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Illustrator’s Gift to Readers Is the Wrap

Image courtesy Josie Portillo
The Los Angeles Times recently featured this print by South Pasadena illustrator Josie Portillo in a holiday gift wrap-themed Saturday section. The image can also be downloaded on the paper’s website.

Those who picked up a copy of the Dec. 12 edition of the Los Angeles Times had access to some gift wrap — including one design that came courtesy of a South Pasadena artist.
The publication’s most recent Saturday section — normally replete with lifestyle and things-to-do features — instead highlighted 10 graphic prints by nine Los Angeles-area artists, with the physical paper meant to provide fun wrapping paper and digital versions offered as phone, desktop or Zoom backgrounds. Josie Portillo, an illustrator who has lived in South Pasadena for eight years, had a curated print featured among them.

Scouts’ Drive Seeks 10,000 Pounds of Food

Photo courtesy Boy Scouts
Local Boy Scouts are having their annual “Scouting for Food” drive this Saturday, Dec. 19, to collect for families affected by food insecurity.

Scouts across Greater Los Angeles will seek to do a good turn for their neighbors as they conduct the “Scouting for Food” drive this Saturday, Dec. 19, from 9 a.m.-noon. The community service project collects food to help families in need during the holidays.
The drive is the third monthly effort by local Boy Scouts to help families feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It embodies one of the principles of Scouting – helping others – as expressed in a Boy Scout slogan, “Do a Good Turn Daily.” Items that have been collected will be taken to local food shelves for distribution to families.

South Pasadena Tournament of Roses to Host Virtual Fundraiser

Image courtesy South Pasadena Tournament of Roses
Originally planned for the 2021 Rose Parade, this float is expected to represent the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses in the 2022 event.

In lieu of the usual in-person event, the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses is turning to a virtual fundraiser to help the organization prepare for the 2022 Rose Parade.
The SPTOR is bringing its annual Crunch Time Party online this month, from 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 26, through 10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29. The organization has a fundraising target of $30,000 for that four-day auction.
“Our Crunch Time Party has always been on Dec. 29, no matter the day of the week, and it always ends at 10 o’clock,” explained Brant Dunlap, president of the SPTOR. “Although our usual event won’t take place, our committee is excited to roll out a fun way in which people can support our float.”

Obituary | Victor Alan Robinette

Victor Alan Robinette

Vic Robinette, beloved husband of Gretchen Robinette passed away peacefully on Thanksgiving night, November 26, 2020 in his South Pasadena home with Gretchen at his side. Vic embraced life with amazing gusto, surrounding his family and friends with great warmth, dedication, love and laughter. He is survived by his two sons Patrick and Scott, his daughter in law Jennie and his cherished grandsons Finn and Will Robinette. Vic’s extended family includes his sister in law, Becky Gayman, Becky’s partner, Peter, and her daughters Jessica Power and Anna Hanisko as well as his sister in law Leslie Howland and her family: husband, Tom; their daughter Laura Woliczko and their son Christopher Howland.

Obituary | Robert Lynn Phair Jr.

Robert Lynn Phair Jr.

Robert was born in Pasadena, CA on February 6, 1946. He was the first son of Mary Ida and Robert Phair. He attended South Pasadena High School with his younger brother Randy Phair and received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of the Pacific in 1967. At UOP, he met the love of his life, Randa Blount. They were married at her parents’ home in Denver, CO on June 29, 1968. At both SPHS and UOP, Rob’s competitive nature helped him excel in sports such as baseball, basketball and football. In 1991, Rob started his own business Falcon Fuels, a wholesale supplier of petroleum energy products, and continued to successfully run the company.
Rob and Randa spent many years living in Long Beach and moved to Orange County in 1998. An avid golfer, Rob was a member of Virginia Country Club in Long Beach, and later a member of Shady Canyon Golf Club in Irvine, where they lived. In 2013, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and underwent a Stem Cell Transplant at City of Hope. In most recent years, Rob enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s sports games and traveling the world with his wife and good friends. In 2018, Rob and Randa celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their family at Flathead Lake in Montana.
Rob was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He will be remembered for his infectious spirit, irreverent sense of humor, and loyal heart. Rob is survived by Randa, his wife of 52 years; daughter and son-in-law Rory and Tim O’Neil; son Lucas Phair; daughter and son-in-law Eden and Michael Manning; grandchildren William O’Neil, Lucas O’Neil, Jack O’Neil, Kate O’Neil, and Liv Phair.
Donations can be made to: City of Hope Stem Cell Research/Dr. Stephen Forman.

