Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 23, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page A:6



Mountain View News Saturday, March 23, 2019 

Caltech: New Assessment 
of Earthquake Hazard

Chamber Connects PUSD 
Students with Airport for 
Learning Opportunity

Joe Ortiz to Lead South 
Pas Police Dept.


 Geophysicists at Caltech 
have created a new method 
for determining earthquake 
hazards by measuring how fast 
energy is building up on faults 
in a specific region, and then 
comparing that to how much 
is being released through fault 
creep and earthquakes.

 They applied the new method 
to the faults underneath central 
Los Angeles, and found that 
on the long-term average, the 
strongest earthquake that is 
likely to occur along those 
faults is between magnitude 6.8 
and 7.1, and that a magnitude 
6.8—about 50 percent stronger 
than the 1994 Northridge 
earthquake—could occur 
roughly every 300 years on 

 That is not to say that a 
larger earthquake beneath 
central L.A. is impossible, the 
researchers say; rather, they 
find that the crust beneath Los 
Angeles does not seem to be 
being squeezed from south to 
north fast enough to make such 
an earthquake quite as likely.

 The method also allows for 
an assessment of the likelihood 
of smaller earthquakes. If 
one excludes aftershocks, the 
probability that a magnitude 
6.0 or greater earthquake will 
occur in central LA over any 
given 10-year period is about 
9 percent, while the chance 
of a magnitude 6.5 or greater 
earthquake is about 2 percent.

 A paper describing these 
findings was published by 
Geophysical Research Letters 
on February 27.

 These levels of seismic hazard 
are somewhat lower but do not 
differ significantly from what 
has already been predicted 
by the Working Group 
on California Earthquake 
Probabilities. But that is 
actually the point, the Caltech 
scientists say.

 Current state-of-the-art 
methods for assessing the 
seismic hazard of an area 
involve generating a detailed 
assessment of the kinds of 
earthquake ruptures that can 
be expected along each fault, 
a complicated process that 
relies on supercomputers to 
generate a final model. By 
contrast, the new method—
developed by Caltech graduate 
student Chris Rollins and 
Jean-Philippe Avouac, Earle C. 
Anthony Professor of Geology 
and Mechanical and Civil 
Engineering—is much simpler, 
relying on the strain budget and 
the overall earthquake statistics 
in a region.

 “We basically ask, ‘Given 
that central L.A. is being 
squeezed from north to south 
at a few millimeters per year, 
what can we say about how 
often earthquakes of various 
magnitudes might occur in the 
area, and how large earthquakes 
might get?’” Rollins says.

 When one tectonic plate 
pushes against another, elastic 
strain is built up along the 
boundary between the two 
plates. The strain increases 
until one plate either creeps 
slowly past the other, or it jerks 
violently. The violent jerks are 
felt as earthquakes.

 Fortunately, the gradual 
bending of the crust between 
earthquakes can be measured 
at the surface by studying how 
the earth’s surface deforms. 
In a previous study (done in 
collaboration with Caltech 
research software engineer 
Walter Landry; Don Argus of 
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 
which is managed by Caltech 
for NASA; and Sylvain Barbot 
of USC), Avouac and Rollins 
measured ground displacement 
using permanent global 
positioning system (GPS) 
stations that are part of the 
Plate Boundary Observatory 
network, supported by the 
National Science Foundation 
(NSF) and NASA. The GPS 
measurements revealed how 
fast the land beneath L.A. is 
being bent. From that, the 
researchers calculated how 
much strain was being released 
by creep and how much was 
being stored as elastic strain 
available to drive earthquakes.

 The new study assesses whether 
that earthquake strain is most 
likely to be released by frequent 
small earthquakes or by one 
very large one, or something in 
between. Avouac and Rollins 
examined the historical record 
of earthquakes in Los Angeles 
from 1932 to 2017, as recorded 
by the Southern California 
Seismic Network, and selected 
the scenario that best fit the 
region’s observed behavior.

