CEO Discusses COVID-19 Challenges for Huntington Hospital

Photo courtesy Huntington Hospital
Dr. Lori Morgan (center), president and CEO of Huntington Hospital who is pictured above in 2018 with hospital senior executive Jane Haderlein, led San Marino Rotary Club members on an informative journey of the institution recently via Zoom.

Normally, the Rotary Club of San Marino earmarks a hard 30-minute time allotment for its guest speakers, but a recent presentation by Huntington Hospital president and CEO Dr. Lori Morgan made many meeting attendees actually thankful that the Zoom format allowed for more than twice that duration.
Morgan has been in her position since 2017, and her more than three decades of experience in health care and health care management were on display as she handled questions that were submitted by club members on a wide variety of topics and presented to her by San Marinan Barbara Bice, who has worked at Huntington Hospital and has been a patient and visited others there.
Though she has known Morgan since her arrival at the hospital, Bice acknowledged that she actually learned something knew about the keynote speaker while researching her bio, which stated Morgan is an “intensivist.”
“I know she has an intensive schedule, but I didn’t know until recently that an intensivist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of patients in intensive care,” Bice said.
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Theft of Catalytic Converters ‘Skyrocketing’

It’s an unfortunate staple of the Glendale Police Department’s weekly crime report, and so far this year, the offense has been occurring on a daily basis.
Detective Abe Chung of the GPD’s burglary auto theft unit, said that there have been 41 catalytic converters stolen from vehicles in the city as of Friday, Feb. 5, which represents a marked increase in that specific crime.
The part is a relatively innocuous component of an automobile’s exhaust system, but a valuable target of thieves looking to make quick buck. Or $50. Or $100. In some cases, as much as $150.
That’s the going rate for the precious metals — rhodium, platinum and palladium — that are found in each device, which are relatively easy to access due to their location on the vehicle.

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Rally Calls for Sports Restart

Photo courtesy Erika Foy
Local residents who participated in a Pasadena “Let Them Play” rally included (from left) Caleb Buchanan, Milo Orona, Luke Cronthall, Santi Goldthwait, Ryan Liddy, Erika Foy, Aly Pernecky, Catherine Giddings, Makena Giddings, Kayla Giddings and Grace Garrity.

Car horns blared and balloons bobbled in a light breeze on Friday, January 15 when several dozen young athletes, their coaches and parents participated in a statewide “Let Them Play, California,” rally, which urged state officials to allow for youth sports to begin immediately.
Locally, the event was organized by Aly Pernecky, Erika Foy and Angela Buchanan and held at Blair High School at the corner of Glenarm St. and Marengo Ave.
“Public health is about everyone,” said Foy. “The public policy to manage the pandemic should not burden one group over the other. Our kids are carrying the burden more than they should and their developmental process is being deeply affected by the shutdowns with no school or sports. It is important our public officials listen to the community it is representing and to those who are living with the consequences of these policy decisions.”

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Dulcich Catching On at UCLA

Don Liebig / UCLA Photography
UCLA head coach Chip Kelly surprised Glendale resident Greg Dulcich, (above) on March 26, 2020 – his 20th birthday – when he acknowledged the tight end’s hard work by offering him a scholarship.

‘‘And Greg Dulcich continues to make big plays!”
The familiar voice of Josh Lewin, play-by-play announcer for the UCLA football team, made that declaration on the warm Sunday morning of Nov. 15 as the Bruins squared off with Cal in the Rose Bowl and the tight end hauled in a 44-yard reception against the Bears.
Though a college football game being played on a Sunday morning on the West Coast was a rarity, one consistent theme of Lewin’s narrative was Dulcich’s playmaking. The observation was repeated over and over as the season progressed, so much so that the Glendale resident and St. Francis High School graduate ended the campaign by being named to the Associated Press 2020 All-Pacific-12 Conference second team.
Dulcich enjoyed a breakout campaign this past fall, hauling in 26 passes for team highs of 517 yards and five touchdowns. He turned in 167- and 126-yard-per-game performances, while no other tight end in the conference eclipsed 108 yards in a single game. His average of 73.9 receiving yards a game was tops in the Pac-12 at the position – pretty impressive for the redshirt sophomore who totaled eight receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown in his first two seasons combined.

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State Update Is a Mixed Bag for High School Athletes

A new directive from the California Department of Public Health leaves only fading hope for the playing of most high school sports during the 2020-21 school year, especially those scheduled for Season 1. Athletes, coaches, parents and administrators waited more than four months for the update on youth sports, and the news wasn’t good.
The directive, released on Monday, delays sports competitions between teams until at least Jan. 25. When the California Interscholastic Sports Federation — the governing body for prep athletics in the state — announced a revised schedule on July 20, fall sports were scheduled to begin as early as Dec. 19. Two weeks ago, the schedule was pushed back to Jan. 1. The return-to-competition date will be reassessed by Jan. 4.
In the meantime, teams are forbidden to participate in tournaments held outside of California, as had been common during the pandemic.
“It’s not surprising at all,” said Brian James, Burbank High School assistant principal of activities and athletics. “We talked about the surge happening after Thanksgiving and that is now the case, and now we have a major holiday coming through. We will just have to see what happens.”

