Glendale firefighters, with assistance from their Burbank peers, successfully fought off a structure fire on Sunday that threatened a nearby apartment complex. Four ladder trucks and seven engines responded to the fire Sunday morning in the 1100 block of Alameda Drive. Glendale Fire Chief Silvio Lanzas said a detached garage there was well-involved by the time firefighters arrived and that the blaze had begun damaging adjacent fences and buildings, including a two-story apartment building next door. Firefighters contained the blaze within half an hour and spent another three hours on cleanup. Lanzas said investigators determined the fire was accidental and caused by electricity. One firefighter was examined on the scene for a bout of dizziness, Lanzas said, but was cleared and resumed work at the site. Lanzas praised the work between the Glendale and Burbank fire departments. “It was seamless,” he said. “The communication and cooperation between them, you almost wouldn’t know they were separate departments.” The detached garage, which was destroyed, was valued at around $100,000, the fire chief said, and the response saved $3 million in potential additional damage.
The proposed Verdugo Wash bike trail and linear park are a step closer to reality after the Glendale City Council this week showed enthusiasm for the idea and approved opening a bidding process for a design firm to help determine its feasibility. This year’s budget allocates $250,000 in Measure S sales tax money to fund the visioning study, which will solicit input about the proposal from community members and identify cost estimates and potential issues to navigate. The trail would begin in Crescenta Highlands and follow the natural Verdugo Wash along 17 other Glendale neighborhoods all the way to where it meets the Los Angeles River, which itself has a bike and pedestrian trail. “It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to connect to several neighborhoods, several communities and offer another mode of transportation,” said Bradley Calvert, assistant director of community development, at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Theodore (Ted) Charles Joneson II passed away at his home in Burbank, California, early in the morning on Thursday, July 30, 2020, at the age of 68.
Ted was born May 29, 1952, in Great Lakes, Illinois, the eldest son of five children of Theodore Charles Joneson and Joyce Diane Nielsen. He was raised in the Chicago area and moved to California in 1968 and graduated from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in 1970. He married Cheryl Jo Wahl, on October 24, 1970, they bought a house in Burbank and together they raised one son.
Ted had multiple talents: mechanic, handyman, house builder, pool guy and racing crew. Through the years his interest included fishing, camping, riding his Quad, bike riding with the family, playing golf, racing both participant and watching NASCAR. Continue reading “Theodore (Ted) Charles Joneson II – Obituary”
The La Cañada Flintridge City Council is taking action in assisting businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing a gift card program that would encourage the public to spend locally. Lisa Brancheau, senior management analyst, presented the idea in a virtual meeting on Tuesday, and the council unanimously approved a motion to allow City Manager Mark Alexander to run a pilot program that will cost up to $15,000. Mayor Mike Davitt and Councilwoman Terry Walker abstained from the conversation and vote because of their stakes in local businesses. The program will allow people to purchase gift cards at a discounted rate and use them at participating businesses. Staff considered options that included a collaboration with Citizens Business Bank in which it would sell gift cards that function as a debit card. The idea of selling them through City Hall was also explored. However, the discussion between Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Curtis and members Keith Eich and Richard Gunter favored a digital approach because it would present fewer challenges. Brancheau said other cities have successfully implemented similar programs through Giftbar and Yiftee, and the online platforms make it easier to conduct research and track data. The city would use the agreed-upon $15,000 to pay for any fees incurred on merchants.
Though the coronavirus pandemic has largely crippled in-person educational systems across the state, the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine opened its doors recently for the first time in Pasadena, immersing its inaugural class of 50 students in a hybrid learning model. A La Cañada Flintridge resident, Dr. Mark Schuster, is leading the charge at the highly anticipated school, which is offering free tuition for all four years of instruction to its first five classes. The school had to quickly — and creatively — revamp operations in the final steps to opening amid COVID-19. “We will have a hybrid model of in-person learning and virtual platforms; we looked at every component of the curriculum and decided what made the most sense for that specific topic,” said Schuster, the school’s founding dean and CEO. “We considered the full range of possibilities, and we are prepared to go fully virtual if we need to, but for now we are able to make it work with the hybrid model, and we think that’s going well.” The school is also in the unusual position of opening its state-of-the-art, 80,000-square-foot, four-story building to just 50 students in its first year, though it will eventually house 200-plus. That left the administration with endless possibilities of creating small-group classes, Schuster noted.
