Huntington Hospital Sues on Conditions Imposed on Affiliation

A lawsuit filed by Huntington Hospital and Cedars-Sinai Health System on Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court against the California Department of Justice and the office of the attorney general will challenge the “unprecedented conditions” imposed on them as a result of their proposed affiliation.
The conditions imposed by the attorney general would jeopardize Huntington’s and Cedars-Sinai’s ability to meet the community’s need for access to coordinated, specialized healthcare; lower costs; and provide resources needed for Huntington Hospital to continue critical clinical programs and services for its patients, the two entities said in a joint statement.
The proposed affiliation was announced in March 2020.
“We are shocked at the unprecedented over-reach of the conditions being imposed,” said Huntington Hospital President/CEO Dr. Lori Morgan. “Rather than benefitting our community, the conditions primarily benefit health insurance companies.”
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LCHS Seniors Celebrate Return to Campus; Rose Bowl Graduation

Photo by Mary Emily Myers / Outlook Valley Sun
La Cañada High School’s student government members, who were among the seniors on campus yesterday in preparation for their official return to school, include (front row, from left) Senior Class President Seema Kayali, JT Salcido, ASB President Andrew Han, Colin Melillo, Andrew Chi, Ben Lee and Emaan Qazi. Back: Gordon Cucullu, Alison Flynn, Keaton Comstock and Cari James.

After more than a year of isolation and cancelled activities, it felt like a triumphant return to La Cañada High School for seniors on Wednesday with more promising days ahead: a return to limited on-campus learning, a slew of scheduled fun activities and an in-person graduation ceremony to be held at the Rose Bowl for the senior class of 2021.
During the “Seniors Return to School” event held outdoors at Spartan Stadium, about 150 seniors excitedly gathered to learn details about the remaining end-of-year activities, procedures for graduation and, above all, to absorb some inspiration to fight off what’s become known as Zoom gloom.

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Residents Rally for Solidarity Amid Rise in Anti-Asian Violence

In the wake of last week’s shootings at Atlanta-area spas, leaving eight people dead — six of them Asian women — a recent surge of xenophobia, hate and violent incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the nation is coming to light, and La Cañada Flintridge residents want to stand in solidarity.
As part of the nationwide call for an “Asian American Day of Action,” this Friday, LCF resident and La Cañada Elementary School mom Nirosha Ruwan is planning a family-friendly walk from the school to Memorial Park to recognize the rise of anti-Asian harassment and violence witnessed since the beginning of the pandemic. The event will be “kid-driven and kid-centric,” she said.
“We are trying to raise awareness in La Cañada and elsewhere, where people might not really understand that this is happening,” Ruwan said. “This is such a huge issue and we want to make sure kids and families know about it and that we stand in solidarity, that we will take a stand and not tolerate the rise of these incidents, as well as empower our kids to stand up when they see injustices.”
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Partnership for At-Risk Youth Seen as Symbiotic

Photo courtesy Diana Ramirez
Two nonprofit organizations, led by Give-Mentor-Love Foundation founder Donna Pierson (left) and Learning Works Charter School founder/CEO Mikala Rahn, have forged a partnership this year that is seen strengthening educational support for at-risk youth after high school.

Amid the unprecedented hardships and tragedies due to the peripheral pandemic fallout this past year, Pasadena’s nonprofit organizations have been seen rallying in creative and unusual ways to help fill the gap and heightened need.
While some organizations have worked around the clock to provide food, shelter or healthcare, others have pivoted to offer different services to meet their clients’ changing needs.
Others, meanwhile — such as Give-Mentor-Love Foundation and Learning Works Charter School — have dug deep to forge a new partnership to improve their core mission: serving Los Angeles County at-risk youths and young adults who are in crises, help them achieve high school diplomas and set them on a path to success.
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With Alexander at the Helm, LCF Weathers All Storms

Outlook Valley Sun file photo
La Cañada Flintridge City Manager Mark Alexander is shown with LCF Chamber President/CEO Pat Anderson. Alexander is the city’s longest-serving city manager, first joining City Hall staff 33 years ago at the age of 23.

One year ago this week, the unthinkable came to pass: Life’s activities, from the mundane to the thrilling, came to a grinding halt amid the cascading closures of schools, businesses and workplaces enacted to curb the spread of coronavirus.
As residents across La Cañada Flintridge dug down in their foothills community to prepare for the unknown — stocking up on food and supplies, increasing their internet coverage and taking to social media to express widespread confusion — one thing became crystal clear for City Manager Mark Alexander.
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Rose Bowl Aquatics Coach Shines for ‘Rays’ Team

Rose Bowl Aquatics Center lifeguard manager and head coach Kandis Pulliam encourages one of her Rays swim team members in the pool. Pulliam has developed a social community for the team, one that’s proven invaluable during the pandemic.

