First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The San Marino High School girls’ varsity tennis team used an 8-1 advantage in doubles to overwhelm visiting Campbell Hall of Studio City by a final score 12-6 in a non-league matchup between the two tennis powers on Monday afternoon.
Valerie Kuo and Camdyn Wu were their consistent selves, winning all three of their sets to get the ball rolling. Katie Lui and Isabelle Kang did likewise and Many Rivera and Selene Yung went 2-1 to provide a solid lead for the Lady Titans, whose record improved to 2-0 with the victory.
All that was left up to the singles players was to garner the two wins needed for victory and the Lady Titans collected twice that many. Elaine Wu, Giselle Gandakusuma and Mia Lin went a combined 4-5 to cap the win.
San Marino opens Rio Hondo League play at Monrovia on Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 3:30 p.m.
The Lady Titans don’t return home until Thursday, Oct. 7, when South Pasadena comes calling at 3:30 p.m.

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

After a topsy-turvy past year, it was back to business as usual Saturday afternoon for the San Marino High School girls’ and boys’ varsity cross-country teams.
After an organized training effort leading up to what they had hoped would be the 2020 campaign, which is typically included in the fall sports season, the harriers had the proverbial rug pulled out from under their collective feet shortly before the season was scheduled to begin last August because of the pandemic. Due to its inherent nature of social distancing, cross-country was among the first sports that was brought back when the CIF restarted high school athletics in March of this year.

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The Union Rescue Mission is going “over the edge” once again this year in the ongoing effort to fight homelessness with an urban rappelling event that will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1-2.
Donors are encouraged to take a deep breath, step up to the edge and rappel 24 stories down the roof of the Hilton Los Angeles in Universal City as part of Union Rescue Mission’s “Take the Leap to Fight Homelessness” fundraising event.
To participate, each participant must raise $1,000 or more by 6 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 1. The goal is a $1 million total and, thanks to a generous donor, every dollar given to Union Rescue Mission for Over the Edge (up to $500,000) will be matched 100%.

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

San Marino resident David Lozano was in good spirits on Tuesday morning as he made the short drive to Valentine Elementary School.
His purpose on this day was different than most as Lozano, his wife Dawn and eldest son Christopher eagerly paid a visit to the local campus to cast their votes in Tuesday’s 2021 California gubernatorial recall election. But what further crested Lozano’s enthusiasm was the fact that his own name appeared on the ballot. A six-year resident of San Marino, Lozano was among the 46 people who made the list of official candidates that California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber initially released in July.

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

He was born and raised here and, last Thursday, Wes Reutimann returned to his hometown where he was the keynote speaker at the Rotary Club of San Marino’s weekly luncheon.
Reutimann attended San Marino schools beginning in kindergarten at Valentine Elementary School until his 1998 graduation from SMHS. He received his bachelor’s degree from Williams College with a double major in political science and German studies before heading to the University of Basel, Switzerland, where he received a master’s degree in advanced European studies.
All roads have since returned home for Reutimann, who has worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Day One before he co-founded ActiveSGV in 2010.

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

A proposal to create a Starbucks superstore at 2424 Huntington Drive is apparently dead after the local city council refused to make concessions that would allow for a drive-thru lane, which is currently against codes in San Marino.
According to City Manager Marcela Marlow, Starbucks has walked away from the project following last Wednesday’s council meeting, when the panel failed to make a motion for a draft ordinance that would allow for an exception to the prohibition of drive-thrus.
In introducing the agenda item, Aldo Cervantes, the city’s director of planning and building, told the council that it needed to author a code amendment that was narrow enough to allow for the Starbucks drive-thru exemption while refusing all other iterations. Cervantes said the council could allow for the amendment to sunset immediately after its implementation.

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The Chinese Club of San Marino invited the community last week to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a series of airline hijackings committed by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaida against targets in the United States.
In 1996, the Chinese Club of San Marino had instituted a day on which it acknowledged the city’s police officers and firefighters, choosing Sept. 11 as a reminder of the emergency telephone number 911. On Sept. 11, 2001, several members of the Chinese Club of San Marino were preparing for that year’s salute to local first responders when word of the attacks circulated.

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

Following two weeks of playing the hammer, San Marino High School’s varsity football team got a little taste last Friday of what it feels like to be the nail.
The lesson came at the hearty hands of Fillmore High School, who paid a visit to the 91108 and outplayed the Titans in just about every facet of the game en route to a 35-7 nonleague victory that, quite frankly, wasn’t as close as the final score might seem to indicate.
It took the hosts until the final minute of the contest to get on the scoreboard when senior quarterback Niko Mavridis connected with wide receiver Andrew Hornberger to erase the Titans’ goose egg. Toby Pedroza booted the extra point to conclude the game’s scoring.

First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

With the start of school, off-season work sessions of the San Marino High School Titanium Robotics team are now in full swing. Members and captains are meeting at the robotics room and have been training in their respective fields, ranging from electrical and mechanical engineering, programming, CAD (computer aided design), and business.
Additionally, new members have been “safety trained” by the safety captain, Gavin Morris, and accommodated themselves with the ins-and-outs of the robotics room. Furthermore, dedicated members have been hard at work on assembling evacuation signs for staff on campus, in which they completed for each class after a week of work sessions.

First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

Valentine Elementary School 3rd and 4th graders recently attended the annual Bike Safety Rodeo, where students spent a portion of the school day brushing up on their bike safety knowledge and skills. Students also practiced riding and signaling with Valentine’s physical education teacher Wes Gonzales and listened to an informative safety talk provided by San Marino police officers.
Brent Bilvado, a parent, organized the event and Principal Alana Faure and PTA President Erin Clougherty were present to cheer for the students.

First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The San Marino High School girls’ varsity tennis team had four months to enjoy its Rio Hondo League championship during last school year’s pandemic-adjusted season, and now it’s time to get back to work.
COVID obliterated the 2020-21 school year, with the sports calendar being one of the facets most chiefly affected. The girls’ tennis season was moved from its traditional slot in the fall of 2020 to the spring of 2021 and summarily halved in its duration. But after seeing so many activities shelved by the pandemic, participants were pleased to see play return in any fashion.

The annual Stars for Tomorrow benefit, which will aid the after-school and mentoring programs offered by the nonprofit organization Stars, will be held on Friday evening, Sept. 17, at an Altadena estate.
The benefit will be a “hybrid” event; guests can attend in person or watch the ceremony online. The event will begin with a social hour reception and silent auction at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner from Celebration Entertainment Catering and wine from Asuncion Ridge Winery, as well as an auction.

First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

Sports photographer Andrew Bernstein, a local resident who was honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, will be the featured speaker at the San Marino City Club meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 21.
With more than 40 years of experience in his craft, Bernstein has photographed and collaborated with many icons of the sports world. He will share his behind-the-scenes stories as well as the “Mamba mentality” it takes to succeed in the competitive world of sports photography.
He will also discuss the process of building his content platform and weekly podcast, “Legends of Sport”.
Bernstein is the director of photography for Staples Center and Microsoft Theater. Andrew D. Bernstein Associates Photography Inc. has been responsible for photography of all events at the L.A. Live complex since its inception in 1999. He is the key photographic contributor to NBA Entertainment’s global media platforms, which include NBA.com, all league publications and NBA licensed products.

First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

Fellowship Hall at San Marino Community Church seemed an appropriate location for Ray Torres to address the local Rotary Club at its weekly luncheon meeting.
Torres infused his Sept. 2 presentation with the fire and brimstone typically reserved for enthusiastic ministers, or football coaches.
Torres is among the latter, and last week it was understandably difficult for the rookie head coach to contain his ardor, considering that a few days earlier San Marino High School had won its season opener.
“We go as hard as we can go,” said Torres, seemingly describing not only his team’s spirit but his speaking style. He was replying to a question from the audience during a presentation facilitated by Rotary President-elect Rob Feidler. “Conditioning is huge, in terms of football. We have just under 50 players on our team and it’s important that they stay in shape. We go as hard as we can when we can.”

First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The San Marino school board has scheduled another special meeting for Friday, Sept. 17, to discuss protocols and governance, according to its president, Shelley Ryan. That purpose, however, may not be as innocuous as it sounds.
Angelena Pride, who, represents the California School Boards Association, will facilitate the meeting, which is slated to begin at 8 a.m. at the San Marino Unified School District office
“Each of the last three meetings have contained incidents that showed a lack of civility among either members of the school board or members of the community,” said Ryan. “This is a policy that we have all agreed to follow and right now it is not happening.”

First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

As was his routine on that day each year, Se-Yao Hsu was at a local restaurant as Sept. 11, 2001, dawned in San Marino. In 1996, the Chinese Club of San Marino had instituted a day on which it acknowledged the city’s police officers and firefighters, choosing Sept. 11 as a reminder of the emergency telephone number 911.
Little did Hsu, like many, know at the time that he would never again view those three seemingly innocent digits in the same light.
The 1999 president of the Chinese Club, Hsu in 2001 was the principal of the organization’s Chinese School.
“As usual, I went to pick up the breakfast for the police officers and firefighters at around 7 a.m.,” Hsu recalled last week. “While I was waiting for the food, I saw on a television that the twin towers [of New York City’s World Trade Center] had been attacked by planes. At first, I thought it might be a television program or movie. Later, I realized that it was a real thing.”
All too real, as it would turn out.

