendale Tech Week is returning this month for a mostly virtual event in its fifth iteration of the occasion marked to highlight the city’s local tech prowess and potential.
Attendees and viewers will be able to tune into a handful of events for free, from the comfort of their virtual screens, from Sunday, Sept. 20, through Tuesday, Sept. 22. Later Tuesday, a live virtual audience can tune in for the in-person Pitchfest that occurs alongside the in-person closing awards party. Continue reading “Tech Week Returns, Aiming to Entice Entrepreneurs”

Tinhorn Flats Property Owner Ponders Next Move

First published in the Sept. 11 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The doors were open, but Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill remained closed for business.
Patrons once again stepped into the dusty, dimly lit bar on Wednesday, but they weren’t there to order drinks. Instead, they trickled in to collect the items on which they had bid: tables, refrigerators, ice machines and other equipment that had been listed for auction. Continue reading “Tinhorn Flats Property Owner Ponders Next Move”

BWP Wants Stricter Rules on Water Use Amid Drought

First published in the Sept. 11 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

With the effects of a statewide drought intensifying, Burbank Water and Power plans to request permission next week to tighten rules on water usage.
The utility will ask the City Council during a public hearing on Tuesday to allow it to move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of Burbank’s water use ordinance. Under Stage 2, residents would be able to water landscaped areas via sprinklers for only 15 minutes once a week between November and March. They would also be prohibited from refilling artificial or ornamental bodies of water that don’t use recycled water. Continue reading “BWP Wants Stricter Rules on Water Use Amid Drought”

LCHS Graduate Served in Kabul

First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Grant Haxton, a 2015 graduate of La Cañada High School, was recently deployed to the Kabul airport to assist with evacuations from Afghanistan.
Haxton is an infantry platoon leader with the 82nd Airborne Division, which was sent to Kabul when the Taliban began rapidly advancing on the city. U.S. and allied forces secured the airport for two weeks while more than 120,000 Americans, Afghans and people of other nationalities were evacuated. Continue reading “LCHS Graduate Served in Kabul”

Breaking Barriers: Baseball Is Her Chosen Field

First published in the Sept. 4 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

Hoover High School senior Natasha Cohen attended classes like most students when the COVID-19 pandemic altered the previous school year: walking back and forth between her bed and computer.
A diligent student, Cohen takes college-level prep courses and works hard. But her effort wouldn’t end when she shut her laptop — that’s just when she’d head out the door and meet her teammates on the baseball field. Continue reading “Breaking Barriers: Baseball Is Her Chosen Field”

Students Whip Up a Spot on Disney Baking Show

First published in the Sept. 4 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Kids often rave about eating cake. Two local students are thrilled about baking them.
Emerson Chong and Connor Kim, both in the 5th grade, appeared as a sugar-shaping duo on Friday’s episode of “Disney’s Magic Bake-Off.” The show, which started airing just last month on the Disney Channel, pits three teams of two children against each other in a competition to create the best Disney-themed cake within a given time limit.
“One of my dreams came true, which is bake on a real kitchen set,” Emerson said in response to questions emailed to her mother. “I mean, c’mon — how many kids get to bake on TV, and for Disney?” Continue reading “Students Whip Up a Spot on Disney Baking Show”

Edited Video Reignites Debate Over School Diversity Plan

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Unified School District’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative once again took center stage at a Governing Board meeting on Monday, with stakeholders voicing their concerns — and in some cases launching accusations — regarding whether critical race theory is being taught in the classroom.

The debate was recently resurrected when an anonymous account with the username of “vlancer” posted a series of edited videos which allegedly show a private, virtual book club meeting among La Cañada Elementary School teachers and administrators. The videos seemingly depict the staff discussing “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DeAngelo, a professor who researched whiteness studies and critical discourse analysis. Continue reading “Edited Video Reignites Debate Over School Diversity Plan”

Power Outages: City Seeks State Help

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Despite Southern California Edison’s efforts to remedy a recent surge in unplanned power outages that has affected more than 1,000 local residents, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council has decided to file a complaint with the state and is requesting a formal review of the electricity provider’s practices regarding the maintenance of its infrastructure.

During a virtual special meeting on Monday, the panel was unanimous in approving the city staff’s recommendation to formally complain to the California Public Utilities Commission — which regulates and oversees utility companies — and expressed its disappointment over the way Edison has handled the 16 unplanned power outages reported in LCF since June 21. Nine of the outages occurred on the Haskell circuit, one of the longest lines in the city. Continue reading “Power Outages: City Seeks State Help”

For Aiding Moms in Labor, Nurse Reaps Honors

This is the fourth in a series of profiles on Glendale-area women who recently were honored by Congressman Adam Schiff as his district’s women of the year.

