Monthly Archives: February, 2019

Foxes Repeat as Regional Science Olympiad Champs

Proving that last year’s performance was certainly no fluke, a team of Huntington Middle Schoolers won the 33rd annual Los Angeles Regional Science Olympiad at Antelope Valley College on Saturday, January 26. The Foxes outdashed 19 other middle schools in the 23-event competition and have earned a spot in the state championships, which will be held at Caltech on Saturday, April 6. HMS students earned medals in 21 of the 23 categories and all 15 members of the team placed in one or more events. Nine won their events with seven finishing second and five claiming third place medals. “I am so proud of our team this year,” said Suzanne Nitta, the 8th grade science teacher at HMS. “They worked so hard and it was great seeing all of their hard work pay off. Most of all, I am happy to see them have a great time in the process.” Cynthia Wong, the 7th grade science teacher at HMS, told The Tribune “It is great to see the increasing interest in Science Olympiad over the past few years. I want to encourage more and more of our students to go into the science and engineering fields, because they are our future.” David Zheng, a San Marino High School graduate now attending Caltech, helps out with the squad. Zheng took first place in both events he entered last year at the Los Angeles Regional Science Olympiad, as SMHS won the high school version of the competition. After a decade-long hiatus, this is the third consecutive year the HMS has fielded a Science Olympiad team. The Foxes finished second in 2018 after a runner-up effort in 2017. Science Olympiad is an...

Already Making A Difference

ON HER WAY: Alyssa Escamilla, a senior at San Marino High School and the ASB student representative to the school board, recently spoke in...

City Hall Seeks Resident Input For Priority Initiatives

For the first time in recent San Marino history, residents have the opportunity to vote on 21 issues that the city is currently considering for next year’s budgetary process. The City Council is taking account of what special projects–or priority initiatives–that staff should dedicate time and/or financial resources to next year. Some of the issues include co-sponsoring events with the school district and community groups, creating a Business Improvement District and developing a 20-year Master Plan for Lacy Park. Residents are encouraged to vote via an online survey that is available on the city’s website, call City Hall or visit City Hall to pick up a paper voting sheet. Residents have until the City Council meeting on February 22 to weigh in. The results will then be further considered by the council. “These are our ideas about things that maybe we don’t have now that could make things a little bit better for the community in a variety of different ways,” said City Manager Dr. Marcella Marlowe. “They’re new things.” The list has been pared down from an initial 53 topics that were born from a brainstorming meeting with City Council and the city’s executive team. The council then applied preferences to which of the 53 topics they’d like to see go forward. The current 21 issues fall under eight critical success factors (such as engaged and connected residents, safe community and well-maintained infrastructure) that were adopted last year as part of the city’s strategic plan. The issues were unveiled at the Town Hall meeting on Monday, January 4, one of this year’s monthly meetings held on the first Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at the Crowell Public Library’s Barth Community Room. Marlowe introduced the three residents in attendance to the topics, encouraged them to ask any questions they may have and then vote on the top 10 issues they’d like to see the council address. Executive leaders from each of the departments were in attendance and residents shared direct time with each to learn more about the issues. Last year’s budget was adopted two months later than usual, intentionally, and it included almost no public involvement, according to Marlowe. This year, she said the entire process is now different and the city is working to stretch the process out so that “more information at a high level” gets to the City Council with input from residents. At the Town Hall meeting, resident Miriam Quan carefully considered the voting sheet and talked with several city officials. She said she appreciated how the city provided the ability to talk one-on-one with leaders in order to get a more nuanced view of the issues. “I like how they’ve had people explain things in depth,” said Quan. “It’s nice that you can actually talk to the people who are in the know and they can explain it to you more fully.” John Dustin, a former Design Review Committee member, was also in attendance to learn more about the budget issues. He said the ability to talk directly with staff helped him better understand the pros and cons of the issues. Initially excited about the prospect of additional city street cameras, Dustin said he understood the constraints they involve after talking with Chief of Police John Incontro. “It actually was really nice to be able to spend significant time with people and ask questions,” said Dustin. “I liked the list of projects that they came up with. I would hope that they publish the results when residents start voting because I’d be interested to see how other people think about things.” Vice Mayor Gretchen Shepherd Romey shared that it was very important for the city to get a sense of what the community’s priorities are and what they’d like to see accomplished. “We really need direction from residents and what they’d like to see done,” said Shepherd Romey. “I think that should influence our budget priorities.” To participate in the voting process for the 21 priority initiatives, visit or stop by City Hall at 2200 Huntington Dr. For more information, residents may also contact Amanda Fowler, assistant to the city manager, at (626) 300-0781 or email Next month’s Town Hall meeting will be held Monday, March 4 at 6:00 p.m. in the Crowell Public Library’s Barth Community Room. The topic will involve San Marino traffic options for the $32 million in Measure R funds tied to the SR-710 North study.

