Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, October 23, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 5


Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 23, 2021 

to Hold First 

Council to Appoint Kurtz 
as Interim City Manager


 Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo 
announced Tuesday that the 
City Council intends to appoint 
former Pasadena City Manager 
Cynthia Kurtz (pictured) 
to serve as the Interim City 
Manager. Kurtz’s proposed 
contract will be on the city 
council’s Monday agenda.

 According to city staff, in 
early November, Kurtz will 
work with City Manager Steve 
Mermell to ensure a smooth 
transition, prior to assuming 
the Interim City Manager 
role on Dec. 3 after Mermell’s 

 Kurtz, a Pasadena resident, 
would return to city 
government after serving as 
the City Manager from 1998 
to 2008. Since completing her 
tenure in Pasadena, Kurtz has 
worked as the Interim City 
Manager in both Covina and 
Santa Ana, as well as the Chief 
Operating Officer of River 
LA. She also served as the 
President of the San Gabriel 
Valley Economic Partnership. 
She currently is the Vice Chair 
of the Metropolitan Water 

 “Her familiarity with 
Pasadena—both our 
opportunities and challenges—
will allow her to have an 
immediate impact on our 
government and our residents, 
and her work with the greater 
San Gabriel Valley will be 
an asset,” Gordo said. “I can 
think of no one better to fill 
this interim role and I am 
confident that she and outgoing 
City Manager Steve Mermell 
will work closely to ensure a 
seamless transition.”

 Kurtz received her 
undergraduate degree in 
Community Development and 
Housing from Pennsylvania 
State University. She also 
holds a Master of Arts in 
Transportation and Urban 
Development from the 
University of Iowa. 

 “Pasadena has never been 
far from my mind and my 
heart, and I am humbled and 
honored to be asked to step in 
and serve the City of Pasadena,” 
Kurtz said. “I know Steve 
Mermell well and he has done 
an incredible job in putting 
Pasadena on a strong trajectory 
while dealing with significant 
challenges, including the 
COVID-19 pandemic. I look 
forward to reengaging with 
the tremendously talented and 
dedicated civil servants in our 
local government and doing 
my small part to keep Pasadena 
moving forward.”

 Mermell has worked for the 
City of Pasadena for nearly 33 
years, serving as City Manager 
since 2016. He began his career 
in Pasadena at Pasadena Water 
and Power before transitioning 
to a succession of appointments 
within the Department of 
Finance, rising to Assistant 
City Manager before his 
appointment as City Manager. 

 “It was a pleasure to work 
with Cynthia when she served 
as City Manager and she is 
the perfect person to step into 
this role,” Mermell said. “As I 
pledged when I announced my 
retirement, I will do everything 
in my power to ensure a smooth 
transition and will continue to 
serve the residents of Pasadena 
until my very last day on the 

 Gordo and the City Council 
will begin a national search for 
a permanent City Manager in 
the upcoming weeks, assisted 
by Kurtz and city staff.

 For more information about 
Pasadena visit: cityofpasadena.

The first meeting of 
Pasadena’s 11-member 
Community Police Oversight 
Commission will take 
place via teleconference on 
Tuesday, October 26, at 6:00 
p.m. Members of the public 
may view the meeting online 
through Zoom.

 The Pasadena City Council 
unanimously created the 
Commission by ordinance 
in October 2020. The 
purpose of the commission 
is to “enhance, develop, and 
strengthen community-
police relations and review 
and make recommendations 
regarding the ongoing 
operations of the police 
department.” In addition to 
establishing the Commission 
and appointing its 11 
members, the City Council 
has also awarded a contract 
to Brian Maxey of Modern 
Policing, LLC to serve as the 
Independent Police Auditor, 
who, among other things, 
will serve as a best-practices 
advisor to the Commission. 

 The agenda for the 
Commission’s October 26 
meeting includes remarks 
from Mayor Victor Gordo 
and City Manager Steve 
Mermell, presentations 
regarding general meeting 
process from Mr. Maxey, 
City Attorney Michele 
Beal Bagneris, and others, 
and general organizational 
matters such as selecting a 
Chair and Vice-Chair of the 
Commission and setting the 
regular meeting day and time.

 Following posting of the 
agenda after Thursday 
evening, October 21st, 
members of the public may 
access the Commission 
meeting agenda on the 
webpage linked below. The 
agenda will also describe 
how members of the public 
may observe the meeting 
(online), and submit written 
or oral public comment to the 

 Learn more about the 
Community Police Oversight 
Commission and other City 
of Pasadena commissions at 

City to put Traffic Circles on Hill Ave. 

 After a long hiatus, 
Pasadena Department of 
Transportation officials 
said Thursday that they are 
working with residents of 
North Hill Ave on traffic 
calming measures and street 
beautification at the Topeka 
Street and Elizabeth Street 
intersections. The project is 
currently at 60 percent of the 
design phase. 

 City staff is asking agin for 
public input on the project 
after Covid health and safety 
protocols last year stopped 
them from collecting 
input and ideas from local 

 “The main concerns 
raised by local residents 
is speeding of motorists 
which greatly impact their 
neighborhood’s quality of 
life,” they said “The goal 
of the project is to balance 
transportation opportunities 
to lower vehicular speeds 
and to improve the safety of 
pedestrians, bicyclists and 

 Both intersection would 
include, along with traffic 
circles, drought tolerant 
plants as part of the 
landscaping, increased 
lighting and clearly marked 

 Other intersections along 
North Hill Ave. will be 
treated with curb extensions, 
“bulb-outs,” to narrow 
the roadway and increase 
pedestrian safety. 

