Friday, February 26, 2010

Looking for Something to Do?

Tuesday, March 2, at 4 p.m. -- Children ages 5 to 12 who love Dr. Seuss books will enjoy a birthday celebration in honor of the beloved author at Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd., with special musical guests. Read stories, make crafts and have fun! (626) 744-7262.

Tuesday, March 2, from 5 to 9 p.m. – When you tip your waiter at The Hamlet on South Lake, it will probably be a Pasadena police officer! The tips will go for a good cause, of course. (They'll be off the clock and therefore out of uniform.)

Wednesday, March 3, at 7:30 a.m. – Join Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and members of the Recreation and Parks Commission for a walk around the Rose Bowl Loop.

Wednesday, March 2, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. – The first in a series of many events and actvities that are part of our month-long One City, One Story community reading celebration: Kevin McKiernan, author of “The Kurds: A People in Search of Their Homeland,” will discuss his book followed by a screening of his documentary film “Good Kurds, Bad Kurds” in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St.

Wednesday, March 3, at 2 p.m. – We're firing up the golden shovels for the long-anticipated ground-breaking event for the Pasadena Urgent Care Center on the east side of town!

Wednesday, March 3, at 6:30 p.m. -- The first in a series of "Gardens of Water" community book discussions as part of this year's One City, One Story community reading celebration. This one's at Hastings Branch Library.

Thursday, March 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- If you live in the Avenue 64 area south of La Loma Road, be prepared for a power outage Thursday, March 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. while system upgrades are implemented as part of our Power Master Plan. General boundaries of the outage will be Marianna Road, Avenue 64, Doremus Road and Washburn Road. (626) 744-6970.

Thursday, March 4, at 4 p.m. – “Gardens of Water” community book discussion at Santa Catalina Branch Library, 999 E. Washington Blvd. (626) 744-7272.

Saturday, March 6, from 8:30 a.m. to noon – Jan Sanders, director of the Pasadena Public Library system, and Pasadena City Attorney Michele Bagneris will be among the panelists at the League of Women Voters forum “Access to Impact: Using Open Government to Create Change” at the Neighborhood Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd. The community forum addresses access to information issues around local open government from the perspective of the media, libraries, city governments and civic organizations. RSVP now!

Many thanks to the Pasadena Weekly for the photo of the mayor's walk.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mystery History -- Solved

Petrea wins with her 10:27 p.m. Tuesday guess "I'm going to hazard a guess and say Victory Park. Installing the playground there. Looks like the 1960's, maybe?"

About 100 local Kiwanis Club volunteers descended on the new Victory Park on May 4, 1952, to transform bare ground into a playground and recreation center in the course of one day. This was about three weeks before the park's formal dedication.

Excerpt from the May 4, 1952, Pasadena Star-News:

The Pasadena Kiwanis Club did it!

Its members set out yesterday to complete a recreational center for children on the city's new Victory Park in one day and they did just that...

...Children descended in droves while the Kiwanians and their wives were enjoying Kiwanian Al Leigh's tender, fat and juicy spring fries. Swings, slides, rings, the jungle gym, sand boxes, etc., got a rough initiation.

The whole plan for the creation of the playgrounds was originated by Verne Orr Jr., Kiwanis president last year. He passed the baton to Audre Stong, this year's president, who bore down heavily and raised the $2,000 needed for supplies. Past and present Kiwanis presidents would pin the gold medal for a successfully completed project on Chairman Schaal, if they had a medal.

Neighbors of the Victory Park area, who were lookers-on, said nice things about a club of doctors, businessmen, etc., who spent their entire Saturday smashing their thumbs, bruising their shins, accumulating blisters and backaches, and spending $2,000 for one sole purpose -- to make little children happy.
Here's a fun photo of post-parade activities at Victory Park in 1956:

Now here's a look back:

In 1945 the Board of City Directors (now known as the City Council) established the Pasadena War Memorial Committee. The letter of instructions to appointed members of the committee included this:

It is desired by the Board of City Directors that the Pasadena War Memorial make a survey of the various possibilities for a suitable War Memorial to those men and women who served in World War II. It may be desirable to list one or more projects. If so, it is suggested that they be placed in the order of their importance in the minds of the Committee.
Early on, the committee came to some general conclusions: The project should be be managed and maintained so as not to become a burden on the community, it should serve a real community need with consideration of other facilities already available, the financing should be determined by the Board of City Directors, and the facilities of the war memorial should be for the benefit of all citizens of Pasadena.

The following year the committee made a formal recommendation to the Board of City Directors for the specific property in the then-wide-open eastern portion of Pasadena, which the city would purchase as a park to be named Victory Park in memory of all Pasadenans who gave their lives during World War II. The memorial Victory Park would include an auditorium, "eating facilities," conference and meeting rooms, an athletic pavilion and a parking area.

The price tag for Pasadena's 15th city park: $4 million.

