Dueling press releases detail two stories of Altadena rescue

Pasadena Fire Department officials are steamed over a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department press release taking credit for a mountain rescue Monday night. They say the press release is riddled with falsehoods — and that the Sheriff’s Department was barely involved in the rescue of two injured women.

Leave it to sheriff’s Spokesman Steve Whitmore to put it all in perspective.

“Here is what’s important: The people got saved.”

Pasadena rescue squad at Eaton Canyon

Perhaps the most telling detail about the whole operation is on Tim Rutt’s altadenablog, which has a picture of the patients being loaded into a paramedic van — not a helicopter.

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Suspect in Art College professor’s slaying to be arraigned today

Urgent advisory from the DA’s Office:

Def, Steven Honma, LA 064672, will be arraigned today at Van Nuys Superior Court, Department 100, 14400 Erwin St. Mall.

From the Ventura County Star:

The suspect in the killing of a design college teacher at a Westlake Village party is expected to make his first court appearance today.

Steven Ronald Honma, 54, of Westlake Village, has been booked into Los Angeles County’s Inmate Retention Center, and he is scheduled to appear this morning in Van Nuys Superior Court, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s web site.

Honma was charged Tuesday with murder and possessing a firearm with a prior conviction in connection with the shooting death of Norman Schureman at a Persian New Year’s party Saturday night in the 31700 block of Kentfield Court.

Schureman, 50, of Altadena, was an instructor at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He was married and had two sons.

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Man charged in Art College professor’s slaying

This comes from the City News Service:

A Westlake Village man was charged today with murder in the weekend party shooting death of a longtime instructor at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design.

Arraignment is scheduled this afternoon at the Van Nuys courthouse for Steven
Ronald Honma, who also faces one count of illegal possession of a firearm, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Honma, 50, is charged in the slaying of Norman Schureman, 50, of Altadena, who was with his wife at a Persian new year’s party at his mother-in-law’s Westlake Village home when he was shot Saturday night. He died early Sunday morning at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

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Sierra Madre puts crime reports on the Internet

Sierra Madre PD officials announced Tuesday that crime reports from the community will be available on line at Crimereports.com
Here’s a link to recent crime reports that includes the addresses of registered sex offenders.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department utilizes Crimereports.com as well, so by zooming out from Sierra Madre, you can get a pretty good sense of what’s happening along the foothills.
You won’t see Pasadena or San Gabriel on the map though.

Pasadena PD announced last week it was going with competitor Crimemapping.com to display calls for service. San Gabriel PD has had an arrangement in place with crimemapping.com for several months.

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Suspected Altadena child molester pleads guilty

Mark Walter Sonnenburg of Altadena will be sentenced on April 19, officials said. He was picked up by LAPD in 2008.

Here’s the story:
A former teacher pleaded no contest today to charges he molested two 9-year-old girls in 1988, including one who attended the school where he worked.

Mark Walter Sonnenburg, 55, pleaded no contest to two counts of lewd act with a child, according to Deputy District Attorney Ann Marie Wise.

He is due back in Los Angeles Superior Court on April 19, when the victims are expected to speak and Sonnenburg is scheduled to be taken into custody to begin serving a six-month jail term, the prosecutor said.

Sonnenburg will serve the jail time before he returns to court for sentencing.

Along with the jail term, Sonnenburg is expected to be ordered to serve five years’ probation, register as a sex offender for life, undergo sex offender counseling and not be alone with minor children, according to Wise.

He will be barred from teaching, the prosecutor said.

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Altadena Sheriff picks up suspected sex prowler

From a Sheriff’s Department Press Release:

Between January 23, 2010 through January 31, 2010, multiple residential burglaries of two separate locations were reported in the Altadena community. The suspect left unique apology notes at each scene, which included sexual explicit references and indicated on at least one note, that he would return.

A partial print was collected by the Los Angeles County Crime Lab, which returned to a registered sex offender, residing in Altadena. A search warrant was obtained and executed, on February 3, 2010, at Suspect Ralph Wyatt’s home in the 1000 block of East Woodbury Road. Suspect Wyatt was taken into custody and conclusive evidence of his involvement in the crimes was recovered. Suspect Wyatt was booked at Crescenta Valley Station.

