To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Los Angeles Mayoral Election: Where Are The Latinos? 


By Michael R. Blood, February 24, 2013


Los Angeles Mayoral Election Latinos
LOS ANGELES — The election that made Antonio Villaraigosa the city's first Hispanic mayor since 1872 confirmed the clout of a fast-growing Latino population and turned the former barrio tough into one of the most visible Hispanic politicians in America.

Eight years later, with the historic barrier to the mayoralty erased, issues of race and ethnicity have been mostly muted in the contest to succeed him. The cries of "Si, se puede," Spanish for "Yes, we can," that followed Villaraigosa's 2005 campaign are long gone, and there is no Hispanic standard-bearer among the five candidates who want his job.

The city could elect its first woman mayor this year, its first Jewish one, or the first openly gay one. But more prosaic issues have dominated – 10.2 percent unemployment, a proposed sales tax jump, the grip of municipal unions, troubled schools.

"These things become firsts, and then they become the standard and the norm," said former California Assembly speaker and one-time mayoral candidate Robert Hertzberg, who compared Villaraigosa's victory to the breakthrough election a generation earlier of Tom Bradley, the city's first and only black mayor. "The pendulum swings."

Retiree Tony Zapata, a longtime resident of the heavily Hispanic area where Villaraigosa went to high school, voted for the mayor and said the neighborhood took pride in the success of one of its own.

But the bond frayed. Zapata said his feelings soured after the mayor three times snubbed invitations
from local veterans who wanted him to attend events.

This time he's backing City Councilman Eric Garcetti, because he's impressed with development in Garcetti's district, not his Hispanic family ties.

A candidate's race or ethnicity "is not a concern with me," said Zapata, 68, a tall, square-shouldered Vietnam veteran. After Villaraigosa became mayor "we never saw him again."

The nonpartisan primary March 5 takes place with the nation's second-largest city at a fitful juncture.

There are bright spots. Crime is low, new lofts and restaurants have lured young professionals to the long-neglected downtown, and a transit-building boomlet aims to one day get more drivers off the clotted freeways.

But a comeback from the recession has been slow, rising pension and health care costs for government retirees threatens money needed to plug potholes and trim trees, and school dropout rates and housing costs remain alarmingly high.

"The city's ability to provide services that improve the quality of life of city residents has diminished," Administrative Officer Miguel Santana wrote bluntly in a report this month.

Angelenos appear ready to turn to a workaday manager after years of Villaraigosa's high-energy if sometimes unsteady style, and distracting headlines about his romantic endeavors and celebrity pals. The Democrat and former legislator has kept a distance from the campaign to replace him.

After Villaraigosa's election "there were predictions that it would be a long time before we had another white mayor," said Franklin Gilliam, Jr., dean of the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles. But Villaraigosa "has not, or has not been able to, anoint an heir apparent" within the Hispanic community.

Scant turnout is expected. Most residents could probably name more Oscar nominees than candidates on the ballot.

The low-drama campaign involving several City Hall regulars and a longshot Republican will almost certainly end in a two-person runoff, since the divided vote makes it unlikely any candidate will gather the majority needed to win outright.

The runoff would take place May 21.

The Los Angeles mayor oversees a budget of over $7 billion, but it's a notoriously weak office hemmed by a powerful City Council. Unlike other big cities like New York, the Los Angeles mayor cannot directly appoint the head of schools, or police.

That helps explain why some leading Hispanic politicians are looking elsewhere for work, rather than City Hall. Former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is a likely candidate for Los Angeles County supervisor, and state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, is considered a prospect for statewide office, for example.

Much of the high-profile Hispanic support that helped twice elevate the outgoing mayor to office has coalesced around a white woman with a Jewish husband from the city's suburban-ish San Fernando Valley, Controller Wendy Greuel, a 51-year-old Democrat.

She's been in a close race with Garcetti, another Democrat who is Jewish on his mother's side, with Italian and Mexican roots from his father, and often plays up his Latino heritage and ready command of Spanish.

