Saturday, December 27, 2008

Landowner Returns

A neighbor in The Meadows wanted everyone to know that the owner of land at Little Round Top has returned. In the past, hikers were confronted by the owner who did not want them crossing through his land. The confrontations were heated at times. A court order allows hikers access on the trail that crosses his land.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Some Great Pics of a Mountain Lion

This mountain lion was seen near La Vina near Sunset Ridge. A great pic from Bob on Risinghill Rd.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

El Prieto Trail Changes

A huge brush pile cuts off the downstream side access to a trail
segment (visible at upper right) and also forms a dam across El
Prieto Creek. This segment bypassed "Boulder Water Canyon".

Three alternate-route segments of the El Prieto Trail were blocked off on Saturday, December 6, with barricades of dead wood, tree branches, brush and stone, by a volunteer work crew of 40 people organized by CORBA (Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association), citing illegality of the alternate segments and an unwillingness to maintain the segments in question. In addition, the brush pile now forms a dam across El Prieto creek.

One of the three segments was built in 2001 as a safer alternative to the existing segments, after a biker had tumbled down a cliff from the trail above, was injured and had to be airlifted out of the canyon.

A second segment was built to bypass a portion of the trail that is usually flooded with a shallow stream in winter, making the stretch difficult to negotiate by hikers, since steep sides and vegetation prevented walking alongside, and hikers would negotiate the stretch by hopping from one boulder to another. The stretch was aptly dubbed “Boulder Water Canyon” by the locals.

These two segments were constructed by volunteers without the NEPA (National Environmental Protection Agency) review demanded by the Forest Service. The builders were not aware that such a review was required.

A third segment is believed to be part of the original trail that was abandoned in favor of a route more challenging to the mountain-biking community. All three of the blocked-off segments provide a less strenuous hike or ride than the parts of the trail they bypass, and they have been adequately maintained by the individuals who built them.

An additional issue is that a huge brush pile cuts off the downstream side access to a trail segment (visible at upper right) and also forms a dam across El Prieto Creek. This segment bypassed "Boulder Water Canyon"

CORBA is an organization of mountain-bikers claiming to be operating with the blessing of the Forest Service. Its members regularly volunteer their services in maintaining or building the trails that are used in their sport.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Garden Funds Drying Up

I had posted a request a couple of months ago regarding the maintenance of the garden at the Welcome to The Meadows sign.

It costs approximately $35-50 per quarter for paying the water bill and hiring some helpers to maintain the garden. In the past, we had asked attendees of the monthly meetings for contributions. That worked well and we were able to reimburse the homeowner who oversees the maintenance.

Since we have not had meetings, there hasn't been any way to collect money.

When I posted earlier, two neighbors generously contributed money to the garden fund. While very much appreciated, those contributions won't pay for even one quarter.

Given the fact that there are 246 households in The Meadows, I'm hoping that more neighbors will contribute to the garden fund. Folks can mail or drop off a contribution in my mailbox. I'm at 4416 El Prieto. Checks can be made out to Greg Stanton. We don't have a separate account for The Meadows, so everyone will just need to trust that I keep these funds dedicated to the garden.


Trash Contract Update

This is rather long, but a good update on the L.A. County process of awarding new trash pick-up contracts in Altadena.

From Gino Sund, Chair of Town Council:Treatise on Trash

Based on the comments I have heard and seen, there are some misconceptions about the upcoming trash hauling contract for Altadena. So, please let me offer my perspective on the issue and perhaps clear up some questions that have been raised.

The current situation in Altadena
Currently, Altadena operates under an open market system. That means there is no County control or oversight over who offers hauling services, what those services are, how they operate or how they are priced. Thus anyone who wants to be in the business can collect your trash. This can range from the major haulers like Allied and Athens to some guy with a pickup truck. Currently there are around seven haulers in Altadena, including a guy with a pickup truck. These haulers offer a variety of services and charge what the market will bear. There is not adequate control of such things as collection days, services offered, billing practices or recycling performance.

How things have changed
In September of 2004, the County Board of Supervisors passed a law changing the unincorporated portion of the County to a franchise trash hauling system. With this law, in order to collect residential trash, a hauler must now be franchised by the County and all non franchise haulers will be barred from this business. To date, the County has franchised haulers in thirteen different communities in LA County and is about to do so in Altadena. When a franchise is established, a detailed contract is awarded, a hauler is selected by the County through a bidding process and the County oversees the performance of that hauler. Typically the contract period is seven years.

Why Town Council is involved
About two years ago, the County sent out a questionnaire to residents of Altadena asking such things as how many trash cans they used, what kind of trash is offered for collection, and how many haulers the residents wanted. This questionnaire was a small yellow post card. Do you remember getting it? Most people don’t. It could easily have been mistaken for junk mail and it gave little explanation of what the issues really were. Then, about two months ago, the County was about to request bids on the contract for Altadena that would define our trash hauling for the next seven years. Several of us on Council were concerned that the community input on this was inadequate, so we stopped the process to allow us to review the contract and to gather more input from the residents. Thus, we are now asking for your input on the two important issues that we can affect at this point; what should be in the service provisions of the contract and should we have a single hauler or two haulers.

The conditions of the contract
Whoever is the franchise hauler or haulers will operate under a single contract that is offered by the County. That contract will spell out such things as the scope of services i.e. the number, type and amount of pick ups, the type of containers, the provisions for price increases, the recycling requirements, and the conditions under which the contract can be terminated.

While many of the contract provisions are fairly standard for all communities, it is important that the scope of services of our contract meet the needs of Altadena. This is the area of the contract that will most influence our weekly interface with the hauler. Attached is a schedule of the service provisions of the contract. Council has worked with the Department of Public Works to beef up several areas, especially the collection of green waste since we have large, leafy lots in Altadena. However, we are still looking for input from you to help us decide on what is best for most residents.

A single hauler or two haulers
This may be the most controversial and confusing issue. When the County sent out its post card survey, it asked if residents wanted an exclusive, semi exclusive or multi hauler program. The majority of respondents requested semi exclusive or two haulers. However, there was no explanation of what this really meant. Most of us thought that having two haulers would, through the mechanism of competition, give us more options, better service and lower prices. However, this may not be the case. The contract will be the same for a single hauler or two haulers so there will be no differences in the services provided. And as for price, the competition will come at the front end of the process when the haulers bid for the contract. In fact, experience has indicated that a lower price is attained when the provider has a larger customer guarantee, since among other factors, there is a capital outlay required to service the area. As for the weekly performance by the providers, the County will oversee the compliance with the contract for one or two haulers.

Of the thirteen contracts already awarded by the County, all have been exclusive contracts. The average price for service has been around 10% less that the previous price of the open market, with generally more services provided. The County reports that the customer satisfaction has been high with few resident complaints to date.

Arguments for the single hauler are:
• More bidders for the contract thus lower prices.
• Fewer trucks on the streets,
• Fewer pickup dates. (this is big issue in many neighborhoods especially those who border Pasadena who collects trash on shared streets adding yet another day)
• Reduced pollution and road wear.
• More community involvement by the provider. (in other communities the provider is a regular at the Town Council meetings to hear from the residents)

Arguments for two haulers are:
• Two haulers may compete by being more helpful to the residents
• Two haulers may compete by adding services not covered by the contract. (however, this has happened in the bidding process by providers who wish to enhance their chance of getting the contract, again the competition up front)

What happens now
We need your input on the scope of services provided in the contract, in particular green waste pick up. We would also like your thoughts on the single provider approach.Town Council will debate and recommend contract conditions at the December 16th meeting. The County will then make a request for bids to the industry, select the winner based on a formula that includes price, financial capacity, past history etc. Depending on the winner, as determined by the County, implementation could be from 4 to 6 months after the franchise is awarded.

Who will get the bid
Of course we don’t know. It is expected that both Allied and Athens will bid for the Altadena franchise. However, I find it most interesting that of the thirteen franchises awarded so far, those two large haulers were only awarded three. Most of the franchises were awarded to medium sized haulers. The feedback from those managing the bidding process is that those medium sized haulers are more likely to bid on an exclusive franchise than if a semi exclusive franchise is offered.

What you need to do
If you have input to give Town Council please contact you Census Tract Representative. The contact information is on the Town Council web site. As an alternative you may want to come to our next meeting at the Community Center starting at 7:00 p.m. on December 16th.

