July 9, 2005 Meeting


An e-mail was sent to each member who has provided a contact e-mail address.
Laura Ellersieck phoned each other member who has provided a contact phone number plus a few e-mailees known not to read their e-mail often.


Thanks to those who helped set up and put away the tables and chairs, and Susan Chu for taking some notes.


8 residents attended the meeting


Agenda Items:

  • Neighborhood fair feedback
  • Ice rink project status
  • Park status
  • Other nearby developments
  • Street lighting
  • Hastings Branch Library Associates
  • Neighborhood History project
  • Other interests/concerns

The meeting was began shortly about 11:15 am  in Hastings Branch Library’s meeting room.

  • Neighborhood Fair results, impressions
    • fun, and informative!  People liked meeting the City  Services representatives.  The fire truck and hot dogs were a bit hit.
    • 39 raffle entries for 29 prizes. By the raffle being free and not requesting a donation we missed an opportunity to generate a few dollars for the association.  Either all prizes should be alike and/or require winners to be present to get a prize.  Chasing people down to make a choice is a big pain.  Have fewer raffle prizes, set drawing time for people present only.
    • Attendance very slow at first, picked up as noon approached.   Several comments  made  that should start later and go later in the day.
    • Didn’t get started on preparation soon enough and didn’t distribute the work load enough
    • Should do a little earlier in year so less hot.  Should use the new park.
  • Ice rink project status
    • No new public information since May when City Council’s finance committee declined to take action until the city staff brings them more details on the financing and the proposed ice center operating agreement.  It was also revealed at that meeting that there was not yet an access agreement with PCC.
    • Since then there was one closed meeting about “real property negotiation” with Edison in mid-June and this coming Monday there is such meeting with the Pasadena Ice Center.
    • Appears at least some council members are more skeptical about the whole thing then they were before.  There is the possibility that the project will not go forward at all, but that seems unlikely since the council has already approved spending almost $1 million of money’s allocated for it to reconfiguring the park.
    • Logistics for parking still don’t make sense as PCC charges for parking while rink parking is to be free.
  • Park status
    • Construction is under way.
      • Expect finish by end of year.
      • Have heard that entrance from Avocado has to be moved further south then latest plan due to conflict with undergrounding power lines.  This would cause sidewalk  from Las Lunas that we believe is in the plan to extend a little further to get to the entrance.
    • Park name request status
      • Park rename request for Viña Vieja still has not been forwarded by City Manager to the Parks and Recreation Commission.  Seems to be stalled.  May or may not be related to two letters/e-mails reported to be in opposition which have heard of but not seen.
      • Reviewed the history of the park renaming project, how it got started, the nominations and meetings, the letter to the city manager, and the city policy for naming parks and recreation facilities.
      • One letter reportedly claimed little support for the proposed name because only 11 residents participated in the March 11 meeting where the vote was taken.  So at the Neighborhood Fair we collected signatures in support of the name change.  We ended up with 41 signatures.  An outreach effort to residents who did not attend the fair has not yet been made.
        At the fair, there were three people who did not wish to support the name change – one who said she didn’t care and didn’t want to indicate support and two who had an alternative they couldn’t remember.  In general, there were many who wanted the name change while probably most don’t really care but think the proposed name is a good one.
      • The author of the e-mail was in attendance and explained she had not been familiar with our renaming project and request and had come up with her suggestion of Orange Grove Park without a lot of deliberation.  With the explanation of the process and our choice of Viña Vieja she agreed it made sense.
  • Other nearby developments
    • Allstate building
      Is reported to have been sold finally.  Don’t have any details, but apparently the city is considering using money from the fees the developer will pay to install a signal (or pedestrian crossing) on Sierra Madre Villa between Orange Grove and Foothill.
    • Houses where radio station has been.
      There will be a new road off of Sierra Madre Villa which will then divide into two roads.  There will be 28 two story houses of around 3300 sq ft on parcels of 7200 to 9300 sq ft, expected to sell for well over a million dollars each.
    • Land under the wires north of us
      The city and Edison, and supposedly Perssons nursery, tentatively worked out an arrangement where the city would let Edison lease the land north of Sierra Madre Blvd for development of self-storage and Perssons nursery would move south to between Sierra Madre Blvd and Orange Grove.  But when Perssons calculated how much the move would cost them they found out it would be too expensive.  They requested the city grandfather them on some of the code requirements such as allowing a gravel road instead of requiring asphalt – but city staff refused.  So Perssons has threatened to not move and gotten the residents in the area in an uproar, both because they like Perssons and they are worried about what will happen to the land next to them if Perssons doesn’t move.
    • Apartments on Foothill and SMV/Foothill corner lot
      Building the 188 unit apartment complex is obviously underway.