As a labor nurse at Glendale Memorial Hospital, Daisy De La Torre is routinely tasked with assisting patients giving birth — perhaps the most important delivery.
And then, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, she sometimes had to perform what surely was one of the most difficult acts — taking a newborn away from a mother who had the disease. Such was the reality of the pandemic’s initial stages, when little was known about the disease other than it easily killed the most vulnerable and spread chaotically.
“We weren’t sure if moms were going to transmit to their baby,” De La Torre explained in a recent interview. “That was the standard everywhere at the beginning of the pandemic, because COVID wasn’t very well understood. Thankfully, now, they aren’t, because we know more about COVID, but that was definitely scary for moms.” Continue reading “For Aiding Moms in Labor, Nurse Reaps Honors”

Local Woman Emerging as Golf Champion

Courtesy photo Moine (Su) Kim, a La Cañada Flintridge resident, is playing some of the finest golf in her career, having won three women’s golf championships in the past four months.

Longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident Moine (Su) Kim is in the midst of a remarkable golf year, which included her winning the Southern California Golf Association’s Women’s Amateur net championship last week. The two-day competition, held Aug. 17-18 at the Omni La Costa Resort Legends Course, marked Kim’s third title of the year.
On the 5,472-yard course, she shot a 93 (net 76) on the Mission “A” flight. On the next day, she rallied by shooting 89 (net 72) and won in a card off with a total net of 148.

Continue reading “Local Woman Emerging as Golf Champion”

New Head Coach Hoping to Guide Spartans Into Playoffs

Photos by Nathan Cambridge / Outlook Valley Sun First-year head coach Dave Avramovich (center, wearing hat) addresses his Spartans at practice earlier last week as they prepared for their season opener against Glendale High.

High School football is returning to its traditional place as a fall sport, after being transplanted to the spring last season due to COVID, and that suits the La Cañada Spartans just fine.
“Anything that is close to normal — it’s not really normal yet, but anything that is close to normal is awesome,” said LCHS first-year head coach Dave Avramovich.
It will be a new era on the gridiron for La Cañada as Avramovich moves up to take over the head coaching duties after serving as the defensive coordinator last season as part of his second coaching stint at the school. He replaced former head coach Jason Sarceda.
“I’m honored to be a part of the program. I coached here a long time ago, from ’04-06,” Avramovich said. “The first high school coaching job I had was here.”
It will be the first head coaching job for Avramovich, but he is no stranger to the sidelines, having coached football in some capacity for two decades.

Continue reading “New Head Coach Hoping to Guide Spartans Into Playoffs”

Locals Honored at Kiwanis International Awards

Photos courtesy of Kiwanis Club of La Cañada – Kiwanis Club of La Cañada President Dennis Fors (from left), Alice Perez and Trish McRae each received 2020-21 Distinguished Service Awards, presided by Kiwanis CAL-NEV-HA 2020-21 officers Lt. Gov. Tina Tabora-Lim and District Gov. Gary Gray.

Each year, Kiwanis International holds a District Governor’s Official Visit for Division 3, representing Kiwanis Clubs from throughout the California-Nevada-Hawaii District. A highlight of the visit is a ceremony to recognize exemplary volunteer service to the Kiwanis and the community.
Recently, the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada was recognized with 2020-21 Distinguished Service Awards presented to Dennis Fors, Trish McRae and Alice Perez.

Continue reading “Locals Honored at Kiwanis International Awards”

Local Residents Sought to Help Host Afghan Refugees

The International Institute of Los Angeles is offering a way for area residents to do more than be troubled by the current situation in Afghanistan, which has resulted in one of the largest evacuation efforts in history.
The nonprofit organization has already received and is preparing for the arrival of more refugees from Afghanistan and several other countries, and it needs support from the community to create a more comfortable transition for those arriving here.
The institute needs help — now. It provides comprehensive services to newly resettled individuals and families without sponsors, including temporary and long-term housing, airport reception, health screening and community orientation assistance in finding employment and childcare.

Continue reading “Local Residents Sought to Help Host Afghan Refugees”

Les Tupper Award Winners to Be Honored Sept. 13

The annual Les Tupper Award recipients, whose names were released in early 2020 for the prestigious honor by the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council, will finally be recognized at a ceremony after a 17-month delay.
Caroline Craven and Bill Pounders will be honored with individual Community Service Awards. Christie Crahan and the La Cañada Junior Women’s Club will receive the Special Service Award and David Baker has been selected as the Student Service Award recipient, which will be presented on Monday evening, Sept. 13. The event will be held at Flintridge Prep’s Norris Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.

Continue reading “Les Tupper Award Winners to Be Honored Sept. 13”

Broadcaster Rides a Wave of Success

Erin Coscarelli

From the National Football League to tennis to bull riding, Erin Coscarelli has run the gamut as a sports broadcaster.

The intrepid, self-acknowledged extrovert who graduated from La Cañada High School in 2002 has traveled all over the nation to cover sports and deliver stories about the athletes fans love to watch, and that success led her to the opportunity she could not pass up. Continue reading “Broadcaster Rides a Wave of Success”

Georgee’s Pizza Says Goodbye

Outlook Valley Sun – George Jacobs, the owner of Georgee’s Pizza, and his wife, Lynn, stand outside of the popular restaurant that recently closed after 41 years on Foothill Boulevard. Jacobs is retiring to live in Huntington Beach.