Thank you for your time and interest.
Gino Sund
Altadena Town Council

Friday, November 21, 2008

Trash to Treasure

At the next Altadena Town Council, the County will discuss a new trash contract.

Tuesday Dec. 16th, 2008 starting at 7 p.m.

A chart of what the county may offer is here:

Want Fries with that Shake?

From one of our neighbors, a movie she put together on the projects she's involved in and the Great Southern California Shakeout.

It can be found at

Monday, November 17, 2008


Here's a beautiful pic of a sunset the other day from one of our neighbors. Granted, its beauty is due to all the smoke in the air. So, a little beauty from all the challenging events.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Upcoming Garbage Issues

From Alice Wesson, our Towncouncilperson:

A few town council folks will be meeting with the county and DPW next week regarding upcoming trash contracts, to ask about what is possible, what is being offered and how the county can help. We want to start this discussion prior to Dept of Public Works doing a presentation to town council.

I'd like to be sure our needs are being heard and understood. While I represent northwest Altadena, on this issue I welcome comments from all over Altadena.

If folks have specific concerns they wish to share, please let me know offline. Your names will not be used. I will only use the street name to give a sense of the issues related to a neighborhood.
I can be reached at

Some concerns previously shared:

• (Loma Alta) Wants more than 2 bulky item pickups per year
• (Jaxine) Allied trash collectors last week failed to pick up properly tied green waste and just left them stacked against our wall. Usually, those bundles are picked up with no problem at all, but recently we've begun having problems with stuff getting left behind.
• (Loma Alta) Senior discounts?
• For the regular service Athens is the same rate as Allied who currently picks up our trash on Leilani (for the base rate).
• (Alzada Road) I support an exclusive franchise, so we can get a good rate with some accountability. We have two trash haulers now competing in a free-for-all situation - our costs are high and service is terrible.
• (Jaxine) I am in favor of the County requiring Allied or Athens to offer us decent services on a contract basis. With a contract, the County can hold our trash collectors' feet to the fire and be sure we are all charged fairly. Right now, Allied seems to be under no obligation to be consistent in what it charges each household nor do they guarantee a fair rate for their services. There's no oversight with clout from the County or any other agency, is there?
• (Fair Oaks) Don’t know who to call to help with issues when my own trash company won’t help
• (Chaney Trail) I support one contract
• (Jaxine, multiple neighbors) Allied Waste Services has us all on different rate charges and different levels of service (how many bundles will be picked up, for example).
• (Jaxine) Allied has become inconsistent in what they pick up and what they charge, house to house and street to street. Two houses next to each other, yet charged different rates (155 and 153 Jaxine)

• (Alzada/Leilani)No co-mingling
• (Leilani) Concern that *most* of the recycling be actually recycled, and not just CRV items
• (Alzada) If the garbage companies are required to separate at their site, why not have a single truck pick up on garbage day and be done with it?
• (Leilani) Allied had no answer to why our separated recyclables and green waste get thrown in the same bin with junk trash.
• (Multiple neighbors on Jaxine)We notice that separated green waste and recyclables get collected separately from trash at residences down the hill, while our recyclables and green waste get thrown into the same bin with regular garbage on the small trucks they send up Jaxine Drive. This has been noticed by other neighbors, as well. Allied claims that the various types of waste get separated by the company later.

• (Alzada) Truck size, a big issue with roads in the Chaney Trail area (big trucks tear up the roads). For emergency access, the issue of the roads breaking up is serious!
• (Risinghill Rd) Likes Athens because they have only one truck coming up our narrow road rather than three
• (Leilani) Does not like Athens because they want to charge 100% higher rate to drive the little truck up Leilani Way
• (Alzada) We have 2 or 3 haulers coming on different days!
• (Alzada) Multiple trucks being used causing noise, pollution and street wear
• (Alzada) Echoes the concern about the size of the trucks that are being used. They are totally huge, causing damage to our road and our trees, in addition to being a hazard to car traffic.

• (Alzada) Bear resistant trash cans?

Measure TT

On Tuesday Nov. 4th the communities of Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre passed Measure TT by an overwhelming majority (74.5%). This is a public schools facilities improvement bond.

The district is required to establish an independent Citizens' Oversight Committee to scrutinize how bond funds are allocated and spent. The Oversight Committee must include representation from the business community, a taxpayers' organization, a senior citizens' organization, and parents; it may not include any District employees. The Oversight Committee will meet at least quarterly, publish an annual report, and alert the school board and community to any unauthorized use of funds.

An application for membership in the Citizen's Oversight Committee to monitor Measure TT is available online ( Applications are due no later than December 31, 2008.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Altadena and Lincoln Development

The developer for the property at the corner of Lincoln and Altadena Drive is looking to the community to help find appropriate vendors for the area.

If you know of potentially interested vendors, please contact Ernest Brambila at:
Alliance Commercial Properties
Tel # 626-570-8289
Fax# 626-943-7401

One potential vendor for development at corner of Lincoln and Altadena is Howie’s Ranch Market. They are located in San Gabriel. Owner’s name is Bob and their # is 626-286-8871.

From the developer:
"Thank you for your continued interest. We do have some small leases signed but could use help in trying to attract a higher end Market. We have had continued conversations with Howie's and even though they have delivery customers in LaVina and La Canada, they haven't committed.
I would imagine if he started getting calls of encouragement it might help. The owners name is Bob and their # is 626-286-8871. I believe they're the type of grocer the neighborhood would love to have."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Millard Canyon Conservation Project

Next date for working with the Millard Canyon Conservation Project is as follows:

Next work day is Saturday, November 8 at 9am. Meet at Mike Hickman's 3617 Canyon Crest Rd. Altadena, 91001.

From Mike:
"As usual, we will meet in my driveway at 9am sharp, take a short hike into the canyon and work for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Gloves, tools, water and snacks will be provided. Long pants and hiking boots are a must and I recommend bringing a long sleeve shirt. If you have any questions, you can contact me at (626) 398-6471 or

Thanks again for your support and I look forward to seeing you soon!"

Mike Hickman

Cougar Attacks Increasing

A note from our TownCouncil person. A little log, but plenty of good information:

Cougar attacks on dogs are increasing in our region. In two incidents this week, one dog died and two were seriously injured (Monrovia & Glendora). In cases to date, the dogs involved had been left unattended in a back yard.I

n addition a cougar was spotted on Canon street and up in Millard in the last few days.

We live in Cougar Country and want to take precautions to keep all of us, including mountain lions, safe! Here's some great information on preventing attacks.

Cougars, along with other predators including bears, coyotes, foxes, and bobcats, frequently travel down local canyons and streambeds from higher elevations into the Altadena foothills, seeking water and prey in nearby chaparral and oak woodland. This region is their home, as well as ours. Mountain lions (Puma concolor) are generally elusive and unlikely to attack people; however, they are also large and powerful wild cats that will sometimes kill and eat domestic dogs and small livestock.

Be aware of your surroundings. Assume that a cougar is nearby, especially at dawn, dusk and at night. At the same time, keep the danger in perspective. In spite of their presence all around us, cougar attacks are extremely rare. You and your dog are far more likely to be killed by a car, than attacked by a mountain lion. There are a few basic precautions we can all take to reduce the risk of confrontation with these magnificent big cats.

Protect Dogs & Keep Cougars Wild!
The California Dept. of Fish & Game seldom captures and relocates mountain lions. If a cougar poses a potential public threat, it will be killed. Your actions affect both the safety of your companion animals and the cougar's survival. Please…

-Keep dogs, other pets & small livestock indoors, in secure barns,or outdoor enclosures. Even large dogs left unattended in backyards near wild areas are vulnerable to attack, especially by mountain lions and coyotes. Standard fences and walls will not stop a cougar. Enclosures must have a sturdy roof.

-If a cougar is observed while you are outdoors, do not approach it closely or block its escape routes. Do not turn your back on the cat, panic or run. Face the cougar upright, yell at it in an aggressive, loud voice, and throw rocks or other objects in hand at the cougar. Wait for the cat to leave before leaving yourself.

- If you or your dog are attacked, fight back. Cougars will often drop dogs and flee when owners chase them or attack with sticks or other improvised weapons.

- Avoid hiking, running & biking alone, especially at dawn, dusk and during the evening. Keep a close watch on small children and dogs while on trails or in day use areas of the Forest.

-Do not encourage your dog to chase or attack a cougar. A cougar may obligingly retreat up a tree defend itself by maiming or killing the dog.

