Monthly Archives: May, 2019

Energetic Wilson “Blessed, Excited”

Dr. Jeff Wilson, who on Tuesday evening was hired as Superintendent of the San Marino Unified School District, displayed enough energy at the same board meeting where his contract was approved that it seemed he could have run the 4.3 miles between his last job and his next. With his wife, daughter and six of his fellow Arcadia administrators in attendance, Wilson was unanimously approved to become the SMUSD’s 14th superintendent since 1918 following a motion that was made by Board Member C. Joseph Chang, seconded by Chris Norgaard and approved by Shelley Ryan, Corey Barberie, President Lisa Link with an affirmative advisory vote by ASB Representative Alyssa Escamilla. “This is a big night for our district,” said Link in introducing Wilson, who until June 30 will continue to serve as the Arcadia Unified School District’s assistant superintendent of educational services. On July 1, he will take over for Interim Superintendent Loren Kleinrock, who agreed to serve in that role when Dr. Alex Cherniss resigned in August 2018 to take a similar post with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. But on Tuesday, it was all about San Marino, and Wilson seems pleased to be relocating to this end of Huntington Drive. “This is such a blessing, such a blessing,” said Wilson. “There is so much support for the schools in this community. I can’t wait to get out with the PTAs and the Rotary Clubs. I am a people person and I loo forward to meeting all the members of my new family.” Wilson said he hopes to “build on the district’s great arts, academics and activities and lead the district to even greater heights.” Before returning to his seat, Wilson shook hands with everyone at the dais, a move he said Wednesday was not planned. “I was just very excited and very happy to be here,” Wilson said. “It was spontaneous. Wilson’s wife, Corrine, teaches fourth grade at Cleminson Elementary School in El Monte. His daughter, Ally, is a registered burse in the burn intensive...

De Novo Hearing for Virginia Rd. Property; Crime Report Shared

Ten-year-old Eric Yang, a fifth-grader at Valentine Elementary School, served as ceremonial “Mayor for the Day” and uses the mayor’s gavel to call the...

Halls of Famer

It would certainly be a stretch to think that even 1% of all Americans are enshrined in any type of hall of fame, but for San Marino’s Andy Barth, the old adage of “lightning striking twice” came gloriously true. Barth, who has spent the better part of his life participating in or supporting the sport of wrestling, was inducted into two different halls of fame in just a nine-day window. On Friday, April 26, he was inducted into the Downstate—New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as an Outstanding American. The event was held at the Melville Marriott on Long Island and Barth joined eight others who were either accomplished wrestlers, coaches or referees. Across the nation on May 4, Barth was inducted into the California Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, also as an Outstanding...

Residents Voice Ideas, Concerns at Town Hall on Metro 710 Funding

It was an evening of strong passion sprinkled with some frustration May 14 at the San Marino Center as residents gathered with city officials to voice their thoughts on city traffic projects that could be possible with the $32 million from Measure R transportation funds allocated for the city from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The funds 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. Previously presented projects considered in San Marino are Huntington Drive intersection work ($12 million), Huntington Drive signal synchronization ($7 million), work in front of school sites on Huntington Drive ($6 million), work along Sierra Madre Boulevard ($4 million) and San Gabriel Boulevard signal synchronization ($3 million). In the city-led meeting, City Council Member Steve Talt, Director of Parks and Public Works Michael Throne and City Manager Dr. Marcella Marlowe asked...

