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Mayor Walks the Talk on Environmental Issues

Photos courtesy of Michael Cacciotti Locals gather for an electric lawn equipment demonstration at Eddie Park in December.

First published in the Jan. 21 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

South Pasadena Mayor Michael Cacciotti walks the walk when it comes to talking about the environment.
He also pedals the talk and light rails when he can’t walk.
“It’s exciting stuff,” said Cacciotti, who officially took the city’s reins last month. “I sometimes feel like a prophet — spreading the gospel of caring about your neighbor.”
One of his personal heroes happens to be St. Francis, widely considered the patron saint of animals and the natural environment, and he often walks or rides his bicycle through the city spreading the word about new ways to preserve the planet. It’s a driving force in his life.
He moved from northern New York to Florida as a youngster and he felt close to the Catholic church — working there in his youth — and at one time imaging himself becoming a priest.
But during his time teaching, he discovered he loved coaching youth sports — in particular, soccer — and he’s been involved in the sport for more than 40 years.
Cacciotti then moved west, got a law degree at Whittier College and became an attorney, working first for the California Department of Transportation and then as a deputy attorney general with the state’s Department of Justice.
It was while working in the attorney general’s office in 2001 that he had an environmental epiphany. He was prosecuting a case involving fraudulent air emission tests when someone showed him the amount of carbon that was emitted into the air.

Photos courtesy of Michael Cacciotti
South Pasadena Cub Scout Pack 7, state Sen. Anthony Portantino and Sgt. Matt Ronnie met to talk about environmental issues in November.

The confluence of that information paired with the fresh memory of several of his soccer players suffering from asthma caused him to see what dirty air could do to a person.
So, he traded in his sports car and bought a Toyota Prius in 2002 — a car he still owns. “I thought, ‘How can I drive a gas car and treat people with respect?’’’ Cacciotti said.
The environment became an important source for the homily of his life. Cacciotti is the city’s representative on the Gold Line light rail Foothill Construction Authority and has served on the South Coast Air Quality Management District, representing 34 eastern cities of Los Angeles County, in an elected capacity, since 2008. He has also been on the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy as an advisory board member.
In 2015, Cacciotti was instrumental in changing the city’s landscaping techniques at Garfield Park, which was touted as the first municipal park in the country to be maintained entirely by gas-free, commercial lawn equipment. In September 2016, South Pasadena was cited for maintaining all city-owned properties by advancing non-polluting, commercial electric lawn equipment.
Cacciotti often walks or rides his bicycle around town, and even took his bike on the Gold Line to work downtown where he was a deputy attorney general, a position he retired from after 20 years to devote more time to his love for South Pasadena and other causes.
He makes it a point to show up at schools, parks and organizations to push forward ways of making South Pasadena a cleaner and safer place to live.
I’ve seen him show up at meetings right after a gig coaching youth soccer, but if he’s not wearing a tie, believe me he’s got a lot of experience in helping to run the city. He’s been a council member since 2001, and now represents District 4.
Cacciotti, who has served as mayor for the 2011-12 and 2016-17 terms before being mayor pro tem last year, is excited about the electrification of city hall, the purchase of all electric cars for the city and police department, as well as electric charging stations, and eventually an electric fire truck.
He is also excited about budgeting for 75,000 additional trees to be planted in the city to preserve and protect the tree canopy.

Photos courtesy of Michael Cacciotti
Coach Michael Cacciotti with his South Pasadena Boys U16 soccer team in October.

