Saturday, December 23, 2006

Another Break-In and Auto Theft

Altadena - The Meadows:

Another break-in occurred at a home on El Prieto on Thursday, December 21 in the morning. Cash, jewelry and gift cards were stolen along with the house being “trashed”

Also, a car theft was reported today here in The Meadows, Saturday, December 23, 2006.

Time for all of us to be diligent in watching the neighborhood. Please call the sheriffs if you see anything suspicious.

Check-cashing Store a No-Go

A flurry of emails was received by our Town Councilman, Dennis Bridwell, regarding the possible opening of a check-cashing store at Altadena and Lincoln. The concern was that Altadena has experienced a higher crime rate at locations where check-cashing and liquor stores are close in proximity.

Bridwell spoke with the property owner’s leasing representative who promised that NO check cashing store is on the slate or even being considered for the location. The owner has authorized him to meet with Bridwell to begin reviewing the project and open discussions of options for tenants for the new building. The owner stated that she has felt harassed by certain members of the community but wants to bring quality tenants to the area and its residents.

Bridwell is asking that the West Altadena community trust that he has our best interest at heart and will work diligently to acquire the best tenants for our neighborhood. He is open to suggestions any of us may have for tenants. Please understand that the owner of the property is under no obligation to the community or to the County to abide by our wishes. She has passed the County's required standards for her building. Now it is a matter of friendly and open negotiations as to what we can achieve on that corner. Feel free to contact Bridwell at

Meadows FireSafe Council Update

The Meadows, Altadena - Thirty-nine homes in the Meadows have been assessed for fire hazards as of December 19, and schedules are being prepared for further assessments to be made by J. Lopez of the L. A. County Fire Department, Forestry Division, accompanied by a member of the FireSafe Council. These assessments provide property owners with suggestions for abating fire hazards, the implementation of which might be covered, at least in part, by grants received by the FireSafe Council. The project is expected to be completed by January 31.

As of December 18, 65 postcards for indicating interest had been returned. In addition, some homes on El Prieto Road had been scheduled for assessment prior to the mailing to individual landowners.

An application for registration of the local FireSafe Council as a non-profit organization has been filed.

Quotes for insurance covering the grant and council members performing tasks relating to it have been obtained.

Progress on the Council’s Action Plan, as well as the mechanics of record-keeping, were discussed at the December meeting.

County Public Works, Lincoln Avenue Water Company and So Cal Edison are to be contacted regarding their areas of responsibility in the matter of brush clearance.

Mr. Lopez is scheduled to attend a meeting to discuss recent clearance requirements being implemented by the California Fair Plan that are not consistent with objectives of other statewide agencies.

FireSafe activities can enhance property values and hopefully decrease insurance premiums. Wendy VanDeWater stated that she has acquired home insurance from a firm other than the California Fair Plan. Anyone with similar experience is asked to call her at (626) 798-2149 to share their experience, so that others currently on the expensive Fair Plan can learn of alternate insurance providers that offer insurance at better rates..

Forest Access Upheld by Court

From the Star News, December 22, 2006

Altadena - The public's right to access the Angeles National Forest and the Own Brown gravesite using El Prieto Road was affirmed Wednesday by the California State Court of Appeals.

The appeals court upheld the ruling of a 2002 lawsuit brought by Save the Altadena Trails that sought to remove a gate that homeowners had erected to block the long-used roadway, which is on private property.

In July 2004, the court concluded that the public had a historical right to access the grave sight and the national forest using the road. It granted an easement for publich right-of-way and recreational purposes.

The defendants appealed the decision in June 2005, but the appeals court ruled Wednesday that the evidence amply supported the judgement.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

El Prieto Trail

I was searching for a Winter scene picture of The Meadows to post to this blog. Something snowy, festive, etc. Well, my search didn't uncover much since we've been having mild, but chilly mornings.