San Marino Defeats Long Beach Poly to Win CIF Division 1 Championship

In 2005, no less an authority than Sports Illustrated declared Long Beach Poly High School “the sports school of the century,” given its success in, well, every single athletic pursuit it attempts. Which makes the above headline somewhat historic, as the Jackrabbits have been successful in the burgeoning sport of badminton. But that didn’t stop San Marino, who mustered all its resources last Saturday to defeat Poly by a final score of 14-7 to claim the CIF Division 1 championship, the first in the Titans’ eight seasons fielding the sport. Not bad for a team that didn’t win its own league, as San Marino finished third behind Arcadia and South Pasadena in the Almont League before embarking on the title run To make it all even more remarkable, San Marino collected most of the victories without the presence of…a coach. That’s correct. Unforeseen schedule conflicts resulted in the regular coach taking a hiatus while assistants Kyle Emerick and Warren Chow stepped into the breach to lead the squad into the playoffs. Even veteran Jon Imamura, who coached the badminton team in its initial seasons, was summoned back into action by Athletic Director David Irie and the rest, as they say, is history. Truly. “I was most impressed that in some really adverse conditions, the team really pulled it together,” said Imamura, the man known throughout the community as simply “Mr. I.” “They really pulled it together, basically without a coach. The leaders of the team really stepped up and took charge of everything, from filling out the lineup to offering constant support and reinforcement. I credit them completely for their success. They are really super kids.” Imamura singled out Megan Lan and A.J. Wong as the key leaders who put the team on their collective shoulders during crunch time. He was most impressed with San Marino’s unlikely playoff victory over Loma Linda. “Loma Linda was shocked,” Imamura said. “It was their first loss of the season and the players didn’t move after the match. They couldn’t believe it.” They do now, and SMHS has its 76th CIF championship. Team members include Emily Thai, Meghan Wong, Megan Lan, Charisse Chow, Joanna Chou, Rachel Li, Ellie Su, Aiden Ye, Kevin Lan, A.J. Wong, Leo Chen, Andy Liu, Matthew Chen, Ben Guo and Joshua Chen.

He Ain’t Done Yet

We didn’t miss it, it just hadn’t happened yet. Last week, we reported that San Marino’s Chuma Azinge had accepted an offer to play NCAA Division 1 basketball at Georgetown. Just a few hours after signing with the Hoyas, Azinge wrote his name in the record book at Choate, a private boarding school in Connecticut, where he spent the past year after graduating from San Marino High School in 2018. Azinge smashed school records at the Founders League finals, soaring 47’11” in the triple jump and sauntering through the 110-meter high hurdles in just 14:10. The old marks were 46’9” and 15:04, respectively. While at San Marino High School, Azinge won Rio Hondo League titles in both events as well as the high jump. Azinge will study at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business when he heads to Washington, DC this fall.

Titanium Robotics Puts A Ribbon On 2018-19

Titanium Robotics finished up a fantastic 2018-19 year with its annual banquet last Saturday evening, where around forty people, consisting of Titanium Robotics team...

