Altadena Now is published daily and will host archives of Timothy Rutt's Altadena blog and his later Altadena Point sites.

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Thursday, May 9, 2024

New Public Health Report Shows LA County Homeless Mortality Rate Plateaued in 2022

New Public Health Report Shows LA County Homeless Mortality Rate Plateaued in 2022

STAFF REPORT

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has released its fifth annual report on mortality among people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. From 2021 to 2022, the most recent years of data available for the report, the overall mortality rate increased by just 2% from 3,215 per 100,000 people to 3,282 per 100,000 people.

This is a welcomed plateauing of the mortality rate among people experiencing homelessness, which previously saw a devastating increase of 56% from 2019 to 2021, the County said in a statement.

The recent plateau in the overall mortality rate can be attributed largely to a leveling off of the rate of drug overdose deaths, the leading cause of death among PEH for the past six years, and a sharp decline in COVID-19 mortality. From 2021 to 2022, the distribution of doses of naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication, saw a two-and-a-half-fold increase in communities most affected by fentanyl overdoses, and the number of reported naloxone-induced overdose reversals nearly doubled.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

LA County Library Observes Mental Health Awareness Month with Programs Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing

LA County Library Observes Mental Health Awareness Month with Programs Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing

STAFF REPORT

LA County Library is deeply committed to all its neighbors’ mental health and well-being. The Library recognizes May as Mental Health Awareness Month and proudly highlights the Mental Health Promoters Program, which is a transformative initiative created by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health aimed at reducing mental health stigma in the underserved.

“LA County Library has 86 locations that serve as trusted safe spaces for families throughout the County. The Library is a valued partner with the Department of Mental Health in supporting the well-being of Los Angeles County residents,” said Dr. Lisa H. Wong, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. “Throughout the year, and especially during May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, we look forward to sharing resources and information through our Mental Health Promoters Program stationed in various libraries across the County.”

“No matter the challenge, LA County Library is here to support our customers,” said Skye Patrick,

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Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Altadena Man Arrested for Alleged 10-Day Kidnapping and Assault of Pasadena Woman

Altadena Man Arrested for Alleged 10-Day Kidnapping and Assault of Pasadena Woman

A 38-year-old man from Altadena was arrested early Tuesday morning on charges of kidnapping and domestic violence following a distressing 10-day ordeal involving a 40-year-old Pasadena woman, according to Pasadena Police Lieutenant Edgar Sanchez.

The incident began on April 28 when the suspect, Edgar Garcia, and the victim, who have had an intermittent relationship over the past two years, met to exchange personal property, Sanchez said.

During the encounter, Garcia allegedly punched the woman and threatened further assault if she refused to get into his vehicle.

The victim was then forcibly detained by Garcia for the next ten days.

On the evening of May 6, Garcia allegedly compelled the victim to perform a sexual act against her will.

He later contacted the victim’s mother, informing her of the location where she could pick up her daughter. The reunion led the victim’s mother to drive her directly to the police to report the crimes, according to Sanchez.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Altadena Community Toastmasters Club Launches Weekly Meetings to Build Leadership and Public Speaking Skills

Altadena Community Toastmasters Club Launches Weekly Meetings to Build Leadership and Public Speaking Skills

STAFF REPORT

New club seeks to recruit at least 20 charter members and will meet Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m.

The newly formed Altadena Community Toastmasters Club is launching a series of weekly meetings starting April 24 aimed at building leadership and public speaking skills. The meetings will be held Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. in a hybrid format, with in-person attendance at the Altadena Community Center and virtual participation available through Zoom.

According to Sue Dekany, the initiative’s contact person, the club needs at least 20 people to officially charter. “It might take a couple of weeks to get there. We plan to meet weekly at the Community Center,” Dekany said.

The club’s flyer, distributed around town and on Nextdoor, touts the benefits of joining, including crafting stories, receiving feedback, and connecting with the community. It also highlights the opportunity to become a charter member and guarantees “fun and connection” along with prepared and impromptu speaking practice.

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Monday, April 22, 2024

LA County Proposes $45.4 Billion Budget for Fiscal Year 2024-25

LA County Proposes $45.4 Billion Budget for Fiscal Year 2024-25

CITY NEWS SERVICE

Noting slower-than-average growth in revenues and the winding down of some federal and state funding, Los Angeles County’s CEO released a $45.4 billion budget proposal for 2024-25 Monday, a decrease of $1.4 million from the 2023-24 fiscal year, which ends June 30.