      The SMV/Foothill corner lot is to be some kind of light-industrial and/or office complex.  Heard that preliminary building design idea is to mirror the style of the building on the SW corner of SMV/Foothill.  Think that actually doing anything awaits signing up a major tenant.
    • Symes car dealerships
      Bought the former Air Logistics property on Foothill across the street from Ralphs.  Idea is to build a brand new Toyota dealership there and then expand the remaining dealerships at the present location on Colorado.  Symes is a major sales tax revenue source for the city.
    • CVS pharmacy at Foothill and Michillinda
      Apparently the Fuddruckers is to be replaced by a CVS pharmacy.  They had requested a permit to be open 24 hours a day, but apparently the Lower Hastings neighborhood association opposed that and CVS gave in and agreed to close at 10 pm.
    • Lousy looking boarded up empty building on Halstead.  Have no news on it except that it currently looks like some utility work is underway – hopefully that means it will be fixed up and sold or leased.
    • (For latest updated info, see Nearby Developments)
  • Street lighting
    • Some recent tree trimming has improved effectiveness of some available lighting.  Trimming  appears to be almost random and sporadic.
    • Street lights are to be installed on Estado between Santa Paula and Avocado Lane.  It could happen by next spring.  This is under a program for street segments currently without lights.  That segment of Estado is the only such street in our neighborhood.  Some streets that were proposed to have lights added under this program have rejected having it done because the residents felt the result would be too bright.  When the city puts in new lighting systems they do it to current code.
    • Discussed Manuel Vargas speaking during the public comment section of the June 20 City Council requesting more lighting for our neighborhood.   Daniel Rix, City Engineer, was ready with some responses.
      • Said there is funding for adding more wattage to existing lights and adding lights to power poles that don’t have them.  Either would require a petition/approval from the affected homeowners.
      • There is no current funding allocation for adding lights where there are not already poles.
      • Did not address pedestrian lighting or why some non-major residential streets have it.
      • At Manuel’s request, promised to walk the neighborhood with Manuel in the evening to see and discuss the situation.  This had not happened yet due to Mr Rix’s vacation schedule.  (Note, a daytime meeting did occur on July 13.  Additional information on street lighting incorporated here.  An evening meeting may yet occur.  Send an e-mail if you are interested in participating.)
    • Discussed undergrounding some.  The 100+ year schedule, exorbitant expense, our residential streets won’t happen in our lifetimes.
  • Hastings Library Associates
    • New organization to plan programs for this library branch which are consistent with the needs and desires of the local community – basically 91107 zip code.
    • To raise funds for those programs using the non-profit corporation umbrella of Friends of the Pasadena Library
    • They are requesting a liaison from each local neighborhood association to attend meetings and let them know what the branch library’s constituency wants.
    • Laura Ellersieck attended the June meeting, which was about their 4th meeting.  Next meeting is July 20 at 6:30 pm.
      They are a group of people who love to read books and talk about them.  Currently they are planning an open house, author visit, raffle fund raising event tentatively for the evening of Oct 19.
    • Anyone willing to volunteer to attend the meetings and represent our neighborhood?   No one indicated interest.  Still looking for a volunteer.  It was expressed that someone with children would be most likely to be interested.
    • If anyone thinks they’d like to become a member of the Hastings Library Associates, the librarians have a little membership form.
  • Neighborhood history project
    • Old timers in the neighborhood have a lot of history to share if asked.
    • Might be a good project for school kids.  Some discussion of what age groups might be interested and able.  No consensus.
    • Interview long timers about what they remember, what they know of their parents/grandparents in the neighborhood.  What was a typical day like?  Which schools/where?  How were streets different?  What do they remember about various landmarks, city services, developments?   Pictures that could be copied.
    • Do search of city archives for early maps, pictures, accounts of the area.
    • Get together a group of old timers and record them talking about what they remember.
    • Can put results on web pages and/or make a booklet.  Could request Pasadena historical institutions to include it.
    • Anyone interested?  Kids, or adults, or adults to lead kids?
  • Other community involvement opportunities
    • National Night Out on August 2nd from 7 to 9 pm.   If not taking part or hosting a block party, police request show vigilance against crime by turning on porch light and coming out of your house that evening to meet and greet your neighbors.
    • Applications being taken for Citizens Police Academy.  Meets Thursdays from 6-9:30 pm at the police Dept from August 25 to November 17.  Gives inside look at police operations including  communications, criminal law and procedures, street crime enforcement, investigations,  field identification,  weaponless defense training, youth programs.   Discusses community policing.  For more information and/or to apply contact  626 744-4551.
  • Next meeting is August 20, 11:15 am at Hastings Branch Library meeting room.
  • New simple web-site address eewna.org registered for us by resident Scott Dayman.  He has also been working on a fancier web site including such things as a calendar and message/discussion board.

Adjourned shortly before 1 pm.  A couple of attendees had to leave before the end.  Will try to keep it shorter in the future.