Activist’s Effort Was Solitary, but Now There’s Solidarity

The one-man demonstration by local resident Spencer Carney, shown in the foreground, inspired others to join him in front of City Hall on Tuesday to show support for Black Lives Matter and Pride Month. The group plans to return on each remaining Tuesday this month.
Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press

As he took note of the massive protests forming in the Los Angeles area, Spencer Carney knew he had a decision to make.
The protests joined countless others throughout the nation and world, all to call out systemic racism and policy brutality after George Floyd was arrested in Minneapolis and died after one of the four arresting officers knelt on his back and neck for nearly nine minutes. But, Carney noted, they also ran contrary to social distancing widely adopted to help curb COVID-19, a disease of particular threat to senior citizens such as those who occupy most of the Glendale resident’s apartment building.
“The idea of going out to a protest and exposing myself to people not practicing social distancing or wearing a mask represented a conflict,” he said. “It was difficult for me to brainstorm these things, because in the past, I was always that guy who would go out and protest. I’ve been to the last two Women’s Marches. I went to USC and helped start One for All, which is a social justice theater troupe.”
Having attended various Pride events in years past, Carney also took note of the All Black Lives Matter march in Hollywood last weekend, which called attention to the adversity faced by black members of the LGBTQIA community and took place in lieu of the canceled Pride Parade. Continue reading “Activist’s Effort Was Solitary, but Now There’s Solidarity”

Glendale Officials Address Message of Protests

In the coming months, the City Council expects to consider a report from City Manager Yasmin Beers that would outline potential new policies for the city to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in its staffing and operations.
This discussion may also include a dive into how to address, if at all, nationwide calls to “defund the police,” in which protesters speaking out against institutional racism and police brutality are demanding that funding for police departments be redistributed in part to other social and public health programs.
Continue reading “Glendale Officials Address Message of Protests”

GUSD Passes Budget With $20 Million Deficit

The Glendale Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday adopted its budget for the 2020-21 school year “begrudgingly,” in the words of board member Greg Krikorian, who nevertheless had no other options given the state’s bleak financial situation.
The general fund portion of the budget is used to educate the district’s 26,000 students and includes a little over $289 million in revenues and more than $309 million in expenditures. The $20.3 million deficit is caused by the 10% cut to public education funding in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent May Revise budget proposal due to the COVID-19 health and financial crisis. The GUSD had until June 30 to submit a budget to the Los Angeles County Office of Education, or LACOE, a tenet that was satisfied by the unanimous vote.
As bad as it may appear, things could have been even direr.
Worst-case scenarios explained by Steve Dickinson, the district’s chief business and financial officer, projected deficits as high as $53 million for the upcoming school year. This week, however, the state legislature passed a budget bill that does not include any reductions to public education funding, but instead relies heavily on assumptions of California receiving billions of dollars in federal relief funds. Until the final state budget act is approved, GUSD and all school districts in the state will be planning for large budget reductions in the coming years. Continue reading “GUSD Passes Budget With $20 Million Deficit”

As Businesses Suffer, City to Offer New Aid

Local businesses ravaged by the pandemic will — with some restrictions — be able to apply to the city for grant funding to help their bottom line once the new fiscal year revs up on July 1.
Glendale plans to make available an additional $1.6 million of its own dollars to help out businesses that missed the boat on the first round of municipal grants and federal stimulus money. Additionally, the city expects to implement a $500,000 grant program aimed at assisting local art and nonprofit enterprises and is well on its way to establishing an outdoor dining program, paid for by $150,000 in local money, to nourish the town’s eateries.
The City Council discussed and committed to a direction on these economic recovery strategies at a special meeting this week, as a follow-up to a budget approval process that included the financial commitment to the measures. The first infusion, funded by a $572,500 Community Development Block Grant, will make $5,000 grants available for 114 qualifying businesses.
“We have to do something quick,” Mayor Vrej Agajanian said Tuesday. “Businesses are suffering so much. To wait, more of them are going to go and will have to close. I know $5,000 is not major or big money, but at least it may help them a little bit.” Continue reading “As Businesses Suffer, City to Offer New Aid”

Scout Troop Makes Masks for Community

Officers joined Boy Scouts outside Burbank Police and Fire Department headquarters recently to receive a large mask donation from the troop, including Officer Coleman (from left), Lt. Meadows, Casey Peters, Curtis Peters, Spencer Solberg and Officer Peltier. Photo courtesy Caroline Solberg

“A Scout is helpful” is one of the twelve points of the Scout Law. With a shortage of protective gear for front line health workers, first responders, and at-risk members of the community, Scout Troop 209 saw an opportunity to be helpful. From the idea of one parent, a group of Scout and parent volunteers began meeting via Zoom and figuring out sewing patterns, acquiring materials, and distributing production assignments for the group. According to Assistant Scoutmaster Chris Lucsik, approximately 500 masks have been delivered, including 300 delivered to the Burbank Police Department on Tuesday. In addition to the police department, masks have been provided to Burbank Temporary Aid Center, local senior groups and churches as a means of protecting at-risk individuals. A Scout is thrifty is another point of the Scout law and parents were resourceful in finding donations of fabric from numerous sources.
Troop 209 offers the Scouts BSA program to male and female youth and is sponsored by the First United Methodist Church on Glenoaks Boulevard.