While the proposed budget is lower than the current fiscal year, Fesia Davenport, county CEO, assured that the spending plan will maintain the county’s priorities, such as efforts to address housing and homelessness, promote mental health services, bolsters public safety, and ensure other county services. The proposal would also add 835 new positions — more than half of them in the Department of Mental Health — for a total of 116,159 budgeted positions in the county workforce.

“This recommended budget represents a balanced plan for the county’s future in the face of multiple uncertainties,” Davenport said during an online briefing Monday morning. “It invests our limited discretionary resources in the board’s highest priority programs,

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Saturday, April 20, 2024

LA County Unemployment Rate Unchanged in March

LA County Unemployment Rate Unchanged in March

Los Angeles County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 5.4% in March, the same rate as February, according to figures released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.

The 5.4% rate was above the rate of 4.9% rate from March 2023.

The March 2024 unemployment rate in Orange County, where seasonally adjusted rates were not immediately available, was 3.9%, down from 4.2% in February.

Statewide, California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.3% in March, the same rate as February but above the 4.5% rate in March 2023, the EDD reported. The comparable estimates for the nation were 3.8% in March, 3.9% in February and 3.5% a year ago.

Total non-farm employment in Los Angeles County increased by 14,900 jobs between February and March to reach more than 4.56 million.

The private education and health services sectors led the way by adding 8,400 jobs.

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Friday, April 19, 2024

Bach to Basics with Free Tunes at Altadena Church

Bach to Basics with Free Tunes at Altadena Church

STAFF REPORT

The Mt. Lowe Chamber Players are set to deliver an engaging chamber music concert featuring Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 on Sunday, May 5, at 3:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Altadena Community Church, located at 943 East Altadena Drive, Altadena, with both admission and parking free of charge.

Johann Sebastian Bach, an influential composer of the Baroque period, created the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, notable for its pioneering use of the harpsichord as a solo instrument. This particular performance will highlight a reproduction harpsichord crafted by Curtis Berak, a distinguished harpsichord builder from Los Angeles.

The concert will feature Ian Pritchard, a skilled harpsichordist from Tesserae Baroque, along with Larry Kaplan on flute and Agnes Gottschewski on violin. Supporting them will be Michael Siess on violin, Kate Vincent on viola, Tina Soule on cello, and Steve Edelman on bass. The ensemble will also perform selected works by Mendelssohn and Mozart,

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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Authorities Seek Public Help Locating 73-Year-Old Woman With Alzheimer’s

Authorities Seek Public Help Locating 73-Year-Old Woman With Alzheimer’s

A 73-year-old woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease was reported missing after being last seen in Altadena Wednesday.

Donna Louise Bertiger was last seen in the 1700 block of Alta Wood Drive, two blocks north of Altadena Drive, around 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies described Bertiger as a 5-foot-6-inch tall white woman weighing 110 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing blue jeans and blue shoes.

Anyone with information regarding Bertiger’s whereabouts was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Missing Persons Detail at 323-890-5500. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or visit lacrimestoppers.org.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

UCLA Survey: Dissatisfaction Remains High for LA County Residents

UCLA Survey: Dissatisfaction Remains High for LA County Residents

Concerns over the high cost of living pushed the satisfaction of Los Angeles County residents back to its lowest-ever level, with renters feeling especially pessimistic about their futures, according to a new UCLA survey released Wednesday.

The latest edition of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs’ quality of life index reveals that despite the sunshine, beaches and excellent tacos, living in Los Angeles is essentially a downer for respondents.

The cost of living remains a primary concern as people worry about losing their homes or feeding their families. Many residents said homelessness in their area has gotten worse over the past year, with only 10% saying it has gotten better. Just 20% are more hopeful than they were last year that the homelessness situation in Los Angeles County will improve.

The survey measures county residents’ satisfaction levels in nine categories. The overall rating fell two points from last year to 53 on a scale from 10 to 100, marking the second time in three years it fell below the survey’s 55 midpoint since the index launched in 2016.

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Friday, April 12, 2024

Sheriff’s Deputies Seek Missing Girl

Sheriff’s Deputies Seek Missing Girl

Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are urgently seeking public assistance in locating 11-year-old Mia Moreno, who has been reported missing.

Moreno was last seen on April 11th at 7:30 a.m., in the 700 block of Mountain View Street in Altadena. The circumstances of her disappearance remain unclear.

The Altadena Sheriff’s Station is spearheading the investigation and is urging anyone with information about Mia’s whereabouts to come forward. The department is particularly interested in speaking with anyone who may have seen or had contact with Moreno around the time of her disappearance.

For those who prefer to provide information anonymously, they can call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477). Alternatively, information can be submitted via smartphone by downloading the “P3Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

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