The facts of the case were presented, by Detective Richard Pippin, to the District Attorney’s Office of Pasadena Court, and four count of residential burglary, two counts of stalking and one count of sexual battery were filed against Suspect Wyatt.

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InciWeb Station Fire update — evacuations, road closures, total acres


Incident Overview

A view of the fire from the Mt. Wislon station cam

Image options: [ Enlarge ] [ Full Size ]

Station Fire Information

August 31, 2009 9:00 a.m.

Fire Status

Fire Name: Station

Geographic Location: Highway 2 North of La Canada – Flintridge, CA

Acres Burned: 85,760

Start Date: August 26, 2009

Time: 3:20 p.m.

Percent Contained: 5%

Estimated Containment Date: 9/15/09

Cause: Under Investigation

Injuries: 3

Threatened:12,000

Commercial Buildings Threatened: 500

Structures Destroyed: 18

Resourses

Cooperators: Forest Service (Lead Agency) with support from Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles County Sherriffs Department, California State Highway Patrol, Cal Trans, Los Angeles City Fire Department

Approximate Personnel Assigned: 2,575

Helitankers 7

Helicopters 6

Air Tanker 8 (3 additional available as needed)

Engines 290

Hand Crews 54

Dozers 52

Summary: The Station Fire continues to burn within the Angeles National Forest and near surrounding foothill communities of La Canada-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Acton, Soledad Canyon, Pasadena and Glendale. The goals of the firefighters are to keep the fire west of Highway 39 and Angeles Crest Highway, east of Interstate 5, south of Highway 14, Pearblossom Highway, and Highway 138, and north of the foothill communities and the Angeles National Forest Boundary. Steep terrain, decadent old growth brush and hot dry weather are factors that drive fire activity. Firefighters are working to build fireline and protect structures within areas affected by the fire.

Evacuations:

North Side Mandatory

Chantry Flats: evacuations of the Chantry Flats area effective as of 10:00 am

Acton Area: There has been a mandatory evacuation of Soledad Canyon Rd. between Agua Dulce Canyon Rd. and Crown Valley Rd. There is a mandatory evacuation of the area bounded by Soledad Canyon Rd, Aliso Canyon Rd. and Angeles Forest Highway.

National Forest: Soledad Canyon Rd./Bootlegger Canyon Rd. Area AND Little Rock Recreation Area Mount Emma Rd. and Cheseboro Rd.

South Side Mandatory

National Forest: There has been mandatory evacuation of the area along Big Tujunga Canyon Rd. from Mount Gleason to Angeles Forest Highway.

There has been a mandatory evacuation along Little Tujunga Canyon Rd. north of the Little Tujunga Ranger Station and Gold Creek.

La Crescenta: Vicinity of Rosemont, La Crescenta, and Ramsdale AND north of Rockedell, Pineridge, Mountain Pine, and Markridge Rd.

La Canada Flintridge: There has been a mandatory evacuation of all streets east of Ocean View Blvd. and north of Los Amigos St. In addition, all streets north of Jessen Drive and Palm Drive have been evacuated as well. There has been a mandatory evacuation of all streets located west of Briggs Ave. and east of Pennsylvania Ave., in between Harmony Pl. and the foothills. There has been a mandatory evacuation of all streets north of Rockdell St. between Briggs Av. And Pine Glenn Rd.

Altadena: There has been a mandatory evacuation of all streets north of Loma Alta Dr., located between Lincoln Ave. and Lake Ave. In addition, all streets located in “The Meadows” have been evacuated as well. “The Meadows” consists of all streets located above Loma Alta Dr. and west of Lincoln Ave. to Aralia Rd.

Road Closures:

Red Rover Mine Rd. @ SR-14

Soledad Canyon Rd. @ Crown Valley Rd.

Escondido Rd.@ SR-14

Soledad Canyon Rd. @ SR-14 (exit only)

Agual Dulce Canyon Rd. @ SR-14

Placerita @ Sand Canyon Rd.

Big Pines @ SR-2

Aliso Canyon @ Soledad Canyon Rd.

Angeles Forest Highway @ Mt. Emma Rd.

Red Rover Mine Rd.@ Escondido Rd.

Aliso Canyon @ Ave Y-8

Little Tujunga @ Ranger Station

Open to Residents Only:

Effective (time)

Lake Blvd. to JPL and south of Cheyney Tr.

