The Year in Review 2015

High winds blew in the New Year toppling trees and causing havoc in the foothills region. One tree blew over in the 4900 block of Ramsdell Avenue sounding “like a freight train coming down,” said a neighbor. No one was hurt.

Cold weather didn’t lessen the enthusiasm of the thousands who converged on Colorado Boulevard for the 126th annual Rose Parade. The Founders Trophy was awarded to the City of La Cañada for its entry, “To The Rescue.”

Two suspects were arrested on burglary charges by local sheriff’s deputies.  The pair was suspected in the burglary of a home on Abella Street.

Burbank Police Dept. was one of dozens of law enforcement agencies represented at the funerals of New York City Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. The officers were shot in the head at point-blank range by a gunman, later identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

Dalipuga Central School in the Philippines sent a thank you to the foothill community for its financial support for necessary repairs at the school. Spearheaded by CVHS teacher Pia Hugo, fundraising exceeded $10,000 – far above the initial goal of $6,000. Hugo said that the school not only was given gifts of brand new buildings but also “the gifts of knowing they are loved, they haven’t been forgotten and that they truly matter.”

A January meeting held at All Nations Church in Lake View Terrace regarding the proposed high-speed rail project held a standing room only crowd. The purpose of the meeting was to explore how the HSR would affect the communities of Shadow Hills, Lake View Terrace, Sunland-Tujunga, La Tuna Canyon and Kagel Canyon. Many of the residents voiced their opposition to the project. Dave DiPinto, president of the Shadow Hills Property Owners Association and a member of S.A.F.E. (Save Angeles Forest for Everyone), described the atmosphere in the church as  “electric.”

The implementation of Common Core standards, specifically math, was discussed at a meeting of the Glendale Unified School District board of education. Board President Greg Krikorian echoed the concerns of many parents who felt that students are not transitioning smoothly into the curriculum. “It’s hard when you see a 14-year-old telling his dad, ‘I let you down because I got an F [in math],’” Krikorian said. “We’re letting him down because we’ve got to do our jobs better.”

Staged auto accidents were the focus of an event hosted by Mercury Insurance for police and emergency medical personnel. It demonstrated the most common attempts at auto insurance fraud. Glendale has the most accidents per capita in the state and also five times as many as the average city in the state, according to Dan Bales, national director of Special Investigations.

The Big Band era was revisited when the Crescenta Valley High School award-winning jazz band played at the annual Jazz Night at the Café. The event featured live music from the 1930s and 1940s and provided plenty of space for dancers to kick up their heels.

A summer start for Stengel Field clubhouse and dugout demolition was announced at the Glendale City Council meeting. The council approved a contract of $443,925 to Triangle Enterprises to do the work.

USC-VHH nurses presented a petition expressing their grievances to USC-VHH chief operating officer Paul Czajka. Among the complaints was a “working environment that is often understaffed and lacking proper patient care.”

Montrose Search & Rescue Team members headed to Lee Vining Canyon near Mammoth Mountain for ice training on a frozen waterfall. The training put rescue members in the most technical and hazardous situations possible while still being safely controlled.

The GUSD board of education prepared for an influx of Prop 98 funds that, while welcome, would not bring GUSD up to its target funding levels. “What we have to keep in mind is this is a restoration of funds, not new money,” said Superintendent Richard Sheehan.

Clear warm weather was inviting to many who were eager to explore the local forest. Unfortunately, members of the Hiking Club at UCLA were caught off-guard by unexpected rain and fog on their return from Mt. Hawkins necessitating the dispatch of the Montrose Search & Rescue team. The 13 members of the hiking club were cold and hungry when found around 1 a.m. by MSR team members.

Students were given the chance to participate as vendors during the Founders Day festivities at the Montrose Harvest Market as part of Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow.

The City of Glendale reached a settlement with the last plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the Glendale Police Dept. The lawsuit alleged mistreatment and retaliation against officers from ethnic minority backgrounds. In the agreement, the city agreed to pay $7,500 in attorney’s fees for John Balian, a former GPD member, in addition to depositing 250 hours worth of sick time and 50 hours of vacation into his leave bank.

