Altadena Clown House update


On Wednesday, KFI’ s John and Ken devoted their 6 p.m. hour to the sex offender clown house in Altadena. The began by taking issue with us for a “wimpy” headline — “Residents decry halfway house.” But also praised reporter Elise Kleeman’s story.

A few members of the Altadena Town Council appeared on the show and discussed their opposition to the Sober Living residence for sex offenders in their neighborhood. They also said there’s not much they can do without the help of County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, since Altadena is unincorporated.

Antonovich’s spokesman Tony Bell called in to discuss the issue as well.

Nobody’s heard from state officials nor the management of the house “New Horizions Sober Living”, which appears to be branching out into the sex offender housing market.

There are a couple of Altadena blogs discussing the clown house too. They are The Meadows Blog, which originates from the neighborhood where the clown house is located. There’s also the Altadena Blog, a more general blog about the unincorporated Los Angeles County community, which has this post on the subject.

An Altadena reader took offense with Thursday’s column on the subject. Here what he had to say:


Re “High time to fix the system,” in the Feb. 27th Pasadena Star-News:

I assume your piece is just an opinion piece, rather than what most would consider straightforward news. I haven’t read your column before, so maybe I’m wrong. The situation of the convicts in Altadena is definitely alarming (I almost bought a house up there in ’05) and deserves balanced coverage.

I think your article, & future reporting on this situation, would be more useful without the terrified editorializing. It’s fine for you to quote residents, but you ought to trim your outrage. Give your readers facts and let them decide what to think.

E.g., have you done any legwork (phone calls, interviews, research, etc) to discover whether there’s any correlation between the “groups of these men living together” and an increase in those areas in similar crimes? Or did you just sit down and bang this column out?

That seems a basic question. Without examining it, your article is half reporting (the residents’ reactions) and half fear-mongering (your reaction). So far, fifty percent of your job remains undone. I’m probably not the only reader who wants more from the Star-News.


John Sandel

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