Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PSN focus on Education

Pasadena Star News deserves credit (clicks and eyeballs) for giving us a dedicated Eduction section on their website to complement their new Tuesday section on the same subject.


This kind of substantial reporting about PUSD that goes beyond the scandal-du-jour is to be commended. Please vote with your clicks and visit it every week.

(One day maybe they'll even give us the Education article RSS feed I've been asking for)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jack Scott at ATC meeting tonight

from http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/search/ci_6921705

State of the State address in Altadena

ALTADENA - State Sen. Jack Scott, D-Pasadena, will give a State of the State address at tonight's Altadena Town Council meeting, which begins at 7 at the Altadena Community Center, 730 E. Altadena Drive.

Scott will speak at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, call (626) 398-6174.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pasadena Now: scooping the pulp press

I just read a Dormitas post in which s/he makes this aside: "This from Pasadena Now (the most consistent coverage of Pasadena news we have):"

I couldn't agree with Dormitas more.

Pasadena Now, the news organization that recently made the headlines by outsourcing journalism to India, seems to be scooping the old guard Pasadena pulp press.

Pasadena Now shows some technical rough edges, probably hallmarks of being a small operation. For examples, the fact that their home page CSS doesn't render properly on all browsers, and their Flash content throws non-fatal errors (see screen image above). At first I was dismissive of PN based on their lack of technical polish, but then Jill Davis Doughtie pointed out their Headlines RSS feed:


Monday, September 03, 2007

Yesterday's high over 109 °F

Yesterday the Stonehill News weather station recorded a high of 108.1 °F but we lost power and Internet during the hottest part of the day. The mercury thermometer topped out between 109 °F and 110 °F (approximately 109.5 °F, but I don't want to state it too precisely as the mercury thermometer has lower resolution than the digital one).

KCAALTAD1Top Of Lake Ave108.3 °F
KCAALTAD2Stonehill Dr108.1 °F
KCAALTAD3N. Mount Curve104.1 °F
KCAALTAD7Zane Grey104.4 °F

The other three Altadena weather stations all seemed to have stayed online through the day yesterday. Above are yesterday's local highs as recorded on WUG.

Last year, July 22 is the day (not) to beat with a high of 112.5 °F recorded at Stonehill News.

It seems that we may have the dubious distinction of being the hottest place in Altadena =)

I considered the possibility that my temperature gauge was out of calibration, but it generally agrees with the mercury one. I guess it's possible they're both reading high, but not likely. They are both positioned in the shade on the north side of the garage, and never see direct sun. Assuming that the thermometers are reading correctly, I assume that there is some micro climate effect having to do with the orientation of the Gooseberry Canyon (watershed)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Altadena August 2007 Fire (Video and Links)

Media Coverage: CBS News Report, ABC7 News Coverage, Story from KTLA, Pasadena Now
Pasadena Star News

Yes, they made it look easy today, but lest anyone doubt how serious things were before the fire was extinguished, take a look at this photo of about 20 fire fighters (lower left) on the ridge just south of the fire. Look how intense the flames are just beyond the ridge. According to the Pasadena Star News, the people in the photos are 20 specialized fire fighters known as the "The Bear Divide Hot Shot Crew."

After analyzing the photos, Isaac and Jeremiah's best estimate is that today's fire burned approximately in the area of this Google Map marked in red.

Here is a montage of the tankers reloading in the Rubio Catch Basin:

Gull Lake Postcard

Yes, a Xacti E1, iMovie and an Internet cafe is all I need to stay fully geeked out on Summer vacation.

Wish you were here!

PS: Just heard about today's Altadena wild fire when I logged on to post this video. From all accounts, the weather is cooperating, and they're hitting it hard with air power from the start (unlike '94). Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Proctor Coming Back

My favorite politician, Aaron Proctor, has announced his return to Pasadena after two months in exile in St. Louis. Yeah!


See you in August!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Altadena Crest Trail Google Map

I have started a Google Maps version of the Altadena Crest Trail. I am transcribing it from the map published in a flier that was snail-mailed out by LA County several months ago (map is dated 2-1-05). So far my Google version only has the trail heads and the proposed Rubio Canyon Gap segments.

I'll work on the proposed Skylane Gap and LaVina sections next (the proposed sections are more time consuming because there is no existing trail to trace). After I get my best shot at those in, I'll trace the exiting trails and access paths as well.

This is really fun, because with the Google satellite and hybrid views, you can inspect the route in tons more detail than you can with the printed maps that I have seen.

On a related note (in case you hadn't noticed), the satellite images of our area have been recently updated (looks like maybe this past winter). While we already had hi-res imagery of the populated areas, it was a bit long in the tooth (recent construction changes were not reflected). More to the point, the new images include the mountains as well. Perfect for mapping the hiking trails!

