City Pushes Internet Provider to Improve Access

The adoption of distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on unreliable internet access that has long affected La Cañada Flintridge, and the City Council is working with Spectrum to address the issue.
During the panel’s virtual meeting on Tuesday, Councilman Keith Eich told colleagues that he and other members of a subcommittee have been working with the internet service provider, which he said has taken steps to ease its system’s congestion
Residents who have reported their broadband problems to Spectrum and the council include the Rajagopalan family, which voiced its dissatisfaction with the company in a letter posted on the city’s website.
“We humbly request the city to authorize the study of issues related to Spectrum services that were contemplated during budget deliberations,” Sampath and Nandini Rajagopalan wrote. “The quality of internet service is unacceptable in these times when so many of us are distance learning or teaching hundreds of students or working from home.”
The company has seen high internet usage from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. in the last four months and has increased its capacity by as much as 40% to deal with the spike, according to Eich.
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Students in Special Categories May Soon Return to Campus

Nearly 60 schools notified Los Angeles County of their intent to reopen this week at limited capacity, and the La Cañada Unified School District isn’t far from doing the same.
Public Health announced earlier this month that schools could reopen small classes for students with individual education plans, students in special education and English-language learners beginning Sept. 14.
In an email to the Outlook Valley Sun, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said she anticipates “the first few cohorts of [LCUSD] students may return to campuses at the end of September or early October.”
“We are in the process of bargaining the effects of working conditions with [teachers and employees associations] to allow this to happen,” Sinnette said. “The cohort restrictions are strict and once a teacher joins an in-person cohort, they are prohibited from delivering in-person instruction or assessments to any student outside the cohort. So our first priority will be to bring back to campus cohorts of our highest at-risk, highest-level-of-need students.
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LCUSD Diversity Ideas Prompt Dissent, Calls for Caution

More than a month after a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant presented her extensive findings to the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board, and a week after the LCUSD entrusted Superintendent Wendy Sinnette with overseeing progress on DEI, parents and community members have galvanized over the matter — some in opposition.
Two LCUSD Governing Board members, President Joe Radabaugh and Kaitzer Puglia, have been tabbed to lead a committee that will help frame DEI initiatives, which ultimately will fall to the entire board to approve or not.
In a combined statement last week, Sinnette and Radabaugh emphasized there will be more involved discussion on the topic of any DEI objectives and priorities, saying:
“We listen carefully to all voices in the community and strive for the best possible outcomes. One of the consistent things we heard related to DEI is that we seek more in-depth community input on the objectives and priorities before we finalize and the board approves. We agree with that feedback and feel a DEI committee comprised of a cross-section of the community is a critical means to that end.”
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Bobcat Fire Approaches Mount Wilson Observatory

Photo courtesy HPWREN
The Bobcat Fire threatened the Mount Wilson Observatory this week, with cameras mounted near the area showing the structure’s proximity to the flames, which came as close as 500 feet at one point.

A wildfire that has grown to tens of thousands of acres in the Angeles National Forest continues to burn, forcing evacuations and threatening the Mount Wilson Observatory.
At one point on Tuesday, flames came as close as 500 feet from the observatory, according to the U.S. Forest Service. But as of the Outlook Valley Sun’s press time Wednesday, firefighters had held the line against the fire, with aircraft dropping flame retardant to combat the flames.
“Our thoughts are with the firefighters who will defend the observatory against the approaching blaze. We know they will give it their best,” Sam Hale, chairman of the Mount Wilson Institute Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “We cherish the historic telescopes on the mountain that revolutionized humanity’s understanding of the cosmos and hope they will be safe. That is the most important thing.”
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Letters to the Editor

Opinion About Advocates
It appears that those advocating the diversity plan in our schools are more interested in teaching kids what to think rather than how to think.

Trent Sanders
La Cañada Flintridge


DEI Consultant Thanks Community for Its Support
I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for the many members of the greater La Cañada Unified School District community who have extended their support over the past several weeks — support for me, but more importantly, for the critical work of cultivating equitable spaces for learning where every student is seen, supported and feels a sense of belonging. Through the letters to the editor, comments during school board meetings and direct emails, students, parents, staff, alumni and community members have raised their voices in support of a humanizing approach to education, Continue reading “Letters to the Editor”

Sharon Frances Musitelle – Obituary

Sharon Musitelle

Sharon Frances Musitelle, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, born June 12, 1943, graduated Mayfield H.S. Class of ’61. Journalism major, U.S.C. Married John “Terry” Musitelle (deceased). Sharon passed away peacefully Sept 1, 2020, and is survived by her loving children Frank Musitelle and Shelley Musitelle Bishop, and her grandchildren, Danielle, John Terris , Kiersten and Brady!

Council Candidate Schultz Reaped Most Early Donations

Burbank City Council hopeful Nick Schultz raised more than $25,000 in campaign contributions from May 3 to June 30, according to city records, by far the most for any current council candidate for the first period in which donations were reported.
The California deputy attorney general’s campaign gained $7,000 of those funds through a loan from himself and an additional $500 of his own money during that period. Contributions could not be received before May 3.
Among donations of more than $100 — which require identification of the donor — only $550 came from people with Burbank addresses, not including Schultz himself.
Disability services provider Konstantine Anthony had the second-most campaign dollars at nearly $15,500, including a total of $1,000 from himself and his treasurer. He also had the highest percentage of small-dollar donations, with about 27% of contributions he received during the period being less than $100.

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Coffee Cube’s Trailer Stolen Over Holiday Weekend

Photo courtesy Coffee Cube
Representatives of Burbank-based startup Coffee Cube are asking the community to keep an eye out for their trailer, which houses their mobile coffee bar and was stolen last weekend.

Burbank-based Coffee Cube had one of its signature red trailers stolen from the startup’s property last weekend, representatives say.
The trailer, which Coffee Cube uses as a mobile coffee and pastry bar, was stolen from the business’ headquarters at 2121 Kenmere Ave. sometime between 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, and 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 6, according to Sgt. Derek Green, public information officer for the Burbank Police Department.
The trailer was not attached to a vehicle at the time, though the hitch had been locked, according to Jhairo Echevarria, marketing director for Coffee Cube, which operates a store in Canoga Park and offers coffee services to offices.

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Providence High Helps Students Engage Safely With Social Media

The era of COVID-19 has left most Americans isolated at home with their own electronic devices, increasing the use of social media, especially among adolescents.
And the only school in the nation governed by a health-care system is doing its part to help its students navigate past the pitfalls of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat, where young users sometimes put up deceptive faces and bullying is common.
Providence High School, which is affiliated with the Providence hospital chain, recently became the first school in the state to form a partnership with Half the Story, a nonprofit organization that believes in digital well-being and encourages youth to share their lives unfiltered — their passions, hidden talents and struggles — to connect with others on a more human level.

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No Large-Scale School Reopenings Before November

No campus in Los Angeles County will be allowed to reopen to all K-12 students until at least November, although schools can begin to offer small in-person classes for children with special needs at no more than 10% of campus capacity at one time, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.
Students, parents and educators had been hoping that progress against the coronavirus might allow campuses to reopen on a faster track. The small in-person classes for children who need special services, announced last week, could allow at least 200,000 students back to campus across the county.

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