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West Pasadena Residents' Association
Neighborhood Update
Saturday, November 11 , 2017
Published weekly since 2000

Founded in 1962, the West Pasadena Residents' Association is dedicated to maintaining the character of our neighborhoods and enhancing the quality of life in southwest Pasadena. 

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 Send comments to update@wpra.net

Chuck Hudson


Neighborhood Update
This weekly WPRA eNewsletter is emailed each Saturday morning to more than 1,600 residents of Pasadena and beyond.

NOTE: The following meeting dates, times and agenda items are accurate as of Saturday morning.  Click on the appropriate blue headline to ensure the meeting hasn't been cancelled or rescheduled.


4:30 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda: Recognize revenue and appropriate expenditures totaling $729,121 of (1) Federal HRSA grant funds for HIV-related homeless services programs and (2) to add three full-time equivalents for the SAMHSA grant for the benefit of homeless individuals program for the City's Public Health Department's Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget
6:30 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda:  
  • Enter into a contract not to exceed $115,000 (plus $25,000 for contract administration) for over two years, without competitive bidding, to provide an Arroyo Seco diversion habitat modeling study. BACKGROUND: This new study relates to a $4.5 million initiative co-sponsored by the Arroyo Seco Foundation and the Pasadena Water and Power Department to capture and store fresh water, restore aquatic and riparian habitats, increase trail access and create passive recreational opportunities along the Arroyo Seco stream that flows through Hahamongna Watershed Park. Prior to the project's start,  the Spirit of the Sage Council and Project Soliton filed a suit. A judgement in Superior Court instructed City Council to develop a plan to mitigate the impacts posed by poisons that have been dumped into the site over the past several decades. The project cannot proceed until City Council recertifies an expanded Environmental Impact Report that addresses these impacts.  | STAFF REPORT |
  • Public hearing on a proposed 15-year master plan for Polytechnic School, 1030 E. California Blvd., to increase the student capacity by 80 (from 861 to 941) and faculty and staff by 15 (207 to 222) to meet demand and modernize the existing gym. The plan also proposes demolition of the existing gym and construction of a new gym in the same general location of the existing gym. |STAFF REPORT|
  • A second reading of three amendments to City ordinances to (1) "protect its residents and residential neighborhoods from unregulated and untaxed commercial marijuana activity," (2) to allow medical marijuana delivery into the city, and (3) to clarify prohibitions on the smoking of cannabis
  • Adoption of City employee salary resolutions and adoption of a resolution to pick up pre-tax cost-sharing contributions to Calpers for covered employees |RESOLUTION|
6:30 p.m.
Jackie Robinson Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
On the agenda: reports and actions related to the Association of California Commissions for Women, the Young African-American Women's Conference, a letter campaign, and a co-sponsored January 2018 event with the League of Women Voters


2 p.m.
Jackie Robinson Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
On the agenda: Information and discussion about age-related dementia and accessibility
4 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda: updates of the Arroyo Seco Canyon project, local water rights and high-voltage series street light conversion
Design Commission - CANCELED
6 p.m.
Permit Center Hearing Room, 175 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda: r ecommendations from the nominating committee for chair and vice-chair, consideration to align terms of chair and vice-chair
6:30 p.m.
Jackie Robinson Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
On the agenda:  Approval of key business terms for development and loan agreements with Heritage Housing Partners for affordable homeownership projects at 1661 and 1669 N. Fair Oaks Ave. and approval of additional funds totaling $3 million; capital improvement project recommendations

10:15 a.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.
6 p.m.
Permit Center Hearing Room #120, Hale Building, 175 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda: Nothing from Council District 6
6 p.m.
Linda Vista Branch, 1281 Bryant St.
6:30 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield St.
On the agenda: Not available. Check (headline link above) to make sure the meeting will be convened. 

6:30 p.m.
Room 236, 351 S. Hudson Ave.
On the agenda: status of financial and performance audits for 2016-2017 fiscal year, Superintendent's offer of a forensic audit of Measure TT funds, analysis of questionable TT expenditures and the District's response to Public Records Act request

4-4:30 p.m.: open session
5:30 p.m.: open session
Elbie J. Hickambottom Board Room 236, 351 S. Hudson Ave.

