Pasadena wine tasting to feature hundreds of pinot noirs

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The Pasadena PinotFest is getting better with age.
Wine-guy-about-town Mike Farwell and his partners from Noir Food & Wine are taking their third annual wine festival to new heights this year, with a capstone Grand Public Tasting to be held up at the Altadena Town and Country Club on Feb. 12.
Taking center stage for the occasion is, of course, that moody elixir, the pinot noir. And, for Farwell, there could be no more perfect a pairing.
He’s spent the better part of the past two decades getting acquainted with the red-grape variety, and still today he’s continually discovering new and notable pinot noir winemakers.
With the headlining event of the 2011 Pasadena PinotFest, guests can expect the opportunity to taste hundreds of pinot noirs from California winemakers, especially from the inestimable Santa Rita Hills and Russian River Valley.

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Hey, Pasadena: Flip through the digital edition of Rose Magazine’s August-September issue

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy of the most recent issue of the magazine, here she is! Or rather, here he is, because our tiny cover star is a boy pup named Oscar. I know you can’t resist him.

Photos: Get the scoop — or two — on area’s best frozen sweets

From our summer dining issue, here’s a round-up by Emma Gallegos of the area’s best chilly treats — now with extra photographic goodness:
Leo Bulgarini ships the high-quality ingredients for his gelatos all the way from Italy if he has to, but it’s all made on site in Altadena and offered up with these irresistible words: “Try this, I just made it this morning.” Some of the flavors are straight-up delicious — fruit sorbets and granita flavored with the real melon, citrus and pineapples, a hazelnut gelato that’s more nutty than nutella. Some of the flavors are strangely delicious, like the goat cheese with chocolate nibs: creamy, slightly sweet and then there are these little flecks of hardened goat cheese and bitter chocolate. How about yogurt with celtic salt or olive oil? It’s just pazzo enough to work. 749 East Altadena Drive, Altadena, (626) 791-6174,

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Botanical jewelry at Saturday’s Art on Palm showcase in Altadena

Altadena jewelry maker Ellen Dinerman will be part of Sunday’s Art on Palm showcase, featuring ceramics, glass, textiles, painting, collage, woodworking, photography and jewelry by 30 local artists and designers.
Dinerman’s work has roots in nature: Many of her pieces are inspired by the natural world, refashioned in silver or brass and accented by stones and beads.
She told Michelle Mills of the Star-News: “Sometimes I see something and I think, ‘What a fabulous shape!’ and I can see how it would be an interesting shape translated into another material. Then I take the actual seed and make a mold of it.”
Dinerman is also a featured jewelry designer for the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, where her organic-inspired designs feel, well, natural.
Visit and shop online at
More photos after the jump.

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Found: A home for the International Banana Museum collection, formerly of Altadena



AOL News is reporting today that the 17,000-piece International Banana Museum collection has found a home, after being cast into proverbial exile by the Hesperia Recreation & Parks District, which decided it needed back its rent-free city space.

The museum was first opened in Altadena by “Top Banana” Ken Bannister. It’s been in Hesperia since 2005.

(The photo of Bannister, above, was taken in 1998 in Altadena. He’s holding a banana putter.)

More photos — and the new home of the International Banana Museum — after the jump.

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Going co-op for groceries in Altadena



Public Editor Larry Wilson picks up in his column the story on a potential cooperative (meaning, member-owned) food market that’s gaining steam in Altadena:

Right now, in the organizing phase, Arroyo is
looking for 500 members to come in at $300 before the end of the year
to raise some capital toward start-up costs and construction beginning
next summer. The group says that some of the advantages to the early
adapters will be members-only events and discounts on store items.

One beauty part: “We want to build not just a healthy
grocery store but a gathering place in the community for events and
classes, plus a locally run cafe and brew pub.”

The Arroyo Food Co-op would aim to provide more organic products, stock from local producers, reasonable prices and a direct line to a more sustainable, “green” lifestyle.

Eric Spiegelman’s eerie, breathtaking time-lapse footage of the Station Fire

If you haven’t yet viewed this video of the Station Fire from Saturday afternoon, it’s a must-see. If, like me, you’ve already played it through 10-plus times, watch it again. (Via LAObserved)

Time Lapse Test: Station Fire from Eric Spiegelman on Vimeo.

UPDATED 4:30 p.m. Wednesday: Station Fire resources and blogroll for up-to-minute information

Station Fire resources:

At this time the Station Fire continues to be a slow moving fire and if
the fire continues moving toward Sierra Madre, officials do not expect
it to enter the City for at least five days. This prediction is
contingent on if the current weather conditions continue.” (3:04 p.m. Wednesday)

“Monrovia’s Sawpit Dam helibase is operational for helicopter use in fighting the fire around La Canada Flintridge. As a contingency plan, bulldozers from the U.S. Forest Service are working in local foothills to cut fire breaks Monrovia. The fire is not currently a threat to Monrovia.” (3:05 p.m. Wednesday)

  • Los Angeles County Fire Department incident information for Station fire — With details on mandatory evacuations, evacuations that have been lifted in La Canada and Altadena (residents only), Red Cross shelters and animal shelters
  • For evacuation information on Station fire, call 211
  • Altadenablog — Station fire updates lead the site. Recommend reading the comments. 
  • Glendale city site — With regular updates on mandatory evacs and centers affecting Glendale residents
  • Situation summary from Los Angeles County Web site — includes road closures, new and existing shelters, shelter closings, and evacuation info

How to help:

  • The Red Cross evacuation center at La Canada High School
    is seeking air conditioning vendors with portable units to help cool
    their gymnasium.
    To help, call La Caada Flintridge City Hall at (818) 790-8880
  • Lonnee Hamilton’s blog — Hamilton has begun to pool community resources, volunteers and donations to aid evacuees and firefighters

News media:

  • TCN North Now — covering Glendale, Crescenta Valley, Burbank and La Caada

School closures and updates:

  • Glendale UnifiedAll Glendale schools will remain CLOSED on Wednesday. A message from the superintendent is available on the district. Web site.
  • La Canada UnifiedAll LCUSD schools will be OPEN on Wednesday. Outdoor activities will be suspended until air quality improves. Notices will be posted on district Web site.
  • Pasadena City College will hold enrollment spots for students affected by fire — via Star-News. College officials will continue to update the news section of the PCC Web site. Information line open at (626) 585-7315.
  • Pasadena Unified suspends outdoor athletic activities. School was not yet in session.
  • Los Angeles Unified — Schools in Sunland and eastern San Fernando Valley region were not yet in session. Outdoor athletic activities suspended.

Live Web cams:

  • While the Mt. Wilson tower cam is down, you can view a time-lapse sequence of photos from Sunday night showing the approach of the fire.

Video sources:

“Channel 9’s fire coverage in the 9 o’clock hour included several minutes with reporter Dave Lopez on the battle by firefighters to save the La Caada Flintridge home of the station’s helicopter pilot, Larry Welk.”

Twitter feeds to monitor:

  • #StationFire hash tags on Twitter
Local blogs are igniting, too, with photos and discussions on the blaze:

  • Pasadena Daily Photo — Petrea Burchard’s before and after pics tell the story. (“Before” image is from Tuesday, Aug. 18 — aka not so long ago.)
  • KCHblog out of La Canada Flintridge
  • Station fire images on Flickr
  • Susan Kitchens’ 2020 Hindsight blog — With links to more local resources
(Photo, a view of the Station Fire from Hollywood, courtesy Zack Morrissette)