October 11, 2014 Meeting Summary


3 members


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:30 a.m.

  • Opinion Survey about Pasadena’s Electricity Sources and Rates
    • Pasadena Water and Power currently has an online opinion survey to learn what electricity customers think is most important in the tradeoffs of reliability, rates, cost, environmental friendliness.  Let them know what you think.  You can be anonymous or tell them who you are.  Here is the link:
      • www.surveymonkey.com/s/PWP_Energy_Future2014
    • Currently Pasadena’s “Power Integrated Resource Plan” (IRP) calls for the city to meet a goal of 40% “green” power when the rest of the state must only meet the current state law required 33%.
    • Pasadena has a multi-decade contract for coal fired power at a very low rate that runs until 2027.  The rate is low partly because Pasadena rate payers paid upfront to be part of a consortium that built the power plant.   One of the questions is whether Pasadena should back out of that contract early, substituting with much more expensive power.
    • See below for information on the second of three Energy Roadmap Events focusing on the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
  • Albertsons is Closing
    • The Albertsons store on the corner of Sierra Madre Blvd and Michillinda is closing.
    • It is currently undergoing clearance sales, with the percentage off remaining items increasing each week.
    • Hours are 8 am to 8 pm.
    • It is expected to close by November 5, but may close earlier if inventory is sold off sooner.
    • Albertsons had been negotiating with the shopping center owner for a long time but was not able to come to an agreement.
    • For years we’ve been hearing that the property owner, reportedly in Hong Kong, does not understand the need to maintain or update the property.
  • Edison right-of-way nursery usage
    • A new wholesale plant nursery called Landscape Warehouse should be opening for business soon under the Edison wires next to Kinneloa Ave.
    • There was another nursery that had expressed interest in leasing three lots under the Edison wires near Sierra Madre Blvd, including the former Perssons lot.  But Council member Masuda has been told that they have decided not to pursue the project.
  • Used Book Sale at Hastings Branch Library Oct 18
    • Saturday October 18 from 11 am to 2 pm.
    • Outside the north door
    • Proceeds support programs at, and purchases for, Hastings Branch library.
    • Come browse and buy books that have been donated or removed from circulation.  There are also some DVDs and tapes.
    • Come early for best selection.  Come (or stay) late for the best price.  Prices start at $1.00 for hardbacks and 50 cents for paperbacks and then rapidly drop as the sale goes on to the clearance price of $1 for a bag of books.
    • If you have books you’d like to donate for sale, bring them to the library’s circulation desk during the week.
    • (If you like sorting books, Hastings Associates welcomes more volunteers.  Preparation starts after the library opens at 10 am.)
  • Emergency Response Training Overview Oct 25
    • The Pasadena Fire Department is presenting a half day Community Emergency Response Training Overview
    • Saturday October 25
      • 7:30 – 8 a.m. Registration
      • 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Hands on Training
      • at the former St. Luke Hospital, 2632 Washington Blvd, Pasadena 91107
    • “Learn skills to help you be better prepared to take care of yourself and your family when disaster strikes including:
      • Disaster Preparedness
      • Light Search and Rescue
      • Fire Safety/Fire Suppression
      • Disaster Medical Operation”
    • Registration closes on October 21.  Class size is limited to 100. To register go to cityofpasadena.net/district4/CERT
  • Energy Roadmap Event Oct 16
    • The second of three free Energy Roadmap Events takes place on
      • Thursday October 16
      • Art Center College of Design Hillside Campus, Faculty Dining Room, 1700 Lida Street, Pasadena 91103
      • RSVP is required because seating is limited. RSVP to the Pasadena Citizen Service Center at 626-744-7311 or submit a request online CityofPasadena.net/CSC/
    • Here is the event description:
      • “Come see PWP’s scorecard comparing renewable and conventional energy resources for Pasadena’s future energy plan, called the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). PWP experts will discuss how different scenarios may impact your bill, affect your electric service and benefit the environment. PWP will also discuss feedback collected from the IRP survey. Plus, attendees can enter a free raffle for an energy-themed gift basket with an Embertec Emberplug and a Nest Thermostat – a total value of $300! There will also be optional tour of the Williamson Gallery after the event. The Williamson Gallery features a motion display light and water exhibit designed by two JPL employees, one of whom graduated from Art Center. Light refreshments will be provided.  More information about the IRP is available at PWPweb.com/IRP.”
  • Council District 4 meeting on Nov 13
    • Pasadena City Council Member for District 4, Gene Masuda, has announced a
    • Community Meeting
      • Thursday November 13
      • 6:30 – 8 p.m.
      • at Victory Park
  • Noise Within $10 discounts
    • Two $10 discount opportunities have been announced for the A Noise Within theater production of a play called The Dance of Death.