6 p.m.
984 E. Locust Street

Click for the latest  Pasadena City Commission  |Facts| and |Vacancies|
"It's a big step in the right direction, and we're still cautious. Again, a lot of the impacts on the neighborhoods - the air pollution, the diesel trucks, and the quality of the habitat - those are the things we're so cautious about, but it's definitely a big step forward." - Tim Brick, executive director, Arroyo Seco Foundation, following the LA County Board of Supervisors' approval of a scaled back version of the LA County Flood District's plan to remove sediment from behind Devil's Gate Dam.
The public is invited to attend the regular WPRA board meetings, held at 6:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month (except August and December) in the Westridge School Community Room (unless otherwise noted), 324 Madeline Dr. Park in the State St. lot and walk north across campus to the Community Room. 

WPRA seeks email newsletter editors
Do you have writing and editing skills? If so, you can help the WPRA achieve its mission of informing the community. Send an email to update@wpra.net to volunteer to serve as one of several co-editors of WPRA's weekly Neighborhood Update email newsletter. It will only take a few hours a week (on your own schedule) in the month or two a year in which you'd serve. We'll train you.

Estimated attendance: 45,000+
Event Hours:
12:30 p.m.: Parking lots open
2:15 p.m.: Fan Zone opens in Area H
3:30 p.m.: Parsons shuttle begins
5:00 p.m.: Stadium gates open
6:30 p.m.: Kickoff
The Recreational Loop will be closed on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until midnight. The Equestrian Trail will remain open at all times.  Similar to last year's season, there will be a brief use of pyrotechnics 30 minutes prior to kickoff as well as when the team runs onto the field and during the National Anthem. Total pyrotechnics display may be heard for under 20 seconds. In addition, an air horn will blow for 15 seconds simultaneously to the pyrotechnics, 30 minutes prior to the start of the game.

To receive assistance on game day, please contact the Rose Bowl Event Day Hotline at (626) 397-4141. 


The Friends of the Pasadena Public Library will hold its monthly donated book sale TODAY, Saturday, November 11, 9 a.m. to Noon, at the Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St. The sale will be held on the east patio, near the Friends' bookstore. Prices range from 25-cents to $5 per book, but most are priced at 50-cents for paperbacks and $2 for hardbacks. These sales are the Friends' main source of revenue. Proceeds are used to support library programs.
The community, especially all current and former members of the U.S. military and their families and all first responders, are invited to join other local veterans, city officials and community leaders for a special, free Veterans Day ceremony on the steps of City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave., beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, concluding with a special military fly-over information at 11:11 a.m. Street closures around City Hall will be in effect. 

The Pasadena Water and Power Department will begin installing an underground electric conduit and vault system on San Rafael Avenue between Lagunita and Nithsdale roads beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 15. Work will continue through December 15. As with any pipeline project, a variety of heavy equipment will be used. Also, expect additional noise and dust in the area. Construction hours will be from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, and 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday-Friday. For more information or to express concerns, contact John Orolfo, principal engineer at (626) 744-4175 or jorolfo@cityofpasadena .net, or contact Steve Lewis, project manager, at (626) 945-0174 or steve@perrycthomas .com.

The Arroyo Advisory Group and the City are co-hosting One Arroyo Day on Saturday, November 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Brookside Park, 360 N. Arroyo Blvd. Many of the organizations involved in the Arroyo will have exhibitor booths where residents can learn more about them. The day also includes a trail clean-up, a nature scavenger hunt for kids, a native wildlife reptile station, lawn games and crafts, raffles and a hot dog cookout by the Pasadena Firefighters Association Local 809.

The Arroyo Advisory Group (AAG) is petitioning an online survey for public input on Pasadena's great city park at onearroyo.org/survey until midnight on November 30. In addition, in-person surveys will be conducted throughout the fall at a dozen or so community events and public spaces, as well as the Mayor's Arroyo walks. Various incentives will be offered to survey participants, while supplies last.

Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W. Walnut St., is presenting an exhibition to celebrate the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Royal Court. The exhibition will explore the traditions and history of the Royal Court. Exquisite gowns of past Rose Queens and Princesses will be on display.  Special highlights include Queen's crowns from the past century, on loan from the Tournament of Roses, and the gown of 1940 Rose Queen Margaret Huntley Main, the oldest living Rose Queen. Royals of Pasadena is on view through February 11. The exhibition's galleries are open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. T he exhibit is free for Museum members and Children under 12. General admission is $7; students and seniors are $6.

