Proud Parents Prepare SMHS Grad Night Surprise

The graduating seniors at San Marino High School this year are going international for their Grad Night, all thanks to their hardworking parents and fellow members of the community.
After a year of toiling away in the parking garage above Wells Fargo bank, those behind this year’s Grad Night production are just about ready for moving day, which precedes the annual Light Up event by about two weeks. Grad Night is set for Friday, June 1. Continue reading “Proud Parents Prepare SMHS Grad Night Surprise”

SMUSD, Norgaard Reach Impasse on Cherniss Evaluation

Embattled school board member Chris Norgaard, who is claiming damages against the San Marino Unified School District in a legal complaint regarding a sexual harassment investigation, has agreed to recuse himself from closed session meetings regarding the potential litigation, but not from evaluations on Superintendent Alex Cherniss — who also is a defendant in Norgaard’s complaint.
Simultaneously, the SMUSD Board of Education was scheduled to take up two items regarding these issues at its meeting Tuesday — the establishment of two committees, one addressing specifically Norgaard’s threat of litigation and another to conduct Cherniss’ annual performance review. Continue reading “SMUSD, Norgaard Reach Impasse on Cherniss Evaluation”

Residents, Parents Discuss School District Spending

San Marino Unified School District has collectively had the top-performing public schools in California for the lifetime of many of its students, but that doesn’t mean things are perfect — some parents and community shareholders contend, at least.
In a town hall style meeting Monday, parents, longtime residents and even teachers expressed as much in a packed Hill-Harbison House. The group gathered to take in and digest a presentation from resident Richard Copeland regarding the district’s approach to its facilities master plan and proposed bond measure, an approach he found to be lacking in accountability and responsibility. Continue reading “Residents, Parents Discuss School District Spending”

Recreation Department May Phase Out Preschool Program

The City Council has directed the city to develop a plan to phase out the preschool program from the Recreation Department’s offerings to the public, the first step in what could be more changes to the department.
A separate motion to work on eliminating the department’s after-school programming failed simply because no council member seconded the motion. In the meantime, a separate motion directing City Manager Marcella Marlowe to meet with San Marino Unified School District officials on a possible after-school partnership passed unanimously. Continue reading “Recreation Department May Phase Out Preschool Program”

Advisers Set City Council on Prudent Fiscal Path

The City Council has moved forward with a number of recommendations courtesy of the advisers to the strategic financial planning committee, tentatively setting the tone for how the city will start to approach its operational and capital expenses.
In a series of decisions made at Friday’s study session, the City Council has directed the city to maintain a fund reserve of 40% of the city’s operating revenue for the fiscal year and to commit any extra funds to a capital expense fund; to pay only its minimum required contribution toward the CalPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) pension liability; to prepare a multi-year capital spending plan and to complete a condition assessment of San Marino’s sewers, sidewalks and facilities. Continue reading “Advisers Set City Council on Prudent Fiscal Path”

Following Investigations, Norgaard Seeks Damages

After the district attorney declined to file criminal charges against him, school board member Chris Norgaard submitted a legal complaint against the San Marino Unified School District, Superintendent Alex Cherniss and Assistant Superintendent Linda de la Torre over the district’s sexual harassment investigation into him.
Cherniss, de la Torre and SMUSD have until Tuesday, June 19, to respond to the complaints, after which the matter enters the court system unless the parties reach a settlement. Continue reading “Following Investigations, Norgaard Seeks Damages”

Chu Praises Norberg as ‘Matron of San Marino’

Congresswoman Judy Chu (left) on Saturday recognized well-known community volunteer Lucille Norberg as the San Marino representative among 12 “Women of the Year” from the 27th District.
Congresswoman Judy Chu (left) on Saturday recognized well-known community volunteer Lucille Norberg as the San Marino representative among 12 “Women of the Year” from the 27th District.

Lucille Norberg, the 94-year-young community volunteer with an illustrious life and career, was awarded San Marino’s Woman of the Year by Congresswoman Judy Chu last Saturday.
Calling Norberg the “de facto matron of San Marino,” Chu recognized her among representative women from each of the other cities in her congressional district. Continue reading “Chu Praises Norberg as ‘Matron of San Marino’”

City Council to Address Finances, Strategic Plan

The City Council meeting this Friday, April 27, looks to be a busy one, with presentation items on both the long-term strategic financial planning committee’s report and the overall Strategic Plan developed by the City Council and city administrators.
Recommendations coming from the financial planning committee will include the preparation of a multi-year financial outlook document to be regularly discussed; the establishment of a multitude of policies regarding reserve funding; directives regarding the city’s unfunded pension liability; and the implementation of an infrastructure and capital spending plan. Continue reading “City Council to Address Finances, Strategic Plan”

Rotary Plants Sycamore Trees for Earth Day

It’s apparently easy being green in San Marino.
In an early observance of Earth Day, the Rotary Club of San Marino completed its part of Rotary International’s quest to plant 1.2 million trees this year — one tree for every Rotarian. Although the local club had to outsource where most of its allotment was planted, it did end up planting two 12-foot Mexican sycamores in Lacy Park this year, both of which were formally commemorated last Thursday. Continue reading “Rotary Plants Sycamore Trees for Earth Day”