Monthly Archives: May, 2019

Memorial Day Is Also A Homecoming

Attendees at San Marino’s annual Memorial Day ceremony are typically concerned by the possibility of experiencing excess heat, but leading up to Monday’s event, frostbite seemed to be a more likely culprit. But by the time Kevin Brown trumpeted the five service academy anthems at 9 a.m. sharp, the environs in Lacy Park were perfect, as Lacy Park can be. More than two hundred community members showed up to honor the 52 San Marino residents who paid the ultimate price, never returning home from the fields of battle while defending America’s freedoms. Make that 53. Earlier this spring, the remains of San Marino native John Albert Karli, a former United States Navy First Class Seaman, were identified at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, among the other “unknown” servicemen who lost their lives aboard the USS Oklahoma on December 7, 1941. In recent years, a United States Department of Defense program seeking to identify all of our nation’s missing soldiers, was able to single out the remains of Mr. Karli, who on May 1 received a full military funeral in Altadena. In attendance at both the funeral and Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony was Marilyn Long—Karli’s niece—who though she never met her uncle has been involved in the identification process. The son of immigrants, Karli was born on the grounds of Henry Huntington’s estate, where his father served as a caretaker. Long became justifiably emotional when she recounted her uncle’s love of baseball, how he signed up for the Navy upon turning 18 years of age and how the final letter that was received by his family (Karli was an avid letter-writer, according to Long) was written on a Thanksgiving Day menu from the USS Oklahoma’s mess hall, just 11 days before he lost his life. Long and her husband, George, brought extensive memorabilia from Karli’s abbreviated life, including a birth certificate declaring that a doctor visited the Huntington estate to deliver patriot. The audience also heard from United States Marino Corps 1st Lt. Garret Glazier, a 2013 graduate of San Marino High School, who is currently stationed at 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines at Camp Pendleton. “Many of you here have served in combat,” said Glazier, whose parents, Wendy and Guy Glazer, have each delivered previous keynote addresses at San Marino’s Memorial Day ceremony. “The horrors of which are etched behind me on this memorial and countless others across the country. But because of your sacrifice, and the ones made by those before you and beside you, you have given the next generation fewer names to add.” He also mentioned the Corps’ readiness to defend the nation. “The mentality is not only important, but necessary,” he continued. “We need young men and women to commit themselves wholly to this idea so that no matter what theater we find ourselves in in the coming years, we can rest easy knowing who has the watch.” He also said that if any Marine was told they would be deployed for combat, “the response would be a unanimous ‘What time are we leaving?’” The audience also heard from San Marino High School senior Andrew Liu, who in late June will enroll at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. “I can’t help but reflect on what in my life compelled me to apply to the Air Force Academy,” Liu said. “From a young age, I was always drawn towards the careers of a police officer, firefighter, soldier, paramedic, public prosecutor, and judge. Over time, that list of careers narrowed itself down to just one—that of a soldier.” He later admitted he is “both nervous and ecstatic” about the next chapter in his life. “I’ll be able to live up to the values of a man, as well as the fantasies of a young boy,” he concluded. Brother Dennis Gibbs of Church of Our Saviour delivered the opening and closing prayers and San Marino Gold Scout Suzy Moffat and Eagle Scout Grant Spitzer also participated in the ceremony. and its freedoms. San Marino resident and veteran Bob Dini led the audience in the singing of patriotic songs and was referred to by the master of ceremony as “the Dick Clark of San Marino,” given his youthful appearance. Dini served in the United States Army as a Sergeant and as the official vocal soloist for the United States Army Band in Washington during the administrations of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. Dini entertained the troops, performed concerts throughout the nation’s capitol and appeared on television and Armed Forces Radio, including his own ABC Network Radio show. On Monday, he performed with his typical élan. The Memorial Day event also included a tribute to all local war veterans, and an acknowledgement of the 52 San Marino residents who gave their lives defending the nation and its freedoms, their names read by San Marino Firefighter Dave Tanneyhill, himself a Navy veteran. By next year, that number should grow to 53 as the San Marino City Council will consider adding the name of John Albert Karli to the memorial. San Marino hosts a Memorial Day event each year, starting at 9 a.m. at the War Memorial in Lacy Park. For more photos from Memorial Day, please see page A-16 of the San Marino Tribune print...

