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Festival of Balloons Schedule

•7-11 a.m. – Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at South Pasadena Fire Department.
•10:30 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies on the outside steps of the South Pasadena Library Community Room.
•11 a.m. – 4th of July Festival of Balloons Parade down Mission Street.
•Noon – 3 p.m. – Games and activities in Garfield Park.
•5:30 p.m. – Opening of Stadium at South Pasadena High for bleacher seating (Blast of Horn). Food service, music, moon bounce for kids.
•5:30 p.m. – Opening of stadium for field seating.
•6 – 8:45 p.m. – Music, announcement of parade entry winners, acknowledgement of poster contest winners, performance by the drum line.
•8:50 p.m. – Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Color Guard. Flag Salute.
•8:55 p.m. – Star Spangled Banner with fireworks bursting in air.
•9 p.m. – Fireworks Show.

Deadly Confrontation in Burbank

An investigation continues Thursday concerning an officer involved in a shooting in Burbank on the 400 block of Broadway.

South Pasadena police have confirmed that one of their officers was involved in the shooting.

Details are still coming in, but South Pasadena police were reportedly serving a warrant at the home.

The shooting between the South Pasadena officer and a man inside the Burbank home occurred at about 8:45 a.m. Two SPPD officers were said to be serving a warrant to a female. It is unclear why the warrant was being served.

On entering the home, the officers apparently came in contact with a male occupant who was said to be a renter.

It’s also unclear if both officers discharged their weapons.

Little details are available about the warrant served the woman. One news outlet said it may have something to do with fraud.

Immigrant Status Discussion to Involve Safety Commission

South Pasadena City Council members, reaffirming their commitment to diversity and to safeguarding the civil rights for all residents, asked the city’s Public Safety Commission to weigh in on the national discussion about immigrant status and federal enforcement during last week’s regularly scheduled meeting at City Hall.

Council members listened to lengthy testimony during the June 21 meeting in response to concerns expressed by some residents regarding treatment of minorities and immigrants throughout the nation.

“The council wants the Public Safety Commission to look at the matter and dig a little deeper and examine some of our policies and procedures to make sure we have them memorialized in a fashion so that everyone knows the city’s position,” explained Interim City Manager Elaine Aguilar.

In addition, the council decided to have a subcommittee, comprised of council members Diana Mahmud and Dr. Richard Schneider, work with the Public Safety Commission in addressing the issue.

“The council would like to maintain a dialogue with the community,” said Aguilar. “They will schedule meetings in the council chambers during the evening hours, allowing many in the community to attend and offer input.”

In December 2016, the City Council unanimously adopted a resolution reaffirming the City of South Pasadena’s “commitment to diversity and to safeguarding the civil rights, safety and dignity of all our city residents.”

In early May, Councilmember Dr. Marina Khubesrian made a request to put on last week’s City Council agenda a discussion of the city’s existing public policies regarding cooperation with federal enforcement of immigration status.

The City Council chamber was packed as members of the public expressed their concern that the city “has a true commitment to safeguarding the civil rights of all our residents, regardless of where they were born,” explained Interim South Pasadena City Manager Elaine Aguilar. “This is a nationwide concern and the City Council has been proactive in safeguarding the dignity of everyone who lives, visits and does business in the city.”

Since the resolution was adopted, a growing number of cities in California, including South Pasadena, have taken steps to withdraw from any cooperative agreements with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) and identify themselves as “sanctuary” cities when it comes to immigration status enforcement.

Thirteen speakers addressed the council on the matter, but, as Aguilar pointed out, for every one that spoke there were three in the audience.

Council members received a report from South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller regarding the city’s current policies, stating, “the police department is not paid to investigate and enforce federal law violations regarding the [ICE], nor do federal officers have the authority to demand this, absent the existence of a cooperative agreement with ICE. The City of South Pasadena has never had a cooperative agreement with ICE. Accordingly, our police department does not participate in any ICE operations which may take place in South Pasadena, nor does any South Pasadena police officer play any role in any arrest or detention of an ICE arrestee.”

Miller added that the City of South Pasadena does not operate a detention facility. “Arrests made by South Pasadena police officers for violation of local or state laws are booked at jails in Alhambra and Pasadena,” he said. “As a result, the City of South Pasadena would not be a recipient of any ICE hold request regarding anyone detained in jail, nor has the City of South Pasadena ever received such a request. Because the City of South Pasadena has never had a cooperative agreement with ICE, and does not participate in any ICE operations or play any role in any ICE arrests or detentions and is not subject to any ICE hold request, South Pasadena does not participate in any of the conduct regarding enforcement of immigration status.”

Further, Miller stressed that the designated sanctuary city is not applicable to South Pasadena or any city which does not assist ICE, and “which is not subject to any ICE hold request due to the absence of a functioning detention facility… in our city,” he said. “For all these reasons, the City Council’s December 21, 2016 resolution reaffirming this city’s commitment to diversity and safeguarding of civil rights for all of our residents is an appropriate and existing policy which extends to all persons living within, doing business within, visiting or passing through South Pasadena.”

