Monthly Archives: January, 2019

Board Spends Its Saturday at Governance Training Session

The San Marino School Board and its executive cabinet spent this past Saturday at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. But a stroll through its hallowed grounds, visits to iconic works of art and a peek at the historic restoration of Blue Boy were not on the official agenda as the group spent over seven hours ensconced in the President’s Conference Room addressing topics of governance. The board—comprised of President Lisa Link, Vice President Chris Norgaard, Clerk C. Joseph Chang and Board members Shelley Ryan and Corey Barberie—engaged in dialogue with several seasoned professional. Dr. Kegham Tashjian presented information on the foundation of effective board governance, Dennis Popka provided information and training relating to sexual harassment and Title IX issues, Leslee Sherrill provided a primer on communications and public relations guidelines and Scott Huber discussed issues and requirements relating to the Fair Political Practices Commission, conflicts of interest, compliance forms, gifts and the Ralph M. Brown Act, which calls for open meetings. The board also assigned a wide range of responsibilities for the upcoming year. “I thought it was a productive meeting and I appreciated the willingness and commitment of our board members and cabinet to give up their Saturday to participate in the board governance study session,” said Link. “I scheduled the meeting for a Saturday because we have so many important subjects to cover and simply can’t get that much done before or after one of our Tuesday meetings.” Also in attendance were Superintendent Loren Kleinrock and Assistant Superintendents Julie Boucher (Business Service), Linda de la Torre Human Resources), Director of Technology Stephen Choi and Director of Curriculum and Instruction Jason Kurtenbach. “I also feel it is important that our community know that we take serious the training we received on Saturday,” Link said. “We came away much more knowledgeable on Title IX, the Brown Act, sexual harassment and the do’s and don’ts of communication.” The board also doled out its many official positions: Academics Advisory Committee: Lisa Link and Chris Norgaard Base Funding Coalition: Joseph Chang and Norgaard Board Policy Representative: Link Cell Tower Advisory Committee: Norgaard Facilities Advisory Committee: Corey Barberie Health Benefits Committee: Chang Legislative Action Committee: Norgaard Legislative Representative: Norgaard PTA Council Representative: Link San Marino Recreation Committee Representative: Barberie Safety & Wellness Committee: Chang and Ryan San Marino Schools Foundation: Link

Titans Slam Spartans, Close In On Rio Hondo Championship

The San Marino High School varsity wrestling team defeated La Cañada on Tuesday, January 8 by a final score of 46-36 to improve to 3-0 in Rio Hondo League dual meet action after earlier wins over Monrovia and Hoover. Santino Sanchez got things off to a rousing start with a pin in the 106 lb. weight class. Freshman Koa Ruiz kept the momentum going with a pin at 120 lbs. The pin parade continued when Raul Jimenez (126 lbs.) and Devyn Che (132 lbs.) decked their opponents. John Trumbull suffered a defeat at 136 pounds but Beau Perez snagged a victory via pin at 152 pounds. Kurt Trumbull also decked his opponent at 160 pounds and Caleb Trumbull took a majority win at 170. Charlie Daves (182 pounds) and Matt Harlan (222 pounds) battles hard in their respective matches, but absorbed losses. In individual action, Wick—just a sophomore—was the runner-up in the prestigious “Battle for the Belt” tournament which pits the best wrestlers in the west against one another. San Marino will attempt to claim another Rio Hondo League championship on Tuesday, January 22 when South Pasadena visits for a 4:30 p.m. dual...

Titanium Robotics Is Off to A Blazing Start

This past week marked the beginning of the six week build season for the 2019 First Robotics Competition (FRC) Game titled Destination: Deep Space. Each year,...

Mayor Huang’s Town Hall Address Highlights City’s Goals for Upcoming Year

The first Town Hall meeting of 2019 and the first-ever with newly elected Mayor Dr. Steven Huang was held Monday, January 7 in the Crowell Public Library’s Barth Community Room. Approximately 20 residents and civic leaders attended. The meeting included achievements that each department achieved in 2018 and targeted goals for 2019. The Town Hall meeting is the first of a series to be held for the general public on the first Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the library, according to City Manager Dr. Marcella Marlowe. Huang said he views the meetings as a way to gain direct perspective from residents. “I kind of want to get feedback from these meetings and see what want,” said Huang. Residents brought up attention points on the future of diagonal parking on Huntington Drive in upcoming Public Safety Commission meetings, rainwater collection barrels and glass window standards in construction. In the presentation, Huang touched on the City Manager’s Office goals to overhaul the budget process to ensure “transparency and success,” as well as...

