Saturday, August 27, 2011

Catching up: Boys Republic, Altadena Urban Farmer's Market, Tournament of Roses

It is hot in my office right now, about 95 degrees. The only mitigating thing that can be said, as my fingers stick to the keys as I type, is that it is much nicer here in Gabriel's old bedroom than when I had my office upstairs.  Sometimes there is a 20-degree difference in temperature.  Not today, today it's only about 10 degrees.

Here are my latest stories for Altadenablog, Patch, and my Tournament of Roses column.

"Boys Republic Auxiliary's century of service" took me to a thrift shop in Altadena next to the post office.  The ladies and gents sell used merchandise to raise funds for the Boys Republic.  Actor Steve McQueen, a juvenile delinquent, had his life turned around at Boys Republic and was a supporter the rest of his life.

"Altadena Urban Farmer's Market Seeking New Location" presents the decisions the fledgling organization faces as it seeks to re-establish the popular underground market.  It was formerly held at the Zane Grey estate in Altadena.  There's also mention of the certified farmer's market which is on tap for October at Loma Alta Park.  I can walk there!

Of course, my favorite stories are usually about the Rose Parade or other local events.  Here are two:

"Pasadena's birthday party shows of 125 years of vehicles" is the last in my series of articles about the quasquicentennial of Pasadena.  It made for a summer of fun!
"Service clubs participate to spread the word" is another in my series on the 2011 Rose Parade floats.  Each of the award-winner got its own article, and the rest I've divided into categories.

Soon it will be time to guess the next Grand Marshal, welcome the Queen and Royal Court, and attend celebrations, announcements, and the parade itself.

Keep reading!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tragedy to Triumph

Another dead kid, another fundraiser. That seems to be the way it goes. 

Brandon Jackson, a senior at John Muir HS, was shot in cold blood just a block below my house last February.  The shooters were gangsters; Brandon was not.  His family couldn't find a place for the memorial service.  Some churches were too small, some feared gang retaliation.

First Presbyterian Church, Altadena stepped forward.  Session approved the memorial and they approved a fundraising basketball tournament to provide scholarships for promising students, kids who had turned their lives around as Brandon was doing.

As Debra Williams, director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries at Altadena Pres, said, “God uses even the most tragic things to bring life, to bring hope to a community. Death doesn’t have the last word.”

No, indeed.

I wrote about it for Altadena Patch.

A note on the photo: The best sports photographer I ever knew, James Rourke, told me the key to taking great sports shots is to know the game, to know where to point the camera.  This is not a great shot, but I thought of him while I was shooting.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Paco the brave Chihuahua takes Altadena by storm

Paco with Ace Smoke Shop owner Erik Knight
Your Altadena Headlines Examiner was born and raised in Los Angeles.  Like all good Angelenos, she is not impressed by celebrities--with one exception.

That would be Brave Paco, the Chihuahua who chased two armed robbers out of a smoke shop in Altadena and became an instant hero when the surveillance video went viral.  

Paco’s most recent appearance was last night, Aug. 12, at Fancy Food Truck Fridays, a monthly food fest put on by the Webster’s stores on North Lake Avenue.  Altadena Headlines spoke with Erik Knight, the owner of Ace Smoke Shop and Paco’s good friend; Duane Dier, Paco’s proud owner; and dog expert Dr. Jane Brackman (affectionately known around town as “Dr. Barkman”) to find out first-hand what happened on that fateful morning.

Read all about it on Altadena Headlines Examiner.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Want filming at your house--but not in your neighborhood? Here's how!

ACONA (Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Associations) pulls together various neighborhood and community organizations to coordinate information.  The organization puts together interesting, relevant programs every other month.

Russ Fega of "Home Shoot Home"
August's meeting brought in Russ Fega, a location manager, and Geoffrey Smith from Film LA to talk about filming in Altadena.  In general, they find Altadena to be welcoming to the filming crews.

The second part of the meeting focused on liquor stores in Altadena--surprise! We have one of the lowest ratios in the county for a community our size.  Speakers came from Alcoholic Beverage Control and the planning and business licensing departments of L.A. County.

Last, but of most urgent concern, Ellen Walton dropped in to talk about the increased coyote interactions we've been experiencing in the past few months.

Read all about it on altadenablog!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

National Night Out at Farnsworth Park

Capt. Steve McLean ready to get dunked.

I had so much fun at this event--and as someone who came of age in the '60s under the ignobly noble LAPD Chief William H. Parker, that's saying a lot.

Capt. McLean of the Altadena Sheriff's Station was a good sport, taking the hot seat in the dunk tank.  I got some great video, which is posted on Altadena Patch.

Read all about the event and the participants on Patch.