Help keep all of us, including mountain lions, safe!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

FireSafe Council Needs Volunteers

The Meadows FireSafe Council has reconvened and is working on the upcoming fuel reduction project.

We're in need of additional volunteers to join the FireSafe Council.

It's a great way to meet your neighbors while achieving significant progress in making The Meadows a fire-safe neighborhood.

The FireSafe Council meets once a month. The effort includes coordinating assessments of properties, working with brush clearance and tree vendors in completing the work, contacting neighbors, and feeling a great sense of accomplishment.

Please consider joining and dedicating some time to the effort. We promise you'll find wonderful camaraderie and a true sense of accomplishment.

Bear Update

A neighbor on lower El Prieto reported that a bear (with longish fur) arrived on their front door steps at about 5:00 a.m. in pursuit of their persimmon harvest. The assumption is that the bear is coming out of El Prieto Canyon.

With other reports about a bear at the top of Risinghill, this makes me thank we may have multiple bears visiting our neighborhood.

I'd love to post some pictures if anyone has them.

Hunter Update With Instruction

The following was provided by our Town Councilperson regarding the issues with a hunter in our area:

If you encounter the hunter(s) described below, please contact your Sheriff Department immediately at 626-798-1131. We also need documentation, so please contact Cal-TIP: Californians Turn In Poachers To Report a Poacher or Polluter.

If you witness a poaching or polluting incident or any fish and wildlife violation, or have information about such a violation, immediately dial the toll free CalTIP number1 888 DFG-CALTIP (888 334-2258), 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Be prepared to give the fullest possible account of the incident including the name, address, age and description of the suspect, vehicle description, direction of travel, license number, type of violation and when and where it occurred. You do not have to give your name.

We have some local officers who would appreciate any updates. Department of Forest and Games enforcement officer, Marty Whal, requested info. from anyone who has encountered the man recently. He will also inform George Strubel, who is a member of the Sheriffs mountain search and rescue and also a DFG officer (retired cop, too). Once you call the Sheriffs and then Caltip, Marty Whal can follow up.

We also recommend posting "No Hunting" signs with the proper DFG codes on them.

Description: African-American, late 20's possibly 30, usually wears a camouflage hoodie and drives a white Bronco (lic# 1FEC322) and sometimes has a Caucasian hunting partner with him. The older hunter is African-American, possibly 50ish, camouflaged out (including war paint make-up) and drives a beat up reddish/crimson-ish van with the back windows blacked out. He has been known to start a fire as diversion to escape. He has also been known to threaten folks who come across him with a gun and/or bow and arrow.

Please use extreme caution.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Millard Canyon Conservation Project Needs Volunteers

Here's information about a conservation effort that is being led by our neighbors on lower Canyon Crest. They're in need of volunteers to help with the effort:

"We are doing more than picking up trash; at this point we are removing infestations of several weeds that are choking the stream and completely covering the terrain in the lower canyon. We remove trash in the project area also, but the weeds are the primary objective as they severely alter the habitat opportunities for wildlife and crowd out the native plant growth.

Our intention is to restore the project area to a healthy native ecosystem and maintain it as such. Our hope is to eventually restore the entire area from the hairpin turn to the Arroyo Seco, which will require coordination with both city and county agencies, so at this time we are concentrating on an area about 1000 feet in length midway between those points where we hope to set an example for others to follow.

We supply gloves and tools, snacks and water. The work is difficult but rewarding, and you couldn't ask for a more beautiful place to be.

We meet at my driveway at 9am and take a short (but steep) hike into the canyon and work for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Volunteers should contact me prior to a work day so I can be sure we have enough gloves and equipment for all.

Long pants and hiking boots are a must. I recommend bringing a long sleeve shirt also.

Mike Hickman, or by phone at

More Caution Regarding the Hunters

From a neighbor:

"[Two hikers], who are not Meadows residents but are here 6 days a week, usually between 6 and 6:30 AM with their 2 dogs and who walk the trail up towards the saddle, came across a fresh batch (shopping bag full) of dog food that was purposely placed next to where the bear comes down onto the trail and where many deer reside.

[These folks] are usually the first to spot something new/out of place/wrong and always let [The Meadows neighbor] know.

Considering the method in which the food was placed, it appears that this food was being used to lure the bear and/or deer. This is not only highly illegal (using food to entrap AND on the trail) but extremely dangerous. I have not seen the hunters since the ugly incident last week with the police, and suspect that hunters are now coming in through Millard.

As I have the license plates of the hunters, I am going to speak to the camp host at Millard and make them and the residents aware. I believe that we owe the residents of the Meadows a word of warning. I fear for their safety should they run across these hunters. [Another neighbor] was spot-on when she said that these aren't 'hunters' in the true sense of the word. These are dangerous men with guns who have no respect for the sport of hunting, and even less for hikers or anyone that they may encounter on the trail. We need to be extra aware and vigilant when on the trails until something can be done."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Internet Connection Door-to-Door

Several of us have had a person cme to our door to solicit Internet upgrades and we're trying to determine if this is a legitimate AT&T employee or a scam.

In my case, the man appeared to be a legit AT&T employee who told me that the recent upgrades in the neighborhood would require me to change from my AT&T DLS service to fiber optic. He had been walking door-to-door on El Prieto prior to coming to my house.

In another case, a person came to a neighbor's house three times this week. She wasn't sure of the purpose of the solicitation as someone else at the house was home at the time. This neighbor did contact the Sheriff who did not think that AT&T was here in the neighborhood soliciting. The Sheriff said he would send additional patrol cars to our neighborhood.

Looking for any other insight from others who have had a similar experience. The Sheriff asked that we call them if the person(s) are in the neighborhood again so that they can question him/her.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Only $1 Left

The garden at The Meadows sign is maintained by one of our neighbors who pays for water and general clean-up. We've reimbursed her for the costs out of money that was collected at our monthly meetings. Since we've not had those meetings, we haven't collected any additional money. After reimbursing her the other day, we have one dollar left.

Please consider donating some money to this fund. We don't have a "Meadows" account, so you'll need to trust that I'll be responsible with the money. Anyone interested can write a check to me (Greg Stanton) and drop it off at my house or mail it to me. I'm at 4416 El Prieto Rd., Altadena, CA 91001.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Hunting Increases

Reported from our neighbors on Risinghill:

"Meadows residents on Risinghill have noticed the rapidly increasing presence of hunters in the area, especially up towards the end and on the private property of our neighbor at the very end of Risinghill.

These hunters have a documented history of animosity (and in one instance, physical threats) towards hikers and dog walkers they encounter. "

Friday, October 10, 2008

AT&T Box Quieted

Thanks to a neighbor who is in management at AT&T, the terminal at the Welcome to the Meadows garden was retro-fitted and quieted. The neighbor escalated the issue in AT&T and got it resolved! The affected neighbors are quite pleased with the improvement.

Thanks for great networking!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Key Found on Canyon Crest

This key was found on Canyon Crest. If it's yours, please email me and I'll connect you with the neighbor who found it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Cubs are Playing (not the baseball team)

Looks like our neighborhood is growing!

A guest of a Meadows resident recently saw two cougar cubs run across the street in front of his car at the hairpin turn on Canyon Crest. It happened at 10:30 pm.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Keys Found

A neighbor found a set of keys laying in the street on Canyon Crest near the noisy AT&T box. It is 2 rings. One has what looks like a house key and another smaller key. The other ring has a Chrysler key and car remote control. If you know who these belong to or they are yours, call Patrick Coleman at 626-354-1601.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Deer Blind in El Prieto Canyon

A neighbor in The Meadows reported this weekend that he dismantled, for the second time, a deer blind built in an Oak Tree in El Prieto.

For those unfamiliar, a deer blind is a perch that is built up in the trees so that a hunter with bow and arrow can stalk the deer for an easier kill. The neighbor reported that the deer blind is just above an area where the deer rest.

The deer blind was found in the Oak Tree that is to the south of the trail that leads to El Prieto Canyon. The best way I can describe the location is to say that when you're walking down the path from El Prieto Road, it is not the first big Oak Tree in the clearing. Instead of turning into the narrow path that leads to El Prieto trail on the right, go to the left through the brush to the second large Oak Tree.

Please use caution, but be on the lookout for these blinds and any evidence of hunters.

And thanks to the efforts of our neighbor in protecting the wildlife around us.

Noisy AT&T Boxes

A note from a neighbor at the corner of Canyon Crest, near the "Welcome to The Meadows" sign.