Georgee’s Pizza, one of the few original, independently owned businesses on Foothill Boulevard, is saying farewell after 41 years in business.
The closure will make way for Fresh Brothers, a regional pizza chain, to set up shop where the “staple” restaurant currently sits.
George Jacobs, the owner of Georgee’s Pizza, was only 22 years old when he opened the establishment’s doors in 1980.

Continue reading “Georgee’s Pizza Says Goodbye”

Edison Says It’s ‘Mobilized’ to Remedy Power Outages

After weeks of fielding phone calls from frustrated La Cañada Flintridge customers, Southern California Edison representatives visited the City Council in a special meeting Tuesday to address the recent surge in power outages.
Residents and business owners on the portion of the Haskell circuit south of the 210 Freeway have experienced nine outages since June 21, six of which have occurred in August, prompting some of Edison’s top officials to provide an update to a panel disappointed with the situation. The circuit is one of 22 in the city.

Continue reading “Edison Says It’s ‘Mobilized’ to Remedy Power Outages”

Daniel Charles Schaller | OBITUARY

Daniel Charles Schaller

Daniel Charles Schaller, 68, of Lake Havasu City, AZ, passed away on July 18, 2021. He was surrounded by his closest family and loved ones. Daniel was born on September 22, 1952, to Veral and Phyllis in Chicago, IL.
After graduating from St. Francis High School in La Cañada, CA, he studied Psychology at the University of California, LA. He went on to pursue a profitable career at Transo Envelope, Co. He met Debra Merle and they wed in 1985, going on to have two children, Erika and Dane. They successfully owned and operated Orv’s Forest Nursery.

Continue reading “Daniel Charles Schaller | OBITUARY”

BUSD Will ‘Follow Research, Data, Health Guidelines’

Matt Hill

Each year we welcome back students, families and employees to our schools, but this year is extra special. We continue to persevere through a challenging pandemic.
Most of us have been impacted by this pandemic in many ways. However, with the rise of vaccines and the appropriate health guidelines, we are now in a position to return students and employees full-time to campuses this fall. We are going to continue to follow research, data and health guidelines to protect our students and employees. We will also have an independent study option for families who feel it is not safe for their child to return at this time.
As we start the school year, we have the opportunity to build upon the innovations and learnings from this past year to improve upon the excellent teaching and learning that takes place in our schools each day.
For the 2021-22 school year, the Board of Education has adopted the following goals:

  1. Students will be career/college ready via high-quality instruction
  2. Students will be physically, emotionally and mentally healthy
  3. Recruit and retain highly qualified employees
  4. Maintain efficient and effective operations
    To help our students with their academic and social-emotional needs, we are also implementing additional supports:
    • Expanded academic interventions
    • Expanded mental health resources via our partnership with Burbank Family Service Agency
    • Expanded focus on social-emotional learning at each of our schools
    • A stronger commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) via professional development and supports.
    By continuing to work together, we will build a stronger BUSD. Here’s to a great year!

La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital – Making a Difference

Photos by David Laurell / Burbank Leader Last Saturday’s “Come Aboard for a Friendship Sail” summer meeting was chaired by Janice Shafer, who is pictured with Sue Meckley, a key contributor to the thrift shop’s continued success.

For as far back as most Burbankers can remember, if you’re on the lookout for vintage clothing, fashion accessories, jewelry, glassware, art work, memorabilia, collectibles, furnishings or a really unique gift, you have no further to take your search than to Magnolia Park’s antique and specialty shops.

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Schools Celebrate Full Return to Campuses

Photo courtesy Sarah Varosky
Sarah Varosky drops off her son Eliott at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary on Monday, which was the Burbank Unified School District’s first full day of in-person instruction since the pandemic began 17 months ago.

Superintendent Matt Hill of the Burbank Unified School District goes into every new school year feeling butterflies in his stomach, but he said the nerves he felt on Monday were replaced with joy when he saw students and teachers connecting on the first day of full in-person instruction in 17 months.

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Resident Petitions for Speed Humps After Car Crashes

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader A resident’s campaign to get speed humps on Bel Aire Drive may face some difficulties because of its proximity to a fire station. Many have expressed interest in adding the speed deterrants to local streets — along with a number of other safety measures — following a deadly car crash this month.

Dory Foster woke up to the sound of the crash. She looked out the window, thinking the noise came from a neighbor’s house. The police outside her house, on Bel Aire Drive, indicated that it hadn’t.
So did her husband’s parked car, which she said had been pushed up onto the curb by the force of the vehicle that struck it on Aug. 13, also hitting her brand-new Hyundai Palisade. Foster believes both cars are totaled.
The driver that struck her family’s vehicles at about 1 a.m., she told the Leader, didn’t appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Police officers recorded the incident as a traffic collision and noted the parties involved exchanged insurance information, according to Sgt. Emil Brimway of the Burbank Police Department.

