LCF’s Baffert Delivers a 5th Kentucky Derby Win

Bob Baffert has done it again.
The world-renowned horse trainer claimed his fifth Kentucky Derby victory Saturday when Justify raced to a convincing 2½-length triumph on a rain-soaked track in Louisville.
The victory was Baffert’s fifth at the Kentucky Derby and moved the La Cañada Flintridge resident into second place all time, just one win behind Ben Jones, who set the record in the 1940s. Continue reading “LCF’s Baffert Delivers a 5th Kentucky Derby Win”

School Board Likes Late Start in 2018-19

After hearing that students at La Cañada High School are getting more sleep this school year, Governing Board members voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend that the school bring back its “late start” bell schedule next fall.
For 2017-18, La Cañada Unified School District became one of the first districts in the state to start the school day at its high school at 8:30 a.m. (later than the previous 7:45 a.m. start). The initiative was inspired by the Challenge Success program, which is focused on improving students’ overall well-being.
A series of surveys were conducted and an oversight committee composed of students, parents, faculty and administrators met four times to evaluate the later start, said Jim Cartnal, executive director of pupil and personnel programs and services. Continue reading “School Board Likes Late Start in 2018-19”

Bear Makes Himself at Home in LCF, Eventually is Evicted

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to repeated reports of a bear in La Cañada Flintridge over the weekend, tranquilizing the 225-pound male Sunday afternoon and returning it to the wild, according to Andrew Hughan, a Fish and Wildlife spokesman.
There have been additional sightings reported since on social media, but the animal LCF resident Anjum Khan spotted in front of a house near the corner of Starlight Crest Drive and Burning Tree Drive as she was driving home Friday was relocated. At first, she said, the bear was digging through the trash, but then he seemed to just sit down and relax, she said.
“At one point, half of him was inside the trash can, and his other [rear] side was hanging out,” said Khan, who stopped to take some photos. “Then he was just sitting down, enjoying his lunch.” Continue reading “Bear Makes Himself at Home in LCF, Eventually is Evicted”

Honda Helps Boy Find Service Dog

Until very recently, whenever little Jude DeMatteis needed to have blood drawn, or to undergo a procedure or testing, he’d recoil in terror the moment he saw a hospital or doctor’s office, said his mom, Jasmine DeMatteis.
Now nearing 5 years old, Jude has been primarily living off a feeding tube since he was just 4 months. He suffers from Crohn’s disease, and was diagnosed more than a year ago with medical post-traumatic stress disorder.
For the past few weeks, however, Jude’s anxiety has seemed to decrease. What’s more, the side effects that result from having to take chemotherapy medications such as Imuran seem less intense.
The difference has been a dog. Continue reading “Honda Helps Boy Find Service Dog”

PCY Principal Promoted to District Role

Paradise Canyon Elementary School will have to share Debra Cradduck with the rest of La Cañada Unified School District after the school year ends.
The current PCY principal was appointed Tuesday to serve as the district’s executive director of personnel services, following the Governing Board’s unanimous approval.
“It’s pretty amazing, I’ve been here for eight years, so I’m definitely ready for a new challenge,” said Cradduck, a La Cañada High School graduate. “But I’m going to miss PCY.”
Cradduck’s new duties will include recruitment; coordinating assignments, promotions, leaves, transfers and retirements; managing evaluation programs; serving on the district’s negotiating team and much more. She’s scheduled to step into the new role at the close of the current school year, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said. Continue reading “PCY Principal Promoted to District Role”

JPL Hosts ‘Inspiring Visit’ by VP Pence

Photos courtesy NASA/Bill Ingalls
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence gives commands to a rover nicknamed “Scarecrow” as (from left) NASA Mars Exploration manager Li Fuk, Mars Curiosity Engineering Operations team chief Megan Lin, JPL Director Michael Watkins and daughter of Mike Pence, Charlotte Pence look on Saturday.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was in the neighborhood Saturday, touring Jet Propulsion Laboratory before heading to a series of stops elsewhere in Southern California.
After his visit to the NASA campus, Pence tweeted: “Inspiring visit to Jet Propulsion Laboratory! Thanks to the team at @NASAJPL for your leadership in unmanned space exploration since 1957! Under @POTUS Trump. America is leading in space again!” Continue reading “JPL Hosts ‘Inspiring Visit’ by VP Pence”

Local Investors Can Consider LCUSD Bonds

Representatives for Stifel Financial Corp. have been spending time recently in La Cañada Flintridge — where 71% of voters supported La Cañada Unified School District’s Measure LCF general obligation bond on the ballot last November — informing community members that the bond offering is expected to be available in the first half of May.
Their message to local constituents has been: “Basically, as voters, you approved this measure, the first part of which is coming onto the market, so we wanted to reach out and make sure to keep you in the loop,” said Hovick Babajanian, an associate vice president for Stifel Nicolaus & Co.
Babajanian grew up nearby in La Crescenta and spoke of frequent visits to See’s Candies and Sport Chalet. Continue reading “Local Investors Can Consider LCUSD Bonds”

Public Works May Begin ‘Big Dig’ in Fall, Permits Pending

If L.A. County Department of Public Works officials can procure the necessary permits by late-July, they expect work can begin on the Devil’s Gate Reservoir Sediment Removal and Management Project in October, according to George De La O, a senior civil engineer with the Watershed Management Division.
Work to remove 1.7 million cubic yards of sediment — reduced from 2.4 million cubic yards last year by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors — over the course of four years, hinges on four key permits from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Regional Water Quality Control Board and Army Corps of Engineers, De La O said Tuesday at a public informational session at the L.A. River Center and Gardens.
The project’s initial excavation area will be 64 acres, he said, bordered by slopes where vegetation can grow. Continue reading “Public Works May Begin ‘Big Dig’ in Fall, Permits Pending”

‘Data Queen’ of LCUSD to Retire

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Lindi Dreibelbis will retire from La Cañada Unified School District on June 29.

As titles go, Lindi Dreibelbis’ is substantial: She is (deep breath) La Cañada Unified School District’s Chief Director of Assessment, Research, Consolidated Programs and CALPADS.
Her duties put her in charge of state-mandated assessments and have her making reports to the state and federal government, as well as monitoring the state accountability system for school and district progress. She’s charged with pursuing grants, overseeing daily attendance practices and providing leadership for the English Language Development Program. She’s also tasked with maintaining individual-level data on student demographics, courses, discipline, assessments and staff assignments.
In essence, she’s the district’s “data queen.”
And on June 29, after 20 years with the district and 38 in the field of education, Dreibelbis plans to retire. Continue reading “‘Data Queen’ of LCUSD to Retire”

City Council Watches Progress of Portantino Bills

The La Cañada Flintridge City Council seemed pleased to hear state Sen. Anthony Portantino, a local resident, was working on a couple of bills of interest to the community’s residents.
Portantino is behind Senate Bill 1317, which addresses sober living facilities, and SB 1266, which addresses those convicted of burglaries. Both bills are in the Senate Appropriations Committee at the moment.
Ann Wilson, division manager for the city of La Cañada Flintridge, presented updates on current legislative bills at the City Council meeting this week, by request of Mayor Terry Walker, to coincide with the council’s own update.
“I thought it would be nice for the public to hear what is going on in Sacramento,” Walker said. Continue reading “City Council Watches Progress of Portantino Bills”