Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 24, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 5



Mountain View News Saturday, February 24, 2024 

San Marino Upcoming 
Events & Programming

Letter: Budget Reductions 
and Reductions in Force

Caltech Professor Receives 
Genetics Society Award

Dear Pasadena Unified Community,


 Last night, the Board of Education made a very difficult decision 
to protect the quality of education and services that students 
receive while implementing a fiscal stability plan required by the 
Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) to keep our 
district solvent.

 The Board authorized district staff to issue preliminary layoff 
notices, formally known as Reduction in Force (RIF), for 224 
positions by the statutory deadline of March 15, 2024. 91 – nearly 
half – of the positions are currently vacant.

 Like many school districts in California, PUSD is facing major 
budget challenges over the next three years that must be addressed 
beginning with the 2024-2025 school year. As we have seen by 
California’s worsening fiscal conditions, the situation for education 
funding continues to change. PUSD will be adjusting to ongoing 
State budget developments in the coming months, and we will keep 
you informed. Our hope is that we can save some positions before 
the statutory deadline for final layoff notices in mid-May.

 The reductions are necessary because of the lapsing of one-time 
COVID-19 funding (ESSER), expected reductions in state funding, 
a decline in enrollment, and the need to allocate our resources 

 These decisions have not been made lightly, and come only after 
thoughtful and careful consideration. We have done our best to 
keep reductions away from students and schools, including making 
the biggest reduction of 30% to central offices. Since the central 
office exists to serve schools and provides services for students and 
their families at schools, we will need to redesign how we continue 
to support our students.

 It is very painful for us to experience this kind of milestone. But it 
gives us renewed motivation to move forward with all our energy to 
continue solving our budget issues. I ask that you keep our valued 
employees who are receiving layoff notices in your thoughts and in 
your hearts. I also ask for your patience and understanding during 
this difficult time.


Elizabeth Blanco, Ed.D.

Interim Superintendent

San Marino Historical Society Lecture Series: Kathy 
Fiscus Tragedy

When: Monday, February 26 | 7 PM

Location: Barth Community Room

 In its Speakers Series, the San Marino Historical Society 
presents quarterly history talks focusing on topics specially 
selected for our town. This quarter, William Deverell will be 
speaking about the Kathy Fiscus tragedy. Mr. Deverell is the 
Divisional Dean for the Social Sciences at USC’s Dornsife 
College of Letters, Arts & Sciences. He is the founder and 
co-Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California 
and the West. A graduate of Stanford University, he received 
his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History from Princeton. His 
work addresses the history and culture of the 19th and 20th 
century American West. Registration is not required.

Tween Winter Warmer

Wednesday, February 28 at 3:30 PM, Barth Community 

 This season, kids in grades 4-6 are invited to join us for 
a variety of indoor winter-inspired games and activities for 
tweens only. Bring your friends and have a (faux) snowball 
fight, make a winter craft, or enjoy some hot chocolate while 
you play a game! Registration is recommended.

Lunar New Year Festival on Sunday, March 3

 Celebrate Lunar New Year with the Chinese Club of San 
Marino and the community at Lacy Park on Sunday, March 
3, 2024, from 10 AM to 3 PM! Enjoy a day of fun in the park 
with performances, entertainment, games, and delicious 
food. Admission is free, so mark your calendar and join us.

Happy Hour Sock Hop Dance: Shake, Rattle, & Roll!

Wednesday, March 6 from 12 – 2 PM, San Marino 
Community Center

Cost per person: R: $14 / NR: $17

 Break out the poodle skirts and roll up your jeans for a fun-
filled afternoon of dancing, dining, and creating memories! 
This event is open for active adults ages 55+. Registration is 
required by February 29. 

Coffee Connections

Weekly on Monday and Wednesday from 8 – 10 AM, San 
Marino Community Center, Fireside Room

 Come spend your mornings with neighbors, friends, and 
a hot cup of coffee at the newly renovated Community 
Center! Free coffee will be provided. Stay for a variety of 
organized activities like bingo, chair volleyball, and lectures 
beginning at 9 AM. This program is for active adults ages 
55+. Registration is required. Note: starting March 4, Coffee 
Connections will occur from 9 – 11 AM.

Spring Community Services Guide

 Check out the latest Community Services Guide to see 
Spring offerings and get details on upcoming events, classes, 
and lectures. The Spring Guide also includes details on 
youth summer camps (Camp Lacy and Freewheelers), so be 
sure to check those out! Registration begins on February 26 
for residents and March 4 for non-residents.