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Tallyrand Named District’s Small Business of the Year

Photo courtesy office of Assemblywoman Laura Friedman California Rep. Laura Friedman poses with Karen Ross, co-owner of Tallyrand. Ross and her brother, co-owner Mark Thomas, attended an event in Sacramento this week recognizing Tallyrand as the 43rd Assembly District’s small business of the year.

Praising the diner’s resilience despite pandemic-induced restrictions, California Assemblywoman Laura Friedman recently named Tallyrand the small business of the year for her district.
The longtime owners of Tallyrand, siblings Karen Ross and Mark Thomas, visited the state Capitol this week for a presentation of the award. Friedman, California’s 43rd Assembly District representative, also celebrated the sister-brother duo, who inherited the business from their parents Al and Delores Thomas, in a ceremony at the roughly 60-year-old restaurant last week.

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Local Zip Code’s Vaccination Rate Trails Others

The lighter-colored zip code areas in this map of Burbank show where the vaccination rates are lowest.
Data: California Department of Public Health

Burbank’s 91501 zip code area has a lower vaccination rate than any of the city’s other zones, according to state data, though the reason for this remains unclear.
Roughly 60.6% of residents ages 12 and older who live in the 91501 zip code were fully vaccinated as of Aug. 17, according to data from the California Department of Public Health. The other four Burbank zip code neighborhoods have vaccination rates ranging from 64.5%, in the 91504 area, to 77.5%, in the 91505 area.

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Local Infection Prevention Doctor Named Woman of Year

Dr. Wint Hun

About 17 months ago, when Dr. Wint Hun started reading news reports about a coronavirus spreading out of China, and eventually throughout the entire world, she knew she’d be called up to bat at work soon.
At USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, the young doctor and La Cañada Flintridge resident works as an infectious disease specialist; since March 2020, she has been a member of the hospital’s infection prevention team to help isolate the coronavirus only to the patients who arrive with it and protect the institution’s health-care workers and other patients. Hun also utilized her expertise at Adventist Health Glendale as well as Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, where she has served as a consult and on-call physician.

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GCC: Staff, Students on Campus Must Get Vaccine

Officials with Glendale Community College made the institution the latest this week to enact a mandate to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to use college facilities across all of its campuses.
The GCC Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Tuesday to level the mandate on all students, faculty and staff. The mandate will go into effect Oct. 31, meaning that those who have not started getting their vaccinations will be able to receive each dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines by then with enough time for the incubation period. Johnson & Johnson vaccines require only one shot.
Regardless of vaccination status, everyone on campus will be required to wear face masks when indoors.

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City Council Discusses Electing Mayor, Creating Districts

Following a lively discussion on whether the city ought to develop dedicated City Council districts and potentially make the mayor’s seat an elected position, the council concluded the debate by filing an informational report and moved on.
The council indicated it may pick the discussion back up in the future, but it’s clear that some members will have to convince others to proceed forth with any changes.

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Keck Medicine, USC Verdugo Hills Set COVID Visitation Policy

Keck Medicine of USC announced last week that all visitors to its locations, including USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide proof of a negative test before entering its facilities for an inpatient visitation.
Visitors must be two weeks removed from their final dose of vaccine — that is, the second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna shots or the singular dose of the Johnson & Johnson variety — before visiting. Those visitors can provide their vaccination cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, show a photo or copy of the card or use the electronic record to provide proof of vaccination.

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Pasadena Pops Features Beatles Cover Band Aug. 28

The Pasadena Pops celebrate the best of the Beatles with the cover band Classical Mystery Tour on Saturday, Aug. 28, at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia. “Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles” brings the timeless hits of the Fab Four to life with a fresh set list of favorites from the early years to “Sgt. Pepper’s” through their solo careers. Spanning the Beatles’ vast catalog, tracks include “Yesterday,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “A Day in the Life,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Hey Jude,” “Imagine,” plus many more.
Classical Mystery Tour performers include Jim Owen (John Lennon), Paul Curatolo (Paul McCartney), Joe Bithorn (George Harrison) and Joe Bologna (Ringo rr).

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Back to School: Students’ Resocialization and Psychology

Annette Ermshar, CEO of Dr. Ermshar & Associates

While we find ourselves grappling with the new norms of our changing world, a return to a regular school year for our students is imminent. Youth are transitioning back to a traditional classroom-based academic year with regular school-based and extra-curricular activities. This transition is certain to have implications for resocialization and for the ever-shifting identity development that naturally occurs in childhood and adolescence.
School provides important opportunities for critical development, not only for academic advancement, but also for socializing, peer support, experiencing memorable events and moments, and self-expression. Certainly the increased isolation and removal from typical socialization that has resulted from the pandemic may have short- and long-term consequences that we still cannot fully know.

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ALFie Company to Perform ‘Willy Wonka KIDS’

Photo courtesy ALF Assistance League of Flintridge’s ALFie drama students, pictured above in a prior year’s performance, will present “Willy Wonka Kids” this fall. Registration began Aug. 20.

Students in grades 5-10 are invited to join the ALFie Company production of “Willy Wonka Kids.”
This fall production of the Assistance League of Flintridge (ALF) Drama program is a delightful adaptation of the 1964 children’s novel by British author Roald Dahl. The story features the adventures of 11-year-old Charlie Bucket, who wins an opportunity to get a peek inside the chocolate factory of eccentric chocolatier, Willy Wonka.

