Morikawa Savors Selection to Olympic Team

Collin Morikawa, who grew up in La Cañada Flintridge, will be one of the four male golfers representing the U.S. in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. He is the youngest player in the quartet and qualified by being ranked No. 4 in the world. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Former La Cañada High School standout Collin Morikawa impressed the golf world by making the cut in his first 22 tournaments as a pro, falling just short of tying living legend Tiger Woods, who set the record with 25.

The trend continues for Morikawa, who recently made the cut to become one of four golfers to represent the United States in the Summer Olympics this month in Tokyo. He is the first LCHS graduate to compete in the Olympics since 2014, when Kate Hansen joined the U.S. luge team in the Winter Games at Sochi, Russia.

“It’s amazing, one of the best honors I’m going to be able to have in my life,” Morikawa said recently on the Barstool Sports Fore Play podcast. “Even though we can’t do a lot of things [because] we kind of got to stay in this bubble [due to COVID-19], you can’t take it away from me. I’m an Olympian; I’m going to be an Olympian for life and that’s going to be really cool.”

The selection of players is determined by the Olympic Golf Rankings, which are similar to the Official World Golf Ranking, and each country is allowed a maximum of four athletes. Sixty players from 35 countries will compete individually in the men’s competition, which was originally to be held in summer 2020 but postponed, along with the rest of the Games, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Joining the four-time Rio Hondo League champion will be Justin Thomas (ranked No. 3 in the world), Xander Schauffele (No. 5) and Bryson DeChambeau (No. 6). Dustin Johnson, the top-ranked player in the U.S. and No. 2 in the world, declined the invitation to participate in the Olympics due to the lengthy travel and his commitment to play PGA Tour tournaments.

At 24, Morikawa, ranked No. 4 in the world, will be the youngest male golfer representing the U.S. in Tokyo. The first round of competition is scheduled to be played at Kasumigaseki Country Club on Thursday, July 29.

BRADENTON, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 28: Collin Morikawa of the United States celebrates winning on the 18th green during the final round of World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession on February 28, 2021 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Golf returned to the Olympics in 2016 after a 112-year absence.

“We are thrilled to welcome these world-class players to Team USA and excited to watch them compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” Rick Adams, U.S. Olympics and Paralympics Committee chief of sport performance, said in a recent statement. “The return of golf to the Olympic program in [Rio de Janeiro] was a highlight of the Games, and the golf competition in Tokyo will be no different.”

Morikawa, who graduated from Cal in 2018 and LCHS in 2014, clinched a spot on the U.S. team after tying for fourth place with Brooks Koepka in the U.S. Open on June 20. The former Pac-12 Conference player of the year has won four PGA Tour competitions, including a major title last year when he edged Paul Casey and Johnson by two strokes to win the PGA Championship.

Collin Morikawa is the first La Cañada High School graduate to compete in the Olympics since Kate Hansen, who was a member of the U.S. luge team in the Sochi Winter Games in Russia in 2014. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The young star has one simple goal in mind.

“Obviously, we’re there to win gold,” Morikawa said. “We’re playing individually, but I’m still playing for Team USA. You want to add another gold medal to that tally at the end of the Olympics. I’m going to feel like I’m playing for Team USA even though it still is an individual medal race.

“Man, it gives me chills thinking about it because you just joined another elite group of people. It’s another milestone that you can put on your career and just look back on and be like, ‘Man, I was there. I was playing in the Olympics.’”

Morikawa joined Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” on June 24 to announce that he would be representing the U.S. in the Olympics.

“I mean, two years ago I was an amateur,” he said in front of a live studio audience. “Look at us now. Now we’re trying to win gold.”

Walker Again Takes Up Role as LCF Mayor

After being chosen mayor for the next year, Terry Walker said city officials “have a lot of ambitious goals to further advance our city.”

The La Cañada Flintridge City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to name Terry Walker the community’s mayor for the next year, and in her first order of business she declared Keith Eich the mayor pro tem.

Walker, a longtime LCF resident who has been on the council since 2015, takes the reins from Mike Davitt and will serve her second term as mayor. She thanked her fellow council members, their staff, and community leaders and members for helping LCF power through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What I’ve learned if anything this year is how grateful and appreciative I am of the good things in our lives,” Walker said. “So what I would like to do to start off as mayor is say thank you. First of all, thank you, Mayor Davitt. I just want to thank you once again for being such a wonderful leader during such a difficult time and such a pleasure to work with.

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LCF Marches Back to Life With Hometown Parade

La Cañada High School Color Guard team members energetically showed off their moves during the Hometown Parade, themed “Dare Mighty things”, a celebration which served as a stand-in fro the Fiesta Days Parade typically held on Memorial Day but which was cancelled the last two years due to the pandemic.

With smiles finally unmasked and Foothill Boulevard filled with palpable enthusiasm, La Cañada Flintridge families gathered along sidewalks, medians and driveways to celebrate the 2021 Hometown Parade.

This year’s parade differed from processions in previous years, taking place the day after the Fourth of July instead of during Memorial Day weekend, when the traditional Fiesta Days event is held. Beyond the date, however, the parade was even more distinctive for what it symbolized: resilience in emerging from the past year’s coronavirus-related challenges and hope for the community’s rejuvenation.

With optimism and joy in the air on the sunny Monday morning, participants included equestrian units, bands, Scouts, and law enforcement and fire department personnel, all lined up to embark down Foothill Boulevard to cheers and waves.