So here's a picture of El Prieto Trail that was on the web. It's where I walk my dog, Boo, almost every day. A great reminder that we live in a wonderful environment.

Happy Holidays to all,

Sheriffs in The Meadows

Sheriffs were called to a home on Canyon Crest this past week. Seems the owner called to report an unwanted former tenant was at the property. When sheriffs arrived, the former tenant, who is on probation for drug-related offenses, had already left the property.

The owner was asked to continue cleaning up his property as it violated county codes regarding abandoned vehicles.

Check-cashing Business at Lincoln and Altadena

From the Star News, December 20, 2006

An article titled "Residents up in arms over check-cashing business" talks about the proposed check-cashing business that will be one of the tenants at the now under-construction retail and office space at the corner of Lincoln Ave and Altadena Drive.

A flurry of emails described it as "the kiss of death to any quality we expect," a lure of crime and blight and a dangerous legacy to the area's children.

The issue is that it will be located across the street from George's Liquor and that the combination of a liquor store and check-cashing business has driven up crime for similar combinations in Altadena.

Our own Meadows resident and Altadena Towncouncilperson, Dennis Bridwell, is quoted in the article and stated that he is confident that the owners could be convinced that the check-cashing business would not be a good investment.

One owner, Elizabeth Szkiba, was quoted by Towncouncilperson Michele Zack, as saying, "I've invested a lot of money, and when you people are paying my bills, then maybe I'll listen to your advice."

I'll post more news as it becomes available.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fire Safe Update

The FireSafe Council will meet tonight, Monday, December 18th. We'll be reviewing the project plan and updates of our assessment.

So far, almost 60 homes have been assessed. We appreciate the response from the neighborhood and encourage all to return the postcards that were mailed at the beginning of the month.

Loma Alta Gym Update

The Loma Alta Gym is open and in full swing. Open basketball court time during the week is from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm then again from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The rest of the time is for leagues. Also, the computer room should be up and running in the next few weeks. They are just waiting on the computers to be installed.

Lincoln Corridor Update

The Farm Fresh Market will be opening without fan fair hopefully the week of November 27. The Grand Opening will be on December 16th.

ATC Update for December

Altadena Town Council (ATC) Land Use committee received the Proposed Hillside Ordinance from the Altadena Community Standards District, prepared by the Hillside Ordinance Committee. This ordinance deals with building in the Altadena foothills. It has been modeled after the Santa Monica Foothills model and works to preserve the surrounding foothills. The Altadena Land Use Committee meets the 1st Tuesday of every month and the public is encouraged to attend.

FireSafe December Meeting Review

An update from the December Meadows FireSafe Council Meeting:

An action plan for the preparatory phase of the Meadows’ fuel-reduction project was outlined by Greg Stanton and discussed at a meeting of the Fire Safe Council on December 21. The project’s purpose is to protect the Altadena Meadows as much as possible in the event of a brush fire, by reducing fuel in the vicinity of, and within, the Meadows Subdivision.

Each property owner in the Meadows will soon be receiving a letter inviting them to participate in an assessment program to determine which vegetation poses a danger in the event of a fire. Recommendations will be made to the property owners about which trees and/or other vegetation ought to be removed or trimmed. The final decision about action to be taken, however, rests with the property owner. Grant funds may be available to help them follow the recommendations.

The assessment will be conducted by J. Lopez of the L. A. County Fire Department, Forestry Division, accompanied by a member of the Fire Safe Council. It will take approximately 30 minutes for each parcel. It should not be confused with the inspection that is conducted annually by the Forest Service. Such inspections will continue, and property owners will be required, as usual, to mitigate fire danger according to their instructions.

The Meadows Fuel-Reduction Project is being funded by a grant received from the California State Fire Safe Council in the amount of $80,000. The first demand on these funds will be for goats and manual crews to clear brush on the hillsides in the immediate vicinity of the Meadows.

The Fire Safe Council meets on the third Tuesday every month.