Yearly Archives: 2019

A Cut Above

For the past three weeks, a team of volunteers has descended each morning (or at least those not accompanied by a torrential downpour) upon the Rose Garden at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens to partake in the very labor-intensive task of pruning the 4,000 or so roses that cover the three-acre expanse. They lovingly refer to themselves as the “Grateful Deadheaders” and come armed with coolers, sun protection, snacks and an arsenal of garden tools that could fell a sycamore or trim a fingernail. Organizing the amateur army is Tom Carruth, the E. L. and Ruth B. Shannon Curator of the Rose Collection, who patiently answers questions and provides directions to the early risers, who will spend more than a month on the annual trim as they remove all old growth, table-topping the rows of the prized plants. The Rose Garden was originally created in 1908 for the private enjoyment of Henry and Arabella Huntington. Roses were a particular favorite flower of...

City to Consider Tax-Funded Traffic Project Options

The San Marino Public Safety Commission was well-attended by approximately 20 residents on Monday, Jan. 21., a vast majority of whom were in attendance to hear updates and share concerns on the proposed San Marino projects to be funded by the Measure R funding, a tax voted in by Los Angeles County voters that was dedicated exclusively to vehicle-oriented projects. Michael Throne, San Marino Parks and Public Works director and city engineer, presented a detailed proposal for five different projects that are meant to relieve congestion and increase capacity and efficiency along major thoroughfares in San Marino. The city has been allocated $32 million in Measure R funds for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, with no local match requirement, as part of a 4-year expenditure plan. Throne noted that the funds are twice the amount that the city currently has saved in its capital improvement fund and would increase capital programming by 66 percent. Throne called the funding for capacity improvements “very, very rare,” as state and federal governments don’t often wish to increase capacity, pushing rather for public transportation and bicycles. “We can take their monies and design and build projects, and we’re done,” said Throne. “Again, this is very unusual for any sort of funding.” In the initial environmental impact report for the SR-710 North...

Grapplers Reclaim Rio Hondo League Title With Pinfest

San Marino High School’s wrestlers weren’t at all pleased a year ago when La Cañada broke the Titans’ five-year streak of Rio Hondo League championships, so on Tuesday evening, the hosts exacted revenge from…South Pasadena. San Marino didn’t lose a competitive match against the Tigers on Senior Night, dispatching the visitors by a score of 66-12 while reclaiming the league title with a perfect 4-0 mark. Santino Sanchez (106 lbs.), Sean Han (113 lbs.), Koa Ruiz (122 lbs.) and Raul Jimenez (128 lbs.) and Josh Trumbull (138 lbs.) gave the Titans a 24-0 lead simply by walking onto the mat and having their hand raised in victory as the Tigers were unable to field opponents at those weight classes. Devyn Che got things off to a rousing start as far as action is concerned with a second-period pin of South Pasadena’s Chris Kim and San Marino led 36-0. Senior Beau Perez (152 lbs.) then decked Devin Perries in the first period to make the score 42-0. Two more Trumbull brothers—Kurt at 160 lbs. and Caleb at 170 lbs.—pinned Jonathan Oyaga and Andrew Wilber and the Titans led 54-0. South Pasadena’s Matthias Sanchez earned a win by forfeit to make the score 54-6, but Cole Giles retaliated at 195 lbs. to get the six points back. San Marino’s Ryan Arrington pinned Joe Hutchinson at 220 lbs. for a 66-6 lead until South Pasadena’s Sean Griffin was unopposed at 285 lbs. to make the final 66-12. Some of the most exciting action of the afternoon took place in the junior varsity match. San Marino’s tilly Garcia outpointed Roxanne Lynch 10-7 in the 113 lb. opener. The Tigers’ Dominic Hernandez eventually pinned San Marino’s Ryan Zhang in a scintillating match at 120 lbs. that saw Zhang earn several dynamic takedowns. San Marino’s Craig McLoren-Swan fought Abdel El Khatib for three periods before the Tiger eventually claimed the match in a pinfall. William Graham battled for three periods and earned a win over Devin Deharo in the 138 lb. weight class when Deharo was disqualified for repeated rules violations. Brendan Long showed signs of future stardom at 145 lbs., but was eventually pinned by South Pasadena’s Dennis Ono and the Tigers’ Nathan Coleman-Ares pinned San Marino’s game, active Gavin Pullenik at 160 lbs. to end the match. The Titans honored three seniors—Charlie Daves, Beau Perez and Kurt Trumbull---who were making their final appearances at San Marino High School. Daves was unable to compete after breaking his ankle a week ago. The Titans head to the Rio Hondo League finals on Wednesday, January 30 at Monrovia High School. Action gets underway at 1:00 p.m. and the Titans have at least five wrestlers who will who will be favored to win their respective weight classes. Sophomore Luka Wick, who finished in second place at the prestigious Battle of the Belt Tournament in Temecula, did not compete on Tuesday but should win the 152 lb. weight class next week.