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Big Outdoor Event Masking Required as Delta Surges

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the highly-infectious Delta variant of COVID-19, Los Angeles County announced it will update its health order and will require anyone attending a large outdoor event with more than 10,000 people to wear a face covering.
The order went into effect on Aug. 19 and arrives just before the football season, affecting UCLA’s home games at the Rose Bowl, USC’s at the Coliseum and upcoming concerts, including those at the Hollywood Bowl.
“As the highly infectious Delta variant continues to spread, wearing masks — regardless of vaccination status — indoors and in crowded settings, including at outdoor mega events, reduces the risk of being infected with and transmitting COVID-19,” the L.A. County Department of Public Health said in a statement on Aug. 17.

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Local Infection Prevention Doctor Named Woman of Year

Dr. Wint Hun

About 17 months ago, when Dr. Wint Hun started reading news reports about a coronavirus spreading out of China, and eventually throughout the entire world, she knew she’d be called up to bat at work soon.
At USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, the young doctor and La Cañada Flintridge resident works as an infectious disease specialist; since March 2020, she has been a member of the hospital’s infection prevention team to help isolate the coronavirus only to the patients who arrive with it and protect the institution’s health-care workers and other patients. Hun also utilized her expertise at Adventist Health Glendale as well as Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, where she has served as a consult and on-call physician.

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LCUSD Celebrates Full Return to School

Photo by Mary Emily Myers / Outlook Valley Sun La Cañada High seniors enjoyed returning to a normal, five-day bell schedule and were welcomed with an early breakfast hosted by ASB, which includes Katharine Franklin (front row, from left), ASB President Isabella Oh, Leslie Dick, Shreya Anand, Emma Donaghy, Shaina Clorfeine and Nicole Kim. Back: Axel Frame, Jack Kim, Andrew Shaklan, Ty Reynolds, Brandon Cho, Sophia Penuela, Brooke Cooper and Niki Samudrala.

The La Cañada Unified School District officially reopened for business on Monday, giving students and teachers a semblance of normal with a five-day-a-week bell schedule for the first time in 17 months.
“It was great,” La Cañada High School Principal Jim Cartnal told the Outlook Valley Sun on Tuesday. “I checked in with the kids all day Monday and [Tuesday] and the general sense was that it is super great to be back. Students enjoyed meeting their teachers and being back in the rhythm of school.”
For some, it was a whole new experience. From transitional kindergarteners to 7th- and 10th-graders, some students had never set foot on the campus, let alone attend a class in person at their new school site.

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Officials Urge Free Vaccines Amid COVID Surge

Accompanied by a parent or an adult sibling or by their entire family, students 12 years and older stepped up for a COVID vaccination that would protect them as schools reopen.
With an alarming surge in the city’s infection rate, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health partnered with the Glendale Unified School District to provide walk-up vaccination clinics at each of the public middle and high schools.

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Mary Doris “Dorie” Beaumont | OBITUARY

Mary Doris “Dorie” Beaumont

Longtime Burbank resident, Dorie Beaumont, passed away peacefully three weeks shy of her 100th birthday at home in Fullerton, California, where she lived the last seven years to be near her guardians.
Dorie was predeceased by her parents, George and Alice, sister Jean, and brother Bill. She has no known survivors, except for her “kids,” Bill (Kay) and Dave (Connie) Haskell and their sister, Ginger Bord, who were her pastor’s children that she babysat and to whom she remained a beloved adopted family member.

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Elizabeth Kelemen Izzi | OBITUARY

Elizabeth Kelemen Izzi

Elizabeth Kelemen Izzi, 79, of Nashua, NH, passed away surrounded by her loving family on Sunday, August 8, 2021 in La Cañada, CA where she lived for the past 4 years. She was born to Grace and Louis Kelemen on August 19, 1941 in New Brunswick, NJ.
Elizabeth graduated from St. Peter’s High School, New Brunswick, NJ in 1959 where she met Clement David Izzi. Married on June 17, 1962 in New Jersey, they were forever sweethearts. Together they raised two devoted daughters, Karen Izzi Bristing of La Cañada, CA and Susan Marie Gentile of Sun Valley, CA.

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Tested by Crisis, Local Nurse Named Woman of the Year

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital nurse Susan Sung Hee Lee was recently recognized as one of the women of the year in Congressman Adam Schiff’s district. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the longtime nurse has stitched together scrub caps for her colleagues as part of their coronavirus safety gear. (Photo courtesy Susan Lee)

This article was originally published in the Glendale News-Press on Aug. 14

A sewing machine and a pair of scissors, along with some key leadership skills, helped Susan Sung Hee Lee navigate some of the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic.
The relief charge nurse at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital had a team to lead when the first wave of the pandemic came crashing down — in the intensive care unit, no less. She continued through the similarly large second surge, then through the nearly catastrophic third outbreak and now faces a fourth rise in COVID-19 caseloads as the school year dawns.
Early on was chaotic, with a barrage of new information and policy changes from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the hospital’s own administration.
Through it all, and whatever the future might bring, the most important thing to Lee is that she’s not alone.