"As you have probably noticed there were 2 AT&T boxes installed in the Meadows garden near the sign. While I think they are ugly, they appeared harmless. About 2 weeks ago, one of those boxes was activated and our property and home is now plagued by an incessant fan and noise. (The other neighbors around us have expressed concern as well.)

We have contacted the Altadena Towncouncilman, Sarge Gibbs, but the resolution is not very quick. We would appreciate any suggestions on how to battle a corporate giant from others in the neighborhood.

I also want you to know that we are placing our trash cans (just leaves / grass) in front of the box to calm the noise. I don't want the neighborhood to think these were left by accident - it is intentional to help us get some peace at night. I am also hoping that by informing the neighborhood that these are our trash cans we can avoid them being stolen as well."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Missing Tennessee Walker Hound

This was posted as a comment to one of the blog articles. Not sure who sent it, but if you see this dog, please contact me and I'll post to the blog.

"Has anyone seen a Tennessee Walker Hound named Ziggy wandering around? He is 12 years old and has gray fur on his muzzle an looks like a large Beagle. He has a chip, so the owner is looking for him at the local shelters, but I thought that someone might have seen him wandering around Loma Alta park in the last couple of days. "

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quick Mountain Lion Update

From a neighbor driving out of The Meadows:

"I saw the mountain lion this morning on the way to work. As I came out of the hairpin turn by the creek, he ran across the road, right in front of me. By the time I grabbed the camera, he was up the side of the hill out of sight. I'll catch a picture of him sooner or later."

Activity in The Canyon

I heard from a neighbor a few months ago that they were concerned about Santaria activity in Millard Canyon below the hairpin turn on Canyon Crest. They had found evidence of candles being lit in a canyon very vulnerable for fire. Here is an email I received from a neighbor on lower Canyon Crest:

"I'm writing to let you know of some disturbing activities in Millard Canyon just below the hairpin turn. Someone has apparently been conducting Santaria rituals in the woods and along the stream in this area. This has involved slaughtering chickens, smoking cigars and burning candles in dry brushy areas (apparently at night).

Some of the other materials used are coconuts, rum, piles of cinnamon bark and many spent matchbooks and other ritual debris. Over the past two years my friends and I have noted the carcasses of several chickens, ritual sites, and recently, a large joint of rotting meat and bone hanging from a tree in a plastic bag. The frequency of the activities seems to have increased lately.

My neighbor ran an online search regarding Santaria, and it seems all the materials I've mentioned are used in rituals. A person with the San Gabriel Mountains Regional Conservancy said this type of activity goes on in several of the foothill canyons along the San Gabriels.

Now, I consider myself a religiously tolerant person, but I draw the line at people killing chickens and playing with matches in the woods around here. I think this would be a concern for many Meadows residents since a wildfire originating from this area would likely block the only way out of the Meadows and wreak havoc."

One of our Towncouncilpersons has contacted the sheriff. Capt. Blow is sending a deputy to investigate.

Environmentalist's Rendezvous Picnic

Environmentalist's Rendezvous Picnic

Saturday, September 13th

Join leaders of Pasadena-area environmental groups in an informal setting and learn about their activities and programs. Gather at 4:30 pm, informal presentations at 5:00 pm, potluck picnic at 6 pm, under the oaks at Eaton Canyon Park Outdoor Classroom.

The Classroom is south of the Nature Center located at 1750 North Altadena Drive, Pasadena. From the 210 Freeway in Pasadena, take Altadena Drive north about 1.5 miles; about 500 feet after crossing New York Drive, turn right into the park.

All are welcome. Bring a dish serving 6-8 people. Beverages, plates and utensils will be provided. For information and to RSVP, contact coordinator Ginny Heringer at 626-793-4727 or

Environmental groups confirmed and presenting at the picnic:
Altadena Watershed Committee
Altadena Foothills Conservancy
Arroyo Seco Foundation
California Native Plant Society
Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful
Eaton Canyon Nature Center Associates
Hahamongna Watershed Committee
Pasadena Audubon Society
Save the Altadena Trails
Sierra Club Forest Committee
Waste Less Living

Monday, September 01, 2008

Hit and Run on Canyon Crest

From a neighbor in the 4100 block of Canyon Crest: "Last night (Sunday night) we had company over until about midnight. Two of our guests cars and our daughters car, 3 total, were hit by a hit and run driver. Two of the vehicles were on the East side of the street and the 3rd was parked on the West side across from our driveway. It happened sometime between 8:30pm and midnight. There are pieces of brake lights and mirrors we believe to belong to the hit and run driver. We did not hear anything unusual and noticed the damage this morning. When we phoned the guest that left at midnight, he checked his car and noticed damage."

From Greg - I know there were a few parties here in The Meadows last night. Any chance this is a guest of one of our neighbors? Please ask your family and friends if they have any information.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Food Co-op Now Forming in Altadena

An item of interest from one of our Meadows neighbors:

A group has been meeting to explore the possibility of forming a food co-op in Altadena. If you'd like to learn more or perhaps get involved, please come to this informative session on Sept. 3:

"Why and How to Start A Cooperative Grocery Store in Our Area"An Informative Presentation by Patrick Reagan, Chairman, AAFCSC September 3, 2008, at 7:30 p.m.
The Coffee Gallery, 2029 N. Lake Avenue

Greetings All,

Thanks for your previous interest in the Altadena Area Food Co-op Steering Committee. Here's just a quick note to keep everyone updated on what's been happening with the effort to bring a consumer cooperative food store to Altadena and to invite you to join us for an upcoming organizer presentation.

We've been holding monthly meetings since March and weekly meetings all this month. Three of us have been doing most of the work so far. Fifteen others have joined our Yahoo group - they've been attending/helping as they can. We've had a field trip to Co-opportunity in Santa Monica (the only consumer co-op in LA county) where the manager was very helpful in answering questions about their operations. We've also had a fun potluck dinner with tasty local/organic food to try and lots of great people to get to know.I've been making the most of my normally quiet summer schedule by learning as much as I can about co-ops and meeting as many "co-op people" as possible.

Highlights include... - attending the Consumer Cooperative Manager's Association convention in Portland, OR, last June, - attending the Co-opportunity board of director's meeting in July, - visiting the Natural Foods Co-op in San Luis Obispo and the Isla Vista Food Co-op outside of Santa Barbara, - finding many useful books and websites that relate to co-op formation.We've found a lot of interest in our area and a lot of resources available for our effort.

Our next task is to start writing bylaws as a precursor to incorporating. In the bylaws will be details on how our co-op will operate - how memberships will be handled, how many board members will be needed, etc. We can handle this with our existing group but it would be nice to hear from more Altadena voices during this process. To help bring in these newcomers, and to better inform our existing group about co-ops, we're going to hold a presentation on Sept. 3rd

A happy coincidence is that the leading cooperative consulting group, Cooperative Development Services, is starting a free webinar series the following week. This series covers topics important to getting one of these wonderful stores started. It looks like our presentation will act as a nice orientation "springboard" into their more detailed weekly series of webinars. More information can be found at: please attend if you can. Feel free to cross-post this announcement to other blogs or message boards in our area.

We'll probably continue to meet weekly to dig into the details of co-op formation. If you're interested in joining our effort, please check out our Yahoo group:

Thanks for your interest!Patrick Reagan

Friday, August 15, 2008

Important Community Meeting

The County has been trying to improve emergency response systems and planning. We have identified priority areas that are of particular concern. Both Chaney Trail and the Meadows have been identified as priority areas. We would like to meet with residents to obtain feed back as part of the planning process.

The first meeting with be on September 10th at 6:00pm at the Loma Alta Park Gym. All interested neighbors are invited.

The purpose of this meeting is to explain to the community the county emergency response system and planning as well as obtain feed back from the community on emergency planning issues. This interchange will help to identify community emergency planning needs and next steps need to meet the Board assignment.

These meetings will involve representatives from lead county agencies, Supervisor Antonovich's office and representatives from the appropriate community group/neighborhood emergency preparedness group(s)

The meeting will be a panel presentation. The County will facilitate a structured discussion where we will discuss one or more emergency scenarios and each agency will explain its role and plans. Community representative/members may raise issues and ask questions and we will record any outstanding issues that need to be addressed by further discussion and or planning.

More pics

Second, pics of a deer that took time to relax in a Cheney Trail neighbor's backyard.

Great Pics

Here's some great pics from our neighbors on Cheney Trail. First is a bear that romped through a neighbor's back yard.