 “Estimating the magnitude and 
frequency of the most extreme 
events, which can’t be assumed 
to be known from history or 
instrumental observations, 
is very hard. Our method 
provides a framework to solve 
that problem and calculate 
earthquake probabilities,” says 

 This new method of estimating 
earthquake likelihood can be 
easily applied to other areas, 
offering a way to assess seismic 
hazards based on physical 
principles. “We are now 
refining the method to take into 
account the time distribution of 
past earthquakes, to make the 
forecasts more accurate, and 
we are adapting the framework 
so that it can apply to induced 
seismicity,” Avouac says.

 The study is titled “A geodesy- 
and seismicity-based local 
earthquake likelihood model 
for central Los Angeles.” This 
research was supported by a 
NASA Earth and Space Science 

 Joe Ortiz, a 25-year law 
enforcement leader who has 
served as Sierra Madre’s police 
chief since 2016, has been 
named as the new Police Chief 
for the City of South Pasadena, 
City Manager Stephanie 
DeWolfe announced.

“I am very pleased to welcome 
Joe Ortiz to South Pasadena,” 
DeWolfe said. “His community-
based approach to policing, 
along with extensive experience 
in similar police departments, 
make him an excellent fit for 
our city.”

 Ortiz is set to begin his new 
position on April 1, DeWolfe 
said. As Chief, he will lead 
a department of 53, with 36 
sworn officers and 17 non-
sworn staff members.

 Ortiz joined the Sierra Madre 
Police Department in 2010 as 
a patrol sergeant and rose up 
through the ranks, becoming 
captain of operations and 
support divisions in 2014 and 
chief in 2016.

 Prior to Sierra Madre, he 
served as a detective and 
corporal in the Glendora Police 
Department. He is a veteran 
of the Air Force and the Air 
National Guard.

 Ortiz described his law 
enforcement approach as 
“contemporary, community-
based policing.” His leadership 
style, he said, one of inclusion 
and relationship building 
with internal and external 
stakeholders to define and 
achieve common goals, citing 
the coalition building that led 
to broad support of the Sierra 
Madre Police Department’s 
strategic plan.

 “I look forward to engaging 
with the South Pasadena 
community, police officers and 
staff, and the City leadership 
teams,” Ortiz said. “My 
predecessors have created a 
very strong department, and 
I’m excited to be able to build on 
that success with a collaborative 

 Ortiz succeeds former South 
Pasadena Chief Art Miller, who 
left the City in August. Captain 
Brian Solinsky has served as 
acting chief since that time.

 “I’d like to welcome Chief 
Ortiz to the South Pasadena 
community,” said South 
Pasadena Mayor Marina 
Khubesrian. “His reputation in 
Sierra Madre is excellent, and 
I have full confidence that he 
will bring the same high level 
of service and dedication to our 

 Ortiz holds a Master of 
Science degree in Emergency 
Management and Bachelor 
of Arts in Occupational 
Studies from Cal State Long 
Beach, along with multiple 
certifications and professional 
affiliations. Ortiz is a resident of 
Claremont, married, with two 
adult sons, one of whom has 
followed in his law enforcement 

Pasadena Unified School 
District high students were able 
to be part of the Hollywood 
Burbank Airport 2019 Airport 
Academy. The academy is a 
one day per month program 
from January through May. 
Students in the Airport 
Academy learn about and 
observe airport operations, 
the roles of the Federal 
Aviation Administration 
and Transportation Security 
Administration as well as 
various aspects of the airline 
industry. The program brings 
24 students, eight each from 
Pasadena, Glendale and 
Burbank high schools, to the 
airport to meet learn about 
and meet with people involved 
in everything from airline 
operations to security and 
airplane maintenance.

 Amy Foell, workforce 
development director for the 
Pasadena Chamber made the 
connection with Hollywood 
Burbank Airport through 
Pasadena Chamber Board 
member Nerissa Sugars, 
marketing communications 
and air service manager at the 
airport. Ms. Foell also recruited 
and prepared students 
from PUSD to participate 
and arranged for their 
transportation to the airport. 