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City Restricts Watering of Lawns

This article was originally published in the Glendale News-Press on Aug. 14

Glendale became the first city in Southern California this week to enhance mandatory water-use restrictions for residential customers, a decision made in anticipation of a substantial reduction in available water next year.
The City Council voted unanimously to make the policy change, which now limits outdoor watering of gardens and lawns to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for no more than 10 minutes. By implementing what is called Phase II of the city’s Mandatory Water Conservation Ordinance, the city aims for a 20% reduction of potable water use.
Residents also will be assessed the Phase II drought charge of 30 cents per hundred cubic feet of water — translating to about 40 cents per 1,000 gallons — but residents with reduced water usage are unlikely to see their bills change, the city said; in fact, bills could go down in some cases.

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Local COVID Case Total Likely to Pass 10,000

This article was originally published in the Burbank Leader on Aug. 14

Burbank appeared certain this week to exceed the 10,000 mark for coronavirus cases reported since the start of the pandemic, a grim milestone for a city that is facing a surge of infections despite its high vaccination rate.
The Los Angeles County public health department reported that COVID-19 had infected 9,968 local residents as of Wednesday, according to the most recent statistics available by the Leader’s press deadline on Friday. Roughly 30 or 40 infections a day have been recorded for most of the past week.

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Art Tells a Nature Story at Wilderness Park

One of Glendale artist Hannah Maximova’s stained-glass mosaics that will be displayed at Deukmejian Wilderness Park. (Photo courtesy Hannah Maximova)

This article was originally published in the Glendale News-Press on Aug. 14

When the Stone Barn Nature Center finally opens at Deukmejian Wilderness Park this year, patrons are likely to be captivated by a stained-glass mosaic that captures the flora, fauna and feel of the vast public space.
The glinting, 26-foot-long mural titled “The Breath of a Deukmejian Day” will be displayed at the site’s amphitheater and is meant to capture the breadth of what the nature park offers — kit foxes, mountain lions, hummingbirds and manzanita trees. It offers viewers a slice of what spending the day at the park might be like, artist Hannah Maximova said.

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City Explores Possible Vaccination Rule for Its Workers

Data: City of Burbank

This article was originally published in the Burbank Leader on Aug. 14

The Burbank City Council decided this week to consider requiring municipal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo regular coronavirus testing.
The council’s unanimous Tuesday decision made no immediate additions to city policy, only directing staff members to bring back options for a potential requirement at a future meeting. If approved, the rule — which would follow somewhat similar announcements in Los Angeles County and Pasadena — must include accommodations for city workers who do not get vaccinated for medical or religious reasons.

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GUSD Orders Weekly Tests for Unvaccinated Teachers

This article was originally published in the Glendale News-Press on Aug. 14

Unvaccinated teachers and other employees of the Glendale Unified School District will be required to undergo weekly testing for the coronavirus when the school year begins Wednesday, the school board decided this week.
Employees who can provide proof of their vaccination to the district will be exempt from mandatory testing, though they will still be encouraged to take tests periodically even if just for surveillance purposes. The GUSD Board of Education made the decision this week amid a COVID-19 surge being driven by the virus’ Delta variant.
District Superintendent Vivian Ekchian and the school board took action ahead of an announcement by Gov. Gavin Newsom this past Wednesday that all grade school educators in the state — public and private — must be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. On Friday, the Los Angeles Unified School District went a step further and issued a strict vaccination mandate for its employees effective Oct. 15.

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Fatal Crash Stirs Demonstration; Council Pledges Solutions to Speeding

Sabrina Castro (second from left) addresses reporters at an anti-speeding rally in front of Burbank City Hall on Tuesday. Cerain Baker, son of her boyfriend, Tony Baker, was one of three people killed in last week’s crash. (Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader)

This article was originally published in the Burbank Leader on Aug. 14

In its first meeting since last week’s car crash that killed three people, the Burbank City Council asked the city manager to gather potential measures addressing speeding on Glenoaks Boulevard.
Since the matter was not on the council’s agenda on Tuesday evening, the panel was legally prohibited from discussing its ideas in depth. Among the members’ requests were a discussion on installing traffic lights along the sprawling thoroughfare, compiling speeding and accident data for the city’s busiest roads, and seeking suggestions from the community. City staff members could also bring other ideas to the council.
Department officials won’t be able to prepare the agenda item by the council’s next meeting on Aug. 24, according to city spokesman Jonathan Jones, due to the number of agencies involved.