Summer Fine Arts Salon

Summer Fine Arts Salon by a Meadows Neighbor

A special art exhibit by Meadows neighbor and international artist, Nathaniel Bustion will be held on August 23 and 24 from 1 PM to 5 PM at 1875 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91103.

The exhibit will feature his artwork and other original fine art, clay and bronze sculpture and African wood and bronze figures. And 25% of the proceeds will support Outward Bound Los Angeles, located on Lincoln Ave. in Pasadena, a non-profit that does great work with at-risk youth.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Tarantula Sightings

A neighbor on Risinghill notes, "... we have seen several tarantulas in the area lately - one in our back yard and one strolling around at the top of Rising Hill. These animals are not dangerous and the best thing to do when you spot one is just leave it alone and keep pets and kids away from it. They are shy and if they end up in someones yard they will usually leave on their own."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mountain Lion on Risinghill Canyon Side

A neighbor just reported that a mountain lion was seen this afternoon on the hill of the canyon on the Risinghill side. Please take caution.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

National Night Out

National Night Out Tues., Aug. 5, @ Loma Alta Equestrian Center

Just received from the Altadena Sheriff's Station:
National Night Out is an event designed to strengthen our communities by encouraging neighbors to engage in stronger relationships with each other and with their local law enforcement partners. The goal is to heighten crime-prevention awareness, build support and participation in local anti-crime programs and most importantly, send a message that our neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. It’s also the perfect opportunity to get to know your neighbors even better. All are invited -- see you there.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008, 5-10 PM
Loma Alta Park Equestrian Center

Altadena Sheriff’s Station Posse and Altadena Mountain Rescue Team are scheduled to have static displays for youth. Crime Prevention and Neighborhood Watch information will be available to the public. Free giveaways for children will be available.

A new one of a kind mobile interactive educational bus that will highlight the SHARE (Stop Hate and Respect Everyone) Tolerance program for fighting hate and intolerance in our communities will be displayed.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Final MSFC Report for 2006 Grant

Can you believe the grant we worked with this year was given to us in 2006? Here's a final recap of the work performed in The Meadows these past few months.

The Meadows FireSafe Council worked with two different vendors to complete our fuel reduction project. The first part of the project was fuel reduction in 26 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the 240 homes in the Meadows community. This work entailed the use of hand
crews to trim up bushes, clear brush, and cut down dead tree limbs.

The second part of the project took place within the developed land as 39 homes were identified as having trees that would pose a risk to the community in the event of a fire. The second vendor removed 72 trees of various sizes. These trees were selected using a criteria of those preventing access for fire department vehicles, dead and diseased trees, and fire−prone trees.

Lincoln Ave Water has completed their yearly brush clearance.

Captain Don Edwards of Camp 2 of LACoFD removed dead trees, skirted up live trees and removed three other trees to reduce fire risk to the homes in the Meadows.

Our dedicated group of volunteers continued to meet monthly and provide education to the community on the MFSC activities by handing out fliers and posting signs around the neighborhood. FSC members have also coordinated and supervised the work crews on a daily basis. In all, this portion of the project took approximately 9 weeks to complete with workers here in The Meadows daily.

We heard from many neighbors asking about tree trimming and further assessments. Since the grant funds were finite, the MFSC focused on the removal of trees as being the best use of the funds.

A new grant has been awarded to the MFSC for TWICE as much as the 2006 grant! We expect this new project will begin in late 2008 at the earliest. It's difficult to give a specific date as grant monies are metered out as they are received by the larger California FireSafe Council.

It is expected that we will continue to perform brush clearance, tree removal and hopefully tree trimming. In addition, an alert system has been built into the new grant budget. We will explore setting up a system in which neighbors can be called, emailed, texted, etc. in the event of an emergency.

Stay tuned for more news on this exciting next step. We continue to welcome more volunteers to the Meadows FireSafe Council and more involvement of our neighborhood.

Wood Chips

If you need wood chips for your garden, there's plenty to be had at the top of Risinghill Road. There are several mounds of wood chips from our tree removal efforts here in The Meadows. Wood chips are great in gardens to retain moisture during our hotter Summer months.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lilies of the Canyon

Here's some pics of lovely Humboldt lilies growing in El Prieto canyon sent in from a neighbor.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Canyon Crest Road Clearance

The LA County Agricultural Commissioners Office, Weed Abatement is having the County Road Department do the road clearance on Canyon Crest Road. They're doing a great job.

Suspicious Characters

Our neighbor at the very top of Risinghill reported that a car with three 20-somethings may have been looking for a house to burglarize.

His ever-vigilante tenant, happened to be walking her dog last week when she noticed a car parked up by the yellow gate leading to the trails. Three 20-something guys were slinking down, obviously not wanting to be seen, but apparently casing his house. The tenant hesitated and then announced boldly, "You guys can wait for the cops to get here or leave now."

They immediately started the car and drove away. The tenant said to them as they passed her, “I have your license number.” She called the police and reported all the details.

The car is a black, late 90’s or early 2000’s Toyota Forerunner. License plate is a yellow New Mexico license plate with number 903-NSR. The driver was white, his two passengers were African-American.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Please, No Fireworks

The Meadows FireSafe Council has posted "No Fireworks" signs around the neighborhood.

Obviously, we can't risk any chance of fire given this hot, dry season. A couple of years ago, a neighbor did set off bottle rockets in the neighborhood. Please talk to your neighbors about the importance of not setting off any fireworks this Independence Day weekend.

Mail Stolen from Mailbox

A neighbor on Risinghill had their outgoing mail stolen Tuesday morning, July 1, from their mailbox. It happened between 7:30 am and 9:00 am. When another neighbor passed their mailbox this morning on the way into their driveway, she noticed the flag was up and the door was open. Inside was a torn, open gardening bill for someone else in La Canada from an Altadena address. She notified the homeowner. They had put a DVD and 2 more pieces of mail, one with a check. They were all gone!

This has been reported to the Post Office Inspections Dept. and Altadena PO and carrier. The Sheriff was called as well but they said they don't handle this and told the neighbor to call PO who have a special dept for this.

Monday, June 30, 2008

MFSC Update and Log Removal

The Meadows FireSafe Council has completed its efforts in brush clearance and tree removal in The Meadows. A full report of our success will be published on this blog and distributed to the neighborhood.

For those awaiting the log removal on the property, please know that this effort is being addressed. Hauling vendors have been contacted and will be contracted this week to remove the remaining logs. We had been using the efforts of a firewood vendor to remove the logs at no charge, but that effort has dwindled. We also had the L.A. County Fire Department removing the logs at no cost to the grant, but they've been pulled to addressed to fires in Northern California.

Vendors are submitting bids this week to complete the project at, hopefully, a small cost to the MFSC which is at the few remaining dollars left in the grant monies.

We appreciate everyone's patience as we complete this first major effort within The Meadows.

Mountain Lion Evidence

A caution for those hiking or walking down Canyon Crest:

Evidence of a mountain lion attack on a very sizable dog has been found in Millard Canyon.

Please be careful as you hike around The Meadows and for those walking down Canyon Crest. Last Summer, mountain lions were spotted at the bottom of Canyon Crest.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Habitat Rehabilitation

A new project has begun concerning habitat rehabilitation in the Lower Millard Canyon area below Canyon Crest. All of the home owners along the canyon side of Canyon Crest Road with properties that span the lower canyon have formed an ad hoc conservancy to rehabilitate and preserve the habitat and native plant communities.

This is a very sensitive and important wildlife corridor and, for the past several years, the area of Millard Canyon below the road crossing has been invaded by an increasingly varied group of non-native weeds that are choking out everything else and seriously threaten the ecosystem.

A $25,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) through their "Partners for Fish and Wildlife" program has been received to begin addressing this problem. This grant represents a long term contract and commitment. The grantees are working in cooperation with the San Gabriel Mountains Regional Conservancy and have also attracted the attention of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).

They are hoping to get a lot of community volunteer involvement in the project. The annual work period is limited (by nesting season) to August through February. They will be seeking volunteers for that period for both weekdays and weekends.

The problems are serious and the work will be hard (but rewarding). Because of habitat sensitivities, only a limited number of volunteers can be in the project area at any one time (so sign up early!). For anyone who may be interested, contact Michael Hickman at 626-398-6471 or

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Sheriff's Summer Concerts

The Sheriff's Summer Concert series at Farnsworth Park is posted on the following link:

Click on the Summer Concert Series tab on the left-hand side.