Evacuation Shelters: Located at La Canada High School; La Crescenta Valley High School and Golden Valley High School, Marie Kerr Park, Verdugo High School. Animal Shelters are located at Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, as well as the following special needs shelter. Pierce College (horses, donkeys and mules ONLY), Lancaster Animal Shelter and Agoura Animal Shelter are both accepting small animals.



Basic Information

Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Wednesday August 26th, 2009 approx 03:30 PM
Location Los Angeles River Ranger District / Angeles National Forest
Incident Commander Michael Dietrich

Current Situation

Total Personnel 2,575
Size 85,760 acres
Percent Contained 5%
Estimated Containment Date Tuesday September 08th, 2009 approx 06:00 PM
Fuels Involved

Very heavy fuels of ceanothus, chamise, scrub oak and manzanita across the entire fire area, 15 to 20 feet in height with Big Cone Douglas Fir in the drainage bottoms. Fuels have not experienced any significant large fire activity in the past 40 years.

Fire Behavior

Fire behavior was extremely active with rapid rates of spread and flame lenghts up to 80 feet. All thresholds in place for determination of active fire behavior have been exceeded. Hot and dry with afternoon winds, especially over the upper slopes.

Significant Events

Mandatory Evacuations are in effect in many locations. The fire is threatening the Mount Lukens Communications Site, Mount Wilson Communications Facilities and Observatory and may reach these locations this burning period. Unified Command is in place.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Prepare and protect structures when and where necessary. Air operations will be heavy on the northwest perimeter.

Growth Potential

Extreme. The fire in the Acton area has spread down to the lower slopes adjacent to the road.

Terrain Difficulty

Extremely steep and inaccessible

Remarks

Angeles Crest Highway remains closed and is the primary access route for numerous private residences and the Mount Wilson Communication Facility and Observatory. Multiple evacuation centers have been established. The Red Flag warning will expire at 9:00 p.m. the evening.

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Tweets from the Station Fire

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La Canada city update on Station Fire

From the city’s Web site:
(As of August 29, 2009, 1:00 p.m.)
The “Station Fire” started at approximately 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Approximately 7,000 acres have burned; 5% containment; fire is largely fuel driven; currently
no significant winds
Per instruction from County public safety personnel, the City of La Caada Flintridge is
announcing an immediate mandatory evacuation notice for residences on: Ocean View Blvd.
n/o Bristow Dr., including Bristow Dr., Derwood Dr., Manistee Dr., and Highrim Rd.; generally
e/o Palm Dr. at Ravista Ln., n/o Vista Del Valle, and w/o Angeles Crest Highway; Greenridge
Dr., Forest Green Dr., Ridge Ct., and Starlight Crest Dr. (through address 502); Big Briar Way
(off Haskell St.); La Canada Blvd. n/o El Vago St., Donna Maria Ln., Indian Dr., Alta Canyada
Rd. n/o El Vago St., Hacienda Dr., Linda Vista Dr., and Alta Canyada Rd. n/o Linda Vista Dr.
Residents in these areas are asked to assemble their families and leave the area. An
evacuation center is set up at La Caada High School, located at 4463 Oak Grove Dr., where
the Red Cross is ready to receive those coming from the evacuation area. Please heed
directions from Sheriff’s deputies and fire personnel to ensure that all residents are able to
depart in a safe manner.
According to Mr. John Velasco of JPL, the Lab will be closed until at least Sunday evening.
Fire personnel are battling the fire near Alta Canyada; thus far their efforts are holding
Units for structure protection are in place and will remain and be supplemented as necessary
12 helicopters and 6 fixed wing aircraft will be in the air today
All concerned residents should packed and be prepared to leave if a mandatory evacuation
order is issued; La Caada High School is set up and available to shelter evacuees (30 people
have sought shelter); Crescenta Valley and John Muir High Schools are backup locations
If you and your family are evacuated from your residence or business, please check in with
the Red Cross at La Canada High School, even if you will be staying temporarily with family
and friends at another location; this will assist in accounting for community members if
necessary
The Pasadena Humane Society is available at La Canada High School for pet care/shelter
Review your individual preparedness plan and continue to monitor local news and this
website for updates
164 homes have lost electricity in the Country Club area. No timeframe for restoration as
SCE cannot enter this area due to fire danger.
The City will continue to notify residents via its reverse 911 system with critical public safety
information (calls to land lines only)
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