La Cañada Council Picks Davitt as Mayor; Inducts Eich, Gunter

Michael Davitt

Amid a notable lack of fanfare due to social distancing, Michael Davitt was chosen unanimously as mayor of La Cañada Flintridge at a virtual City Council meeting on Tuesday, which also featured the installation of new members Keith Eich, Rick Gunter and incumbent Terry Walker.

The meeting, which typically would have celebrated the council re-organization after an election, with special recognition to new members and those leaving office — which this term includes Gregory Brown and Leonard Pieroni — was held quickly and from the privacy of separate locations.

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LCHS Junior Launches 3-D Effort for Healthcare Workers

Photo courtesy J.T. Salcido
La Cañada High School junior J.T. Salcido is spearheading the “LCHS Cares” effort to print 3-D face shields to help hospital workers.

La Cañada High School junior J.T. Salcido has kept busy so far during his school’s hiatus on coronavirus social distancing, and now, spring break is set to get even busier.

Salcido has launched the “LCHS Cares” project, an effort to print 3-D face shields to help hospital workers protect themselves and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The idea came up when Salcido, 17, said his father, Craig, who works at an Orange County hospital, began seeing patients with respirator masks. The doctor had heard 3-D digital masks might be possible for health care workers, and asked his tech-savvy son if he might lend a hand.

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City Talks Coronavirus Measures, Ratifies LCF Emergency

Among topics of discussion, eight local confirmed cases of COVID-19 were discussed by the La Cañada Flintridge City Council during a special meeting Tuesday night.
“If you look at the per capita rate, we’re way up there,” said Councilman Gregory Brown. “If you look at all the cities in L.A. County, we’re in the top 10% of per capita basis.”
The city’s eight confirmed cases were according to Los Angeles County Public Health, as of Wednesday. Earlier statistics had lumped LCF data together with Montrose and La Crescenta, but that is no longer the case, Brown noted.
Meanwhile, Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station Captain Todd Deeds told the council that everyone in the city has been “extremely” cooperative in trying to comply with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “Shelter in Place” order announced last month, giving directives on social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus. A deputy at the local farmers’ market on Saturday spoke to some attendees about social distancing and they cooperated, Deeds said.
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Local Chinese American Club Donates Much-Needed Masks

Photo courtesy of Caroline Anderson
HaiHui Voth, Lola Dietrich, LiJuan Deng, Ashley Dietrich, Jack Wang, Derek Jiang and Liang Wei display masks from the Chinese Club of La Cañada and La Crescenta that were given to the La Cañada Unified School District.

The Chinese Club of La Cañada and La Crescenta has been busy donating masks to local organizations.
Last week, members supplied masks to La Cañada Flintridge city officials, the La Cañada Unified School District and the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station, among others.
“We are grateful for this generous gift to the city,” said Rebekka Hosken, director of finance for the city of LCF, which received 100 masks last Thursday. “These masks are greatly appreciated to help protect the safety of our staff members and to ensure we remain healthy and able to continue serving the public.”
Shahan Atmajian, the city’s emergency services coordinator, will distribute them to staff.
Mark Evans, associate superintendent of business and administrative services for LCUSD, said the district received 150 masks.
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LCUSD Extends School Closures Through May 5

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
The La Cañada Unified School District board and staff members met virtually on March 31 at a special meeting that included Anais Wenn (front, from left), Dan Jeffries and Brent Kuszyk. Middle: Mark Evans, Ellen Multari and Kaitzer Puglia. Back: Joe Radabaugh, Jamie Lewsadder and Wendy Sinnette.

The La Cañada Unified School District board voted to extend school closures through Tuesday, May 5, at a Tuesday night special virtual meeting, and acknowledged that the timeline could be further pushed back.
The vote took into account the recommended May 5 date put forth by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. The meeting featured governing board members attending virtually, or via video conferencing site Zoom, and was broadcast live on YouTube.
Before voting, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette spoke of the statement from the California Department of Education, sent earlier on Tuesday, which said it “currently appears” students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year.
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Caution Urged as Three Coronavirus Cases Emerge

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
The tennis courts on Cornishon Avenue were closed recently after the city of La Cañada Flintridge took action to reduce opportunities for coronavirus transmission following an L.A. County Department of Public Health order.

As Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed three coronavirus cases in a region including La Cañada Flintridge as of Wednesday, the city’s mayor called this a “serious and difficult time” for the community.
The region referred to by public health also includes unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose and has a population of 40,253.
“I ask that our residents stay up to date with the recommendations to battle this virus,” Mayor Leonard Pieroni said in an email to The Outlook this week. “Adhere to the ‘safer at home’ orders from the federal, state and county leadership. We are all in this situation together. I count on our community to look out for our families, friends, and especially those that might need more help during this time. We will get through this, and I am looking forward to that.”
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LCUSD Closes All Schools

The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board directed Superintendent Wendy Sinnette to shut down all of its schools Friday because of the coronavirus threat.

The action was taken at a special meeting of the board on Thursday night with another meeting scheduled to review the decision next Thursday.

Teachers and staff members will be on site today for parents and children to obtain their items as well as to answer questions. Students will not report today through Monday, March 23. Teachers and staff will also prepare further materials to be sent home to students via distance learning.

“(Today) is a stop gap,” Sinnette said before the decision was made. “Classes would not be in session in the traditional manner. Classes would be open, a facility for parents who are in a tight situation because it’s now 8 p.m.,” Sinnette said.

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LCUSD Cancels Student Trips Amid Coronavirus Precaution

The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board instructed Superintendent Wendy Sinnette this week to cancel student out-of-state field trips involving air travel because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the district is also assessing the importance of large group activities amid social distancing precautions.
At a regular meeting of the board Tuesday night, Sinnette and LCUSD’s Chief Technology Officer Jamie Lewsadder delivered a detailed report about the district’s plans regarding the possibility of school closures. The board also discussed upcoming air-travel field trips outside California as an agenda item and voted to cancel them.
Following the meeting, Sinnette sent out a district-wide letter about the decision.
The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a respiratory illness that has spread worldwide. In a statement Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said there were 27 cases in the county, including three reported by the city of Long Beach. Officials also reported the county’s first coronavirus-related fatality; the woman who died was an older woman with underlying health issues and a nonresident who had been visiting friends.
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Boy Scouts CEO Takes Confident Stand on Future

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Jeff Sulzbach’s grasp of the L.A. area’s complexities helped him land his job as CEO of the Greater Los Angeles Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, said the group’s chairman.

La Cañada Flintridge resident Jeff Sulzbach, CEO of the Greater Los Angeles Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, is not running away from the topic of bankruptcy.
On Feb. 18, the national BSA announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a move that will allow it to reorganize its finances and create a fund to provide equitable compensation to victims of abuse that occurred while they were scouts.
“The main thing we want to make sure everybody knows is that this is a national issue,” said Sulzbach, who began in his post Nov. 1. “It affects the Boy Scouts of America nationally and their finances. The local council, which is called the Greater Los Angeles Area Council, has not filed for bankruptcy, is not filing for bankruptcy. We’re still financially sound and continue to operate our program here in this area.” Continue reading “Boy Scouts CEO Takes Confident Stand on Future”