City Club Talk Will Address The Kathy Fiscus Tragedy

It was a story that put San Marino on the map, and for not the most uplifting of reasons. On April 8, 1949 a three-year-old girl named Kathy Fiscus fell down an old abandoned well located on the current site of San Marino High School’s Titan Stadium. Unfortunately, despite all efforts, Kathy could not be saved. The rescue attempt received nationwide attention in the United States, as KTLA and a team that included reporter Stan Chambers carried it live on radio and television. The event was covered on scene for a 27-½ hour period. It is considered a watershed event in TV history, as it is recognized as the first live coverage of a breaking news story. The tragedy will be the subject of William Deverell’s presentation to the San Marino City Club on Tuesday, January 15. A Professor of History at USC and Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, Deverell will in the fall be releasing a book about the Kathy Fiscus story. His presentation marks the buildup to the 70th anniversary of Kathy’s death and Deverell will be revealing new information on the tragedy based on recent findings. “As you know, this has been a passion of mine, regardless of its sad, tragic outcome,” Deverell said earlier this week. There was a longstanding belief that the well Kathy fell into was located on the upper field at San Marino High School on the...

Maureen Bryant, Legendary SMHS Teacher, Coach, Passes Away

One of the true icons of local education has passed away. Maureen Bryant, who for forty years served as a teacher and coach at San Marino High School, died on Tuesday morning after a long, but quiet battle with cancer. Bryant coached a record 14 boys’ and girls’ tennis teams to CIF championships at SMHS, including a remarkable total of six between the years...

Robotics Kicks Off Its ‘Deep Space’ Program

This past weekend marked the exciting kickoff of First Robotics Competition’s (FRC) 30th season with Destination: Deep Space, 2019’s FRC game. This year, each...

Titan Cagers Get Fast Break With 2-0 Start

All signs pointed to a dreaded “rebuilding season” as San Marino High School’s boys’ varsity basketball team headed into the 2018-19 campaign. But what is being constructed inside Dingus Memorial Fieldhouse might forever remove the negative connotations to that label. Because the Titans are 2-0 with out-of-the-gate victories over South Pasadena and Monrovia, both taking place in the friendly confines. “I am just happy for all of our boys,” said head Coach Mihail Papadopulos following Tuesday night’s 62-55 win over the Wildcats. “Happy for their buy-in and happy that they were able to thrive in this environment.” Sophomore Ethan Deng paced all scorers with 19 points and classmate Lemuel Li added nine. But the real story was balance as four Titans tallied seven points each, including Cristian Mata, Michael Baldocchi, Eric Fu and Ethan Mo. The rebounding totals tell an even more compelling story as Li (7), Mata (9), Baldocchi (7) and Fu (6) all pounded the boards as did senior forward Chris Wicke, who pulled down five rebounds and did a lot of the unheralded dirty work under the basket. Conversely, San Marino displayed a rather uncharacteristic ability to play at a fast pace as both teams elected to run the floor. A 23-point second quarter gave San Marino a 38-28 lead they would never relinquish as San Marino improved to 12-7 overall and 2-0 in Rio Hondo League action. Its first league win came in a rare Saturday contest. Compelled to finish conference action before February 1, league officials chose to open play before any of its member schools had returned from winter break. The result was a 56-40 win over South Pasadena. The good news is, it was a win. The bad news is, there were very few on hand to bear witness. In the fullness of time, the “win” will factor much larger than the attendance count. Even more impressive was the Titans’ defensive effort, which held the visiting Tigers to just 12 points in the first half. “We weren’t going to be swindled by South Pasadena’s record,” said Papadopulos of the Tigers’ 2-12 mark heading into the contest. “We knew they could shoot and at any moment go on a 3-point shooting barrage. But I thought our boys did a tremendous job not allowing that to happen. Any time you hold a team to 12 pts in a half, you’re doing some solid work as a group.” Deng was again the leading scorer with 16 points, followed by O’Brien (12) and Baldocchi and Mata, who chipped in with six apiece. Fu added five points and seven rebounds while Mo (3), and Li, Wicke and Neven Husson (two points apiece) rounded out the scoring. Mata again was able to find a way to pull down seven rebounds. “I am just super proud of our boys,” Papadopulos said after Tuesday’s win over the Wildcats. “Everyone on our team is giving everything that they have and playing their roles well. Every night someone is showing some growth in so many areas. Tonight, sophomore Sean O’Brien had a tremendous floor game as he had to relentlessly navigate us through all the chaos for most of the game. Ethan Deng maintained his confident shooting while our seniors Cristian Mata, Michael Baldocchi, Eric Fu and Chris Wicke, did an incredible overall job on defense, rebounding and adding some nice finishes. Sophomores Lemuel Li and Ethan Mo also came out and gave us some great minutes in the first half.” The Titans wrap up the three-game homestand on Friday, January 11 when Temple City comes calling for a 5:15 affair and what Coach Pop and his staff call Hoopcoming. The Rams are 12-7 overall and 2-0 in Rio Hondo League action with a 55-47 victory over South Pasadena. “With our young group, it’s all about learning experiences right now,” Papadopulos concluded. “Our boys are going through an active chapter of learning how to win, and it’s fun seeing them figure it out. The chemistry on our team is really nice this year. It’s not only enjoyable on the court, but it’s really enjoyable to watch them interact in the team room or at practice. That has everything to do with our growth as a team.”