Engineer Explains Huntington Drive Signal Patterns

Traffic flow along Huntington Drive has increasingly become a focus of conversation as population growth has increased in surrounding cities and more cars have flowed along and across it. Concern over traffic circulation has also increased recently as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has offered San Marino $32 million from Measure R transportation funds. The monies are meant to address traffic impact stemming from Metro’s decision to not construct the 710 freeway tunnel project. The tunnel project aimed to link the 710 and 210 freeways. Metro has suggested a traffic light synchronization program, but residents are wary. Parks and Public Works Director and City Engineer Michael Throne shared with The Tribune insight on the current operation of signal timing and how it was established. Throne noted that the county does not direct the city with signal control. They are city owned, save for the San Gabriel Boulevard intersection and the South Pasadena/Alhambra bordering intersections, where San Marino works with the neighboring cities who share ownership of the intersections. The current timing setup of delay, or red lights, was set approximately five years ago in the city. The times were set after a traffic study was completed and an engineering analysis of each intersection was considered, taking in volumes and times of day into account. Throne explained that there are generally accepted practices in the traffic engineering field as to how much delay is set to different legs of intersections. “The maximum amount of time you could be delayed at a traffic signal is 2 minutes and 30 seconds,” Throne told The Tribune. “That is the accepted norm for traffic signals. It may seem like it’s longer, but it’s not.” He noted that any time longer than that speaks to faulty equipment. The maximum time is a national standard and is established by the Institute for Transportation Engineers. According to Throne, traffic signals grew in popularity in the 1950s and are generally based on traffic behaviors on primary roads. The signals operate based on two types of sensors to provide information if someone is waiting at a light. The first are electromagnetic sensors, which are loops of wire buried in the pavement that sense when a car is pressing upon them. “It’ll sense that you’ve entered into field and it’ll say ‘oh something has to happen with that vehicle,’” said Throne. The second are optical sensors, such as one located at Huntington Drive and Sierra Madre Boulevard/San Marino Avenue. “There’s a camera pointed at the approaching lanes and the camera through special programming, the computer goes, ‘oh there’s four cars there it’s time for me to start changing the signal,’” explained Throne. “It’s much more reliable than loops in pavement.” The engineering study for establishing the pattern takes into account how many cars go east-west and north-south, pedestrian crossing needs and turn lane times. “You put this into a process where you try to balance out all of the needs of all of the users of the intersection so none wait longer than that 2 minutes and 30 seconds,” Throne shared. “Priority is given to the main road always because that’s the road where you have the most cars.” During offpeak hours, the signal operates “pretty much on demand” so a car approaching a signal, say at 2 a.m., will receive a green light fairly quickly. During peak times, the programming set five years ago makes the signals operate under the theory that the traffic flows the same way at the same times during the weekdays. “Our signals are not connected together so therefore their programming was the estimation of several years ago of how they should operate during the commuter hours,” said Throne. Throne noted that signal programming, when set individually, can be outdated within a year due to an increase of land use in neighboring areas, such as a business area development or residential construction. Setting an annual process where each signal is readjusted is expensive and not assured to capture every variable, according to Throne. “When you have 15 signals, all on major roads, that becomes a much more laborious task and it really becomes not practicable anymore,” said Throne. The process to alter traffic signals involves the city traffic engineer taking traffic counts over a 24-hour time period over the course of 2-3 weeks to capture what the normal flows are in different directions at various times, including pedestrian and bicycle counts. With that information, the traffic engineer manually designs a system that each signal would go off of for certain times of the day. According to Throne, the degree of change for the signals could either be made directly by the traffic engineer for small adjustments or would require a city meeting process for more major ones. “If it’s just a tinkering with a couple of seconds here or there, no one’s going to overtly sense that there’s a difference there, maybe a little bit, but any wholesale major change we could go through the Public Safety Commission and then the City Council,” said Throne. Currently the city is undergoing a signal controller replacement program, as the ones in current operation are becoming more expensive to maintain month-by-month than to replace with current technology. Two have been replaced and Throne is hopeful that the City Council will approve two more in the next fiscal year. The city is also looking at doing timing modifications at the St. Albans Road intersection with Huntington Drive, a community request, and is currently within a cost gathering stage to change the hardware. Throne noted that the current signal controllers and equipment have a drawback in that they “don’t have a far look ahead” and only take in cars within a limited area. “You can test this out,” said Throne. “When you’re on Huntington during the middle of the day and you want to make a left off of Huntington onto any of the side streets that are signal controlled, you can stop the cars that are racing towards you down Huntington. You can stop them if they’re just far enough away. For one car. That is not signal synchronization. The reason people speed up is they feel they have to hit the light.”