Tree Removal Coming to a Finish

The picture above was taken this past week as the workers removed three tall, fire-prone palm trees on El Prieto Road. Two workers hung in the air as they used chainsaws to cut the trees down. Unfortunately, one worker was injured when he cut his arm and had to be taken to the hospital for stitches.

The Steven's Tree workers have done an outstanding job in removing the trees. Please know this is hard, dangerous work.

Tree removal on thirty-eight properties has been completed over the past three weeks. There are still five more properties on the list for tree removal which we will attempt to address this coming week. The remaining funds in the grant are meager and are being used to address those trees that are a fire danger for the whole community.

A separate company was engaged at no cost to remove the logs left from tree removal. This effort started this past week and will continue through the end of the grant work. Funds are also being reserved to ensure all logs are removed should the second company not complete the work.

The Meadows FireSafe Council made the decision to address only tree removal as we knew the grant funds would not cover the tree trimming that was identified in the assessments. That work will be addressed in the 2009 grant that the FireSafe Council was awarded.

The FireSafe Council has also received many requests from residents who did not participate in this past year's assessments. We're encouraged that more and more residents are now aware of the FireSafe Council efforts and want to participate in next year's grant.

In a separate effort, tree removal and trimming will occur on five properties identified within a separate grant received from Farmer's Insurance. Those funds were targetted for our senior citizens and those on fixed incomes to assist with funding.

Altadena Community Garden Picnic June 28

This is a wonderful annual event in which several Meadows neighbors participate.

The Altadena Community Garden Picnic is June 28 – Please join us!
The Altadena Community Garden is located at Loma Alta Park, 3330 Lincoln Ave., Altadena, CA (at Lincoln Avenue and Palm Streets, just north of Altadena Drive).

Corn on the Cob
Collard Greens
Chinese Long Beans
Sun-ripened Blackberries
Summer Squash
Jalapeno Peppers
…and Other Amazing Vegetables and Flowers!

Come taste the vegetables and smell the flowers at the Altadena Community Garden Annual Picnic on Saturday, June 28! Get a garden tour, meet our friendly local group of gardeners, enjoy the sweet sounds of the Brown Mountain Jazz Band, and eat great picnic food. Last year the picnic drew a crowd of more than 200 people.

The picnic is open to the public and the community is encouraged to attend! The event runs from 1:00 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a raffle and a silent auction.

$8.00 for adults
$4.00 for children 6-12 years old (children 5 and under are free)

The Altadena Community Garden is located on the site of the former Mt. Lowe Military Academy. An Altadena community fixture since 1974, our diverse group of dedicated gardeners tends 59 standard and 4 handicapped-accessible garden plots at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains. The Altadena Community Garden is recognized as one of the leading community gardens in Southern California, opening our gates to school children, field trips, and events.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Time to Vote!

Alice Wesson is a candidate for Altadena Town Council representing our Census Tract. She is also a fellow leader with FireSafe Councils representing the Chaney Trail area.

Alice has attended our neighborhood meetings and FireSafe Councils. Please consider supporting her at the upcoming elections on June 21.

More information is available at

Closest election site is at Loma Alta Park.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tree Removal Underway

The removal of dead, diseased and fire-prone trees has been taking place over the past two weeks.

Ninety-seven trees were identified for removal during the assessment phase of this first FireSafe grant. A first sweep through the neighborhood took place last week in which "easy" removals were accomplished. This weeks efforts have been focused on the "harder" trees which include large and not easily accessed trees.

A decision was made by The Meadows FireSafe Council a few weeks ago to prioritize our efforts and the budget as we continue to learn the processes of managing our first grant. We're maximizing the budget as best we can. It made sense to use the remaining funds for tree removal first and will address tree trimming with any remaining funds.

So, stay tuned and stay engaged. We're making our neighborhood fire safe tree by tree.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Specifics on Upcoming Tree Removal

As we start the tree removal within The Meadows, here's some specifics:

  • Trees will be removed with stumps left behind. These stumps will be approximately 10" high. The stump will be treated with Round-Up to kill the stump.
  • Stumps will be untreated in slide-potential areas to prevent a slide during rainier times
  • If you'd like chips for mulch or firewood from the tree removals, please let us know as this will reduce the amount of time and expense incurred and will allow us to address more of the fuel reduction issues.

We're doing our best to address all of the assessed properties. Please know that we have a limited budget and may need to adjust our scope as we move through the neighborhood. If anyone wants us to leave the logs for firewood or wants chippings left at their property, please let me know as this will reduce the number of man hours required for this job.

We're beginning Monday at the top of Risinghill and will move through the neighborhood over the next two weeks. I'll be calling each affected neighbor to confirm timing and selection of trees or bushes as each are marked over the coming weeks.

Please be patient as we move through this new process.

Meadows FireSafe Council in Action

The clearing of brush in the vicinity of the Altadena “Meadows” started in mid-April along the upper reaches of Rising Hill Road and in Millard Canyon. The work is being done by Gothic [full name needed] and funded by a grant from the California Fire Safe Council.

Contrary to the expectations of some, the area is not being clear-cut. Grasses are trimmed close to the ground and scattered. Trees other than oak, along with the taller specimens of the chaparral are trimmed up (“lollipopped,”—a descriptive word coined for want of a better term) instead of being removed. The smaller trimmings are run through a chipper where feasible, or else cut up into short pieces and left lying in place.

This technique results in a desirable balance between fire prevention and erosion control. The roots of plants that are left standing prevent erosion. The chopped up twigs, lying close to the ground, are not easily ignited, so that a subsequent fire can be easily managed, whereas without the brush clearance it could easily rage out of control. The chopped-up vegetation does further service in several ways. It discourages the growth of grasses which would support wildfires and helps prevent or limit erosion on the steep hillsides.

Oak trees are a protected species in California and are left untouched. Unlike other trees in the area, such as the laurel-leaf sumac, eucalyptus and evergreens, the oaks are not easily ignited, and it is therefore unlikely that they will contribute to the intensity of a fire when the area around them has been cleared of highly flammable vegetation.

Homeowners are responsible for clearing brush that lies within 200 feet of their buildings. The deadline for brush removal is May 15, and non-compliance can result in fines.

In El Prieto Canyon, the City of Pasadena sees to brush removal. That area is predominantly grass.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tree and Bush Removal Begins

Tree and bush removals approved by homeowners during the assessment phase of The Meadows FireSafe grant, will begin the week of May 19, 2008.

On May 16, members of the FireSafe Council will be touring the neighborhood with Steven's Tree Service, the vendor that was selected for the job. Our L.A. County Fire Department representative, J. Lopez, has already begun marking the trees and bushes with a green marking on trees and orange tape on bushes. Marking will continue over the next two weeks.

If you are an owner that has given the FireSafe Council permission to do this work, please note the marking to ensure that they're correct.

If you’re interested in additional tree trimming (or other work) not covered by the grant, Steven’s Tree Service can be contacted at 626-794-6911.

Rock Thrown Through Window

A neighbor at the corner of Aralia and Gravelia reported that a rock was thrown through their kitchen window at about 11:15 p.m. this past Saturday night. A sheriff's report was filed. If anyone has any information, please send a comment to this blog.

I know I heard a loud party going on in The Meadows on Saturday night. Any chance this is related?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Suspicious Activity on Power Lines

Two ropes dangled from the high voltage transmission line that runs north of Altadena at the top of Risinghill Road. An alert hiker, puzzled and wondering what it might be, reported it to So. Cal. Edison, who sent linemen out to investigate the matter Tuesday morning.

The linemen removed the object, which turned out to be a bolt cutter, jury-rigged to be activated by pulling on the pair of ropes simultaneously. The contraption, obviously, didn't work. The perpetrators, apparently at a loss as to how they might retrieve the device, left it hanging on the wire.

The motive? Possibly sabotage (for whatever reason?) Intending to salvage copper from the downed line? Who knows? Only the perpetrators, and it is doubtful that they will be putting out any ads seeking to recover lost property!

Trail users, keep your eyes peeled and report anything that seems amiss!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mt. Wilson Cam Pointed at Fire

The Mt Wilson TowerCam is currently turned towards the South with a Birds Eye view of the fire.

Santa Anita Canyon Fire

A picture of the Santa Anita Canyon fire from friends of our neighboring FireSafe Council.