Several of these projects are scheduled to go into effect this year, including one to eliminate gas lawn mowers and leaf blowers and another to initiate a new trash separation and composting system.
But like many programs, things don’t always go according to schedule. The gas lawn mower and leaf blower exchange has been moved back to October, while city government tries to get money to ease the financial pain on local gardeners.
I asked Cacciotti about the new trash collecting system, and suggested that many people either had not heard about it or understood the program. He told me that he had asked his trash collectors if he had done things correctly when the program officially kicked off earlier this month, and he said they hadn’t even heard about the program. Don’t fret. This program is being phased in and there will be lots of opportunity to learn more about it.
In the meantime, he’s going out to schools and scout troops and telling them to spread the word about the benefits of such programs and how they will improve the environment. He’s been out in the Arroyo Park area with the Boy Scouts to pick up debris in the nature park.
“I’m motivated by this passion,” he said, “and I can’t stop. And it can’t just be in South Pasadena, it has to be done in other cities as well.”
One issue the mayor wants to work on is dealing with those experiencing homelessness. He’s waiting on two additional cities to sign on to a program that would create a mobile crisis program, which would not only work with homeless people in the city, but also help in other emergency situations.
“[Homelessness] is getting to be more of a problem than ever before,” he said.
But even Cacciotti’s passion for new ideas can’t drown out the drumbeat of the pandemic, which has pounded the growth of ideas and the realities of personal and small business fortunes.
He’s hopeful that he can bring back a bimonthly program giving local businesses a chance to put a spotlight on their establishments.
“The pandemic has made a big impact on our city,” Cacciotti said. “It’s hurt businesses, driven up costs for the city and delayed the start of programs.”
Cacciotti noted that South Pasadena, like the rest of the country, has been impacted now, more than ever, by the politicization of issues. With many new issues and concerns at stake, there are bound to be more differing views. Change at any time is controversial.
“We’re getting more emails both ways than ever before,” he said. “Some people think we are being too strict and other people think we aren’t being strict enough.”
Cacciotti still uses that Toyota Prius. He’s leased or borrowed a number of electric cars over the years, but after 20 years next month, he’s still driving the old faithful. He proudly notes that “I have not spent one penny on my brakes.” If I didn’t know he doesn’t drive a lot, I might worry.
“I’m just waiting for the right electric car,” he said, “but I’m not sure I will even purchase a car, depending on what the future brings in terms of technology and [transportation] services available.”
For now, the future calls and Cacciotti is prepared to spread the word on sustainability.

Columnist’s note: In last week’s column about the Adobe Flores, I said that Felix Gutierrez’s mother moved to South Pasadena in 1956. It was 1955. Also, it was Jose Jesus Pico who carried a message from then Lt. Col. (and later General) John Fremont to the Californios, which they deliberated at the Adobe Flores on Jan. 11, 1847, before agreeing to sign a peace treaty. I apologize for the errors.

SPHS, Monrovia Matchup Postponed

Photo by Sebastian Moore / The Review South Pasadena High School’s Nadia Cho wins the sprint during the Tigers’ Rio Hondo League match with visiting La Cañada last week.

First published in the Jan. 21 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

The South Pasadena High School varsity girls’ water polo team has been idle since falling to visiting La Cañada, 16-6, in a Rio Hondo League match on Jan. 11.
The Tigers (1-2 league and overall record) were scheduled to host Monrovia for a league contest on Tuesday, Jan. 18; however, SPHS head coach Lindsey Garcia and Athletic Director Anthony Chan confirmed the match was postponed. A makeup date was undetermined by The Review’s press deadline.
South Pasadena is scheduled to host Temple City for a league matchup on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 3:30 p.m.

Tigers to Face La Cañada in League Showdown

Photo by Sebastian Moore / The Review South Pasadena senior Sage Wayans (No. 15) elevates for a dunk during a nonleague game earlier this season. Wayans has averaged 21.5 points over his last four games while helping the Tigers to a 2-0 Rio Hondo League record (11-5 overall).

First published in the Jan. 21 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

The South Pasadena High School varsity boys’ basketball team opened Rio Hondo League action with two victories over Temple City and Blair High of Pasadena.
The wins lifted the Tigers (2-0 league record, 11-5 overall), who are ranked No. 6 in CIF-SS Division 3A, into first place in league. They are scheduled to visit perennial league powerhouse La Cañada (1-0 in league, 11-5 overall), which is ranked fifth in CIF, for a highly anticipated matchup on Friday at 7 p.m.


