Big, Beautiful and 115 Years Old

Photo courtesy Glendale Arts

Glendale this week celebrated its 115th birthday as an incorporated city, as exemplified by the birthday wishes on the Alex Theatre’s historic marquee. The city incorporated on Feb. 15, 1906, and was the 16th city to form within Los Angeles County. Since that time, it has grown and developed into one of the largest suburbs in the county, with an estimated population of 205,000 residents making it the county’s fourth-largest city and the 23rd-largest city in California. Additionally, with around 26,000 students, the Glendale Unified School District is the third-largest school district in L.A. County.

GUSD Prepares a Hybrid Education Program

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
Students at Mark Keppel Elementary School check into their distance learning technology pods in August at the start of the school year. Glendale Unified School District plans to continue running these pods after it launches a hybrid learning format that has students alternating between in-person and at-home instruction.

The Glendale Unified School District plans to transition into its hybrid education program for elementary schools in March, which has long been designated as the next major decision point for the district with regard to pandemic protocol.
The decision comes this week following the announcement from county officials that elementary schools could reopen their doors for limited in-person instruction, with or without the waivers they may have applied for. Those officials had anticipated this week that adjusted daily new coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County would fall below 25 new cases per 100,000 residents each day — the threshold for reopening elementary schools while in the purple tier.

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Local Teens Set to Soar as First Female Eagle Scouts

Four local teens are making history as they join the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts. The rank of Eagle Scout is a prestigious achievement that has been attained by some of the country’s most noteworthy figures. And now, Adele Kelley, Darcy Kelley, Haneen Shehata, and Samantha Hoxsie are among thousands of young women who will make up this distinguished group.
“Earning the rank of Eagle Scout takes hard work and perseverance, and we are honored to recognize Adele, Darcy, Haneen and Samantha for this significant accomplishment,” said Andrew Sisolak, interim Scout executive. “Along the journey to Eagle Scout, young people gain new skills, learn to overcome obstacles and demonstrate leadership among their peers and in their communities. These benefits are invaluable for everyone, and we are thrilled that they are now available to even more youth.”

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Verdugo Hills Hospital CEO Hobbs Leaving for Torrance Memorial

Keith Hobbs

After joining his hometown hospital five years ago to engineer a financial and performance turnaround, Keith Hobbs will depart USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in March after accepting the top job at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.

Hobbs announced his decision to hospital staff last week, and named current Chief Medical Officer Dr. Armand Dorian as the interim CEO. In an interview this week, Hobbs — who grew up in La Crescenta and graduated from Crescenta Valley High School — agreed the transition was bittersweet in many ways, not least of which because he wasn’t actively looking to leave this job.
“It was a very difficult decision to ultimately decide to leave. It was sort of a perfect opportunity that I wasn’t looking for,” he said. “Ultimately I took an interview and it ended up being the perfect opportunity. That’s what it took for me to be willing to leave something I’m so passionate about and love.”
Hobbs was brought in as the leader of USC-VHH in January 2016, nearly three years after USC acquired the 158-bed institution. Prior to the purchase, the hospital had fallen into a period of financial and operational issues and had had trouble investing in updated facilities. Hobbs brought with him nearly two dozen years of background in administration at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he was in charge of ancillary services, support services and the supply chain for the preceding 14 years.
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Arthur Edward Stack Jr. – Obituary

Arthur Edward Stack

On Monday Feb. 1, 2021 Arthur Edward Stack Jr. passed away at the age of 86.
Arthur was born on Aug. 12, 1934 in Washington, D.C., son of Arthur and Margaret (Wilson) Stack. He was raised in Silver Springs, Maryland and summered at Stack’s Landing on Lake Winnipesaukee, near Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. After graduating high school, Arthur enlisted in the United States Navy. He served as Machinist Mate on the USS Benner from 1953 to 1955. In 1959, he graduated from the University of Maryland. After college, he worked for Johnson & Johnson in New Jersey. Then, in 1968, he moved out to California to live in La Cañada Flintridge.
Art was happily self-employed as the proud owner of the Furniture Doctor, restoration of antiques and fine furniture. It was a business he founded as a restorer of furniture in which he took great pride and satisfaction. He was also actively involved in Boy Scouts for several years.