Victory Park was dedicated on May 25, 1952, with Alson E. Abernethy, chairman of the Board of Pasadena City Directors, and Mrs. Eleanor D. Boyd, national president of American Gold Star Mothers, presiding.

Here's a photo of Chairman Abernethy from the Hall of Mayors:

I thought I would have time to do a photo archive search of the dedication day but as so often happens, the time got away from me.

I have done prior Victory Park postings, including this one.

Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Mysterious 7 x

I was leading a Public Affairs Office staff meeting at about 2 p.m. Monday as the sun shone brightly through my window.

Here's a closer look:

After about five minutes only the 7 remained.

And then it, too, disappeared in the shadows.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mystery History

Where are we? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will win a fabulous prize!

I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Looking for Something to Do?

Saturday, Feb. 20 -- Pasadena's Black History Parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Charles White Park in Altadena and end at Robinson Park, where a four-hour family festival will begin at noon.

Sunday, Feb. 21 -- Be prepared for street closures during the Pasadena Marathon!

Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m. -- Learn all about Pasadena’s new Bicycle Master Plan and give your opinions during a community meeting at City Hall.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. -- This week's free film in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Pasadena Central Library is "Wall-E" featuring the voices of Ben Burtt, Sigourney Weaver, Fred Willard and Kathy Najimi in the animated tale of a little waste-collecting robot that innocently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of all mankind.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Our Visit to San Rafael School

Mayor Bill Bogaard and I spoke to fourth, fifth and sixth graders at San Rafael Elementary School on Wednesday. We showed them a video that was played at the State of the City event and talked about our respective roles with the City of Pasadena.

Mayor Bogaard answered questions from several individual students. They asked great questions, such as how old does one have to be to run for mayor, where did you go to elementary school, and how much time do you get to spend with your family. That's San Rafael Principal Alyson Beecher on the left.

We ended the program by asking some questions of our own, which I'll ask you now.

1. In what year did Pasadena begin operating as a city?

2. How many people live in Pasadena?

3. How many students attend public schools in Pasadena?

4. How many city libraries are in Pasadena?

5. Characters from what famous story are carved into the fireplace in the Children’s Room at Pasadena Central Library?

6. How many city parks are in Pasadena?

7. How much money does your city government spend every year?

8. In what nations does Pasadena have sister cities?

9. What do you like most about Pasadena?

10. What is your favorite place to go in Pasadena?

The person with the most correct answers submitted the soonest via comment on this blog will win a fabulous prize!

Mystery History will return on Tuesday of next week.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'll Be Back...

I was on vacation last week and now I'm on jury duty. Bear with me!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mystery History -- Solved

Margaret wins with her 8:37 a.m. Tuesday guess "An early Pasadena Bicycling club taking a break from riding down in the Arroyo."

The photo description does not tell us the precise location, but sure enough these young men are members of the Pasadena Bicycle Club taking a break during one of their rides in 1887.

Pasadena has been a city of bikes since before it was incorporated!

Here's Arthur P. Smith (front) on a tandem with a friend.

And an early pioneer, Dr. Hiram Reid, and his wife Rachael heading to church with their grandchildren.

When Pasadena was incorporated in 1886, Dr. Reid was on the very first ballot for the City Commission (now known as the City Council). He also took the lead in the successful campaign to ban the sale of liquor in Pasadena, but I'll save that story for another time.

The elevated Dobbins Bikeway was awe-inspiring in its day.

And now here we are in 2010, and the Bicycle Master Plan has been updated in draft form.

The plan calls for increasing the proportion of people using bikes, decreasing the number of bicycle-involved accidents, making bike parking more secure and convenient, and creating a network of bikeways so every neighborhood will be close to an effective route.

So take a look, then plan on attending a community workshop Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber (room S249) at Pasadena City Hall. Your comments will be included in outreach for the update of the General Plan’s Mobility Element.

The last such meeting we had was well-attended.

Go here to see our "Pasadena: Geared for Bikes" video, the latest-greatest map of bikeways, a map of bike parking locations and more.

No Mystery History next Tuesday because I'll be out of the office all week.

Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library and the Transportation Department.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Do You Loop?

Some people walk at brisk pace, some stroll while having a leisurely chat, others jog, bike and skate.

Hands-down, the Rose Bowl Loop is Pasadena's most popular exercise track.

And that's the point of a community meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight: What does the future hold for this 3.3-mile recreational loop?

In the Arroyo Room at Brookside Clubhouse, the city's Transportation Department will lay out proposed plans for slurry-sealing the entire loop, widening the section for walkers in both directions, creating a lane for cyclists and vehicles that will accommodate both, as well as a narrower outside lane for vehicles only.

The innermost portion of the loop would remain a dedicated walkway separated from adjacent bicycle and vehicular traffic by a painted buffer zone.

Come on down, learn more about it, speak your peace and chat it up with others!

Look here for the final draft of the plan.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mystery History

Who are these people? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will win a fabulous prize!

I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.