South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller Speaks About Missing Boy

A press conference regarding the Friday arrest of Aramazd Andressian Sr., whose only son has been missing since April 22, was held Monday at the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice. South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller spoke at the press conference, and had this to say about the present situation: “Today the LA County Sheriffs, the lead investigators on this, made statements about the arrest of the father… they filed murder charges on him. They are waiting until tomorrow, Tuesday, for an extradition hearing. Because [Andressian Sr.] is in another state, they cannot just bring him out [to Los Angeles]. He has to go through an extradition hearing. He has the right to object to that. We’re not anticipating that he will, then once he’s here, [the District Attorney’s office will] proceed with the case.”

As to what led to the Friday arrest, Chief Miller said, “They investigated all leads possible, and it got to the point where nothing he was saying matched up to the investigation, so they decided they have a strong enough case to file a ‘no body’ murder case. A ‘no body’ murder case obviously means that they have not found the body. It is not unusual for [those cases] to be filed, and they are very successful.”

The boy’s mother was not present at the press conference, instead choosing to make a statement through one of the lead investigators, “to express her concern and appreciation [for the investigators],” said Chief Miller. “The next step is for [Andressian Sr.] to have an extradition hearing in Las Vegas and it will be determined whether he wants to voluntarily come back or have to go to the next level. We are anticipating that he will wave his extradition and come back tomorrow.”

“At this point everything will be handled by the DA’s office,” concluded Miller, “Once the case is filed, the public responsibility goes from the Sheriff’s office to the DA’s office, and they’ll be making all the statements.”

Father of Missing Boy Arrested in Las Vegas

The father of a missing South Pasadena boy has been arrested on suspicion of murder in the disappearance of his 5-year-old son Aramzd Andressian, Jr.

During a Monday news conference at the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice in downtown, authorities said Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, was taken into custody in Las Vegas last Friday on suspicion of killing his son, Aramazd Andressian Jr.

Andressian Sr. remains in custody in Las Vegas pending an extradition hearing. Last week, prosecutors filed one count of murder against Andressian Sr., who faces a maximum penalty of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. He is scheduled for an arraignment in Los Angeles later this week.

Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Lt. Joe Mendoza said the investigation included surveillance in which Andressian Sr. changed his “appearance and acted in a manner inconsistent with the behavior of a grieving parent.”

The boy has been missing since April 22, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. On that day, he failed to turn over the child to his mother as part of a scheduled custody exchange.

Aramzd Andressian Sr., 35, was arrested for suspicion of murder in a case filed by the Los Angeles County district attorney.

“After reviewing all of the evidence in this case, homicide investigators presented the facts to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and obtained a murder filing against the suspect,” Deputy Grace Medrano, a sheriff’s department spokesperson, wrote in a statement. “The suspect was booked at Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department with a bail of $10 million and will return to Los Angeles County pending the extradition process.”

The boy was seen on camera on April 20 as he was leaving Disneyland. Two days later the father of the youth was found passed out next to his car in Arroyo Seco Park in South Pasadena. Police later revealed the car had been doused on the inside with gasoline.

Aramazd Andressian Sr. reportedly had taken some pills not prescribed to him.

At one point early on in the case, Aramazd Andressian Sr. was arrested, but later released due to lack of evidence.

The case has taken investigators to Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County and back to Arroyo Seco Park, where members of the Sheriff’s Dept. combed the area looking for clues.

Miller said he’s been talking to members of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept, who “have followed up on every possible lead,” he said. “They are actually going to retrace some parts of the investigation.”

Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant at the Montebello home of Andressian Sr.’s mother. The deputies were seen taking computer equipment from the home.

In searching Arroyo Park for a second time, Miller said authorities “made sure they uncovered everything to get a possible handle on it.”

A $30,000 reward has been issued leading to information and the whereabouts of the boy.

 

Aramazd Andressian Sr., Father of Missing Boy, Arrested

The father of missing South Pasadena boy, Aramazd Andressian Jr., was arrested at around 1 p.m., Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials, Andressian Sr. is suspected of murdering his 5-year-old son. The boy was with his father on April 20, the last time he was seen.

Andressian Sr, in jail on $10 million bail, said that he took Andressian Jr. to Cachuma Lake Recreation Area one day after the boy was reportedly last seen.

 

 

City Council Votes to Prohibit Retail Sale of Marijuana in City

In a unanimous vote, the South Pasadena City Council amended the city’s municipal code to prohibit the retail sale of marijuana in the city.

Council members approved the ordinance as presented on a first reading June 7. It was expected to get final approval through a second reading by the council during Wednesday’s City Council meeting (after press time). Once the second reading is approved, the ordinance goes into effect 30 days later.

In November, voters approved Proposition 64, making it legal for individuals to use and grow marijuana for personal use. A “yes” vote supported legalizing recreational marijuana for individuals 21 years or older under state law and established certain sales and cultivation taxes.

The law as approved by the voters authorizes local governments to establish regulations. It also gives jurisdictions the ability to prohibit the establishment of marijuana businesses.