Titan Grapplers Dominate at Rio Hondo League Finals

Two sets of chairs are placed on either side of the mat at most wrestling tournaments and coaches are encouraged to instruct their athletes from that vantage point. Typically, a coach will have the privilege of occupying the perch for a match or two before relinquishing to a contemporary. Typically. Last Wednesday afternoon, San Marino High School wrestling Coach Eddie Aguirre spent so much time matside at the Rio Hondo League finals that he could have received mail inside Monrovia High School’s gymnasium. The first nine Titans qualified for the championship match, meaning that Aguirre spent the better part of an hour exhorting his charges. Remarkably, all nine walked off with league titles as San Marino threw a trump card on the Rio Hondo League team championship it won ten days earlier with a victory over South Pasadena. A little math: Of the 11 wrestlers San Marino entered into the varsity bracket of the tournament, 10 qualified to move on to the CIF tournament by finishing in the top three of their respective weight class. Of those 10, nine came away as league champions, six doing so by pinning their opponent in their championship match, two doing so by technical fall, and one by a standard decision. The 10th CIF-qualifying wrestler took 3rd place by pinning his opponent to win his bronze medal match. The 11th wrestler just missed out on continuing into CIF post-season competition by finishing in 4th place. The league did not track team scores at this season’s tournament—as has been traditional on the past—but the Titans’ absolute dominance of the event was obvious. Santino Sanchez got things started at 106 lbs., pinning his opponent at the 1:31 mark of the of third period. Koa Ruiz took just 1:28 to register a pinfall in the 113 lb. weight class. Raul Jimenez followed up in the 120 lb. weight class with a pin at 1:32 of the second period. Devyn Che won the 126 lb. crown with a first period pin that took just a minute and a half. Josh Trumbull took a technical fall at 132 lbs., winning the match by a final score of 17-2. Senior Beau Perez won his fourth straight Rio Hondo League championship with another technical fall, winning 20-4 in just the first period. Sophomore Luka Wick toyed with his opponent for more than a period, but eventually decked his man with 1:15 left in the second. Kurt Trumbull emerged victorious in the 152 lb. weight class with a pin that took just a little over a minute. Caleb Trumbull was the final champion, taking crown #9 with a 10-3 victory at 160 lbs. Ryan Arringron punched his ticket to CIF with a third place finish in the 182 lb. weight class. Matt Harlan continued to show improvement, finishing fourth at 195 pounds. Full marks to the Titan junior varsity grapplers, who had solid finishes. Ryan Zhang finished third at 126 lbs., Craig McLaren Swan did likewise at 132 pounds, while Gavin Palenik was fourth in the 160 lb. classification. Sadly, the Titans lost to Long Beach Poly by a single point, 39-38, in the first round of the CIF Division III dual meet championships. Brackets for the CIF individual champions were not available at press time.

2019 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Outlook Newspapers brings you its annual Valentine’s Day guide featuring unique and must- have gift ideas available locally.    

San Marino Junior Alliance Benefits Casa San Marino Junior Alliance is a nonprofit focused on raising money for Casa, a substance abuse treatment center for women in Pasadena. At the...


The numbers are staggering, but a tour of the Barth Athletics Complex at Huntington Middle School provides even more impressive “optics,” in the current vernacular, of a facility that will be a true game-changer in the community. The new structure (8,770 sq. ft.) more then triples the recreation space of the previous “gym” (2,700 sq. ft.) that according to drawings from the 1930s was created as a “play room.” When completed, the main gymnasium will seat 854 (compared with 375 at San Marino High School’s Dingus Memorial Fieldhouse) with an upstairs multi-purpose room that adds another 4,060 square feet of recreational space. A new fitness center checks in at 2,150 square feet, more than triple its 700 sq. ft. predecessor. Two state-of-the-art media classrooms are currently being outfitted with conduit and hardware to bear the weight of new video screens. To simplify matters, Huntington Middle School volleyball players will no longer have to stand in the foyer to serve the ball without stepping over the boundary line. That was before they moved their games outdoors to avoid the crowd and clutter. At the January 22 meeting of the San Marino School Board, Assistant Superintendent of Business Service Julie Boucher reported that the $16 million project...

