Vaccines Help County Move to Orange Tier

Los Angeles County residents will soon see more of the normality they were used to before the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year.
The L.A. Department of Public Health announced on Tuesday that the county has met the threshold for the orange tier — indicating moderate infection of the coronavirus — of the state’s blueprint for a safer economy. The next-to-lowest tier loosens restrictions on businesses and allows theme parks to open. The new health order will go into effect this coming Monday, April 5.
“After a year of fear, anxiety and tragic loss, we’re seeing glimmers of hope once more,” County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a virtual update on Tuesday. “But this didn’t happen just by accident. This was because of our collective hard work.”
According to data from the state, the adjusted case rate in L.A. County went down from 3.7 per 100,000 to 3.3 per 100,000 and the seven-day positivity rate dropped to 1.5% and 2.1% in underserved communities. The positivity rates are good enough to qualify for the yellow tier — the least restrictive in the state’s reopening plan — but the county would have to maintain those numbers as well as record less than one new daily case per 100,000 for three consecutive weeks to move into the minimal infection tier.
Unlike Orange County, which also qualified for the orange tier and updated its health order on Wednesday, L.A. County officials elected to wait for the full three weeks before transitioning into a less restrictive tier.
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3 Arrested After Burbank Couple’s Death

Law enforcement said they arrested three people this week on suspicion of being connected with the death of a Burbank couple whose bodies were found in November.
A snowplow driver found local residents William and Yesenia Larsen, ages 35 and 30, respectively, dead on the shoulder of Highway 395 about 10 miles north of Bridgeport, California, on Nov. 9. Because they had no known connection to Mono County, according to the Sheriff’s Office there, the deaths were investigated as a double homicide.
Mono County Sherriff’s Office investigators said that “several former business associates” of the couple were connected to their deaths, with three Montana residents arrested this week. Bradley Kohorst, 35, was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday, while Cory Spurlock, 33, and Orit Oged, 32, were arrested in Missoula, Montana, on Thursday. All three suspects remained in custody this week, law enforcement said, awaiting extradition to Mono County.
“Every member of the Mono County Sheriff’s Office played a part in solving this crime,” a spokesperson said in a news release announcing the arrests. “Our investigators worked tirelessly to find justice for the families of William and Yesenia Larsen. This investigation proved to be complex and required the assistance of local, state and federal partners.”

JBHS Beats San Marino In Opener

Photos courtesy Scott Daves
Burroughs senior defensive back John Alajijian (white jersey) chases down San Marino’s Ryan Singhal during the Indians’ season opening 30-14 victory eight days ago.

Jesse Craven, Burroughs High School’s first-year head football coach, had waited well over a year for the Indians’ debut, but it took less than half a game to get a read on the character of his ball club.
After falling behind host San Marino 14-3 in the first 14 minutes of last week’s season opener, Craven got a taste of what he hopes he hopes will be regular fare as Burroughs dominated the remainder of the contest, controlling the line of scrimmage, ball, scoreboard and clock on the way to a 30-14 non-league win.
“I have been placing an emphasis on toughness, discipline and conditioning, so I am very happy in those regards,” said Craven after the contest. “We have a young team and there is lot to build on.”
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Spartans Edged 36-30 by South Pas in Opener

Photo by Eric Danielson / Outlook Valley Sun
The La Cañada senior also contributed two receptions for 23 yards in a 36-30 loss to South Pasadena last Friday.

The La Cañada High School football team has been preparing for its season opener for more than a year and it showed.
The Spartan offense showed a versatility it hasn’t displayed in years and came out swinging against South Pasadena with quarterback Ivan Ostry behind center. However, the Tigers’ defense outlasted the talented senior signal-caller and handed La Cañada a 36-30 loss at home last Friday.
“I’m proud of our boys,” said LCHS head coach Jason Sarceda. “We’re extremely young up front starting freshmen and sophomores on the line. They’re gritty, though.”
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LCPC Parent Education Virtual Gala Raises $70,000

Photo courtesy LCPC Parent Ed
La Cañada Presbyterian Church Parent Ed fundraiser emcees were John Cervenka, Chris Erskine, Anne Bierling and the Rev. Chuck Osburn.

La Cañada Presbyterian Church’s Parent Education program recently held its 2021 gala, “I Was a Great Parent… Before I Had Kids – A Night of Laughs.” The virtual fundraiser, which along with its online auction raised approximately $70,000, featured Chris Erskine and John Cervenka, LCPC Parent Ed Director Anne Bierling and the Rev. Chuck Osburn.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the LCPC Parent Education program and its mission, including scholarships and outreach.
The fundraiser was hosted by the LCPC Parent Education board: Betty Bredemann (auction chair), Stephanie Ferguson (class rep coordinator), Stephanie Ginn (publicity), Cristina Kelly (secretary), Carrie Kingston and Adriana Leaw (Outreach co-chairs), Grace Lee (auction co-chair), Charlotte Miller (special events), Georgina Mueller (fundraising), Monica Skeehan (treasurer) and Cathy Steward (board chair). Lynne Graves (Plan Ahead Events), Eddie Meyers (LCPC AV) and Amanda Baughman (Parent Ed administrator) also contributed to the gala’s success.