Enjoy =)

posted by Jeremiah 7/11/2007 11:44:00 PM

Monday, July 09, 2007

Will Instant Runoffs Trickle Down to PUSD?

This article caught my eye today:

Senate committee considers bill allowing instant-runoff voting

By STEVE LAWRENCE - Associated Press Writer

Published 12:10 pm PDT Sunday, July 8, 2007

Voters could express their first, second, third, fourth and maybe even more choices in local government elections under legislation scheduled to be considered this week by a state Senate committee.

Read the full story here:

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Rain wrap-up 2007

The rain season of July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007 ended with 6.15 inches recorded on the Stonehill News weather station. This is the third complete year that I have been accurately logging precipitation, but my neighbor at the top of Stonehill has been keeping records since 1999. Here are the available seasonal totals from both stations:
Season    PacRad     SHN
1999-2000  19.76"    --
2000-2001  21.22"    --
2001-2002   8.27"    --
2002-2003  24.47"    --
2003-2004  15.47"    --
2004-2005  62.56"   61.61"
2005-2006  24.06"   23.35"
2006-2007   6.81"    6.15"

I find it interesting that he consistently logs a small percentage higher rainfall. The PacRad rain guage is 750 feet due North and 100 feet greater elevation. (see map)

Here is last year's wrap-up post:
Rain wrap-up 2006

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Town council up in arms

Crown City News

Pasadena Star News

Town council up in arms
Campaign battle shakes meeting
By Elise Kleeman Staff Writer
Article Launched: 06/20/2007 11:43:19 PM PDT

ALTADENA - The normally sedate monthly Town Council meeting turned raucous and emotional Tuesday night as council members struggled to resolve allegations of misconduct during the recent elections.

For about three hours, veteran Town Councilman Steve Lamb was disqualified from returning to his seat for a 17th year when Election Chair Jamie Bissner ruled that Lamb engaged in negative campaigning, violating election rules.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bad fire season predicted for region


Bad fire season predicted for region
Firefighters warn residents to prepare
By Dana Bartholomew Staff Writer
Article Launched: 06/14/2007 10:54:03 PM PDT

LA CA√ĎADA FLINTRIDGE - Faced with the driest weather in history, Southern California fire chiefs warned Thursday that firefighters and residents need to brace for an especially dangerous fire season.

Fire chiefs from Ventura to San Bernardino counties stressed the need for fire training - and brush clearance.

See you soon Aaron Proctor

Well, I'm just aggregating the news, so you may have already heard, but Aaron Proctor is taking a leave of absence from our community. He says he'll be back soon.

Even though I don't know him well, I will sincerely miss his contribution to local politics. Aaron has the unique ability to do his civic duty with a terrific sense of humor, and local politicians would do well to learn from Aaron's pure heart. Most people could not pull off his unique style and natural sense of humor, but everyone can learn from his integrity and sincerity.

Come back soon, Aaron. We need you in Pasa/Altadena politics. It's too predictable and boring without you!

Jeremiah (and Fiona)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Altadena Town Council election results

From: gino sund
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2007 20:52:07 -0700
Subject: Re: ATC results?


News flash Tim Kelly wins. Actually running unopposed he got 60 votes.
Quite an impressive showing by our Census Tract. It is very encouraging to
see the neighborhood be so involved. The total vote at Patticakes was 145,
the highest vote total was Webster's at I think at 167. Total vote count
for Altadena was 613 up almost 30 percent from last year. Ken Balder was the
highest vote getter at 102. I don't have all the totals be polling station
but will get them in a couple of days.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Altadena Town Council Elections June 9th

ATC Representative, Gino Sund (4601), provided us with this list of this year's candidates by census tract.

(no incumbent)
Tim Kelly (unopposed)

Sarah Fuller
Justin Chapman (incumbent)

(no incumbent)
Alice Wesson
Keith Gibbs

Matt Littell
Steve Lamb (incumbent)

Gene Campbell (incumbent; unopposed)

Michelle Zack (incumbent)
Jerry Rhoads

Ken Balder (incumbent)
Laura Graham
Peter Baumer

Lorie Judson (incumbent; unopposed)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

42 mph gusts over the weekend

Saturday night/Sunday morning's overnight gusts put last year's unseasonable June gusts to shame. Last night gusts dropped from a top speed of 42 mph to 25 mph. So far tonight has been quiet and normal, but there's still time some bluster before morning.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

PUSD BOE election results

Here are the results from yesterday's election, according to the website of the City Clerk. According to the election rules, a candidate must get 50% or more of the vote to win, so despite a commanding lead, Cooper will have to go up against Mastromatteo in a runoff. As predicted, Bib and Bob will have a rematch as well.