 Striping changes have 
already been made between 
the 210 Freeway and 
Washington Boulevard as 
a start to changing driver 
behavior they said. “

 According to a city 
report, Hill Avenue north 
of Washington Boulevard 
carries about 9,000 car

trips per day, while south 
of Washington Boulevard 
carries on average 16,800 
car trips per day. North Hill 
Avenue has one lane of traffic 
in each direction and does 
not have a two-way left turn 
median which makes it very 
difficult for residents to enter 
and exit their driveways.

 Construction is set to begin 
next year.

 For more information or 
to provide input on this 
project visit: cityofpasadena.
net/transportation, and 
search “North Hill Avenue 
Complete Streets Project.”

City Tech 

Your Flag’ 

 City of Pasadena officials 
announced Monday the 
“Plant Your Flag in Pasadena” 
initiative for tech companies 
located within the city. 

 According to a statement, 
Pasadena is known for many 
great things, but at its core, 
Pasadena is a science city. 
Pasadena’s strength in science 
has attracted a wide variety 
of startups ranging from 
technology and design to life 
science and consumer services. 
To encourage networking and 
collaboration amongst its 
technology companies and 
startups, tech businesses are 
encouraged to plant a flag 
in Pasadena by adding their 
company name to a tech map 
hosted by the City’s Economic 
Development Division.

 The last 18 months have 
been a challenging time for 
entrepreneurs and business 
people. The reverberating 
effects of COVID-19 on the 
economy have ranged from 
challenges for some industries 
and business models to 
opportunities for others. 
As such, Pasadena has seen 
some businesses exit and new 
businesses enter the city. 

 “In the last few months, we’ve 
seen two major companies 
announce that they’re 
moving to Pasadena: GM 
Motors Advanced Design & 
Technology Campus and the 
biotech company Xencor. With 
these companies planting their 
flag in Pasadena, it is a sign 
of confidence in the strength 
of Pasadena as the epicenter 
for science and technology in 
the SoCal region, as well as a 
statement about the top-notch 
talent that tends to concentrate 
here,” said Eric Duyshart, 
economic development 
manager for the City of 

 To participate, companies, 
whether startup or established, 
must be located in Pasadena 
and meet the criteria of 
operating in the technology 
space, life sciences or consumer 

 The tech map is located 
online at www.cityofpasadena.

Cosmic Cocktail Hour ‘Stellar 
Snacks: What Happens When 
Black Holes Consume Stars?’

Oh, my stars! For the 
monthly Cosmic Cocktail 
Hour on Wednesday, Nov. 
3, at 4 p.m. via Zoom, Dr. 
Tom Holoien will present a 
multimedia production that 
will explain how and why 
the formation and evolution 
of black holes are crucial 
for astrophysicists and 
astronomers to understand 
the development of stars and 
the formation of galaxies. 

 Black holes are the densest 
and darkest objects in the 
universe with gravity so 
strong that not even light 
can escape them. At the end 
of each star’s life span the 
energy that holds its core 
together has the potential 
for collapsing in on itself, 
producing a brilliant 
explosion. All of the material 
that remains falls into a 
resulting black hole and then 
to an infinitely small point. 
Large black holes can have 
tens to millions of times 
the mass of our Earth’s sun 
trapped in a point smaller 
than the tip of a pin. 

 Holoien is a NASA Hubble 
Fellowship Program 
Einstein Fellow at Carnegie 
Observatories in Pasadena. 
He completed his PhD in 
astronomy in 2017 at Ohio 
State University and is a 
core member of the All-
Sky Automated Survey for 
SuperNovae, a working 
map of the entire sky. The 
discoveries of ASAS-SN have 
included, in 2015, the most 
powerful supernova event 
ever encountered, ASASSN-
15lh, which is within a 
faint galaxy in the southern 
constellation Indus. 

 The cost of Cosmic 
Cocktail Hour is only $7 for 
members of the Pasadena 
Senior Center and $10 for 
nonmembers. To register, 
visit: pasadenaseniorcenter.
org and click on Events, 
Clubs and Lectures, then 
Online Events or call 626-
795-4331. Everyone who 
registers will receive an email 
link to access the Zoom 

 Then pour your favorite 
beverage, sit back and enjoy 
the astronomical trip. 

 In addition to online 
classes, onsite events and 
other activities, members 
and nonmembers of the 
Pasadena Senior Center 
are encouraged to visit the 
website regularly for a weekly 
blog, monthly magazine, 
COVID updates for older 
adults and more.

Pasadena Senior Center 
Food Distribution Program

 Low-income adults 60 and 
older receive one free box 
of food and couples receive 
two. Each box includes 
foods that meet specific 
nutritional needs, such as 
cheese, canned fruits and 
vegetables, dry milk and 
related dairy products, 
cereals and other grain 
products, and more. Proof 
of income and California ID 
are required for first-time 
recipients. Boxes are heavy, 
so bring a pull-behind 
personal cart to the parking 
lot between the Pasadena 
Senior Center and the Metro 
Gold Line station. Opening 
boxes on the premises is 
prohibited. Masks and social 
distancing will be required. 
For more information, visit 
org and click on Food 
Distribution Programs, then 
LA Regional Food Bank or 
call 626-685-6732. Pasadena 
Senior Center is located at 
85 E. Holly St. 

 Friday, Nov. 5, from 
8:30 to 10:30 a.m. 
in the parking lot 
at Pasadena Senior 
Center 85 E. Holly St. 

South Pas 

The City of South 
Pasadena’s annual Free 
Halloween Spooktacular 
event will be held on 
Friday from 5:30pm to 
8:00pm at Orange Grove 
Park, 815 Mission Street. 

 Join the city for a safe 
family fun night for 
Halloween! We will have 
carnival games, crafts, 
a photo opportunity, 
jumpers, and more! 
Registration is not required 
to attend this event. For 
more information please 
contact the Recreation 
Division at (626) 403-7380 
or visit: southpasadenaca.

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