The crowd turned out at Kidspace by the Rose Bowl, in the beautiful Arroyo Thursday night for the Arroyo Verde Awards given by the Arroyo Seco Foundation.

Tim Brick led the festivities which included awards to:

  • The Hahamongna Bloggers for Best Advocacy (about 25 of us blogged on the same day to protest development plans in the Hahamongna Watershed Park) below JPL
  • Foothill Municipal Water District for Greening the Arroyo–Agency
  • Urban Semillas and Miguel Luna for Greening the Arroyo–Organization
  • Arroyo Green Team, Audobon Center for Volunteers
  • Nolan Pack and PCC Student Government for Citizen Activist
  • Michael Cacciotti, mayor Pro-Tempore, City of South Pasadena (great remarks!)
  • Highland Park resident Virginia Neely for a Special Award for her historical record-keeping and assistance to many
  • Nicole Possert for Lifetime Achievement

 See my earlier post for the list of Hahamongna bloggers, and add to that Steve Scauzillo

Thanks for the great party! So nice to be recognized! And hats off to Petrea Burchard, Karin Bugge, and Barbara Ellis who hatched the united blogging idea.

While we all got certificates, Petrea’s in possession of the festive froggy award that glows in the dark! That should keep her hoppin. And thanks to new friend Robert for taking a slug of these photos.

Here are some pix. They’re also on flickr at
































Here’s an event not to miss! Music, art and cocktails in a mausoleum. Now that’s a party!

Tomorrow's Altadena Heritage of Abundance Poster

Tomorrow's Altadena Heritage of Abundance Poster

Here are some pictures from both the Altadena Heritage membership party at Beckett Hall and the lighting of Christmas Tree Lane. More to come!

I’ll be there Saturday evening drooling over great Altadena gardens. See ya there???? I should have posted this sooner, sorry! I’ll have photos.

Announcing Altadena Heritage’s 5th Annual Garden Party and “Golden Poppy” Garden Awards to be held Saturday, June 7, from 5-7:30 pm.
The Golden Poppy awards are given annually to recognize community members whose gardens improve and maintain the character and quality of Altadena.  

Celebrate Altadena’s most beautiful gardens with wine and cheese in the garden of Anita and Chris David.
Admission is $15 at the door for members. Admission is free for new members who join at the door ($30 annual membership fee). Cash or checks only, please.
RSVP to or 626-797-0054. We will contact you with the address for the event.

And Sunday is the McNally House Tour. Great stories to be told, I’m sure. Here’s the link to the Star News story.

So the Star-News’s Larry Wilson commented that the old Wamu building was a local savings and loan years ago. Anyone else know the history of the building? I moved here more than 12 years ago. Then I was with Great Western and I believe that’s what it was then, but can’t be sure. Who can chime in here?

I’m off to Death Valley this weekend with a stop to see the Owens Valley telescopes, so not a lot of time to blog until my return. I’ll have more local history from Michele Zack’s talk at Nuccio’s when I return! And lots of pictures of the desert wildflowers.

Dozens of nurseries and growers once inhabited the hills of Altadena. And if it wasn’t for Pasadena fighting to have the 210 freeway go thru their town, our last remaining nursery would have disappeared long ago. Thankfully, Nuccio’s famed camellia and azalea nursery on Chaney Trail does still remain, and today hosted the Altadena Heritage Society’s Breakfast of tea, coffee and treats, featuring Julius “The Nuch” Nuccio and friend and Altadena historian Michelle Zack.  

In their beautiful location since 1946, “The Nuch” told a gathering of more than 50 flora and history buffs how his family came to start the nursery in 1935.  It was all because his father and nephew gave their gardening obsessed mother a camelia. “She got them interested in plants. She didn’t care if there were dirty dishes in the sink, she’d be out in the garden,” he joked. Their initial nursery was kept in their grandparent’s yard during the war, cared for by the women of the family. Once that was over, grandfather said it was time he got his house back. “When we first got this property we thought we’d go broke,” said Nuccio. “I hated it. Worked here since I was 12. Tried another job for a month, but came right back.”