But Garcetti, 42, has a far different profile than Villaraigosa, the product of a broken home who grew up on the rough streets east of downtown and once sported a "Born to Raise Hell" tattoo. Garcetti, the son of a former district attorney, is an Ivy Leaguer and Rhodes Scholar from the Valley's tony Encino enclave who enjoys playing jazz piano.

Villaraigosa's Hispanic identity was central to his 2005 victory over Mayor James Hahn, a scion of an Irish political clan. He won with record Hispanic turnout, but also claimed significant support across a wide range of demographic and geographic groups. He won an easy, but not impressive, re-election in 2009.

The city's diverse population – 93 languages are spoken in the Los Angeles Unified School District – is about half Hispanic. However, Hispanics are expected to make up only about one-in-four votes in the primary, since a chunk of that population is too young to vote, not U.S. citizens or not registered. Blacks and Asians each make up about 10 percent of the population, with most of the remainder white.

The expected low turnout makes surprises more likely, elevating the roles of Democratic Councilwoman Jan Perry, 57, who is black and Jewish, and former prosecutor Kevin James, 49, a Republican former prosecutor and radio talk show host who is openly gay. Former technology executive Emanuel Pleitez, 30, a Hispanic, is also on the ballot.

In the post-Villaraigosa era, Hispanic voters "have gotten beyond having a Latino candidate for mayor, or having to have one," said Jaime Regalado, former executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles.
"It's a certain maturation of Los Angeles' Latino voter," Regalado said. "That threshold has been passed."
San Rafael Neighborhoods Association February-March 2013 Newsletter

February-March 2013  
Vol 1, Issue 4
The mission of the San Rafael Neighborhoods Association (SRNA) is to enhance and maintain the character and quality of all San Rafael neighborhoods through advocacy and an activated community.

In This Issue
Rose Bowl/NFL Update
Fire Station 39 Update
710 Update
PUSD District 7 Candate Forum & Election
Historic Poppy Peak
Street Lamp Update
Public Safety in San Rafael

SRNA General Membership Meeting 

7 PM 

1100 AVENUE 64


  San Rafael

 Planning Commission Meeting
Wednesday 2/27/13  
6:30 PM
Pasadena City Hall

Pasadena City Council Meeting
 Monday 2/25/13
6:30 PM
Pasadena City Hall


Congratulations to Stan Clark on his new role as Treasurer of SRNA 

Congratulations to Ralph Hubbard, SRNA board member, on achieving emeritus status





Ron Paler, 
Cecily Betz,
Jonas Peters, and 
Michael Loya

Fighting AGAIN to Protect Our Neighborhoods!


The Pasadena City Council Voted to Amend
the Arroyo Seco Public Lands Ordinance
Opening the Possibility for an NFL Team
to Play at the Rose Bowl on a temporary basis.

This Action Poses a Threat to Our Neighborhoods!

◄  MAJOR TRAFFIC:  Wide spread congestion causing excessive traffic on major roadways and intersections in your neighborhood. (including Avenue 64/Colorado Blvd)

◄  RECREATIONAL CLOSURES:  Massive displacement of thousands of residents and visitors from the Rose Bowl and Brookside Park limiting recreational use of the Central Arroyo by residents and visitors.

◄  FIRE AND POLICE DIVERSIONS:  Excessive demands on our limited fire and police resources throughout Pasadena.

◄  AIR AND NOISE POLLUTION:  Adverse impact on local air quality in addition to noise pollution and waste. 

  • The total number of Rose Bowl displacement events could increase from 12 to 25 to host an NFL team up to 13 times per year.  This action would have a negative impact on Pasadena residents and visitors.

  • The Coalition For Preservation of the Arroyo, composed of the San Rafael Neighborhoods Association (SRNA), the  East Arroyo Neighborhood Preservation Committee (EANPC), and the Linda Vista-Annandale Association (LVAA), has filed a lawsuit against the City of Pasadena to challenge this issue on environmental grounds.  