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Planning Panel to Examine Controversial Building Proposal

The Planning Commission tonight intends to discuss a project that is proposed for 600 Foothill Blvd. Possible development at the 1.29-acre parcel has been a contentious issue for concerned residents and the commission over the past few years.

The La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission will have just two items on the agenda for its virtual meeting scheduled for tonight at 6, and it’s a loaded topic.

The panel will discuss the development proposal regarding 600 Foothill Blvd. that has been contested by many residents as well as commissioners, who balked at backing an earlier plan, the proposed 72-bed Oakmont Senior Living facility, in January 2018.

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Music In the Park Returns To LCF July 5

La Cañada Flintridge city officials are bringing back the popular Music in the Park Concert Series this summer, with 10 bands lined up for local residents to enjoy on Sundays at Memorial Park. Admission is free to all concerts.

The series will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, July 5 – national holiday because July 4 falls on a Sunday. Concerts will then move to their regular weekly time – from 6 to 8 p.m. – and continue every Sunday thereafter through Sept. 5, which is Labor Day weekend.

The wide variety of popular genres range from classic rock to reggae to soul.

The concert schedule will be:

July 5 – Captain Cardiac & the Coronaries (special start time 3:30 p.m.)

July 11 – Misplaced Priorities (classic rock)

July 18 – Steve Roth (tribute to Elvis Presley)

July 25 – The Jack Lantz Big Band

Aug. 1 – Hot August Nights (Neil Diamond songs)

Aug. 8 – FM Radio– “Every Style Along The Dial!”

Aug. 15 – The Funky Hippeez (disco/funk)

Aug. 22 – Upstream Music (reggae)

Aug. 29 – My Generation (tribute to the British Invasion)

Sept. 5 – Floyd & the Flyboys (soul rhythm and blues)

City officials that “to ensure an enjoyable experience for all, the following guidelines will be mandated at all concerts”:

Roping off areas is prohibited.

Umbrellas must be lowered during concerts.

Canopies only allowed at the back of the park.

Un-permitted solicitation is prohibited.

Dogs must be on leash.

“Bring a picnic basket, blankets and chairs to enjoy the live music and summer weather,” a city statement said. “Please note that all events are subject to guidelines established by the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health. The City will not be requiring advance ticketing/registration or setting capacity limits for the concerts. Those who are not or cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 are encouraged to continue to exercise caution and good judgement as physical distancing requirements and capacity limitation are removed.”

 

Freeing the Treasured Forest of Trash

Takataka Club volunteers have bonded over their love and care for the Angeles National Forest, with members including Kamden Gray (from left), Sarah Culhane, Jeremy Culhane, Oliver Gilpin, Kirby Gilpin, Matt Culhane, Ellen Runkle, Patrick McDonald, Ruanne McGuiness, Valerie Botta, Natalie McKenna and Jean Pierre Mangui.

On a recent misty morning in the Angeles National Forest, a group of local volunteers wearing yellow vests and hard hats dispersed throughout the cliffs, making like bees to recover debris — trash of all kinds — strewn along the bluffs, an unsightly mess framing the view of the area’s majestic mountains.

That’s why, in fact, the group was there: “Look how beautiful it is out here — it’s just gorgeous,” said Valerie Botta, motioning toward the panoramic vista. “We’re so lucky to have this in our backyards, so incredibly fortunate to have this forest nearby for hiking and views, yet people treat it like a dumping ground. There’s trash everywhere.”

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Organizers Finalize Details for July 5 Hometown Parade

Details for the first — and perhaps last — La Cañada Flintridge Hometown Parade are being finalized, with the event scheduled to take place Monday, July 5, along Foothill Boulevard.

July 5 is serving as a holiday since the Fourth of July falls this year on a Sunday.

La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Pat Anderson said the Hometown Parade will be somewhat of a substitute for the annual Fiesta Days Parade, which is typically held on Memorial Day. The city’s usual festivities during the final weekend of May fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic for the second consecutive year.

“There is a lot of excitement for this year’s parade,” Anderson said. “It will be a fun and enjoyable time for the community as it heads down Foothill Boulevard. We are very optimistic.”

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Lutheran Church Service at New Worship Center

Lutheran Church in the Foothills invites local residents to the church’s new Worship Center at 1700 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada Flintridge. On Sunday, June 27, at 10 a.m., Pastor Scott Peterson will lead with a message called “Lifted Up.”

The service will also be livestreamed at 10 a.m. on the church’s YouTube channel. For those unable to attend or watch live, the videos will be available on the website, Facebook page and YouTube channel after 11 a.m.

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Hometown Parade Plans Shaping Up

Plans are continuing to move forward for a July 5 “Hometown Parade” — as it is being dubbed by the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce — and is seen as somewhat of a substitute for the annual Fiesta Days Parade, which is typically held on Memorial Day. 

Traditionally, the LCF Chamber is the organizer and presenting sponsor of the Fiesta Days weekend celebration.

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After a Decade, Sarceda Out at LCHS Football

Photo by Eric Danielson
La Cañada High School has parted ways with head football coach Jason Sarceda, who finished 3-1 in the abbreviated COVID season and served as an assistant and head coach at LCHS for nearly a decade.

The one constant in the La Cañada High School football program is no longer, as the school announced this week that Jason Sarceda will not return as head coach of the varsity football team.

Sarceda has long been involved in the local football scene, coaching Gladiators youth football and serving as an LCHS assistant coach before being hired as head coach in June 2017.

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