Arson was suspected in an early morning fire that destroyed vehicles at CV Tow. The fire was knocked down in about 19 minutes and no one was hurt.

The installation of a diagonal crosswalk at Ocean View Boulevard and Honolulu Avenue in Montrose surprised merchants and shoppers in the Montrose Shopping Park. “No one told us it was coming,” said Dale Dawson, business administrator for the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. The MSPA board voiced concerns that the crosswalk, including signage, was “not well thought-out.”

An unexpected rainstorm put an end to the celebration of Montrose’s 102nd birthday. Activities surrounding Founders Day included the CV High School Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow program and a barbecue.  Festivities including the presentation of the Founders Day awards were postponed until March.

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Candidates for Glendale City Council and Glendale Unified School District board of education made the rounds in a series of debates held locally. Two seats were up for grabs on the city council and two on the board of education.

Discussion was held between members of the GUSD board and members of the La Cañada Unified School District regarding the territory transfer known as Sagebrush. Though called “productive” by GUSD superintendent Dr. Richard Sheehan, further legal clarification was needed on a number of points raised.

Stone Barn Vineyard Conservancy held a pruning session at Deukmejian Wilderness Park. Volunteers were asked to go to Deukmejian with pruning scissors, gloves, bucket, water and a hat to help prune back the vines.

The dangers of vaping, hookah and e-cigarettes were presented by Glendale Police Dept. Officer Joe Allen at a CV Alliance meeting. Allen said the most important thing parents can do to keep their kids drug-free is to teach awareness. “It’s about teaching kids to make proper decisions,” he said.

The nonprofit Community Foundation of the Verdugos worked to sustain the Verdugo Regional Crime Laboratory’s funding through an initiative that is more than halfway to its $250,000 goal. The lab was credited with processing hundreds of samples that identified suspects and exonerated the innocent.

The Clark Magnet High School Kelp Huggers won the Lexus Eco Challenge. Led by teacher Dominique Evans-Bye, the students worked together to help bringing awareness to the prominent issue of marine debris.

A number of proposed modifications in the City of Glendale included examining zoning codes that designate an outdoor dining area versus a sidewalk dining area, which could limit smoking in designated spaces. Other proposed changes included determining where alcohol could be consumed.

Tensions continued between USC-VHH nurses and administrators as nurses threatened to strike if negotiations didn’t take a more positive turn.

The recently released Draft Environmental Impact Report for the 710 Extension project was the topic at the March meeting of the Crescenta Valley Community Assn.

As California entered a fourth year of drought, the State Water Board adopted an expanded emergency regulation to safeguard the state’s remaining water supplies. “We are experiencing the lowest snowpack and the driest January in recorded history,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus.

A four-hour Glendale City Council meeting focused on property improvements at the Chevy Chase Country Club. Though the council looked favorably on the proposal, some neighbors of the country club were not enthusiastic about the project.

The Girl Scouts of Crescenta Valley/Glendale held their Annual Tasting Bee/World Thinking Day at Rosemont Middle School. Ticketholders tasted exotic foods from around the world and also had a chance to take part in a silent auction and opportunity drawings.

Fundraising continued for La Crescenta resident Karla Bernabel who was critically injured in a motorcycle accident in January.

A tentative agreement was reached in the lawsuit between the and the NCL-Glendale regarding the Twelve Oaks property. The lawsuit, filed in October 2013 by NCL, alleged that violated an agreement that Twelve Oaks existed “solely for charitable purposes.”

Locals were recognized for their community service at the annual Founders Day celebration. The event, postponed from February, recognized Allan and Lorry Herbert, Alyce and Tom Russell, Deborah Beljan, Garo Anserlian, Ken Grayson and Prom Plus Club. Myrna Grijalva was recognized with the Montrose Heritage Award.

Local teen Rachel Harvey was one of 16 high school juniors who flew to Korea as part of Project Bridge, a year-long program that immerses students in the nuances of Korean culture.

