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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Archives Altadena Blog Altadena Archive

Thursday, May 12, 2022

$50,000 Reward Offered For Information in Fatal Shooting of 4-Year-Old Boy

$50,000 Reward Offered For Information in Fatal Shooting of 4-Year-Old Boy

CITY NEWS SERVICE

A $50,000 reward was available as of Wednesday for information leading to the person who fatally shot a 4-year-old boy in Altadena nearly six years ago in what detectives said they believed was prompted by a gang-related dispute.

Salvador Esparza III, who lived in Monrovia but was visiting family friends when the gunfire erupted, was shot about 10:40 p.m. July 5, 2016, in the 300 block of West Figueroa Drive near Lincoln Avenue, just a few blocks north of the Pasadena city line.

The gunman walked to the home and fired at least 13 rounds, striking the 4-year-old boy and a 27-year-old man, who was a family friend not related to the child, authorities said. Both were taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, where the boy was pronounced dead. The man survived.

“Detectives believe the shooting was the result of a gang-related dispute and Salvador was an innocent victim in this senseless act of violence,”

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Monday, May 2, 2022

Altadena Residents Receive US Presidential Lifetime Achievement Awards

Altadena Residents Receive US Presidential Lifetime Achievement Awards

STAFF REPORT

Four Altadena residents — Silvera Grant, Tony Ward, Maureen Ward, and Mary Landau — have received U.S. Presidential “Lifetime Achievement Awards” in recognition of their thousands of hours of volunteer service to others and to their community.

Grant is the longtime president of the Altadena Community Garden, Ward is the past “Lane Foreman” of the Christmas Tree Lane Association (CTLA), Ward is a past president of CTLA, and Landau is a longtime volunteer with several local, county, and statewide organizations.

“While volunteerism rates have declined such that California is now 47th in the nation overall, Silvera, Tony, Maureen, and Mary stand as shining examples for others to emulate. The organizations they serve should be very proud, indeed,” said Amy, who himself received a Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2020 for his volunteer efforts on behalf of humanitarian-aid organization ShelterBox USA.

A letter from President Joe Biden accompanied each award, thanking each awardee for their service.

“By sharing your time and passion,

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Sunday, May 1, 2022

Altadena Student Announced as Grand Prize Finalist in The Music Center’s 34th Annual Spotlight Program

Altadena Student Announced as Grand Prize Finalist in The Music Center’s 34th Annual Spotlight Program

STAFF REPORT

The Music Center in Los Angeles has selected a 17-year-old Altadena student as one of 14 Grand Prize finalists in its 34th annual Spotlight program, a nationally acclaimed performing arts competition, scholarship and artistic development program for teens.

Oscar Yum, 17, a junior at Flintridge Prep School in La Cañada who resides in Altadena, was selected as the Spotlight Grand Prize Finalist for Classical Voice. He will be performing at the Spotlight Grand Finale at the Music Center’s Ahmanson Theater on June 15, showcasing his talent and providing a behind-the-scenes look at his artistic journey through the Spotlight program.

In addition, Yum will receive a $5,000 scholarship, like the other 14 finalists.

Spotlight is a Music Center arts program that provides Southern California teens with expert advice, coaching, auditions and mastery classes taught by professional artists and arts administrators. The program recognizes and rewards all participants throughout the competition with a range of benefits,

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

County Bans Single-Use Plastics in Food Service

County Bans Single-Use Plastics in Food Service

The County Board of Supervisors Tuesday gave final approval Tuesday to an ordinance requiring that all food-service containers, cups, dishes and cutlery distributed by restaurants and food facilities in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County be recyclable or compostable.

The ordinance, which will be phased in starting in May 2023, will also prohibit retail stores from selling “expanded polystyrene,” or Styrofoam, products such as coolers, packing materials, cups, plates and pool toys, unless they are encased in a “durable material.”

It also requires that full-service restaurants with sit-down service provide customers with reusable “multi-service” utensils and plates.

The board, which tentatively approved the measure two weeks ago, voted 4-1 Tuesday without comment to give it final approval. Supervisor Kathryn Barger was the dissenting vote.

The ordinance will take effect May 1, 2023, for all food facilities operating in a permanent location, and for all retail stores. It will take effect for food trucks on Nov. 1, 2023, and on May 1,

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

L.A. County Supervisors Take Steps to Prevent Drug Overdoses in Jails

L.A. County Supervisors Take Steps to Prevent Drug Overdoses in Jails

In an effort to mitigate inmate deaths due to drug overdoses, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn that calls for more proactive prevention strategies, including drug detection efforts, after seeing a rise in narcotics use.

“Our role as County leaders is to look out for the safety and well-being of all our County residents, and that includes individuals in our jails,” said Supervisor Barger. “It is unacceptable to ignore the loss of life in what should be a highly regulated and secure environment. We need to have the necessary resources and tools to keep drugs out of our jails.”

“The rise of overdoses in our jail system is alarming,” Supervisor Hahn stated. “The quick administration of NARCAN has saved lives, but we need to develop new strategies to prevent these deadly narcotics from ending up in our jails.”

The motion approved by the Board of Supervisors references a 2021 study by the Department of Justice that found drug related deaths in jails have risen by 623% nationally.