Town Hall Meeting Discusses Tips for Wildlife Management

For the monthly town hall series on Monday, May 6 at the Crowell Public Library, the city of San Marino held an educational presentation on managing peafowl, mosquitoes and coyotes within the city. The city provided tips—and tricks—to mitigate their impact while respecting their native presence in the area. “The reality is they’re all here to stay,” said City Manager Dr. Marcella Marlowe. “They’re all in our neighborhoods and to varying degrees, we are the interlopers, not them. To try to mitigate the situation for your comfort requires compromise with their natural cycles, and so there’s certain things we can do and we can’t do, and if we move in the direction of some of those things that we shouldn’t be doing will bring a lot of unwanted attention onto San Marino really for all of us, so it is in our best interest to find ways to make the situation better for the residents without going too far to the extreme.” Aldo Cervantes, director of planning and building, shared that the city has trapped and relocated 45 peafowl to Ventura County in the last year with traps in the northeastern section on Bonita Avenue, Fairfield Place, Gainsborough Drive, Santa Anita Avenue and Sierra Madre Boulevard. He noted that the program has been temporarily suspended due to the breeding season that is currently underway. “It is an inhumane process to trap and relocate peafowl and peahens during the breeding season, so we do stop it on purpose,” Cervantes shared. “We stopped it about two days ago. We’ll be picking up that program at the end of summer.” He mentioned deterrent measures such as sprinklers, hoses, motion sensor activated water sprays, mothballs around planting beds and porches, trimming trees within city parameters, securing any pet food bowls or wild birdseed and avoiding open compost and manure sacks as peafowl enjoy taking dirt baths. For mosquitoes, Kelly Middleton, director of community affairs for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, explained that a new invasive mosquito called Aedes moved into San Marino and the surrounding area within the last few years, noting it as a “big game-changer.” The Aedes mosquitoes are black and white, about a quarter of an inch long, and also smaller than the other primary Culex mosquitoes, which are brown and about a half an inch long. The Aedes transmit Zika virus, Dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya and canine heartworm. The Culex mosquitoes transmit the West Nile Virus, St. Louis encephalitis and Western equine encephalomyelitis. As the entire cycle from when the egg hatches to the adult mosquito is five to seven days in the summer months, she stressed a critical need for residents to monitor their properties and dump containers that may hold untreated water. “So when we talk to you guys and you hear all the time about dumping your water and checking your property every week, that’s why because their life cycle is very quick,” said Middleton. Middleton suggested wearing effective and long-lasting repellents while outside with proven EPA-registered active ingredients including DEET, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus and picaridin. The report noted that experts suggest 25 percent or higher concentration of those ingredients for Aedes mosquitoes. For prevention, tip and toss containers that hold water, wear insect repellent and keep screens on doors and windows and share the tips with family and friends. Mosquito issues should be reported to Vector Control at reportmosquitoes.com. For more information, visit GLACVCD.org. For coyotes, Amanda Fowler, assistant to the city manager, said that they’re increasing becoming more accustomed to living with people and feeding off human food within trash as well as attacking pets when they’re alone or far enough away from humans. “Obviously we know, too, coyotes will unfortunately eat our small pets and that’s been a change as well,” said Fowler. “They’re more confident eating cats and small dogs, and unfortunately they’re able to leap fences as high as 8 feet which is the typical length of a backyard fence. So we have to be proactive in thinking about things we can do to keep them out of our yards.” Fowler noted it’s “extremely rare” for coyotes to attack humans, and it typically only happens when a human is trying to rescue a pet from an imminent coyote attack. She suggested keeping trash in high-quality containers with tight fitting lids, secure the yard with motion detecting lights that make sound when activated or motion sensing water sprays, trimming dense shrubs where coyotes may hide, securing pools with a tall and secure gate, not leaving water dishes out and adding roller bars or wire extenders to the top of a fence to deter coyotes. Attacks on a free-roaming small cat or dog are considered normal coyote behavior and do not indicate a danger for people. Pets should be kept supervised in backyard areas or on leashes short than 6 feet while walking. “To a coyote, as long as they’re 6 feet away, that’s basically an unsupervised animal, so think about that when you’re in your own yard and how far away you are,” said Fowler. “If you have a big yard and your dog is on the other side, to a coyote that’s no different from a dog being unsupervised.” If a coyote is spotted and you are walking with a small child or animal, the city suggested you pick them up and remove yourself from the area. Hazing is also a successful technique to discourage coyote behavior including making coyotes uncomfortable with yelling or water sprays, being aggressive, throwing sticks or rocks at them and making yourself look large, maintaining eye contact and backing away slowly. There is a reporting form on the city’s website on the police department page. If it is an emergency and you feel directly threatened, call 911 immediately. For a coyote that is sick or injured, contact the Pasadena Humane Society’s 24-hour emergency hotline at 626-792-7151.

Teen Is Teein’ Off On Smoking

She promises it’s not for the publicity or to glamorize her college essay, and when you hear Lisa Lu speak about her passionate project, she simply must be believed. Lu, a junior at San Marino High School, is the founder and president of International Youth Tobacco Control (IYTC), a non-profit organization she started...

City Hosts Meeting On 710 May 14

The City of San Marino will be hosting a final meeting on Tuesday, May 14, for community members to provide feedback on which street projects to integrate from the city’s $32 million in Measure R tax funding. The meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the San Marino Center located at 1800 Huntington Dr. The Parks and Public Works Department will then compile the feedback from the meeting and present updated renderings and plans to the City Council later this year on a date that’s yet to be announced for review and approval. The funds are reserved for the city by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) which is seeking traffic solutions between the end...
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