      • $10 off a preview performance.  Use the promocode DANCE10
      • $10 off any performance, for neighborhood residents.  Use the code NOISE10.
    • Order online at www.anoisewithin.org or by calling the box office directly at 626 356-3100.
    • A Noise Within theater is located on the south side of Foothill Blvd just east of Sierra Madre Villa.  Parking is in the Gold Line structure.
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month, from crimemapping.com:
      • Sunday September 14, 10:12 am, 3200 block E Orange Grove Blvd (don’t know which side), Vehicle Burglary
      • The interior of our neighborhood does not show any crime reports.
      • A vehicle was stolen from Lamora Ave, just north of Orange Grove Blvd, on September 30.  The owner reported on the NextDoor website that his 1992 Honda Accord was stolen from his driveway at 3:40 am.  It was found later in the day in Highland Park.  A Nintendo that had been in it was gone.  There were believed to be two suspects who had used a “shaved key”.
  • Bicycle Registration with Pasadena Police
    • A Pasadena Police Community Services invitation to a Curbside Coffee and Chat at Target last week publicized a program for registering bicycles owned by residents with the police department.  A search of the Pasadena website reveals just two sentences about it.
    • Registering a bicycle puts your name, home address, phone number, and the serial number of the bicycle into a national database.  If your bicycle is stolen, the serial number is entered into the database as stolen.
    • When bicyclists are stopped, or suspected stolen bicycles are found, the serial number of the bicycle is supposed to be checked against the database.
    • Registration is normally $4; $2 to renew, transfer, or duplicate the registration.  (It doesn’t say how long a registration lasts before renewal is needed.)  You have to physically show the bicycle to the police in order to register it.  Normally this is done at the department downtown, but they may have future community events where it can be done. Call 626-744-4551 for more information.
    • You are not required to register your bicycle, but it is much more likely to be returned if it is stolen.
    • They highly recommend that if you don’t register it, you should write the serial number down and store it somewhere you can readily locate if needed.  Serial numbers are supposed to be located at the base of the down tube, between the pedal crank arms.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Electrical undergrounding saga continues
      • As previously reported in these notes since June, when a homeowner on Vineyard Pl wanted to upgrade her electric panel from 60 Amps capacity, the City issued a permit but required that the new hookup had to go to the street underground.
      • The homeowner’s part of the work was finished and signed off on July 10 and Pasadena Water and Power notified on July 11.  The street work began August 1 and, after some difficulties with unexpected obstacles in the street, was finished around mid-August.
      • But here it is almost two months later and the connection still has not been made between the newly underground street system and the new underground house system.   When contacted, the departments involved just pass the buck to another department.  Nobody seems to know the process beyond their own department.  Nobody takes the initiative to move the process along.  The homeowner has to just keep calling and trying to find somebody who will admit to being the next step and take action.
      • Most recently she was informed that completing the hookup was waiting for some committee or commission to sign off on it.  That the committee or commission would meet this coming week and the new connection should be hooked up by October 28.
      • During this process the homeowner has received further conflicting information about why a house would be required to be undergrounded.  That the house within 200 ft of her house, but not 200 ft of Alameda, had to go underground because of the rebuilding it underwent; that all rebuilt houses in the city have to underground their electric service.  This seems unlikely; there would have to be some distance limit.
      • The confusing rebate form (old fashioned multi-sheet carbon) seems to indicate that the connection must be completed before it can be filed.  So we won’t know how the rebate part of the saga works out for quite a while yet.
      • The net result of this city policy of requiring undergrounding within 200 feet of an existing underground system (which may or may not be written down anywhere) is that a simple electrical panel upgrade which should have taken a few hours at most has taken over five months and counting.  And there is no way a homeowner will know about the requirement until they ask for a permit.  Hope nobody has to upgrade their electrical capacity quickly – such as for life sustaining equipment.
      • Further, the city and power department expend a lot of money very inefficiently.   It seems highly likely the city could have undergrounded the entire street, including hookups to each house, for far less then the three, four, or five separate contracts for undergrounding the main line 200 ft at a time, plus reopening the street for the lateral to the curb in front of each house.
      • The city should seriously reconsider this policy.

Next meeting is November 8, 11:15 am, at Hastings Branch Library meeting room

Adjourned about 12:35 p.m.

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