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Monday, April 18, 2022

LA County CEO Unveils Recommended $38.5 Billion Budget

LA County CEO Unveils Recommended $38.5 Billion Budget

CITY NEWS SERVICE

Los Angeles County’s CEO Monday unveiled a $38.5 billion recommended budget for fiscal year 2022-23.

The recommendation is $807 million less than the current fiscal year’s adopted budget, but $2.3 billion more than last year’s recommended budget. Officials said the draft budget, which is scheduled to be presented to the Board of Supervisors for initial approval Tuesday, is expected to increase as the county receives additional federal and state funding.

“This budget brings to life the policy vision established by the Board of Supervisors and sets a course for the county to strengthen the programs and services we provide to millions of residents each and every day,” County CEO Fesia Davenport said in a statement. “That means continuing to respond vigilantly to an evolving pandemic, while also ramping up to launch new departments focused on key populations and driving major changes in how we deliver services. It’s a dynamic time for Los Angeles County, and this recommended spending plan is intended to reflect that.”

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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Altadena Resident Presented President’s Volunteer Service Award

Altadena Resident Presented President’s Volunteer Service Award

STAFF REPORT

75-year-old Altadena resident Baeri Penn has been presented the prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) in recognition of his recent service to the community.

Accompanying the award was a letter from President Joe Biden.

“On behalf of the American people, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to you for your volunteer leadership, and I encourage you to continue to answer the call to serve,” Biden wrote. “The country is counting on you.”

Penn, a resident of Altadena for 31 years, took the lead — as a volunteer — in the design and installation of a sweeping new permanent exhibit at the Altadena Community Center entitled, “Fourteen Decades of Altadena History.”

In his professional career, Penn worked as the project manager on exhibits for a wide variety of museums, both the Nixon and Reagan Presidential Libraries, and the Mount Rushmore Visitor’s Center.

Penn’s vision of a timeline of local history centers on a four-foot-diameter “cookie”

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Friday, March 11, 2022

Transformative Altadena Library Renovation Projects Underway with Anderson Brulé Architects

Transformative Altadena Library Renovation Projects Underway with Anderson Brulé Architects

STAFF REPORT

 

The Altadena Library District said Thursday that planning and design are underway for a multi-year project to modernize and improve its Main Library and Bob Lucas Memorial Library buildings.

The District is working with capital project manager Rachlin Partners and Anderson Brulé Architects (ABA), an architecture firm that specializes in the creation of thriving community resources, and libraries in particular, to lead these efforts.

“We are so excited to be working with ABA to reimagine our libraries for future Altadenans,” says Altadena Library District Director Nikki Winslow. “We will be able to offer more public-facing spaces with study spaces and meeting rooms, making these facilities true community hubs.”

“Our libraries have served as a key resource for Altadena for almost 55 years,” says Altadena Library District Trustee and Chair of the Facilities Committee Jason Capell. “Through these renovations, our library facilities will become more accessible, more sustainable and more flexible. We look forward to being able to address the future needs of the community for the next 55 years.”

ABA established its commitment to the Altadena libraries and community two years ago when Design Principal Mark Schoeman,

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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Supervisor Barger Resolves Altadena Schools’ Traffic Safety Concerns

Supervisor Barger Resolves Altadena Schools’ Traffic Safety Concerns

In an effort to ensure the safety of students before and after school, Supervisor Kathryn Barger today championed a motion directing crossing guards to serve the busiest intersections outside Altadena Arts Magnet and Eliot Arts Magnet Academy. Her motion was unanimously approved during the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting.

“As students navigate busy streets when they arrive and leave from school, their protection and safety are the absolute top priority,” Supervisor Barger said. “I thank the leadership from both schools and the Altadena Town Council for speaking up about this urgent need. Advocacy and collaboration are key to resolving community safety concerns.”

Barger’s motion ensures there will be professional traffic supervision during arrival and dismissal times to prevent students from being struck by vehicles when children are being dropped off and picked up from school.

As a result, the crossing guard currently stationed at the intersection of Calaveras Street and Catherine Road will be reassigned to the intersection of Calaveras Street and El Molino Avenue adjacent to Altadena Arts Magnet.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

CA School Mask Mandate Remains for Now, but Could Lift at Month’s End

CA School Mask Mandate Remains for Now, but Could Lift at Month’s End

CITY NEWS SERVICE

Despite indications the state was on the verge of lifting its mask-wearing requirement in schools, California’s Health and Human Services secretary said Monday the requirement will remain in place for now, pending a Feb. 28 reassessment of COVID-19 case rates and other pandemic metrics.

Dr. Mark Ghaly said a lifting of the mandate is inevitable, saying it is just “a question of when.” He expressed confidence that the mandate would be lifted sometime after that Feb. 28 reassessment, barring another sudden spike in virus infection rates and hospitalizations.

He noted that if the Feb. 28 assessment supports lifting the mandate, it would not happen immediately on March 1. He said the state would set a date that gives school districts, staff and parents time to prepare for the change.

Ghaly gave a lengthy presentation noting significant downward trends over the past month statewide in COVID case rates, hospitalizations and testing positivity rates. But he said as far as schools are concerned,

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