Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 2, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 5


Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 2, 2020 

Pasadena Fire 
Begins Brush 

Op-Ed from Mayor Tornek

From the Mayor’s Desk, April 28 

 Life in Pasadena has been 
turned upside down by the 
COVID-19 pandemic. I must 
express my heartfelt sympathy 
to those who have lost loved 
ones, and my profound 
gratitude to those who have 
worked so hard to keep us all 

 Like the rest of the State, 
Pasadena has shut down 
everything but essential 
businesses and directed 
everyone to practice social 
distancing. We took these 
extraordinary steps to 
limit deaths and to avoid 
overwhelming our medical 
system. With widespread 
cooperation from our residents 
and effective work by City staff, 
we have been successful to date.

 The economic impacts of 
these measures have been 
devastating for many people, 
and we all yearn for them to 
end soon. Unsurprisingly, there 
are loud voices demanding 
that the restrictions and their 
attendant economic hardships 
can no longer be tolerated and 
that it is time to loosen the 
rules, allow more people to go 
back to work and resume other 
aspects of their normal lives.

 Unhappily, the best available 
scientific advice advocates 
maintaining the current 
strictures until certain 
benchmarks regarding 
reductions in cases, expanded 
testing and the availability of 
therapeutic drugs have been 
achieved. Of course, there 
is controversy regarding the 
accuracy of the tests and the 
efficacy of existing drugs.

 Then there is the matter of 
Pasadena’s unique role in all of 

 Some assume that since 
we have our own Health 
Department, we should exercise 
more control over own destiny. 
We should decide which stores 
are truly “essential” and which 
potentially crowd-gathering 
attractions should remain open. 
Pasadena should be leading the 
way in decision-making instead 
of moving in lock-step with the 
rest of LA County. I disagree.

 Our Public Health 
Department has been working 
hard to manage the nursing 
home hotspots and pursuing 
vital tracking and tracing of 
infected people. Our Public 
Health Officer does have 
some authority. However, 
our resources are limited and 
we are relying on the same 
science as others in the region. 
The disease is not limited by 
municipal boundaries, and I 
believe that Pasadena’s elected 
officials and City staff must rely 
on science and experts. Also, 
as is the case with all disasters, 
we must act in concert with 
LA County and the State of 

 Where Pasadena has shown 
significant leadership is in 
providing assistance to those 
most in need. We have allocated 
substantial resources to feeding 
the hungry and helping the 
homeless. We have installed a 
250-bed surge medical facility 
in our Convention Center, and 
have provided $11 million+ 
in rebates to all of our power 

 This pandemic experience 
is new to all of us, although 
the 1918 version does offer 
some guidance. So, we will 
undoubtedly make some 
missteps in our efforts to keep 
our residents safe. We may even 
be overly cautious in the way 
that we manage the reopening 
of normal commerce, 
education and recreation. Be 
assured that we will strive to do 
the best possible job of keeping 
everyone informed as to the 
basis of decisions, as well as 
what the rules are.

 However, we cannot allow 
those armed not with facts, but 
with loud voices, to push us 
into bad choices.

 So please, continue to ask 
questions, make your opinions 
known and reach your own 
conclusions; but allow us to act 
as best we can on your behalf 
and realize that Pasadena is 
not an island, but rather a 
special piece of a larger urban 
ecosystem that is confronting 
an international crisis.

Be patient. Stay safe.

The Pasadena Fire 
Department anticipates 
another hot, dry summer. 
With average to above average 
rainfall over the last few 
months, hazardous vegetation 
will be well grown by mid-
summer. Therefore, it’s vital 
the department continue to 
conduct hazardous vegetation 

 In keeping in line with the 
City’s COVID-19 public 
health order, fire personnel 
will wear face masks and 
practice social distancing 
when encountering 
homeowners. Fire personnel 
will work with homeowners 
to gain compliance 
during inspection to clear 
vegetation, but homeowners 
should recognize that brush 
clearance is essential to 
prevent brushfires, protect 
property, and save lives.