 Eight students from the John 
Muir Early College Magnet 
High School Engineering 
and Environmental Science 
Academy and the Pasadena 
High School APP Academy with 
an interest in aviation careers 
are getting the opportunity to 
meet with engineers, air traffic 
controllers, pilots and TSA 
agents once a month through 
May. In addition to observing 
the complex operations of the 
airport and airlines, students 
gain an understanding of the full 
range of career opportunities 
an airport and airlines provide. 
In meeting with professionals 
at Hollywood Burbank 
Airport, students also learn the 
requirements, experience and 
education needed to fill those 

 Ian Carson, 10th grader at 
Pasadena High School said, 
“I chose to attend Airport 
Academy because I’ve been 
seriously interested in flight 
ever since third grade when 
I started making model 
airplanes. About three years 
ago I started flying remote 
controlled airplanes.”

 “The Pasadena Chamber, 
working with PUSD schools, 
has been effective at identifying 
opportunities for students to 
observe, explore and experience 
the world of work through 
internships, job shadow 
opportunities and more,” said 
Ms. Foell. “The Hollywood 
Burbank Airport Academy is a 
great way for interested students 
to meet with professionals in all 
aspects of airport and airline 
operations and hear first-hand 
from working professionals 
about their careers.” 

 Supporting the APP 
Academy at Pasadena High 
School and the Engineering 
and Environmental Science 
Academy at John Muir High 
School in PUSD is one of many 
work-based learning initiatives 
undertaken by the Pasadena 
Chamber with our community 
partners. Those efforts include 
summer intern placements, 
job shadowing for high school 
students in other college and 
career academies, classroom 
speakers from the business 
community and mentoring. 
Those wanting to volunteer, 
host an intern, be a job shadow 
location or mentor a local 
student, can visit: http://www.
signup and fill out the brief 
volunteer form.

 The public can support the 
Chamber’s work-based learning 
and workforce development 
activities by donating to 
the Pasadena Chamber of 
Commerce Foundation. 
Any donation is 100% tax 
deductible and will go directly 
to supporting our work with 
students in our local public 
schools. To donate visit: http://

 The Pasadena Chamber 
of Commerce and Civic 
Association is a business 
service member organization 
that works to ensure the 
prosperity of its members 
through a variety of offerings 
including referrals, networking, 
workshops and seminars, 
events and much more. The 
Chamber serves 1450 member 

 The Pasadena Chamber 
of Commerce Foundation 
provides support for work-
based learning and financial 
literacy programs to benefit 
young people and others 
seeking employment or 
professional advancement in 
our community. This work 
is done with and through 
the Pasadena Chamber 
of Commerce and Civic 
Association. We work with 
education, community, non-
profit and business partners 
as we help provide career 
exploration and real-world 
experience for local students.

 Chamber facilitates 
PUSD students getting 
behind-the-scenes look 
at airport and airline 
operations, interactions 
with airport staff at all 

The Women Artists of Disney – 

A Fusion of Fine Art & Animation


 Celebrate Women’s History 
Month in March as historian and 
author Mindy Johnson explores 
the creative and technical 
advances of leading women 
artists whose contributions 
expanded and defined many of 
Walt Disney’s classic animated 
films. Presented in conjunction 
with the landmark “Something 
Revealed; California Women 
Artists Emerge, 1860-
1960” exhibition currently 
at the Pasadena Museum of 
History. The work of Mary 
Blair and Nelbert Chouinard, 
along with other brilliant 
California artists, is explored 
in this fascinating celebration 
featuring original clips, fine 
artistry and classic animation!

Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30 
p.m. Pasadena Central Library/
Donald Wright Auditorium 
285 E Walnut Street.

