City Sends Off Prized Local Deputy

Deputy Eric Matejka

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, La Cañada Flintridge City Council honored Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station’s dedicated resource officer Deputy Eric Matejka, who is retiring, with a commemorative plaque and kind words for all his work over the years.
Matejka spent about 20 years at the CV Sheriff’s Station post, investing a lot of hours at La Cañada High School, other local schools and community-wide functions.
“We’re super happy for you but we’re a little bummed out that you’re leaving us,” said Mayor Mike Davitt. “But you’ve done such a great job in our city and you’re such a key member of our community and part of the fabric of everything that goes on here.”

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Flock Cameras Praised at Community Meeting

Capt. Todd Deeds

The captain of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station recently lauded the license plate-reading cameras installed throughout La Cañada Flintridge, with Mayor Mike Davitt indicating support for additional devices in the future.
The Flock Safety cameras, which the city installed in August, quickly became a topic of discussion during a public meeting between local officials and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, including Sheriff Alex Villanueva. In response to a question from an LCF resident about the cameras at the April 6 virtual forum, Capt. Todd Deeds credited them for helping the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station solve recent crimes.
Dozens of the devices are planted throughout LCF, automatically reading license plates and sending the data to law enforcement. The data can also be shared between county departments, allowing a wider net to be cast when it comes to tracking stolen or suspicious vehicles.
“They have been a great asset to us here at the station as far as crime prevention and being able to solve crimes. Just a tremendous help,” Deeds said.
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District to Reopen Schools for Youngest Students

Nearly eight months after shuttering its campuses to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the La Cañada Unified School District is ready to reopen its doors to young learners after getting the green light from Los Angeles County.
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette notified parents late last week that county officials granted the district waivers that allow students in transitional kindergarten through 2nd grade to return to campus for limited in-person instruction. La Cañada, Palm Crest and Paradise Canyon elementary schools are set to reopen on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
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City Council Balks at Allowing Short-Term Rentals

The discourse over short-term rentals in La Cañada Flintridge will continue for the foreseeable future after the City Council made no decision on the issue during a virtual meeting on Tuesday.
Council members — except for Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Curtis, who recused himself from the discussion — mulled a proposed ordinance, given preliminary approval by the Planning Commission earlier this month, that would permit and regulate short-term rentals.
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LCF Will Get a Vote Center, After All

OUTLOOK VALLEY SUN photo
L.A. County agreed to make the La Cañada Unified School District offices located at 4490 Cornishon Ave. a vote center, allowing residents to vote in person in the board room from Oct. 30-Nov. 3.

La Cañada Flintridge residents will no longer have to trek to La Crescenta or Altadena to vote in person for the Nov. 3 election. City officials announced on Tuesday that the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office signed a site agreement with the La Cañada Unified School District for a five-day vote center.
“With the change in how the county allocates vote centers around Southern California, I think it is important that La Cañada Flintridge has a vote center located in town,” said LCF Mayor Mike Davitt. “We want people to vote and want to create all reasonable avenues to assist people in that process. I’m appreciative of all the work that the city staff has committed to this priority, and it appears we have been successful.”

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Council Discusses Gift Card Program to Help Local Businesses

Local residents take in some warm summer weather on Wednesday to support local business Soak Nail Bar, which has moved operations outside to observe safety measures put in place by Gov. Gavin Newsom to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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.

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COVID-19 Report Backlog Darkens Promising County Trend

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.”

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