December 13, 2014 Meeting Summary

December 13, 2014

Preparation

E-mail and phone reminders

Attendees

8 members

Acknowledgments

Susan brought muffins

Meeting

Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:20 am

  • Council District 4 community meeting on Nov 13
    • The meeting started at 6:30 pm in the gymnasium at Victory Park
    • Staff members from Pasadena Water and Power's power side gave a presentation about the extremely expensive upgrade at the Glenarm power plant to install a new gas turbine generating unit to replace a 1965 steam boiler unit.  The project is expected to be completed by summer of 2016.  They've run into some extra, somewhat anticipated expense, for remediating toxic waste that was buried during long past usage of the site.  There weren't many audience questions or comments on this topic.
    • A staff member from Pasadena Water and Power gave a presentation about the state wide water shortage situation and a little bit about Pasadena's status.   Audience questions and comments mostly focused on the large amount of development happening in Pasadena and its potential effect on water needs.
    • A staff member of Pasadena's Planning and Development department and the President of the Playhouse District Association gave a presentation about a proposed concept trial of parklets on Colorado Blvd in downtown Pasadena (Vroman's area).
      • Several blocks of Colorado (between Los Robles and Hudson)  would be re-striped to have one travel lane in each direction and a center turning lane.  Proponents claimed this really wouldn't make traffic worse because there is plenty of spare capacity on the one way Green and Union streets and drivers would just use them instead.
      • Parking would be converted to reverse angle - in other words, cars would back into the parking spaces.  The proponents claim this kind of parking is easier and safer then either parallel or normal angled parking, and more cars can be fit in the same space as parallel parking.
      • In agreement with adjacent business, some sections of curbside parking would be replaced by temporary public "parklets".  These would have landscaping, benches, etc.  Adjacent businesses would not be allowed to restrict who used them - they would not be extensions of the business. They couldn't serve food in them, for example.   The parklets would be removed each year for the Rose Parade.
      • This proposal received the greatest amount of audience feedback and it was primarily negative.  People didn't believe the claims that reverse angle parking is easier and safer, and they felt that reducing to just one lane in each direction would make traffic much worse then now.
      • This is still a proposal that is being worked on.  The City Council will have to approve it before anything happens.
      • The City Council received an informational presentation on March 24, 2014.
    • Pasadena Water and Power had a table full of brochures and flyers with tips and information about rebates. They also had a bunch of giveaway items such as a faucet aerator, a PWP emergency number refrigerator magnet, and a magnetic pouch for cell phones.
    • There were delicious cookies, apple juice, and coffee for refreshments.
  • Electrical Undergrounding saga update
    • As previously reported, if you decide to upgrade your electrical service and happen to be within some not quite clear distance of an undergrounded electrical system, the city will require you to underground the electric line between your home and the street.  You're unlikely to learn this applies to you until you request a permit for the electrical work.
    • A rebate is available to help with the cost, but the really big problem is that after you have the work done you have to wait month after month as the city contracts out extending that underground electrical system to in front of your house, then some committee or commission hearing to approve of payment from some entity to another entity before Pasadena Water and Power finally makes the connection between your new system and their new system.  So instead of a few hours to days to get it done, you're looking at 6 months.
    • For our homeowner, the city finally made the connection on November 7.
    • The homeowner reports not being calmed down enough to deal with the confusing multiple carbon copy rebate form yet, so how that will work out is yet to be seen.
  • Freeway underpass art project
    • The City Council has now made the approvals needed for completion of the art project part of the pedestrian improvement project underneath the eastern side of the freeway underpass on Sierra Madre Villa Ave.
