Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 22, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 4


Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 22, 2012 

City Boards 
up Vacant 
Home Used 
by Squatters

Council to Review Mixed-

use Development Project

The city council will review 
plans Monday night during 
their regular meeting for a 
new 50,000 square foot mixed-
use development project on 
South Los Robles Ave after 
demolishing two existing 
buildings on the property.

 According to a staff report 
released Thursday, American 
General Design has submitted 
a Predevelopment Plan Review 
for the project at 105 South 
Los Robles Avenue (pictured 

 “Proposed is a new five-story 
mixed-use building containing 
50 residential units, and a 
ground floor commercial space 
measuring 2,638 square feet 
above two levels of parking 
containing 70 parking spaces,” 
the report reeds. “The total 
square footage of the building 
will be 50,239 square feet. Four 
on-site very low income housing 
units are being provided by the 

 Construction would include 
one level of at grade and one 
level of subterranean parking.

 The report also states that 
vehicle access to the site would 
be provided by an adjacent 
mixed use project that is 
currently under construction.

 A traffic impact study recently 
completed identified that 
the project would generate 
approximately 293 net daily 
trips with 20 new trips in the 
a.m. peak hour and 24 net trips 
in the p.m. peak hour staff said.

 “The Study concluded that 
none of the studied intersections 
as well as street segments would 
result in a significant impact 
under CEQA,” the report stated.

 Staff said the next steps in 
the review process include 
a preliminary consultation 
with design commission; 
Hearing Officer (Zoning) 
public meeting; and design 
commission reviews.

 Because the item is to provide 
information only, no action is 
required by the city council. 
The public will be allowed to 
comment in compliance of 
open meeting laws.

By Dean Lee

 Police and code 
enforcement officers 
responded last week to a 
complaint boarding up an 
Oakland Ave Craftsman-
style home after a neighbor 
said up to 17 people had 
been squatting in the 
foreclosed residents for 

 No was inside the home 
when police and code 
enforcement officials arrived 
Sept. 12 although reports 
said the home in the 400 N. 
block of Oakland Ave. was 
littered with trash including 
baby food jars, beer bottles, 
drug paraphernalia and 
cigarette butts. 

 A week ago Monday, next 
door neighbor, Danielle 
Kurz told the city council 
she had enough after 
numerous calls to police 
pleading to the city for help.

 “I called the police at 
least 75 times,” Kurz said. 
“Because we have people 
sleeping there day and 
night, we have drugs, rot 
and the house is starting to 
become a disgrace. At night 
I cannot sleep.”

 She said when the police 
do show up; they kick out 
the squatters who just come 
back the next day. 

 “I’m a little sad when I have 
to call the police so many 

 Kurz said the house is 
owned by Bank of America, 
“They do not want to do 
anything because the home 
is in foreclosure.”

 Kurz also said her son 
offered to by the home but 
was denied by the bank.

 “I really ask the town 
to help me fight Bank of 
America,” she said. “I will 
not allow them to destroy 
my peace and destroy my 

Assemblymember Anthony 
Portantino (above right) 
speaks to crowd of about 
300 (below) during a 710 
Freeway extension panel 
discussion, Tuesday night, 
made up of geologists,air 
quality experts and 
preservationists. The 
event was hosted by 
councilmember Steve 
Madison. The event leaned 
heavily on the opposition to 
any proposed underground 
freeway tunnel between 
Pasadena and Alhambra.


Needed for 
Tree Planting

Schiff Urges Metro to 
end 710 Tunnel Plans 

 Volunteers are needed to 
help Pasadena City Council 
member Gene Masuda and the 
City’s Department of Public 
Works plant more than 75 
trees on Saturday, September 
29 as part of Pasadena’s 
collaborative effort to restore 
the City’s “Urban Forest” that 
was heavily damaged in the 
2011 Windstorm.

 To kick off this year’s fall 
tree-planting season, the City 
is working on Sept. 29 with 
volunteers and the Pasadena 
Beautiful Foundation, 
Odwalla’s Plant-a-Tree 
Program, and the Pasadena 
Community Foundation to 
plant trees in areas west of 
Eaton Canyon Wash.

 Volunteers will meet at 8:00 
a.m. at Eaton Sunnyslope Park, 
3005 E. Orange Grove Blvd. A 
tree-planting demonstration 
by City arborists is planned 
for 8:15 a.m. Volunteers 
will begin tree plantings at 
about 8:30 a.m., supervised 
by City staff. The Pasadena 
Firefighters Local 809 will 
provide a volunteer lunch.

From Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, 2011, 
severe winds damaged 5,550 
trees along Pasadena’s streets 
and in public parks. Of those 
5,550 trees, 2,100 trees were 
significantly damaged and 
required removal. The rest 
sustained less severe damage 
to branches or limbs. 