Debate continued on the future of the 710 extension project. A forum on a proposed 6.3-mile long tunnel that would connect the 710 Freeway to the 210 was held at California State University, Los Angeles. Opponents of the tunnel alternative stated costs and safety as reasons against this option. Proponents cited mobility, air quality and less congestion as reasons that the tunnel would be the best option.

Ballots were cast for candidates for the Glendale City Council and the Glendale Unified School District board of education. Elected to the council were Paula Devine and Vartan Gharpetian; to the GUSD were Nayiri Nahabedian and Jennifer Freemon.

Gelson’s Market in La Cañada celebrated its one-year anniversary by treating shoppers to a selection of goods. “The community has embraced us and we’re really happy to be part of the small town feel in La Cañada,” said Hee-Sook Nelson, vice president of Gelson’s Employee Development and Marketing.

The City of La Cañada Flintridge honored former mayors Laura Olhasso and Don Voss by installing bronze plaques commemorating their service at Mayors’ Discovery Park.

The 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was commemorated with a series of events throughout Glendale including the second annual Red Poppy Project and the event, “Heroes and Healers: Stories of Courage and Altruism in Times of Genocide.”

The Glendale City Council voted unanimously to scrap the controversial diagonal crosswalk that had been installed at Ocean View Boulevard and Honolulu Avenue.

Approximately 200 athletes competed in a tri-valley track meet at Crescenta Valley High School for spots at the 2015 Special Olympics Southern California Summer Games that were being held in Long Beach in June. Around 300 volunteers, many students from CVHS, signed up to be buddies to the athletes for the day.

A tentative agreement was reached between nurses and administrators at USC-VHH.  The agreement came after about a year of negotiations during which time nurses threatened to strike.

Chief administrators of Crescenta Valley Water District and Foothill Municipal Water District jointly met and changed the water conservation level from yellow (extraordinary) to orange (allocation) signaling the implementation of state mandated conservation efforts.

A proposal to develop a dedicated communications system for emergency responders throughout Los Angeles County that would include the installation of a cell tower at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station met with community opposition. Among the reasons cited was the supposed emission of harmful electromagnetic radiation and the reduction in property values.

A “senior prom” for elderly citizens was held at Scholl Canyon Estates in Glendale. The evening included dancing and the crowning of prom king and queen Nick and Tillie Medvid.

A panel discussion was hosted by the National Park Service to gather community input on the possibility of expanding the boundary of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include the Rim of the Valley Corridor.

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Briggs Terrace residents participated in an evacuation drill. The drill helped prepare residents to be proactive in the case of an evacuation.

The City of Glendale allocated $56,000 to advance anti-710 tunnel advocacy efforts. The costs were part of the Glendale’s share as part of the Five City Alliance (FCA) and the Connected Cities Coalition (CCC), a coalition of cities opposed to the 710 tunnel project.

Locals weighed in on the possibility of football returning to Los Angeles, 20 years after both the Rams and Raiders departed. Alberto Ocon, a member of the Glendale Quarterback Club, said he would be happy with any team returning. “Any of those teams would be fantastic,” he said.

The all-way crosswalk at Honolulu Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard, part of a pilot program, was removed. The premature placement of the crosswalk did not allow sufficient time for pedestrians, nearby businesses and motorists to be alerted to the change.

A six-year contract totaling nearly $44,000,000 that would continue the city’s relationship with the Glendale Beeline operator was approved by the Glendale City Council.

L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell was the keynote speaker at the 4th Annual Community Prayer Breakfast.

Water conservation numbers were in for the month of April and the City of Glendale reported a reduction of 12% in water usage. GWP general manager Steve Zurn expressed his gratitude with the reduction but stressed that the conservation goal is 20%.

The American Legion Post 288 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1614 hosted Armed Forces Day that included a car show and barbecue. The Posts also held a Memorial Day commemoration at Two Strike Park.