“That is the step the council ultimately took, to prohibit the establishment of commercial marijuana businesses in the city,” said Interim City Manager Elaine Aguilar.

Board Votes 3-1 in Support of Late Start Measure

The South Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education voted 3 to 1 last week in favor of passing a resolution to support California Senate Bill 328, which would require classes at the middle and high school levels in all but rural districts to start half an hour later. This would mean an 8:30 a.m. start time for South Pasadena middle and high school. The bill was introduced to the state senate in February by 25th District State Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada).

As of June 8, SB 328 has passed through the State Senate and is currently in the Education Committee of the State Assembly. If it is approved by the Education Committee, it still has to pass through the Appropriations Committee before finally making it to the assembly floor.

The “no” vote came from School Board Clerk Jon Primuth. “I think there is a pretty big loophole in the bill, which is that zero period is not regulated,” explained Primuth, referring to part b of the legislation. His biggest concern, he says, is preventing zero period from becoming the start time for high-achieving, driven students. In response to this concern, Senator Portantino said, “Zero period is optional not mandatory. Although SB 328 is agnostic on zero period most schools that start zero before first period will adjust later as first period moves. The net effect will be students getting more sleep. Again, research shows that morning, deep sleep, is the most important sleep for teen public health. These students will receive this additional time, too and thereby gain health value.”

Primuth also said that he didn’t “feel comfortable making a decision for every district in the state.” Board Member Dr. Suzie Abajian shared Primuth’s hesitancy to support a statewide mandate. However, she said, this was a special circumstance. “I am not usually one to support state wide, one size fits all types, but in this case I do find the research compelling. And I think there are other issues, such as after school programs. If it is not implemented state wide, in the case of CIF, [CIF] will not change its scheduling if there wasn’t a statewide mandate, and for that reason I think that [SB 328] will simplify the issue and force, essentially, afterschool sports programs to align with the new schedule,” said Dr. Abajian.

Portantino says that in addition to afterschool scheduling program issues, there is another crucial reason for why the bill must pass on a statewide level to be effective. “This is a public health issue where we know from research the sleep needs of teenagers vs. the current level of sleep and the biology of teens,” he said. “We have negative health consequences attributed in that research. So no different than the state regulating the use of asbestos or lead paint we know what harms our children and it’s appropriate for the state to act accordingly.”

As of the May 25 Senate Floor Analysis, SB 328 is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the California State PTA, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the California Federation of Teachers, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, and Stanford University School of Medicine, among many other groups and individuals. It is opposed by the California School Boards Association and the California Teachers Association.

According to the Senate Floor Analysis, the fiscal impact of SB 328 includes “Very significant local costs for school districts to provide home-to-school transportation services and for local collective bargaining activities.” The other major concern regarding SB 328 is the potential impact on single and working parents who may not be able to provide their kids with transportation to school.

Notably, a group of South Pasadena High School students, represented by 2016-17 Student School Board Representative Anthony Chen, organized to support the resolution. This is in part what prompted Superintendent Geoff Yantz to put this resolution before the School Board.

Despite voting against approval of the resolution, Primuth remained interested in Portantino’s findings and hoped to support a local initiative that addresses his concerns. “I did attend Anthony Portantino’s presentation and I compliment him for working hard on this, he has certainly identified many compelling issues… I know that the La Canada board declined to support the bill, but they are moving forward with a customized local late start initiative, which is what I could support if we had administrators and all of our administration in line with that,” said Primuth.

Investigation of 5-Year-old Missing Boy Goes to Lake

A search for a missing 5-year-old South Pasadena boy continued last Saturday morning at Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County.

Using a drone, investigators began looking for evidence in connection to the disappearance of Aramazd Andressian Jr., reported missing by his mother on April 22 after the father failed to show up with the boy in a planned custody exchange.

Authorities say approximately 30 miles of roads, covering a distance between Nojoqui Falls, Solvang to Lake Cachuma, were explored during the search. Investigators came up empty in finding the boy.

Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, the father of the boy, told investigators he and his son were at the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area the day before he went missing. Police dogs, dive teams and a helicopter helped in the search of the lake in the days following the boy’s disappearance. Investigators found no evidence indicating Andressian Jr. was there. A witness told Sheriff’s officials she saw the boy with his father when she was camping at Lake Cachuma.

Authorities are not saying what prompted them to return to Lake Cachuma for the lates search of the area, but did indicate they believe Andressian Sr. traveled around Lake Cachuma with his son and in the areas of Solvang and Nojoqui Falls.

On April 21, at about 1 a.m., Aramazd “Piqui” Andressian Jr. was last seen on video footage as he left Disneyland with his father. The next day, Andressian Sr. was found passed out in South Pasadena’s Arroyo Park, the day his son was reported missing. Detectives said the father did not remember any details about what happened to his son. South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller said the man has not been “very cooperative” with authorities.

On April 22, Andressian Sr. was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and child abduction, but was later released for lack of evidence.

A $20,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the discovery of the boy. During last week’s South Pasadena City Council meeting, the mother of the boy, Ana Estevez, made a passionate plea for councilmembers to increase the reward money.