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Teen Creates Camp to Honor Brother

Photo courtesy Luke Nelson Camper Darren T., counselor Alexis K. and camper Patrick N. share a group hug in Garfield Park.

First published in the Sept. 3 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

A few years ago, local teenage volunteer Luke Aloe noticed that many youth with special needs within his community felt isolated.
Inspired by Dominic, his older brother who has autism, Luke created a social group which meets monthly for teenagers with disabilities in the South Pasadena area.
“The name Moai comes from the moai social groups in Okinawa, Japan, where residents have some of the longest lifespans in the world,” explained Aloe, a junior at Loyola High in Los Angeles. “Their long lives have been credited to these social groups, where they keep in touch with their friends throughout their lifetimes.”

Tigers Beaten by Boron, 33-14, in Home Opener

Photo by Eric Danielson / The Review South Pasadena High sophomore Lionelle Limqueco (11) tries to maneuver past Boron High players while returning a kickoff in last week’s Tigers home opener. Despite a staunch effort, South Pasadena (0-2) fell 33-14 to the Bobcats and lost one of its team captains to injury for several weeks.

First published in the Sept. 3 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

The South Pasadena High School varsity football team dropped its home opener, a 33-14 loss to visiting Boron of the High Desert Friday night.
Tigers head coach Jeff Chi emphasized his team’s mental mistakes early on this season and knows there is still plenty of time to improve mentally and physically moving forward.
“It’s a process and we have to keep working toward it,” Chi said. “Our ultimate goal is to get better each week and get ready for league, so we’re going to use this time to gear up for that. Even if we go 0-5 in [non-league] but do well in league, we’ll be pleased with the season there.”

Indicators Suggest Coronavirus Slowdown

First published in the Sept. 3 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

Before July, the coronavirus appeared to have all but stalled in South Pasadena.
That relief did not last, however, as daily new case rates took off again that month throughout all of Los Angeles County, driven primarily by the spread of the Delta variant of the virus and concentrated largely among the unvaccinated. In South Pasadena, nearly 1% of the population was reported to have contracted the disease between July 1 and Aug. 31, according to testing data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Local Unemployment Declines as County Rate Remains Flat

Data: California Employment Development Department

South Pasadena’s unemployment rate saw a slight decrease from June to July, according to state data, though the rates in Los Angeles County and California stayed obstinate.
The local rate fell from a revised 8.2% in June to 7.6% in July, the California Employment Development Department reported in a preliminary estimate. The drop represented a decrease in the number of the city’s unemployed residents from about 1,200 to 1,100; the estimate for employed residents increased from 13,300 to 13,400.
South Pasadena’s unemployment rate, which historically has been lower than the county’s, has improved sharply since its pandemic-era high of 16.5% in May 2020. It has fluctuated somewhat this year, however, usually hovering between 7% and 8%. The city’s pre-pandemic joblessness rate was 3.7%.

Testing Finds 3 SPUSD Virus Cases

After a little more than a week of screening for COVID-19, the local school system said that three of its students have tested positive for the coronavirus since the beginning of the academic year.
All three cases were listed this week on the dashboard maintained by the South Pasadena Unified School District. One of the students is enrolled at Marengo Elementary School, the other two at South Pasadena High School.

Tigers’ Loss Features Strong Performances

Photo courtesy Jon Takasugi Senior Grant Huntley sprints downfield during South Pasadena High’s season-opening game Aug. 20 at Los Angeles Lincoln. Huntley caught six passes for 121 yards and a 65-yard touchdown, but it wasn’t enough as Lincoln prevailed, 37-20.

The South Pasadena High School varsity football team showed last week that there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the 2021 season, despite the outcome of its season-opening contest.
The Tigers dropped a 37-20 decision on Aug. 20 to Los Angeles’ Lincoln High School — which also was playing its first game, and is also called the Tigers. Fans at the game would be excused if they did a double-take upon arriving at the field, as both squads sported a black-and orange color scheme. The similarity of uniforms notwithstanding, Lincoln had a little more bite than its counterpart.

Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers to Be Banned

After weeks of soliciting feedback from the community and information from municipal commissions, the South Pasadena City Council voted unanimously last week to prohibit the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers in town.
“We’re going to be a model for the nation,” said Mayor Pro Tem Michael Cacciotti, a longtime supporter of banning gas-powered leaf blowers and of electrification in general. “This council, the commissioners, the community, I’m just so impressed.”

Recalling Actress’ Death, Group Calls for Police Reform

Photo by Mitch Lehman / The Review Albert Corado, an activist who is running for a Los Angeles City Council seat, speaks Sunday at the third “angelversary” for Vanessa Marquez in South Pasadena.

A group coalesced outside of the Metro Gold Line Station on Sunday to observe the third anniversary of the fatal shooting of actress Vanessa Marquez by South Pasadena police officers who were responding to a mental health crisis at her apartment in 2018.
Thirty to 40 observers gathered at the so-called “angelversary” on Sunday at the downtown location, where speakers and friends of Marquez memorialized the actress and called on supporters to push for law enforcement reform and stronger accountability practices. The group also recognized others who have been killed during police responses, evoking a feature of protests that followed the murder of George Floyd by an officer in Minneapolis last year.
Participating organizations included the National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles, Say Their Names L.A., Centro CSO, American Indian Movement and Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.

Local Women Entrepreneurs Brave the Pandemic to Start Anew

Sandy Olivas

Sandy Olivas was wearing a necklace that read “fearless” the day I met her.
That should be the slogan for the four women who have opened their own businesses in South Pasadena over the past year or so.
They have taken a chance — to offer something different or better in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m a fearless person. Sometimes there are obstacles in life. Either you are fearless, or you hold back,” said Olivas, who moved to town and recently opened Waverly at 1010 1/2 Fair Oaks Ave. “You have to take a chance. Besides, life is one big lesson.”

Obituary | Dennis Lee Potts

Dennis Lee Potts

Dennis Lee Potts, 78, of South Pasadena, passed away peacefully on August 19th from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. For more than 25 years, Denny worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as lead Spacecraft Engineer for two Mars missions, Supervisor of Systems Engineering for the Cassini Mission to Saturn, and Spacecraft Development Manager for the Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope. NASA awarded Dennis its Exceptional Service Medal in 2004 in recognition of his many contributions to their mission of space exploration.

Always active in the South Pasadena community, Denny was a Scoutmaster for Troop 342, an AYSO soccer coach, and a member of the South Pasadena Planning Commission and the Centennial Committee (1988). Denny was an avid golfer, cyclist, outdoorsman, and photographer. He is survived by his beloved wife of 44 years, Donna, his brother Jim, his four children (Shannon, Don, Josh, and Kelly), and his five grandchildren (Bryan, Kayla, Luke, Alden, and Sean). His family will place a memorial bench in Eddie Park, where Denny played with and coached two generations of his offspring.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating “in memory of Dennis Potts” to the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, at 1100 Oxley St, South Pasadena, CA 91030.