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For Watch Repairman, Biggest Question May Be Time

South Pasadena businessman Jean Boujekian smiles with his daughter Vana, for whom Boujekian’s watch and jewelry store is named.

Jean Boujekian, owner of Vana’s watch and jewelry store at the corner of Mission Avenue and Fremont Street, has been living in a world of uncertainty since he had to shutter his store in mid-March.
He’s one person among many who own or work at small- or medium-sized businesses in the city. They all can — and we all should — feel the pain of these people.
Some of you who are reading this already know the feeling.
“Waiting is all you can do,” said Boujekian, who has owned Vana’s for nine years, and who has been working in South Pasadena for 14 years. “You don’t know if you are going to survive.”

Local Organizations Aid Firefighters, Police, City Staff

Photo by Mitch Lehman / The Review
Mayor Bob Joe, Councilman Michael Cacciotti, Marlene Moore of Holy Family Catholic Church,
Melissa Chang of the U.S. Asian Art and Culture Association, Hong Zheng and Linda Liu of the
Chinese-American Parent-Teacher Organization, and May Zhao of the Art and Culture Association
stand with supplies donated Wednesday to help fight COVID-19.

Two local organizations this week pooled together a donation large enough to benefit all essential city staff as well as a handful of local nonprofit and civic groups as we continue to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members from the South Pasadena Chinese-American Parent-Teacher Organization and also the U.S. Asian Art and Culture Association donated personal protection equipment and other much-needed supplies for first responders and other volunteers who serve the public at City Hall.

Cub Scout Pack 333 Emphasizes Diversity

Photos courtesy Holy Family Catholic Church
Pack 333 Wolf Den Light of Christ Religious Emblem recipients, leaders and celebrant: Den Chief Eagle Scout Michael Rendón Johnston, Célia Lucía Lourdes Rodriguez, Nicholas Herrera, Berchman Bruno, James Mork, Father Chris Ponnet, Axel Nur, Xavier Shakiba, Grayson Mapoma, Thomas Ripple and Den Leader Martin Mapoma.

Cub Scout Pack 333 at Holy Family Catholic Church invites boys and girls to join their group in living the “Scout Me In” motto, which emphasizes the national organization’s decision to go coed.

County Reports 30 Cases of COVID-19 at Senior Care Center

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 among South Pasadena residents surged in the last week, with the number more than doubling in that time.
As of press deadline on Wednesday this week, there were 38 residents here confirmed to have the disease, which is caused by the novel coronavirus that emerged late last year in China. These numbers, reported by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, come as officials have ramped up testing for the disease that, with no vaccine, has largely shut down much of public life throughout the world as the death toll continues to mount.
The city had 17 residents confirmed at the same time last week. Relatedly, the local Trader Joe’s store closed for several days and reopened last week after three of its employees tested positive for COVID-19. The county also reported that the South Pasadena Care Center is enveloped in a related crisis, with 19 of its residents confirmed to have the disease, another five residents considered probable for the disease and 11 staff members diagnosed.
One of the Care Center’s residents is currently in isolation at Huntington Hospital and being treated for COVID-19, after initially being brought there for treatment of an infection. She had been living at the Care Center since early March. That patient’s daughter, Juliana Jones, said it was “a blessing in disguise” that her mother had been brought to the hospital.

Elizabeth House To Hold Virtual Gala April 19-25

Photo by Larissa Althouse / OUTLOOK
South Pasadena resident Nancy Norris (center) is flanked by (from left) Michael Cerrina, Heidi Luginbuhl, David Medina, Kristen Terranova, Stan Rushing, Founding Director Debora Unruh, David Samuels, Dave Knight and Director of Programs Terry Bright were among Elizabeth House’s 2019 board members celebrating at last year’s gala.

Elizabeth House’s annual gala, which is the organization’s largest fundraiser and last year netted more than $165,000, has been converted to a virtual gala, with a “Together We Care” theme. Instead of a single night, Elizabeth House will have a week of silent auctions from April 19-25, with a live auction on the final day. (The new format is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Joyce Thelma Longerbeam Turney

Joyce Thelma Longerbeam Turney

Joyce Thelma Longerbeam Turney, a resident of South Pasadena for 58 years, passed away peacefully of natural causes at the age of 95 in Pasadena, California, on Good Friday, April 10, 2020, of natural causes. She was not a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our family wishes to thank the caregivers at The Highlands in Pasadena for their loving care of our mother, sister, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

Joyce was born Feb 28, 1925, daughter of Koert and Marie (Forbis) Longerbeam at the Longerbeam family home in Downey, Iowa. The family moved quite a bit trying to find work, eventually settling in Wister, Oklahoma, during the Great Depression on a little farm that belonged to Joyce’s great-aunt and uncle. She graduated from Wister High School and attended Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) in Stillwell, Oklahoma. Following her family’s move west, Joyce came to Highland Park in Los Angeles, California, in 1943 and found work in the Information Bureau and Personnel Department at the Los Angeles Times.