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Art Contest Offered to Commemorate Armenian Genocide

Assemblywoman Laura Friedman recently announced that the California Armenian Legislative Caucus is holding two scholarship contests for the 2021 commemoration of the Armenian genocide.
California high school students in 9th through 12th grade are invited to participate in an essay contest and/or a visual arts contest to increase greater awareness of the Armenian genocide on its anniversary.
“Every year, the California Legislative Armenian Caucus holds our annual scholarship competition in order to provide an opportunity for students to learn about a dark but important part of history, while potentially winning money for college,” Friedman, a Democrat from Glendale, said in a statement. “The submissions we receive never cease to amaze and inspire me. As our community and nation continues to battle hatred and bigotry here at home, and as the people of Armenia continue to face oppression and violence in their homeland, this year’s contest couldn’t be more timely or valuable.”

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City Continues ‘Downward Trend’ in New COVID-19 Cases

Photo courtesy Glendale Fire Department
With help from CVS and HumanGood, the Glendale Fire Department this week helped administer COVID-19 vaccinations to low-income senior residents at Park Paseo and The Otto Gruber House.

Daily new cases of COVID-19 in Glendale have been falling throughout 2021, and while they still are not at the lower levels seen before the holiday season surge, it is still a marked improvement from the crisis that overwhelmed Southern California’s health care system.
As of the News-Press’ deadline this week, the city had a seven-day average of 76 new cases per day, the lowest amount since the seven-day average of 72 posted on Nov. 28. This comes weeks after the city peaked on Jan. 14 with an astronomical seven-day average of 247 daily new cases of the coronavirus.

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Reaping Roses for Staff at USC-VHH, courtesy Kardashian

Photo courtesy USC-VHH

Floral designer Jeff Leatham and celebrity Kim Kardashian West on Tuesday sent 70 bouquets of pink roses to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital as a gesture of appreciation to the institution’s frontline health care workers ahead of Valentine’s Day. Keith Hobbs, CEO of the hospital, said “these kind gestures mean so much to our health care workers who have been working tirelessly these many months, and the appreciation from the community goes a long way to uplift them through these difficult times.” USC-VHH invites those who are also interested in giving back to the hospital to consider volunteering for its Meal Train, which can be found at bit.ly/uscvhhmeals.

Kevin Hart Fraud Case Tied to City

What started as a fraudulent purchases investigation by the Glendale Police Department has turned into a grand larceny indictment by a New York district attorney against a man who is alleged to have stolen more than $1 million using actor Kevin Hart’s credit cards.
In an announcement, the district attorney of Queens County, New York, said that a 29-year-old Long Island City resident was arrested and arraigned this week on grand larceny and other charges stemming from this investigation. The suspect, Dylan Syer, was accused of defrauding Hart both by transferring money from the actor’s credit cards to his own personal account and also using the cards for additional purchases.
According to GPD, the investigation began in February 2019 when the department’s financial crimes unit began probing a number of purchases to Hart’s credit cards through a six-month period. These transactions were made at a “high end” jewelry store in Glendale and also included various “high end” clothing purchases in the city.

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ReflectSpace Shines Light on City’s Racist Past Through Web Series

In observance of both Black History Month and the city’s reckoning with the racist policies and practices of its past, ReflectSpace has produced a multimedia series that, in multiple episodes, examines those ills and how they have impacted Glendale.
The six-episode series — titled “Reckoning: Racism & Resistance in Glendale” — is available for free on the ReflectSpace website and includes audio presentations of the topics and documentation of various news coverage and other stories that describe the historical racism of Glendale. Interactive maps and 360-degree photos allow viewers to pick, for example, different neighborhoods to learn more details.
The live exhibit comes after city officials prepared a report on Glendale’s historical reputation as a “sundown town,” which through housing covenants largely barred Black people and other minorities from property ownership in the city. Glendale was hostile in other ways, as well, to the Black community — the city was a popular rally spot for Ku Klux Klan groups and more recently housed offices for Nazi-affiliated and other white supremacist groups.

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