Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Planetfest first-hand + video

There's nothing quite so amazing as watching photos from another world upload onto a giant screen.  I have had the privilege of being at two such events: the landing of the Mars Rover Spirit in 2004, and the landing of the Mars Science Lab Curiosity on Sunday.

You can read all about it on Altadenablog, right here: http://bit.ly/Planetfest

There are photos and a video that I took, too.

Meanwhile, here's a picture of a picture of a picture to whet your appetite.
Curiosity's first two images from Mars

Friday, July 13, 2012

Walmart Neighborhood Market Community Meeting

Musson, Angulo, Shackleford
I covered the community meeting set up by Altadena Town Council members Tecumseh Shackleford and Brent Musson of Census Tract 4610 on Thursday night.  I got some exclusive quotes, and pinned Walmart rep Javier Angulo down on how soon they will apply for a liquor license.

Altadenans on the west side of town have been concerned for years about the number of free-standing liquor stores and check-cashing places in the area.  The site where the Walmart Neighborhood Market will be on Lincoln Ave. is already licensed for a grocery, but not liquor. 

Read the article on Altadenablog: Packed house as Walmart spokesman answers questions

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Pasadena links

Carlos Illingworth from Vons, Mayor Bill Bogaard and Phyllis Currie of Pasadena Water and Power prepare to cut the centerpiece cake at Pasadena’s 126th birthday party.
As promised--links to my articles about the 126th birthday celebration for the City of Pasadena!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pasadena Celebrates 126th Birthday

And of course, there was cake.  The six sheet cakes served as confectionary photo albums, with pictures from the collection of host Pasadena Museum of History decorating the tops.  The focus was on sports, the arts, transportation, technology, neighborhoods, and water.  There were also activities for the kids and a "passport raffle". 

The cake at left was the seventh of the ceremonial cakes, a crowning achievement for the Crown City.  A dozen plain cakes were sliced up for partygoers to enjoy, and believe me, it was delicious.

Over the next few days, I'll be posting articles in my Tournament of Roses column about the party, the cake, and the people who were there.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

41st Assembly candidates face off in forum

From left: Michael Cacciotti, Edward Colton, Chris Holden, Donna Lowe, Victoria Rusnak
If you live in the (new) 41st Assembly District, you'll want to check out the five candidates who are running: Michael Cacciotti, mayor of South Pasadena; Edward Colton, an attorney in Pasadena; Chris Holden, Pasadena city councilman; Donna Lowe, Claremont Tea Party activist; and Victoria Rusnak, Pasadena businesswoman.   

This is California's first open primary, meaning that all candidates are on all the ballots, regardless of party affiliation.  Take a look at the article I wrote for Patch, and see what you think!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Jane Goodall is the 2013 Rose Parade Grand Marshal

Jane Goodall with the ubiquitous Mr. H
One of the neat things about covering the Tournament of Roses for Examiner.com is going to all the exciting events.  This announcement of Jane Goodall, Dame of the British Empire, primatologist, environmentalist, activitst, was especially enjoyable

Even seasoned photographers and reporters clamored to get their picture taken with her. President of the TOR Sally M. Bixby made the announcement earlier than usual. She told me, “We’ve known for about a year-and-a-half.  It seemed we ought to release it earlier in the year.”

She also said that it was important to her and her husband Harlan "to have someone who had really done something with her life.” 

I wrote three articles on the event, with the third one focusing on Roots & Shoots, the Jane Goodall Institute's conservation program for children, grades K-12.  Here are the links:

Roots & Shoots kids celebrate Jane Goodall as Rose Parade Grand Marshal

Monday, April 23, 2012

If anyone asks...

Elliott with his dad, April 21, 2012

I am not the kind of grandmother to whip out pictures whenever I bump into an acquaintance.  Modesty is an old-fashioned quality that suits someone of my age and experience.  That's why I have exercised restraint and not yet posted pictures of my first grandchild, born three weeks ago, until today.

Elliott Christopher Monteros was born on March 27, 2012 at 4:01 a.m.  He is just a little more than 100 years younger than my father, and he already has more hair.  He is the son of my youngest child.  He is beautiful.

I won't brag.  I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Elliott on his first Easter

One hour old, March 27, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Who will the 2013 Rose Parade Grand Marshal be? Only 6 days to guess!

Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, 2010
Oh, the Places You’ll Go—and at lightning speed this year.  Sally Bixby, president of the 2013 Tournament of Roses, is set to announce her choice for Grand Marshal on Wednesday, April 24, 2012 at Tournament House in Pasadena.  
Paula Deen, 2011

Since this announcement usually takes place in the fall, I was astonished to find a media release from TOR publicists Hill & Knowlton in my inbox.  With just six days between now and the announcement next Wednesday morning, there isn’t much time for readers to submit their guesses.

So get on the ball, and email lbmonteros@yahoo.com or comment below with your ideas.  Here are some hints (though in the past, hints haven’t always helped): 
  • The theme is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”
  •  President Sally Bixby is only the second woman to lead the Tournament
  •  Bixby is also a registered nurse, the  first to assume the TOR presidency
  •  The official poster has letters that are reminiscent of Dr. Seuss and depicts a child with a bindle walking a rainbow path to rainbow hills
J.R. Martinez, 2012
Here are some of my ideas:
  • With the pink slip to the space shuttle Endeavor handed over to the California Science Center in Los Angeles last October, and due to arrive later this year, the crew on its last flight would be inspired.  After all, they did go places few humans have been.
  • Another thought is that it might be a person or group in the line of nursing.  Bixby’s colleagues are entering the first float devoted to the nursing profession in honor of her service.  You can read about it in the article “Honoring Nurses” that appeared in this column.
  • With the Jet Propulsion Laboratory nestled in the northernmost corner of Pasadena, and the Mars Science Laboratory due to land in a few months, the team that brought it all together might not be too far-fetched. 
  • A reader last year thought a good choice for the 2012 Grand Marshal would be Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly.  Not a bad idea for this year, either.  The couple presents the idea of a journey both actually—going into space—and metaphorically—recovering from a life-threatening attack.
So who's it going to be?  Let me know what you think!

And don't forget to check out my Tournament of Roses column on Examiner.com!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Altadena outdoors: Horses, lumberjacks, and earthquakes

Up close & personal with the mountains on the Rubio trail

A writer should never ask to be excused for not writing. But I have been writing! Just not on Bluehouseviews. Below is the list of articles I've written for Altadena Patch and Altadenablog since the first of the year. Other than that, my Examiner columns, and the writing group at Monte Vista Grove, I've been enjoying my first grandson.

Patch got a three-parter out of the Altadena Crest Trail Restoration Working Group, which met with a representative from L.A. County to share ideas of what needs to be done to ensure trail access for residents. The first part, "Concerns Over Altadena Crest Trail Conveyed to County Consultant" addresses the trail. Part 2, "Altadena's Equestrian Future", talks about equestrian concerns, and Part 3 about bicycling.

What does one do with all those downed trees after a windstorm? Read "Altadena Heritage hosts urban lumberjacks (and they're OK)" on Altadenablog to find out. And check back next week for a follow up, "Managing the Urban Forest".

I wrote about my experiences getting Community Emergency Response Team training in "What Is CERT and Why Is It Important" for Patch. CERT teaches regular folks to be prepared for emergencies from simple first aid to massive earthquakes.

Of course, my Examiner columns (listed at right) have lots of interesting goings-on with Altadena, the San Gabriel Foothills, and the Tournament of Roses.