February 2008

From Carolyn Seitz and the Sheriff’s Office: “I just heard from Captain Blow that State Parole has begun relocating the 6 paroled child molesters from Risinghill Road.
They should all be relocated by March 3rd.”

Who says a community uprising doesn’t get action?


Lots of news about the group home in the Meadows section of Altadena…

Frank Girardot: High time to fix the system
San Gabriel Valley Tribune – West Covina,CA,USA
It should come as little surprise that folks in Altadena don’t think a group home for sex offenders makes their neighborhood of $500000 homes desirable.
See all stories on this topic

News Raw Inside: Feb. 27, 2008
KNBC.com – Los Angeles,CA,USA
27, 2008 Residents in Altadena are dema… Comfort Women Demand Apology Colleen Williams Reports A Fullerton congressman seeks .
See all stories on this topic

6 child sex offenders living together
abc7.com – Los Angeles,CA,USA
ALTADENA (KABC) — Some residents in Altadena are furious after learning that six violent child sex offenders are living in their neighborhood,
See all stories on this topic

Saw this on my way to work this morning…thought the building was building demolished (finally), but not, fire did the work and the fire crew was still there. Remains were still smoldering and the air was fragrant with the smell of char. Don’t know any other details. Old wamu building burns

Fire crews at the old Wamu

Here’s the story as the Star News reported:

Fire ravages empty structure

var requestedWidth = 0;

if(requestedWidth > 0){ document.getElementById(‘articleViewerGroup’).style.width = requestedWidth + “px”; document.getElementById(‘articleViewerGroup’).style.margin = “0px 0px 10px 10px”; } ALTADENA – Firefighter crews battled for more than three hours this morning to extinguish a blaze at an abandoned building, officials said.The fire started just after midnight at the vacant Washington Mutual bank in the 2200 block of Lake Avenue.

Firefighters doused the flames at about 4 a.m.

A homeless man who was living inside the abandoned building was treated for smoke inhalation, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


One of the most grand places in Altadena is the 62-year-old oasis of camelias and azaleas — Nuccio’s Nursery. I’ve traipsed through the aisles, had Jim and others load up my car, pot plants, or even give me a snip of something to see how it looks in my yard. Just love these guys. This Sunday they’re having a special event starting at 9 am — postponed from last week due to weather.  Here are photos I took last weekend between storms…

Nuccio’s Nursery, world-famous growers and hybridizers of azaleas and camellias,  has overlooked the San Gabriel valley from high on Chaney Trail since 1946. This tucked-away treasure is the only remaining commercial grower in a town once renowned for its many nurseries.

Visit for “Breakfast among the camellias”

Warm up with a selection of steeped Camellia sinensis /leaves
(also known as tea), and learn more about Altadena and one of its iconic

Tea, Savories, & Pastries available from 9am

Program begins promptly at 10am

Altadena’s Nurseried Past  — local historian Michele Zack
The Story of Nuccio’s —  nursery co-owner Julius Nuccio
A Journey Through Tea   — special guest author Liz Handy
$10 donation requested for non-members
Memberships sold at the door


Turn up-hill at the flashing yellow light on West Loma Alta –
nursery is on the left, look for the sign. Pretty damn hard to miss!
Please hike, bike, or car-pool if you can, parking is limited.

DUTTON’S BRENTWOOD CLOSING ITS DOORS Another blow to the book world. Just feels like that damn movie “You’ve Got Mail” keeps coming true. We are so fortunate to have Vroman’s in our back yard. Sorry to see the venerable Dutton’s hit the road the end of April. I am a longtime member of IWOSC (Independent Writers of Southern California) and IWOSC recently had an event with Dutton’s, one of its last. Here’s the release from Duttons:Los Angeles, CA, February 25, 2008 – It is with profound regret and sorrow that Dutton’s Brentwood Books must announce that it will be closing on April 30, 2008. As our regular customers and friends well know, the past year for the store has been one of upheaval and turmoil. Hard on the heels of the closure of the Dutton’s Beverly Hills location came word that the Brentwood property had changed ownership, and the new owner, Charles T. Munger, announced plans to redevelop the property. The multiple uncertainties of the bookstore’s future, combined with the encumbrances associated with the closure of the Beverly Hills store have crippled the store’s ability to provide the kind of immediate service and depth of inventory that our customers have come to rightly expect. It is no secret that the store today is a shadow of its former self. Given our situation as it now stands, the pride we feel in our past achievements, and the vagaries of the current book market, shuttering our doors seems the only realistic solution. It is important to note that Charles Munger has committed to a significant amount of financial support for the difficult process of closing the store, and we appreciate his generosity. Be assured, especially those of you who have regularly asked, “How are things going at the store,” that every effort has been made to try to sensibly and rationally save this enterprise. Those efforts continued up until last week. It is the uncertainty that has, more than any other factor, led us to this painful decision. It has arrested improvement to the physical property, impacted inventory, and made it impossible for our extraordinary staff to provide the level of service that they are accustomed to giving. We have been asked if the store will reopen in the proposed new development, or at another site in the area. At present, any plans to reopen or relocate will have to await a real offer in a real situation, combined with a sober assessment of the realities of the book world. That said, we have not said “no” to any future possibility. The one certainty that we have relied upon for our many years at this location is the honest and dedicated support by this community to the value of books and bookstores in general, and to this one in particular. This is a demonstrable fact, proven repeatedly, and while we openly acknowledge our debt to our customers for their years, and even decades, of support, we further ask for your understanding and forbearance in the extremely difficult months ahead.Doug Dutton 