The Department of Public Works' Parks and Natural Resources Division has opened the fall 2018 project-request-submission period for the Landscape Beautification Program. This program formalizes the process by which requests for landscape improvements in city parks and other city maintained landscapes are received and processed by the City. You can submit project suggestions by completing and submitting the application form on the Parks and Natural Resources Division webpage. Project requests submitted during this time will be considered for fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019). The deadline to submit a project request is Dec. 6. For more information call Jason Vega at (626) 744-7358.


"Controversial sediment removal plans for the Hahamongna area of the Arroyo Seco at Devil's Gate Dam are moving forward again after a surprise compromise amendment by Supervisor Kathryn Barger was unanimously approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Barger's amendment will reduce the amount of sediment removed from 2.4 million to 1.7 million cubic yards and cap the number of total truck trips involved in the project, which is estimated to eventually cost $100 million."  Pasadena Now

"A scaled-down project that removes less sediment, debris and vegetation than planned from behind Devil's Gate Dam in Pasadena was approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Instead of 2.4 million cubic yards, the project was trimmed to remove 1.7 million cubic yards from a natural area within Pasadena's Hahamongna Watershed Park." Pasadena Star-News
"With the proposed 710 freeway extension on its death bed, there's new hope Pasadena can re-acquire the 50-acre concrete ditch cutting through the city's core to transform the freeway property back into neighborhoods, parks and tree-lined boulevards." Pasadena Star-News
"Reading staffer Jason Henry's recent story on the possibly bright future for the 710 Freeway stub just to the west of Old Pasadena, I reflected how often this blighted below-grade land is in the news." Pasadena Star-News
"Arlington Garden in southwest Pasadena is undergoing branding and leadership changes.  Betty McKenney, who along with her late husband and former Pasadena City Council member Charles "Kicker" McKenney, founded and cared for the garden since 2005, has retired. The garden's board of directors is expanding and has hired a new executive director, Michelle Matthews, who started July 1. And it has been given a new name: The McKenney Family Arlington Garden in Pasadena." Pasadena Weekly

"Despite the State's legalization, the City of Pasadena won't allow any commercial pot dispensaries in any part of the City. And for the moment, no one knows how long the new ban will be in place, or if it will ever be lifted. Monday night the Pasadena City Council unanimously approved a set of changes to its zoning code that would formalize the City's current ban on pot dispensaries, which are currently labeled "nuisance businesses," much like liquor stores." Pasadena Now



Looking for other ways to entertain or educate yourself and your family? 

For current events around the area, we encourage you to visit our local news outlets. Click on the publication title to visit that publication's events section (alphabetical order).

Attend WPRA board meetings each month 

Monthly WPRA board meeting dates and locations are on the WPRA website. Click on the headline above or visit our website and look under "Meetings and Events."

The WPRA needs you ... 

... to serve your community and do it with a group of your neighbors who are equally dedicated. If you live within our service area, we'd welcome your help.

  • Got the local news bug? Just curious about your city (and would like to share news with 1,600 or so of your closest friends), consider serving as a co-editor of Neighborhood Update. It will only take a few hours a week (on your own schedule) in the month or two a year in which you'd serve. We'll train you.  
  • We have lots of opportunities to serve on one of our many committees:
    • Land use and planning
      If you care about how we use our land  
    • Education
      If you want to help save public education for West Pasadena  
    • Open space & conservation
      If you care about preserving open space and conservation of land and resources 
    • Membership
      If you'd like to help us continue to build our membership so we can do more  
If you'd like to chat about ways we could help you become more involved or, more likely, more effective (by helping us), send an email to WPRA President. Tell him about your interests.     
To learn more

Visit wpra.net and "like" our Facebook page  

To submit information for the Neighborhood Update, send it to update@wpra.net. 


Joseph Stoddard's watercolors: The WPRA is grateful to local artist Joseph Stoddard, who has generously allowed us to display his watercolors in our quarterly newsletter, The (WPRA) News; on the WPRA website; and in this publication. To explore Mr. Stoddard's work, visit josephstoddard.com.