South Pasadena hosted North Hollywood’s Campbell Hall during its MLK Day Showdown on Monday, Jan. 17. Senior Dillon Akers poured in 19 points, while senior Sage Wayans added 15 points.
Junior Nick Chabot added nine points on three 3-pointers while senior Jonathan Guy scored eight points. Senior Niko Lawrence, freshman Sebastian Martinez, senior Ezekiel Pannell and Micah Matsuoka each had two points.


Despite falling to Los Angeles Fairfax at the Westchester Showcase on Saturday, Wayans scored a team-high 26 points. Akers and Guy added 11 and eight points, respectively, while Pannell logged seven points. Chabot scored five points, Lawrence tallied four points, and freshmen Oni Balogun and Joshua Ho each finished with three points. Matsuoka rounded out the scoring with two points.


South Pasadena had four players score in double figures during a league game at Pasadena’s Blair last Friday.
Wayans poured in a team-high 26 points, Akers scored 14 points, Lawrence added 13 points and sophomore Nathan Kawasaki had 10 points. Pannell registered eight points, Guy and Chabot each finished with four points, junior William Esnault added three points, while Balogun and senior Mark Zhang each had one point.


South Pasadena dominated visiting Temple City to open league on Wednesday, Jan. 12, as Wayans and Akers led the Tigers by recording 19 and 18 points, respectively.

Tigers Return to Rio Hondo League Action

Photos by Sebastian Moore / The Review South Pasadena junior defender Karouko Endo scored a goal in the Tigers’ 15-0 Rio Hondo League rout over visiting Blair High of Pasadena.

First published in the Jan. 21 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

The South Pasadena High School varsity girls’ soccer team hosted Pasadena Blair that quickly turned into a football game as the Tigers blanked the Vikings, 15-0, in a Rio Hondo League contest last Friday.
South Pasadena (2-3-3 overall record, 1-1-2 league) earned its first league victory as senior Ava Dunville, sophomore Iris Pollard, forward Emily Monterroso, junior Sabrina Bluml and junior Daniella Lat each scored two goals. Midfielder Lauren Wong, forward Saidbh Byrne, junior Kaoruko Endo, sophomore Simone Assaf and senior Sadie Abelson each registered one goal.
Earlier in the week, South Pasadena tied a league match at Temple City, 1-1, on Wednesday, Jan. 12. Pollard scored the Tigers’ lone goal to help avoid a league loss.

Photos by Sebastian Moore / The Review
South Pasadena sophomore midfielder Aidan Ogawa (left) and junior defender Declan Swift (right) elevate to block a shot. The Tigers own a 4-3-3 overall record (1-1-1 in league).

South Pasadena is scheduled to host La Cañada for a rematch on Friday, Jan. 21, at 3:30 p.m. The last meeting between the Tigers and the Spartans resulted in a 1-1 tie earlier in the month.


The Tigers’ boys team was shut out by visiting Temple City, 4-0, in a Rio Hondo League match on Wednesday, Jan. 12. South Pas trailed 1-0 at halftime before allowing three more goals in the second half.
The Tigers (4-3-3 overall, 1-1-1 in league) are scheduled to visit La Cañada for a league rematch on Friday, Jan. 21, at 3:30 p.m. The last meeting between SPHS and the Spartans resulted in a 3-3 tie.

South Pas Wins 8th Straight Game; La Cañada Awaits

Photo by Sebastian Moore / The Review South Pasadena senior power forward Allysan Tse wins the tip-off against visiting Temple City during the Tigers’ Rio Hondo League opener. Tse averaged 16.5 points over South Pasadena’s two most recent league games.