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Blessing of the Grapes Evokes Hopeful Prayers

Bishop Torkom Donoyan, prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church in America, carried out the Blessing of the Grapes ceremony at Adventist Health Glendale on Thursday. (Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press)

This article was originally published in the Glendale News-Press on Aug. 14

In a relatively brief but nevertheless emotional moment, clergymen from the Armenian Apostolic Church drew a small congregation at Adventist Health Glendale on Thursday and, following the cultural custom, blessed grapes for all in attendance.
Snack bags with green and purple blessings also were distributed to the hospital’s staff members and patients — many of whom readily accepted the help, given the most recent surge of the coronavirus pandemic. It was a spiritual service that the hospital had to forgo last year, when the traditional indoor ceremony was canceled due to COVID-19 health mitigation mandates.
The ceremony returned Thursday, held this time in the outdoor Orfi’s Garden located in between the hospital’s east and west towers.

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BUSD Students to Return to Campuses on Monday

This article was originally published in the Burbank Leader on Aug. 14

The past 17 months have been anything but ordinary for California students and teachers who dealt with distance learning and, later, limited in-person instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic. But the Burbank Unified School District is ready for a semblance of normal life with a return to a full five-day, in-person schedule on Monday, Aug. 16.
“I am very excited,” said BUSD Superintendent Matt Hill in an interview on Thursday. “Last year’s school opening just wasn’t the same. To have our teachers and employees back on campus — I can’t wait. The energy we got in the fall from hybrid learning and full in-person [instruction] for the summer was a good start, and I feel comfortable with the safety measures we’ve been putting in place.”

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LCF’s Bergen Is Running Down a Dream

La Cañada Flintridge’s Kathy Bergen has set 28 world records and 42 American records in track and field. (Photo courtesy Bergen family)

There is an old adage that you should never ask a woman her age.
An exception to this otherwise chivalrous rule may be made when her age is needed in order to correctly calculate the number of world track and field gold medals she has won in the past year.
For La Cañada Flintridge’s Kathy Bergen, the answers are 81 and six.
Bergen recently competed at the USA Track & Field [USATF] Masters Outdoor National Championships at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

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LCUSD Has Plan to Keep Campuses Safe From Virus

After 18 months in which it mostly provided virtual instruction — with a stretch of limited on-campus education — the La Cañada Unified School District is ready to return to a traditional, five-day in-person schedule beginning Monday, Aug. 16, with a few notable differences in its health and safety plan.
Meeting in person for only the second time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, the LCUSD Governing Board voted 5-0 on Tuesday in favor of adopting the district School Reopening and Safety Plan for the 2021-22 school year that adheres to the recommendations made by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

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Brown Selected as Kiwanis’ La Cañadan of Year

Photo courtesy Greg Brown

The Kiwanis Club of La Cañada has announced that Greg Brown is the La Cañadan of the Year for 2020 in recognition of his outstanding volunteer service, spanning more than three decades.
The award was established 70 years ago to applaud exemplary leadership and hard-working dedication that has made a positive impact on the local community, local youth and a church or house of worship, the club said.
Brown will be honored at a special buffet luncheon on Wednesday, Aug. 25, at 11:30 a.m. at the recreation hall at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830 Foothill Blvd., in La Cañada Flintridge.

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As Power Outages Increase, City Presses Edison

La Cañada Flintridge residents are accustomed to losing power and internet access every now and then, but not like they have in the past few weeks.
More than 1,000 Southern California Edison customers have experienced several local unannounced outages this summer, prompting city officials to confer virtually with utility representatives on Tuesday and express their concerns and frustration.
Residents in three areas of the community experienced unannounced outages last weekend, including some connected to Edison’s Haskell line, one of the locality’s longest — it extends from northeast LCF into the south-central part of the city. Haskell line users have experienced as many as six outages since June 21.

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Summer Camp Shows It’s Serious About Healthful Fun

Campers happily jump over hurdles while taking part in one of the many activities at the Runamuk Summer Olympics, held at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge. (Photo by Nadia Chung / Outlook Valley Sun)

Sun beaming, teams cheering in celebration and energy coursing through the field, the campers at Camp Runamuk competed in archery, discus, hurdles and shot put — all a part of Week 9’s very appropriate theme: the Summer Olympics.
Camp Runamuk — held every summer at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge for more than 25 years — has a long-standing reputation of providing weeks full of fun for kids ages 4-11. Though this year was brimming with unexpected changes, one thing that hasn’t changed is how much fun the kids are having at camp.

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Housing Proposals Prompt Burbank Insistence on Local Control

The Burbank City Council unanimously agreed this week to adopt a resolution opposing potential state legislation they believe would lessen the city’s ability to make housing development decisions. (Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader)

Keeping with its traditional stance, the Burbank City Council voted this week to oppose proposed California legislation that members said would threaten local control of housing development.
Council members voted unanimously on Tuesday to adopt a resolution reaffirming Burbank’s desire to retain authority over local housing. That resolution will go to the offices of state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman and Sen. Anthony Portantino, whose districts include Burbank. They and the rest of the California Legislature will reconvene on Monday.

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Armenian Community Exults Over Planned Museum

In a moment that reflected pride in an ancestral homeland, the yet-to-heal wounds of a genocidal campaign and the successful integration of a diaspora into American culture, dozens grasped gold shovels in Central Park on Sunday, July 11, and tossed some fresh soil onto the grass.