  • The suit asserts that Pasadena 1) illegally amended the Municipal Code to double "displacement" events at the Rose Bowl in the Central Arroyo for a possible NFL team; 2) Violated local and state laws to enable a possible NFL team to use the Rose Bowl for up to 5 years. 3) Improperly certified the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for these actions. 

Significantly, the EIR failed to identify and the City failed to adopt performance-based enforceable mitigations for the possibility of NFL football in the Rose Bowl.

The Coalition appreciates your financial support in this legal fight.
Please contribute online by March 31



 Thank you !

Rose Bowl NEWS and VIEWS

"Secret report on $195 million Rose Bowl project says officials underestimated cost"  
From the Pasadena Star News
Fire Station 39 


By Stan Clark

Congratulations to residents near Station 39 who were vigilent and vocal concerning Fire Station 39. 

SRNA is pleased to announce renovations have begun as of Feb 12, 2013. 

Community activism and community organizing have ensured that the area will once again have Engine 39 and our heroic PFD crew housed back in Station 39.

The timeline is as follows:

Contract Award :                              Dec 2012 - Completed
Final Plan Check/Permits:             Jan 2013-  Completed
Construction:                                    Started-     Feb 2013
Grand Opening:                                Late Fall 2013

 SRNA will continue to monitor the progress of  Fire Station 39 every step of the way until the station is re-opened.  Restoration of Engine 39 in Fire Station 39 is essential to ensure public safety in the San Rafael area.
710 Freeway Update
By John and Monica Shaffer

Metro recently released an "Alternatives Analysis Report" for its proposal to extend the 710 Freeway into Pasadena, as well as for transit improvements and other alternatives.

The Alternatives Analysis Report shows that Metro no longer is studying the Avenue 64 highway (H-2) and San Rafael area freeway tunnel (F-5) alternatives.  Thus, as of now, it is probably safe to say that 710 freeway and highway routes directly through neighborhoods west of the Arroyo are "off the table."

The elimination of routes through our neighborhoods is the result of the dedication of literally hundreds of San Rafael area residents who attended meetings, wrote letters and emails, and otherwise made their opposition to these alternatives known to Metro and elected officials.  For everyone who participated in this process, we and all of your neighbors owe you a very big THANK YOU!

Nevertheless, the SRNA remains very concerned about Metro's continuing proposal to extend the 710 Freeway through tunnels that would come to the surface next to Huntington Hospital, and then run north through a giant trench to the 210 and 134 Freeways.  Although this route would not run directly through the San Rafael neighborhoods, it would severely impact our quality of life.

The Alternatives Analysis shows that the proposed 710 tunnels would cost at least $5.3 billion to build.  This is $4.5 billion more than Metro currently has available to fund their construction.  The shortfall will have to come from more taxes, high tolls, or (most likely) a combination of the two.

The tunnels are projected to bring up to 180,000 cars and probably trucks each day through Pasadena, increasing congestion on the 210 and 134 Freeways.  Pasadena would be connected directly to the Port of Los Angeles and surrounding industrial areas, thus likely encouraging more through truck traffic.  The tunnels also would also likely disrupt traffic patterns throughout west Pasadena, including by forcing traffic going between the 210 and 110 freeways to use local streets, such as San Rafael and Avenue 64.  Construction will take years, and during that time Colorado Blvd., Union St., Green St., and Del Mar Ave. would likely have to be closed for extended periods of time.

Metro has admitted that the tunnels will make our air quality worse.  The SRNA is greatly concerned about the 710's air pollution impacts to our neighborhoods, as well as to Huntington Hospital, Maranatha High School, Sequoya School, and other sensitive locations along the proposed freeway route.

Now that the Alternatives Analysis is done, Metro will begin the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Report addressing the alternatives Metro continues to study:  no build; traffic management; bus-rapid transit; light rail; and the freeway tunnels.  A draft of the report is expected in early 2014.

The San Rafael Neighborhoods Association (SRNA) will continue to actively participate in the 710 debate and remains committed in its opposition to ALL 710 Freeway and Highway routes through Pasadena.