    • Planning started in July 2011. Additional funding was identified in August 2012.  A "community stakeholder group" met that summer to create a vision statement.   Community meetings were held in fall 2012 to publicize the project and solicit proposals from artists.  The artist was selected from 24 proposals and approved in January 2013.  A Concept Art Plan was approved in April 2013 and the final plan in October 2013.  It was shown at the Council District Community Meeting in November 2013.  Since then it had to be changed because Caltrans objected to painting on the overpass.
    • Funding comes from Metro Gold Line Surplus Funds (that were originally going to be used for a pedestrian bridge over the southern (eastbound) lanes of the freeway, and from Federal Transit Funds.  The budget was about $50,000.
    • The artwork is supposed to promote public transportation, biking, walking, and running.  It involves colorful cut metal signs attached near the top of the pedestrian light poles and a "mural" of colorful circles painted on the retaining wall base next to the sidewalk.  The colorful circles are supposedly inspired by wheels and the fruits of early East Pasadena farms.
    • The artwork is expected to be installed in March 2015.
    • For more information, see City Staff Report to City Council and accompanying detailed descriptions and drawings.
  • Hastings Branch library raffles for Rose Parade and books
    • Hastings Branch library is taking entries for two raffles, with the drawing at 6 pm on Tuesday December 16.   Raffle ticket proceeds go to support programs at Hastings Branch Library.
    • One raffle is for two Rose Parade tickets plus a goodie gift basket that includes a couple of official mugs and some other stuff (maybe a throw?).  The tickets are for the official parade viewing stand on the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado.  The items were donated by Council member Masuda's office.  Raffle tickets are one for $3.00 or two for $5.00.
    • The second raffle is 10 sub-raffles for collections of books.  There are several collections of children's books and there are 4 collections of cook books.
    • Check out the giant pine tree that is now lit up with LED lights on the northeast corner of the library from 5 - 11 pm every evening.
    • If you aren't familiar with Hastings Branch library, take an opportunity to check it out.  It's by far the highest circulation branch library and it hosts lots of programs and classes.  Most are aimed at children of various age groups, but adults are not forgotten.  There is also very high speed free internet access and wi-fi.  Northeast corner of Orange Grove Blvd and Sierra Madre Villa Ave.
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month, from crimemapping.com:
      • The map on the whole looks a lot busier then it has been recently.
      • Tues December 9, 8:16 am, 200 block Sierra Madre Villa Ave, Commercial Burglary
      • Thurs December 4, 6:31 pm, 3200 block E Orange Grove Blvd, Residential Burglary
      • Thurs December 4, 4:27 pm, 3100 block E Foothill Blvd, Grand Theft
      • Sun November 30, 11:28 am, 3200 block E Foothill Blvd, Burglary
      • Mon November 24, 12:46 pm, 3200 block E Foothill Blvd, Brandish Weapon
      • Sun November 23, 9:33 am, 3200 block E Orange Grove Blvd, Graffiti vandalism
      • Tues November 18, 4:07 pm, 3200 block Hermanos St, Misdemeanor Malicious Mischief vandalism
      • Tues November 18, 12:26 pm, 3200 block Mataro St, Misdemeanor Malicious Mischief vandalism
      • Sun November 16, 3:18 am, Avocado Ln & La Tierra St, Attempted Homicide (of police officer) and officer shots fired
      • Three residential burglaries across the wash in Daisy Villa neighborhood.
    • Reported on NextDoor web site:  Night of Friday Nov 21 to Sat Nov 22, there was an incident with the boarded up house at 3175 Alameda. A man apparently came over the fence into the neighbor's yard.  After a huge thud noise on the side of the garage caused the neighbor to look out, the man was seen going back over the fence through the derelict yard to a car being driven by somebody else.  A white four door older Toyota or Honda with a license plate something like 6SZL930.  Police were called and came, including the helicopter.  But a couple hours later the same people were back, only to be scared off again.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Surge in homeless and their camps
      • In recent weeks residents are noticing a large increase in homeless people wandering and camping in East Pasadena.
      • In particular there are now a large number camping under the Kinneloa street freeway bridge, completely blocking the sidewalks.  Large amount of trash is accumulating.
      • Camps also reported in the old auto parking lots to the east of Ganahl lumber (under the Edison lines).  Appears someone has also been dumping trash/debris there.

Next meeting is January 10, 11:15 am, at Hastings Branch Library meeting room

Adjourned about 12:05 pm

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