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The Great American Eclipse a Hit in Library Community Room

A special total eclipse event was presented in the South Pasadena Library Community Room on Monday.

Dr. Bonnie Buratti, a senior research scientist from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and author of the new book, “Worlds Fantastic, Worlds Familiar: A Guided Tour of the Solar System,” offered illuminating perspective on the total solar eclipse. She also answered audience questions before authoritative coverage of the eclipse from NASA and the Exploratorium in San Francisco was projected onto a giant screen.


Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes between the earth and the sun to cast a shadow on the earth’s surface.

“I’m really gratified that astronomy holds the public’s interest so much,” said Buratti, scanning the crowded room.

Dr. Bonnie Buratti

She called the eclipse “awesome” while talking about America’s fascination with it. “Anyone who has ever witnessed a solar eclipse, the movement of the moon in front of the sun, will never forget it,” she said.

Special NASA cameras and telescopes were on the path of totality in Oregon and Wyoming with a live broadcast, along with enlightening commentary.

After her presentation, Dr. Buratti led audience members outside into Library Park where they took turns sharing eclipse glasses.

Dr. Buratti is a principal scientist and technical manager at JPL with expertise on the structure and evolution of icy moons and other small bodies. She holds degrees in astronomy from MIT and Cornell.

Additionally, Buratti is currently serving on the science teams for both the Cassini and New Horizons missions, and is also the NASA project scientist for the Rosetta Mission to a comet.

The author or co-author of more than 200 scientific papers, Dr. Buratti was awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, and the International Astronomical Union recognized her work by naming an asteroid after her.

As a special treat, “Moon Pies” were provided by the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library. They have been part of American culture since 1917 and consist of two round graham cracker cookies, with marshmallow filling in the center, dipped in a flavored coating. Moon Pies are made by the Chattanooga Bakery in Chattanooga, TN.

“La La Land” Screening in the Library Community Room on August 24

A screening of the 2016 musical romantic comedy drama “La La Land’ will be presented on Thursday, August 24 at 7 p.m. in the Library Community Room. The free event is presented by the South Pasadena Public Library, the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, and the Friends of the Rialto Theatre, with special thanks to 210eastsound and Movie Licensing USA. The beloved film grossed over $445 million worldwide after it was made with a relatively small budget of $30 million. It will be shown using professional equipment and projected onto a giant film festival-type screen.

The Library event will also feature a discussion by Escott Norton, the Executive Director of the Friends of the Rialto Theatre with David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, a husband and wife duo who are production designers and art directors. The couple is best known for their frequent collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino as a production designer such as “Reservoir Dogs” (1992), “Pulp Fiction” (1994), “Kill Bill: Volume 1” (2003), and “La La Land” (2016) for which they won the Academy Award for Best Production Design at the 89th Academy Awards.

Upon its release,”La La Land,” was dubbed “a love letter to Hollywood” and became an American cultural phenomenon and an instant classic. Written and directed by Damien Chaziel, the charming tour de force stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, with John Legend in a key supporting role. Besides a popular success, the film was also a critical blockbuster that was showered with 14 Academy Award nominations, tying the record. It eventually won 7 Oscars, including Best Director for Chaziel, Best Actress for Stone, and Best Score for the compositions and orchestrations of Jason Hurvitz, a Harvard University classmate of Chaziel. The film also won hundreds of other awards, and was tabbed as Best Picture of the Year in many polls.

As so many millions already know, “La La Land” follows the lives of two young LA dreamers, an aspiring and inspired actress in Stone as Mia, and a talented and stubborn jazz pianist in Gosling as Sebastian. They meet and fall in love while trying to succeed on their own terms in their chosen professions which are not always complementary. Filmed on location in various recognizable spots in Los Angeles, the movie also prominently features South Pasadena’s historic Rialto Theatre where Mia and Sebastian attend a showing of “Rebel Without a Cause.” The film’s opening scene is a vibrant musical dance scene featuring a cast of dozens, caught up in a traffic jam on the ramp to the 110 Freeway. It sets the stage for many more unforgettable scenes to come.