Ex-Neighbors Set Aside Dispute to Release Film

The debate has been going on for almost a half-century, and it’s unlikely to be settled anytime soon. It’s San Marino’s edition of the Hatfields and McCoys, but on a much more decorous scale. It all began in 1971, when Betty and Jack Brown relocated from the East Coast to the West, setting up camp on Charlton Road. Right next to the Packers, Jane and Jim. Among their many commonalities, the two families each had nine-year-old boys. Chris Brown and Jim Packer enjoyed an idyllic life until they decided to build a treehouse between their two homes. The structure—built along the property line between the two homes—is long gone, but debate continues to rage. “When you talk to Chris, he will confirm that I owned the tree house,” Packer said. “If anything, he owned the air rights,” retorts Chris, who insists the tree was fully entrenched in Brown soil. Before this edition went to print, each disputed the others’ ownership claim, proving that a strong friendship can withstand decades of opposing viewpoints. Perhaps that will be the subject of film number 3, but until such time the Packer-Brown collaboration has weightier matters in mind. From tree houses, the pair maintained a 40-year friendship that spawned a new collaboration…launching documentaries. Their latest creation is making the rounds while receiving excellent reviews. “Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk,” narrated by Bill Murray, debuted earlier this year at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The film will be in theaters around the United States, starting June 7, including the AMC Burbank 16 and other California theaters. (Find a theater at www.loopersmovie.com.) The story gives a full view of how caddying came to be and ties to numerous famous and not-as famous caddies, including many professionals, and professional golfers such as Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Ben Crenshaw and Nick Faldo. The two former neighbors, who have remained best friends while living on opposite coasts, previously created “A Lego Brickumentary,” which was released in 2014. Unlike most documentaries, the film was sold for two times its budget and still has multiple revenue sources. Brown runs the private equity group, GEM, Global Emerging Markets, in New York and Paris is a private equity investor in New York while Packer has enjoyed a solid film career here in Southern California. “Jim calls me six or seven years ago and says “Chris, I have a great idea,’” Brown explained. “He said, ‘I want to make a film about something that is applicable in every country you invest.’ I said, ‘What?’” “Lego,” Packer said. The film was later sold, clearing the lanes for their latest effort. “Jim calls again and uses the same line,” Brown explained with a laugh. “He said, ‘I want to make a film about something that is applicable in every country you invest.’ I said, ‘What?’” “This time he said, ‘Caddies.’ I said, ‘Golf caddies?’ Sounds a bit sleepy, but like Lego, golfers and caddies are applicable all over the world.” Employing the same dogged determination he uses to claim ownership to the tree house, Packer stayed the course and with San Marino connections…secured Jason Baffa as the director and Clark Cunningham as a producer…and the film process began. “He pitched me hard, so we did it again,” Brown said. “We held out for a long time for the narrator and got Bill Murray. Packer said its was worth the wait…He elevates the whole film.” He’s right. One of the first reviews of the film, from Film Threat, says “The Caddie’s Long Walk should have a solid audience among those who care about the sport. But the thing that will get it noticed outside of golf circles is that it is narrated by the most famous member of the Caddie Hall of Fame: Bill Murray.” Famous for his iconic role in “Caddyshack,” Murray has entertained generations of golfers with his antics on the screen and and on the course. He and his five brothers grew up caddying in suburban Chicago, a job that Murray states built a foundation for his comedy and acting career. “We made the film because caddies are an amazing group of people and no one had explored the relationship between golfer and caddie or the history of the profession in any feature documentary,” Packer said. “Given the response, we were spot-on.” The film is in nearly 100 theaters across 29 states throughout June and can be pre-ordered on Apple itunes now for release later this summer. It is screening this weekend at the Greenwich International Film Festival in Greenwich, Connecticut. Among those who will be in attendance? The aforementioned Betty and Jack Brown, who returned to the East Coast a few years ago to be closer to their five children and 18 grandchildren. The Brown name holds local historic relevance. Betty was a two-term member of the San Marino City Council, and was twice mayor. Jim’s mother, Jane Packer, and Betty are still best friends. Jim Packer, Sr., passed away several years ago. “Without their support and their effort to keep our families close, this film would not have happened,” Jim Packer said. But apparently not close enough to solve the great tree house debate.