Photo courtesy Armenian American Museum
The board of trustees and other officials behind the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center formally broke ground Sunday. The facility is set to be constructed atop Central Park by 2024.

As the dignitaries did so, dozens of white doves were released and flanked an audience of more than a thousand people who heartily cheered as ground was officially broken for what will become the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center. The future landmark will begin construction at the site after the park is formally closed at the end of this month.

In crediting all involved in the ambitious project that has been planned since 2014, Executive Director Shant Sahakian recalled the proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.”

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Planning Commission Seeks More Answers About Proposed Building

After nearly five hours of presentations, public comments and discussion regarding a proposed development at 600 Foothill Blvd., the La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission decided last week to put off deliberation on the matter until July 29.
The panel asked questions for its staff and the applicants, Garret Weyand and Alexandra Hack of 600 Foothill Owner LP, to follow up on next month on issues ranging from parking spaces to subleases of units.
Emily Stadnicki, LCF’s principal planner, said it is standard practice for the commission to shelve an item and continue discussion at a later date. The presentation and lengthy public comment portion extended the June 24 virtual meeting late into the night.
“I think with a project this big, it’s anticipated,” Stadnicki told the Outlook Valley Sun on Wednesday. “A lot of people wanted to speak. This is normal procedure.”
She gave a presentation informing commissioners and stakeholders of the proposed three-story, mixed-use structure that would include 47 active senior housing units, 12 non-serviced hotel units, 7,600 square feet of office uses and one level of underground parking containing 107 spaces.
Such a structure could help the city accommodate the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, a process involving the California Department of Housing and Community Development that projects how many dwellings are needed in the state. LCF is expected to show that it can provide 612 units, and the city staff recommends that the Planning Commission approve a conditional use permit for the project, a tree removal permit and a vesting tentative tract map for subdividing the 77,310-square-foot mixed-use development into 49 parcels for condominium purposes on the 1.29-acre property on Foothill. The staff also recommends that the panel adopt a mitigated negative declaration.
It further urges that the panel move forward with recommending that the City Council approve an amendment to the General Plan that incorporates a new mixed-use 3 designation into the Downtown Village Specific Plan that would set a density range of 20-30 dwelling units per acre.
“The city has determined that the project does address a substantial public need and is generally consistent with the city’s housing element and wider planning goals,” the staff said. “It is staff’s opinion that adopting an MU-3 designation with a density of 20-30 units per acre on this property is supported by facts and permissible.”
A group of residents continued to voice concerns over the proposed development, such as the fact that the mitigation declaration’s traffic study is based on traffic counts from 2015. In response, Stadnicki said the city’s traffic engineer approved the methodology through which 2015 counts were increased by 1% every year, which is standard protocol. She also added that there is no data from Los Angeles County that indicates a high number of accidents at Woodleigh Lane and Foothill, near the proposed development. Only two accidents were reported there in the past five years and neither involved injuries.
Responding to another concern, the staff said the size of the proposed project is consistent with existing development in the vicinity. Noting that buildings with at least three stories already exist in LCF, Stadnicki listed the La Cañada Medical Building on 1370 Foothill Blvd., Descanso Medical Center on 1346 Foothill Blvd., Lund Building at 4529 Angeles Crest Highway and City Hall.
As for parking, Stadnicki said the 107 spaces are more than are currently required by the city.
Not all residents are against the project. Some wrote in support of it, including President and co-owner of La Cañada Flintridge Country Club Randy Dreyfuss, who said he has “witnessed firsthand the effect the lack of senior housing has on citizens of La Cañada. Many of our club members have reluctantly left the city (and the club) as they have been unable to find housing that would allow them to remain in the city if they desired to downsize their housing needs.”
Weyand and Hack, both of whom are LCF residents, said they were pleased with the staff’s presentation and report, which was 580 pages long, and were glad to “clear the air.”
“It was comprehensive and so well done, and facts there were understandable,” Hack said. “They did an incredible job to explain a complex project with moving pieces.”

In Remembrance of Melissa Kobe

It is with a heavy and broken heart that The Outlook shares the devastating news that our beloved photographer Melissa Kobe passed away Wednesday, June 16.

Melissa was part of our Outlook News Group family for a decade and had deep roots in our communities that we cover. She was more than an employee; she was a dear friend to all of us. Her exceptional talent and sparkling personality endeared her to all those she met. We join you in mourning this untimely, shocking loss to our family. Our thoughts and prayers are with her partner, Kevin, and the entire Kobe family during this most difficult time.

From the Publisher, Charlie Plowman

Don’t Let Bears Be Bad News — Deny Them Food

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Signs displaying the simple message “Do not feed the animals” are prominent in zoos, aquariums and national parks, and for good reason. First and foremost, feeding wildlife is against the law, and second, following such directions can help keep animals away from urban areas.
With an uptick in bear sightings and encounters being reported in northern Glendale neighborhoods, California Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Rebecca Barboza informed residents about the furry visitors and how to minimize the chances of interacting with them.
Continue reading “Don’t Let Bears Be Bad News — Deny Them Food”