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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City Panel Advises Against Ending Pact With Sheriff’s Dept.

As demonstrations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and police reform take place throughout the nation, a subcommittee of the La Cañada Flintridge Public Safety Commission has released a report addressing concerns over the city’s contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
During a telephone meeting on Tuesday, the subcommittee consisting of chair Marilyn Smith and Maureen Siegel-Sprowles advised against terminating the city’s contract with the department after speaking with representatives from La Cañada BLM; Save Our Sheriff; Sheriffs Appreciated, Friendly and Engaged; the department; and the city staff.
“We spent a lot of time on this,” Smith said, “and I think our focus from the beginning was to be as evidence-based as possible, to find facts, to drown out the noise and just go with where the facts take us.”
The full commission unanimously approved the adoption of the report and its recommendations. The 11-page document will be sent to staff members and presented to the City Council, which will determine whether to place it on a future agenda.
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Public Safety Commissioners Meet With La Cañada BLM

For more than a month, La Cañada Flintridge officials have been inundated with comments from members of the public regarding law enforcement, a trend that continued during the Public Safety Commission meeting on Monday.
Chair Marilyn Smith told fellow commissioners that a subcommittee composed of herself and Commissioner Maureen Spiegel-Sprowles met with representatives from La Cañada BLM, a local group that has organized protests and written a petition demanding the city terminate its contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, defund the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station and invest in equitable alternatives. The petition had 451 signatures as of Tuesday night.
Smith said it was a “lengthy discussion last week” and the subcommittee will meet with representatives of a local group that lends support to the Sheriff’s Department. A report will be presented to the commission during a special meeting to determine a course of action.
“The plan is there will be a special meeting with the entire commission to put forth our findings and preliminary recommendations and whether or not we as a commission decide to go to the [City Council] with any findings or recommendations.
“That’s where we are now. There will be a special meeting where we will go over all of this and everything that has come to light. I think our goal is to gather as much input and data.”
Commissioners saw the La Cañada BLM petition online and received a detailed, 18-page document that includes links to studies, articles and footnotes supporting the group’s stance.

FLOCK SAFETY CAMERAS UPDATE
City management analyst Christina Nguyen notified the commission that 10 Flock license plate-reading cameras were installed on Monday, and the completion date for the installation of 29 others acquired by the municipality has yet to be determined.
There was a minor delay with the installation of the units because city officials were getting approval on some of the sites, according to Nguyen.
The cameras have been regarded as a possible public safety enhancement in a community where residential burglaries have been a concern.