World Series Win Is One for the Book

Photo by Mitch Lehman / The Review
Five South Pasadenans attended a ceremony last Thursday afternoon, where a copy of the book “All for One” was donated to the South Pasadena Public Library. From left are former Mayor Bob Joe, library director Kathy Billings, Los Angeles Dodger broadcaster Joe Davis, Dodger historian Mark Langill and former Dodger Stadium groundskeeper Terry Kiser.

With the exception of the lifelong affection transplants to Southern California maintain for the athletic teams from the states and cities of their upbringing, it’s safe to say that South Pasadenans comprehensively love their Los Angeles Dodgers the most.
Which is to be expected, given that Dodger Stadium sits just 7.6 miles away from the South Pasadena Public Library. It was at that latter location that three South Pasadenans assembled last Thursday afternoon to celebrate the squad’s 2020 World Series championship.

City Council Veterans Exit, Newcomers Face Key Decisions

By Haley Sawyer
The Review

Three South Pasadena City Council members have departed after a year of challenges, while three new members have joined ahead of decisions that could have a major impact on the city.
Bob Joe, Richard Schneider and Stephen Rossi each appeared in their final council meeting on Dec. 2, and Evelyn Zneimer, Jack Donovan and Jon Primuth appeared in their first.
Joe, the outgoing mayor, leaves after 10 years on the council.

State of the City: Actions During Pandemic Lauded

By Haley Sawyer
The Review

Bob Joe

In his last address as a member of the South Pasadena City Council, outgoing Mayor Bob Joe highlighted the way the city rose to the occasion during the upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic.
Delivering his State of the City remarks, the two-term councilman also touched on the work that his successor as mayor, Diana Mahmud, will take charge of, work that includes implementing law enforcement reform and plotting the city’s development and continued response to the pandemic.
“By remaining focused on our goals, we are making great strides toward adapting and moving forward,” Joe, who was defeated by Evelyn Zneimer in last month’s election, said at last week’s virtual council meeting.

Second Proposed Sale of SPUSD Headquarters Fizzles

A recent agreement that called for the South Pasadena Unified School District to sell its main offices on El Centro Street has fallen through, once again leaving district officials looking for a buyer for the historic property.
Summitrose Investments, a West Hollywood-based firm, will not acquire the property for $13 million as previously agreed upon. The agreement was in the due diligence phase after the SPUSD Board of Education unanimously approved entering into the deal on Nov. 9. The agreement fell through on Nov. 23, according to the district.
It was unclear as of the Review’s press deadline what prompted the change of heart.

SPHS Students Recognized in Virtual Enterprise Competitions

Ella Jayasekera (clockwise, from top left), Michelle Jee, Devin Pearson and Matteo Lee make up the sales department of the SPHS virtual enterprise varsity team, Pebbly, and took seventh place in the national Design for Delight competition.

South Pasadena High School’s virtual enterprise varsity team, Pebbly, and junior varsity team, My Meals, competed at their first regional and national competitions. Pebbly’s product is a new-age spin on Gary Dahl’s classic pet rock, and My Meals deals in customized gourmet meals delivered to the consumer’s doorstep.
Sales department students from Pebbly took seventh place out of 74 teams in the national Design for Delight competition sponsored by Intuit. The Pebbly sales department consists of Matteo Lee, Ella Jayasekera, Michelle Jee and Devin Pearson.