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West Pasadena Residents' Association
Neighborhood Update
Saturday, April 13 , 2019
Published on Saturday 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

Dan Beal


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.


6:30 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda:  
  • Item 21: Review of a Board of Zoning Appeals decision regarding affordable housing concession (permit no. 11869) to facilitate the construction of a new 94,165 square-foot, six-story, 92-unit, multi-family residential building (including eight "very low income units") with 131 parking spaces in a three-level subterranean parking garage for the property located at 253 S. Los Robles Avenue (Council District 6) | SUPPORTING MATERIALS
  • Item 23:  Review 2018 Greater Pasadena Community Health Improvement Plan; no action is required.  STAFF REPORT 

6 p.m.
Hearing Room, Hale Building, 175 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda:  
  • Item 5A: Designation of a home at 870 Chula Vista Ave. as a landmark
  • Item 6A: Selection of 2018 Preservation Awards recipients


10:15 a.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda:  Item 9:  Adopt Resolution No. 328 setting the cost of living adjustment at an increase of 4% for all eligible retires and beneficiaries per Charter Section 1509.8 to become effective July 1, 2019, as determined by Bartel Associates, System actuary.

6 p.m.
Hearing Room #120, Hale Building, 175 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda:  Item E: 920 E. Mountain St. (Council District 5) Expressive Use permit to allow a live performance venue and classroom facility within an existing 6,297 square-foot portion of an existing retail space, including a 78-seat theater and 2,638 square-foot classroom for live performances and classes open to the public.
6:30 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda:   Agenda not available at press time

6 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda:
  • Item 4A: Authorization to enter into a contract with Donald MacDonald Architects for environmental and design services of the Colorado Street Bridge - Suicide Mitigation Enhancements Project for an amount not to exceed $700,000 and amendment to FY 2019 CIP Budget
  • Item 4B: Adoption of the City of Pasadena Local Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • Item 4C: Proposed amendments to Pasadena Municipal Code regarding sidewalk vendors
6 p.m.
La Pintoresca Branch Library
1355 N. Raymond Avenue
On the agenda:  Various action and information items


11 a.m.
Suite 210, Parking Division, Department of Transportation, 221 E. Walnut St.
On the agenda: Agenda not available at press time
6 p.m.
984 E. Locust Street
On the agenda:  Agenda not available at press time

Click for the latest  Pasadena City Commission  |Facts| and |Vacancies|
The WPRA will convene its 57th annual meeting held on Wednesday, May 8, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Mayfield Senior School, 500 Bellefontaine. The theme of the meeting is homelessness in Pasadena.  Homelessness is an issue that affects our community, our city and our nation. While there is much debate about the causes of and solutions for homelessness, the annual meeting's panel of authorities will focus on basic questions. Panelists will include Department of Housing Director William Huang, leaders of the Pasadena Police Department's Homeless Outreach Psychiatric Evaluation (HOPE) team, and Union Station Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement Shawn Morrissey. Each of the panelists will help us frame the topic by providing a better understanding of the current situation and insight into what is being done to address the issue, including what we, as individuals, could do. We will also elect our  2019-2020 officers.

The public is invited to attend the regular WPRA board meetings. Generally all regular meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month (except in  MayAugust, and  December) in the Westridge School Community Room (unless otherwise noted), 324 Madeline Dr. Park in the State Street lot and walk north across campus to the Community Room.

WPRA seeks email newsletter editors
Do you have organizing 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 each year in which you'd serve. We'll train you.

Click HERE to help support the WPRA mission. 
Your annual membership contribution can help us meet our organizational imperatives: Maintaining the character of our neighborhoods and enhancing the quality of life in southwest Pasadena.

Samples of recent WPRA positions and correspondence:

The city has appointed Dr. Ying-Ying Goh to lead the Pasadena Public Health Department. Dr. Goh is a board-certified pediatrician and has been serving as the City's Health Officer since 2015. In this new role, Dr. Goh will continue to serve as the City's Health Officer. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Goh served as Medical Director for Programs and Research for the Department.