Twelve Honored at NCL Debutante Ball

The San Marino Area Chapter of National Charity League held its 56th annual Debutante Ball in the Crystal Ball Room of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel on Saturday, Dec. 22. “Treasure Every Moment” was the theme for the 2018 Debutante Season, celebrating the many philanthropic, leadership, and cultural opportunities treasured during the past six years, while also looking forward to the brilliant future that awaits these young ladies who were presented on the arms of their fathers. The ball paid tribute to the seniors and Debutantes of the Class of 2018 who completed over 13,000 hours of service, volunteering at the various philanthropies supported by the San Marino Area Chapter of National Charity League, Inc., during their six years of membership. NCL President Alison McCrary and ball chairs Elizabeth Karr and Maricel de Cardenas greeted guests upon their entry into the ballroom. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of each debutante on the arm of her father as she was introduced with an acknowledgement of her accomplishments and special NCL memories. The mothers of the young women were also introduced and recognized for their dedication to the mission of NCL, which serves to foster mother-daughter relationships in a philanthropic organization committed to community service, leadership and cultural experiences. The twelve debutantes are Sofia Miera, Carolyn LoCoco, Katherine Bender, Alexandria Kay-Im, Caitlyn McCall, Courtney McCall, Madeleine Hotaling, Sevyana Nikoui-Smith, Samia Nikoui-Smith, Margaret Gervais, Barbara Byrne and Emily McLane.

Link Sees Rose Parade From A Different Vantage Point

With chilly temperatures and a brisk morning breeze, 2019 arrived in Pasadena more like the proverbial lion than the lamb. And while many in Southern California were lucky enough to wake up on January 1 and hit the ’snooze’ button, Monday seamlessly rolled into Tuesday for San Marino’s Dave Link. It’s a labor of love for Link that has now spanned a full quarter century. Yes, exactly 25 years have passed since Link first donned the white suit and committed himself to a lot of service and very little sleep this time of year. “I grew up in Altadena and over the years I became aware that there were a bunch of people in white suits that helped out at the Rose Parade,” said Link. “My first contact with the Tournament was as a member of the Tournament of Roses band, which is made up of students from Pasadena City College and several local high schools. Years later, I learned that the Tournament of Roses was actually managed by those white-suiters. I was impressed that something so big could be managed by a bunch of volunteers, so I joined the Tournament to help out.” A graduate of John Muir High School, Link played the snare drum and was a section leader in PCC’s marching band when he was asked to take his talents to the Tournament band. Link spent this past Tuesday morning set up on the corner of Orange Grove Boulevard and Green Street, where he was performing his duties...
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