Inaugural Leslie Mar Memorial Scholarships Awarded at SMHS

“Sweet, caring, very involved in the school community.” “A giver, not a taker, making a difference in all they are involved in.” “A friendly face and a joy to be around, a breath of fresh air and radiates sunshine.” “A lovely young person with a bright smile and compassionate heart.” These superlatives were used to describe the four San Marino High School seniors who last Friday afternoon received the inaugural Leslie Noelle LienJun Mar Memorial scholarships at the school’s senior awards ceremony. Olivia Cameron, Kyana Huang, Baxton Chen and Hannah Huynh were the recipients of the scholarship, which the Mar Family said will be awarded annually to graduating seniors who demonstrate well-rounded excellence in academics, athletics and the arts. Leslie lost her life in a hiking accident last summer and in her memory, the Mar Family established the scholarship fund to preserve her...

Prometheans Marked By Humility

“You never mentioned studying for AP tests or the SAT,” said San Marino High School Counselor and Senior Class Advisor Mollie Beckler during the waning moments of Tuesday morning’s Prometheans breakfast. “You talked about time spent together. I want you to remember that.” Beckler was referring to the annual event that celebrates approximately thirty members of the senior class who are selected for—among other attributes—their character, courage and kindness. As each honoree was called forward, they mentioned their plans for college and were asked to express a special memory they will take with them from their days at SMHS. Those remembrances were as varied as the voices speaking them, but for some reason, “dissecting” jumped to the top of the list. But there were more, including peer mentoring, serving on Link Crew, “trying to eat as much pizza as possible,” hanging out at IHOP after prom and the thrills of a drumline competition in Dayton, Ohio, of all places. One can just imagine the kismet if they were hanging out at an IHOP…in Dayton, Ohio. Former School Board Member Nam Jack, herself the mother of two Prometheans, delivered the keynote address, speaking about the difficulties of being a parent...

Barger Promises to “Partner With City”

Saying her life has now come “full circle,” Los Angeles County Supervisor and San Marino resident Kathryn Barger addressed a full house of more than 120 attendees at Tuesday night’s meeting of the San Marino City Club. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be standing before you as a county supervisor,” said Barger, who grew up less than a mile away from the San Marino Center, where the event took place. “I moved to Adair Street when I was five and graduated from San Marino High School.” She then personally greeted a half dozen or her former neighbors and classmates who were in attendance. But it would not be an accurate portrayal of the meeting to say the audience was completely collegial. Barger immediately sunk her teeth into...

