Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Beat the Holiday Blues

With so many parties and festivities, the holiday season can by joyful and special, but also overwhelming and stressful.

Winter depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), affects many with feelings of sadness, loneliness and irritability at this time of year.

If you or someone you know seems to be experiencing extended sadness, fatigue, lack of energy or increased abuse of drugs or alcohol during the holidays, the Pasadena Public Health Department urges you to call a medical or mental health provider right away.

There are plenty of local resources, including Pasadena Healthcare Link, a 24/7 information line at (626) 744-7445 that can help you find the assistance you need.

Our Recovery Center, an outpatient drug prevention and treatment program, is also available at (626) 744-6001.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Breathe a Little Easier

Well on its way to becoming a green city, Pasadena is clearing the air!

Fair warning to smokers who light up along the parade route on New Year's Day: You'll be asked by a police officer to either put it out or go a block or so away from the route to enjoy your cigarette, pipe or cigar. The fine for ignoring the officer: $100 for the first violation (it goes up from there).

Due to newly strengthened tobacco control laws put in place in October by the Pasadena City Council, smokers throughout the community can no longer light up at outdoor shopping malls, outdoor patios at bars and restaurants, outdoor public gatherings like parades and festivals, or outdoor areas of private smokers’ lounges and tobacco shops.

Smoking is also prohibited in or within 20 feet of an outdoor waiting line, such as a bank ATM or movie theater ticket booth, or within 20 feet of a doorway or window of a building where smoking is prohibited.

Pasadena Public Health Department is spreading the word about the new law with public education and new signage.

Enforcement is mostly based on complaints received. To report a violation, or for more information, call 744-6014.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

No, Really -- They're Free!

We have received many expressions of thanks from Pasadena residents for the free energy-saving light bulbs mailed to every household last summer.

Others have asked what gives with the coupon that was enclosed: "$75 in free bulbs? There must be a catch..."

But I happily repeat: The additional compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) are absolutely free. No tax, no shipping, no handling.

We've done the math, and this community will come out way ahead in energy cost savings and carbon emission reductions if every household switches to CFLs.

If you're a residential customer of Pasadena Water and Power, you have until the end of January to take advantage of the free CFL offer. Go here to order online or call (866) 807-1544.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Award-winning Affordable Housing

The paint is dry, fixtures are in and construction is complete at Fair Oaks Court, which recently received national honors as the affordable housing project of the year!

Located in the heart of northwest Pasadena, the spacious complex spans almost two acres and features a blend of 31 new condominiums and nine historic, single-family homes that were recently restored. All buildings embrace the Craftsman architectural tradition.

Most of the units have been purchased by first-time, income-eligible buyers; others have been purchased by workforce-income and the remainder have been sold at market rate.

Two one-bedroom, one-bathroom units, built in 1919 and completely rehabilitated, are currently for sale to income-eligible buyers.

In addition to providing beautiful and affordable homes, the project has spruced up the neighborhood, put existing resources to good use and preserved historic structures in the Villa-Parke area.

Fair Oaks Court was developed by Heritage Housing Partners, a local, non-profit affordable housing developer, in partnership with the Pasadena Housing Department and with assistance from Pasadena Water and Power, Clearinghouse CDFI, Washington Mutual and Los Angeles County.

The complex is located on North Fair Oaks Avenue at Peoria Street, 171 Carlton Ave. and 504 Cypress Ave.

To learn more City of Pasadena affordable homeownership programs, visit here or call 744-8300.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pasadena's Finest to the Rescue

At 11 a.m. on Sunday, Pasadena firefighters responded to the scene of an accident at Lake and Orange Grove where a man was trapped under an SUV that had gone up over the curb at a bus stop.

The man, who had been waiting at the bus bench when the accident happened, and the driver, a pregnant woman, were treated at the scene and then transported to the hospital.

Never a dull moment for Pasadena firefighters and police officers! Be sure to thank them whenever you see them out and about.

Friday, December 12, 2008


For as long as I can remember, we in the City Manager's Department have had a holiday party every year -- sometimes a luncheon with all the trimmings, sometimes an evening gift exchange, etc.

This year we decided to help a low-income Pasadena family: A mom and dad with six children and one on the way. Staff in the City Clerk's Office joined in the plan.

We got a list of each family member's wants, needs and desires, and then we went shopping (with our own personal money).

We wrapped enough presents to make this a merry Christmas for a family that otherwise would have very little on December 25.
It was a great feeling!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Season Has Officially Begun

Don't listen to the department stores that put out their Christmas trees and other holiday decorations before Halloween every year.

The season really, truly begins with the tree-lighting ceremony at Pasadena City Hall!

The festivities took place tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the grand entrance, where more than 100 people had gathered.

The event kicked off with the McKinley After-school Chorus under the direction of Robin Turrentine. They were just great!

Mayor Bill Bogaard is out of town, so Vice Mayor Steve Haderlein did the honors. He flipped the switch that turned the tree from plain...

...to brightly lit.
Hundreds and hundreds of LED lights were donated by Pasadena Water and Power. They use only 10% of the energy that incandescent tree lights use, and they don't put out any heat whatsoever.

A lot of people brought unwrapped gifts to put in the Pasadena Fire Department's Spark of Love boxes for needy children and teens.

Drive by some night when you're in the neighborhood. The tree, in all its glory, is spectacular!