Monday February 25th through Friday, March 1, geotechnical boring and VIBRATION TESTING are planned throughout the community, likely near the areas where the F7 tunnel proposal is located.  It is unknown at this time, however, which streets will be affected.  Noise is expected to be that of a "typical bus engine".  Please see link below from the Metro SR 710 North Study Team for further details.

PUSD District 7 Election

SRNA/DPNA Candidate Forum-Historic Night for Upcoming PUSD Election
By Ron Paler

The San Rafael Neighborhoods Association (SRNA) along with the Downtown Pasadena Residents Association (DPNA) co-hosted a candidate forum for the upcoming Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) District 7 election.  The forum was held  February 6, 2013.  Approximately 50 people attended representing the San Rafael neighborhoods along with representatives of the media and political establishment.  

The forum was an excellent opportunity for residents to get to know the candidates and learn where they stand on certain issues.  Questions regarding San Rafael School, Linda Vista School, financial accountability, and dual immersion programs, were just some of the featured items that were discussed.

SRNA thanks Bob Kneisel of the Pasadena Neighborhood Coalition (PNC) for moderating the event. SRNA President Ron Paler and DPNA President Jonathan Edewards also provided questions for the candidates from each respective neighborhood organization.  Audience members submitted written questions for the candidates.

Don't forget to vote on Tuesday, March 5.  
Turnout is critical to determine who will win the election.

Click here for coverage of the forum and the District 7 race from the Pasadena Star News:

 SRNA has not endorsed either candidate in this election.

San Rafael
A Snapshot of Poppy Peak: Past and Present
By Cecily Betz

Poppy Peak was so named as legend has it that the early Spanish sailors were able to view the wild flowers of this area, especially the poppies as they were so colorful and brilliant. Poppies covered the terrain the sailors saw then of what is now known as Poppy Peak. Sadly, the poppies are no longer evident as in earlier days as local residents scoured the hills to pick them for family and social occasions; and later, commercial and residential development contributed to their extinction.               

Commercial development? Yes! In 1900, the Climax Company was given the rights to drill for oil on Poppy Peak (in the area between what is now La Loma Road and Pleasant Way). A vintage photo of the oil well confirms this surprising fact. Fortunately for subsequent generations of Poppy Peak residents (and frankly other San Rafael neighbors), oil drilling ceased as it was not commercially viable.

In 1923, the Poppy Peak region was annexed to the City of Pasadena. Actually, to be more accurate, Poppy Peak, a smaller parcel of land of a larger area known as the Cheviotdale Heights was annexed to Pasadena on August 6, 1923. Cheviotdale Heights was located between Avenue 64 to the east, halfway across to Figueroa Dr. on the west, Colorado to the north and Highland Park on the South. Some Star News headlines reflect the residential development of Cheviotdale Heights:

Pasadena Star News, 3/3/1925: Have problem in sewage disposal: Cheviotdale section may be accommodated by Los Angeles outfall : To reconstruct Garfield main : South Pasadena will do work for Pasadena at cost of $1000.

Pasadena Star News, 6/27/1936: House draws big crowds: All-Electric home open for Sunday inspection.

In 1924, residential development began in Poppy Peak, by the realtor, William C. Carr (remember Carr Realty, with the clock tower at the corner of Montrose and Colorado Blvd.?). The first home built on Poppy Peak, located at 1516 Poppy Peak still stands today. Also, the astute observer will note a few stone pathways built in those early days to enable access between streets for the residents, although these pathways are badly deteriorated today.  

Poppy Peak has grown and developed over the years. On February 26, 2010, Poppy Peak was designated as a historical district by the National Register. Fifty-two Poppy Peak homes, of the mid-century modern architectural style (built between 1935 and 1968), are listed in the National Register. Exceptional examples of mid-century architecture designed by notable architects such as Richard Neutra (1955), Kenneth Nishimoto (1957), Calvin Straub (1958) Harwell Harris (1935) can be found in Poppy Peak.

Pasadena Planning and Development (March 10, 2010). Mid-Twentieth-Century
National Register Listings.