As of this morning, the fire is less than 30% contained with leading edges on the NW and SW. We can smell the smoke here in The Meadows. Residents of over 400 homes in Sierra Madre have been evacuated.

Our brush clearance of 30 acres at the northeast of The Meadows continues this week. A review was performed with the clearance crews to ensure that the work is compliant. We did receive the remaining funds from the grant, so work will continue on the stretch of land to the west of homes on Risinghill and above the homes on the Canyon Crest cul-de-sac.

Beginning approximately May 5, Steven's Tree Trimming will be in the neighborhood performing work on individual properties.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Important Fundraiser for Loma Alta Park

This is last-minute but very important. Penny Daniels at Loma Alta Park sent an invitation to The Meadows for a fund-raiser this Saturday. Please help support her as she has supported us in many ways.

Loma Alta Park cordially invites you to a “Star Studded Event”, Saturday, April 26. Cocktails at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 7:00 with lots of entertainment including a big band, jazz quintet and a walk down the red carpet.

This is a fundraiser for our park that benefits youth who participate in the Community and Recreation Programs such as Tiny Tots, After School, Summer Camps, Teen Club and Sports, just to name a few.

Items or donations are sought including financial donations, door prizes, food and beverages. All donors will be published in the program.

Tickets are $25 each
Table of ten at $250 per table
Raffle tickets at $2.00

For more information, please call 626-398-5451

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day Two MFSC Brush Clearance

Here's a beautiful picture of The Meadows at the top of Risinghill Road where brush clearance continues.

A wonderful addition of a group of deer, also supervising the project, has made their presence known.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Brush Clearance Crews Arrive

Brush clearance funded by the Meadows FireSafe Council (MFSC) grant began yesterday, Monday, at the top of Risinghill Road. Crews began cutting down the tall grasses and trimming up the bushes and trees. MFSC members met with the crews and their management as part of the monitoring of the project. Crews will be in The Meadows over the next few weeks.

The MFSC continues to request the remainder of the grant funds in order to complete the third leg of the project that is located behind the homes on the west side of Risinghill continuing behind the homes at the top of Canyon Crest.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Brush Clearance Begins April 14

Brush clearance, funded by the Meadows FireSafe Council grant, will begin Monday, April 18. The planned schedule is as follows:

April 14 through April 17, clearance of brush overlooking Millard Canyon

April 18 through April 25, clearance of the area at the top of Risinghill Road.

Only half of the remaining $80,000 California FireSafe Council grant has been received and is insufficient to cover all of the brush clearance costs. The release of additional funds has been requested to address the neck of land south of the township line between Rising Hill Road and El Prieto Road. Signs will be placed in The Meadows to call attention to the work in progress.

The brush clearance to be performed will be from 150 foot of any structure. Neighbors are still required to clear the first 150 feet from their structure within the current brush clearance deadlines. The removal of hazardous trees inside the Meadows proper will be delayed until the remainder of the grant money has been received. The available funds will be used to remove certain prioritized hazards that affect the community at large.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cougars in The Canyon

Multiple sightings and encounters with mountain lions on Altadena Foothills area:

March 31, Monday morning before dawn a heavy animal, possible cougar, ran across a roof of home located in 3600 block on Leilani Way in Altadena.

March 30th, near dawn a large cougar attacked a large German Shepherd dog in the Millard Campground Canyon area. In addition a possible second cougar was spotted on the roof of the same cabin. The dog was saved by its thick fur and the intervention of the owner. California Dept. of Fish & Game officer was called by the USFS.

March 29th, 6:15am Saturday morning. Sighting of a 60 lb. animal with a long tail that ran across Lincoln Ave. and into the brush between Loma Alta Park and the debris basin. The profile was pretty clearly feline.

The cats tend to be active at dawn, dusk, and at night, when they roam their home area search of prey.

According to the Department of Fish & Game, one of the most important tips is: do not go into mountain lion territory by yourself. Go with a friend or bring a dog. Always take a friend with you when you camp, hike or backpack in wild areas.

Even when lions are encountered, they rarely pose a threat. Most cougars prefer to avoid human beings.

More safety tips:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No Update on Canyon Crest

I received about eight responses through the blog and email regarding the sheriff activity on Canyon Crest this past Monday, but no one knew the circumstances. Still checking with neighbors.

The Bear, The Bear, The Bear is Back

We've had numerous sightings of our favorite bear on El Prieto, Sunmore and Risinghill. He/she has returned to the routine of coming out on trash night to rummage through the garbage cans. (We must all be good cooks!)

Do whatever you can to secure the cans or place them out in the morning of your scheduled trash pick-up.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Anyone Know What Happened?

Just heard from a neighbor that there were 8-12 Sheriff cars on Cloverhill and Canyon Crest (north of Cloverhill) at about 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. today. The neighbor said that the Sheriffs were all over the street and on the roofs of the houses.

Anyone know anything about it?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

County Seeks to Strengthen Jessica's Law

County seeks to strengthen Jessica's Law
By Troy Anderson, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 03/04/2008 11:03:03 PM PST

The county Board of Supervisors Tuesday called for tougher local restrictions on where the state can place released sex offenders.

The supervisors directed the County Counsel's Office to review Jessica's Law, or Proposition 83, to determine options local government have to restrict the housing of sex offenders in neighborhoods.

"Right now, the state has the authority to place them basically anywhere and, as a result of a great outcry in the Altadena community ... we were able to mobilize the community, and the state has now removed the sexual predators from that neighborhood," Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said.

"But we want to ensure there is no neighborhood in this county or state where sexual predators are allowed to roam and create a danger and threat to young people."
The vote follows a community effort late last month that led state officials to remove six sex offenders placed in an Altadena neighborhood.

Earlier in the month, a judge denied a request by a twice-convicted child molester from Santa Barbara to move to the county, possibly the Antelope Valley.

Those actions followed revelations late last year that about 660 convicted sex offenders were wandering free in California, not wearing the monitoring devices that Jessica's Law requires.
State corrections officials say they removed the satellite tracking devices from the sex offenders who had completed their parole, regardless of the lifetime monitoring requirement.

They argued that the law was too vague and wasn't clear on which authorities - state or local - would be responsible for monitoring them.

"The issue of finding sex offenders housing is one that is complex," California Department of Corrections spokesman Seth Unger said. "And at the state level, the Sex Offender Management Board is actively looking at this issue and making recommendations."

Jessica's Law, co-authored by Lancaster Republican husband-and-wife state legislators Sen. George Runner and Assemblywoman Sharon Runner and passed by voters in 2006, cracks down on sex offenders and sets distances they must live away from schools and parks.

The law includes a provision that authorizes local governments to include additional restricted sites they deem appropriate.

Last month, the city of Long Beach directed its city attorney to draft an ordinance restricting residency requirements of sex offenders in relation to licensed child-care facilities.
The city is also researching the possibility of limiting the number of sex offenders living in the same apartment complex.

The County Counsel's Office is expected to draft a legal analysis for the supervisors, exploring specific restrictions on where sex offenders can live, how they are monitored and an overview of group homes and licensing requirements.

The office will then make recommendations that may include a proposed ordinance similar to the one in Long Beach, along with other steps the county can take.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Brush Clearing to Begin

I know, we've said it before, but this time it's actually going to happen!

The Meadows FireSafe Council received a significant portion of the grant funds from the California FireSafe Council. We will contract vendors to begin brush clearance in mid-April in two of the sections at the top of Risinghill Road. We've asked for the remaining funds which we are assured will be delivered. With those funds, we'll continue the brush clearance behind homes on Risinghill and above homes at the top of Canyon Crest and will start the removal of trees on individual properties.

Even though the delay in receiving the funds has been frustrating, the timing may be to our benefit as the recent rains will cause more grasses to appear this month and next. Performing the brush clearance in April will take care of those new growths.

News Article About Meadows Victory

Six Sex Offenders to be Moved out of Altadena Group Home
"I was shocked and appalled to learn of their placement," assemblymember Anthony Portantino said
Thursday, February 28, 2008 3:57 pm
The California Department of Parole intends to relocate six, paroled sex offenders living in a group home in Altadena in the next few days, Assemblymember Anthony Portantino said Thursday in a release.
"I am pleased to report that after hearing the concerns of the community, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will be relocating the six convicted sex offenders immediately," Portantino said.
"As were many others, I was shocked and appalled to learn of their placement and I question whether state law was intended to house six convicted sex offenders under one roof," he added. "I want to thank the vigilance of those in the community in bringing this issue out into the open."
According to the Department of Parole, the six individuals will be relocated out of the residence by Monday, March 3, the release said.
After residents of the "Meadows," a small, secluded Altadena community, learned the six registered sex offenders were living together in the neighborhood, they held a community meeting Tuesday.
They sought answers from local officials as to how it happened, whether it was legal, and what they could do about it.
Julianne Hines, Portantino's district director, told the crowd of about 150 people she was told by the Department of Corrections that the residence was selected because, as far as the department knew, it was in compliance with state laws that determine where registered sex offenders can be placed.
The residence was advertised to the parole unit as a "New Beginnings" program that meets the requirements for a program that serves six or fewer people, she said.

