June 2008


And I don’t mean the elections. We just returned from the Big Island and guess we timed it perfectly to miss the horrid heat wave. Unfortunately we couldn’t miss the Lakers dumping the championship in that last game. Did they even show up? Good thing we were enjoying mai tai’s by the surf to ease the pain! (Honestly, basketball is not even on my top 1000 things to do in life. Much happier now that Wimbledon is on.) My favorite part of this Hawaii trip was the two hour hot stone massage, then being on top of a steaming volcano and walking through an old lava tube. Photos to come!

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THANKS TO THE ALTADENA HERITAGE SOCIETY, MICHELE AND MARK ZACK, AND HOSTS ANITA AND CHRIS DAVID FOR A LOVELY GARDEN PARTY ON SATURDAY TO CELEBRATE AND PRESENT THE 5TH ANNUAL GOLDEN POPPY AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING GARDENS.

Congratulations to the 2008 Golden Poppy Winners!
Steve Labrecque, 3346 Canyon Crest Rd. (former home of our favorite nursery family, the Nuccios, confirmed by Jim Nuccio this morning).
Melinda Goddard, 3678 Fair Oaks Avenue
William Peer and Gerald Cichlar, 1025 Alta Pine Dr (flowers, flowers, flowers)
Nicklas and Suzanne Hallberg, 2098 Crescent Drive
Phil Skonieczki, 1231 E. New York Drive (the sculpted waves of green created by the Japanese gardener of the home’s previous owner MANY years ago. “We’re just maintaining the beauty,” says Skonieczki.)
Daniel Bradford, 46 Manor Street
Mark and Chloe Gitleson, 2697 Vista Laguna Terrace
Eric and G.E. Bauer, 119 W. Mariposa
Look for the distinctive staked plaque in the winners’ gardens. And to those who are holding on to their old ones, the Altadena Heritage Society would love it if you would turn them in for the new winners.  Maybe if we could raise enough money for the AHS, each year’s winners could have one with the year they won and keep it forever. As it is, every winner receives an official certificate to keep.
Much discussion was made of water bills. Those with “water wise” gardens boasted as low as $30 a month. And let’s face it, water isn’t going to get cheaper or more plentiful. Have you gotten the latest letter from Lincoln Ave. Water? So it’s getting time to revert to gardens that reflect our “real” climate, not the one we wish it was. Or the one it has been, fed by diverted water from other areas that were much more green than they are now. We’re going to be making changes at our house. Love my cottage garden, but now it’s time to achieve that feeling in other ways. Decomposed granite anyone?
The David’s home is historic, having been designed by G. Lawrence Stimson in 1923. Stimson’s credits include many in Altadena with his most prominent accomplishment being the Wrigley Mansion, now, of course, home of the Tournament of Roses. They have been restoring the Mediterranean style home with Deco touches since buying it about 10 years ago. It’s a beautiful home in the remaking.

— The AAA’s national gas price average has reached $4 a gallon for the first time in history. per CNN

BUT LIKE i POSTED YESTERDAY, FRANCE IS UP TO $10 AND ENGLAND’S RIGHT BEHIND AT ABOUT $9

Here’s the word from my friends in France. We’re still way behind what they’re paying.

“This side tooooo is getting killed with the gas prices.
The trucks have been doing snail drives in & around the main “port Towns” to protest the price.
Especially since 80% of the price is just tax from France……
And the poor fisherman can not make any money with the price of Diesel…..

We figure almost $10.00 Per gallon here..
We have to do very little driving & boy you talk about getting cabin fever !!!!
There is a this summer activities & Festivals going on & I do not think a lot of people are able to attend (unless they live in the area).”

Ow ow ow

Ok, I wish I had been documenting the price increases over the past year. In Death Valley in March one station was selling gas for $5.50 a gallon. But they’re out in the boonies so it wasn’t that nuts. On May 27, near Oakland, we thought $4.19 for regular was pushing it. We got home to see it was that price here, too. I’ve seen the prices increase from evening to the next morning and from that morning to that evening, so two increases within 24 hours. Yesterday the AMPM on Lake was $4.27, today it is $4.33. We’re driving slower, using less air conditioning,  planning trips a little better, probably foregoing a July 4th trip north. Just thankful we work near home.

OUCH!

What are you doing to protect your pocketbook?

W

Altadena could have the perfect nursery for our climate!

With kind permission, from notes from Carolyn Seitz per Alice Wesson

Condensed for the listserve
Note: Other listserves are b’ccd for their privacy
–Alice

Re: Status of the townhouse development that was
proposed for Fair Oaks between Ventura and Kellogg
Court.

While this project had wide ranging support from the
community and unanimous support from the Los Angeles
County Regional Planning Commission, negotiations
between the developer and the Cemetery Board broke
down and the cemetery made the decision not to sell
the property.

The developer had to withdraw their project.

The Cemetery Board has been approached by someone with
a new idea they’d like to develop on that property, at
least on the portion of the property that is between
Ventura and Mountain View.

A gentlemen, who has had a long history at the former
garden center  called Hortus, in Pasadena, wants to
develop a garden center on that property, similar in
character and feel to Hortus, but with a primary focus
on native and drought tolerant plants, the things that
thrive in our Mediterranean climate.

The property has 3 different zoning classifications –
C-3 which is major commercial along the Fair Oaks
street frontage, R-2 (multi-family) in the middle and
the western most portions are zoned R-1-7500, meaning
single family residential, 7,500 square feet minimum
lot area required.

Ultimately they’d like to have this garden center on
the entire parcel, but to do that would require a zone
change.  Their proposed is permitted on the C-3
portion of the property, but not on the R-2 or
R-1-7500 portions.

====

Will keep folks updated as developments evolve
-Alice

Here is a link to the Green Pasadena Leadership Summit program taking place at the Pasadena Convention Center this weekend. This event focuses on green technology, with speakers from JPL/Caltech (Dr. Charles Elachi) and many more.

http://www.green-technology.org/greenpasadena/program.htm

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