Wisely, his dad and uncle saw the trends in the nursery business and decided to specialize. They carry more than 500 varieties of both flowers, just a drop in the bucket of the thousands of varieties exist. Their two most famous are the Nuccio’s Bella Rosa and Pink Pearl. They still hand water and fertilize each plant because watering systems killed too many of them.

The soil secrets of both plants: Camellias take 1/3 soil, 1/3 peat and 1/3 pearlite. Azaleas take 2/3 peat and 1/3 pearlite. When the plants are blooming, they’re dormant. That’s when to move them if you need to. Prune right after blooming is complete.  

Nuccio’s has never advertised — yet last summer The Nuch said it was their best summer ever. That’s what growing a business is all about.

 More to come on this. Here are a few pix of the day…


Michele Zack


Don’t miss a chance to talk with the Nuccios about how your camelias and azaleas are doing. It’s a joy to have such a resource in our own backyard.

So Dorothy Burns is upset at what’s happening to Scripps Home. I have to say I join her in being upset at seeing some lovely architecture destroyed, whatever the bottom line reasoning is.  Here is the official press release that answers Dorothy’s questions about where the former residents are. What’s not clear at all is what the new facility will look like. The gentleman I spoke with Saturday it was going to fit in architecturally with the community. We can hope — and speak up about it. If anyone has any more info on this, please post it here. The gentleman said plans weren’t complete yet, so the neighborhood should be able to have some say. Could a Town Council member shed some light on this? I’ll see what I can find out.

The Episcopal Home Communities:  Janelle Morton(626)300-6460
The Scripps Home:                          Patricia Bunin:(626)797-8255



The Boards of Directors of The Episcopal Home Communities and The Scripps Home have agreed unanimously to pursue a merger in order best to prepare for the long-term future.  The announcement, coming from Martha L. Tamburrano, President/CEO of The Episcopal Home Communities and James W. Graunke, Executive Director of The Scripps Home, states that operations of The Scripps Home, a life care community located in Altadena, will be merged into the operations of The Kensington, a continuing care retirement community located in Alhambra and owned and operated by The Episcopal Home Communities. “We are looking forward to pursuing a merger with The Scripps Home,” said Martha Tamburrano, President and CEO of The Episcopal Home Communities. “Scripps shares The Episcopal Home’s dedication to its residents through high-quality care and services, and both organizations have a tradition of providing charitable care.” Changes in the senior living market and related financial challenges led the Boards to the conclusion that such a merger will promote long-term financial stability.  Together, Scripps and The Kensington will carry on their traditions of long-term, high-quality service over a continuum of care — independent living, assisted living, dementia care and skilled nursing care.  It also allows for a continued commitment to charitable care, a hallmark of both institutions. James Graunke, who has held the top leadership role at The Scripps Home for more than 25 years said,” I see this merger with our new partner as an investment in the future of Scripps in Altadena.  It will enable us to sustain for generations to come the values and the services to the community Scripps has provided for the past 95 years.” During a phased program starting next year, The Scripps Home residents will move to The Kensington while the Scripps campus itself is being redeveloped.  Upon completion of the new facility, both the Kensington and Scripps residents will be able to move to Altadena.  This integration will allow the residents of both retirement communities to enjoy the benefits of the best that each has to offer, along with the least possible interruption to their daily lives during the construction of the new Scripps-Kensington campus in Altadena. “This new structure will be an ideal way for Scripps to position itself to go on serving generations of older adults with our mission to provide services to people of every income level and ethnic background,” Graunke said.

Tree evacuee2008-01-26-041web.jpg

The Scripps Home closed in November as owners prepare to tear it down and replace it with a more modern and spacious home for elderly residents. Today was their plant giveaway and dozens of people and local gardeners showed up to help themselves to Scripps flora. My husband and I did too, just as the day was winding down. You can see from the scars in the land that plenty of greenery was had by all. I’ll chronicle the evolution of the home here.


Soon all of Scripps will be demolished

What will happen to her?

Found this little gem today about an incident in 1927 that would make the Darwin Awards today…