Due to the severe drought, the City of Glendale revisited the possibility of allowing artificial turf to be installed in the front yards of Glendale residents. “The world we’re going into is very dry,” said Glendale resident and artificial turf supporter Louise Peeples.

The Crescenta Valley Water District announced that it would be constructing a new water production well at the Rockhaven property in the 2700 block of Honolulu Avenue. The new well would make the district less dependent on imported water, according to David Gould, district engineer for the CVWD.

Local supporters of Life Rolls On/They Will Surf Again headed to Santa Monica for the annual event that offers adaptive surfing for the paralysis community. The volunteers were on hand to assist the surfers on land and in the water.

Crescenta Valley Weekly released its annual Discover magazine that profiled businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Two local icons – Wanda Bergstrom and Ron Sowers – were recognized for their long-held positions in the Crescenta Valley. Bergstrom was the waitress who “knew everyone’s name” at the City Hall Café and Sowers was the former assistant principal at Rosemont Middle School. Both retired. Rosemont Middle School bid farewell to assistant principal Ron Sowers who retired. Sowers was presented with a “diploma” from principal Cynthia Livingston on the last day of school.

The Glendale City Council gave the go ahead to staff to move forward with an application for grants that would go toward improving Deukmejian Wilderness Park.

Three members of the Montrose Search & Rescue team climbed Oregon’s Mt. Hood as a fundraiser for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Mike Leum, Cindy England and Robert Sheedy traveled to Oregon to ascend the 11,000 foot mountain.

Opponents of the high-speed rail project descended on the Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles in a Unity Rally to voice their concerns about the proposed routes through the Angeles National Forest.

The annual Montrose Arts & Crafts Festival was held on Honolulu Avenue. The two-day event drew thousands eager to purchase homemade items, and invited children to enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo and inflatable slide and a rock-climbing wall.

The one-year anniversary came and went for the family of missing woman Kimberly Blum. Blum disappeared after leaving her sister’s home after preparing for a party. Blum has still not been found.

Montrose Search & Rescue team member Dannie Hensley was recognized for 50 years of service to the team. It was estimated that during that time he responded to 762 call-outs, attended 512 meeting and 494 trainings, went on 230 patrols and gave 175 public relations talks.
The CVWD proposed an increase in water rates due to the loss of income from the mandated water reduction and a need to replace aging infrastructure. Most of the residents at the meeting were not happy with the news.

The annual American Heroes Air Show was held at Hansen Dam. Admission to the helicopter air show was free and featured the administration of the Citizenship Oath to 30 people who had completed required classes to be sworn in as U.S. citizens.

About 100 concerned residents met with CV Sheriff’s Station Capt. Bill Song, who represents the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. that is responsible for the Los Angeles County/La Crescenta area, and Lt. Lola Abrahamian, north area commander of the Glendale Police Dept., to gather information regarding an increase in burglaries in the Crescenta Valley area.

The CV Sheriff’s Station had its annual rummage sale. All proceeds benefitted the CV Station Volunteer Program and Station Fund.

The community poured onto the field of La Crescenta Elementary School for the annual fireworks extravaganza. In addition to the fireworks, the event featured food trucks, music and a carnival. The Independence Day weekend also included a car show sponsored by the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. and the annual Cowboy Church at the Center for Spiritual Living.

A young girl was bitten by a rattlesnake while hiking, a reminder that the local foothills are “rattlesnake country.”

The infrastructure of Stengel Field, including stands and the clubhouse, was demolished. Fundraising was under way for a new stadium.

The GUSD launched a series of community meetings to gather input on the desired qualities for the next school superintendent after Dr. Richard Sheehan announced his departure.

The Early Rodders car club with Century 21 Crest hosted a gathering of classic cars to celebrate summer.

The House of Representatives voted in support of a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act, a move made to reduce federal control on schools’ accountability and performance standards.

Residents waiting to use the track and field at CV High School had to be patient while a new field was installed. The cost to renovate the field was approximately $440,000 according to Alana Reising, the GUSD administrator of facilities.