 Since the windstorm, the 
City has been working 
collaboratively with 
the Pasadena Beautiful 
Foundation, Odwalla’s 
Plant-a-Tree Program, and 
the Pasadena Community 
Foundation to help raise 
money and initiate tree 

 Volunteers must wear 
closed-toe shoes or boots 
and comfortable clothes that 
can get dirty. An adult must 
accompany all children 14 
years old, or younger. Don’t 
forget to bring gardening 
gloves and a favorite shovel if 

 Interested volunteers should 
call the Department of Public 
Works, Division of Parks 
and Natural Resources, at 
(626) 744-4321 or by email 
to Darya Barar, Program 
Coordinator, at dbarar@ Or, go 
online to www.cityofpasadena.

Congressman Adam Schiff 
condemned members of the 
Los Angeles Metro Board 
Thursday warning them of the 
likelihood of massive fiscal and 
community costs associated 
with a 710 freeway tunnel 
and urging them to remove 
that option from further 
consideration of the “710 North 
Gap Closure Project.”

 In a letter sent to Chairman 
Michael Antonovich and Metro 
board members, he called on 
them to focus on less disruptive 
and costly options that will 
immediately bring congestion 
relief to residents of the 
surrounding communities. 

 “The environmental review 
process Metro is engaged in 
has been excessively focused 
on the tunnel option,” he 
wrote. “I have expressed my 
concern over Metro’s apparent 
rush to judgment on a tunnel 
option many times, but 
without success. This has only 
confirmed what many in the 
community suspected, that 
Metro was once again starting 
with the conclusion it wished to 
reach and working backwards.”

Schiff also states that on cost 
estimate has been given 

“Metro has refused to release an 
accurate figure on the cost of a 
tunnel,” he says. “But it is safe to 
say that its original estimate is 
off by many billions of dollars. 
In any event, this is money we 
do not have and are not likely 
to obtain, and it would be a 
disservice to the community to 
invest substantial sums towards 
a project that may never be 
completed while forgoing more 
immediate traffic improvements 
that could do much to mitigate 
traffic and pollution now.” 

“While the project was originally 
estimated to cost approximately 
$1.5 billion, a 2011 study 
estimated it would cost $2.8 
billion and now the Measure 
R extension expenditure plan 
believes it will cost $5.6 billion. 
How costly will it be in another 
year? Or two? Or ten? “

“Metro expects to fund half 
of the project through private 
financing and another $1.8 
through federal funding and 
the rest through Measure R 
funds. I am deeply concerned 
that taxpayers could be left 
picking up the full tab, if the 
highly speculative financing 
does not come through.” 

Schiff said the community is far 
from supporting a tunnel. In 
each of the five zones in which 
the tunnel could be constructed, 
no community embraced the 
proposal he said 

“This was not a simple matter 
of each neighborhood simply 
wanting the tunnel elsewhere, 
but rather a recognition by 
each community that the price 
was too high, both fiscally and 
in terms of its impact on the 
quality of life, and not only for 
their own community, but for 
any community.

 He warns of the 
tunnel cost and community 

Schiff Statement on Attack 
against US Diplomat in Libya

 After the attack on the 
American consulate in 
Benghazi, Libya, Rep. Adam 
Schiff, a senior Member of the 
House Intelligence Committee, 
issued the following statement 
last week

 “I was deeply saddened and 
disturbed to learn of the attack 
on the American consulate in 
Benghazi, Libya that claimed 
the lives of Ambassador 
Christopher Stephens and three 
other Americans. Ambassador 
Stephens was a well-known 
figure in Libya, and was deeply 
involved in helping the Libyan 
people in their transition from 
the Qaddafi dictatorship.

 “I have had the privilege of 
meeting many of our diplomats 
and USAID professionals 
overseas and I have always been 
struck by their dedication and 
their willingness to take risks in 
pursuit of a better world. They 
are America’s first line of defense 
and today’s loss should serve as 
a reminder to all Americans 
of the risks that our diplomats 
and foreign assistance officers 
encounter every day.”


Pet of 
the Week

 Learn not just how to 
blog but how to report 
the news

The Pasadena Community 
Network and this newspaper 
are holding a workshop on 
Citizen Journalism. 

 This group is the place where 
aspiring journalists can learn 
from trained professionals 
and support their local 
community by covering what’s 
really happening in their 

 We will put the news in your 
hands. Learn how to find 
the story, the tools needed to 
capture the story and the means 
to tell the story using the power 
of video, audio and print along 
with online social media The 
next meeting is Sep. 25 from 6: 
30 p.m. to 8p.m. at the Pasadena 
Community Network - Studio 
G, 2057 N. Los Robles Ave.

 For more info call 626.794.8585.