Crocker, D. W. (1990). Within the Vale of Annandale: A Picture History of South Western Pasadena and Vicinity. Pasadena: Author.

Society of Architectural Historians, Southern California Chapter. (2011). Accessed from http://www.sahscc.org/site/index.php?function=past_event_details&id=113
Street Lamps Update
By Wendi Moffly

  • In early January, neighbors noticed many street lights were out in the San Rafael neighborhood.  Unfortunately, there were some car break-ins nearby which may have been encouraged by the lack of lighting.  After contacting the city through the Pasadena Citizen Service Center, and then further through the Department of Public Works, the lights were fixed within a few days of notification.  Apparently there was a "grounded circuit issue" which impacted Glen Summer, Nithsdale and Annandale Roads in addition to 3 individual lamps that were burned out.  Special thanks to Siobhan Foster and Andy Torres at the Dept. of Public Works for the amazing work and quick response to this issue.   
  • SRNA has received additional information that the funds for the San Rafael Park improvements came from development funds that are set aside for parks

Avoiding Car Break-ins: 
By Kathy "Bobkat" Goodwin 

We have had a rash of car break-ins in the last month and this should make us very aware of how to avoid being a victim of this trend.  See the list of eleven common sense habits to start right now so you can prevent this happening to you!

1. Keep your car visible
Park in well-lit areas and around people, avoiding areas that may conceal your vehicle like shrubs or fences.  If you are a smaller car, avoid parking next to or between large vehicles if possible.

2. Don't make it easy  
Keep windows doors and sunroofs closed and locked even in your

3. Activate your vehicle's alarm
If you have a car alarm make sure it is activated.  Consider having an alarm installed if your car doesn't have one

4. Hide your valuables
    Keep your stuff out of sight-either with you or in a locked trunk.  Don't count on a glove box, thieves know to look there, and they are easy to break into.

5. Hide your valuables 2
    If you have a wagon or SUV your cargo area is open.  Get a retractable cover to keep shopping bags and other belongings hidden.

6. Don't leave your keys in your car
    Take your keys with you.  Many cars have keyless entries but thieves know where to look for hidden keys-and this goes for spare keys as well.

7. Never leave your parking ticket in your car.  When you park your car in a lot that has a ticket for you to leave and pay with always take the ticket with you!  This ticket is automatic exit for a thief who may drive your car out.  It would be more difficult for a thief if they don't have a ticket and have to pay the "lost ticket" amount to leave with your car, also buying time for someone to notice it's not the thief's car.

8. Stow your stuff before arrival
     Experienced thieves often stake out parking lots to watch for people putting their items into their trunk.  Stow your stuff before you arrive to the lot so you don't alert anyone as to what you have in your car.

9. Stash the evidence too
    After you stow your stuff in the trunk be sure to not leave any electronic accessories: power plugs, MP3 adapters and navigation system windshield suction cup mounts.

10. Trust your instincts
     If you see suspicious activity find another place to park.  If you are concerned tell the attendant or report your suspicions to the police.  We all need to work together to help prevent anyone from being a victim of a crime!

11. Take it one more step
      Many vehicles are broken into with the intent of stealing the vehicle itself.  Visible anti-theft devices, like steering wheel locks, steering column collars or brake pedal locks may discourage the would-be thief from breaking in and trying.

Practice these tips for keeping your vehicle, belongings and you safe and secure and in no time they will become good habits.
Join and renew your membership with SRNA---
West Pasadena's newest and fast growing 
neighborhood organization dedicated to the San Rafael Neighborhoods Area.

Member $20
Household $35
Sustaining $100
Patron $250
Benefactor $500

Please send check by mail to:
San Rafael Neighborhoods Association (SRNA)
PO Box 92617
Pasadena, CA 91109


Join us at our website at
www.srnapasadena.org and click the tab "Join Us"

Credit cards accepted 
SRNA is looking for people to volunteer and be a part of our organization.  Write to us if you would like to help make a difference and what your area of interest is.

SRNA is registered  with the city of Pasadena/Neighborhood Connections office.