Applicants for Space Accelerator

Free Monthly Events at 
Pasadena Senior Center

 NASA’s first aerospace 
accelerator program, co-
sponsored by the Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory in Pasadena, 
California, will select 10 
startup companies to take part 
in a three-month pilot program 
to develop new technologies 
for space. Applications will 
be accepted through April 
7. Organized by Techstars 
with support from Starburst 
Aerospace, the pilot program 
will enable the selected 
companies to collaborate with 
engineers and subject matter 
experts from JPL and from 
co-sponsors Lockheed Martin, 
the U.S. Air Force, Maxar 
Technologies, SAIC and Israel 
Aerospace Industries North 

 The accelerator will focus 
on technologies that can be 
applied to space — including 
geospatial analytics, digital 
design coupled to advanced 
manufacturing, autonomous 
systems, applied AI and 
machine learning. A main 
goal of the pilot program is to 
help both applicants and JPL 
swiftly develop technology that 
could be used for future space 
missions while also promoting 
collaboration between industry 
and NASA.

 Based in Los Angeles, the 
accelerator program begins 
on July 15. To apply visit:

There is something for 
everyone in December at the 
Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. 
Holly St.

 You do not have to be a 
member to attend. Some events 
require advance reservations as 


 Tax Time – Wednesdays 
and Fridays through April 
12 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. 
Representatives from the 
AARP Foundation’s Tax-
Aide program will assist 
low- to middle-income filers 
in preparing their federal 
income tax returns. There is 
no age limit. Appointments are 
required: 626-795-4331.

 Sages and Seekers – 
Tuesdays to April 30, from 3 
to 4:15 p.m. In tribal cultures, 
elders have a vital role as keepers 
of memories and wisdom, and 
younger members learn from 
them. Sages and Seekers is an 
intergenerational program that 
brings together teens and older 
adults to share experiences. 
On a one-on-one basis, sages 
describe highlights of their lives 
and what they have learned 
from their experiences, and 
seekers weave that knowledge 
into essays honoring the sages.

 Diabetes Workshop – 
Mondays, to April 15, from 1 
to 3 p.m. If you or someone you 
care about is diabetic or pre-
diabetic, this series encourage 
you to make lifestyle changes 
while learning more about your 
diabetes and how it affects your 
health. Registration is required: 

 Know Your Numbers 
– Thursday, March 28, at 
10 a.m. If you have been 
diagnosed with diabetes, 
high blood pressure, high 
cholesterol or hypertension, 
learn the significance of key 
markers related to your health, 
and whether your numbers 
might be too high or too low. 
Presented by Regal Medical 

REFRAINS – Friday, March 
29, at 3:30 p.m. Guest 
performing artists from MUSE/
IQUE will explore how to 
improvise, create, experiment, 
express and find our own 
voice that is uniquely you. 
Participants who register in 
advance at the Pasadena Senior 
Center’s Welcome Desk and 
attend this event will be eligible 
for a limited number of tickets 
for the March 31 MUSE/IQUE 
concert at the former Pasadena 
Museum of California Art. 

 Diabetes Workshop – 
Mondays, April 2 to April 
15, from 1 to 3 p.m. If you 
orsomeone you care about is 
diabetic or pre-diabetic, this 
series encourage you to make 
lifestyle changes while learning 
more about your diabetes and 
how it affects your health. 
Registration is required: 

 For more information visit: or 
call 626-795-4331.

 Founded in 1960, the 
Pasadena Senior Center is an 
independent, donor-supported 
nonprofit organization that 
offers recreational, educational, 
wellness and social services to 
people ages 50 and older.

Prayer Breakfast Keynote Speaker

Friends In Deed announced that this year’s Mayor’s Prayer 
Breakfast Keynote Speaker Dr. Thomas F. Rosenbaum President 
of Caltech

Thomas Rosenbaum is the ninth president of Caltech and 
Professor of Physics. He is an expert on the quantum mechanical 
nature of materials and will be speaking on the subject of “Faith 
and Science” at the 46th Annual Pasadena Mayor’s Interfaith 
Prayer Breakfast, Thursday May 9th.

 See announcement below

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