In a result that surprised me, the Stonehill News favorite for a Seat 6 landslide, Roberta Martinez, lost in what turned out to be a close race to the better funded Tom Selinske. I had at first assumed that a disparity in campaign financing might be an explanation, but I just heard from Roberta who informed me that in the end she and Selinske rang in at about $11,000 and $13,000 respectively... so that takes that theory off the table.

Seat 2 Votes %
George Loew 3,513 24.6%
Mark Mastromatteo 3,674 25.7%
Renatta Cooper 7,083 49.6%
Seat 4 Votes %
George Lewis 720 4.9%
Bob Harrison 5,238 35.9%
William A. Bibbiani 6,783 46.5%
Milena Albert 1,831 12.5%
Seat 6 Votes %
Roberta H. Martinez 6,881 48.3%
Tom Selinske 7,357 51.6%

Monday, March 05, 2007

How will you vote for PUSD BOE?

Find out where your polling place is at www.lavote.net, a website that let's you look up your polling location and view a pdf sample ballot if you like.

Follow the results as they are reported tomorrow on the Pasadena Star News tally

Tonight I compared notes with Isaac and Norah and wrapped up our opinions in a table with those other public endorsements I found which put a stake in the ground for all three seats.

Haven't made up your mind yet? Looking for a cheat sheet? Take a look at how the tiny sampling I took is stacking it up.

Updated 3/6/07 9:30am Stonehill News "finger-in-the-wind" poll results:

Seat 2 Seat 4 Seat 6
Norah Small
Jeremiah Small
Isaac Garcia
Larry Harter
Steve Gerow
Gino Sund
Walter Olszewski
Catherine Anderson
Rene Amy

Seat 2 runoff with Cooper and Mastromatteo

Seat 4 runoff with Bibbiani and Harrison

Seat 6 for Martinez by a landslide

Sunday, February 18, 2007

What is PEF?

On Wednesday, I invited the pasadenaschools.info email list to surf over to my BOE opinions on this blog. Readers will recall that in my summary of current BOE election leanings, I alluded to at least two of the three seats having candidates with close affiliations to PEF.

Drawing this correlation, elicited comments from "neal" (no last name provided) and sparked a thread on pasadenaschools.info.

Both discussions are highly recommended reading.

Tip: Yahoo Groups threads can be traversed chronologically by clicking "next message" and "prev message" at the top and bottom of each post, or you may use the thread "tree" at the bottom of each message to hop around.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Some BOE feedback

Some people are shy. Some people may have conflicts of interest. Whatever the reason, here are some worthwhile comments from people who emailed me but requested anonymity:
Anon: Why is being a current PUSD parent more important than being a public school parent, in general. Just being a PUSD parent doesn’t make you qualified to be on the Board. I think that you need a solid understanding of the education field, otherwise, you just become another bureaucrat telling teachers how they should teach. Don’t you think that it’s beneficial to have a background in education, as well as thorough understanding of the complicated social issues in Pasadena?
Me: True being a current PUSD parent in and of itself is not enough, but still it's a heavy plus for me. Proves a commitment to these schools and this community. Especially Harrison whose last 2 kids of 5 are almost through with high school.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Debating BOE over lunch with Isaac

So Isaac Garcia, Steve Gerow and I went to lunch on Yesterday and compared notes. Here are our early returns:

Seat 2: Mastromatteo (very involved PUSD parent)
Seat 4: Bibbiani (incumbent; often a dissenting voice)
Sear 6: Martinez (community leader with a diverse perspective)

Seat 2: Mastromatteo (very involved PUSD parent)
Seat 4: Harrison (very involved PUSD parent; associated with PEF)
Sear 6: Martinez (community leader with a diverse perspective)


Capsule summary of discussion:

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Picking three for PUSD BOE

So March 6th, Altadena, Sierra Madre and Pasadena vote for three new PUSD BOE memebers.

League of Women Voters lists the candidates for seats two, four, and six, although the candidate information is pretty sparse there.

PEN (Pasadena Education Network) has been collecting and publishing information for a month already, and despite their election info presentation being a bit crude, the information is very comprehensive, so worth suffering the mashup of pdfs and awkward html. (In fairness, their web site has come a long way in the last couple years and at least the Microsoft Word docs are all been published as pdfs these days).

Update, Tuesday, Feb 13: I just visited the PEN website, and they have created a nicely updated election info page. The old content is still there for now, but you can see the new content by visiting the homepage or going to www.penfamilies.org/election