February 14, 2009 Meeting Summary


E-mail reminder was sent.  Phone calls were made.


12 members


Agenda Items:

  • Park
    • planning for new pedestrian walkway
    • grapevine arbor and plaque
  • Parking restrictions on Alameda near Sierra Madre Villa
  • Ice Rink update
  • East Colorado motels enforcement
  • Solicitors warning
  • Hastings Branch Library 50th Birthday Celebration
  • Open Space Festival Feb 28 in City Hall Courtyard
  • Annual election of officers at March meeting
  • Annual newsletter distribution
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Is Stonefire Grill still going in where Baker’s Square was?
    • Would quarterly rather then monthly meetings make more sense?
    • Skateboarders from PCC-CEC in summer menacing sidewalks

The meeting began at 11:19 am

  • Park
    • Planning for new pedestrian walkway
      • Edison has approved a concept plan for a new pedestrian walkway from our neighborhood to the park.  View Drawing
      • This pathway would enter from a new gate on Avocado Ave at the intersection with Las Lunas Street.
        This is the area where the path was originally planned before the Edison lines were ruled “too low” and the current temporary path was created.
      • However, unlike the original design with the path proceeding directly west under the power lines to the park, the new path will turn north and proceed east of the lines to enter the park where the white vinyl fence currently crosses to the eastern edge of the park.  It will then head west under the power lines to connect with the existing path on the eastern side of the park.
      • This configuration is also a “temporary” path, until Edison might raise in the lines in a few years in conjunction with the work they will be doing to add another circuit.
      • The chain link “buffer” fence that currently runs along the eastern side of the park would be extended south from its current terminus to provide the same “buffer” service to the additional backyards the path would pass by.
      • The path would be bounded on its western side by a new vinyl fence similar to the current one.
      • The path area between the vinyl and chain link fences would be 10 feet wide.
      • As the path heads west under the power lines it will be bounded on the south by the current white vinyl fence and on the north by a vinyl “split rail” fence.  (Not sure why it needs to be fenced on the north since the other park paths are not fenced.  Maybe just to reduce walking all over the “native” plants.)
      • The path would be decomposed granite.  This is the same material as the other paths on the eastern side of the park and originally used for the current temporary path.  It has been noted that unless this path is engineered a lot better, it will suffer the same mud and washout rutting problems that make the current path(s) unusable by wheelchairs and strollers and potentially dangerous for others.
      • The path gate is supposed to be locked from dusk to 7 am. (As is the current one, which may or may not be happening).
      • There is apparently some landscaping intended but not clear on where or what.
      • A letter regarding this is being formulated.  It is to be sent out to our neighborhood soon by Vice-Mayor Haderlein.
      • Vice-mayor Haderlein, his field representative Rhonda Stone, and city staff are aware of the concerns that with this shorter pedestrian path park visitors will use our nearby streets for parking, especially when the park is very busy.   If this becomes a problem they have promised to institute parking restrictions as desired by the entrance neighbors.   We are to get more information about what the options are so residents near the entrance can think about what will work best for them.  The proposed ice rink parking lot could take the pressure off, but that is years away if it gets built.
    • grapevine arbor and plaque
    • Planning is reportedly underway to replace the fence the grapevines are growing on with an “arbor”.  The new fence that was built to the south will remain as the northern fence of the dog area.
    • There is also intention to put up a plaque to explain the symbolism of the grapevines and commemorate their ceremonial planting by members of longtime neighborhood families
  • Parking restrictions on Alameda near Sierra Madre Villa
    • A petition is (was?) being circulated to remove the longstanding limited time parking restrictions there.
    • Status is unknown.
  • Ice Rink update
    • According to the agenda, the City Council met a couple weeks ago in private for discussion with staff about negotiations with the LA Kings / PIV organization.  Other then that there has been no publicly noted activity.
    • Rumor has it that some fiscal restraint may be seeping in and some thought is going into alternatives to support the existing civic center ice rink until the really poor financial climate improves.
    • The public position remains  that construction is to go out to bid with expectation of a much reduced cost from last year.  (No one mentions that revenue projections probably also should be reduced.)  After bids are received and analyzed, staff will make a recommendation to the City Council of what to do.  That could be to move forward by accepting the best construction bid along with the design, a financing plan, management contract, and access agreements.  Or if staff just doesn’t see that it can work they could recommend rejecting bids and putting it on hold.  The last public time line expected this to happen in April, but it seems more likely to be at least May.
  • Solicitors warning
    • The following message was distributed from the Vice Mayor’s office in January:
      “About the solicitors, IMMEDIATELY contact PPD Dispatch at 744-4241 (the non-emergency number) so officers can come and check these folks out.  Oldest scam around.  We have everything from guys saying they are collecting for a PCC trip or magazine sales or they were sent by a neighbor who suggests they buy magazines, you get the drift.  A lot of these folks are turned loose in the city by people who import them from the Midwest, and no, they do not have a license to solicit.”
