Monthly Archives: August, 2019

SMUSD Welcomes New Educators

PICTURED ABOVE, left to right, are Carver Principal Dr. Michael Lin; SMUSD Chief Technology Officer Dr. Stephen Choi; Donna Cox, a new 4th grade...

Huang, Talt Are Only Council Candidates For November 5 Election

San Marino Mayor Dr. Steven Huang and Council Member Steve Talt are the only candidates who returned papers for the Tuesday, November 5 city council election, according to City Clerk Eva Heter. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they have a clear path to the finish line as the possibility of one or more write-in candidates entering the fray still exists. Huang, Talt, James Abbott and Scott Kwong all pulled papers ahead of the Friday, August 9 deadline, but only the two incumbents filed for candidacy. Under some circumstances, the election could be canceled, but since a continuation of the city’s Safety Tax is still under consideration, such will not be the case. A period for potential write-in candidates to register will open on Monday, September 9 and close on October 22, according to Heter. Write-in candidates must pull and file papers, collect signatures and receive clearance from the registrar of voters, according to Heter. “It’s basically the same process for any candidate,” she said. In order to comply with regulations set forth by the State of California, the new terms of Huang and Talt will be for five years and expire in 2024. The terms of Vice Mayor Gretchen Shepherd Romey, Susan Jakubowski and Ken Ude will expire in 2022 in order to match the State election cycle and increase the number of voters who cast ballots. Talt (1,635 votes) and Huang (1,185) easily outdistanced Kwong and then-incumbents Dennis Kneier and Eugune Sun in November 2015. At that election, just 2,594 voted, though the city at the time had 8,419 registered.

Crowell Library Is Hosting Chinese Floral Arts Display

Photographs of various Chinese floral art arrangements hang at San Marino’s Crowell Public Library. Photos by Mitch Lehman The artistry and meditation that is involved in the Chinese floral arts is now on display in a photography and mixed media exhibition at San Marino’s Crowell Public Library. Involving former San Marino Unified School District Board Member and Chinese Floral Arts Foundation USA Charter President Rosa Zee, the show runs through Sept. 13 with an educational reception set for the last day from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The art of Chinese floral arrangement can...

Dream Come True

He has waited patiently for the moment that will soon be upon us and barring unfortunate circumstances, San Marino High School senior Connor Short next Friday night will take his first snap as starting varsity quarterback when the Titans travel to Charter Oak for the 2019 season opener. Oh he’s started plenty of games in the past, but last week Short was given the news many a youngster (he’s still five months shy of his 18th birthday) dreams of receiving when head Coach Justin Mesa told the lanky, 6’2” right hander that he is “the man.” Mesa told The Tribune that naming a starting quarterback is key to the long-term success of the team as well as those who have battled for the signal-caller’s duties. “Especially in the quarterback position, not naming a starter actually keeps everyone from moving forward,” Mesa said. “It allows the starter to develop and also lets the others know what they need to work on. I think we will all benefit.” Short’s quarterbacking career dates back to his experience in the San Marino Community Athletics Association (SMCAA) and continued his freshman year, when he was named offensive player of the year as the Titans finished the campaign with a 7-3 mark. He had similar success—another 7-3 record—as a sophomore for the Titans’ junior varsity squad, dressed for every varsity contest and even experienced substantial playing time in relief of Blake Cabot, scoring two touchdowns in mop-up duty. “It was real nice,” Short recalled. “Coach Hobbie would let me run it around a little bit.” Short was backing up then-senior Kade Wentz last fall when Wentz suffered a shoulder injury on the questionable playing surface at Bell Gardens. Short started the next five games for the Titans, compiling a 4-0-1 record before handing the ball back to Wentz. Even in limited duty, Short passed for 601 yards and six touchdowns while rushing for another 422 yards—the third-highest total on the team—and five more scores. But one of the lingering moments provided by Short last season had more to do with intangibles than statistics. When the Titans traveled to Monrovia and defeated the Wildcats for the Rio Hondo League championship with Wentz back at the quarterback spot, Short was the first to congratulate his erstwhile rival, the two sharing an enthusiastic high five. “Kade is a really great guy,” Short said at the time. “It’s good to be competitive and it’s good to have that competitive nature when we are looking at a certain situation or a certain play, but that’s the end of it.” In retrospect, Short said he wasn’t upset when Hobbie inserted Wentz into the starting lineup even though Short had not suffered a loss as his replacement. “I was happy that we did well, but it was still Kade’s spot and I just wanted him to get better,” Short remembers. He said that now-retired head Coach Mike Hobbie “didn’t baby me at all.” “ just said ‘Short, get in there,’” Connor recalled. “I was asked to run the same plays as Kade. There was no change in the game plan.” Things are a little different this season as it’s Short’s position to lose, in Mesa’s parlance. “I have wanted to be the senior varsity starting quarterback since I was playing in SMCAA,” he said. “I am very happy about this.” So, apparently, is Mesa. “Connor is really eager,” the rookie head coach said. “He has bought in and done everything we have asked of him. Connor is one...

Rotarians Get A Sneak Peek of Chinese Garden Expansion

On Thursday, August 1, around 100 San Marino Rotarians and guests were treated to a sneak peek tour of the final expansion phase currently...