Have you got one yet? I’m a newbie, got one this week. Mine’s gone 165 miles in 3 days, 4 hours and 7 minutes.

Know what I’m talking about?

A dollar bill — registered with www.wheresgeorge.com. Simple concept — I got a bill that has a red stamp saying it’s registered on where’s george.com. So I went to the site, registered, then entered the bill’s serial number and my zip code. Voila, a tracking chart pops up telling you its travel history. I’m the second entry on mine, so it’s a newbie, too. The site’s been active for nearly 10 years.

You can mark a bill with the website info  — discreetly. It’s legal, according to the website. So give it a try and see where your money is going! I’m taking mine back to where it was last registered — Death Valley  (where I’m planning on visiting in two weeks, how weird is that?) –and see where it goes from there…

Did you catch the eclipse tonight? No point in posting a photo of mine — can’t tell the diff between a lampost and the moon. Better off to check out shots at nasa.gov instead.

 Here’s a notice about a Zocolo event…


Zócalo at The Skirball

Tuesday, February 26, 7:30 pm at The Skirball Cultural Center

Zócalo and the Los Angeles Times Editorial Pages Present

Hollywood’s Labor Turmoil: “What Caused it, and What Happens Next?”

Moderated by Jon Healey of the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

A panel of industry insiders and expert observers—David Ginsburg, professor of Entertainment and Media Law at UCLA, Aaron Mendelsohn, from the Writers Guild of America West, Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein, and more TBA—will dissect the lengthy strike by the Writers Guild of America, offering their views on the forces that made this contract such a high-stakes battle. Why were the studios and the writers willing to accept such a long and costly work stoppage? Why was the Directors Guild able to reach a deal so quickly? Most important, how might the Internet reshape the entertainment business in a way that affects the studios’ relationship with writers and other talent?

To Reserve a Free Seat at The Skirball Click Here

I was so otherwise occupied I couldn’t cover the parade down Fair Oaks yesterday (Saturday), except to say it was a magnet for some trouble. Around 9am, some ’60s classic cars waited at Fair Oaks and Ventura for the start of the parade and balloons festooned the street around the park. By the afternoon, the story was traffic, arrests, and police everywhere. Robinson Park was filled with people for the food and other booths, but one young guy was arrested in the middle of Fair Oaks at Washington, stopping traffic. And I witnessed other police stops and those who looked like gang members working the streets while families strolled from park to home. Driving on Fair Oaks was not pleasant.

A local group proudly marched in the parade, however. Here’s the story of the Diamondettes: 



 The crowd was light this morning at the Loma Alta Park polling center. And some of the volunteers were getting testy with each other. No wonder — it was damn cold out there! 39 degrees at 8 am — and no coffee cart in sight. Where’s that entrepreneurial spirit? You’d think an enterprising soul or business would have carts set up at or near all the polling places. There are people standing outside with petitions and people standing in line to vote. Captive audience.

Whether there’s coffee or not, get out and vote. We need to be heard at this primary.

poll-reg.jpgA bonus for me today was driving to work via Loma Alta Drive and seeing the peacocks who were out for a stroll.  If they can get out, so can you!


Yes the Giants won…but here’s word of another bomb.

This in from Monica Hubbard…

This morning I had an e-mail inquiry from a friend on Maiden Lane
regarding discovery of a pipe bomb on Saturday afternoon near the
intersection of Dolores and Mt. Curve streets.

Sheriff Blow responded to my e-mail and said that an Altadena resident
out walking found the explosive device in the street and called it
in.  The L.A. County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad responded to the scene and
neutralized the device.

The Sheriff deputies do not know where the device came from or how it got

I called the Sheriff’s Station this afternoon to try to get a little bit
more information.  I was told that Sheriff Station personnel very rarely
find these kinds of devices in our area, but when they do, the devices
are usually close to the mountains, perhaps taken there by individuals
intending to set them off in more remote areas just to see what the
device will do.

Yesterday’s discovery is under investigation.

Sincere thanks to Sheriff Blow and his deputies for their swift response
to the community inquiries.

Monica Hubbard
Member, Altadena Sheriff’s Community Advisory Committee


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