The Library Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro St.. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and no tickets or reservations are needed, but “first come, first seated”. Refreshments will be served. The Community Room is only about a block away from the South Pasadena Thursday Farmers Market, considered one of Southern California’s best, and only about 2 blocks from the Gold Line Station. Free parking is available at the Mission-Meridian Parking Garage, located at 805 Meridian Avenue next to the Metro Gold Line Station.

4th Annual Prayer Meeting Held Wednesday Night Outside SPHS

Members of local congregations gathered last night, Wednesday, August 16, in front of South Pasadena High School to pray for the city’s schools and kids. In its fourth year, the annual event started after a shooting scare occurred at South Pasadena High School in 2014.

The event took place at 7 p.m.
Rev. Lincoln Skinner, the senior minister of Oneonta Congregational Church, led the prayer circle.
These young girls distributed candles to prayer circle participants.

Firefighters Respond to Fire on 1718 Huntington Dr.

Photo by Bill Glazier.


At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the South Pasadena Police Department received a 9-1-1 call of an explosion and structure fire at 1718 Huntington Drive in South Pasadena.

When police units responded they found a woman “severely injured,” according to SPPD Corporal Craig Phillips, who noted that she was transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital “with burns on her body.”

Fire department units from South Pasadena, Pasadena and Alhambra quickly knocked down the blaze.

“It appears to be some sort of gas explosion,” said Philips, explaining the cause of the fire.

Phillips said the injured woman “really doesn’t know what happened and was woken up with the explosion. She said she was sleeping at the time of the explosion when it knocked her out of bed.”

Phillips said it was a “gas explosion of some kind but we don’t know what the source was at this time. We’re looking into that.”

South Pasadena Fire Chief Paul Riddle said heavy smoke was initially reported to the rear of the apartment complex. Once firefighters opened up the roof, flames began to shoot out of the attic in one of the apartments. Hose lines were subsequently pulled in and firefighters were able extinguish the fire.

Riddle said it appears the fire was contained to one apartment unit at the rear of the structure.

More to come on this story as it develops.

Photos by Bill Glazier

South Pas Girls Win Gold at National Pony Finals

Sydney Flashman, Avery Kim, and Tabitha Okitsu hold up their gold medals, won at the National Pony Finals last weekend in Lexington, Kentucky.

Tabitha Okitsu and Avery Kim, incoming sophomores at South Pasadena High School, led a group of four Californian girls to a gold medal in team competition at USEF’s National Pony Finals in Lexington, Kentucky last Friday, before finishing first and second, respectively, in the individual competition the following afternoon.

The girls competed against seven teams that were composed of the best 18 and under pony riders from around the country. Okitsu and Kim were joined in the team event by teammates Sydney Flashman (a Pasadena resident), and Caroline Mawhinney. Flashman trains alongside Okitsu and Kim at San Pasqual Stables in South Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco Park.

San Pasqual trainer Caroline Sterckx chose Kim, who finished a team best fourth in the Pony Finals last year, to ride last in the team event. Representing the Zone 10 team, the girls were tied for gold entering the final ride of the competition. “It reminded me of running the anchor leg in a track and field relay race,” said Kim, adding, “I knew we had a really good team, but I wasn’t expecting to win.”

Okitsu never allowed another rider/pony team a chance on Saturday in the individual competition, completing four rounds without committing a single fault (a deduction earned by knocking down a rail or pulling up at a jump). Kim earned the silver medal safely, her total of only four faults giving her four less than the third place finisher.

Afterwards, Okitsu credited her pony, Spoot de la Joulais, with her success, telling reporters that “[Spoot is] the best pony I could have asked for…I think [the victory] was mostly my pony. We got a lot of tough spots that he just carried me through.”

Winning gold was especially emotional for Okitsu after her disappointing performance last year in Lexington, when her last horse, Mario, began to pull up at jumps. She did not place at last year’s competition.

Nobody has watched Okitsu more closely this past year than Kim, her barn mate at San Pasqual. “I’m so proud of her,” said Kim, “To come back and clear everything, to be the only one of 31 riders not to get a fault, that is really, really special.”