First published in the Jan. 21 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

South Pasadena High School’s varsity girls’ basketball team, ranked No. 3 in CIF-SS Division 2A, won both of its Rio Hondo League matchups last week while extending its season-best win streak to eight games.
The powerful Tigers (15-1 overall record, 2-0 in league), who are 3-0 at home and 8-0 on the road while going 4-1 at neutral venues, will attempt to keep the momentum going when they visit La Cañada (8-3 overall, 1-0 in league) for a key matchup between two of the Rio Hondo League’s top teams on Friday, Jan. 21. The Spartans are the No. 18-ranked team in CIF-SS Division 3AA.


South Pasadena stayed perfect on the road as it visited Blair High in Pasadena last Friday.
The Tigers were led once again by the sister duo of senior Allysan Tse and sophomore Dylan Tse, who poured in 22 and 21 points, respectively, while senior Alyssa Chan posted 18 points. Sophomore Jamie Rain Kim recorded seven points, junior Peyton Washington added five points, sophomore Yuzu Harada scored four and sophomore Olivia Alfonso had three points.


Earlier in the week, South Pas routed visiting Temple City in its league opener on Wednesday, Jan. 12, as Dylan Tse posted a game-high 24 points while hitting four attempts behind the arch. Allysan Tse tallied 15 points while Rain Kim added nine points, all from downtown. Chan scored eight points while freshman Katie Chung, sophomore Olivia Alfonso and senior Isabella Alfonso each had two points, and junior Lotis Shoun scored one.

Terror at Texas Synagogue Puts Temples on Alert

First published in the Jan. 21 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

Jewish temples across the San Gabriel Valley took pause and breathed a sigh of relief after the safe release of four people who’d been taken hostage while in the midst of a Sabbath service at their synagogue last Saturday in Colleyville, Texas.
It was also another occasion for temples in the area to assess security procedures and review work with law enforcement agencies as well as county terrorism department officials.
In response to the latest terror attack, Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock on Sunday established an emergency response task force that will establish best practices and protocols in dangerous situations.
Temple President Maxwell Clifford Barbanell said the congregation was recently a target of a series of tweets from an individual in North Carolina who threatened violence.
“Luckily for us, the FBI and local law enforcement agencies acted quickly to apprehend the author of the tweets and deemed it not to be a credible threat at that time,” Barbanell said. “While anti-Semitism continues to climb in the U.S., it is important for us to remain vigilant and do everything within our community.
“We have taken many steps over the last years to protect our campus, making it a more secure one by installing a new security camera system and looking into ways we can improve access to the Temple grounds.”
Four people were held hostage for about 12 hours on Saturday in an incident authorities labeled a terrorist attack. The hostage-taker, who was identified as a British citizen, was shot and killed after the victims ran to safety. The FBI is continuing to examine evidence, according to news reports.
Texas authorities credited the congregation for acting calmly, a response helped by having an advanced discussion and plan to deal with such situations.
“Personally, it is exceptionally painful to see a fellow Reform rabbi held captive,” said Rabbi Jason Rosner, a South Pasadena resident. “Anyone who sets their feet on the path toward the rabbinate knows that something like this could happen to them one day.
“Many of us (including myself and members of my synagogue) have served in the United States in uniform and in positions of civic leadership,” he said. “No one should have the peace of their Sabbath trampled, whether they observe it on Saturday, Sunday or Friday.”
Rabbi Chaim Hanoka, who oversees seven Chabad rabbis across the San Gabriel Valley and who is one of the chaplains for the Pasadena Police Department, said that communications always remain open between law enforcement and the local Chabad. Hanoka noted that what he called the “global Chabad network” also provides quick updates on anti-Semitic incidents around the world.
“We do training and we are as vigilant as we can be,” Hanoka said. “What we do is constantly open to being re-examined and being bolstered as need be.”
Hanoka said that he has not received any recent threats to any of the localities in the San Gabriel Valley, but he said that Chabad keeps a “constant line of open communications with law enforcement officials.”
Chabad has facilities in Arcadia, Pasadena and soon will locate to South Pasadena, and it also works with the community at the California Institute of Technology.

