Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Meadows Sign Returns

Thanks to Eich Gravenburg for leading the effort in fixing The Meadows sign. It's now back in its rightful place.

Thanks Eich!

Edible Altadena

A Meadows resident reported on two new businesses in Altadena:

The very yummy, Bulgarini Gelato, which is open Wedneday through Friday from 12:00 – 8:00.. It’s located in the courtyard to the east of RiteAid on Altadena Drive.

Amy's Garden Café, at the southeast corner of Altadena and Lake, is serving breakfast and lunch. It has been packed with customers since opening.

Thanks To Dennis Bridwell

Dennis Bridwell, a Meadows resident and one of our current Altadena Town Council representatives, has decided not to run for another term after serving almost two years in the position. He stepped up to the challenge when the former representative and another Meadows resident, Bill Jones, moved out of the area.

Within the Town Council, he served on the Executive and Land Use Committees and was a member of the Sheriff's Advisory Committee. Dennis has been an excellent voice for the neighborhood and the entire census tract, assisting many of us in resolving issues and spearheading initiatives. Many thanks go to him for a job well done.

Town Council Candidates at Next Meeting

The Meadows has invited this year’s two Altadena Town Council candidates to join us at the next neighborhood meeting on June 5.

The candidates are Alice Sarkisian Wessen and Keith “Sarge” Gibbs. Issues that the Town Council has been working on include creating an Altadena school district separate from Pasadena, hillside development and Altadena business district development. All these issues affect Meadow's residents.

Let your voice be heard. Come to the meeting on June 5 to hear the candidates and be sure to vote June 9.

FireSafe Council Update

Assessments of individual properties have been completed with over two-thirds of Meadows residents participating. The Meadows FireSafe Council again reminds residents that these assessments are a separate effort from the brush clearance inspections conducted annually by the Forest Service or, as is the case on Canyon Dell, the LA County Fire Department.

The required environmental protection studies for the fire-safe project are continuing and must be completed before additional grant money will be released. Request for a three-month extension on the grant time limit is being considered.

Contractors will be contacted in June to obtain bids for mitigation of fire hazards in the Meadows area. While these contractors will be hired by the Fire-Safe Council for the fire safe project, they will probably be available to individual neighbors at reduced cost while they are in the area.

Anyone feeling they are wrongly penalized by their insurance provider because of differing standards regarding compliance with brush-clearing regulations can call the L.A. County Fire Department, who will inspect the property and issue a certificate of compliance if justified.

Anyone having complaints about brush clearance in vacant lots is invited to contact Debbie Humphreys, who is in charge of the County’s weed-abatement department. Telephone (626) 575-5732 or email to

The proposed town hall meeting, at which residents can get detailed updating on the fire-safe project and voice their own concerns or questions, has been postponed to July.

Press Conference Update

On Tuesday, May 22, State Insurance Commissioner, Steve Poizner, came to The Meadows for a press conference. He highlighted the need for brush clearance and making an inventory of your possessions should you ever need to file a claim. He made his announcement then toured my house giving me pointers. We have extra copies of the house inventory manual if anyone wants one.

A couple of pointers:

  • use a digital camera or video camera to record your possessions
  • record make, model and serial numbers
  • etch an identifier into the possession to report to the sheriff in the case of burglary
  • store all information at an offsite location, like a safe deposit box or some other location.

I had the opportunity to talk to him about increasing CA Fairplan Insurance rates and the discrepancy of their requirements vs. the L.A. County Fire Dept and Forestry Department for clearance of land. Also talked about the fact that none of the major insurance companies will insure us for full coverage.

From a media perspective, it was a non-event. KABC, KMEX, and KFWB sent camera or voice-over crews. I think we were beat out by other news events happening that day.

At least Commissioner Poizner now knows about The Meadows.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sign Status

Repairs to the "Welcome to The Meadows" sign are underway. Thanks to Eich and Darla who stepped forward to help coordinate the repair.

Press Conference Tuesday

The State Insurance Commissioner and L.A. County Fire Chief will be having a news conference at my house (4416 El Prieto Rd) tomorrow, Tuesday, at 10:00. They're going to be talking about fire safety, brush clearance, ways to inventory your property, and insurance claims. Please join me if you're around.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Lincoln Crossing Concerts

Lincoln Crossing in Altadena begins its inaugural Summer Series music program today, Saturday, from 4 to 7 p.m. with the Nolan Shaheed Quintet featuring Cheryl Conley.