First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

Senior quarterback Niko Mavridis threw seven touchdown passes to six different receivers to lead the San Marino High School varsity football team to a convincing 48-6 victory over El Monte last Friday. The unbeaten Titans improved their record to 2-0 in the young season.
With the effort, Mavridis equaled the school’s all-time record for touchdown passes in a single game that was set by Carson Glazier in a CIF playoff win over Claremont High School on Nov. 14, 2014, when Glazier was a junior.
But Friday contained enough significant performances of its own. The Titans opened the scoring with 6:06 remaining in the first quarter when Mavridis threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to with Andrew Hornberger. Freshman Tobias Pedroza booted his first of six successful conversions to give San Marino a 7-0 lead.

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

Pasadena Symphony announces its 94th season with a seven-concert schedule that will introduce seven conductors who will serve as “artistic partners” from Oct. 16 through April 30, 2022.
“The annual Composers Showcase for the 2021-22 season will feature works by both emerging and established contemporary composers at each concert, including one world premiere by Brett Banducci,” a spokesperson said.
Music Director David Lockington will be on a leave of absence for the season.
All concerts take place at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium with both matinee and evening performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The season also includes the annually sold out Holiday Candlelight Concert on Saturday, Dec. 18 with the 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. performances at All Saints Church.

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

Almost one in five teenagers has experienced thoughts of suicide, according to a recent youth survey noted by the Centers for Disease Control. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents following unintentional and accidental injuries.
International expert Dr. Jonathan B. Singer will help parents, students and educators to better understand and learn how to prevent these “youth tragedies” when he speaks during a virtual speaker series event hosted by the San Marino Unified School District’s Partnership for Awareness on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

Enrollment in the San Marino Unified School District has experienced further decline, according to preliminary figures sent to the Tribune by Linda de la Torre, the SMUSD’s acting superintendent.
The overall number of students for the 2021-22 school year has dropped to 2,697, more than 400 fewer than attended schools five years ago, when the count was 3,101 — a 13% decrease. San Marino High School’s enrollment has dropped to 866 students, compared with 1,110 during the 2016-17 academic year.

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

Even though San Marino High School varsity boys’ water polo coach Robert Zirovich is marking 20 years in the craft, he freely admits he hasn’t the slightest clue what to expect from the Titans as they enter the 2021 season. Pandemics will do that.
This is Zirovich’s eighth year with the Titans but he has the wide-eyed anticipation of a newborn child after what has been, for all intents and purposes, a two-year gap in the sport.
The Titans’ 2019 season was held in its normal September-to-November time slot, but COVID erased the entire 2020 campaign. The CIF offered an abbreviated schedule this past spring, but few schools were able to find enough players to field teams. The Titans found 10 players willing to suit up and played three games during a 10-day season in mid-March. San Marino lost all three, but Zirovich was thrilled even to get that truncated slate played. In fact, he was so pleased that he doesn’t remember who, if anyone, won the Rio Hondo League or even if a championship was awarded.
“I feel a little ignorant not being able to answer that question,” Zirovich said. “I don’t even know if any other teams in the Rio Hondo League played.”

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The Chinese School of San Marino hosted an unveiling of the Taiwan Center for Mandarin Learning on Tuesday morning at the school.
The ceremony was held to acknowledge the cooperation between the school and the Overseas Community Affairs Council from the Republic of China (Taiwan) in establishing the center to promote traditional Mandarin learning with Taiwanese characteristics. The Chinese School teaches Mandarin and offers other classes that are conducted in that language.

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The city of San Marino has been approached by the Starbucks Corp. about the possibility of renovating the building at 2424 Huntington Drive that until 10 years ago housed the San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe, which relocated.
“We have gone through many renditions of the project and have settled on renovating and preserving the existing building,” said Aldo Cervantes, the city’s director of planning and building, on Monday morning during a virtual presentation to the San Marino Economic Development Committee.
Cervantes said Starbucks has shown an interest in preserving “a one-of-a-kind building” and that the store would be what Starbucks considers a “Pinnacle” property, employing solar power, reusing storm water and featuring other components of sustainability.
“These are very high-end and grandiose,” said Cervantes.
One desired feature that could be a non-starter is Starbucks’ desire to have a drive-thru lane, which is currently against codes in San Marino.

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

It’s a subject that has reverberated throughout the nation, and it made for a detailed presentation during a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of San Marino.
It has several names — Operation Varsity Blues, the college admissions cheating scandal — but many people might be just as familiar with the name Rick Singer and his ploy to gain college admissions for applicants through illegal methods.
Nicole LaPorte, a Los Angeles-based writer whose book “Guilty Admissions” chronicles the scandal, told Rotarians how Singer preyed on the desperation of some of the country’s wealthiest families. She depicted such people as living in a world defined by fierce competition and facing constant pressure to get their children into the “right” schools — starting with preschool — and nonstop fundraising and donation demands in the form of multimillion-dollar galas and private parties. She spoke of “deeply insecure” parents who would do anything to get their kids into name-brand colleges to maintain their A-list status.

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

Though it took place more than 7,000 miles away, last week’s bomb attack outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, struck all too close to home.
Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Grant Nikoui, one of the 13 U.S. service members who were killed in the Aug. 26 attack, had strong ties to San Marino and frequently spent time with his family here.
Yvette Nikoui-Smith, Kareem’s aunt, said she and her family are “devastated” by the tragedy.
“We lost a part of our world,” said Nikoui-Smith. “There are no words to describe how we are feeling besides heartbreak and sadness. But we are also so proud of Kareem. He was doing something incredible. He was helping adults and children during a difficult time.
“He always put others before himself and he was such a selfless human being. All he wanted to do was be a Marine and help others in need.”

Photos by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE – The Lady Titans are quite experienced with 10 seniors on the varsity roster that comprises 15 players.

Girls’ volleyball may not have suffered the worst of all fates when the pandemic sidelined high school sports, but it was certainly among those in the discussion.
Due to the fact the sport is played indoors and early in the school year, volleyball was subject to increased regulations that eventually forced athletic directors to shelve the sport altogether. Several schools hastily formed a makeshift outdoor volleyball league in March, far from its normal August-to-November time slot.

Photos by Mitch Lehman – Though sidelined last year by the pandemic, the event returned with a fury and displayed the most cars in its history.

After a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Marino Motor Classic came roaring back last weekend, luring what appeared to be thousands of visitors to the automobile exhibition at Lacy Park.
The 10th edition of the fast-growing event featuring collector cars in mint condition was buoyed by excellent weather and the fact that a year’s absence may have, indeed, made the heart grow fonder.

The mural, which measures approximately 8 feet by 8 feet, acknowledges the school’s dedication to academics, arts, activities and athletics.

With the campus cleared out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, San Marino High School Principal Jason Kurtenbach and art teacher Michelle Pauline thought they would take advantage of the extra room brought on by the lack of students. So at the end of 2020, they collaborated on an ambitious project.
“Jason said that he wanted a mural painted in his office,” said Pauline, who also heads up the school’s National Art Honor Society, or NAHS. She is also the chair of VAPA — the visual and performing arts.

The San Marino Unified School District Board of Education is expected to discuss its open superintendent spot at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 7, according to board President Shelley Ryan.
Jeff Wilson resigned from the superintendent’s post in April but remained in that position until June 30, when he took over at the Claremont Unified School District. Soon afterward, the board appointed Linda de la Torre as its acting superintendent.

December 18, 1937 – August 14, 2021

Patrick D. Conroy

We regretfully announce the passing of Patrick D. Conroy, 83, of Escondido, California. He passed away on August 14, 2021, ending his battle with congestive heart disease and respiratory failure.
Patrick was born on December 18th, 1937 to Mary Belle and Bernard Conroy in the bustling city of Detroit, Michigan. After Patrick and his family moved to Los Angeles County, Patrick graduated from Alhambra HS then earned his AA at Pasadena City College, his BA from UC Santa Barbara and his MA in Teaching Spanish from the University of New Mexico, where he was a member of the Alpha Mu Gamma Language Society.

As a new school year was dawning, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced last Friday that it was ramping up restrictions aimed at mitigating a recent spike in COVID-19 infections — rules requiring athletes to be tested for the virus.
In a later communication, the county set Sept. 1 as the date when the orders become effective, said David Irie, San Marino High School’s director of athletics and director of student experiences.
The county also said it is requiring all spectators, athletes and coaches to wear masks indoors. Volleyball players must wear their masks during competition and can take them off only when eating or drinking.