When Sofia Sanchez first came to the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center at 6 years old, she didn’t want to go near the pool.
Diagnosed with autism, Sofia had spatial orientation and sensory processing issues combined with low muscle tone, and her parents were hesitant. “We really thought she might not ever be able to swim, plus she was petrified of the water,” said her mom, Susan Tarka Sanchez.
But under the enthusiastic direction of life guard manager Kandis Pulliam at the center’s warm water therapy pool, Sofia began, little by little, to enjoy the experience. Soon, Pulliam coaxed her over to the Olympic-sized pool, and as soon as Sofia could swim across, convinced her to join the Rays swim team, a competitive and social team for individuals with special needs and developmental disabilities.
Sofia, now 12, swims more than a mile each team practice. Sometimes she uses one arm, sometimes no arms, but it doesn’t matter, not to her and not to anyone else.
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City Upholds Decision to Allow Parcel Land Transfer

An appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of a lot line adjustment dominated the City Council meeting this week, with neighbors opposing the decision on the grounds that the property owner plans to build a home on the nonconforming lot and is trying to skirt city zoning rules.
Ultimately, the council voted unanimously to uphold the commission’s approval of the adjustment and setback modification at 4628 El Camino Corto and the adjacent parcel to the east, which is currently a land-locked empty lot consisting of ravine.
The lot adjustment would add 4,140 square feet to the empty parcel to total 11,267 square feet from the owner’s initial 7,127, while the other lot would be reduced in size to 13,213 square feet from 17,353. This would make both lots in compliance with the minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet, paving the way for the developer to build at the property, neighbors and residents appealing the approval said.
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LCF Resident Aung Hoping Mars Mission Can Fly Higher

Photo courtesy NASA’s JPL
La Cañada Flintridge resident MiMi Aung (center) is NASA’s JPL project manager for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which landed last week on the red planet while attached to the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. Here, Aung, Teddy Tzanetos and Bob Balaram observe a recent flight test.

Before booking that ticket to Mars, you might want to speak first with La Cañada Flintridge resident MiMi Aung, NASA’s JPL project manager for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which landed last week on the red planet with the agency’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, a historical feat.
Aung took center stage before the world with her team as manager of the project for the helicopter, which is attached to the belly of the rover before being deployed in about 10 days for the first extraterrestrial rotorcraft flights in the thin Mars atmosphere.
“It’s a mission of high risk and high reward,” Aung said. “We are in uncharted territory, but this team is used to that. Just about every milestone from here through the end of our flight demonstration program will be a first, and each has to succeed for us to go on to the next.”
The helicopter’s mission is a technology demonstration project, Aung explained, the findings of which could lead to actively adding aerial dimension vehicles to space exploration.
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Gooden Center Saves Lives, Brings Comfort in Crisis

Photo courtesy Lisa Phelan
Two men struggling with addiction and mental health disorders find comfort and like-minded support on the front steps of the Gooden Center. Fellowship is a key aspect of the Gooden Center and recovery in general.

By now, it’s no secret: Life in the pandemic is stressful.
Nearing the beginning of its second year, the devastation of the COVID-19 crisis has brought illness, death, unemployment and unprecedented social isolation, making a marked impact on people’s mental health and contributing to an increase in substance abuse, according to experts in the field on the subject.
At the front lines of this battle in Pasadena has been the Gooden Center, a nonprofit treatment organization providing residential, outpatient and transitional living for individuals with substance abuse issues and/or psychiatric disorders, as well as their families.
The Gooden Center has seen a sharp spike in people seeking treatment during the pandemic and experienced the largest admission intake in its 60-year history, said COO Brandon Brewer.
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City Council Gets Preview of NASA’s JPL Mission to Mars

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory new mission to Mars took center stage at the La Cañada Flintridge City Council meeting this week ahead of its scheduled Mars 2020 Perseverance rover landing on the red planet on Thursday.
JPL Director Michael Watkins and Mars Helicopter Project Manager Mimi Aung gave a thrilling presentation before the council as to how Perseverance and the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter will touch down, with the help from two robotic devices from orbit.
“This is one of those times we’re super proud to work at JPL and also live in La Cañada Flintridge; the eyes of the world are upon us here,” Watkins told council members.
The much-anticipated landing is expected at about 12:55 p.m. on Thursday, with a signal of confirmation expected to be received 11 minutes and 22 seconds later, the time of the distance the signal has to travel from Mars to earth.
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