Planning Commission Reviews Ordinances For Livable Area, Fences, Walls

At its May 22 meeting at City Hall, the San Marino Planning Commission was expected to review proposed ordinances related to amending the definition of livable area and the regulations for fences and walls within the city’s zoning code. As it currently stands, the city’s code exempts all patios and balconies as livable area. Furthermore, structures with more than a 50 percent horizontal coverage only count as lot coverage. According to a city report, balcony design and development have evolved from “mere covered structures to expansions or a continuation of the adjacent enclosed livable area.” Furthermore, many new balcony designs feature the same finishes as interior spaces. The amendment would define livable space as “the sum of all the gross area of all floors in all buildings on a site, measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls, including basement.” However, unroofed floor areas (balconies, courts, porches, decks, patios, terraces and pergolas on the first floor), garages, attics with heating or cooling appliances, and...

City to Host Memorial Day Ceremony In Lacy Park

The City of San Marino will host an acknowledgement of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27. The ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m. at the War Memorial in Lacy Park. Brother Dennis Gibbs of the Community of Divine Love at San Gabriel’s Church of Our Saviour will provide the opening and closing prayers for the event and San Marino High School senior Andrew Liu will discuss his recent commission into the United States Air Force Academy. United States Marine Corps 1st Lt. Garret Glazier will also explain his current status and training. Special mention will be made of San Marino native John Albert Karli, a former United States Navy First Class Seaman. Karli was until recently buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii among the other “unknown” servicemen who lost their lives aboard the USS Oklahoma on December 7, 1941. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart in December 1943 and later received the World War II Victory Medal and the American Defense Service Medal. A committee is currently researching the feasibility of adding Karli’s name to San Marino’s War Memorial. The Memorial Day event also includes a tribute to all local war veterans, and an acknowledgement of the 53 San Marino residents who gave their lives defending the nation and its freedoms. Veterans in attendance will be encouraged to provide a brief summary of their military experience. A special mention will be made of San Marino resident and veteran Bob Dini will lead the audience in the singing of patriotic songs and the Chinese Club of San Marino will also contribute to the ceremony. For more information, please call the San Marino Recreation Dept. at 403-2200.

SAN MARINO HIGH SCHOOL – WINTER SPORTS AWARDS

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL VARSITY MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Chloe Wong MOST IMPROVED – Angelina Karapetyan COACH’S AWARD – Elaina Lee JUNIOR VARSITY MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Elissa Beck MOST IMPROVED – Panoz Adli & Christina Bui COACH’S AWARD – Michelle Chen BOYS’ SOCCER VARSITY MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Dhilan Anvekar COACH’S AWARD – Sean Walla & Justice Beck MOST IMPROVED – Ryan Brougham TITAN SPIRIT – Joseph Hindle JUNIOR VARSITY MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Nathan Fajardo MOST IMPROVED – Michael Hu TITAN SPIRIT – James Aguilera COACH’S AWARD – Lucas Levy BEST OVERALL PLAYER – Leo Liren Zhang GIRLS’ SOCCER VARSITY MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Emily Boutin MOST INSPIRATIONAL – Carly Hittner MOST IMPROVED – Chloe Leftwich JUNIOR VARSITY MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Faye An BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER – Vivian Cardenas BEST MIDFIELDER – Katherine Norton MOST IMPROVED – Madison Ly BEST OFFENSIVE PLAYER – Margaret Saldebar WRESTLING VARSITY MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Luka Wick, Tilly Garcia & Allyson Arrington MOST IMPROVED – Kurt Trumbull COACH’S AWARD – Beau Perez JUNIOR VARSITY MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Sean Han MOST IMPROVED – William Graham COACH’S AWARD – Gavin Palenik GIRLS’ WATER POLO VARSITY MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Elizabeth Lee COACH’S AWARD – Isabella Lee BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER – Ashley Mao MOST IMPROVED – Hannah Collazo MOST INSPIRATIONAL – Ashley Mao JUNIOR VARSITY MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Tiffany Pletting COACH’S AWARD – Marlena Ketalaar BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER – Brooklyn Muhammad MOST IMPROVED – Sarah Broderick MOST INSPIRATIONAL – Madeleine McClam BOYS’...

San Marino Robotics Hosts Summer Camp

On Wednesday, June 5, Titanium Robotics kicks off its free summer camp for interested students to get a taste of and learn about the...
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