“Mission Accomplished” for City at “National Night Out”

What may have been the largest crowd in the history of San Marino’s participation in the National Night Out program brought what some estimates believe to be approximately 500 community members to City Hall on Tuesday evening. “I think it went very, very well,” San Marino Police Chief John Incontro said on Wednesday morning. “It was a great turnout and there...

Dress Rehearsal

The Titan Stadium scoreboard will be dark on Saturday when San Marino High School’s football team plays itself in the annual Blue & White Game, but all sorts of data will be lighting up the mind of new head football Coach Justin Mesa. Mesa, 36, was selected for the post in April and the unenviable task of replacing Mike Hobbie, who in his eight years compiled the highest win percentage in the history of the program. Saturday’s scrimmage will be the public’s first look at the Titans under Mesa and the new coach is rarin’ and ready to go. “This will be an opportunity to learn which kids are going to fight and which kids are going to be reluctant,” Mesa said by phone early Wednesday morning. “We look at this as information-gathering, a way we can learn what the team is all about.” The opening of summer camp brought a few new players into the fold, upping the number of participants to about 55 from all four grades. For the first time since the inception of the school, San Marino will field just varsity and frosh-soph teams, which has become common to the region. Last season, the Titans began the season with teams at the freshman, junior varsity and varsity levels, but merged the freshman and junior varsity teams midway through the campaign. Mesa will get everyone some playing time against similar and familiar opposition at Saturday’s Blue & White, which begins at 10:30 a.m. “We are trying to find a nice balance,” said Mesa. “The coaches have little background with this team so every day is a big day to understand what we are going to be like as a football team. We just want the guys to go out there and play their best.” Mesa has 18 years of coaching and administrative experience and will also teach physical education at San Marino High School. He recently wrapped up a two-year commitment as director of recruiting at the University of Wyoming, where he helped the Cowboys gather its highest-ranked recruiting class since 2011. Before his assignment in Wyoming, Mesa was a member of the staff at Dixie State University. where he coached wide receivers and coordinated special teams for the Trailblazers in 2016. In 2017, he was promoted to passing game coordinator and also recruited Southern and Central California, as well as the state of Utah. Mesa previously served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Loyola High School in Los Angeles for three seasons from 2013-15. He also spent six what he called “very formative” seasons in a variety of administrative and coaching roles at USC from 2007-12, including stints as a recruiting and operations assistant, tight end and wide receivers coach, graduate assistant coach and assistant quarterback coach, where he served under current Trojan head Coach Clay Helton. But now, it’s all about the defending Rio Hondo League champion Titans, and trying to maintain the momentum created by Hobbie, whose status can be described as “legendary.” “I like the way the kids are grasping onto what we are doing,” Mesa said. “They have a high football IQ and understand our goals.” The Titans will host a scrimmage on Thursday, August 15 at 4:00 p.m. that will also include San Gabriel High School and Pasadena Poly. San Marino opens the 2019 season on Friday, August 23 at Charter Oak beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Titans first home game is slated for Friday, September 6 when El Monte comes calling at 7:00 p.m.

San Marino’s Brassards Are Named Top Parents

San Marino’s Annie and Paul Brassard are among a group of recipients who have been named National Parents of the Year, an award for which they will be acknowledged in a ceremony this Sunday at Pasadena City Hall from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon. Annie Brassard, a full-time home builder and community volunteer, and Paul, a business executive, have three children and established East Meets West Parent Education...

To the Head of the Class

The outdated television production studio located on the west side of San Marino High School’s campus is a long way from the world-famous Cannes Film Festival that is held annually in the south of France—10,000 miles, to be semi-exact–but if your name is Steve Gute, you can see it from there. It just might have taken a little while for him to pick it out from amongst all the clutter. The film business has been a life-long labor of love for the San Marino native and 2001 graduate of San Marino High School, but after almost two decades of diligence, the finish line is right around the corner, if indeed he hasn’t already sprinted across. Most recently, Gute (pronounced “GU-tee”) was a camera operator, production coordinator and 2nd unit director for “Ice On Fire,” a critically acclaimed documentary that...

Summer In the Real Magic Kingdom

The interior of the two-story building seems to stretch as far as the proverbial eye can see and much more resembles a bustling Casablanca marketplace than the headquarters of one of the world’s largest, most influential corporations. All manner of peoples stride in unison, many appearing to be headed for an important meeting (because they are) while others seem to be out for a Saturday stroll (because they are). This being Facebook’s campus in Menlo Park, some are doing both, it soon seems apparent, as the line between recreation and commerce is not merely blurred, it’s are indistinguishable. Welcome to the work environment of the 21st century, where management seems to serve at the pleasure of the rank-and-file. A hair salon. A string of “quiet rooms.” A transportation and bike rental station. A dry cleaner. The occasional work station. And food. If there is one defining aspect of Facebook, it’s the food. Full-service restaurants, countless ice cream and frozen yogurt stands, endless rows of snacks and beverages and what our hostess refers to as “micro-kitchens.” Every manner of cultural food and drink is available free of charge. Yes, free of charge, for employee and guest alike. There isn’t even a register where your selection is memorialized. It’s “grab-and-go” in its purest form. I felt like a thief when i was encouraged to help myself to an energy bar. Gliding happily and effortlessly through this marketplace of activity is Ariana Harvey, a 2018 graduate of San Marino High School who has the distinct...
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