ROCK LACY! Battle of the Youth Rock Bands

Auditions: Saturday, March 23 from 9 AM – 1 PM, San 
Marino Community Center

Showcase Competition: Saturday, April 20 at 12 PM, Lacy 

 Calling youth rock bands ages 19 and under! Sign up 
for our inaugural ROCK LACY! Battle of the Youth Rock 
Bands, a competition of local bands to win the grand 
prize of 2 hours of studio recording time and a main stage 
performance at the City's 4th of July Independence Day 
Celebration! Complete the online application by March 14 
at 5 PM. Finalists will be invited to an audition on March 
23. Six bands will be selected to compete at ROCK LACY! 
on Saturday, April 20 starting at 12 PM. Open to any youth 
band in the LA County area. For more information, visit:


Library Board of Trustees - CANCELED

Monday, February 26

Public Safety Commission

Monday, February 26 at 6:00 PM; City Hall Council 
Chambers and Zoom (Public Access)

Planning Commission Meeting

Wednesday, February 28 at 6:00 PM; City Hall Council 
Chambers and Zoom (Public Access)


 Paul Sternberg, the Bren 
Professor of Biology, has 
received the Thomas Hunt 
Morgan Medal from The 
Genetics Society of America 
(GSA). The award, given for 
lifetime contributions to the 
field of genetics, is named 
after Nobel Laureate Thomas 
Hunt Morgan, who founded 
the Division of Biology at 
Caltech (now the Division 
of Biology and Biological 
Engineering) in 1928.

 Throughout his career, 
Sternberg’s research has 
utilized the model organism 
Caenorhabditis elegans, a 
nematode or roundworm, to 
make advances in genetics, 
developmental biology, 
evolution, neuroscience, 
and disease research. He 
has taken a leading role in 
developing information 
resources such as WormBase 
for C. elegans, the Alliance 
of Genome Resources, 
and the Gene Ontology 
Consortium; he co-founded 
microPublication Biology, a 
short-format, peer-reviewed 
journal that seeks to make 
scholarly communication 
effective and compatible with 
knowledge bases. The GSA 
recognizes Sternberg for “his 
lifelong commitment to the 
open sharing of data across 
biomedical research.”

 “I am truly honored to be 
recognized in this way by my 
peer geneticists,” Sternberg 
says. “Genetics has always 
been my favorite way of 
reverse engineering complex 
living systems because of its 
combination of the elegant 
and the practical.”

 Sternberg joined the 
Caltech faculty in 1987. 
He is an affiliated faculty 
member with the Tianqiao 
and Chrissy Chen Institute 
for Neuroscience at Caltech.

 Several former Caltech 
faculty members have 
previously won the award, 
including Norman Horowitz 
in 1998, Ed Lewis in 1983, 
George Beadle in 1984, Ray 
Owen in 1993, and Seymour 
Benzer in 1986. Caltech 
alumni have also received the 
award, including Matthew 
Meselson (PhD ‘57) in 1995, 
former postdoctoral scholar 
Franklin Stahl in 1996, Ira 
Herskowitz (BS ‘67 in 2002, 
and David Hogness (BS ‘49, 
PhD ‘53) in 2003.

Pasadena Recreational 
Trails Program Grant Award


 The City of Pasadena, in 
partnership with the One 
Arroyo Foundation announced 
the successful acquisition of 
a significant $500,000 grant 
from California State Parks for 
the One Arroyo Trail Critical 
Linkages Project. This grant, 
part of the larger $6.7 million 
recommended by California 
State Parks to the Federal 
Highway Administration’s 
Recreation Trails grant program 
(RTP), marks a crucial step 
towards enhancing outdoor 
recreational opportunities and 
preserving the natural beauty of 
the Arroyo Seco.

 The One Arroyo Trail 
Critical Linkages Project 
aims to enhance the Arroyo 
Seco experience by restoring 
approximately 3.5 miles of 
existing multi-use trails. The 
restoration efforts will include 
debris and erosion clearance, 
road crossings to improve 
access and connectivity, 
footbridges, wayfinding, trail 
restoration, planting native 
species, and creating natural 
seating and learning areas, 
ensuring a safe, accessible, and 
enjoyable environment for the 

 The California State Parks’ 
recommendation for the Federal 
Highway Administration’s RTP 
underscores the importance of 
the One Arroyo Trail Critical 
Linkages Project in promoting 
outdoor recreation and 
preserving the natural beauty of 
the Arroyo Seco. The $500,000 
grant will play a pivotal role in 
bringing this vision to fruition, 
driving community engagement 
and promoting a healthy, active 
lifestyle for residents and visitors 

 “The One Arroyo Foundation 
is immensely grateful for the 
support from California State 
Parks and the Federal Highway 
Administration’s Recreation 
Trails grant program,” said Dan 
Rothenberg, President and CEO 
of the One Arroyo Foundation. 
“This grant will be pivotal in 
advancing a sustainable and 
interconnected trail network 
that benefits residents and 
visitors alike.”

 “The City of Pasadena’s Parks, 
Recreation, and Community 
Services Department was able 
to successfully partner with 
the One Arroyo Foundation 
to receive the Recreation 
Trails Grant from the State 
of California. It was a very 
competitive process but our 
project was selected to receive 
$500,000. This grant will allow 
the City and One Arroyo 
to serve the outdoors and 
preserve the Arroyo Seco for the 
community,” Garrett Crawford, 
Parks Superintendent.