Photo courtesy Raymond Quan – San Marino senior Michael Prappas discards a defender on the way to one of his three touchdowns in the Titans’ season-opening 34-22 victory at Norwalk High School last Friday night. Prappas also scored a two-point conversion and starred on defense as the Titans came from behind to notch the win.

The San Marino High School varsity football team endured a pandemic-shortened season this past spring, saw coach Justin Mesa resign following the final game, endured a protracted hiring process to find his replacement, refashioned the program using mostly underclassmen and endured a quarterback drama only to…turn the football over to host Norwalk last Friday night on the very first play of the season.
But if things are consistent with this group of unique young players and coaches, what doesn’t kill them only makes them stronger. This was proven a little more than two hours after that game-opening gaffe when San Marino had put the finishing touches on a season-opening 34-22 non-league victory over the Lancers, opening the Ray Torres era with a come-from-behind win and setting off an enthusiastic celebration by the visitors.

The 10-12-Year-Old All-Stars, the 2021 Sectional champions: Manager Brent Bilvado (from left) pictured with All-Stars Madeline Bilvado, Mackenzie Taylor, Sarah Esbenshade, Jenna Wang, Mia Kelly and Bridget Spain.

Emergency sirens pierced an otherwise serene Friday evening at Lacy Park last week, but the recognizable sound existed to bring attention to the conquests authored by three of the town’s softball teams rather than point out illegal activity.
The teams marched through the Virginia Road entrance, accompanied by friends and family members, and were then acknowledged by the City of San Marino for their exemplary performances in postseason play this past summer.
San Marino’s Juniors and 8-10-year-old All-Star softball teams won the 2021 state championship and the 10-12-year-old All-Stars won the sectional title in a banner year — literally — for the sport.
Teams took turns on the stage that had been erected for the city’s Lacy Park Summer Concert Series. San Marino’s Community Services Department unfurled a banner — emblazoned with the names of each player and coach — which remained on the stage throughout the evening.

Photo courtesy Chloe LiversidgeCamp director and Club Moai founder Luke Aloe smiles with campers Pei Lin S. And Patrick N. during a lunch break.

A few years ago, San Marino resident Luke Aloe noticed that many teenagers with special needs within his community felt isolated.
Inspired by Dominic, his older brother who has autism, Luke created a social group which meets monthly for teenagers with disabilities in the Pasadena area.
“The name Moai comes from the moai social groups in Okinawa, Japan, where residents have some of the longest lifespans in the world,” explained Aloe, a junior at Loyola High in Los Angeles. “Their long lives have been credited to these social groups, where they keep in touch with their friends throughout their lifetimes.”
Although initially launched in his backyard with only a few volunteers and participants, Club Moai has grown into a soon-to-be non-profit organization with over thirty participants who attended their most recent event, Camp Moai.

Photo courtesy San Marino Fire Department – A vehicle burns at the intersection of Granada Avenue and Huntington Drive during the early morning of Dec. 1, 2020. Thanks to the work of the SMFD arson investigators, a suspect was arrested and is currently in state prison.

At the time, it seemed like just another car fire — not that such an occurrence is commonplace in town.
San Marino’s Engine 91 had been dispatched to a report of a vehicle fire at the intersection of Granada Avenue and Huntington Drive on Dec. 1, 2020, at 4:41 a.m. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find a Chevy Silverado pick-up truck “fully involved,” as the firefighting lexicon goes, with flames encroaching on several Granada Avenue homes. After several minutes, they were able to extinguish the blaze.

Photos courtesy Scott Daves – Senior Niko Mavridis will be the Titans’ quarterback for the third consecutive season, providing experience to the young football team.

After enduring a six-month delay to begin the pandemic-abbreviated high school football season this past spring, the Titans and new head coach Ray Torres are chomping at the bit to finally see the pigskin fly through the Friday night sky.
San Marino had a four-game appetizer in March and April for the 2020-21 school year’s season, but are looking forward to the main course and a full 10-game slate.
Torres hopes that his presence will pump new life into a squad that was forced to play the waiting game as the 2020 high school football campaign was delayed time and time again. To further complicate matters, former head coach Justin Mesa departed immediately after the Titans’ season-ending victory over Glendale to return to the college ranks at Washington State University. Torres — who served as an assistant under Mesa — was soon hired, putting the wheels in motion for the current campaign.
One of the first tasks is to hold the annual Blue & White Game, an intrasquad scrimmage, which the boys did with some aplomb on Aug. 14 in front of family, fans and friends at Titan Stadium.

A total of four students from both of the local elementary schools tested positive on Monday for COVID-19, school officials said in a statement. 
All parents of elementary school students received a general notice from the school principals informing them of the positive cases on campus. The cases were also reported on the district’s COVID dashboard. Students who were identified as having been in close contact with the individuals testing positive, as defined by the Los Angeles County Department of Health (LACDPH), received a separate notification from the school informing families that their child is required to quarantine for 7-10 days. 

Community members have been shaken by the presence of a man who is experiencing homelessness and has been living near Huntington Middle School and the Crowell Public Library, city officials said this week.
The San Marino Police Department and San Marino Unified School District both told the Tribune that the departments have received a substantial amount of outreach from the general public expressing concerns over the matter.
John Incontro, San Marino’s Chief of Police, said that he has been aware of the situation for “three or four weeks” and that he is looking into finding a solution.

Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE – Rotary Club of San Marino President J.P. Mainguy, right, presented a trophy to club member Lucille Norberg for her distinguished service.

The Rotary Club of San Marino held a special meeting earlier this month at a unique location.
Club members flocked to the San Marino home of Lucille Norberg for the purpose of bestowing upon her an award acknowledging the 50-year resident for her work with the San Marino Motor Classic.
“Lucille, I’m very happy to present you with a distinguished service award,” said J.P. Mainguy, president of the Rotary Club of San Marino to a large audience camped out on Norberg’s spacious front porch.

June 8, 1935- August 7, 2021

John Lester Erickson (“Jack”)

John L. Erickson (“Jack”), age 86, of San Marino, California, passed away August 7, after three weeks in the hospital with pneumonia. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary, and multitudes of friends and family.
Jack was born in Pasadena, CA, on June 8, 1935. He was raised in San Marino and graduated from South Pasadena San Marino High School in 1953. He graduated from UC Berkeley in June 1957, where he was a proud Alpha Delt. Being an adventurous young man, he told his then sweetheart of two years, Mary, who had missed her own graduation from USC to attend his, and that he wanted to “date other people.” Without a blink, she agreed that she would as well.

Jeanne Walker Cornwell

April 30, 1929 – July 26, 2021

Fifty-year San Marino resident Jeanne Walker Cornwell died peacefully on July 26, 2021, in Yorba Linda, California. She was 92.
Jeanne was born in the Imperial Valley town of Brawley, California and grew up in the nearby town of Westmorland, not far from the Mexican border in southeastern California. Her grandfather Robert A. Walker was an early pioneer of Imperial Valley farming and helped introduce the cantaloupe as a crop in the Valley. Her father Glenn Danforth Walker was a WWI pilot who returned to the Valley after the war and became a Security Bank manager and farmer, and her mother Florence Mathers Walker was a homemaker.

Jeanne and her older sister Mary Frances grew up in their tiny desert town surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins, playing the piano, and getting root beer floats to ward off the heat. During her teen years, Jeanne worked as a volunteer aircraft spotter during WWII, was active in several school clubs, and was elected Prom Queen. She graduated from Brawley Union High School in 1947 and followed her sister to the University of Redlands. While at the U of R, Jeanne was a member of Delta Kappa Psi, a cover girl for the campus literary magazine “The Siren” and was a finalist in the California State Maid of Cotton pageant. She was a gifted artist and majored in art with the intention of becoming a fashion illustrator, but a college professor convinced her to get her credential and become an elementary school teacher.

The local Board of Education on Monday heard the first reading of a proposal regarding independent study that was expected to become a board policy later in the week.
In accordance with Assembly Bill 130, the San Marino Unified School District must offer an independent study option for students whose health would be put at risk by in-person instruction — “as determined by the parent or guardian,” in the legislation’s wording.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law on July 9, and that in turn required the SMUSD to notify the public of the program before the first day of school, which was scheduled to take place Wednesday. Thus, the school board had to hold the special meeting on Monday night to have the first reading.

Lucas Levy

San Marino High School’s Lucas Levy has been able to find several positives even in the blizzard of bad news that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic — an ability that could serve the senior well as he leads SMHS’ Associated Student Body in the new school year.
The ASB president for 2021-22 needed to look no further than last spring’s election process for an example.
“We campaigned through social media and a video speech,” said the affable Levy, a seemingly permanent smile splashed across his face. “Voting was conducted online. It was a little detached but much less nerve-wracking, because my campaign speech wasn’t in front of a live audience.”

The San Marino City Council last week reversed course and removed Carver Elementary School and Del Mar Field from a draft of the city’s housing element that was released to the public late last month.
The inclusion of the two properties in the early version of the state-mandated document had raised concern among many community members who were caught off guard when the locations were listed as possible sites for future development.
But at a special council meeting on Aug. 3, both were removed from the draft. In fact, the city had announced the removal of Carver before the meeting, then voted to officially scrub Del Mar during the session at the San Marino Center.

Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE The San Marino Unified School District held a new employee orientation and luncheon for the 16 recently hired educators who reported for work Tuesday morning, with some SMUSD veterans also present. Those in attendance included SMUSD human resources officer Judy Correnti (front row, from left), Candice Choi, Natalie Badalof, Amanda Zia, Nicole Kwok, Kellee Sung, Judy Lewes, Nicole Mendoza, Vanessa Zamalloa and Acting Superintendent Linda de la Torre. Back: Assistant Superintendent Stephen Choi, John Franklin, Stephen Lane, Daniel Hernandez, Stephanie Egger, Megan Rauch, Heather Smith, Vanessa Acosta, Graham Lewis and Assistant Superintendent Lena Richter. For more information on the new hires, see page 14.

Joe Rock and Eva Lin

Pasadena real estate broker Eva Lin hosted a Charity Bike Build to benefit the children in transitional foster care at Hillsides Pasadena.

Past clients, friends and family gathered at Brookside Park to donate their time to build 50 bikes. This is the fourth time Lin and her team held such an event. They were thrilled to resume their twice-yearly efforts, which were placed on hold during 2020. Although bicycle shortages prevented the team from sourcing as many bikes as they had hoped, they are optimistic that their December event will serve more than 100 local children.

 

Susan Giokaris Patzakis

Our precious and beloved Susan Giokaris Patzakis fell asleep in the Lord on July 9, 2021 at the age of 79 after a long battle with a debilitating disease. Susan was a rare soul who was universally loved by all. She devoted her life to her family, including her loving husband of over 59 years, Dr. Michael J. Patzakis, her four children, Michele, Theresa, John and Peter, and twelve grandchildren. Her husband Michael, the love of her life, endlessly adored, cared for and supported her, especially throughout her illness, when he was always at her side.
Originally from Lima, Ohio, and a 50-year resident of San Marino, California, Susan was the fourth of five children born to Greek immigrant parents Peter (Petros) John Giokaris and Theresa (Athanasia) Kanatas Giokaris. Susan was baptized Stamatia in Greek after her maternal great-grandmother. After graduating from Lima Senior High School, she went on to attend Ohio State University, from which she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, and where she met and married Michael, who was attending medical school. Following graduation, Michael’s acceptance into LA County-USC Medical Center internship and orthopedic residency programs precipitated a move out West. Susan passed her nursing licensing exam and worked on a medical-surgery ward at the LA County-USC Hospital until motherhood beckoned her full attention.


November 10, 1927-July 2, 2021

Byron Richard “Dick” Marsh

Beloved father and grandfather, Dick, passed away from natural causes on July 2nd at age of 93. Dick was born in Los Angeles to Wes and Betty Marsh. He grew up in San Marino where he attended South Pasadena High School. After high school, he graduated from UCLA and then went on to earn a Juris Doctorate at USC Law School. Upon graduation, he served in the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate Officer.
He then returned to Los Angeles, where he began a long legal career from which he retired in 2008. He spent the majority of his career as a partner in the law firm of Knapp, Marsh, Jones, and Doran. He was General Counsel for the Los Angeles County Sanitation District from 1968 to 2008.
He was a lifelong member of the Jonathan Club, where he regularly attended Toastmasters, Breakfast Club, and club events. He thoroughly enjoyed Sunday brunch with his family.
Dick was an avid traveler, opera enthusiast, reader, UCLA football fan, and dog lover. In fact, he never met a dog that he did not like.
Dick is survived by his son David, daughter Diane (George), granddaughters Katherine and Megan, and his former spouse Carolyn.
Family remembrance will be held in the future.

Buoyed by the solid support of Measure E in the June 29 special election, the San Marino Unified School District board on Wednesday night was expected to take the first step toward finding a new superintendent to replace Jeff Wilson, who took a job elsewhere.
The board was to meet in a special session with Joel Shawn of USC’s Rossier School of Education, ask questions and gain insight into the process of “selecting the best path forward to identify, select and retain the next superintendent to lead the district,” according to board President Shelley Ryan. The meeting was due to begin after the Tribune’s press deadline.

Photo by Larissa Althouse / TRIBUNE
Alex Poiset, Jen Martinez, Bri Cossu and Justine Huang were among members of the San Marino High School class of 2020 who last week were finally able to celebrate their “Grad Night” — essentially a reunion 13 months after they’d earned their SMHS diplomas. Their originally scheduled Grad Night, a cherished school tradition, was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They didn’t have a prom, and their graduation ceremony, though certainly well-intentioned, consisted of a short car ride up West Drive and a couple of staged photos.
But last Friday night, San Marino High School’s class of 2020 received one indisputable jewel in its comparatively empty crown — its long-awaited Grad Night.
Retaining its original theme of “Finding Nemo” — though the words “Swimming Home” were added to the title — the event was marketed as a combination Grad Night/one-year reunion. The result was deemed by revelers to be an unqualified success, and anyone would seemingly have been hard-pressed to tell the difference between the event Friday and what was slated to take place on May 29, 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic put it on hold.
Kurtis Tsai returned home for the event and might be the first SMHS grad to have spent an entire year in the U.S. Army before attending his Grad Night.
“As a former member of the San Marino Tsunami swim team, we always got a chance to peek at the Grad Night construction after swim practice,” said Tsai, who is studying life science at West Point. “I always looked forward to seeing the different themes and designs each year. This year did not disappoint. Looking around at the painted sets, it was apparent so much thought and detail was put into this Grad Night by our parent volunteers.”
Tsai said the event offered him the opportunity to catch up with former classmates and the faculty members who volunteered.

Don’t be surprised if San Marino’s sky seems a bit more crowded for a while: Over the next two weeks, Southern California Edison will conduct aerial inspections that involve the use of drones, helicopters or both.
Such aircraft help SCE inspect areas that are hard to reach or must be viewed from a difficult angle, according to the utility.
“The focus of these operations is and always will be our own electrical assets, structures and [rights of way] that support our assets,” an SCE statement said. “These inspections are just one part of our broader wildfire prevention and mitigation program focusing on keeping our communities safe. The amount of time it takes to conduct aerial inspections varies.”
Areas targeted for inspection include the intersections and areas surrounding Huntington Drive and Del Mar Avenue; Monterey Road and Los Robles Avenue; Huntington and St. Albans Road; Los Robles and Mission Street; Robles Avenue and Sierra Madre Boulevard; and Shenandoah and Virginia roads.
Those who have concerns regarding equipment or personnel in their neighborhood are encouraged to ask the utility worker for identification or call the San Marino Police Department at (626) 300-0720.

Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE
San Marino’s Wendy Bradley was back in action Sunday, playing an iconic flourish in a patriotic tune at Lacy Park.

It’s a thrilling moment in one of the more recognizable melodies in all of American music: Midway through John Philip Sousa’s ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever,” a special arrangement for the piccolo pierces the trumpets and trombones, adding elan to the national march of the United States.
It lasts only about a half a minute, depending on the speed at which it is played, and can define musical careers.
San Marino has its own practitioner of the iconic flourish and, to the enjoyment of the throng at the city’s July 4 celebration, it once again wafted from the bandstand in Lacy Park this past Sunday afternoon. So, how many times has veteran piccolo player Wendy Bradley performed the song?
“Uncountable,” said Bradley, a longtime city resident and member of the San Marino Community Band, before settling on “more than a thousand.”
“Sometimes, with rehearsals, I will play it a half dozen times a day,” she said.

John Lucas

John W. Lucas was born on March 14, 1923 (Pi Day) and passed peacefully on June 19, 2021 at the age of 98. His parents were Leo J. and Mary G. Lucas. His father was a member of the Lucas family that owned and operated the Lucas Ranching Company in Cucamonga, California. John’s mother’s maiden name was Schwamm. John had two brothers, Richard and Don, who predeceased him.
During the fall of 1944, John was a member of the 13th reserve class at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. He received his commission as an Engineering Officer in December 1944. He then reported aboard a “baby” aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Casablanca-CVE 55, and served in the South Pacific during 1945. While on the ship, he was the ship’s band manager and conductor. Music and dancing were always a deep passion of his. He became an accomplished pianist and danced into his 90s with the Stardusters Ballroom Dance Club.
John attended UC Davis and Berkeley for his undergraduate and graduate degrees, and he received his Ph.D. in Engineering from UCLA in 1953 after marrying his ever-lasting love Genevieve Marie Blessent on February 9, 1952. Shortly after their marriage, he was granted a Postdoctoral Fellowship by the National Science Foundation and moved with Genevieve and their first son to Berlin, Germany to conduct research at the Fritz Haber Institute (formerly the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry).

Photos by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE
Maj. Phil Hanf was the keynote speaker at Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony.