The 27th Annual Pasadena Senior Games will take place April 27 - July 14, 2019. Competitions in 25 different sports are open to everyone age 55 and older - no competition experience required! The schedule and registration information is provided on the website. Registration is open.

Get real(!) at the Central Library
On Thursdays, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the 4th Floor Creativity Room, the Pasadena Central Library, 285 E Walnut St.,  will provide an opportunity for visitors to g ive virtual reality a try! The library has Oculus Rift Touch visors and handsets for the full VR experience. Walk on Mars, visit the International Space Station, do some guided meditation, or try any of the many other available VR experiences. Each session, designed for ages 18+,  will be at least 15 minutes, depending on attendance. A signed waiver is required to use the equipment.

On Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the 4th floor conference room, the Pasadena Central Library, 285 E Walnut St., offers free  one-on-one counseling (provided by business professionals) to anyone operating a small business or thinking of starting one. Appointments are a must; to sign up, call (626) 744-7351.

PWP values your feedback. The City will be hosting community meetings to collect public input and illustrate the differences between the current water rates and the proposed changes. Join us on  Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. - Pasadena City College Community Education Center, 3035 East Foothill Blvd.


Council hears speakers say Civic Center's YWCA building should be used for homeless housing

"A majority of speakers who addressed the Pasadena City Council during public comments on Monday said they would like to see the iconic Julia Morgan-designed YWCA building be used for homeless housing. Other suggestions included using the building for youth transitioning out of foster care. The Council also heard from two consulting firms, OLIN Partners and the Kosmont Company, asked to study design and economic impacts of using the building variously as a hotel, private office space, office space for Pasadena Water and Power, and housing for the homeless. The council voted 5-3 to seek development proposals based on recommendations from a consultant who is expert in a style known as Beaux Arts, which permeates Pasadena's Civic Center."  Pasadena Now


Bill laying foundation for state to return freeway stubs passes state senate committee

"A bill known as SB-7 which would lay the foundation for the state to return surplus 710 freeway stubs back to local cities in the freeway corridor passed a state Senate committee Tuesday. The bill, authored by Pasadena-area Senator Anthony Portantino, additionally would forever officially prohibit the implementation of a freeway tunnel or surface freeway in the gap between Alhambra and Pasadena. The bill would also allow the surplus of Caltrans properties being used by local nonprofits to be purchased at their current use value."  Pasadena Now


Pasadena's private-public project 'One Arroyo' looks to connect With green

"The One Arroyo Foundation project, a public-private effort to protect the Arroyo Seco, held a kickoff event in Pasadena on April 6. All in attendance have one shared goal: To work together to preserve Pasadena's treasured Arroyo. But it can't be done on love alone and the organization is looking to raise $7 million to preserve and enhance the Arroyo. The overall vision of One Arroyo is to connect the 1,000 acres of Arroyo recreation, historical and cultural venues with the habitat over a unified trail system and implement ways to preserve natural resources."  Pasadena Now


Angry residents: Testing not enough at Space Bank development site

"Angry Pasadena residents called on City Council on Monday to bring the Space Bank development project back to that body after two councilmembers declared they could no longer proclaim the project safe. The site for the four-to-five-story, mixed-use development at 3202 East Foothill Blvd. is currently occupied by the Space Bank Mini Storage facility. Local residents claim the Department of Toxic Substances Control is only doing partial testing and is not testing for cancer-causing toxins."  Pasadena Now


"The maxim 'no good deed goes unpunished' could apply to Pasadena consumers facing increased power rates thanks to a mostly successful diversification of energy and simultaneous reductions in use. 'Rates will be increasing,' said City Councilwoman Margaret McAustin. 'I'm not sure of the exact date, because it can be challenging coordinating with the City budget, but we're going to need a rate change.'"  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).

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."

... 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 natural 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.