Baking Goodies for Prison Reform

Photo courtesy Courtney Jeong Frankie Fleming, Courtney Jeong and Zoe Axelrod sell homemade cookies in front of Tomorrow Today in Chinatown.

First published in the Jan. 21 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

Festive cookies are a staple of winter holidays, but few take it to the level that Courtney Jeong has.
In December, the lifelong South Pasadena resident (with the help of a few friends) baked 400 cookies and sold every one of them. Jeong sold the cookies for between $1 and $3 apiece and, combined with sales from some handmade mask chains, raised nearly $1,200 for the nonprofit groups Initiate Justice and Dignity and Power Now.
“We were out there from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and that was the exact time we sold our last cookie,” Jeong said. “Almost everyone bought a cookie that I had talked to. Everyone was just so supportive.”
Initiate Justice and Dignity and Power Now are California organizations working to end or reform incarceration. Jeong was inspired to donate to both after watching her sister and brother-in-law work with prison nonprofits.

Photo courtesy Courtney Jeong
Proceeds from cookies baked by Courtney Jeong were donated to nonprofits focused on prison reform.

The original idea was to sell her handmade mask chains as a fundraiser, but a 50-pound bag of flour that had been lounging around Jeong’s home changed her mind.
“I was like, ‘You know what? I want to make cookies,’” Jeong, who also works at a confectionery, said. “I’ve made pies and stuff in the past for the holidays to sell. And so, I was like, why don’t we?”
She quickly shared her idea in a group text message that included her friend, Frankie Fleming, as well as Zoe Axelrod and Geoff Kixmiller, two South Pasadena residents who own Tomorrow Today, a bookstore and rapid-response press in Chinatown.
Axelrod and Kixmiller volunteered their storefront as a location to sell the cookies and soon enough, Jeong’s freezer was filling up with cookie dough.
“We try to build that kind of ethos into Tomorrow Today and into the project in general of finding ways to give back to community or build community,” Axelrod said. “So, when Courtney came up with the idea, it was, of course, we would want to do something like that.”
Tomorrow Today also does free or by-donation printing for community organizers and activists. They also give out posters on local campaigns for free. Partnering with Jeong and her cause just made sense to Axelrod and Kixmiller.
“In 2020, there was so much energy around police abolition and prison reform,” Axelrod said. “Just because that energy has died down a bit, it doesn’t mean these issues aren’t still fully there.”
Jeong’s original plan included baking 12 flavors of cookies, but scaled back to six. There was the notorious mishap with the chocolate chip cookies, too. After grinding out a few batches of the flavor, she decided it was time to taste test.
A very honest review from Jeong’s sister took the chocolate chip recipe out of circulation and the cookies became part of a group of about 300 samples that were scrapped.

Photo by Haley Sawyer / The Review
Zoe Axelrod, Courtney Jeong and Geoff Kixmiller

Once a new chocolate chip recipe was secured — courtesy of Republique, a cafe on La Brea — Jeong began baking. In the days leading up to the sale, the ovens of Jeong, Axelrod, Kixmiller and Fleming were running nonstop.
“Basically, I was going home from work and then making these cookies,” Jeong said. “I divided three batches to Zoey, three batches to Frankie and they both came through for me, became full-force cookie factories.”
Jeong and Fleming headed to Tomorrow Today on a sunny Saturday morning with about 30 boxes of cookies and hundreds of individual cookies in tow.
Customers wandered through Chinatown’s Central Plaza, where Tomorrow Today is located, and meandered to Jeong’s table of cookies. By the end of the day, the sweets that sold for a few dollars added up, and she had more than $1,000 in her pocket for a cause she cares about.
“I think people think they need a lot of resources or planning to be able to do something,” Axelrod said, “but you can really start super small, and maybe $1,200 isn’t a lot to a lot of people, but it’s not nothing. You still spent your time doing something worthwhile.”
Jeong has plans to do a cookie sale again, although it might be sooner than the holiday season or could include pies. The possibilities all lie within Jeong’s entrepreneurial, chocolate-chipped mind.

