Local YMCA to Pay Tribute to Former CEO Croxen, Wife

Photo courtesy Dennis Croxen Dennis and Peggy Croxen will be honored at the invitation-only George Williams Society Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 7, in La Cañada Flintridge.
Photo courtesy Dennis Croxen
Dennis and Peggy Croxen will be honored at the invitation-only George Williams Society Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 7, in La Cañada Flintridge.

Dennis and Peggy Croxen have left quite an imprint on the YMCA of the Foothills.
Dennis Croxen, who once was the institution’s chief executive, advocated that a successful YMCA leads by its mission, said current CEO and President Tyler Wright.
“He has been the greatest inspiration and an impactful individual on my career,” Wright said in a phone interview. “He’s been a mentor and a friend throughout my entire career and was someone I could call up if I didn’t have an answer to a question.” Continue reading “Local YMCA to Pay Tribute to Former CEO Croxen, Wife”

YMCA Plan Receives Encouragement — and Resistance

At 65,000 square feet, a proposed expansion sought by the YMCA of the Foothills for its location in La Cañada Flintridge is a big undertaking — too big to be resolved in just one city Planning Commission session.
The commission met Tuesday night to discuss a planned expansion that would have two phases, including construction of a three-story building. The main phase of discussion Tuesday concerned construction of a parking deck above the front parking lot, and commissioners approved an adjustment in the line dividing the YMCA lot from private property next door. But eventually, they voted for a continuance of the hearing because of neighborhood disgruntlement.
There were rumblings from commissioners about technical variances, from neighbors concerning traffic congestion and residential driveways, and even from Earth itself as a 4.4-magnitude earthquake shook the room at City Hall.
“I am moved by your speech,” Commissioner Jeffrey McConnell said jokingly to John Pride, landscape architect for the Y, after the earthquake was felt during Pride’s statement to the commission.
Continue reading “YMCA Plan Receives Encouragement — and Resistance”

YMCA Shows Big Plans to Grow, Seeks City OK

Image courtesy YMCA of the Foothills YMCA of the Foothills’ expansion proposal envisions a new central community space that will include an amphitheater, tables, benches, grassy areas and trees. It could be used for children’s concerts, performances and other events.
Image courtesy YMCA of the Foothills
YMCA of the Foothills’ expansion proposal envisions a new central community space that will include an amphitheater, tables, benches, grassy areas and trees. It could be used for children’s concerts, performances and other events.

YMCA of the Foothills is forging ahead with its $7 million expansion proposal to improve and expand its interior by more than 4,000 square feet, build a new two-deck parking lot and create more accessibility to the community.
The YMCA will present its plan to the La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission on Tuesday, Aug. 28, detailing the parking lot increase and access easement from the lot to YMCA facilities, as well as its longer-term vision of creating more holistic health and social spaces for members of all ages. Continue reading “YMCA Shows Big Plans to Grow, Seeks City OK”

Council Spells Out City Budget Plans

During two sessions of budget discussions in the past week, La Cañada Flintridge City Council members agreed to designate reserve funds in support of the proposed Sagebrush territory transfer, prepared for the possible repeal of the state gas tax, and dedicated $353,425 to support 11 community groups.
The City Council is set to finalize the budget for the coming fiscal year when it reconvenes for its third budget hearing at 8:30 a.m. today, June 28.
Councilman Jonathan Curtis suggested the city earmark $100,000 in reserves to back up La Cañada Unified School District in the latest chapter of a decades-long tug of war over the Sagebrush territory. Continue reading “Council Spells Out City Budget Plans”

Ex-QB Leaf Shares Tale of Downfall, Recovery

“I’m so grateful I spent 32 months in prison. I don’t recommend it, but I’m grateful.”
These were the words from a frank and honest Ryan Leaf, the former star quarterback from Washington State University who flamed out of the NFL after being drafted second overall in 1998 and fell into a spiral of well-documented substance abuse. He was speaking Friday at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, on behalf of the YMCA of the Foothills, as a man who had to face the music for his drug abuse and knows his work is far from over. Continue reading “Ex-QB Leaf Shares Tale of Downfall, Recovery”

YMCA Opens Registration for Fiesta Days Run

The YMCA of the Foothills will host the 43rd annual Fiesta Days Run, presented by USC Verdugo Hills Hospital on Memorial Day, May 28. This event is part of Fiesta Days, the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce’s Memorial Day Celebration.
Participants can choose from a beautiful 1-mile family fun run/walk, 5K and 10K held at Descanso Gardens. All proceeds benefit the Y’s Healthy Aging Inititave, empowering seniors through balance and strength programs. One in three seniors experiences a serious fall so this life-saving initiative helps keep seniors on their feet.
Sign ups and more information is available on the website at ymcafoothills.org/fiesta-days. Registration fees include race entry, chip timing, goody bag, YMCA Fiesta Days Run T-shirt, refreshments and awards and raffle prizes from local businesses.
Early bird discounts are available until April 30. Team discounts are available for teams of four or more. There will be a grand prize awarded to the school with the most participants. (Check the registration page for your school’s name when registering.)

Teen Vaping is a Growing Concern

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Matejka offers a lesson on fast-moving vaping trends at the YMCA’s Strategic Partners Network meeting last week at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.

Deputy Eric Matejka said he was stunned that so many parents at a recent La Cañada Unified School Board meeting were unfamiliar with the concept of “Juuling,” and unaware of how hot a trend vaping — e-cigarette smoking — has become.
“I haven’t caught a kid with a cigarette in years,” said Matejka, the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’ Station’s dedicated resource officer, who spends a lot of time at La Cañada High School. “But the Juuls and the vapes have gotten really big.” Continue reading “Teen Vaping is a Growing Concern”

High School Youth Bring Christmas Joy to YMCA Tree Sale

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK Colin Jacobs, a senior at St. Francis High School, carries a Christmas tree after unloading it from a truck that delivered 835 trees from Oregon to the Crescenta Cañada YMCA on Sunday.
Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Colin Jacobs, a senior at St. Francis High School, carries a Christmas tree after unloading it from a truck that delivered 835 trees from Oregon to the Crescenta Cañada YMCA on Sunday.

A bunch of jolly young elves were hard at work unloading 835 Christmas trees from the back of a semi-trailer truck in the Crescenta Cañada YMCA’s parking lot Sunday afternoon.
One of them was Colin Jacobs, a St. Francis senior sporting dozens of pine needles and grin that would not quit.
“I love this!” he said. “It’s a lot of hard work, but it pays off so it feels good.”
All that effort, by Jacobs and the other 70-plus teens involved in the YMCA’s Youth in Business Club, was a contribution in a longstanding local holiday tradition associated with the YMCA of the Foothills Christmas Tree Lot. The lot has come to provide teenagers an opportunity for real-life work experience while raising funds for kids who need help covering the cost of YMCA programs ranging from swim lessons to camping excursions. Continue reading “High School Youth Bring Christmas Joy to YMCA Tree Sale”