On Friday, June 12, 2020, Thomas Saliamonas (known by all who loved him as Tommy) passed away at the young age of 18.
Tommy was born on March 16, 2002, at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California, to Stephanie Lynn Wiley and Vitautas John Saliamonas.
Tommy was a kind, compassionate, “always rooting for the underdog” person. He had an undeniable sense of adventure and enjoyed snowboarding, skateboarding, hiking, biking and spending time with friends. He had a true gift of making people feel important, loved and included. He would do anything to make people smile and was quick to strike up a conversation.
Family was so important to Tommy; he was especially close to his four grandparents and would spend hours listening to their childhood stories, helping them out around the house, and most importantly spending quality time together. Continue reading “Obituary- Thomas Saliamonas”
Angus Duncan McRonald was born on July 23, 1928, in Peterculter, a suburb of Aberdeen, Scotland, and died of natural causes at his home in La Cañada Flintridge on June 5. His parents were Alexander Kelly McRonald and Mary Jane (Shepherd) McRonald, and he was one of seven children.
Angus excelled at school, earning high marks and scholarships. Still at school when World War II broke out, he did five years’ service in the U.K. RAF Volunteer Reserve as a student pilot, learning to fly before he could drive. Continue reading “Obituary- Angus Duncan McRonald”
“Honey, there’s a bear at the door!”
Those are the words Joani Bartoli-Porto announced to her husband, Carmen Porto, this past weekend when she suddenly spotted a trio of furry bodies strolling along in the La Cañada Flintridge residents’ front yard, located near the Gould wash.
After some happy commotion, the couple, watching from a window, confirmed that the lumbering visitors were a mother bear with two small cubs trailing behind. To get a better look, they cautiously peeked outdoors, joining a number of neighbors doing the same.
The baby bears, clearly of nursing age, ran at the heels of their mother, who was wearing a large yellow tag in one of her ears.
“They are so doggone cute you wouldn’t believe it, those babies looked just like real-life teddy bears,” said Carmen Porto, a professional photographer, who began taking pictures.
The bears spent the afternoon roaming the neighborhood, tipping over a few trash cans along the way, and eventually climbed onto the roof of a neighboring house via a nearby fence. That created some concern among residents, as the mother bear began crying and moaning as she searched for a way to get her youngsters down.
Eventually, a cruiser from the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station showed up and the deputy warned everybody to keep their distance.
“He reminded everybody that a bear can run 30 miles per hour,” Porto noted.
During this time of year, deputies are often called to respond to wildlife in the area, said Sgt. Ed Retamoza, but he added that unless an animal is acting aggressively, the best thing is to leave it alone and let it be on its way.
“When we receive a bear call, there’s really not much we can do, just make sure people stay indoors and stay safe,” he said. “Most of the time, the bears return on their own back into the mountains. We don’t really get involved in approaching them, just assure that people keep their distance.”
On this occasion, Porto noted, the patrol car slowly followed the animals — who by now had come down from the roof — seemingly giving them their own escort.
The mother bear “just lollygagged up the street, her babies following. We heard later that they spent the night in the tree down the block,” he added.
The La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has announced that the annual Fiesta Days celebration, a citywide tradition since 1974, has officially been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
What would have been the 47th annual event had previously been moved from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4-7) pending clearance regarding COVID-19 restrictions this past month.
“Our community looks forward every year to the Fiesta Days celebration to help remind us of our roots and all of the wonderful community members who volunteer to serve every aspect of our community’s needs,” said Pat Anderson, the CEO and president of the LCF Chamber of Commerce, which presents the event. “This year’s celebration had to be postponed as a result of the ban on large gatherings and the risk of contributing to the spread of COVID-19. Continue reading “Fiesta Days Annual Weekend Is Canceled”
Praising her for her dedication to helping others, Kiwanis Club of La Cañada has announced Harriet Hammons as its La Cañadan of the Year for her outstanding volunteer work, which spans more than 50 years.
The club said the honoree “hit all the high marks, as the nomination criteria embodied what she has been doing for decades: serving the youth/schools, church or house of worship, assisting clubs, performing civic activities and providing leadership, while bringing high praise to La Cañada Flintridge and the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Since 1970, Hammons has been a member of La Cañada United Methodist Church who has served in such capacities as past president of the United Methodist Women, according to a Kiwanis release. She has earned honors including the Distinguished Service Award from the United Methodist California-Pacific Conference in 2011 and United Methodist Women National Special Mission Award in 2014. She also brought her convivial spirit to her role as a head usher for the past six years. Continue reading “Hammons Saluted as Kiwanis’ La Cañadan of the Year”
With Los Angeles County in Phase 3 of California’s Pandemic Resilience Roadmap, the La Cañada Flintridge staff notified City Council members of its plans of reopening City Hall to the public during a virtual meeting on Tuesday.
Staff is currently acquiring supplies and apparatus in an effort to follow the county’s public safety guidelines, according to City Manager Mark Alexander. He is hopeful to open City Hall with limited hours on Monday, July 20, a date that is subject to change because of the unpredictability of COVID-19.
Council members expressed a hope of hosting in-person public hearings but they were shot down by Alexander, who said the county’s restrictions on large assemblies remain unchanged.
The same goes for Music in the Park, which is now canceled through July 19. Alexander, who had scratched all shows in June, told the council that the first three concerts in July have been nixed. Continue reading “City Hall Reopening Nears, More Summer Music Shows Dropped”
Protests demanding police reform continued this week in La Cañada Flintridge in connection with the death of George Floyd, a black man who perished recently in Minneapolis while — as shown in a video — a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Like many protesters across the nation, a group that assembled Sunday at the Town Center called for justice, racial equality and an end to police brutality. The Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station estimated that between 400 and 600 protesters gathered at the event. Meanwhile, about 200 protesters — many of them students — also gathered for a demonstration on Monday. Continue reading “Protesters Continue Demands for Justice, Racial Equality”
As the global battle against the coronavirus persists, doctors at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital have been able to join select others nationwide in deploying what can hopefully be a key weapon in curtailing the deadly virus.
After clinical trials, government officials recently made the drug remdesivir available to hospitals for emergency use on COVID-19 inpatients who meet specific criteria. Though initially developed by the pharmaceutical company Gilead as a hepatitis C treatment (for which it was unsuccessful), the drug was later tested for use against the Ebola virus, SARS and also MERS — the latter two of which are also infections from coronaviruses.
“We were one of the hospitals that did get it and we have already started the process of giving [it to] the patients who qualify for it,” explained Dr. Armand Dorian, chief medical officer at USC-VHH, in an interview this week. “We have now given it to six patients here who have so far improved, so we’re happy with the results we’re seeing.” Continue reading “USC-VHH Obtains Drug OK’d for COVID-19 Cases”
With the 2019-20 school year having ended last week, the La Cañada Unified School District has shifted its focus to the future — most notably the upcoming budget and instruction in the fall.
Mark Evans, associate superintendent of business and administrative services, presented to the LCUSD Governing Board on Tuesday a first draft that included estimates for the current year and forecast a bleak future based on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May revision of the state budget — a proposal of $203.3 billion that would significantly cut school funding due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s great work being done in La Cañada and we want to keep that going,” Evans said during a virtual meeting. “The May revise is going to make that a challenge. Our budget is facing some uphill battles.”
The deficit for this year came in at $827,071, far better than anticipated in March, when Evans estimated it at $2.4 million.
“This puts us in a good state as we head into this economic situation,” he said. “It will help us weather that storm.” Continue reading “LCUSD Deficit Narrows, but Official Issues Warning”
It’s been a dark and emotionally draining week. It has been much longer than a week for people of color; a few centuries, perhaps.
It goes without saying that this is a brutal time for our nation. How often are we under two emergency orders simultaneously?
Last week’s death of George Floyd was horrifying. We’ve all seen the video multiple times: Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. As a TV reporter astutely pointed out, the video appears to show the officer shifting his weight after a few minutes to seemingly apply even more pressure while already in a dominating position. And as we saw, in the final three minutes the 46-year-old Floyd lay motionless.
Pastor Albert Tate from Fellowship Church used the terms “execution” and “evil” in describing the death during the streaming of his Sunday sermon. It was the first time that I’d heard those two words mentioned in this context.
And Tate is not alone in looking for words that fit the enormity and gravity of what we saw. People from all walks of life, regardless of their skin color, are outraged by the senseless death of George Floyd.
Many of the protests that I watched on television featured ethnic diversity. In fact, the news showed a protest march in Santa Ana on Sunday that seemed to be mostly Latino. This is obviously not simply a black issue; this is a human rights issue. Continue reading “‘Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere’”