 “We recognize that the risk 
of brushfires is extremely 
high in our urban interface. 
That risk must be mitigated 
for the safety of our residents 
and our fire suppression 
crews.” states Interim Fire 
Chief Bryan Frieders.

 In advance of annual brush 
inspections, notification 
letters were mailed in early 
March to property owners 
in Very High Fire Hazard 
Severity Zones (VHFHSZ) to 
give them ample time to abate 
hazardous brush. The goal 
is to inspect all properties 
involved and receive their 
compliance by June 30, 2020. 

 For additional information on 
Pasadena Fire Department’s 
Vegetation Management 
Inspection Program, contact 
(626) 744-7177.

City to Discuss Hotel Workplace Protection

 The Pasadena city council 
is set Monday to consider 
taking up emergency actions 
to protect hospitality workers 
from the risks of COVID-19, 
representatives from Unite 
Here, Local 11 said a variety of 
requirements were needed such 
as a”Fair Discharge” —whereby 
hospitality workers could only 
be discharged for a bona fide 
economic reason.

 If adopted, the new ordinance 
would go beyond the current 
safety order, approved April 11, 
specifically targeting essential 
businesses required to post a 
Social Distancing


 According to the city staff 
report, if passed the ordinance 
would mandate that “event 
center” and “hotel” employees 
be given an extra 15 minutes of 
break time every four hours for 
washing hands and sanitizing. 
It would also suspend room 
quotas for hotel housekeepers 
and give them a break after each 
room to wash hands. Hotel and 
event center employees would 
be given a minimum of 10 sick 
days per year. 

 The proposed ordinance 
would also establish a “Fair 
Discharge” process “whereby 
hospitality workers could only 
be discharged for a bona fide 
economic reason or “Just Cause.” 
Also, any new positions would 
have to be offered to Qualified 
Discharged Employees who lost 
their position for reasons other 
than Just Cause termination. As 
proposed, the employer would 
be required to send a written 
notice to the employees’ last 
known address and provide 
no less than ten days’ time for 
former employees to accept or 
decline such offers.”

 It would also centralize 
public health training “All 
housekeepers and cooks in 
event centers should be trained 
on public health by a single non-
profit authority not controlled 
by employers.”

 Santa Monica, Long Beach 
and Oakland all have 
adopted similar protections, 
including minimum wage 
for hotel employees at $15 
with healthcare benefits 
or $20 without healthcare 
benefits, increased annually 
with inflation, restrictions 
on mandatory overtime, 
emergency contact devices 
(panic buttons) for employees, 
and prohibiting hotel employers 
from terminating or taking 
adverse action against an 
employee for asserting their 

 Unite Here is also asking that 
the Hospitality Workplace 
Protection Ordinance remain 
in place beyond the current 

 City staff said, along with hotels, 
the ordinance would apply to, 
event centers (the Pasadena 
Center Operating Company), 
and private university cafeterias 
in the city (such as Caltech).

 The city council meeting 
will be held at 2 p.m. by video 
conference/teleconference and 
livestreamed with captioning 
and at:
commissions/agendas. For 
public participation goto: clerk/

24th Annual 
Free Summer 

 The Rotary Club of 
Altadena in association 
with the Sheriff’s Support 
Group of Altadena is 
announcing the 24th 
Annual FREE Summer 
Concerts in the beautiful 
outdoor Amphitheater in 
Farnsworth Park, 568 E. Mt. 
Curve Ave.

 All Concerts are on 
Saturday evening and start 
at 7:00 PM. This year’s 
season kicks off on July 11th 
(the weekend after the 4th 
of July) with Psychedelic 
Summer a Woodstock era 
tribute band. The July 18th 
concert will host The Kings 
of 88 with the music of 
Billy Joel, Elton John and 
Classic Piano Rock & Roll. 
On July 25th The Horads 
will perform with their 
California Beach Music and 
Disco in the mix. On August 
1st we are showcasing SGT 
Pepper a wonderful Beatles 
tribute band. August 
8th Upstream returns to 
provide Reggae, Soca, and 
Caribbean tunes - bring 
your dancing shoes! On 
August 15th We welcome 
Country Nation a great 
mix of classic country, new 
country and popular dance 
music. On August 22nd we 
welcome Flogging Seagulls 
80’s party music, performed 
with an Irish-Celtic twist! 
August 29th Gypsy Tribute 
with the music of Stevie 
Nicks and Fleetwood Mac.