Make It a Dog Day Afternoon for Large Breeds

Photos courtesy Pasadena Humane Society Pasadena Humane Society President/CEO Dia DuVernet shows off some big love with shelter alumnus, Bumi. The animal wellness organization is hosting a “big dog” adoption through Jan. 31.

First published in the Jan. 21 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

Starting out the new year, it’s time to run with the big dogs.
With a motto of “the bigger they are, the more love they give,” the Pasadena Humane Society is partnering with Best Friends Animal Society for the “Live Large — Adopt a Big Dog” campaign to rally residents to adopt or foster large dogs.
Adoption fees for dogs weighing more than 40 pounds will be waived during the campaign that runs through Jan. 31. Typically, adoption fees for dogs six months and older cost $150, which includes spay or neuter services, vaccines and a micro-chip.
Across California shelters, larger dogs are filling capacity and often are the last animals to be adopted, said Pasadena Humane Society President/CEO Dia DuVernet. The reasons for that vary, she added, from landlords not allowing large pets under lease agreements to a general shortage in housing and people preferring smaller animals for smaller spaces. With the eviction moratorium now lifted, there are also people who cannot bring their dogs to temporary housing.
“Whatever the reason, we are having a lot of larger dogs relinquished and fewer people willing to take them,” DuVernet said. “We have more than 30 big dogs in our care right now. We would love for each of them to find the new home they deserve. Big dogs bring a lot of love and can make great family pets.”
The animal welfare group has about 30 large dogs up for adoption.
Since the pandemic, Pasadena Humane has taken multiple measures to reduce human contact within its walls, including requiring appointments for those interested in adoption. This allows for a more personal adoption experience and also cuts down on noise within the kennels, which in turn provides the animals more rest and less stress, DuVernet said.

Two-year-old P!nk is extremely friendly and loves meeting new people. She enjoys going for walks and getting lots of attention.

“We are applying many of the lessons we learned during the pandemic to create a better experience for the animals in our care and for our visitors,” she said. “There is no doubt in my mind that the animals were the biggest winners during the pandemic.”
For those still wishing to browse the dogs in person, there continue to be visiting hours to the kennels on Saturday, from 2-5 p.m., and on Sundays, 3-5 p.m.
“For a while we had to modify those services and the hours, but we’ve been returning to more normal operations. However, the increase of COVID cases may impact that,” she added, suggesting that visitors call or preview the website for updates.
During the past two pandemic years, the Pasadena Humane Society has operated as an essential business, although it’s had to “reimagine” some of the public services, such as vaccine and spay clinics and dog training classes. They’ve also been impacted by reduced staff due to illness, DuVernet noted, but they’ve tried to pivot where they can, offering training courses online and one on one. The mobile adoption events are also slowly resuming, and the nonprofit organization now relies on a steady team of foster volunteers. This keeps animals happy in homes and creates a healthy biography of what foster parents observe in an animal, DuVernet added.
Pasadena Humane also kept up all of its animal control services in neighboring cities. Last month, the organization rescued more than 50 cats and kittens from a local home. The “Christmas Cats,” as they were nicknamed, were found living in unsanitary conditions inside and in a crawl space underneath the house. In a two-day operation, animal control officers and staff worked to remove the cats, which suffered symptoms of upper respiratory and ear infections. With veterinary care and supervision, the cats were nursed back to health and adopted out.
“Our staff has been phenomenal and flexible in accommodating all the constant changes, but it has been exhausting. I think we would all say it’s been one of the most challenging in all of our work lives. It’s been the most challenging even for us in our personal lives,” she noted. “But while it’s been tough to stay on top of all the changes required by COVID and in our operations, I think we’ll come out of this stronger.”
For more information on the “Live Large” campaign or to preview animals, as well as make an adoption appointment, visit pasadenahumane.org/adopt.