Following a year off as a result of the pandemic, San Marino residents were genuinely enthused to gather in Lacy Park on Monday morning for the city’s annual acknowledgement of Memorial Day.
Well over 100 people assembled just west of the War Memorial in socially distanced fashion, but the extra space and mask requirements didn’t dim the passion as attendees paid their respects to the 53 San Marinans who gave their lives on the world’s battlefields.
Among those elected officials accepting invitations to speak were Congresswoman Judy Chu, state Sen. Anthony Portantino and Assemblymember Ed Chau. Chu and Chau presented proclamations honoring the city’s consistent efforts to recognize the holiday and Portantino reenacted a presentation he had previously made virtually to Maggie Lee, president of the Chinese Club of San Marino, and San Marino city manager Marcella Marlowe. Portantino recently honored Lee and Marlowe as the two women from San Marino who have played an integral role in supporting their community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Julie Chan Lin

Julie Chan Lin, who was elected to the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education in November and took the oath of office in December, abruptly resigned less than 20 minutes into the panel’s meeting on May 25 — the second sudden departure of a member in two weeks.
“I’d like to thank the community for entrusting me to represent you here on this board,” Chan Lin said when it was her turn to speak during the meeting’s section entitled “Communications From the Board of Education.” “With a heavy heart, I am letting you and my fellow board members know that I cannot continue to serve on this board. Tonight, I resign from the SMUSD Board of Education.”
When contacted by the Tribune on Wednesday, Chan Lin declined further comment but shared a statement she posted to the San Marino schools’ participation forum.

The abrupt resignation of San Marino school board member Julie Chan Lin on May 25 means the beleaguered panel now must search for not one but two replacements.
On Tuesday, May 11, Corey Barberie resigned his position on the board in anticipation of a family move to another state. On May 18, the panel opened a 17-day application period to commence efforts to fill the vacancy created by Barberie’s exit. That period ends Friday, June 4, at noon.  

The San Marino City Council has unanimously approved the creation of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force and will seek to contract with a specialist who can facilitate the panel.
The group’s establishment was enthusiastically approved at last Friday’s meeting, along with its price tag of up to $45,000. The decision came on the heels of a proclamation for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and a similar decree lauding the Chinese Club of San Marino for its work, council actions that also dealt with the theme of diversity.
Vice Mayor Susan Jakubowski had proposed exploring this issue at a prior meeting.
“This is a ‘big heavy’ that we are taking on,” Jakubowski said Friday. “As we all know from our life experiences, many times we avoid and fear those we don’t know. We are hesitant to learn more, to ask questions, and I think the end product we’re looking for is a way to bring us all together.”
San Marino’s commitment to a DEI reframing comes on the heels of a well-documented rise in hateful rhetoric and violence directed toward Asian and Pacific Islander Americans throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Much of this seems to be related to the virus’ apparent origins in China, and commentators often charged former President Donald Trump with fanning those flames by insisting on using phrases like “China virus” or “kung flu,” which often complemented his seeming political hostility to migrants.
As noted in the city’s report preceding the vote on the task force, around 60% of San Marino’s population is of AAPI heritage, with Taiwanese and Chinese being the dominant sub-groups among them. City, school and civic operations are generally well integrated with the community, with Mandarin translation offered at many events with help from the Chinese Club.
Still, as the report notes, some residents have reported experiencing hostility directed at them —sometimes by other local residents — because of their ethnicity.
Community Engagement Manager Amanda Fowler said she consulted with other entities in the area in approaching this issue — DEI initiatives have permeated Los Angeles County and other parts of the country in recent years, particularly after the nationwide protests demanding a racial reckoning last summer.
“The biggest takeaways from our conversation really were that this type of work, for it to be successful, needs to be community led but rooted in practicality, and we believe that’s why this approach would set us up to be as successful as possible,” Fowler said.
The advantages of task forces are that they are not subject to Brown Act rules governing public meetings and that their memberships can also be more fluid. Retaining a specialist who can coordinate this task force and prompt the difficult questions and discussions, she added, can help guide the group from an objective starting point.
In reaching the conclusion for this recommendation, Fowler said she often asked the other entities — cities and school districts — if they felt the expense was worthwhile.
“They said it was, because it’s a typically difficult topic to discuss and the path forward toward developing an actionable plan personalized to your city can feel daunting,” she said.
Council members were generally enthusiastic about the endeavor.
Councilman Steve Talt said he hoped to identify “the tools to deal with some aspects of our relationships with people who may not look the same” from the task force. He recollected how one of his children, when young, responded when another person identified a classmate as being Chinese — “No dad, they’re from San Marino,” he quoted.
“I wish that our attitude was more like our children,” Talt said.
Councilman Steven Huang thanked Jakubowski for her “brilliant idea.”
“We’re a big family and when you have siblings in the family, you don’t always get along,” Huang added. “I think we need this. I can support this.”
In other business, the council reviewed and approved the city’s budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
The proposed operating budget anticipated $31.4 million in revenues and $28.6 million in expenses — producing a net income of $2.8 million. The capital equipment and improvement budget is calling for spending $12.5 million, including about $2 million reallocated from unfinished projects approved for the current year.
Finance Director Paul Chung said he expects the city’s relatively strong position that endured throughout the pandemic to continue. Property tax revenues, of course, make up the majority of the city’s income and would not have been significantly affected (if at all) by the emergency.
“Obviously I or nobody can predict COVID or the resurgence that potentially might happen, but on the fiscal side … I feel that the city of San Marino is in very good fiscal health going into next year,” he said.
The budget was approved 3-1 (Huang had to leave early), with Councilwoman Gretchen Shepherd Romey opposing — she later told the Tribune that her nay vote was rooted in her continuing opposition to the San Marino Center renovation project and its costs, which have risen since it was initially proposed.
The approval also removed $40,000 from the city manager’s department for a communications initiative and an understanding that any changes made to the proposed fee schedule would be made effective after the fact.

Elizabeth Carlin

Elizabeth Carlin Scannell passed peacefully in her sleep at her San Marino home on Sunday morning, April 25th. 
Betty, as she was always known, was born in San Francisco to Dennis Carlin and Elizabeth Carlin (Farrell) in 1933. Both her mother and father immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland. Dennis Carlin owned several pubs in San Francisco and became a successful real estate investor. 
Betty attended St. Cecilia Elementary School and Presentation High School where she was a star basketball player. She graduated from the College of Notre Dame of Belmont in California remaining lifelong friends with many of her classmates. She worked briefly as an elementary school teacher in the San Francisco Public Schools following graduation.
Betty married Dennis Scannell in 1959 in the Bay Area. After having their first two children, they moved several times throughout California, eventually settling in San Marino where they raised Dennis Jr., Elizabeth, Michael, and Patrick, all of whom graduated from San Marino High School. She held her family most dear and was a big part of her nine, much-loved grandchildren’s lives, rarely missing a sporting event, stage production or ceremony.

Caroline Lichtman

Life is finally returning to normal for Caroline Lichtman, San Marino’s star hometown gymnast.

After a year of stay-at-home orders, Zoom practices, virtual meets, reduced training hours and general uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lichtman has advanced to compete at the USA Gymnastics women’s national championships that will take place this weekend in Daytona Beach, Florida.

It’s quite an accomplishment even under normal circumstances. But during a pandemic, it’s downright astonishing. Not only are gymnasts essentially required to stay in elite physical shape, but the sport requires the mastery of apparatus and equipment where literally every centimeter can provide the margin between success and failure. That’s not exactly an environment that is fostered by gym closures or anything that can be classified as “virtual.” Like any top athlete, he or she must train on a daily basis – and train hard – to stay on top of their game.

Caroline started off the 2020 season in fine form, but before she could compete at state and regional competitions and, ultimately, qualify for nationals, the season was upended by the pandemic. It is only through the perseverance that is necessary for – and ultimately fortified by – the daily rigors of the sport that she finds herself at the upper echelon of gymnastics.

Photo courtesy Claudia Boles
Many of Grad Night’s volunteers assisted this past Saturday to help work on the set. Front row, from left: Richard Boutin, John Dustin, Cynthia Ary, Alice Song Ulrich, Doris Cheung, Julie Wong Tam and Ping Lit. Second Row: Ann Ettinger, Angela Sze, Grace Navarrete, Bobbie Parwar, Nicolette Fuerst, Kim Sutherland and Bob French. Third Row: Rick Gute, Thomas Yee, Daryl Chan, Leslie Long, Pete Manning, Bernard Lim, Will Rose, Steve Talt and Leslie Ford. Back: Vincent Ary, Paul Callahan and Bob Horgan.

There was perhaps no other development that signaled the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic last year on a local level than the cancellation of San Marino High School’s annual Grad Night celebration. The district acknowledged the graduating class of 2020 in a drive-thru ceremony, which was delayed until July 31 and allowed for the graduate to leave their automobile for a few brief seconds in order to receive a ceremonial diploma and pose for a couple photos.
Though it was organized with the most pomp and circumstance possible, community members have been pining for a return to their familiar celebration. Their diligence will pay off in two weeks when Grad Night returns in its familiar form…sort of. Modifications to keep the students safe from possible infection will include mandatory mask-wearing and holding all activities outdoors on the upper basketball courts under a “big top” tent, in concert with its “Circus” theme.