Being On the Field Is a Victory For Players, Coaches

Photo by Eric Danielson/Outlook Valley Sun
After several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the La Cañada High School varsity football team played its first game since Nov. 1, 2019, last Friday. Despite falling to Rio Hondo League rival South Pasadena, 36-30, it was a win for LCHS players and coaches who have patiently waited for an opportunity to get back on the field.

The date and environment may have been different, but for the South Pasadena High School and La Cañada High School varsity football teams, the feeling of playing under the Friday night lights was the same.
Players, coaches and fans could disconnect from a COVID-19 world for nearly three hours to enjoy some high school football; the Spartans had not played an official game in more than 16 months.
“It’s been quite some time,” said SPHS quarterback Noah Aragon. “It’s been about a year and half since I got to play this game that I love so much, and it just felt amazing. Just getting out here, being with the guys, scoring touchdowns and doing our thing is awesome.”
The final score — which favored South Pasadena, 36-30 — was seemingly irrelevant to many players and coaches. Just being on the field was a victory, especially the seniors. The Tigers boast 11 on their roster and a young Spartan squad has seven.
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Altadena Guild Fundraiser Benefits Huntington Hospital, HMRI

Again this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has sidelined the Altadena Guild of Huntington Memorial Hospital’s Home Tour of Altadena residences, a highly anticipated annual event and “first Sunday in May” local tradition since 1952.
The Altadena Guild of Huntington Memorial Hospital was founded in 1951 and became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1965. The Guild is dedicated to providing support to Huntington Memorial Hospital and Huntington Medical Research Institutes (HMRI), both located in Pasadena.
In February 1952, the Guild held its first benefit, a tour of three Altadena homes, yielding a profit of $428, which the Guild donated to the hospital. Since that first home tour, and without missing a year until the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the popular home tour continued, enabling the Guild to raise more than $2 million to date to benefit the hospital and HMRI.
“This year, in particular, our community owes so much to Huntington Hospital and its staff for their tremendous response to the pandemic and their tireless work in protecting us,” said Jeane Ward, Guild president. “Although our home tour will have to wait until 2022, we’re still raising needed funds for the hospital and HMRI. We hope those who usually attend the home tour will respond generously to our special mail appeal, ‘Putting Words into Action,’ recently sent to our supporters.”
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Taylor’s Steak House Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Bruce Taylor and his daughter, Sarah, are co-owners of Taylor’s Steak House.

By Nina Aghadjanian
Outlook Valley Sun

Taylor’s Steak House had been a staple in Southland dining circles for decades before local resident Bruce Taylor decided to expand on the success of the family’s downtown Los Angeles restaurant and bring an eatery to his hometown in 1996.
A quarter century later, Taylor’s La Cañada Flintridge location is gearing up to celebrate its 25th anniversary on March 22.
If the local supper club has proven anything, it’s that a fine dining experience and affordable prices aren’t mutually exclusive.
Perhaps food critic Merrill Shindler best summed up Taylor’s standing when he said, “This is an upscale steakhouse with prices half those of its competitors. Taylor’s doesn’t have competitors. It’s achieved the status of legend.”
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COVID-19 Impact: Spotlight on Older Children and Adolescents

By Annette Ermshar
Special to The Outlook

Annette Ermshar

As a society, we can certainly acknowledge the serious impacts that COVID-19, quarantine, and social distancing has had on all of us. However, in my psychology practice, I have been particularly concerned with the rise of mental health issues in older children and adolescents. This age range thrives from being with peers, connecting through social outlets, and feeling validated by their social interactions. In the midst of school closures and stay-at-home orders, adolescents in particular have faced the challenges of continued virtual learning, minimal face-to-face peer interactions, a significant rise in depression, suicidality, and drug use, and uncertainty about their future.
In order to best appreciate how our adolescents are faring during these unprecedented times, it is necessary to understand this phase of development. Adolescence is a pivotal period when their relationships begin to reorganize. Older children and teenagers desire to have more independence and emotional distance from their parents, so they shift their focus to social interactions and broadening and deepening their friendships. Likewise, their sense of identity becomes strongly associated with their peer group as they develop a greater sense of self and learn who they are, what they like, and what image they want to portray.
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LCUSD To Provide ‘Rigorous, Culturally Responsive’ DEI Program

The La Cañada Unified School District is close to finalizing and implementing its three-year diversity, equity and inclusion plan.
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette presented to the governing board and community members on Tuesday the first reading of a mission statement — crafted by a committee that includes board members, staff, teachers and students — and reasons for the DEI initiative.
She felt that it was best to approach DEI through the lens of a student followed by that of its staff members.
“The students are our priority, and the staff work will feed into meeting these objectives for students,” said Sinnette, who hopes to provide a revised statement and more details about the district’s three-year plan to the board in the next month. “It really is the umbrella of students followed closely by staff and the support that we provide staff to make sure that our students are protected and that the environments that we are creating for students are fully inclusive, equitable and diverse.”

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