  • East Colorado motels enforcement
    • Gene Masuda of Eaton Blanche Neighborhood Assoc reports that they have been using the Safe Streets Now program through Neighborhood Connections to work on the prostitution, drugs, and other crimes problem involving motel properties on East Colorado Blvd within the city.
    • He said they are now at the stage where demand letters are being sent to the motel owners.
    • Basically such letters say fix it or you will be sued.
  • Hastings Branch Library 50th Birthday Celebration
    • Hastings Branch Library will be celebrating it’s 50th birthday and you are encouraged to join in.  Mark your calendars.
    • Saturday February 21, 2009 starting at 1 pm and extending past 3 pm.
      • Door prize raffle.
      • City and library VIPs.  Past and present Hastings librarians.
      • Musical performance by students of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.
      • Performance by Emmy Award winning children’s singer-storyteller extraordinaire Dan Crow.
      • Cake cutting and eating while balloon artists create balloon sculptures.
  • Open Space Festival Feb 28 in City Hall Courtyard 9:30 – 12:30
    • to promote open space work, invite public participation, educate on open space issues
    • there is currently a volunteer committee working on a new “open space element” of the city’s general plan and this is one of their outreach events to let people know what is happening and get feedback
  • Annual election of officers at March meeting
    • At our March 14 meeting we will have our annual election of officers.  Everyone is encouraged to stop by and vote even if you don’t have time to stay.  (The library is hosting a Mexican cooking demonstration from 11 to noon that day.  You could partake of that too.)
    • Once again soliciting volunteers to run for office.  Officer positions are:
      • President – chair membership meetings; designate time and place of meetings; officially represent the association to external parties
      • Vice President – support and act in place of President or Secretary as needed
      • Secretary – publicize meetings in advance; record and distribute meeting minutes; maintain contact list
      • Treasurer – Keep the funds of the association safe. Receive and disburse funds as approved by agreement of other officers. Maintain a record and regularly report to the membership on funds and donations received, assets held, expenditures, and any anticipated expenditures.
    • Note that we’ve never taken in any “treasure” for the Treasurer to keep.  Individuals have just picked up the few expenses on their own.
    • We haven’t had a Secretary in most years; your President has been doing it with unofficial help.
    • Should we consider creating other positions with specific limited duties that someone could take on without feeling over committed?  For example, a “member contact coordinator” could take on a subset of the secretary’s duties.  Such a position would work to develop new member contacts and update the list by following up on bounced e-mails, house sales, and other change indicators. Members at the meeting didn’t provide direct feedback on this proposal.
  • Annual newsletter distribution
    • As agreed at our January meeting, the fourth annual newsletter will be written soon and distributed in the next few weeks.
    • As usual, this will contain the necessary notice to all neighborhood residences of our annual election on March 14.   What other topics should be discussed?  Ice rink, park ped path, ?
    • Who volunteers to help distribute the newsletter?   Quite a few members at the meeting volunteered, but we can always distribute the workload further.  If you’re willing, send a note.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Is Stonefire Grill still going in where Baker’s Square was?
      • Some months ago it was announced that a fast & easy format restaurant named Stonefire Grill would be moving in where Baker’s Square used to be on Rosemead Blvd (between Carl’s Jr and Trader Joe’s).
      • Several people have noted that the Stonefire Grill “coming soon” sign is no longer visible.  And there is a big “space available” sign facing Rosemead.
      • But the sign is still there, it’s just hidden by the construction fence.
      • And the Stonefire Grill website still shows a “Coming Soon” for the location.
    • Would quarterly rather then monthly meetings make more sense?
      • A member raised the question as to whether quarterly meetings would make more sense then monthly.  Perhaps it would reduce the burden on everyone, including officers.
      • Monthly meetings provide an avenue for regular communication about issues that can move quite fast at times.
      • Neighborhood Associations that only hold quarterly or annual public membership meetings typically have a board of directors or steering committee that meets much more frequently, usually monthly.  So there wouldn’t be a significant work load difference for officers.  If you’re going to have a meeting anyway, might as well encourage anyone interested to participate.
      • The Internet is great for communicating in a timely manner with those who use it, but we have a significant number of members who are not on the Internet.
      • With the monthly meetings it is expected that no one will make it to every meeting.  We’ve been tending to get a different subset of members attending each meeting.
    • Skateboarders from PCC-CEC in summer menacing sidewalks
      • A member reports that during the summer months last year there was a gang of young male skateboarders swarming the sidewalks of Foothill and Sierra Madre Villa around noon. They apparently were coming from classes at PCC-CEC. Seems to happen only in summer.  They force pedestrians off the sidewalks and feel quite menacing.  Can we be proactive to try to prevent this from occurring again this summer? Perhaps PCC-CEC could take some measures? Maybe could contact them through our councilman.

Next meeting is March 14, 2009.

Adjourned about 12 pm? (forgot to note)