SMHS Principal Jason Kurtenbach

U.S. News and World Report has ranked San Marino High School to be in the upper level of the nation’s public high schools, grading the school at a stellar 98.1 out of 100 in its annual evaluation.
This grade slotted SMHS at No. 339 nationwide out of more than 17,000 high schools. In California, it was listed as the No. 46 out of nearly 1,700 evaluated, and it was the No. 17 high school in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Nationally, it was ranked an impressive No. 90 in STEM high schools.
“San Marino High School has not only persevered through the COVID-19 crisis, but in many ways, we have triumphed,” said SMHS principal Jason Kurtenbach. “We maintained high levels of attendance and performance with our students throughout school closure due to our faculty being able to expertly rise to the challenge of teaching and learning in a digital environment and our hybrid learning plan. Moreover, in an effort to support our students we added SAT and ACT tests to our offerings during school closure so that our students would not need to travel in order to take the exams, which are valuable for college applications.”
In specific grading breakdowns, U.S. News rated SMHS as No. 433 nationally in its college readiness index, which is based on the number of students who took and passed at least one advanced placement, or AP exam; No. 331 in college curriculum breadth, which is based on how many students took or passed multiple AP exams; and No. 324 in math and reading proficiency, which is based on state evaluations.

Photo courtesy San Marino Recreation Department
Approximately 600 participated in last Saturday’s Great San Marino Egg Hunt, which began here at Stoneman School.

San Marino has hosted an egg hunt in some iteration for several decades, but the success of one held last Saturday might just change all that for good.
Dubbed by the Recreation Department as “The Great San Marino Egg Hunt,” the event drew almost 600 participants. They cruised via automobile through town on the “bunny trail,” using a map to solve riddles and spot clues while searching for “Mr. and Mrs. Bunny” along the way.
To sweeten the pot, Recreation Department staffers hid 10 “golden tickets” in eggs that were distributed at eight stops along the way.

Matthew Lee

Based on an enthusiastic recommendation from Kristine Franco, a member of San Marino High School’s counseling staff, senior Matthew Lee was named the Rotary Club of San Marino’s student of the month for February.
And for good reason. Lee has a glittering dossier, topped by his recent acknowledgement as a National Merit Finalist, thus remaining in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million.
The son of Yun (George) Li and Linda Jing Yang, Matthew is also the engineering president of Titanium Robotics team at SMHS and captain of the school’s math and science teams.
For the past year, Lee has also operated a group called TitanHacks, where he manages sponsorships and event planning for a what are called “hackathons,” where programmers team up to create original projects. With the leftover funds, TitanHacks operates a weekly food drive with the First Baptist Church of Alhambra.

Jim Folsom

Jim Folsom, who retired in December from the Huntington Library, Art Gallery and Botanical Gardens after a long and award-winning career, will be the featured speaker at San Marino City Club’s meeting on Tuesday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m.
Folsom was the Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens at the Huntington Library. He joined the Huntington staff in 1984, serving as assistant curator before becoming director in 1987. As director of the Huntington’s gardens, he oversaw more than a dozen thematic gardens covering 120 acres of the 207-acre grounds.
He served as a visionary and project head for the development of new gardens and botanical facilities and restoration of historic gardens and maintenance. He dedicated much of his efforts at the Huntington to education programs that increase public interest and understanding of the science, culture, and history of plants and gardens.

The San Marino school board has been busy with the work of getting students back to school.
Earlier this week, they took the first step in hopes of keeping all campuses open and avoiding dramatic employee cuts.
At a special meeting Monday night, the board voted 5-0 to take another crack at passing Measure E, a $968 per parcel education tax, which will now go before voters at a June 29 special election. The parcel tax — which generates approximately $4.1 million per year — was defeated by voters on March 2 because it did narrowly missed receiving the required two-thirds majority.

The city expects to hire an engineering consultant to assist in developing plans for Metro-backed traffic improvement projects this year, with the bill to be covered by the transportation agency.
Although the City Council has not formally committed to the endeavor, it signaled tacit approval at last week’s council meeting, where the body informally went over potential capital construction projects for the forthcoming fiscal year. In a straw vote, the council asked to have a more detailed report on the proposal included in the formal budget process. It was estimated that the consulting service would cost around $95,000.

Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE
Mark Langill, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ team historian, addressed the Rotary Club of San Marino last Thursday and brought with him a vintage ticket stub.

He was born on opening day of a season the Los Angeles Dodgers ended up winning the World Series.
More than a half-century later, he can still remember the section, row and number of his first seat in Dodger Stadium, so it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise that Mark Langill wound up as the club’s team historian.
So with the 2021 season days away, Langill was recruited to virtually address the Rotary Club of San Marino last Thursday afternoon to get members in the mood for some baseball.
He was introduced as the Dodgers’ “Answer Man,” and Langill had plenty of them, including this supposed response to a question posed by Rotarian Barbara Bice, who introduced Langill.
“Don’t hit the ball very well in Little League and you will be well on your way,” Langill allegedly said when asked how he secured his job.
Langill began his address by posing an explanation to America’s fascination with baseball and, specifically, Opening Day.

Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE
Dr. Steve Park was the San Marino City Club’s keynote speaker for its March meeting.

During his keynote address for the City Club’s March meeting, San Marino resident Dr. Steve Park provided an overview of his life which includes service as a United States Navy medical officer and career as a hospitalist.
In retrospect, an argument could be made that the subject of memory retention would have also sufficed, as Park’s is apparently as sound as the proverbial steel trap.
So is former San Marino educator Loren Kleinrock’s, Park’s former assistant principal during his days at San Marino High School and offensive coordinator for the Titan football team, for which Park was a record-setting wide receiver.
In vivid detail, Park recalled Kleinrock busting him for going to a buddy’s house for lunch even though he was not yet a privileged senior. Kleinrock, meanwhile, recalled one time Park didn’t perfectly execute one of his pass patterns. That these transgressions took place almost 30 years ago was incidental and only seemed to heighten the mutual respect that exists between them to this day.

By Maggie Lee
Special to the Tribune

Maggie Lee
President,
Chinese Club of San Marino

Now is the time for San Marino to come together as a community and bring back the goodwill and unity to the city we love so much.
The Chinese Club of San Marino was founded more than 40 years ago as a support system for new immigrants to San Marino. Four decades later, sadly we are still dealing with many of the same issues we had in the past.
As an active member of the San Marino community, CCSM has donated millions of dollars to various organizations within the city through the years. We will continue to play an active role within the community to promote understanding, love and unity in San Marino.
Even with clean streets, manicured lawns and civic traditions, San Marino has not been immune to the global pandemic and the ensuing rise in hate, violence and aggression directed at the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
Recent events and world issues have been divisive in nature, and as humans our first instinct is to look for answers often times by placing blame. The community is what makes San Marino special. The Chinese Club of San Marino asks everyone to rededicate themselves to the family values and community spirit to support each other through these times.
This past year has been extremely difficult on our Chinese American communities, and we have felt the weight of the pandemic across every area of our country. As we live through traumatic acts of hate, xenophobic rhetoric and violence, there is an even greater need for our diverse communities to come together to collectively address the challenges that we are facing. COVID-19 has posed issues for all of us. 

More than a year after they abruptly closed due to concerns about COVID-19, San Marino’s public schools can once again be considered “open for business,” effective Thursday, April 1.
“I am very excited for our students,” said school board president Shelley Ryan, herself an educator. “Whether you are in kindergarten, second grade or high school, this is very good news. This has been an exhausting year.”
Students in grades TK — transitional kindergarten — through 5th grade already began in-
person learning at Valentine and Carver elementary schools in late February and early March, but Thursday will mark a significant return to the district’s campuses.

The City Council began its dive into the budgeting session at a special meeting last week, where administrators went over several capital equipment purchases proposed by city departments for the next fiscal year.
No commitments were made last week. Rather, the council signaled a simple agreement that the purchases be included in the departments’ broader budget proposals, potentially with more informative reports on them. Capital projects will be considered in this straw poll format next month.

Grace Navarro

San Marino’s Grace Navarro has advanced to the semifinal round of the Los Angeles Music Center’s annual Spotlight program, thus remaining in contention for more than $100,000 in scholarships.
Navarro, a junior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), is majoring in classical voice in the school’s opera company and vocal department. She attended Valentine Elementary and Huntington Middle schools before spending a year at Maranatha, then it was on to LACHSA.
“This is an incredibly unique school and it has given me so many opportunities,” said Navarro. “I love all of my peers, friends and teachers at LACHSA because we are like-minded people and inspire one another to strive for citizen artistry. I really couldn’t ask for a better high school experience. By far, my favorite part about LACHSA is the confidence it instills in me. My teachers always encourage me to believe in what I am doing.”
Navarro also studies piano, music theory and acting. After LACHSA, she plans on taking a gap year before applying to conservatory.

