February 12, 2011 Meeting Summary

February 12, 2011

Preparation

E-mail and some phone reminders

Attendees

7 members

Meeting

Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:24 am

  • City Council and School District Directors Election on March 8
      • There are 5 candidates running to be City Council member for our district.
      • The City Council member representing our district probably has more impact in our day to day lives then any member of our government that we can vote for. Yet turnout for these elections tends to be quite low. Your participation in the process and vote does make a difference!
      • So really think about what you want, what you don't want, what is realistic. Which candidate will do the best job, not just who does a good election sales job.
      • There are also two contested school board seats. School board seats are not geographically specific.
      • If you are registered to vote, you should have just received your sample ballot this past week.  Our voting place for this election is located at Hastings Branch library.  If you need to register, you have until February 22 to get it done.
      • Some election details, including campaign financial reports, are available on the City Clerk's web site.
        http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/cityclerk/election_2011/2011_defaultsecondary.asp
        The financial reports show who has donated or loaned $100 or more and how campaign funds are being spent.
      • Want more information about a particular candidate? Google their name. Remember to always evaluate the source; just because it is written doesn't make it true.
    • Candidate Forums on TV and internet
      • There have been several forums bringing candidates together to answer questions.
      • At least three different forums are being shown several times a week on the public access channel called "The Arroyo Channel". The channel can be watched on the web, on Charter channel 32, or U-Verse Channel 99.
      • The forum for our Council district's candidates held on January 19 was attended by about 400 people. It is just over an hour long. The video and/or audio can be accessed at any time on this website:
    • Regulations for Posting of Campaign Signs
      • Some of you have been annoyed by campaign signs.
      • Campaign signs are legal on private property.   It is the property owner's first amendment right to display them.  It is vandalism for others to mess with them.  If you question their choice, consider a discussion; you both might learn something.
      • Campaign signs are not allowed on public property. Street and Sidewalk Code - Chapter 12.15 prohibits the posting of political signs on public property. Public property includes lampposts, public trees, telephone poles, and on any public property such as parks, street medians, and public sidewalk "planting strips".  If the street does not have sidewalks the first 8-10 feet is public property.
      • If a neighbor has a campaign sign on public property, the neighborly thing to do is let them know the rules so they can move it onto their property.
        For other public places you can contact the City's Code Enforcement Inspection Services Division at (626) 744-4633 or file a complaint online at
        http://www.cityofpasadena.net/planning/deptorg/insp/onlineform.htm
  • Association Annual Newsletter Distribution
    • It is time to put together and deliver the annual newsletter again. It isn't written yet. Will try to get that done in the next few days and get it printed by the end of the week.
    • Topics suggested last time include:
      • Association introduction.
      • Association Election notice. (required)
      • City Council and school board election and its importance.
      • coyotes
      • don't leave trash cans out for days.
      • stay alert to what's happening on your street, take note of unfamiliar vehicles and people, and let them see that neighbors are paying attention
    • Need to distribute to every residence in the neighborhood by the first week in March. Typically members volunteer to distribute their block and/or adjacent blocks. If you aren't already a usual volunteer but are willing, please send e-mail to: [email protected]
  • Association annual election of officers at March meeting
    • Our March 12 meeting is the date for our annual election of Association officers.
    • Are there any new volunteers for office out there?
    • 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 assistance.
    • Please come by the meeting to vote even if you don't have time to stay.
  • Burglary on Las Lunas Street
    • There was a burglary on Las Lunas Street the week before last.  There was an attempted break in in January.  Both were during daytime hours.
    • In each case it appears that the culprits had been watching the residence to hit just when they weren't home for a short while.
    • Police advised residents to take a close look at people sitting in unfamiliar vehicles and note the license number.  Let them notice that neighbors are nosy.
    • Report any suspicious behavior to police.  The non-emergency number is 626-744-4241
    • Las Lunas residents are planning to form a Neighborhood Watch.  There will be a formation meeting in March.
  • Closure of pedestrian access to Ralph's etc through 320 N. Halstead