Tiles were laid at the Crescenta Commons, the unkempt land at the corner of Orange and Rosemont avenues that received a facelift from local volunteers.

The annual Cruise Night car show sponsored by the City of Glendale was cancelled due to lightning. It was rescheduled to August.

A redo of the Democratic caucus for the 43rd District that was held in January went off without a hitch. The redo was sparked after complaints were made concerning the January event.

A homicide investigation was launched after the body of a 73-year-old man was found in his garage on Frances Street. According to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept., it appeared the victim suffered from apparent blunt force trauma.

The Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station held its annual blood drive benefitting Huntington Hospital.

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Two years after senior residents left their homes at Twelve Oaks Lodge and after a lengthy legal battle, the management and control of Twelve Oaks was transferred from the to the Twelve Oaks Foundation. The National Charity League – Glendale chapter will monitor and advise the foundation.

Several National Night Out events were held throughout the foothills and Glendale. The annual NNO event gathers residents together to focus on neighborhood safety. Local events featured bounce houses, live music and food.

A ribbon cutting was held for College View school ending a year of construction for the campus. Amenities of the new facilities included a therapy gym, multipurpose room, instructional kitchen, laundry room and an indoor pool.

CV Alliance hosted its first Orange Fest. The first part of the event focused on parents while the second focused on teens. Teens were able to enjoy a free carnival with free rides, food, music, photo booth and more.

The community mourned the death of a young Glendale resident, Levon Thomas, 20, who died in Armenia one day prior to participating in the 5th Pan-Armenian Games as a member of the Glendale soccer team. He was fatally injured in an ATV accident.

Responding to a feeling of not being heard by GUSD officials on a variety of topics, including earlier school year start dates, CV parents created an online petition to voice their displeasure.

Crescenta Valley Weekly presented a seminar regarding safety issues for prospective college students. Among the topics covered was preventing, intervening in and handling incidents of sexual assault.

The Montrose Shopping Park Assn. held its sixth annual Montrose Film Festival. The festival took place in the parking lot adjacent to Andersen’s Pet Shop, the former site of the Montrose Theatre that burned down in the ’80s. The movies shown were “Jumanji” and “Hook.”

“The Great Wet Hope” was how Bill Patzert, climatologist at JPL, described the expected El Niño. The last major El Niño was in 1998 and caused flooding, hazardous conditions and more flooding. “We are just not engineered to handle it gracefully…” he said.

The Glendale City Council approved the repair of a slope at the Scholl Canyon Landfill. The project would involve the regrading of part of the landfill’s surface to improve drainage.

A Conditional Use Permit was granted to Options for Youth by the Los Angeles County Planning Commission despite the CV Town Council’s voting to deny the CUP application for the charter school.

The Glendale City Council inducted Greg Fish as the city’s new fire chief. Fish had been the interim chief since April.
After learning about the “Think Kindness” project, students at Rosemont Middle School held a shoe donation drive to send shoes to Africa. The goal of collecting 2500 pairs of gently used shoes in 15 days was surpassed. By the end of the campaign, over 6,000 pairs of shoes were collected.

A murder/suicide shook up the foothill community after firefighter James M. Taylor killed his wife, Dep. Cecilia Hoschet, in their La Cañada home before killing himself. “We lost a wonderful deputy,” stated Sheriff Jim McDonnell.

The Alex Theatre celebrated 90 years with a gala that included the relighting of the theatre’s iconic Art Deco tower.

The Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce held its annual fundraiser, the Running the Foothills 5K. An estimated 400 runners participated, raising money for local schools and for the chamber.

Phase I of a well construction project on the former site of Rockhaven Sanitarium was completed. The pipeline would take water from the site to the CVWD facility on Glenwood Avenue.

“The Fire House Project,” a documentary made by local students, was screened for the community. The film presented issues commonly handled by students including high stress levels, overwhelming homework loads and demanding teachers.

The 4th annual Joe’s Minibike Reunion was held at CV Park. The event included over 200 minibikes and 1,000 spectators.

The Crescenta Valley Town Council hosted its annual pancake breakfast fundraiser at CV High School. Student volunteers helped with serving and cleaning up at the breakfast and the high school jazz band provided live music.

The CV Town Council announced plans to explore the possibility of getting medians installed along Foothill Boulevard in the unincorporated portion of Los Angeles County/La Crescenta.

The Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients for its Recognition Banquet. Among those chosen was Crescenta Valley Weekly publisher Robin Goldsworthy as woman of the year.

Crescenta Valley Weekly published the results of its annual The Finest contest where readers were asked to vote for those businesses, people and places they considered “the finest.”

The Glendale City Council rejected construction bids for upgrades to the historic Le Mesnager Barn at Deukmejian Wilderness Park stating that recent bids were considerably higher than original construction estimates. The council planned to revisit the bidding process at a meeting in November.

Scientists celebrated the discovery of flowing water on Mars. “The news … is huge,” said Congressman Adam Schiff.

Montrose Starbucks applied for a beer and wine permit as part of its Evenings program. The Montrose Shopping Park Assn. raised concerns that included increased traffic and parking.

The Glendale City Council held closed session talks regarding the property at 2713 Honolulu Ave., the former site of Rockhaven Sanitarium. According to the city council agenda, the conference was in regard to the “price and sale for the acquisition of property.”

A Development Impact Fee levied on all development in Glendale raised millions resulting in the City of Glendale holding community outreach meetings to gather information on what the public wants to see in park improvements.

The 38th annual Oktoberfest was held in the 2200-2400 blocks of Honolulu Avenue. “It was a great event,” said Melinda Clarke, Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce executive director. The event sold an estimated 241 half barrels of beer, equating to almost 30,000 pints served.

The Glendale City Council unanimously approved unblending healthcare rates for current and former city employees, a change that the city said would help avoid damaging effects to Glendale’s budget. Former employees allege the change would greatly increase their medical costs.

Local schools participated in the Fifth Annual Walk-to-School Day. Hundreds of parents pulled on their walking shoes to escort their children to school.

Love Ride 32, the final Love Ride, had over 14,000 guests and bikers who helped raise more than $1 million for the Wounded Warriors Project. The event began with bikers leaving the Harley Davidson Glendale location and roaring to Castaic Lake for a concert that featured American Hitmen, Social Distortion and Foo Fighters.

An application from the International Studies Language Academy to create an independent charter school was met with opposition and support by Glendale parents.

A father and daughter were critically injured after the compact vehicle they were in was hit by a van. The accident occurred at New York Avenue and Foothill Boulevard. All involved survived the crash.

The 2015 homecoming court was presented at Crescenta Valley High School during the homecoming game against Muir High School (the Falcons won 40-27). Crowned king was Stefan Kornarens and queen was Audrey Black. Princes were Brandon Lim, Zach Johnson, Alex Jilizian, Jaemin Lee and Elliot Lee. Princesses were Brooke Bell, Anna Shim, Isabel Wright, Xiamara Velasco-Mayner and Elizabeth Hart.

Halloween Haunts were found throughout the Crescenta Valley as local residents and some businesses prepared for Halloween. Among the most prominent events was the annual Spooktacular at Montrose Shopping Park, the Haunted Jail at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station and the Nightmare in Whiting Woods.

The unexpected death of Paul Roberts of Landry’s Sporting Goods resulted in the impromptu installation of a memorial outside the store on Honolulu Avenue. Roberts died while attending a wedding on Catalina.

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The Glendale Teachers Association and the Glendale Unified School District reached a tentative agreement after 14 months of negotiations. Among the items agreed upon was a 3% raise in salary for all GTA members retroactively to Jan. 1, 2015 and then an upcoming raise of 5% to take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

The community was buzzing when over one weekend Prom Plus held its annual boutique, the annual Mutt Strut was held at Crescenta Valley Park benefitting the California Council of the Blind and the La Crescenta Woman’s Club held its annual collectibles show.