Sterckx also heaped praise upon her riders, saying, “It’s amazing to think that out of the thousands of riders and thousands of barns in California, three riders came from San Pasqual Stables.” Located across from the Little League fields in the Arroyo Seco, San Pasqual is currently bidding against four other candidates to retain ownership of the stables.

Sterckx stressed the importance of the facility to the girls’ success: “I want the City to see how happy this has made these young girls. All because they have a great place to train. I hope that everybody can see that this is what we work towards every day at San Pasqual Stables.”

The Underbelly of Los Angeles, Work by Kris Cunz on Display at SPARC Gallery

Street Shrieks: August 12-September 29

The South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) is pleased to present our next exhibition, Kris Cunz–Street Shrieks at SPARC Gallery, located at the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce on Mission Street. Sam Mellon of the South Pasadena curatorial design firm MICRONAUT curated the exhibition.

Over the past twenty years, Los Angeles painter Kris Cunz has paid acute attention to the alleys, backstreets and hidden underbelly of the city as it spreads out against Southern California skies. Solitary figures, their features obscured in washes of monochrome paint, roam amidst industrial buildings in silent protest, evoking the emotional pain of the marginalized, forgotten, and underprivileged. Bright, unrelenting light pierces the raw, uninviting terrain, revealing contemporary urban life’s grittier undercurrents. Cunz’ imagery, at once hyper-realistic and expressive, depicts an “any city,” yet one that is distinctly American, wrestling a surreal aesthetic from the discarded urban spaces in which Cunz has lived and worked.

Inspired by Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream from 1892, Street Shrieks is a mid-career survey of this little-known Southern California artist. Cunz initially worked toward the realistic depiction of buildings and surfaces, augmenting his paintings with scraps of canvas, like a master model-maker. In light of current political events, however, his practice has taken a distinct turn toward a more fluid, painterly approach. Today, he fusses less with painstaking detail, working instead with expressive marks and brushstrokes that emit a passionate plea for basic human rights in a new American reality. “I feel a growing divide between the groups among us,” Cunz notes. “The fractions are numerous and vast, so I’m starting to add people into my compositions. My portraits create a situation of confrontation, representative of an impression I take away after a momentary glimpse or intense meeting…”

SPARC Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5 pm or by appointment. Please call the Chamber office before arriving. 626-441-2339.

Former Publisher of the Review and The Quarterly Passes Away

Former publisher of the Review and The Quarterly, Bill Ericson, will be sorely missed.

On August 5, William G. (Bill) Ericson, the former publisher of the South Pasadena Review and The Quarterly Magazine, died peacefully following a courageous 10-year battle with multiple myeloma and other health problems.

Ericson loved the City of South Pasadena and was dedicated to the City’s success as well as the well-being of its residents. He moved to South Pasadena in 1947, when his parents, Tog and Billie Ericson, purchased the Review, and he remained a resident until his recent passing.

He was educated in South Pasadena schools and was a graduate of South Pasadena High. Bill received an associate degree from Pasadena City College, with honors in English. From there, he went on to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was elected to the Honor Society because of his high academic achievement. While at Berkeley, Ericson studied photography, which became his lifelong passion and profession.

Bill had a diverse and interesting career. After graduating from Cal, he established his own photography studio in the Bay Area, where he became a successful and highly sought after advertising photographer. Ericson also founded the William Ericson Agency, where, among other things, he produced commercial jingles and represented composers, arrangers, musicians, vocalists and bands such as Kiss, Donna Summer, Rick Springfield, The Association, The Rubber Band and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Following the death of his father, in 1975, Bill became the publisher of the South Pasadena Review. This was a position that he was well-suited for as he had spent his entire childhood immersed in the operations of the paper. As a young boy, Bill’s parents paid him to proof read the Review and gave him a nickel for every typo he could spot before publication.

In 1985, Ericson created and published The South Pasadena Quarterly Magazine as a joint venture with the City of South Pasadena. In 1991, it became The Quarterly Magazine, a lushly beautiful magazine, which often featured Bill’s photographic artistry.

