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.