Hobbie to Retire At End of School Year

Mike Hobbie, who resurrected San Marino High School’s football program and then carried it to unprecedented heights, will retire at the end of the 2018-19 school year. In the closing moments of San Marino High School’s varsity football banquet in early December, 2018, Hobbie told the audience he wanted to “address the elephant in the room,” his rumored retirement, and said he would let the school know shortly after the new year so administrators could begin the search for his successor. Hobbie informed The Tribune of his intentions shortly after New Year’s, but kept the news private until he told SMHS administrators and returning football players, which he did on Wednesday morning. “The game of football and the profession of coaching have afforded me countless opportunities and relationships for which I will be eternally grateful,” Hobbie said in a statement to The Tribune. A “turnaround” specialist known for his uncanny ability to drastically reverse the fortunes of struggling programs, Hobbie has coached at several schools from Florida to California, but admitted to a soft spot of sorts for San Marino, which, barring a change of heart, will be his last. “I will be forever grateful to the San Marino community,” Hobbie said. “I never could have dreamed how much love and support you showed my family and me. You have helped us beyond words during a most difficult time in our lives. San Marino will always hold a special place in our hearts. Thanks for making us feel so loved and treating us like members of your family. San Marino is truly a special place.” Hobbie’s wife, Suzanne, a beloved science teacher at San Marino High School, will also retire. Among his many accomplishments, Hobbie led the 2015 Titans to a 15-1 record, Rio Hondo League and CIF titles and a spot in the State Championship game. Hobbie coached eight seasons, winning two Rio Hondo League championships while compiling a remarkable 33-7 record against league foes. The Titans wewre 77-25-1 overall under his watch. Hobbie is also the varsity baseball coach at San Marino High School. Immediately, expressions of love and appreciation for Hobbie began pouring into The Tribune from players spanning Hobbie’s career. “From the very beginning Coach Hobbie was a tough but fair leader,” said Larsen Cobb, who played under Hobbie ffrom 2011-2014. “Throughout my time at The Citadel, in the Army, and now as a police officer, the values Coach’s Hobbie preached day in and day out continue to be relevant. I am extremely thankful that he was so hard on me as a high school athlete. I firmly believe I would not be the man I am today without his guidance. Chip Crowley followed a similar path, graduating from SMHS in 2015 and playing four years at the United States Coast Guard Academy. Crowley appreciated the level of discipline Hobbie brought to the program. “Coach Hobbie’s complex offensive schemes thoroughly prepared me to play college football,” said Crowley, whose younger brother, Patrick, was a member of the 2015 squad and also a teammate at the USCGA. “As a thre- year starting wide receiver at the United States Coast Guard Academy, I am very thankful that I got to play for such a brilliant coach before reaching the college level. Aside from his genius as a football coach, Coach Hobbie reinforced the value of hard work and what commitment truly means. I have found the lessons I learned under Coach Hobbie invaluable throughout my training at the academy. As I graduate in May and become a commissioned officer in the Coast Guard, I thank Coach Hobbie for teaching me what grit truly is and that the best things in life are earned with hard work and perseverance.” Chaz Davis, a 2016 graduate of San Marino High School, has such strong feelings about his former coach that he thinks “Titan Stadium” should be re-named “Hobbie Field” in his honor. “Coach Hobbie is truly one of the people that has had the greatest impact on my life,” said Davis. “He is a true leader who exemplifies the characteristics of integrity, hard work and passion. A passion to teach, mentor and coach, to make a lifelong impact on young men’s lives. Coach Hobbie gives his all in everything that he does. No doubt he loves to win, but he loves impacting lives the most. He has built a dynasty at San Marino that I don’t believe will be repeated.”

