February 15, 2020 Neighborhood Meeting Summary

Preparation
E-mail reminders

Attendees
5 members

Acknowledgments
JoAnn brought delicious strawberry bread.

Meeting

The meeting began about 11:25 am

City Council and Mayor Election

  • The primary City election for Mayor and four City Council seats will be March 3rd, at the same time as the Primary Election for federal, state, and county offices.
  • Our neighborhood will be voting for Mayor and for the District 4 Councilmember.
  • To see the financial filings from all the candidates, go to cityofpasadena.net/city-clerk/disclosure-reports/campaign-finance-disclosure/ and click on the “Public Portal” button mid-way on left side of the page. On the resulting page, you can do searches, or below that, you can click down through “03/03/2020 Primary Election” to look at all the filings by each candidate.
  • A video recording of the Greater Pasadena Affordable Housing Group (GPAHG) Candidate Forum on January, 21st, 2020: youtu.be/J1tYtSpfV8k and a booklet put together by that sponsor containing written answers by the participating candidates to all the questions asked in the forum: makinghousinghappendotnet1.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/candidates-booklet-final-version-pdf.pdf
  • If you are registered to vote, you should have received your sample ballot and a separate pamphlet listing all the new “Vote Centers”. If you are permanently signed up for vote-by-mail, you should have received the mail-in ballot.
  • Today’s mail brought a listing of the Vote Centers nearest to us. Open Feb 29 to March 3 are Victory Park Gymnasium and First Church of the Nazarene Room 246.
  • L.A. County has all new procedures for voting this year. They are explained in the front of your sample ballot. You can also visit the County’s website for elections (although some of the sub-pages clearly have not been updated): lavote.net/home/voting-elections
  • The new Vote Centers will be open every day for in-person voting using new electronic machines, a few starting on February 22, the rest open starting February 29.
  • If you are not registered to vote, you can still do so, and even register and cast a provisional ballot at a Vote Center through election day.
  • For more information about the City election process, visit the City Clerk’s elections web page: cityofpasadena.net/city-clerk/elections-2020/

Citrus Quarantine of our neighborhood

  • The quarantine of citrus has now been extended to include our neighborhood. We are near the edge of the new quarantine zone. The quarantine zones extend five miles from where an infected tree has been found.
  • This quarantine is for Huanglongbing (HLB) disease (also known as “citrus greening”), which is caused by a bacterium transferred from one plant to another by a tiny insect called the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP).
  • The psyllid transmits the bacteria by sucking on the leaves. The psyllid does not do anything with the fruit itself, but the bacterium it transmits to the plant collapses the vascular system so water and nutrients cannot move, and that results in the fruit not developing properly. Eventually the plant will die. But in the meantime, it serves as a host for pysllids that suck on its leaves, and then carry the bacterium to other plants.
  • The quarantine means you should not be moving any citrus plants or plant parts around. This includes ornamental citrus varieties.
  • There are nurseries, which have to get special permits and follow strict protocols, that are allowed to stock citrus plants. But given the circumstances, it may not be worth planting them.
  • Commercially licensed grown and washed citrus fruit is allowed to be moved and sold.
  • Many reports about the quarantine say that movement of privately grown citrus fruit from the property on which it is grown is forbidden. However, actual regulation documents seem to allow movement of less than 25 pounds of fruit as long there are no leaves or stems and it is washed.
    The key with fruit is making sure there can’t be any psyllids transported with it.
    • “CCR Section 3435 Subsection (c)(5)(D) establishes a quarantine regulation exemption for noncommercially cleaned host fruit for personal consumption and under 25 pounds in weight. Such fruit may move within and from a bulk citrus regional quarantine zone if free of all stems and leaves.”
  • Agricultural inspectors are actively looking for the psyllid and infected plants.
  • If they find the psyllid, but the plant is not infected, they will spray a common pesticide to kill live bugs and saturate the ground with a systemic insecticide to kill bugs that come along and suck on the plant. (These insecticide’s are said to be safe for humans, but one of them is believed to be a major factor in bee colony collapse).
  • Plants found to be infected will be removed and destroyed.
  • The California Dept. of Food and Agriculture’s website about the disease, including pictures and a hotline number if you think you see the psyllid or infection:
    www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/
  • A long document from September 2019 with details of the disease, its effects elsewhere, its history and all the efforts to contain and resolve it in California:
    www.cdfa.ca.gov/citruscommittee/docs/ActionPlan.pdf
  • This regulation details what is quarantined, including a long list of types of citrus plants:
    govt.westlaw.com/calregs/Document/I6DACF1568FF0429D87F5E4E3DADA706C?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=(sc.Default)

Pickleball courts update still pending

  • The City is proposing to build a pickleball facility on City land south of the dog park, between the high power lines and the wash.
  • The pickleball courts proposal was not on the agenda for the Recreation and Parks Commission meeting on Tuesday February 4.
  • Have not heard anything since the early December community meeting.
  • The next meeting of the Commission should be Tuesday March 3. If the meeting is held (it is election day), perhaps the revised concept will be on the agenda.
  • The agenda for that meeting should be available by the evening of Friday February 28, and posted here: cityofpasadena.net/commissions/agendas/
  • For the proposal as presented in December, see: eewna.org/2019/12/december-21-2019-neighborhood-meeting-summary/

Former Albertsons shopping center update

  • This is the shopping center on the north west corner of Sierra Madre Blvd and Michillinda. Albertsons was the grocery store tenant for many decades until 2014 when it closed after they could not come to a satisfactory agreement with the landlord to renew the lease, including expansion and fixing up the property.
  • The property owner was already not maintaining the property and it just continued to decline after Albertsons left.
  • City code enforcement issued numerous citations, but very little was remedied.
  • Finally, a new City assistant prosecutor took it on and a lawsuit was filed against the owner in 2019.
  • According to a note in Councilmember Masuda’s 2019 Highlights e-mail, the next court date is March 3rd. If the case is not resolved then, a jury trial is set for March 16.

Home Depot opening next year

  • Just west of the freeway overpass on Foothill, Home Depot has demolished much of the western buildings of the former Avon and will rebuild into a full Home Depot store.
  • According to a December 31, 2019 update from the Planning Department included in Councilmember Masuda’s 2019 Highlights e-mail,Home Depot indicated they aim to complete construction by January/February of 2021 and open in March 2021.

Local Crime Summary

  • For the last month in our neighborhood, from crimemapping.com: (the time is typically when reported, not when it happened)
    • Sun Jan 19, 6:51 am, 3100 block Alameda St, Grand Theft Auto
    • Sat Feb 1, 3:07 pm, 300 block Santa Paula Ave, Disturbing the Peace
    • Fri Feb 7, 6:34 pm, 400 block Sierra Madre Villa Av, Public Intoxication

anything else attendees wish to discuss

  • A new feature was recently added at the inside bottom of Edison’s chain link fence on the west side of Avocado Ave. A roll of some material, with occasional sandbags to hold it in place. Reason unknown, but a guess is it is supposed to prevent dirt from running off into the street.
  • We chatted about all sorts of things

Next EEWNA meeting is March 21, 2020 at 11:15 am, in Hastings Branch Library meeting room.

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