Photos courtesy San Marino National Little League
The Red Angels and Team All Black pose for a joint team photo among the signage welcoming San Marino’s Little Leaguers back to action. Pictured above are (front row, from left) Keegan Vuong, Max Carpiac, Henry Kang, Jake Flores, Jamie Chung, Grant Walker, Emilio Carr, Herman Webb, Grant O’Mara and Jack Rome. Back: Will Martin, Fuming Yang, Dylan Harris, Dylan Lau, Chace Lee, Mason Hsieh, Vincent Hou, Luke Delgado and Nick Grossi.

There is perhaps no more accurate indicator of the societal heath of San Marino than the condition of its Little League. That institution received a spotless check-up at last Saturday morning’s annual Opening Day festivities.
Though teams had been returning to practice sessions for several weeks, players donned uniforms and — in many cases — matching facemasks to celebrate the official return to the season.
“It was great to have our kids back on the fields,” said Daisy Wilson, president of San Marino National Little League, noting that more than 300 kids played their first games on Saturday. “It is so nice to finally be surrounded by some normalcy as we hopefully get back to reality.”
Until further notice, spectators must be from a player’s immediate family, remain socially distanced, and are not allowed to sit in the grandstands.

The City Council delayed judgment of an appeal to a future date, in part to push the applicants to actually get input from a number of neighbors regarding a reality television series the applicants hope to film at a home.
In its meeting last week, the council also punted on an appeal for a mixed-use building proposed to be built along Mission Street, instead opting to schedule a de novo hearing at a later date. The city is expected to argue that the project should be denied because it could not pass a plan check in the event it was approved, at least as currently designed.
The four applicants for the denied filming permit — Rosemary Lay, Julie Chan Lin, Alice Shyu and Weni Wilson — are in the meantime tasked with revisiting a number of homes within a 500-foot radius of their own houses they deemed to be unoccupied in their initial surveys. Additionally, the city staff report indicated that they overlooked some required homes entirely in their initial surveying.

Less than two weeks after the defeat of Measure E, the San Marino school board unanimously approved a resolution calling for the elimination of 41 teaching and advisory positions in order to balance the budget for the 2021-22 school year, it was announced at Tuesday night’s board meeting.
Though the results of the election have not yet been certified, Measure E had been approved by 2,192 voters (63.04%) to 1,285 (36.96%) who voted in opposition. Measure E required a two-thirds majority for passage.
Measure E raised $4 million annually at $968 per parcel, adjusted by the lesser of the Los Angeles Statistical Area Consumer Price Index or 3%, including commercial properties within the boundaries of the school district. First approved by voters in 2009 for a six-year term, the parcel tax was renewed in 2015 and will now expire in June 2021, erasing approximately 10% of the district’s budget.

The Rev. Jenifer Chatfield

The Rev. Jenifer Chatfield was filled with anticipation. After going through a six-month interview process that began in the early fall of 2019, Chatfield was officially called to serve as the eighth rector of San Marino’s St. Edmunds Episcopal Church.
Chatfield, who was introduced to the parish in January 2020, presided over her first service on March 1, 2020, which coincided with the first Sunday of Lent.
“I had a great time,” said Chatfield, laughing, and with full understanding of what was coming next. “The following Sunday, there was no communion wine, no hugs. No shaking of hands. Then of course, we know what happened.”
Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to run its course, Chatfield didn’t quite finish that sentence. She has, however, gone about the business of forging relationships with her parishioners in what is among the most difficult ministerial environment, especially for a newcomer.

Diane Falconer

Diane Falconer’s journey has taken her, literally, around the world.
Falconer, who was raised in San Marino when she was known by her maiden name Diane Harwich, attended and later graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. While there, she received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship and traveled to the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia, from 1983-84, where she studied worked on her master’s degree as the Rotary Club of San Marino’s second international scholar.
Now a resident of Connecticut, Falconer virtually addressed the club last Thursday afternoon, saying her ambassadorial experience changed her life, so much so that she used it as the title of her presentation.
She even had a chance to rekindle her relationship with Rotarian Barbara Bice, who as Falconer’s college counselor suggested she apply for the scholarship.
Falconer began by showing a slide of the famous “Earthrise,” a photograph that was taken by astronauts aboard Apollo 8 on Christmas Eve 1968.

The San Marino educational community is mobilizing its response to the defeat of Measure E, the parcel tax which raised more than $4 million annually for the district’s schools.
At its meeting on Tuesday evening, the San Marino school board was expected to approve a resolution calling for the elimination of 41 teaching and advisory positions in order to balance the budget for the 2021-22 school year. By law, the district must provide layoff notices for the upcoming school year to employees by Monday, March 15. The call has also gone out to the San Marino Schools Foundation [SMSF], an organization which is typically enlisted for duty during times of financial duress.

Mark Liang

Mark Liang, a member of San Marino High School’s graduating class of 2015, has received a Global Grant scholarship for graduate study at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, beginning this October.
Liang will be engaged in the masters of philosophy, health, medicine and society program beginning this October. Liang’s interests align with Rotary’s area of focus that includes disease prevention and treatment. The scholarship is valued at $31,000.
At Cambridge, Liang plans to study the ways immigrants are disproportionately affected by disease when crossing borders and geographic boundaries. He expects to work extensively with the health organizations at Cambridge and the United Kingdom, extending the work he already has been doing in the United States.

Photo courtesy Project Edge
Project Edge co-founders include Randy Cai (from left), Kevin Lan, Marcus Chua, Corey Sy, and Dowson Yang.

Doing their part in reducing a “gap” in educational needs that has arisen during COVID-19, several San Marino High School students recently started Project Edge — a cost-free tutoring service available to anyone with a computer and internet access.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has only widened a discrepancy in education results between those who can easily keep up and those who cannot. Students now have to adapt to an online schooling environment that is not universally effective and, thus, are unable to receive a proper education at this time. Students everywhere have been turning to tutoring as a solution, although there are problems in that domain as well.

Photo courtesy Julie Anding
San Marino native Julie Anding has battled a rare neurological condition that suddenly appeared four years ago and has forced major changes in her lifestyle.

As with most life-changing events, Julie Anding can recall one particular anniversary with pinpoint accuracy.
“December 27, 2017,” exclaimed Anding, without hesitation. “I was in Utah for Christmas and my mom and I were going to grab some lunch.”
Unlike memories of other landmark events — a marriage proposal, or finding out you were admitted to your dream school or landed that once-in-a-lifetime job — this is one date Anding would much rather forget.
“We took a one-floor elevator ride in the lodge and immediately after I stepped out of the elevator, I turned and looked at her and said, ‘I feel really weird, like I’m on a boat or something,’” Anding recalled recently. “That was my onset.”
She was spot-on in identifying the symptoms and also the very complex name for what was happening to her. It’s called mal de debarquement, a French word that means, literally, “illness of disembarkment,” a neurological condition that typically takes place following a cruise, plane trip or other event that includes sustained motion. While many feel similar effects for a short period of time, Anding’s lasted much longer — in fact, to this very day.

City officials are currently projecting a $2.1 million revenue surplus for the fiscal year, thanks to a downturn in revenues being similarly offset by reduced expenditures from the same cause — the pandemic.
The city was on track after the first six months of the year to finish with $1.1 million fewer than initially anticipated in income, according to Finance Director Paul Chung. At the same time, the trend indicates that the city’s proposed expenditures will be down $1.4 million by the end of the year. In fact, expenses for the year’s halfway point were listed as being just 44.3%.

Five San Marino residents who want to create what a spokesperson for the group called a “presentation film” but were denied filming permits will appeal the decision at the city council meeting on Wednesday, March 11.
Alice Shyu, Rosemary Lay, Julie Chan Lin, Carol Huang and Weni Wilson, along with two other women — Winnie Wang and Elizabeth Yang, who do not live in San Marino — were refused filming permits by the city on Feb. 11.

Photo courtesy Compost Culture
Sophomores Gianna Karkafi, Elizabeth Bercaw and Maddy Gregg are helping to bring a compost collection program to San Marino.

A group of San Marino students hope to propagate a successful startup service project from neighboring South Pasadena and offer composting service to San Marino residents.
The volunteers have joined onto Compost Culture, a projected started last year by two South Pasadena High School students to offer compost collection service to their city’s residents and businesses. Fresh off the success of winning the competition sponsored by the organization that funded them, the two SPHS students plan to branch out into their neighboring communities.
San Marino was first on the list.
“I was reading about it on their website and I thought it was really cool what they were doing,” explained Gianna Karkafi, a sophomore and cabinet member of the Green Club at San

Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE
In what was San Marino High School’s first CIF athletic competition in about 11 months, senior Peyton Talt finished second in last week’s Rio Hondo League cross country meet.

