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Residential Commercial Project Approved by City Council

By Haley Sawyer
The Review

A portion of El Centro Street will be looking a lot different in the near future, as the City Council last week voted to approve plans for the Seven Patios residential and commercial project at its March 3 meeting.

“The incremental process has made for a great project,” said Councilman Jon Primuth, who made the motion to approve the project. “I’m really happy the city has reserved certain issues to stay involved both on traffic and on soil. I think that’s really important.”

The Seven Patios project will turn 1.61 acres of land with an existing office building and parking lot into 60 residential units and 6,100 square feet of commercial space for restaurants and retail.

Three townhomes will face Orange Grove Avenue, while space for outdoor dining will face El Centro. The project was designed so that the buildings transition seamlessly into Orange Grove’s single-family neighborhood.

Obituary | Patricia “Pat” Schmiedeberg

Patricia “Pat” Schmiedeberg

Patricia “Pat” Schmiedeberg passed away peacefully on February 27, 2021. Her 94-year life was blessed in so many ways, especially her beautiful and extraordinary 72-year marriage with husband Don.

As a longtime South Pasadena resident, Pat enjoyed many years of volunteering and was honored for her work with the Friends of the Library and as a Senior Center Board Member. Her career included work as a school secretary for Webster Elementary as well as an administrative assistant to the PUSD Superintendent.

Pat delighted cheering on her Ohio State Buckeyes, UCLA Bruins and the Rose Parade. She was a pillar of San Gabriel Trinity Lutheran Church, and loved being a sister in her Kappa Delta Sorority and local PEO Chapter.

She is survived by husband Don, children Tom and Tracy, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. In loving memory, may she Rest In Peace.

Diverse Church Congregation Arrives at One Message

Rev. Dr. Darrell Haley

After talking to the Rev. Dr. Darrell Haley, I’ve decided that the South Pasadena Christian Church is an example of a concept which has been a traditional hallmark of the United States.

E Pluribus Unum. You know, like on the Great Seal of the United States: Out of Many, One.

I say that because Haley, the senior pastor at the church, points to the fact that although there has been a huge surge in the past six years of Mandarin-speaking Chinese, Latino Anglo and Filipino congregants, all have gathered together in one unified service.

Some churches I’ve visited have separate services for Mandarin-speaking members, and perhaps a service for their Latino congregants.

Haley said that the South Pasadena Christian Church, located at 1316 Lyndon St., has become a multi-cultural congregation, with the needs of various groups being brought to the table.

After Year, Tigers Back on Trail

Photos courtesy Anthony Chan
South Pasadena’s Lilian Zhu, left, and Lindsay Michels explode from the starting line during last week’s Rio Hondo League cross country meet. Michels won the race handily with a stellar time of 19:09.

Since the South Pasadena Unified School District closed its campuses on the ominous date of Friday, March 13, 2020, and shut down all in-person extracurricular activities, athletes, their families and coaches have ridden the roller coaster of all roller coasters anticipating their return.
That day arrived last Tuesday, Feb. 23, following a series of scheduled starting dates that went wanting while the pesky coronavirus persisted.
But that all came to an end, at least for now, as South Pasadena’s cross country team members donned their orange and black uniforms and took to the trails of the Hahamongna Watershed Park in Pasadena to celebrate the return of sports.

South Pas Student’s Photo Displayed

Abigail Choi, a sophomore at South Pasadena High School, was recently among 34 students selected by nonprofit design lab Amplifier and the J. Paul Getty Museum to have their photographs displayed in a projection project across numerous cities nationwide. More than 1,500 students (ages 13-19) across the nation submitted entries for the “In Pursuit of____” competition, which asked for photographs addressing the contemporary topics of social tolerance, education access, climate change, immigration and the coronavirus pandemic. Winning photographs were displayed by projection in Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, Anchorage and Washington, D.C.

SPHS Students Expanding Environmentally Friendly Project

Photo courtesy Compost Culture
South Pasadena High School students Patrick Latting and Liam de Villa recently expanded their startup service project, Compost Culture, to neighboring San Marino.

Compost Culture — the award-winning startup service project founded last year by two South Pasadena High School students — is ripe for expansion, and it looks to be taking root in neighboring San Marino.
The operation recently expanded to begin collecting compost from residents in San Marino, and once it’s collected, it won’t have to go far. The team also recently reached an agreement with the Huntington Library to provide them with compost material to ultimately be used in its Ranch Garden, which including fruiting and other edible plants.

Women, Including Locals, Bear Brunt of Unemployment

Jennifer Freeman never saw her furlough coming.
Dr. Linnaea Scott walked away from her job as a veterinarian to care for her children.
And Kate McCarthy is making things up as she goes along in an effort to break into the entertainment business.
All are coping with the effects of the pandemic and they are not alone.
In January, another 275,000 women dropped out of the labor force, accounting for nearly 80% of all workers over the age of 20 who left the work force last month, according to a National Women’s Law Center analysis of the latest jobs report.

Additional Elementary Students Returning To Campus

The South Pasadena Unified School District remains on track to bring select 3rd-grade students back to classrooms next week with an eye on returning some 4th- and 5th-graders shortly afterward.
In the meantime, many teachers with the district will be receiving the first doses of their COVID-19 vaccinations today and tomorrow, through a program with Keck Medicine of USC. The moves are all part of a reopening that is unveiling cautiously as daily new cases and hospitalizations continue to plummet from a disastrous winter holiday surge in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.

Author Receives Special Award

Sherri L. Smith

Sherri L. Smith, who participated last fall in a virtual author night sponsored by the South Pasadena Public Library, has received the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators “Golden Kite” award in the young adult category.
The honor was for Smith’s most recent novel, “The Blossom and the Firefly.” It explores the feelings of a young Japanese soldier and a young Japanese woman brought together and torn apart by his role as a pilot in World War II.
“When I first decided to write for kids, another writer told me to join SCBWI,” said Smith, whose book can be reserved at the South Pasadena Library. “It became my go-to place for launching my career. So it means a lot to be recognized by this community of my peers. It is like I’ve been sitting in the back of the classroom for a long time and now I’m sitting in the front row.”

SPHS Virtual Enterprise Teams Qualify For Nationals

Both the varsity and junior varsity business plan teams from the Virtual Enterprise program at South Pasadena High School recently qualified for the national competition in April, by being named to the top eight teams in California.
The varsity team, “Pebbly,” (a new-age spin on Gary Dahl’s classic pet rock) earned first place in the top eight and the junior varsity team, “MyMeals,” (customized gourmet meals delivered to your doorstep) earned seventh place, according to the South Pasadena Unified School District.
Twenty-eight teams from across the country make it to the national business plan competition. SPHS is the reigning national champion from 2019. (The 2020 competition was canceled due to the pandemic.)
Members of the Pebbly Business Plan team include Mahal Montes, Matteo Lee, Mollie Parker, Olivia Yanover, Michelle Jee and Jason Kim, while members of the MyMeals Business Plan team include Quentin Holmes, Aidan Bar-Cohen, Leo Barrerra, Diana Perea, Jason Liu and Kiyan Gerami. Their teacher is Cathy Mason.
The decorated SPHS Virtual Enterprise program has transitioned to a fully virtual curriculum and competition platform to account for the restrictions of the pandemic. The students are now competing in virtual trade fairs and working within a framework that allows the students to compete with teams from all over the nation, SPUSD said.
The Virtual Enterprise program’s website is veinternational.org.