Residents, Businesses Support Each Other in Crisis

Crisis is said to showcase both character and community.
Here in South Pasadena, residents and business owners — sometimes both — have demonstrably used their character to build community as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic makes it increasingly difficult to live any part of life as we normally have. The county’s order for nonessential businesses to close doors has largely shut down much of the city’s commercial area, and those that remain open operate under limiting guidelines. Grocery outlets are enforcing their own social distancing rules and restaurants can only offer takeout or delivery service.

Photo by Zane Hill / The Review
At Munch Company, owner Michelle Hammond (right) and employee Meg Doherty help out their business neighbors by including their wares and other items on the menu.

Michelle Hammond, owner of Munch Co. on Mission Street, wanted to include her now-closed neighbors in on the loop. When customers order from Hammond’s shop, they are not only given the option of adding a few kitchen staples — butter, bacon or eggs, for example — but they could also add a bracelet kit from Kidd’s Jewelry Heist or some beauty products from Maya Salon, among a handful of items from other local businesses on that block of Mission.
“Every couple of hours it seemed like there were new rules and we didn’t know who would be open or closed,” Hammond said, reflecting on the first week of changes prompted by the pandemic. “We don’t know when it will be over, but until then, we’re trying to get creative, help each other out and make it work whichever way we can.”

Chinese-American PTA Donations Benefit City’s Police, Firefighters

Photo by Zane Hill / The Review
Members of the South Pasadena Chinese-American PTA donated boxes of protective gear to the city last week.

The South Pasadena Chinese-American PTA last week donated a haul of protective equipment to be used by the city’s police officers and firefighters as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Club members delivered boxes of the items to City Hall last week, where members of South Pasadena’s police and fire departments happily accepted the donations. The police department received 1,000 disposable face masks, 750 exam gloves, 90 bottles of hand sanitizer and 50 sets of personal protective equipment, or PPEs. The fire department received 1,270 of the masks, another 750 exam gloves and 55 sets of PPEs.
“It comes at the right time,” Mayor Bob Joe said after the donation. “We’re expecting a surge [in the disease]. They’re recommending now that we all wear masks, so this really comes at the right time.”

Now Might Be A Good Time For A Clown in Our Lives

Nick Kane

Their smiles are turned upside down.
Three entertainers — two clowns and a character actress who often performs as a princess — have for years brought smiles to their audiences.
That audience is now sheltered in place with their parents to protect them from the COVID-19 virus. And those performers who make youngsters and their parents smile are wondering when they will again see and hear the laughter of their audiences. They miss the joy of making people smile and laugh, and their own smiles are strained by an uncertain future.
All of the performers — Roger Fojas, Kendra Montagna and Nick Kane — have either entertained in or live near South Pasadena.
“This is the worst time for clowns,” Kane explained. “My friends are devastated. I have one friend who is a clown who is about to become homeless. He’s going insane. He’s used to be on national TV and being in these mega-festivals and now he’s preparing to be homeless.
“And you have to wonder when this thing is over,” he added, “what things will look like?”
Now, clowns and other entertainers aren’t the only people who are losing their jobs in this pandemic, but these entertainers are supposed to be around to make us — and themselves — happy.

SPHS Gym Construction Is Progressing

Work continues at the South Pasadena High School gym.
Photos courtesy South Pasadena Unified School District
Work continues at the South Pasadena High School gym.

Construction work at South Pasadena High School is ongoing despite a variety of social restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as weather setbacks.
South Pasadena Unified School District officials report they are adhering to guidelines made by local, state and federal governments to continue the construction work at the school’s gymnasium. Workers have in recent weeks continued with installation of mechanical systems, electrical wiring and plumbing as they prepare to close the walls at the facility. The main concrete subfloor is being prepared for the new concrete slab to be poured over it, officials said, and painting has started in the practice gym interior.