Last Thursday’s Rio Hondo League cross-country meet was rife with missteps and miscommunications, but after the eleven-and-a-half months that preceded it, it’s safe to say that nobody cared in the least.
The only thing that mattered was that it took place at all.
“This helps bring back our sanity,” declared Angus Leung, San Marino High School’s cross-country coach, as runners assembled at the starting line.
Since the San Marino Unified School District closed its campuses on the ominous date of Friday, March 13, 2020, and shut down all in-person extracurricular activities, athletes, their families and coaches have ridden the roller coaster of all roller coasters anticipating their return. That day arrived last Thursday, Feb. 25, following a series of scheduled starting dates that went wanting while the pesky coronavirus persisted.
But that all came to an end, at least for now, as San Marino High School’s harriers donned their royal blue uniforms and took to the trails of Pasadena’s Hahamongna Watershed Park to celebrate the return of sports. Due to the socially distanced nature of their sport, Titan runners were able to train almost uninterrupted and have held student-only workouts since last summer.
On the picturesque three-mile course, senior Peyton Talt blazed to a finish of 20 minutes, 31 seconds to finish second overall in the girls’ varsity race. Junior Anya Tang (seventh place, 21:59), junior Katelyn Hansa (23:49), senior Avery Page (24:12) and senior Lily Tong (24:47) locked up second place behind South Pasadena.
The Titan boys’ varsity didn’t have enough members to record a team score as two runners were unaware of a turn during the race and ended up chopping off a substantial distance. Junior Gavin O’Malley successfully made it from start to finish to pace the Titans, finishing 12th overall in 20 minutes, 11 seconds. Freshman Taylor Tan had a strong first outing with a clocking of 23:26 to display promise for the future.

Measure E, the parcel tax that raises $4 million annually for schools within the boundaries of the San Marino Unified School District, had fallen behind the pace needed for victory following an initial ballot count that was taken after polls closed on Tuesday evening at 8 p.m.
At The Tribune’s press deadline, Measure E had received 1,850 yes votes (62.82%) with 1,095 votes in opposition, or 37.18%. The parcel tax required two-thirds approval by the more than 10,400 registered voters who live within the boundaries of the school district to pass.
That tally included all votes that were received by day’s end Tuesday either via mail or in-person drop-off since the election began.

Carver 2nd-grade teacher Sherry Lee expresses a universal message to returning students.

“I am so excited … it’s my first time here in real life!”
“I have waited so long for this!”
The old adage declaring that “out of the mouths of babes oft come gems” was never more accurate than this past Monday morning when students were welcomed back to San Marino Unified School District campuses after almost a year away because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two kindergartners were overheard vocalizing these two nuggets as students in transitional kindergarten through 2nd grade came back to Valentine and Carver Elementary schools. The event was rife with uncommon sights such as students having their temperatures checked and directional signage encouraging social distancing, but after months away from their friends and teachers, nobody was upset by it.
“What a remarkable day,” exclaimed Valentine Elementary School Principal Alana Fauré. “We had 134 children come back to school with confidence and excitement. They couldn’t wait to meet their teachers for the first time in-person.”
Fauré reported that, thankfully, the extended time away from campus may not have affected one fundamental tenet of youth.

Photo courtesy Jeng Yen
San Marino’s Dr. Jeng Yen was selected to drive a rover on Mars for the third time and is now piloting Perseverance.

Preparation is one of the chief watchwords for those in the field of engineering, so it came as somewhat of a surprise when Dr. Jeng Yen admitted he was completely caught off guard when he saw photos and a video that were recently snapped by his wife, Renee Wang.
“All right!” Yen is heard exclaiming, his right fist thrust upward as he surveyed what was unfolding via his laptop.
One can forgive both his temporary lapse of attention as well as that brief moment of exultation considering Yen was witnessing the successful landing of the Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars last Thursday. The seven-month, 300 million-mile journey successfully completed, Yen will now busy himself with the joyous task of remotely driving Perseverance, which is approximately the size of a standard automobile, as it conducts its mission to collect samples of rock and soil from the surface of Mars to detect possible signs of ancient life on the Red Planet.

By C. Joseph Chang
Special to the Tribune

Photo courtesy C. Joseph Chang
The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas is a famous temple located at Lotus Lake in Zuoying District, Kuohsiung, Taiwan.

Like many of our readers, I have humbly reconsidered many basic aspects that I had previously taken for granted prior to 2020. The uniquely infectious nature of COVID-19 has forced us to creatively stretch ourselves to continue our way of life.
As COVID-19 has affected our school district, I helped oversee the virtual curriculum and adjustment process to the international pandemic. I worked diligently as San Marino Unified School District board president with our superintendent, Dr. Jeff Wilson, and a core team since March 2020, so that our kids could continue to learn during this difficult time.
However, my trip to Taiwan this past December has allowed me to further reflect and wish to share my curious journey. This past year marked the longest time away from my hometown in 37 years. When our understanding of the COVID-19 virus through our public health measures had sufficiently improved, I decided to visit my relatives for a bit longer this time.
Despite its small size as an island nation with a population of 23.78 million, Taiwan represents an example of public health at its finest. Of the 103 million cases worldwide, only 915 have been in Taiwan since the start of the pandemic, including eight months without a single death, according to a Reuters story on Jan. 29. These rare numbers are only possible through a shared community adherence to public health measures that have protected the people. Before my flight to Taiwan, I had to begin to prepare for the gamut of regulations from Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control for incoming travelers.

Photo courtesy Compass/Douglas Elliman
A seven-acre property located on Oak Grove Avenue in San Marino was put on the market this past week for the tidy sum of $24.5 million.

One of the priciest, most prestigious properties in Southern California hit the real estate market last Friday and San Marino’s Brent and Linda Chang were able to secure the co-listing.
Officially known as the Seeley Mudd Estate, the seven-acre property in San Marino — which features a 14,000-square-foot American Colonial structure — is possibly better known by its secondary purpose: Since 1979, it has served as the home to USC’s presidential families.
But it’s all yours for the asking price of $24.5 million, which will buy a slice of history considering the landscaped grounds were donated by Henry Huntington and Gen. George Patton. The estate was designed by renowned Pasadena architect Reginald Johnson and built in 1934.

Numbers continue to reflect the expectations of what a pandemic means for San Marino’s budgeting, according to an update last week from the city’s finance director.
General fund revenues fell by around 2.7% in the second quarter year-over-year, according to Finance Director Paul Chung. This represents a drop by $322,000, hardly an insurmountable amount for a city flush in reserve funding. The primary culprit, Chung explained, is the interruption of services that simply don’t work during a pandemic.
“Obviously with the COVID impacts, we have the facility closures due to the library and recreation programs being shut down. Those revenues are not as high as last year,” he said. “[Investment] yields are also lower as treasury yields continue to be low due to the COVID impacts.”

The San Marino Unified School District discussed a strategy to bring students back to its campuses as early as Monday, Feb. 22, at its most recent school board meeting on Feb. 9. If implemented, the plan would reinstate at least partial in-
person education for students in transitional kindergarten through 2nd grade at Valentine and Carver Elementary schools.
The plan was fortified when the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced on Monday that they expect the state’s COVID-19 case threshold to reach the predetermined limit that had been deemed safe by health officials.
“The state permits elementary schools to reopen as soon as we reach an adjusted case rate of 25 per 100,000,” the public health department said in its news release. “We are informing Los Angeles County schools via an emailed letter that we expect to announce we have reached this threshold effective Tuesday, Feb. 16.”

Normally, the Rotary Club of San Marino earmarks a hard 30-minute time allotment for its guest speakers, but last Thursday afternoon’s presentation by Huntington Hospital president and CEO Dr. Lori Morgan made many meeting attendees actually thankful that the Zoom format allowed for more than twice that duration.
Morgan has been in her position since 2017, and her more than three decades of experience in health care and health care management were on display as she handled questions that were submitted by club members on a wide variety of topics and presented to her by San Marinan Barbara Bice, who has worked at Huntington Hospital and has been a patient and visited others there.

Photo courtesy Christine Johnson
Christine Johnson has purchased San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe and plans to reopen on March 1.

There is good news coming from the iconic San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe: It’s remaining open and it’s remaining in San Marino. On Monday, March 1, Christine Johnson will take the keys from the Carpiac family after a brief closure to restock and retool.
“We are excited,” said Kelley Carpiac, who took over the store in March 2019. “As we said when we did this, we wanted the store to stay in the community and we are proud that we can do that. Christine will take it to the next level and I am excited to see what she can do.”
The final day for the Carpiacs will be Saturday, March 20, and then Johnson will give it a go.
“This is great news for everybody: for the community and the children and for play and fun,” said Johnson, who has experience in the field. “This is something we cannot let go of in the community. That is my mission, that kids stay kids. Let the children play and bring a smile to everyone’s face. It’s vitally important right now.”
Johnson previously owned Miracle Mile Toys & Games in Los Angeles, which she described as “a true, classic toy store.” She and her four children — who are enrolled in San Marino High School, Huntington Middle School, Carver Elementary School and a preschooler — moved into the SMUSD and immediately became customers of the San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe.