Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hometown Girl Brings Down Powerful Molestor

Victim's Resolve Brings Down a Star of Science
By Peter Y. Hong - Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The girl set the showdown for the oak-shaded lawn in front of the South Pasadena public library, a lovely spot for an ugly encounter.

She was a high school student with a painful secret that surfaced on her wrists, scarred where she had cut herself.

He was William French Anderson, world-renowned scientist, the father of gene therapy and a martial arts expert with law enforcement connections from the FBI to the chief of his hometown police department in San Marino.

Pillar of the community.

Without children of their own, the Andersons had long taken on what they called "surrogate children," guiding nine through college and in some cases medical school.

In Los Angeles, the girl became Anderson's next protege. Like him, she had early speech problems, talking only to her more outgoing twin sister in their own language.

The girl learned English in school but continued to let her twin speak for her. She had few friends and had been acting up at school.

I've cut out some of the sick details.

The girl lived with her family in a simple hillside house in South Pasadena, a short drive from Anderson's much grander residence, a spacious Cape Cod on a row of mansions across from the Huntington library and gardens. The twins built a treehouse in Anderson's backyard and had their friends over for get-togethers. Anderson bought the girl her prom dress.

It's quite an article. Check it out if you have a moment.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I Was Quoted A Bunch of Times

Well, actually, in some cases, just cited.

Tour Buses Anger Residents
By Jennifer McLain Staff Writer - Whittier Daily News

>>Ken Pellman, spokesman for the department of public works, said the new resolution - which also applies to six other unincorporated areas - simply addresses commercial vehicles that don't belong in that neighborhood on an ongoing basis.

"The thing about tour buses is if they are there momentarily, it's not the same type of problem as trucks parking there overnight," Pellman said. "If there are too many cars from people who aren't residents, that is a separate issue."<<

Depending on the conditions in the area, they can aske for "no parking any time" restrictions.

County Panel to Study Energy
By Reina V. Slutske - The Signal Staff Writer

>>Certain departments have already taken steps to aid energy efficiency. Ken Pellman, spokesman for the Department of Public Works, said projects such as implementing light-emitting diodes for traffic lights and solar panels for bus stations are on a smaller scale to help.<<

Public Works is also involved because we use a lot of vehicles (some hybrids) and because we are involved in street lights, promoting recycling, and we can use energy-efficient designs for constructing County government buildings.

County Acts on Impromptu Car Lot

>>COVINA - Help is on the way for unincorporated Covina residents itching to rid their streets of used cars for sale, officials said Wednesday.

The county Board of Supervisors has approved restricting parking on Shadydale Avenue near Badillo Street and Sunset Avenue, said Ken Pellman, county Department of Public Works spokesman.

Residents said the impromptu used car lot hits especially hard during the weekends.<<

Official: No 'Blanket Solution' for Parking
By Serena Maria Daniels - The Signal Staff Writer

>>An effort by the county Board of Supervisors last fall to decrease traffic congestion along a section of Lost Canyon Road has led to what some are calling a vandalism zone.

While the number of reported vandalisms is not considered a trend by local law enforcement, county Department of Public Works officials say that if residents are concerned about existing parking conditions they need to bring them up so that the department can investigate their needs.

"There can't just be a blanket solution that we feel is right," said Ken Pellman, a spokesman for Public Works.<<

Meaning... we need the input of residents with the understanding that if a change is possible and is made, it is likely to change other things as well, like speed limits and traffic conditions.

>>Pellman said that any issue involving parking on private property cannot be dealt with by the county, rather it must be taken up with the homeowners' association.

Kulikowski and Nunnery both said they were not successful in reaching representatives from their homeowners' association and want answers as to what they can do about the situation.

"I deal with the same thing," said Pellman of his own neighborhood. "If there's not enough parking in a complex, it becomes tough as to where someone is going to park."

Pellman suggested that residents who have an issue with parking conditions in their neighborhood can bring it up with Public Works, which conducts studies to determine the best solution for those types of problems.

"We measure things like traffic volume, traffic speed," said Pellman, adding that the stretch of Lost Canyon Road is a relatively new area, with a speed limit of 35 mph. "If there's something that people aren't happy with, that's something we'll look into."<<

I think now would be a great time to remind anyone reading this that this is MY personal blog, written on my own time, using my own resources, and so I'm certainly not speaking for anyone other than myself.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Checking in on My Hometown

South Pasadena Busy With Upgrades to Facilities
By Cortney Fielding Pasadena Star-News Staff Writer

>>After decades of stagnation, major public construction projects have begun sprouting up throughout South Pasadena. Designed to both revitalize the city's appearance and accommodate increasing demands on its infrastructure, everything from streetscapes to sewers are in line for revamps.
When the Grand Reservoir was built in 1882, South Pasadena was home to almost as many ostriches as people.

Last spring, workers began the $6 million teardown of the decaying reservoir, followed by the installation of two steel tanks estimated to hold 1.25million gallons each.

In September, a completely new Grand Reservoir in the city's northwest corner will come on-line, complete with up-to-date technology and electrical systems.
Other projects in the works are designed to alleviate traffic congestion, particularly in the areas affected by gaps in the 710 freeway. But the city will be spared the bulk of the $16 million price tag - almost 90 percent of funding will come from federal money secured by former Rep. James Rogan.<<

It's a very nice place and there seems to constantly be production of feature films, television shows, and television ads there.

Bygone Aquarium

Aquarium on the Pacific
Hermosa Beach's ultramodern aquatic zoo gained wide attention during its 10-year run.
By Andrea Sudano - Daily Breeze

>>These days, sharks and piranhas stalk Pier Avenue only at bars on Saturday nights, but they had a permanent home in Hermosa Beach in the 1950s.

Octopi, sea horses, giant turtles and the like once filled the giant glass-fronted tanks of the Ocean Aquarium just south of the pier and west of The Strand, drawing nearly 2 million visitors in its nearly 10-year run in town.
The underwater zoo clocked about 1.8 million visitors, including more than 25,000 group tours from the Boy Scouts and other youth and school organizations.

Kids and adults alike were fascinated by the daily animal feedings, suitable for viewing and participation.
In its time, the giant fish bowl was considered one of the largest and most modern aquariums in the country. Other tanks tried to replicate its "modern appointments," the Breeze wrote.
While Marineland of the Pacific -- a descendent of Hermosa's aquarium, according to a book detailing Hermosa Beach's history in pictures -- entertained tourists on the Palos Verdes Peninsula for more than 30 years, the Ocean Aquarium wasn't nearly as lucky.
An apparent squabble between McBride and the city over a 40-year lease calling for the development of a new pier caused both parties to hire lawyers in January 1956.

According to a Breeze article, the city was offered the aquarium's land and several nearby parcels for $85,000 in June 1958, and bought the land several years later.<<

I love reading about the history of lost attractions, especially about ones in southern California.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I Got Quoted Due to Terrorism

Tight Focus on Security Changes Rules For Travel
Article Launched: 8/11/2006 12:00 AM
By Fred Ortega, Pasadena Star-News Staff Writer

>>The disruption Thursday of a plan to blow up airliners en route to the United States from the United Kingdom has suddenly and radically changed the way people travel - in some cases, perhaps, permanently.

Within hours of the arrest of 24 suspects in London - believed to be about to smuggle liquid explosives hidden in household containers aboard up to 10 transatlantic flights - authorities had gathered at Los Angeles International Airport to announce the stringent new travel restrictions. They include prohibitions against bringing any liquid in carry-on baggage onto any commercial flight originating out of the United States.
At local general aviation airports such as El Monte and Brackett, things remain the same as they have been after the Sept. 11 attacks, said Ken Pellman, a spokesman for the county's Public Works Aviation Division.

"We are telling pilots to be on the lookout for anything unusual, making sure our fencing is in good repair," said Pellman. "General aviation is a different animal than commercial airports. These are small planes that people look after much as they would their own cars, so we are just asking that they take the same precautions as always, making sure they are locked up."<<

The paper has extensive coverage, including graphics of what can be carried on to commercial flights and what can't.

I've Joined The Disney Blog

Yes, I didn't have enough to do, so now I'm also contributing to The Disney Blog - If you bookmark The Disney Blog and and visit them both frequently, you'll be up to speed on everything that's happening at The Mouse, why it is happening, and what it will mean for the future.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Dubai Digs

Man-made Island Nears Completion
By JIM KRANE, AP Business Writer

>>With 14,000 laborers toiling day and night, the first of Dubai's three palm-shaped islands is finally about to get its first residents.

The Palm Jumeirah, a 12-square-mile island group, is part of what's billed as the largest land-reclamation project in the world, the product of five years of brute hauling of millions of tons of Persian Gulf sand and quarried rock.
When fully complete by 2010, the Palm Jumeirah will be an offshore city, with some 60,000 residents and at least 50,000 workers in 32 hotels and dozens of shops and attractions, Nakheel said.
The $14 billion project is a key part of this booming city's ambitions to rival Singapore and Hong Kong as a business hub, and surpass Las Vegas as a leisure capital.
Nakheel's two copycat Palms, the Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira, have also been delayed by design changes and other factors, Kazim said. A nearly finished fourth Nakheel archipelago, shaped like a map of the world, has attracted few buyers and remains mostly unsold.
Meanwhile, laborers living in a cruise ship moored offshore are scrambling to finish enormous concrete houses that are crammed together on the palm island's 17 "fronds." The fronds are narrow peninsulas as long as a mile, attached to the island's main trunk. Nakheel will hand keys to owners of 1,350 homes by Nov. 30, Kazim said.
The 1,500 room Atlantis Hotel is already under construction by South Africa and Dubai-owned Kerzner International, and is expected to be finished in 2009. The hotel will be similar to its Atlantis hotel in The Bahamas.