Star News Article About Meadows Victory

Officials deem sex offenders' home unfit for neighborhood
By Elise Kleeman, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 02/28/2008 10:53:41 PM PST

Read more from the Crime Scene blog
ALTADENA - Following an outpouring of community outrage, six high-risk sex offenders installed this month at a home in an isolated Altadena neighborhood will be relocated by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, officials announced Thursday.
By Monday, all of the men will be moved from the single-family home on Risinghill Road, said representatives for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich and state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, who worked together to bring about the change.
"Placing one next door to a family with young children would be irresponsible," Antonovich said. "You don't give an arsonist matches and then place them on parole."
Residents of the quiet corner of northwest Altadena known as The Meadows decried the parolees' placement in their community, citing the neighborhood's large number of young children, lack of street lighting or bus service and proximity to parks, hiking trails and a school.
"The community is relieved beyond belief, or we certainly will be by Monday," said Dennis Bridwell, who lives four houses away from the residence.
Four of the men were convicted of lewd or lascivious acts with a child younger than 14, including one man who used force and another who sodomized his victim. The others were found guilty of rape by force or fear, with one also convicted of sexual battery. The men ranged in age from 28 to 56.
A representative for the operator of the group home, New Beginnings Sober Living, did not return several requests for comment Thursday.
Roy Cheney, spokesman for the Department of Corrections, did not know Thursday afternoon where the men would be relocated.
Finding housing for sex offenders, he said, "is like trying to push a 18-wheeler up a hill with a rope."
"Some things perhaps weren't taken into consideration when the laws were made," he said.
California's Proposition 83, the state's version of Jessica's Law, bars high-risk sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a park or half a mile of a school.
Despite some neighbors' contention that the group home violated the law because of its proximity to Hahamongna Watershed Park and the Angeles National Forest, "the house was very compliant," Cheney said.
The men were moved, he said, because their present location "wasn't in the best interest of everyone." He was unable to specify which aspects of the location made it unsuitable.
"We're grateful, we're thrilled," said Meadows resident Jane Scabo. "I feel personally just a tad guilty that they're going to be in someone else's neighborhood. It doesn't resolve the bigger problem of where do these people go."
Portantino said he was "pleased that the parole department rectified the situation and moved these folks out."
"In that way, this worked. But that doesn't mean we can't look at these situations to improve them," he added.
Thursday, Antonovich advocated moving high-risk sex offenders outside any neighborhood with children.
He said he would direct county lawyers at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors' meeting to determine if Jessica's Law will authorize local governments to further restrict the housing of sex offenders in neighborhoods.
"They committed a crime, they were convicted for molestation, and the neighborhood does not have have the responsibility to provide housing for them for the rest of their life," said Antonovich.
(626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451

February Rain Stats

Here are the stats for rainfall during February here at the 1650' level in The Meadows. This is provided by our neighbor, Ray, who is quickly becoming our local meteorologist!

2007-2008 2.00 23.30
2006-2007 3.30 5.70
2005-2006 3.85 9.45
2004-2005 16.30 58.00

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Great News for The Meadows

To all - First, thanks for attending our Town Hall meeting on Tuesday to discuss the existence of an offender home in The Meadows of Altadena.

Here's the Great News: It has just been confirmed by Supervisor Antonovich's office, and a press release has just been issued from Assemblyman Anthony Portantino: the six registered sex offenders will be vacated from the house by Monday, March 3. The Parole Department has determined this has been an inappropriate placement for these individuals. We ask that all continue to be careful until the individuals are removed.

The Supervisor's office is working on legislation that will help prevent similar inappropriate placement of these types of homes from happening in the future.

We wish to thank everyone for their support and outstanding showing at the meeting. We're going to stay committed to following up on the progress of the removal of these individuals and determine what next steps need to happen. We will be reaching out to all of you for your continued support and action.

On behalf of The Meadows, we are truly grateful,

The Concerned Neighbors of The Meadows

Monday, February 25, 2008

Important Meeting Tuesday Night

For anyone who has not seen the email or received the flier:

A meeting will be held tomorrow night, Tuesday, at 7:00 p.m. at Loma Alta Park (the community building on Lincoln) to address the recent issue regarding the group home of sexual predators that has taken residence at 4455 Risinghill Road.

Please know that many of us are meeting and forming plans to reject this type of housing in The Meadows. This is a serious issue. Six men convicted of being sexual predators with convictions against minors are being housed at this location, with no notice to the community.

This is unacceptable given we are an isolated community filled with children and located adjacent to the forest. Bottom line, we will not tolerate this type of group home.

Please join us at the meeting at the park to express your opinion.

Car Vandalized on El Prieto

A car was broken into mid-day last Thursday at the top of El Prieto Road. This may explain the reports from several neighbors about Sheriff activity that day.

Three young men were seen running to their car. A neighbor was able to get the license plate. The victim's personal belongings, including a briefcase, were found at the bottom of Canyon Crest.

Another neighbor on El Prieto shared that her son's car had been broken into about a month prior, but the Sheriff's were not contacted.

Bottom line, lock your car.

FireSafe Council Update

The first check has arrived! We're contacting the vendor to begin brush clearance in the northeast portion of The Meadows starting mid- April. We're still working on securing the funds to complete the brush clearance behind homes on Risinghill and Canyon Crest and the removal of trees and bushes identified during the individual property assessments.

Hang in there - this really is going to happen.

In other news, we've submitted a grant request for 2009-2010 that will maintain the brush clearance and begin the process of replacement of trees with better fire-resilient types.

As always, we're always looking for additional neighbors to join this very effective team.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Newsletter and Monthly Meetings

As you've probably noticed, we haven't published a monthly Meadows Newsletter or had a monthly meeting.

The consideration has been to take both of these to a quarterly basis. In truth, I manage both of these efforts and have been extremely busy given the change in the real estate market.

The intent is to have a meeting in March along with a new Quarterly Meadows Newsletter.

Any assistance you can lend, whether hosting the meeting or publishing the newsletter, would be greatly appreciated.

FireSafe Council Update

A belated update: We're still waiting for the funds to start the brush clearance and removal of fire-prone trees and bushes.

We had expected the funds in November, but some unkown snafus got in the way. We've been told that the funds are on their way which will allow us to start the brush clearance and tree removal on individual properties.

Please be patient.

In additional news, we've submitted another grant request for 2009-2010 to continue the efforts. This will include continued brush clearance, removal and replacement of trees and bushes within the neighborhood, and the implementation of a notification system which would include emails, text, and phone messages in the event of an emergency.

Let it Snow! in The Meadows

At around 9:00 a.m. this morning, it was SNOWING!!!!!! in The Meadows. It wasn't that cold, but low clouds were hanging over the neighborhood and, sure enough, we had a light snow flurry for about 15 minutes.

I called a few neighbors and they confirmed my sanity.

The last snow up here was about 5-6 years ago with the start of hail turning into snow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sherrif Action in the Past Week

I received reports over the past week of two different incidents in which the Sheriffs were pursuing someone into The Meadows.

On Thursday, February 7 at around 5:30 p.m., Sheriffs were pursuing a car on Canyon Crest heading up to The Meadows. A helicoptor was hovering above it with the search light on.

Yesterday, Tuesday at around 11:00 a.m., Sheriffs were again heading up into the neighborhood at accelerated speeds.

I sent an email out regarding the Thursday incident, but no one has any additional information. A neighbor also called the Sheriff Department which did not provide any detail.

If anyone has information that needs to be communicated, please email me or reply to this post with a comment.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Great Pics of Wildlife

I'm a bit late in posting these wonderful pictures from one of our neighbors in The Meadows.

1. Bottom pic: Mountain lion near jpl/arroyo seco

2. Top pics: bobcat in the nieghbor's backyard a few weekends ago (early January).