It's the first of four concerts through the summer slated to take place the third Saturday of each month.

Food from Lincoln Crossing restaurants will be available for sale.

Try and support this local musical effort if you can.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Media in The Meadows

Check out our own J. Lopez of the L.A. County Fire Department on this AP news article regarding fire fighting.

Go J! Our star here in The Meadows.

Once on the site, enter “Fire” in the Search field, then click on the “High-Tech Camera Gives Fire Crews Eye in the Sky” in the list of stories that will appear.

More of the Sign

A couple of pics of the sign from this morning. Seems the driver was headed up Canyon Crest, ran over the curb at the garden, hit the "arrow" sign" and then either the car hit the "Meadows" sign or the 'arrow" sign took it down.
The sign appears to be in good shape, just needs to be installed again.
I haven't heard who might have been the cause but am hoping they'll step forward to do the repairs.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Someone Hit the Sign!

Someone driving up Canyon Crest didn't make the turn at the top, drove over the curb and hit the "Welcome to The Meadows" sign!!!!! The sheriff was at the scene and a man was seated on the curb. Oye!

I've heard from several residents this evening about it. We'll take a look tomorrow morning and see what condition the sign is in.

I'm going to ask now for you or another resident to step forward to take on restoring the sign. Hopefully the driver has insurance to pay for its replacement. I have the name of the sign company. I'd really appreciate it if someone could take this project on.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Truck Spotted at Hairpin Turn

A watchful Aralia neighbor reported this incident this morning:

"At about 7:20 this morning (Friday) on my way to work I spotted a a white truck parked in the turnout on Canyon Crest. I drove slowly and the driver and I made eye contact. It appeared that there was only one person in the truck...the driver. He appeared to be a large man. There were no visible license plates on the truck. On the back of the truck was a lift for loading and unloading. The lift was still in place. It wasn't down. I've never seen this truck in the area. When I got to Canyon Crest and Lincoln I saw a sheriff so I pulled over. I explained the situation and he assured me that he would go up and check it out."

Kudos to the County

After calling the sheriffs on Wednesday night to notify them of the trash heap on Canyon Crest, they must have contacted Public Works (or maybe a neighbor did). The trash was cleaned up by 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning when I headed out of The Meadows.

Kudos to the County for such a fast response. I left a message with Antonivich's office to thank them for their quick response.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Meadows - A Space Odyssey

Many thanks again to Meadows resident, Dr. Andrea Donnelan, for her fascinating presentation at this month's neighborhood meeting. Andrea talked to us about her work at NASA/JPL. She has been studying earthquake movement and predictive methods using InSAR.

InSAR stands for Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar. It's a remote sensing technique that uses radar satellite images to watch and measure the movement of the earth. The radar satellites shoot constant beams of radar waves towards the earth and record them after they bounced back off the Earth's surface.

Everyone was fascinated with the superb presentation.

Funding for the projects is always a need.
This may seem a bit cumbersome, but hang in there. The following is a request from John Rundle, California Hazards Institute of the University of California Director.

After his request, you'll find the sample letter verbiage to send to our Congressperson. This will only take a moment of your time and is critical in securing funding for the project.

Dear InSAR supporters:

As you may know, now is a critical period to contact members of Congress to ask for their support of the InSAR mission DESDynI. If this mission is to be funded, it is vital that our congressional representatives hear from you immediately. I would therefore like to ask you to send an email to members of your congressional delegations asking them to support this mission. It will take no more than 5-10 minutes of your time, but will be immensely valuable in helping to secure the funding for the mission.The following steps are all that are needed.

1. You must first know your 9 digit zip code. If you don't know yours, you can find it at:
Remember to use your home address.

2. Determine the members of your congressional delegation, by going to:

3. Click on the email links to your delegation. Fill in the appropriate information. Cut and paste the attached letter into the box provided, and remember to add the appropriate salutation, along with your name in the signature line. That's all there is to it. Exactly this type of email campaign played a major role in getting funding restored to NSF and DOE earlier this year. That campaign was orchestrated by the American Physical Society.