A redesigned Trump Hotel and Tower on the island is also expected to open sometime in 2009, Kazim said.<<

Can Disney be far behind?

The 'Nigerian' Scammers Keep Going

Nigerian 419 Scam is Back, With a Twist
A 'buyer' sees your house advertised online and makes a nice offer. But first, you're asked to send some cash.
By Gayle Pollard-Terry - Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

>>When real estate agent Jennifer Caveness decided to sell her Huntington Beach town house recently, she listed the two-bedroom, two-bathroom property in the Multiple Listing Service, the traditional method of attracting sellers. She also advertised it on two popular websites, and

She quickly became the target of a new twist on an old scheme — the Nigerian advance-fee scam called 419 after the number of the West African nation's criminal code that prohibits this type of fraud.

For years, con artists have sent e-mails offering to share millions of dollars if the recipients would pay to cover the transfers costs, administrative fees, customs or bribes they say are needed to get the money out of the country. Or the e-mails promised big international lottery winnings after the payment of upfront fees.

Of course, the payoffs never materialize.

In the fraud's latest incarnation, home sellers are being targeted.
Caveness canceled the deal and reported the incident to the FBI's Internet-crime complaint center. The agency, which is working with the Nigerian government, will look at names and similarities to determine whether a pattern exists and if these individuals are part of a larger scheme. The FBI, which receives 20,000 Internet-crime complaints a month, advised The Times against revealing the names of the men who contacted Caveness in case there was an investigation already underway involving them; also, Nigerian criminals have been known to threaten their online victims.

Peter Brust, former chief of the cyber-crime division at FBI headquarters, said that the new versions of the 419 scams are increasingly more believable. "It's not like they offer you millions of dollars," he said. "They read the newspapers and they know what's possible on the Internet, like the social-networking sites." The scam artists not only work out of Nigeria, he said. Other top spots include the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and South America.
Where to turn for information on cyber scams:

• Internet users who suspect they are victims of cyber crime should go to - The Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, collects complaints, develops information and, when necessary, refers the allegations to the proper federal, state, local or international authorities for investigation.

• The FBI also recommends a consumer-advocacy website, Looks Too Good to Be True (, for prevention tips, victims' stories, a test to determine how vulnerable you are to Internet scams or to order free fraud-prevention DVDs produced by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, one of the sponsors of the site.

• Complaints can also be filed at - the online site of the Federal Trade Commission.

• Information from the federal government and technology companies on how to protect yourself online is available at<<

Stay vigilant. For research and hilarious entertainment, I recommend you check out

Saturday, August 05, 2006

In-N-Out Burger Matriarch Passes Away

Ailing leader of In-N-Out Burger Dies
Esther Snyder, 86, and her husband founded popular Irvine chain.
By NANCY LUNA - The Orange County Register

>>Esther Snyder, the ailing matriarch of In-N-Out Burger – one of Southern California's most popular fast-food chains – died Friday. She was 86.
Snyder met her husband, Harry, while she was working as a manager at a Seattle restaurant in 1947. Harry, known as a stickler for neat attire, sold baked goods to the restaurant. The two moved to Baldwin Park, married and founded In-N-Out in 1948.

From the beginning, the Snyders' strategy was simple: Serve fresh burgers in a clean, customer-friendly environment. She kept the books, while her husband ran the day-to-day operations of his unique "two-way speaker" drive-through concept.
Up until the end, she was passionate about that tradition. In a rare video message made for employees late last year, Snyder – dressed in a blue smock – said she still made spot checks on eateries to ensure workers were preparing meals correctly, and with a smile.<<

Sad news. I hope the place doesn't change. Without them, I might actually be a healthy weight.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Preventing Pollution

Click HERE to see a "vidcast" about preventing runoff pollution. I have a short appearance in the short video, which was made by the City of Bellflower.


I Was Quoted on Parking

Truck Parking To Be Limited
County ban aimed at commercial rigs
By Jennifer McLain - San Gabriel Valley Tribune Staff Writer

>>Semi-trailer trucks that have plagued some area residents soon will be prohibited from parking on certain streets in unincorporated areas, county officials said Tuesday.

"This is just about commercial vehicles that don't belong in some neighborhoods on an ongoing basis," said Ken Pellman, county Department of Public Works spokesman.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted a resolution that prohibits parking of commercial vehicles in the unincorporated areas of South Whittier, Rowland Heights and Altadena. Pellman expects it to be enforced as early as September.
In several weeks, Pellman said he expects signs to be posted in the affected areas, including Nogales Street in Rowland Heights, Marengo Avenue in Altadena, and Meyer Road in South Whittier.

Signs also will be posted that prohibit parking in certain areas from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.<<

Be careful where you park.