Los Angeles County public health officials are “cautiously optimistic” that the spread of COVID-19 is slowing, though they also indicated that delays in reporting are contributing to an underestimated count. Because of the technology issues causing the delays, La Cañada Flintridge’s case count of 129, reported on Wednesday, was potentially an undercount. There were also six deaths reported. According to the number of confirmed cases that have been reported, new LCF infections have been keeping fairly steady for some time; the case total was reported at 118 through the end of July 27, while 107 cases were reported through July 20. The largest weekly increase in July was registered from July 13 to July 20, at 14 new cases within the week. “I, like so many, do want this to come to some type of resolve,” Mayor Mike Davitt said in an email. “We continue to work with our county and state leaders to find ways to allow business and field [usage] to reopen in a safe and prudent manner.” Davitt also said that LCF’s leaders are considering options for programs that “could be helpful to our business in town as well as our residents.”
“Art has a way of keeping our souls full,” said Leslie Ito, executive director of the Armory Center for the Arts, one of the five art organizations that recently received a Rowe & Gayle Giesen Trust grant, a Pasadena Community Foundation fund that supports visual arts experiences for children and youth.
During a typical summer, the Armory coordinates with local partners to offer free community art programs complete with free art supplies. This summer, despite the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions, the Armory has teamed with select partners –the Pasadena Public Library, Adelante Youth Alliance, Stars Tutoring Group and more – to continue inspiring young people in the world of art. Continue reading “PCF Fund Helps Armory Center for the Arts”
Sally Samuelson lived a long and wonderful life. Born in Salem, Oregon on June 1, 1926, only child of James Morton Reid and Sarah E. Reynolds, she made California her home at a young age. Moving to Long Beach as a child, she experienced the earthquake of 1933, and went onto to live in Los Angeles County for all the years thereafter. Sally lived in the hills of La Canada-Flintridge for more than 55 years with her husband, Jack Samuelson, before moving to Royal Oaks Manor, a senior community in Duarte. She was an active community and church member. She joined the La Canada Presbyterian Church in 1952 where she served as an elder, was responsible for family church dinners and knit hats and scarves for Operation Christmas Child. Continue reading “Obituary | Sally Reid Samuelson June 1, 1926 – July 14, 2020”
Service-oriented nonprofit organizations are known for their high-energy schedules, but leading one like the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge during a global pandemic has proved to be an adventure of its own for recently named Executive Director Ethan Stern. Soon after beginning his duties in March, Stern was required — under a statewide directive from Gov. Gavin Newsom — to close the Community Center’s doors due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. He sent an email to nearly 6,000 people who had been enrolled at the center, explaining the closure and offering refunds of payments for classes. “We were issuing so many refunds,” Stern said. “When you’re a director and you’re watching that revenue go back out there, it’s scary. It’s disheartening. You know that your programs give so much to the community and people value them.” The center also offered the option of donating program tuition instead of receiving a refund. Happily, he said, the CCLCF ended up receiving the same amount of money in donations as it refunded.
The La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce will hold a Virtual Community Backyard BBQ on Thursday evening, Aug. 13, to recognize, honor and raise money for the 2020 Miss LCF and Royal Court scholarship. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. The Royal Court comprises five high school students who are selected from the community each year to serve as official representatives of the city of La Cañada Flintridge and the Chamber of Commerce. Each year those selected, through a vigorous interview process, participate in publicity photos, promotional events, and assist in fundraising activities throughout the year. Their fundraising efforts support the Royal Court scholarship fund. The Royal Court also fully participates at various civic functions, including ribbon-cutting ceremonies, chamber mixers, Fiesta Days Memorial Day Weekend celebrations, and miscellaneous chamber-sponsored events.