Protest March Is Significant, Hopeful

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
Protesters march down Brand Boulevard, past the iconic Alex Theatre, on Sunday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. More than 1,500 joined in Sunday’s demonstration, one of countless numbers that continue nationwide to call for police reform after the death of George Floyd while being arrested in Minneapolis.

The occasion was one part solemnity and another part rage, but the energy that resonated from the throngs of protesters who marched on Sunday and paid respect to lives lost seemed, in some ways, hopeful.
Continue reading “Protest March Is Significant, Hopeful”

Obituary | Ruth Mary Turpin

Ruth Mary Turpin was born in 1935 to Ruth and George Bless of Pasadena. She lived the majority of her youth on Rubio Drive, Altadena, at the base of Mount Wilson, with her two brothers George Bless Jr. of Cincinnati and Craig Bless of Ontario. She was also very close to her Bay Area family — the Beltons and Wardens, with whom she spent countless summers and holidays.
Ruth attended Pasadena High School and graduated from Blair High before attending UC Berkeley as an English major.
Ruth was very social at Cal, joining Gamma Phi Beta sorority, a group of women with whom she remained friends her entire life. Her sorority sisters remember her as possessing incredible confidence, wit and a keen intuition understanding other people, her friends and family. Ruth possessed a natural charisma that established trust with anyone she met, and with her sparkling turquoise eyes, gorgeous smile and jet-black hair, it was impossible to not share your life story with her. She was a wonderful listener and offered great advice on life.
The combination of her innate people skills and compassion proved too much for a recent Cal graduate, Miles Turpin, who had returned to Cal while on leave in 1955 to visit his fraternity brothers. It would be a love story that crossed six decades and four boys. The two fell in love, with Ruth choosing to forgo her junior year to marry her dashing second lieutenant.
After being stationed briefly in Fort Lewis in Washington, the couple returned to South Pasadena and eventually to San Marino, where the family lived from 1960 through 1990, raising their four sons and engaging in many community-based activities. They were married for more than 63 years.
Ruth Turpin was a serial entrepreneur and an iconoclast at a time when women were expected to speak softly and subordinate themselves to their families. She ran a flexible and loving ship, applying her skills and interests to ensuring that her sons achieved academic success and that they remained open to a range of ideas, religions and philosophies of living that, at times, was questioned by more orthodox acquaintances who held more rigid views of rearing children in a time of major social change. Continue reading “Obituary | Ruth Mary Turpin”

National Merit Scholarship Winners Recognized

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, or NMSC, last week announced

Michael Deschenes

year’s National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners, which included a handful of Pasadena graduating seniors among its 2,500 total recipients.
Michael Deschenes and Katrina Manaloto, both Pasadena residents, earned scholarships this year. Deschenes, who will graduate from Polytechnic School in Pasadena, plans to study for a legal career, and Manaloto, who attended Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Cañada Flintridge, plans to study neuroscience. Additionally, Leah Soldner, a South Pasadena resident who will graduate from Westridge School in Pasadena, received a scholarship and plans to study aerospace engineering.

Katrina Manaloto

All of their scholarships are being funded by NMSC.
The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.
These scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of

Leah Soldner

information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools, such as their academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.
NMSC finances most of these single-payment National Merit $2,500 Scholarships. Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees. Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

Physicians’ Sweethearts Scholarship Benefit Brunch

Physicians gathered with their Greater Pasadena Alliance for Medicine (GPAM) sweethearts for a traditional medical student scholarship benefit in early March, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic essentially canceled most gatherings. Sixty turned out to enjoy camaraderie, fine food and a talented guitarist at the annual event hosted by GPAM, an all-volunteer, independent nonprofit organization.
Dr. Paul Gilbert, serving as the emcee, thanked President Halaine Rose and the event team of Joanne and Gordon Sasaki, Vivien Stanley and Bill Foran, Cindy Gilbert, Debra Fallon, Jan Moritz and Faye Eggerding.
Gilbert and Rose presented a segment honoring the memory of neurosurgeon William Caton, who was an ardent champion of GPAM sweethearts partnering with and supporting physicians, the medical family, and health education. Dr. Amy Caton Polverini, the daughter of honoree William and Cathy, and husband Lance were present. Continue reading “Physicians’ Sweethearts Scholarship Benefit Brunch”

Blood Drive at LCPC on May 3

La Cañada Presbyterian Church will be hosting a blood drive in Fellowship Hall on May 3 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. The church is located at 626 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada, CA 91011.
“Due to the coronavirus, blood donations are down by 300,000,” according to an event spokesperson. “The Red Cross had a huge outpouring from the public for drives for the month of April; however, months of May, June and July are wide open. Since blood only has a shelf life of 42 days, the Red Cross is looking for blood donation sites during these months.”
Appointments may be made online at (use sponsor code: lacanadapreschurch). For those familiar with RapidPass, you may use it to read the necessary information and answer the questions 24 hours prior to coming to donate. Go to
Event organizers request individuals to arrive at the church 15 minutes prior to the scheduled donation time to line up. Social distancing protocol will be followed. Individuals must have a photo ID with them at the event to give blood.
For questions, email Gerard Marzilli at or call LCPC Blood Drive volunteer Sheri Morton at (818) 790-7612.