County Explores 
‘Hyperconnectivity’ and 
Expansion of Global Digital 

Marking Transitions 
Ceremonial Art in 
Indonesia; New Pacific 
Asia Museum Exhibition

 Spike is a 10-year-old 
bulldog/pug mix. He’s very 
friendly and loves to go on 
walks. He does have a bit of 
arthritis and needs to lose 
some weight so an attentive 
family would be great for 

 Spike’s adoption fee is 
$120, which includes his 
neuter surgery, a microchip, 
the first set of vaccinations, 
as well as a free follow-
up health check at a 
participating vet. He also 
qualifies for our Seniors for 
Seniors program for eligible 
adopters. New adopters 
will receive complimentary 
health and wellness 
exam from VCA Animal 
Hospitals, as well as a goody 
bag filled with information 
on how to care for your pet. 
Ask an adoptions counselor 
for more information 
during your visit 

 Call the Pasadena 
Humane Society & SPCA at 
626.792.7151 to ask about 
A312951, or visit at 361 S. 
Raymond Ave. in Pasadena. 
Adoption hours are 11-4 
Sunday, 9-5 Tuesday –
Friday, 9-4 Saturday. Pets 
may not be available for 
adoption and cannot be 
held for potential adopters 
from phone calls or email. 
Directions and photos of all 
pets can be found at www.

 A motion by Supervisor 
Michael Antonovich Tuesday 
seeks to upgrade and expand Los 
Angeles County’s information 
and communication 
technologies infrastructure to 
spur innovation, job creation, 
and improved government 

 Last week, at the World 
Economic Forum’s Annual 
Meeting of New Champions 
in Tianjin, China, where 
Antonovich was a panelist, 
the central theme was 
“hyperconnectivity” -- the 
trend towards having more of 
the world’s population online 
at any given time. As more and 
more devices from computers to 
smart phones to kitchen gadgets 
now have internet capabilities, 
business leaders are embracing 
“hyperconnectivity” to put 
them in direct contact with 

 Information and 
communication technologies 
(ICT) has evolved into a key 
enabling infrastructure across 
industries while proving 
to be a powerful driver of 
enhanced living conditions 
and opportunities around the 
globe. ICT has changed the 
world dramatically over the last 
decade or so, and it is bound 
to continue to do so at an even 
higher rate going forward.

 “Just as we invest in our civil 
infrastructure to move goods 
and people, we must invest in 
our digital infrastructure to 
allow for the movement of ideas 
and information to enhance 
innovation and create the jobs 
of tomorrow,” said Supervisor 

 Chattanooga, Tennessee is one 
of several cities participating 
in the US IGNITE program, 
a joint venture between the 
National Science Foundation 
and the White House, to bring 
ultra-high-speed broadband 
internet access to 25 cities 
nationwide. As a result of its 
$220 million investment in 
broadband internet access, 
Chattanooga has attracted 
dozens of companies including 
Volkswagen and Amazon 
– creating over 7,500 jobs 
and over $2 billion dollars of 
investment in the region.

 Antonovich’s motion directs 
the CEO to coordinate a 
possible partnership with the 
County’s Chief Information 
Office, its 134 unincorporated 
communities and 88 cites, 
internet service providers, 
utility companies, educational 
institutions, US IGNITE and 
the economic development 
agencies in Los Angeles County. 
The CEO’s office will report 
back to the Board in 45 days 
with its findings.


 Pacific Asia Museum 
announced this week the new 
exhibition Marking Transitions: 
Ceremonial Art in Indonesia 
on view November 2 through 
March 24.

 Marking Transitions: 
Ceremonial Art in Indonesia 
will provide visitors a chance 
to experience the connections 
between art and ritual in the 
lives of Indonesians through 
objects created for a range of 
uses. Rituals remain an integral 
part of everyday life in many 
regions of Indonesia, and 
objects such as finely woven 
textiles and elegantly prepared 
knives carry great significance 
in both ceremony and 
performance. This exhibition 
will illuminate those meanings 
along with a focus on the 
extraordinary craftsmanship 
embedded in each object.

 One such object that will 
be on view is a tampan cloth 
from the Lampong region of 
southern Sumatra (pictured at 
top). This region became quite 
wealthy as a major producer of 
pepper along the spice trade 
routes, and this wealth along 
with the broad range of cultural 
influences is reflected in the 
rich textiles produced there. 
Tampan are small, ceremonial 
cloths that signify transition at 
many ceremonies, including 
weddings, births and funerals, 
and are often displayed or used 
to wrap food or other gifts. The 
cloth would also serve as a seat 
for elders or other prominent 
figures, or would be tied to the 
poles of new homes. The ship 
motif on this particular tampan 
is common to coastal regions 
along major trade routes, 
and further illustrates both 
transition and prosperity.

 Together with other ceremonial 
objects, Marking Transitions 
will trace Indonesia’s rich 
material cultural tradition. The 
exhibition will be supported by 
a variety of related programs 
designed to engage all ages.

 This exhibition is made possible 
in part by the Los Angeles 
County Arts Commission and 
Sid and Betsey Tyler.

Library to 
Reopen Early

 Hastings Branch Library 
will reopen to the public 
on Monday, September 24 
at 10 a.m. The branch has 
been closed since August 6 
for flooring and electrical 
upgrades. The work was 
completed sooner than 
anticipated and the branch 
will be opening a week 
earlier than expected. 
Hastings is located at 3325 
E. Orange Grove Blvd. 

 For more information, call 
(626) 744-4066.