LCUSD’s COVID Plan Staves Off Transmissions

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

Planning a return to the classroom for in-person instruction in the era of COVID-19 was a daunting task for schools throughout the state during the summer, especially amid the rapid rise of the Delta variant this past month which complicated the matter.
Such concerns prompted Los Angeles and Culver City school districts to implement vaccine mandates that require students 12 and older to be inoculated. L.A. County health officials stated that children under 18 comprised about 27% of positive coronavirus cases from Sept. 2-9. Continue reading “LCUSD’s COVID Plan Staves Off Transmissions”

Complaint Filed Against City Councilman

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

A La Cañada Flintridge resident filed a complaint on Monday with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission — a nonpartisan, five-member panel that administers the Political Reform Act — against a local city councilman.
The complaint, filed by Scott Van Dellen, alleges that Councilman Jonathan Curtis violated two regulations set by the act, including “attempting to use official position to influence a government decision,” concerning a proposed three-story development at 600 Foothill Blvd. in which Curtis owns a financial stake.
In an interview on Wednesday, Curtis denied the allegations, emphasizing that he has never spoken with a city councilmember or city staff regarding the details of the project. Continue reading “Complaint Filed Against City Councilman”

Bulldogs Collect First Win; Bears in Action

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

The Burbank High School varsity football snapped a two-game losing streak and blanked host El Monte Mountain View, 51-0, to pick up its first victory of the 2021 season.
Junior quarterback Dylan Robinson led the offensive barrage, completing eight of 17 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns, including a 70-yard score to senior wide receiver Gio Saenz. Robinson also ran for 74 yards and one touchdown.
Running back Rony Preza led all rushers in the backfield with 95 yards and two touchdowns on five carries and sophomore Jacob Mendieta added 36 yards on four carries. Continue reading “Bulldogs Collect First Win; Bears in Action”

Edison Believes It Has Solved Outage Problem

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

Six days removed from performing emergency work to address frequent power outages in La Cañada Flintridge, Southern California Edison has reported no further unplanned electrical interruptions as of Wednesday afternoon.
Edison upped its presence with as many as 40 employees throughout the city from Aug. 24-Sept. 3 to investigate the issue and repair and replace aging equipment on the Haskell circuit, where recent outages have affected more than 1,000 local residents. The circuit is one of 22 in the city. Continue reading “Edison Believes It Has Solved Outage Problem”

Planning Commission Backs Proposed Foothill Blvd. Project

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

The La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission finally voted on the controversial proposed three-story structure at 600 Foothill Blvd., recommending approval of the project — a move that followed hours of deliberation by the panel and comment from numerous members of the public since June.
The commission resumed discussion of the proposal in a virtual special meeting on Sept. 2 and ultimately adopted six resolutions with conditions that advance the project — which would include 47 senior housing units, 12 non-serviced hotel units and 7,600 square feet for office use — to the consent calendar of the panel’s next meeting on Thursday, Sept. 23. The consent calendar is the portion of a municipal meeting that is reserved for items that no longer require serious discussion; the commission is due to vote once more to affirm its approval of the project. Continue reading “Planning Commission Backs Proposed Foothill Blvd. Project”

Foothill Housing Proposal Returns to Planning Commission Tonight

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

The La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission will continue its deliberation over a proposed three-story structure at 600 Foothill Blvd. in a special meeting tonight at 7.
The much-debated proposal that includes 47 senior housing units, 12 non-serviced hotel units and 7,600 square feet for office use was presented to the panel in a meeting on June 24, but open discussion about the project was delayed until July 29. The commission ruminated at length five weeks ago about the city’s General Plan and Zoning Code and how such a structure would fit into it. Continue reading “Foothill Housing Proposal Returns to Planning Commission Tonight”

To Keep Campuses Open, LCUSD Widens Testing for Virus

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

At the suggestion of community members and medical experts, the La Cañada Unified School District will update its campus reopening and safety plan and take extra measures to mitigate the possibility of coronavirus transmission on campuses.
The LCUSD Governing Board unanimously approved stricter health protocols recommended by the district staff in a meeting on Monday. Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said the reopening of schools for in-person instruction was “hugely successful but extremely challenging, given the surge of COVID-19 infections as a result of the Delta variant.” Continue reading “To Keep Campuses Open, LCUSD Widens Testing for Virus”

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”

BUSD Says Its Employees Must Be Vaccinated

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

With the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Burbank Unified School District is following the lead of other educational institutions and districts in requiring all employees to be vaccinated.
The BUSD Board of Education stood firm on its decision, voting 5-0 to adopt the resolution despite pleas from some who work with the district opposing the vaccine mandate. Continue reading “BUSD Says Its Employees Must Be Vaccinated”

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”