Robotics Team Ends Build Week 2 Strong

This past week marked the second week of the 2019 First Robotics Competition (FRC) Build Season, which is usually used to complete prototypes in preparation for a weekend mentor review where the robot design is finalized. The beginning of the week continued the previous week’s projects, resulting in robust wooden designs that served as proofs of concept. We worked on...

Hobbie to Retire At End of School Year

Mike Hobbie, who resurrected San Marino High School's football program and then carried it to unprecedented heights, will retire at the end of the...

LA Chamber Orchestra’s “In Focus” Comes to The Huntington Feb. 15

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s (LACO) virtuosic musicians will serve as musical tour guides for In Focus, the Orchestra’s compelling chamber music series curated by Concertmaster Margaret Batjer,...

City-wide Historic Preservation Survey Is Now Underway

At its Wednesday, Jan. 9 meeting in City Hall, the San Marino City Council heard a progress report for the city-wide historic survey that’s currently underway. Mayor Dr. Steven Huang noted that the survey aids the city so that “we can preserve our neighborhoods.” The survey was taken on at City Council direction on the completion of the historic preservation ordinance and has an approved budget of approximately $165,000, according to San Marino Planning and Building Director Aldo Cervantes. “This is essentially step 2 or phase 2 of the historic preservation process,” said Cervantes. The firm taking on the project of documenting all potentially historical resources is Architectural Resources Group (ARG), a company based out of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland, with 38 years of experience assisting both small and large municipalities to administer historic preservation programs. Recent projects of theirs include Union Station and a 10-year survey of Los Angeles, of which they were one of several consultants. The San Marino historic survey is meant to provide information on potential historical resources to the city and residents. Historical resources include landscape features, sites, structures and objects among other aspects. The survey will not formally designate any properties or districts outright. “It’s not going to affect what you can do with your house,” ARG associate, architectural historian and preservation planner Mary Ringhoff told the council, in response to resident concerns. According to Ringhoff, the survey’s information will be used to help inform planning decisions and provides a baseline of information for city planners. It will also help establish priorities for preservation, restoration and rehabilitation efforts. ARG is working alongside the San Marino Historical Society in the survey’s endeavor. “It’s a way to get the public interested in some of these buildings, many of which people might not even realize were historic, partly because San Marino is filled with all these beautiful old buildings and people might take them for granted a little bit,” said Ringhoff. “So it’s one way to help realize the context in which these buildings were built and why they’re special.” The work of the survey will be in two phases. The first phase, initiated in November 2018 and set to wrap up in June 2019, involves background research and a reconnaissance survey in order to craft a historic context statement, which will be reviewed by the city. The statement will be a planning document that will provide a framework to identify potential historical resources. A list will also be created that includes resources previously identified by the San Marino Historical Society, plus additional resources discovered through the survey. The second phase, which will start at a date to be decided, involves an “intensive survey” to document all the resources within the list curated from the first phase. In conclusion, ARG will provide a final survey report, an overview of the methodology used, a revised historical context statement, maps of all properties identified and documentation forms for all resources. A final list for all potential historical resources will be turned over to the city, which will be available to residents. Both phases will involve opportunities for public feedback, as public participation is a key part of historical resource surveys, according to Ringhoff. During the course of both phases, findings will also be presented to the Planning Commission and City Council in public hearings. There will be at least one public outreach workshop within the next few months. “That’s so everyone in the community can find out more about the project, share any information that may have about their own homes, or about any research they may have done, or just anything they know from growing up in the city,” said Ringhoff. “We can also address any questions or concerns they may have in these meetings.”

Dishing Out A Different Kind of Assist

San Marino High School’s varsity basketball team assembled for a special event last weekend, but one would be challenged to find a net, rim...

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
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