Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Light Through City Hall's "Secret" Windows

For your viewing pleasure, some more historic 1920s construction photos of Pasadena City Hall:

Petrea's "Secret Window" over at Pasadena Daily Photo inspired me to show you these two photos:

Parking Day or Nite (but not for much longer!):

A couple of early, early photos when the land was still being cleared:

OK, just one more for now:

That will just have to hold you for awhile! There are plenty more for future posts.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Open Space, Housing, Architectural Design, Water and More!

The September issue of Pasadena In Focus has been posted to the Internet!

Help preserve wide open spaces, learn about housing needs, see how we're getting a grip on architectural design guidelines, see why your overuse of H20 may be more serious than you thought, get the scoop on a number of community events, and much more!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Firefighters Save Household Pets

When buildings catch fire, humans aren't the only ones affected. Animals are often hurt or even killed by smoke inhalation during house fires. In Pasadena, where 80 percent of households have two or more pets, the risk is significant.

About a year ago the Pasadena Fire Department teamed up with the Pasadena Humane Society/SPCA to provide emergency care to pets that are victims of house fires. Each Pasadena engine company now carries innovative, reusable rescue masks to provide oxygen to injured cats, dogs, birds and other household pets.

The Humane Society donated all training, equipment and maintenance.

The equipment was used most recently on Aug. 8 when there was a house fire on Howard Street. Just before 7 p.m., when firefighters arrived at the scene, they saw smoke coming from the one-story house and made forcible entry. The house was filled with smoke.

Some firefighters extinguished a fire in the kitchen while others did a search to see if anyone was home.

No humans were there but they found three black cats that were unconscious. After getting the cats outside, they began treatment and successfully resuscitated two. Sadly, one did not survive.

Here are a couple of photos of five of Pasadena's finest using the resuscitation equipment in front of the house.

While this was happening, the homeowners arrived and were more distraught about the cats than they were about the house. Insurance can replace a burnt-out kitchen; nothing can replace our furry loved ones.

Our firefighters put themselves in harm's way every day to save human and animal lives, but they rarely get recognized and many of them prefer it that way. If you ask any of them, they'll tell you they're simply doing their job.

If you're ever in the neighborhood of one of our eight fire stations, stop by and say hello and thanks. Visitors are always welcome. If there's nobody there, it's because they're out on a call. The engine companies that responded to the Howard Street fire are from Fire Station #36 (1140 N. Fair Oaks Ave.) and Fire Station #33 (515 N. Lake Ave.).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

C'mon Feel the Silence

OK, so it's a take on the Quiet Riot song:

It's quiet as a tomb here at Pasadena City Hall. Ordinarily the energy is quite high any day of the week, but there are no council meetings until Sept. 8. Some employees are on vacation and others are focusing on long-term projects that need some special attention.

Believe me, I have plenty of those kinds of projects. I ordinarily don't leave the building until about 9 p.m. or later because I get a lot of job-related writing done after 5;30 p.m. when the phones have stopped ringing off the hook.

I'm getting a lot of writing done so far, and hopefully I'll get home at a reasonable hour. We'll see. . .

By the way, I have to give a shout out to Aaron Proctor, who told me some time ago how to post a YouTube video (don't laugh). This is the first time I've done so.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Eli Stone Shot at City Hall

For all of you "Eli Stone" fans, yesterday Pasadena City Hall was the setting for a full day of production on the series. Our beautiful building doubled as a San Francisco courthouse, and in addition the north side of the building starred as a building in Washington, D.C.

As always with filming here, staff and visitors walking through the corridors or the courtyard had to stop and wait from time to time, but we're used to that by now. It's fun to see the goings on, plus it's remarkable to watch the dozens and dozens of crew people behind the scenes who make a location shoot possible.

We weren't allowed to take photos so you'll have to have to watch the new season this fall to see our most famous local landmark. (Occasionally when there's a shoot here, a passerby takes photos and posts them on Flikr or some other shared site, but I couldn't find anything for this one.)

Ariel Penn and her staff in our filming office work very hard with location scouts and other industry professionals to attract and promote filming in Pasadena. Do you think your property could be a star? Learn more here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Introducing Michael Beck

We had another press conference today, this time to introduce Michael Beck, who has accepted the offer from the city council to be Pasadena's next city manager effective Oct. 1.

The press conference was in the council chamber, where Mayor Bogaard made the announcement.

A lot of local reporters and editors were there from various news agencies, including Larry Wilson and Janette Williams from Pasadena Star-News, Andre Coleman from Pasadena Weekly, Terry Miller from Pasadena Independent, Marc Berry from Crown City News, Dean Lee and Susan Henderson from Mountain Views Observer, Candice Merrill from Pasadena Now and others.

Mayor Bogaard also sang the praises of Barney Melekian, who has done a masterful job of serving as city manager in an interim capacity and will go back to his duties as Pasadena's police chief in October.

I spent a lot of time with Michael Beck today and I have a good feeling about him. He's a good leader with a good track record in local government, plus he's a dedicated family man which makes him A-OK in my book.

Here's the news release that was sent out today.

Friday, August 8, 2008

By Popular Demand. . .

More City Hall historic 1920s construction photos:

Two lone cast-stone torches:

Check out the wagon in the lower left:

Where the big clock would be placed in the grand entrance (the clock still runs beautifully):

There's no way to know what the photographer was going for. The hat? The pick axe? What grabs you about this one?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lists! I Have Lists!

I thought one of my most important email distribution lists was going to crash today. I couldn't open it and a dialog box appeared on the screen saying there wasn't enough memory on the city's server to perform the task.

Thank goodness for the tireless efforts of our crack Information Technology Services Division (ITSD). For these folks, who manage and service the City of Pasadena's computers, telephones, public safety radios, etc. 24/7, there is no challenge too great or small. I don't know what any of us city employees would do without John, Shawn, Pam, Maple, Farrukh, Malcolm, Levon, Kevin and all of the other saviors in ITSD!

Shawn Granger came to my rescue today. After a long period of hit and miss to determine the cause and the nature of this odd mystery, he was able to come up with a fix.

That got me to pondering: I don't think everybody knows my email distribution lists exist.

Here's a rundown, in case you'd like me to add you to one or all. You can leave it as a comment or send me an email at

* News releases -- In addition to going to media and key city staff, all of my news releases go to a growing list of residents, community leaders and others whose email addresses are on this list by request.

* Highlights of upcoming City Council agendas, commission agendas and city-sponsored events: I usually send this out on Thursday evenings with highlights for the following week. The feedback I get is that it's convenient to have all meeting and event information at one glance in one email instead of having to go through scads of individual agendas or hunt and peck online.

* City of Pasadena employment opportunities: I try to send this out once or twice a month. This includes the job titles, departments in which there are vacancies for each job, the deadline for applications and how to get more info.

* Public sector PR job opportunities: I check the members-only pages of the California Association of Public Information Officials and the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (my national professional organization) from time to time, and whenever there are job listings for the greater L.A. area I send them on to the people on this list.

Just let me know and I'm happy to add you!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Community News You Can Use

The August issue of Pasadena In Focus has been posted to the Internet.

Learn more about our Fire Department, take some "green" training, choose from a number of family-oriented summer events and activities, get up to the speed on General Plan updates, help your gardener get rid of that nasty gas-powered leaf blower, go solar for less, avoid West Nile Virus, frustrate recycling scavengers, scoop the poop and much more!

Our community newsletter is written by yours truly and designed by Zack Stromberg, who's on staff in the Public Affairs Office. Zack also posts it to the website.