Hometown Parade Plans Shaping Up

Plans are continuing to move forward for a July 5 “Hometown Parade” — as it is being dubbed by the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce — and is seen as somewhat of a substitute for the annual Fiesta Days Parade, which is typically held on Memorial Day. 

Traditionally, the LCF Chamber is the organizer and presenting sponsor of the Fiesta Days weekend celebration.

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On Happy Note, City Approves Music in the Park’s Return

The La Cañada Flintridge City Council discussed items on Tuesday that anticipate a return to pre-pandemic days, approving the revival of Music in the Park beginning July 5 after the popular summer concert series was canceled in 2020 due to restrictions set by the Los Angeles County health department.

Coinciding with L.A. County’s recent arrival in the yellow tier, the least restrictive level in the state’s four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the city staff told council members it is planning to conform with the protocols currently in place for outdoor live events and performances. Under current requirements, the city is securing bands and vendors to provide 10 live concerts (instead of the traditional 16), starting Monday, July 5, and every Sunday thereafter through Sept. 5. 

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Vaccinations a Hit With Youth Baseball Club

Photo by Zane Hill / Outlook Valley Sun
Trevor Rivas, Chase Regan and Milo Lin proudly show off their bandages on Saturday after receiving their first round of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. The vaccines will allow them and other members of their La Cañada youth baseball team to travel and compete in a tournament in Cooperstown, New York, next month.

Who knew a bunch of preteen boys and girls would wake up early on a Saturday or Sunday excited to go get a shot?

This past weekend, nearly 1,200 of them did, and their families brought them to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital to get their first doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. The hospital administered another 850 doses this week.

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Baffert’s Kentucky Derby Win Could Be in Jeopardy

Photo courtesy Chris Aplin
Bob Baffert has been defending his Kentucky Derby victory after his winning horse Medina Spirit failed a postrace drug test. The horse, pictured with Baffert and jockey John Velazquez, has been permitted to race in the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, this Saturday.

Bob Baffert’s historic Kentucky Derby victory earlier this month is in jeopardy after winning horse Medina Spirit failed a drug test.
Churchill Downs issued a statement on Sunday saying a postrace blood sample indicated a violation of Kentucky’s equine medication protocols and results of a split sample test are pending. A second positive test would disqualify Medina Spirit from the Derby and make runner-up Mandaloun the official winner.
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City Sends Off Prized Local Deputy

Deputy Eric Matejka

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, La Cañada Flintridge City Council honored Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station’s dedicated resource officer Deputy Eric Matejka, who is retiring, with a commemorative plaque and kind words for all his work over the years.
Matejka spent about 20 years at the CV Sheriff’s Station post, investing a lot of hours at La Cañada High School, other local schools and community-wide functions.
“We’re super happy for you but we’re a little bummed out that you’re leaving us,” said Mayor Mike Davitt. “But you’ve done such a great job in our city and you’re such a key member of our community and part of the fabric of everything that goes on here.”

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LCF Hits 70% Vaccine Rate as Reopening Broadens

La Cañada Flintridge has one of the highest vaccination rates in the county with 70% of residents 16 and older having received at least one dose of the vaccine as of April 30.
As of Monday, L.A. County has administered more than 8 million doses of the vaccine and 37% of residents are fully inoculated, according to the the Department of Public Health.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles County, what was once the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic with alarmingly high numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, will officially enter the least restrictive tier of the state’s reopening system called the blueprint for a safer economy. The yellow tier, indicating minimal spread of the coronavirus, will allow bars that do not serve food to provide indoor service at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer, and other businesses to increase capacity with health modifications.
Restaurants, gyms, breweries, wineries and movie theaters can expand capacity to 50% and amusement parks can increase capacity to 35%. Restrictions will be eased for events and large gatherings such as conferences, meetings and receptions.
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Fiesta Days Canceled Amid Hopes July 5 Parade Will Fly

Outlook Valley Sun file photo
La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce President Pat Anderson and City Manager Mark Alexander attend a former Fiesta Days celebration. This year’s annual event has once again been canceled, but a July 5 parade is being planned in its place.

For the second year straight, the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce will cancel its annual Fiesta Days celebration held over Memorial Day weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic and resulting restrictions set by the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
However, in lieu of the time-honored festival — a tradition since 1974 — the Chamber will plan a parade for Monday, July 5, pending improving coronavirus case numbers throughout the County.
“The decision to cancel Fiesta Days last year, and now, this year, was really taken out of our hands by the Department of County Health — all we could do was try to adhere to the orders,” said LCF Chamber of Commerce President Pat Anderson. “However, with the improving metrics, it seemed possible that we could at least hold a parade, and that seemed like something positive and hopeful to shoot for.”
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City Council Advances Pickleball Pilot Program at Glenhaven Park

Photo by Keira Wight/Outlook Valley Sun
A tennis player volleys against the backboard at Glenhaven Park, which has been earmarked for a temporary, mixed-use pickleball and tennis pilot program. City Council denied an appeal of the program on Tuesday.

Following a lengthy public hearing and discussion, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council on Tuesday voted to uphold an earlier decision by the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission to implement a pilot program allowing for a mixed-use pickleball and tennis court at Glenhaven Park.
The city received 83 public comments via email voicing support for and opposing the matter, as well as submitted, signed petitions opposing pickleball use at the park. Residents living in close proximity to the court in question spoke publicly, some giving emotional addresses in a bid to dissuade council from forging ahead with the pilot program at Glenhaven, known as the city’s smallest and most remote park.
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City Council Upholds Committee Term Limits, With Exception

La Cañada Flintridge City Council voted to reaffirm its practice of maintaining a two-consecutive term limit for commission and committee members, who apply for the volunteer positions and are vetted through an interview process.
At its special meeting on Tuesday, the council discussed the possibility of extending eligibility for commissioners, especially for those who have been appointed to complete the vacancy of a partially served term. For those members, a partially served term counts as a full term when the individual is appointed to fill a vacant position with more than two years remaining on the unexpired term.
Ultimately, however, the council unanimously upheld its current practice, and made a singular exception for the consideration of an application from Jeffrey McConnell that would allow him to be eligible for the appointment to one additional four-year term on the Planning Commission. McConnell has been instrumental on the Planning Commission, council members noted, and its current, arduous undertaking of updating the city’s zoning code.
“We are in the midst of rezoning which is a very important process — the last time we did it was 2011,” said Councilwoman Terry Walker. “It has great impact on the future look of our community and the expertise of the current commissioners is very valuable.”
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Flock Cameras Praised at Community Meeting

Capt. Todd Deeds

The captain of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station recently lauded the license plate-reading cameras installed throughout La Cañada Flintridge, with Mayor Mike Davitt indicating support for additional devices in the future.
The Flock Safety cameras, which the city installed in August, quickly became a topic of discussion during a public meeting between local officials and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, including Sheriff Alex Villanueva. In response to a question from an LCF resident about the cameras at the April 6 virtual forum, Capt. Todd Deeds credited them for helping the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station solve recent crimes.
Dozens of the devices are planted throughout LCF, automatically reading license plates and sending the data to law enforcement. The data can also be shared between county departments, allowing a wider net to be cast when it comes to tracking stolen or suspicious vehicles.
“They have been a great asset to us here at the station as far as crime prevention and being able to solve crimes. Just a tremendous help,” Deeds said.
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