St. Luke’s of the Mountains was the location where voters could cast ballots for the Crescenta Valley Town Council candidates. Voting took place over two days. The winning candidates were Sophal Ear, Mike Claessens and Lisa Griffin. Alternates elected were Aram Ordubegian, JoAnn Stupakis and Charles Beatty.

WWII veterans were honored at Two Strike Park as part of a Veterans Day ceremony.  Among the speakers at the event were Congressman Adam Schiff and Assemblyman Mike Gatto.

The County of Los Angeles adopted its first historic preservation ordinance. The ordinance will enable the board of supervisors, after a public hearing before the Historic Landmarks and Records Commission, to designate landmarks and historic districts in the unincorporated communities of the county. Mike Lawler, former president of the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley, called the ordinance a “win-win.”

A petition to repeal the City of Glendale’s Utility Users Tax received the requisite number of signature to be considered for approval or placement on a municipal ballot measure. The tax makes up about 15.2% of the city’s budget.

The Crescenta Valley Water District held the first of three public workshops to introduce its partnership with Raftelis Financial Consultants. The company will analyze the district’s financials and design new water and sewer rate structures.

Civic leaders expressed their sadness at the passing of community icon Esther Norbut, 92. “Council always referred to [Don and Esther Norbut] as Mr. & Mrs. La Crescenta,” said then-president of the CV Town Council Robbyn Battles. “Esther was a very special lady.”

The town came out for the annual White Friday and Shop Small Saturday in the Montrose Shopping Park. A nighttime tree lighting with “snow” falling and Santa Claus helped usher in the holiday season.

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Assemblyman Mike Gatto announced that he would not run for state senate in 2016 stating that, “campaigning at this time would not be in my family’s best interest.”

Two suspects were sought after robbing the Mardo K Fine Jewelry store in Montrose.

The CV Sheriff’s Station kicked off its annual toy and food drive.

In June 2016 Glendale voters will decide whether to repeal the city’s Utility Users Tax as a petition filed with the city required the city council to place the initiative on an upcoming ballot.

The La Crescenta Library held its first tree lighting ceremony. About 1200 people came for the lighting, music and refreshments. Supervisor Michael Antonovich was on hand to read a holiday story to youngsters.

The 39th annual Montrose Christmas Parade had parade-goers lining Honolulu Avenue from Rosemont Avenue to Verdugo Boulevard, all eager to see the 121 entries that included Scouts, horses, dogs, nonprofit groups and businesses.

A Winter Wonderland was found at Two Strike Park when Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation brought in tons of snow that delighted the estimated 800 guests who came to sled, build snowmen and visit with St. Nick.

Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro cited recent state legislation that reduced prison penalties for non-violent offenders as partially responsible for the increase in Glendale crime in 2015. “[It’s] a trend that we’re going to continue to see until we can find a way to put some teeth back into [the sentences for] some of these habitual offenders,” he said.

Transient and homeless people living in Big Tujunga Wash have resulted in an increase in crime in Sunland-Tujunga and residents have taken action. Around 100 volunteers entered the Wash and cleared the makeshift encampment. It is the hope of the neighbors that more resources will be dedicated to monitoring and patrolling the Wash.

The distribution of toys and food collected by local law enforcement was completed before Christmas, bringing holiday joy to those in need.

An appeal was made regarding the Conditional Use Permit that would allow the Evenings Menu program at Starbucks in Montrose.

Congress allocated $8.2 million toward the early earthquake warning system, which seismologists say could provide significant notice of incoming quakes along the western United States.

Robbyn Battles ended her tenure as Crescenta Valley Town Council president. Battles opted not to run for another term. Leslie Dickson was voted the new president.

The GUSD staff posted its recommendation of denial regarding the application by the International Studies Language Academy – ISLA – for a charter school. After hearing from supporters and opponents of the Academy, the board of education voted to support the findings of its staff.

Local resident Fred Koegler will be riding in the New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade with his equestrian unit from Yosemite. Koegler is a Montrose Search & Rescue Team member.