SPUSD Reports 92.5% Attendance as Classes Resume

First published in the Jan. 21 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

The South Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education recently notified the community that the vast majority of students returned to class last week, though at least 169 pupils and staff have tested positive for COVID-19.
The board reported a 92.5% average weekly districtwide attendance rate at the end of last week, with 1,341 PCR tests administered — resulting in a 1.3% positivity rate from those tests — and 9,350 at-home tests distributed. The student and employee COVID-19 positivity rate during that week was 2.3%.
Both positivity rates were far below that of Los Angeles County, which last week reported average rates exceeding 20%. SPUSD’s first-week attendance rate was similar to that reported in neighboring San Marino, whose school district noted a 92% rate.
From the beginning of the academic year on Jan. 10 through Wednesday, the district has reported 183 student and staff COVID-19 cases, according to the SPUSD coronavirus dashboard. The district hosts about 4,660 students and 425 staff members at its locations every day. Most of those positive test results were from South Pasadena High School and South Pasadena Middle School, which reported 60 and 57 cases, respectively.
The SPUSD reported just 12 districtwide cases in November and 53 in December.
All SPUSD employees on district property are fully vaccinated, the district said, with 90% of SPHS students — including 72.5% of students aged 5-11 — also fully vaccinated.
Classrooms and offices are equipped with 310 portable air purifiers, 500 MERV 13 hospital-grade filters and 350 hand sanitizing stations across campuses. Additionally, approximately 30,000 masks have been distributed to employees and students.
“At the end of the first week after our return to school, we are grateful for your continued diligence and support of our students, teachers and staff who work so hard every day,” said SPUSD President Zahir Robb in a statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to try and put obstacles in our path, but by working together as a community, we are optimistic about what we can and will achieve.”
Although case numbers are anticipated to increase in the coming weeks, Robb said that SPUSD’s case rate is “extraordinarily low.”
“Our district follows the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 guidelines, which may change as the virus changes, new research emerges, new prevention measures are developed and new medical breakthroughs are made,” Robb said. “This may lead to some confusion, but please know that our top priority is always the health and safety of our students and everyone who is part of our district community.”
She urged those who can get vaccinated to do so, and asked parents to not send children to school who are sick, test positive for COVID-19 or may have been exposed to the virus.
“We are part of a community of supportive parents, outstanding educators and the most amazing students,” Robb said. “Let’s continue to stay connected and work together.”

We Help Your Student Attend the ‘Right’ College

Michele Doll

First published in the Jan. 14 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

Content provided by Steele Street

Recognizing the ongoing need for direction in the college admission process, Steele Street College Consulting was started to educate students and families about the college admission process.
Steele Street works individually with each student while providing an encouraging and stress-free college application process.
Over the past seven years, Steele Street has successfully assisted students in their application to and acceptance from a variety of colleges that have best suited the students’ academic pursuits, extracurricular interests and long-term goals. Ultimately, Steele Street believes that helping every student find their right fit is the most important factor for student success in finding and completing college.
Steele Street offers a variety of assistance to meet the needs of every student and family. Steele Street will create an individualized student action plan with an organizational timeline to develop an overall strategy for each student.
We provide all of our students access to a private protected student college portal and we assist with resume building, personal and supplemental essay ideas and editing along with a step by step review of all applications,” a company spokesperson said. We provide guidance on college tours, practicing for college interviews and scholarship and financial aid advice.
While we believe starting early is key to success, we will work with any high school student at any grade. We love starting with freshmen to provide guidance on high school courses, volunteering, and getting involved in athletics and clubs and we also love working with seniors and keeping them on target to have everything completed and submitted by the first of November. Trust us — we will assist with getting everything completed, submitted and take the pressure off of you, the parent. We will help your son or daughter find their “right fit!”
For information, visit the website steelestreet.org or email michele@steelestreet.org.