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How Music Teacher Works in Concert With Distanced Students

Photo courtesy GUSD
Roosevelt Middle School instrumental music director Ashley Suhr addresses her students during a recent class presented via Zoom. Suhr has the unenviable task of creating a musical ensemble with students who are socially distanced.

As much as any of the nation’s institutions, education has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where classrooms once buzzed with activity, computer screens now hum from muffled isolation, as students and teachers adapt to the almost oxymoronic concept of “distance learning.”
Once the most active part of the educational process, teachers, counselors and aides have been relegated to the familiar role in an adolescent’s life of just another in a long line of images on a screen. But facing the expectation of providing an opportunity for learning in an unfamiliar setting, teachers have homed in on ways to strike the match of inspiration.
Ashley Suhr, instrumental music director at Roosevelt Middle School, has found that the best way to thrive in this environment is to keep things consistent. Rather than settling down in some corner of her home and open her virtual lesson plan, Suhr faithfully executes her daily routine and drives the mostly abandoned streets to teach from her classroom. She said recently that the key to successful distance learning is to develop that sense of sameness.

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School Board Begins Discussion of Year’s Priorities

Photo courtesy GUSD
Roosevelt 8th-grade student Izel Aguayo (left) receives her Chromebook from office clerk Andrea Trana and science teacher John Carroll.

Following what can probably be categorized as the most volatile six months in its history, the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education discussed its list of priorities for the 2020-21 school year at its meeting Tuesday evening.
And, not surprisingly, making sure that distance learning works for all GUSD students amid the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the discourse.
Following tradition, the board first analyzed the set of guidelines that were adopted a year ago and include maximizing student achievement, creating a culture of learning, increasing engagement and maintaining district solvency and financial responsibility. Then Superintendent Vivian Ekchian pushed the discussion — which will continue in future meetings — toward major focus areas for the current academic year.
“This is the time to speak up,” Ekchian quipped, introducing the free-form conversation that followed.

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A Laptop for Every GUSD Middle-Schooler

Photo courtesy Anderson Family
Shabazz Anderson, a 6th-grader at Toll Middle School, uses the new Chromebook that she received at the start of the school year.

The educational community at the Glendale Unified School District’s three middle schools received quite the welcome-back boost when more than 3,000 Samsung Chromebooks — one for each student and teacher — were delivered recently to kick off the 2020-21 school year.
The schools were selected earlier this year to join Verizon Innovative Learning Schools, an educational initiative sponsored by Verizon that targets under-resourced middle schools across the country. As part of the program, Roosevelt, Toll and Wilson Middle Schools have been provided with a comprehensive education package that includes a Chromebook for every student and teacher, a data plan for up to four years on each device, access to curricula that provides a personalized learning experience for students and professional development for teachers. A full-time technology coach in each school, partially funded through Verizon Innovative Learning, partners with teachers to provide ongoing support to integrate the technology in classroom instruction. The program is also made possible by Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization originated by the U.S. Congress in 2008 to improve technology in education.

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Life of Storyteller, 100, Is Quite a Tale

Photo courtesy Battison family
Cy Battison, seated, with daughters Terry Oelrich, left, and Gayle Landstrom at his drive-by 100th birthday party on July 19. Battison served in several capacities for a remarkable 63 years at the YMCA of Glendale’s Camp Fox on Catalina Island.

Even by current coronavirus-era standards, it’s rare that a 100th birthday party is acknowledged with a drive-thru ceremony and a Zoom meeting, but the term “rare” certainly applies to Cy Battison.
Scores drove their cars past Battison’s home on July 19 and, later in the evening, visited his living room virtually to pay homage to a man who has positively affected the lives of thousands during his century on Earth. Hundreds more have responded to Battison on a Facebook page dedicated to “Growing Up in Glendale in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.”
For it is that generation which is especially fond of Battison, who invested a remarkable 63 years in one capacity or another at the YMCA of Glendale and its idyllic camping facility on Catalina Island, Camp Fox, before stepping away a decade ago.
Battison, who long served as an educator, spent literally hundreds of weeks at Camp Fox, which teems with young people eager to get away from the city for a few days of hiking in the hills, splashing in the ocean and meeting new friends. The camp holds about 400 campers, counselors and fellow directors per session, and Battison was renowned for doing his best to meet each of them.

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