 The One Arroyo Foundation 
and the City of Pasadena eagerly 
anticipate the positive impact of 
this grant on the community and 
the environment. By creating 
lasting legacies, promoting 
health and wellness, and 
preserving the natural beauty 
of the Arroyo Seco, these funds 
will leave a profound impact 
on the lives of individuals and 
families in the region.

 For more information visit

Villa Parke Youth Soccer 
Inauguration Parade Today

 The public is invited to attend 
the Villa Parke Youth Soccer 
League (VPYSL) Inauguration 
Parade this morning, 11 a.m.-
12:30 p.m., at the Villa Parke 
Turf Field, 363 E. Villa St., 

 The VPYSL Inauguration Parade 
will introduce approximately 70 
teams of athletes ages 2-18 and 
their volunteer coaches to the 
community. The festival portion 
of the event is now canceled due 
to recent weather conditions 
and the preservation of the 
newly renovated turf field.

 Established in 1989, VPYSL 
is the City of Pasadena Parks, 
Recreation and Community 
Services (PRCS) Department’s 
largest and most popular youth 
sports league, accommodating 
over 1,500 young athletes every 
year. This event marks the 
official start of the 35th VPYSL 
soccer season.

 For more information 
regarding the event, contact the 
Villa Parke Community Center 
at (626) 744-6530. To register 
for upcoming programs, visit


 The City of South Pasadena 
seeks at-large community 
members to serve on the 
Library and Community 
Center Site Plan Ad Hoc 
Committee. This committee 
is tasked with exploring the 
development of a new library 
and community center that 
will serve the community for 
generations to come.

 The Library and Community 
Center Site Plan Ad Hoc 
Committee will consist of 
members from the City 
Council, City staff, the Friends 
of the Library, the South 
Pasadena Senior Center, 
Library Board of Trustees 
and Community Services 
Commissioners and at-large 
community members. The 
City is seeking five dedicated 
individuals to participate 
in this exciting endeavor 
as at-large members of the 
Committee. These individuals 
will play a vital role from 
inception to completion, 
contributing their insights and 
expertise to the project. In the 
initial phase, the Committee 
will work collaboratively 
in selecting a site planning 
consultant and in the crafting 
of a visionary site plan.

 This comprehensive 
engagement is anticipated to 
span multiple years and will 
require active participation, 
including attendance at 
meetings and involvement in 
site visits to recently developed 
libraries and community 

 Individuals who are interested 
in this transformative 
community project are 
welcome to submit an 
application for consideration 
by Thursday, February 28 
by 6:00 p.m. To apply and 
for more information, visit: There 
will also be flyers distributed 
around City counters with QR 
codes to the application.

 For any questions on the 
Committee or about the 
project, please contact 
the Project Manager and 
Deputy City Manager, 
Domenica Megerdichian by 
emailing dmegerdichian@ or by 
calling (626) 475-1743.

Bill introduced to Protect 
Calif. Youth From Human 
Trafficking, Sex Exploitation


 Senate Bill 1128, a measure 
authored by Senator Anthony 
Portantino to combat human 
and sex trafficking and protect 
California’s youth from 
exploitation, was introduced 
this week. The issue was brought 
foward by Los Angeles City 
Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto, 
who will be collaborating with 
Senator Portantino as this bill 
moves through the legislative 

 “It is imperative that we do 
everything we can to protect 
vulnerable youth and hold 
offenders accountable,” stated 
Senator Portantino. “Failing 
to require registration for 
engaging in unlawful activity 
with a minor is unacceptable 
and appalling. As the father of 
two wonderful daughters, this 
issue breaks my heart and I am 
determined to do what I can to 
help stem the tide of trafficking 
in our state and I’m hopeful that 
this bill will help.”

 California has standards 
requiring sex offender 
registration for all those 
convicted of a wide variety 
of sexual offenses. However, 
current law does not require 
adults convicted of unlawful 
sexual activity with a minor in 
violation of Penal Code section 
261.5(c) or (d) to be listed on 
the sex offender registry.

 SB 1128 requires sex offender 
registration if an offender 
engages in unlawful sexual 
intercourse with a minor, other 
than a spouse, and the minor 
is more than three (3) years 
younger than the offender or if 
the offender is over 21 years of 
age and the minor is under 16 
years of age.

 “I am proud to work with the 
California State Legislature 
on this critically important 
bill that will help reduce the 
demand for sex and human 
trafficking of minors,” said Los 
Angeles City Attorney, Hydee 
Feldstein Soto. “Combating 
sex and human trafficking 
is a priority of mine and I 
commend the state legislature 
for introducing legislation that 
recognizes the most vulnerable 
victims of human trafficking 
and strengthens laws to deter 
and hold accountable the sex 
offenders who target children 
and minors.”

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: