Like many children in the foster care system, Tencha Nieves grew up in a lot of different places. She tries to remember them all, but having been in the system since she was 2, it’s hard. There was her grandma’s home, she recalls, then her aunt’s, but four children were a lot and that’s when the siblings were separated. Sometimes Nieves lived with her twin and another brother, but sometimes not. There were individual homes and there were group homes. There was the time when she thought everything was going OK with her foster guardian, but she came home from a barbecue and was told to pack her bag. That one still hurts. But all in all, Nieves, 22, who graduated from Pasadena High School, still has a positive outlook. Continue reading “Hathaway-Sycamores Helps Foster Youth Bloom Into Adulthood”
By most accounts, Bonnie Morrison was on track to live a pretty normal middle-class life in Pasadena. By middle age, she was married and had raised a family, gone back to school, finished her degrees and worked briefly in her field before trying to further her education even more. But a series of events interrupted that trajectory. She and her husband divorced, and Morrison, who had never paid bills before, suddenly struggled to make rent and keep up with details like insurance. She fought back depression. Then, her car collided with a Mack truck in a no-fault accident. She survived the crash but suffered an untreated head injury that heightened her depression and left her feeling isolated and incapacitated. Continue reading “Friends In Deed Hits the Streets to Fight Homelessness”
If there’s anything Fosselman’s Ice Cream Co. has proved in 100 years, it’s that when it comes to ice cream, the purest tried-and-true recipes of yesteryear still hit the sweet spot.
As one of the oldest continually-operating ice cream manufacturers in Southern California and the oldest business in Alhambra, Fosselman’s is celebrating its centennial this year old style — a lot of tradition mixed with a little newness. To kick off the year, the flagship ice cream parlor and production center at 1824 W. Main St. recently underwent a remodel to evoke the days of soda fountain shops, complete with an old-fashioned candy counter stocked with pastel salt water taffy, eye-popping swirled lollipops and jawbreakers almost the size of a child’s face.
And the ice cream? Well, that remains the same. The rich, creamy concoction still is mixed from a base of four simple ingredients, including 16% premium butterfat and a paradigm of pure essences and flavors, just as its founder, Christian Anthony (C.A.) Fosselman, intended all those years ago.
“Go big or go home — if you’re going to indulge, you’ve got to do it right,” said owner John Fosselman. “One of the things we’ve learned over the years is: Know your niche. We’ve always only made our ice cream with premium ingredients.”
One year ago, the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House bore witness to a miracle.
Actually, two miracles.
Mary Cox, who’d been a guest at the house, gave birth to twin boys after doctors initially gave one of her babies a less than 1% chance of survival in utero. Oliver and Elliot suffered from a rare disorder known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, in which one baby receives more blood flow and nutrients than the other, even more than it should.
Early on, doctors gave Cox the choice to terminate the pregnancy, or one baby to save the other, a choice that, as impossible as it seemed, still did not guarantee viability as the death of the first child could also trigger stroke in the second. Continue reading “Ronald McDonald House Gives Patients All the Comforts of Home”
Although youthful chatter typically fills the halls at Hillsides Education Center, a different sound recently emanated from the foster care facility’s lush grounds — a golden harmony that enraptured some 30 elementary school students, who leaned in, chins in hands, to listen.
An alto’s clear voice rang out, setting the tone for “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and ever so gently, in came the soprano, the tenor, bass and, yep, percussion in the form of a beatboxer. Echoing the song’s title, the a cappella group Ember Vocals deftly transported the kids on a musical journey, the performers surprising them with their unique twist on the original tune’s instruments, made only with their voices. The kids swayed and hummed, tapping the floor to the beat, some displaying their awe of the bass beatboxer who projected percussion so deeply that the vibration bounced off the small library’s walls. Continue reading “Muse/ique Mission Grows Along With Audience”
For someone so young, Phoebe Bridgers has been working at music a long time, pretty much since she picked up a kid-sized guitar at age 10 while a student at Sequoyah School.
Now a mere 24, the Pasadena native has become a bona fide rock star who this week dropped her second album, “Better Oblivion Community Center,” a collaboration with Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes fame) on the Dead Oceans label. The band, named the same as the album, was scheduled to make its first appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Wednesday night. Continue reading “Sequoyah Songstress Turned Star, Bridgers Styles Singular Sound”
Got a stool with a broken leg? A beloved lamp with a faulty switch? At Repair Café Pasadena, they can fix it.
And if they can’t? Well, you can both have fun trying.
This past weekend, about 200 local neighbors did just that, lugging in an item in need of repair despite the rain, buzzing with good cheer and chatter that filled the first floor of the Armory Center for the Arts. Some 30 people at a time stood in line to sign in and register their item, and while waiting, browsed the “Really, Really Free Market,” picked up a free plant and saw all the other items they might bring for repair in the future, like a shirt with a torn sleeve or some knives to sharpen. Continue reading “Repair Café Restores Items, and Good Cheer, for Free”
This time of year the cold, wet nights might present misery for Pasadena’s most vulnerable, but Union Station Homeless Services long has provided comfort with hot meals and temporary refuge, becoming the leading homeless services agency in the San Gabriel Valley.
With the help of more than 3,000 community volunteers, Union Station has evolved over four decades to coordinate with more than 40 social service agencies in an effort to end homelessness in the region. Not only do volunteers here serve hundreds of meals daily,
but the nonprofit also maintains five permanent supportive and emergency housing facilities in Pasadena. Continue reading “New Union Station Board Chair Leads Mission to End Homelessness”
If you really want to get to know someone, take them golfing.
The First Tee of Greater Pasadena has put that advice into practice over the years, teaching thousands of youth the skills, integrity and positive values that are connected with the game. And now, it is providing something no other chapter of its kind has done before — a program that conveys to veterans the same goals it has taught to local youth. Continue reading “The First Tee’s Work With Youth, Veterans Comes to the Fore”
Parades have always made Gerald Freeny smile. When he was a small boy growing up in Pasadena, it was tradition for him and his family to camp out the night before the iconic Tournament of Roses parade to score the best viewing spot possible, waving to all the floats and ringing in the New Year with the entire city.
Little did Freeny know back then that one day, he would become the first African American to lead the Rose Parade on Tuesday, Jan. 1, as the Tournament of Roses’ 2018-19 president.
“I’m incredibly honored and very humbled to be leading this great organization,” said Freeny, who has volunteered for the TOR for 30 years. “When I joined way back when, I never thought to be president — I never even dreamed of it or had goals to be president. I just joined to have a good time, give back to the community and bring in the new year.” Continue reading “Tournament of Roses President Helps Parade Inclusive New Era”