During this time, Ericson continued to pursue his love of photography and developed a vast client base in the motion picture and advertising industries. As a car enthusiast, he was fond of recounting the story of how he was first hired by a movie studio. It seems that, at the time, Bill owned a vintage Bentley. After arranging a meeting with a producer on a movie lot, he pulled up in front of the studio bungalow and met the producer. When he offered to show his work, the producer said, “You’ve got the job. If you’re driving that car, you’ve got to be good.” That was just the beginning for Bill. He provided photographic art for Dream Works, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Warner Brothers Home Video, 20th Century Fox, Touchstone Pictures, Pyramid Films, Miramax, Hollywood Pictures, ESPN, Warner Brothers Studios, MGM, United Artists, Paramounts, and Sony Studios, to name just a few.

During his career, Bill worked on special projects with Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Segal, Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino, and many others.

His list of advertising clients is like a Who’s Who of American businesses. It includes Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, ARCO, Standard Oil, Shell Oil, Chrysler, Mattel, Sears, Honda, Carnation, Lockheed, Princess Cruise Lines, and many, many more.

What most of us will remember about Bill, however, was his keen intelligence, his wit and his ready smile. He was a good friend to many in South Pasadena, the city he loved so much. He was truly involved with the city and its people. Bill was a longtime member of the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and was awarded its Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a member of the South Pasadena Reserve Police Force for five years and served as its Public Information Officer. Ericson was a founding member of the Neighborhood Watch and he created a training video for neighborhood watch officers.

Bill was a sponsor of the South Pasadena Little League, the AYSO and the Adult Co-ed Slow Pitch Softball Team.

Ericson believed in helping our kids and lent his time and talent to the South Pasadena High School Alumni Association, the South Pasadena High School Booster Club, the South Pasadena Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Board of Directors of San Gabriel Valley Council of the Girl Scouts of America.

Bill, you were a good friend to South Pasadena and its people. Thank you. You will be sorely missed.

John Hendry

Photo by Lisa Oddone

Obituary: Anne Christine Disselhorst

Anne Christine Disselhorst with her husband Bill. Anne passed away on July 30.

Anne Christine Disselhorst, of Monrovia, California, passed away Sunday, July 30, from a massive stroke caused by an undetected brain tumor.

Anne, in conjunction with her husband, Bill, was the proprietor of the popular South Pasadena eatery, Fiore Market Cafe. Anne was known for her fantastic cupcakes and cookies, her sharp wit and big smile.


Anne’s passing has left a huge hole in the soul of the community of South Pasadena. Anne was always at the cafe serving young and old patrons. She had many regulars who came to eat at the cafe, but more often to speak to her. She was loved by everyone.

Anne is survived by her beloved husband Bill and her two sons, Patrick and James, who she was devoted to her whole life. Anne guided her children through childhood into adulthood. She was by their side every step of the way, loving them with all her heart. Until the day she passed her thoughts and attention were on her sons’ well-being.

Anne will always be remembered by the young generation of customers who frequented the cafe. She was well educated and vocal with where she stood on political issues. She loved to banter and tease and enjoyed being around the young employees who kept her on her toes. She led a good and meaningful life and most importantly impacted the lives of others. She will be missed dearly.

A celebration of life for Anne was held last Friday at Fiore Market Café in South Pasadena.

National Night Out

Event Designed to Increase Awareness of Police Programs

National Night Out, a community-police awareness-raising event, was celebrated Tuesday night at Orange Grove Park. Featuring games, food, music, inflatables and more, the event was designed to strengthen relationships between the community, the police and fire department and other components of the city. The popular event, now in its third year in South Pasadena, was launched nationally 1984. Organizers say the first National Night Out involved 2.5 million residents across 400 communities in 23 states. Today, the event has grown to include more than 38 million people in 20,000 communities across the United States. Along with recreational, educational and family activities for kids, the event focuses on community programs, including drug prevention, neighborhood watch, and other anti-crime efforts. Photos by Bill Glazier