    • A resident reported that fencing has been put up between the parking lot of 320 Halstead Street and the parking lot of the former Pacific Hastings Theater and the parking lot of Ethan Allen/Trader Joe.  320 Halstead Street is the glass sided building that was built in 1983 - long after all the others along the east side of Halstead.  Between demolishment of the drive-in theater in the mid-60s and 1983 it was a vacant weed strewn lot.
    • The new fencing blocks a shortcut that has been used for decades by local residents to get to the shopping areas around Ralphs and beyond.  Although it had already been blocked to vehicles since some time after the theater closed, it is now also blocked to pedestrians and bicyclists.  (There is some new information that the pedestrian only sized opening on the north side may currently be left unlocked during week days.  This has not been verified.)
    • There is a case to be made that closing the access is a violation of a presumed public easement due to the long time it was available for use by the public without signage that would prevent it.  However, enforcement of such a presumed public easement can be difficult and costly.
    • So far there is no known explanation for why the closure happened.
    • Some investigation indicates that:
      • 320 N. Halstead now has only one relatively small tenant.  They did not request the closure and are not happy about it.
      • When nearly or fully leased, 320 N. Halstead does not have enough spaces to accommodate tenants and has always had agreements for those tenants to park in the theater lot during weekdays.  (After the theater closed they parked in the Ethan Allen or bowling alley lots).  It will be investigated whether this extra parking might actually be required by the city as a condition when the building was built.
      • The ability for tenants of 320 N Halstead to walk to the nearby shops through the theater lot has always been a perk of the location. It does not make sense that the owner of 320 N Halstead would want to cut off the access to its tenants/potential tenants.
      • The owner of the theater, Ethan Allen, Trader Joe's, Bowling Alley, etc property is said to have been upset about the tenants continuing to park in its lots without payment by the owner of 320 N. Halstead.  Hence the closure may be a result of neighbor pressure.
    • It is still possible for neighborhood residents to walk through the Trader Joe and Ethan Allen lot and then through the theater lot.  But it is a longer distance for most.
    • It is hoped that once the theater property is occupied again, the new tenant will want to encourage access and the problem will be resolved.
  • CHAP Open House
    • CHAP, the Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, is holding an open house at its new Del Mar facility on
      Wednesday February 16 from 10 am to noon.
    • "This new facility greatly expands access to care in our community and is an example of what CHAP can achieve with strong community partnerships.
      CHAP is co-located with Pasadena Urgent Care Center at 3160 E. Del Mar Blvd.
      CHAP is a nonprofit community health center providing medical, dental and behavioral health services to children and adults.
      New patients are welcome; (626) 398-6300. Drop by and check it out! "
    • For more information about CHAP, visit http://www.chapcare.org
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Report on A Noise Within Hard Hat Sunday
        • "A Noise Within" is the name of the live theater company which is building a theater using part of the historic Stuart Pharmaceutical Building east of the south-east corner of Foothill at Sierra Madre Villa.  The theater and its support facilities are now under construction.
        • They are holding an open house they call "Hard Hat Sunday" the second Sunday of each month.
        • A couple of our members attended the event in January. They report they saw drawings of what the finished product is supposed to look like. There were about 30 people attending, including the mayor. The contractor was there to answer questions. There were refreshments. The event was held on the upper level. They weren't able to go down to see the construction up close; there is no stairway yet so might be able to at a future open house.

      Learned that shows are usually scheduled for 8 pm on weekdays and during day time on weekends.

      • If you'd like to attend one of the future open houses, they request an RSVP via e-mail to [email protected] or call 818-265-7959
    • Hermanos Neighborhood Watch launch
      • Hermanos Street's inaugural Neighborhood Watch meeting was held in January and was well attended. Pasadena Police sent their community coordinator and also a police officer who not only patrols our neighborhood, but grew up in it and still has family here.
      • One of the things that was emphasized is that neighbors are encouraged to call the police non-emergency number for anything that is unusual / suspicious. The police would rather come and check something out proactively then have to respond after something bad has happened.
      • In this context, we also discussed at our meeting that when neighbors have each other's phone numbers they can call each other to check on what is happening or what they can see.  Get to know your neighbors.

Next meeting is March 12, 2011, 11:15 am, at Hastings Branch Library

Adjourned about 12 pm?

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