Couple Will Keep Beloved Toy and Book Shoppe in Play

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Local residents Andy and Kelley Carpiac are the new owners of San Marino Toy and Book Shoppe, which Betty Takeuchi ran for decades before retiring. “It’s very exciting,” Kelley Carpiac said.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Local residents Andy and Kelley Carpiac are the new owners of San Marino Toy and Book Shoppe, which Betty Takeuchi ran for decades before retiring. “It’s very exciting,” Kelley Carpiac said.

San Marino Toy and Book Shoppe is sticking around, thanks to its purchase by a young and enterprising local couple.
Under the new ownership of Andy and Kelley Carpiac, the storied business that began 44 years ago will reopen in April after it is remodeled and restocked. The two purchased the business from founder Betty Takeuchi in February after she announced she was retiring and closing the store.
Kelley Carpiac spoke to The Outlook recently as she prepared for next week’s ToyFest in Las Vegas, where she planned to hunt for contemporary offerings that would share shelf space with tried-and-true classics at the San Marino shop. That its shelves were empty testified to the loyalty of customers responding to its closeout sale. Continue reading “Couple Will Keep Beloved Toy and Book Shoppe in Play”

Town Hall Focuses on Traffic Solutions

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Parks and Public Works Director Michael Throne explains at a town hall meeting this week how he hopes to address select traffic issues in San Marino and solicits ideas from residents.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Parks and Public Works Director Michael Throne explains at a town hall meeting this week how he hopes to address select traffic issues in San
Marino and solicits ideas from residents.

Parks and Public Works Director Michael Throne is working to refine proposals on how San Marino can use up to $32 million in no-strings-attached Metropolitan Transportation Authority money to try to alleviate roadway congestion and stray traffic on residential streets.
In doing so, Throne is hoping to target five areas identified by Metro as problem areas, but in a way that caters more to residents’ preferences than what the agency initially proposed as alternatives to its now-dead 710 Freeway tunnel. Emphasizing the point, Throne told a standing-room-only crowd at the city’s monthly town hall meeting in Crowell Public Library’s Barth Room that Metro’s alternative proposals were “not going to work for a second in San Marino.” Continue reading “Town Hall Focuses on Traffic Solutions”

Alleged Threat Leads to SMHS Lockdown, Youth’s Arrest

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Police Chief John Incontro (right), shown with SMHS Principal Issaic Gates at a Monday news conference, applauded “the efforts of the school district and the teamwork we had” during a precautionary lockdown at the high school.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Police Chief John Incontro (right), shown with SMHS Principal Issaic Gates at a Monday news conference, applauded “the efforts of the school district and the teamwork we had” during a precautionary lockdown at the high school.

San Marino High School was placed on lockdown for several hours Monday and local authorities arrested a teenage boy for allegedly texting a threat that was viewed by FBI investigators, who relayed the information to city police — setting off the tense response on campus.
Authorities said the suspect was arrested at his home around 9 a.m. on suspicion of criminal threats and destruction of evidence after San Marino officers interviewed him as well as the SMHS student who apparently was targeted by the alleged threat. The teen was released to his family Monday afternoon, and awaits a court appearance with location and date to be determined by the L.A. County district attorney’s office’s juvenile division.
Police Chief John Incontro said he planned to seek a search warrant for the suspect’s cellphone and its contents. Continue reading “Alleged Threat Leads to SMHS Lockdown, Youth’s Arrest”

Panel Promises Homegrown (but Metro-Funded) Traffic Plan

The Public Safety Commission assured concerned residents at its meeting this week that the city is not currently planning to move forward with Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority-designed plans to improve traffic capacity in San Marino, and that the city would craft its own plans to address their wishes.
Residents will have a further opportunity to make their desires known at a town hall meeting hosted by the city at 6 p.m. Monday, March 4, in the Barth Room at Crowell Public Library. Continue reading “Panel Promises Homegrown (but Metro-Funded) Traffic Plan”

City Council Starts to Zero In on ‘Extra’ Projects

On the basis of a resident survey and their own opinions, City Council members have formally dictated which special projects they’d like to review when municipal departments begin presenting their 2019-20 budgets.
In its Friday morning meeting, the council voted for or against proposed projects by line item, often after discussion among the group’s members and city officials on the merits and scope of the proposals. That being said, the votes Friday reflected only a desire to hear more about the proposals, which will still have to be approved as part of next year’s budget. Continue reading “City Council Starts to Zero In on ‘Extra’ Projects”

Ordinance Set to Ban Commercial E-Scooters

San Marino is poised to fully ban shared mobility devices — popularly called e-scooters — assuming a second reading of an ordinance passes without a hitch or substantial changes at next month’s City Council meeting.
Cities in Los Angeles County have taken differing approaches to the e-scooters’ arrival, with some approving pilot programs to work with manufacturers to develop guidelines for the devices’ use in their communities, and others banning them outright. Although the scooters are popular for their convenience — most can be rented for low prices via mobile app — and usefulness for short, quick trips, some see them as congesting roadways and sidewalks and exacerbating motorist and pedestrian safety issues. Continue reading “Ordinance Set to Ban Commercial E-Scooters”

Supervisor Shows How Homelessness Can Hit Home

Photo by Larissa Althouse / OUTLOOK County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, addressing the Rotary Club, said the number of homeless in the San Gabriel Valley rose by more than 4,000 last year.
Photo by Larissa Althouse / OUTLOOK
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, addressing the Rotary Club, said the number of homeless in the San Gabriel Valley rose by more than 4,000 last year.

For Kathryn Barger, the issue boils down to one of her fellow San Marino Titans.
The Los Angeles County District 5 supervisor was recalling a county program that endeavored to place the most vulnerable among the area’s chronically homeless residents in proper apartments instead of shelters, until the Great Recession prematurely pulled the plug on the effort. Speaking to her hometown Rotary Club of San Marino, she told her neighbors that her fight against homelessness and work on mental health issues affects them, too.
Barger, elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2016, said she was reading a news article about the program about a decade ago when a photograph caught her attention. She recognized the homeless man being featured in the story about the program. He was someone she knew at San Marino High School way back when. Continue reading “Supervisor Shows How Homelessness Can Hit Home”

Two Women Accused of Package Thefts at San Marino Homes

Two Lynwood women were arrested in connection with package thefts at two San Marino homes last week and are also suspected of stealing the vehicle they were driving when they were arrested, authorities said. Police added that they recovered stolen mail as a result of the arrests and are urging residents to contact them if they believe they were victimized. Continue reading “Two Women Accused of Package Thefts at San Marino Homes”

Stamp of Approval? Mailed Votes Due in School Tax Election

It’s time for another election in San Marino, as residents are tasked with mailing in their ballots asking whether to renew a six-year parcel tax on behalf of the San Marino Unified School District.
On the ballot is the proposed renewal of Measure R, a $366.40-per-parcel tax on San Marino properties that is expected to generate about $1.6 million annually to fund 13 full-time positions for SMUSD and an additional part-time position. This parcel tax was last renewed in 2013 and has been in effect since 1991. Continue reading “Stamp of Approval? Mailed Votes Due in School Tax Election”