Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pasadena Midweek Briefs

Pasadena's anti-gang efforts could soon get a boost, if Southland officials have their way in Washington:

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, introduced legislation that would direct $1 billion in federal funds to the gang problem.

It also mandates stiffer penalties and creates a range of new criminal offenses aimed at prohibiting gang recruiting.

California is home to an estimated 150,000 gang members, with about 40,000 in the L.A. area.

"As a former federal prosecutor, I have seen first hand the damage gangs cause in our community," Schiff said.

Delgadillo seeks aid for L.A. -- Lisa Freedman, Los Angeles Daily News
Local charter schools continue to best the education establishment:

"We are thrilled, but not surprised, that our academic performance is on par with and often superior than most comparable schools in the state," said Tom Goodman, superintendent for both OFL and OFY.

Area Charter Schools Outrank Most of State's Top Continuation Schools -- USNewswire
The poor Affordable Housing Bunny sure does have a tough time in this town. The March issue of Affordable Housing Finance illustrates the difficulties of building affordable units in Pasadena:

In the expensive Southern California housing market, crafting a financing structure that yields homeownership costs affordable to low-income buyers is enormously challenging. Combine a target of serving low- and moderate-income families with a goal of preserving and moving existing houses that are contributors to a local historic district, and you get a project with an average development cost of $477,425.

Pioneering Deal Uses NMTCs for Housing-Only Project -- Moira Christopher, AHF
South Raymond will soon be be lined in a forest of:

swaying aluminum poles, as tall as palm trees, topped by softly glowing, multicolored lights.

The artistic light installation is a proposal called PowerPLANTS. If the Pasadena City Council approves the project this summer, the poles could sprout along the South Raymond Innovation Corridor by the fall.

In case you were worried they might be tacky and costly, don't be.

Hafermaas developed the idea with friends at Realities United in Berlin. He said the light poles "work like actual plants becausethey collect sunlight during the daytime and store it as electrical energy, and they give it off as an ambient glow at night."

PowerPLANTS, he said, are timeless and "are not going to get dated visually over time."

Timeless. Riiiiiiiiiiight.
Beautification project definitely has a glow on -- Emmanuel Parker, Star-News
West Coast Grrlie Blather isn't entirely happy with the Bill Bogaard story:

I’ve lived in Pasadena for over two decades, and I’m becoming a curmudgeon. Why? Because of the way this city has changed. Change is difficult, change is hard, change can be bad or good. Change is constant, and because of that I try hard to embrace it.

Some changes I am able to roll with. Target moved into the old Robinson’s-May building on Colorado. Fedco is gone (yes, I still miss it). But here are the things that pinch: Pasadena now has scads of expensive, ugly rental housing. (Note to self: post photos of egregious examples.) Our traffic has started to rival the famed Westside of LA traffic. And lower income folks are moving out of this town because they cannot afford to stay here.

More on Pasadena and the near complete absence of the infamous Affordable Housing Bunny at:

Where the Boring Mayor Lives -- West Coast Grrlie Blather

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