Part 1 Crimes Drop to 2014 Level, Plans to Increase SMPD Staffing

San Marino experienced a 18.28 percent overall decrease in Part 1 crimes from 2017 to 2018, according to a report presented by Chief of Police John Incontro of the San Marino Police Department (SMPD) to the City Council on Friday, January 25 at the Crowell Public Library. Part 1 crimes include murder and non-negligent homicide, rape (legacy and revised), robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft and arson, according to Uniform Crime Reports. “It’s a teamwork effort with the community and the officers, and they all deserve the credit,” Incontro told the council. Burglaries and larceny are down across all counts including residential burglaries (32.74 percent decrease), commercial burglaries (33.33 percent decrease), attempted burglaries (37.50 percent decrease) and larceny (7.69 percent decrease). For residential burglaries, SMPD made 10 arrests of those responsible for 11 of the burglaries. There were two auto thefts reported in 2018, the fewest in five years. For crimes that experienced increases, there were three reported arsons in 2018, where none occurred since 2014. There was also one reported rape in 2018, with none reported since 2015. Aggravated assaults totaled 16 in 2018, up from 15 in 2017. Total Part 1 crimes in 2018 amounted to 228, a marked decrease from 2017’s 279 tally. Incontro noted that Part 1 crimes in 2018 dipped below 2014’s number of 231. “Our numbers have reached 2014 level, which I’m very happy about,” Incontro said. “Hopefully we will continue a downward trend.” Incontro shared that the SMPD will be focusing on plans to reduce burglaries and larcenies this year. With 81 residential burglaries in 2018, 44 of the homes either did not have or did not have their security systems on at the time of the burglary. Out of that 44, 37 of the homes had security systems. Of all the alarm systems that residents in San Marino use, 65 percent are actively monitored by the system company with the rest being self-monitored through web-based systems. Incontro mentioned that the downside of web-based systems comes into play when residents are caught up in meetings or places where the web isn’t accessible, which hinders police response ability. “Without someone actively monitoring those systems, we can’t respond in a timely manner,” said Incontro. With larcenies, a majority of the cases were thefts from unlocked vehicles. “That’s something that a simple part of taking out your stuff and locking your doors would have reduced our crime rate even more and it contributes to an overall safe neighborhood and a safe city,” Incontro shared. As for staffing, SMPD currently has five vacancies with one cadet currently in academy and due to graduate in June. The department is also currently in talks with other recruitment prospects. Council Member Susan Jakubowski noted that with public safety as an important issue, the staffing issue should be a focus moving forward. “In view of a significant number of vacancies, it’s something that I’d like us to perhaps learn more about as we get closer to the new budget,” said Jakubowski. Vice Mayor Gretchen Shepherd Romey commended the department, saying both she and the community was appreciative of their efforts. “I believe our support of the police and fire departments should be very strong this year and I’m hoping that they understand that and it will be successful for everybody,” said Shepherd Romey.

Paying It Forward

At the 2016 edition of the San Marino Firefighter’s pancake breakfast, longtime San Marino resident Winnie Reitnouer purchased a fistful of 50/50 raffle tickets that are a popular attraction at the annual event. When she held the winning ticket for one of the two drawings, Reitnouer did something unexpected: she donated the money back to the Firefighters and the charities they support. “They treated my husband with so much love and care,” said Reitnouer, who just two months earlier had lost her beloved Lynn, a former Mayor of San Marino. If that show of affection was exceptional, what the Reitnouer Family will do next Wednesday is downright astounding as Winnie, her son John, and his family will donate the funding to purchase a Zoll AutoPulse resuscitation system for the San Marino Fire Department. The AutoPulse enables firefighters and paramedics to deliver automatic CPR while allowing them to fight a fire or transport the patient without sacrificing manpower. Chief Mario Rueda and seven members of the SMFD hosted Winnie and John to a special lunch at the station last week to memorialize the agreement over what Winnie said was “the best chicken sandwich I have ever had in my life.” She even had the honor of announcing that chow was ready over the public address system. She also was able to reconnect with San Marino Fire Captain Dominic Petta, who was on duty on March 10, 2016, and informed Winnie that Lynn’s condition had worsened. Last week, Petta led Mrs. Reitnouer arm-in-arm on a tour of the station. “I cannot think of a better way to express my gratitude to the brave men who responded so quickly to the great needs of my husband in his last years,” Winnie said. “I am grateful to be able to provide something in the name of and in memory of my late husband Lynn Paul Reitnouer that will be a state-of-the-art enhancement to the excellent equipment carried on your emergency vehicles.” Alogg with several other civic positions, Lynn Reitnouer served on the San Marino City Council from 1976-1986, and as Mayor from 1980-84. Ironically—or in this case, not ironic at all—Lynn Reitnouer was Mayor when the City of San Marino first added the paramedic element to the SMFD. The AutoPulse was at the top of Rueda’s wish list and he is currently budgeting for a second unit to be purchased in the 2019-20 fiscal year. True to their name, the Reitnouers didn’t wait. “Thousand thanks for the splendid lunch and quality time with the gallant Firefighter/Paramedics of my beloved San Marino,” said Mrs. Reitnouer, in a letter of thanks.

Robotics Team Designs Through Week Three

This past week marked the third week of the 2019 First Robotics Competition (FRC) Build Season, which is usually unofficially designated as “CAD Week” (computer-aided design). Week Three was the CAD team’s time to shine because it was their job combine each wooden prototype into a working 3D computer model while simultaneously solving mechanical constraints. Once the rough draft is complete, team members are able to virtually test different materials and configurations in order to find an efficient design...
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