 The Grand Finale of the 
24th Summer Concert 
Series will be on September 
12th featuring a special band 
selected by our partners the 
Sheriff’s Support Group of 
Altadena with The Walking 
Phoenixes – a tribute to 
Johnny Cash.

 Note that due to 
COVID-19 and the Shelter 
in Place and Stay At Home 
orders currently in place 
the schedule is subject to 


Tournament Provides 
Lunches and Roses to 
Nurses on the Front Lines

 The ongoing COVID-19 
pandemic has created 
obstacles to meeting a 
number of timelines and 
deadlines set forth in 
the Pasadena Municipal 
Code for City advisory 
boards, commissions and 
committees. Therefore, City 
Manager Steve Mermell 
has approved a six-month 
Extension of Certain Time 
Limits Imposed by the 
Pasadena Municipal Code 
related to annual reports 
and work plans of advisory 
bodies. The extension of 
these deadlines is necessary 
to reduce the need for these 
advisory bodies to meet for 
the sole purpose of producing 
these deliverables.

 Last month, Pasadena 
City Council adopted a 
resolution authorizing the 
City Manager to extend 
various deadlines that could 
be affected by the COVID-19 
pandemic. “The health and 
safety of our community is 
paramount. We need people 
to stay safe at home right 
now. So, it only makes sense 
to extend these deadlines for 
the City’s various advisory 
bodies until there’s a clearer 
understanding of when and 
how such groups will be 
able to safely gather again to 
conduct their business,” said 

 For more information visit: or call 
the Citizen Service Center, 
7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday 
through Friday at (626) 744-

Mayor Virtual Prayer Event

 Jericho Road Pasadena 
and Mayor Terry Tornek 
announced a virtual prayer 
event which coincides with 
Thursday’s National Day of 
Prayer. This event is open 
to people of all faiths, and 
business people, nonprofits and 
community residents.

To participate:

 Order breakfast from your 
favorite local restaurant; a list 
of restaurants open for takeout 
and delivery is at visitpasadena.

On Thursday at 8 a.m., log 
into Facebook: 
If you don’t have a Facebook 
account, you can also view 
the event on Pasadena Media’s 
website and KPAS channel 
(Charter Spectrum 32 or AT&T 
U-Verse 99).

 Share your prayers, 
comments and photos using 

 The breakfast is organized 
by Jericho Road Pasadena 
( JRP is a 
community-based nonprofit 
that supports other nonprofits; 
by matching skilled volunteers 
and board members. Questions 
email ExecDirector@ or call 626-


 The Tournament of Roses 
extended a heartfelt gratitude 
and appreciation for the 
work of essential employees 
in the community, especially 
during this unprecedented 
time. Last week, the 
Tournament of Roses began 
providing lunches to nurses 
staffing the drive-through 
COVID-19 testing site at 
the Rose Bowl Stadium 
and has committed to 
delivering lunches for five to 
seven weeks, or as needed. 
Thursday, Tournament of 
Roses President Bob Miller 
surprised the nurses with 
bouquets of roses, with a 
message that we’re all in this 

 “Vons kindly offered a 
discount on the lunches and 
donated additional snacks in 
support of the nurses from 
Huntington Hospital in 
Pasadena,” organizers said. 
“Volunteer members from 
the Tournament of Roses 
deliver the lunches daily on 
behalf of the Association. 
Passion Roses, the Official 
Rose of the Rose Bowl Game, 
has generously donated a 
bouquet of roses every week 
to show their appreciation 
for essential workers.” 

 As COVID-19 continues 
to impact communities 
everywhere, we want to 
thank the hard-working 
people here in Pasadena, 
as well as those around the 
world, who are on the front 
lines fighting the war against 
this virus, as well as those 
working to keep our essential 
institutions running during 
the pandemic.

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