John Rundle, Director, UC Davis Center for Computational Science and Engineering Professor of Physics, Engineering and Geology University of California, DavisDavis, CA 95616 USA

Verbiage for your letter:
Dear Senator (or Congressperson) *

I would like to call your attention to the recent National Academy of Sciences report "Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond" from the National Research Council (NRC) (, which represents the U.S. scientists’ consensus on critical earth observations from space that are required to address issues for climate change, water resources, ecosystem health, human health, solid-earth natural hazards, and weather.

The DESDynI mission, recommended by the Survey for near-term implementation has direct benefit for and impact on most states within the US. The mission would measure surface and ice sheet deformation for understanding natural hazards and climate, and would measure vegetation structure for understanding ecosystem health. DESDynI would help scientists understand the effects of changing climate and land use on species habitats and atmospheric carbon dioxide, the response of ice sheets to climate change and the impact on sea level, and would be used to improve forecasts of the likelihood of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides. Much of the US is prone to earthquakes and subsidence, and volcanic eruptions occur from Yellowstone westward to Hawaii and Alaska.

The primary technology for DESDynI is Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), which can be used to very precisely measure change of the surface of the Earth. The US is heavily involved in the development of InSAR technologies and scientists across the country are very involved in studies of surface deformation using InSAR. In fact, InSAR is considered the fourth component of EarthScope a highly successful project to investigate the structure and evolution of the North American continent and the physical processes controlling earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The recently released NASA budget is woefully inadequate to address the recommendations of the NRC report, commonly known as the "Earth Science Decadal Survey." Sadly, the NRC points out that the funding available for NASA Earth Science missions has decreased by 30% since 2000 after factoring inflation. In the current budget, there will be an additional 18% less available in 2012 for missions than we have today, assuming 3%/year inflation. The NRC states that NASA needs to restore Earth science funding levels to equivalent 2000 levels, in order to implement a "minimal, yet robust, observational component of an Earth information system that is capable of addressing a broad range of societal needs."

Support of the Earth Science Decadal Survey and specifically the DESDynI mission would benefit the US, both in terms of improving our understanding of natural hazards in order to mitigate damage from them, but also for supporting facilities and scientific endeavors located throughout the United States.

Thanks for your consideration and support of this critical NASA mission.

Yours Sincerely,

Canyon Crest Hairpin Trashed!

Someone has dumped a HUGE amount of rubbish at the bottom of Canyon Crest. If you haven't seen it yet, you won't believe it. I was coming home at 10 p.m. Wed. night when I saw it. I'm going to go tomorrow and see if I can find anything that might identify the persons responsible.

As I was coming through the canyon, I saw a very large U-Haul truck coming out. Not sure if it's related. I couldn't turn around, due to all the trash, to try and get a license plate. I called the sheriffs and asked them to take a look.

If anyone has any information, please contact the sheriffs.

Stop and Smell the Sherrifs

A Meadows neighbor reminds us about the stop sign at Loma Alta and Lincoln. Here's the recap:

"I made a very slightly rolling stop on Lincoln (southbound) at Loma Alta, and was instantly jumped on by a sheriff's car who was behind me with red light and siren at Altadena Drive. I pulled over in front of the mailbox a little further down the street. Then he waved over another car who was right behind me and had done the same thing.

He took my driver license, registration, and proof of insurance. I kept my mouth totally shut, which is uncharacteristic of me. After about 10 minutes in his car, he came back, gave me my documents, and short verbal chewing out. I asked him if i was getting a ticket. He said no. I said thanks, I appreciate that.

I've seen sheriff's cars parked at that intersection on Loma Alta before, and I suppose this is a happy hunting ground for people doing exactly what I did. I'm still in first gear from the stop at Canyon Crest, so if I give a quick glance to the left on Loma Alta and don't see anybody, I just slow it down to about 1 mph, then proceed on. It was raining this morning, and I guess I didn't see him.

So here's the point of all this. Can you get a notice in the Meadows newsletter advising neighbors that the deputies are watching that intersection pretty closely, and that rolling stops are NOT tolerated? It will save us lots of tickets in the future. "