Woman kills herself because she can’t pay mortgage

Police are telling us that a Pasadena woman lit her house on fire before shooting and killing herself yesterday morning, a day before she was supposed to be evicted because she couldn’t pay her mortgage. Our reporter is out there now.

At times like these, any information about avoiding foreclosure will help.

On Oct. 17, there will be a foreclosure prevention seminar hosted by Congresswoman Hilda Solis from 5 to 7 p.m. at 4100 Baldwin Park Blvd. in Baldwin Park.

CM salaries

Speaking of city managers, in talking to La Puente Mayor Louie Lujan on Wednesday about Frank Tripepi’s recent appointment to transition manager, Lujan started talking about the possibility of La Puente needing to reevaluate it’s city manager salary when a full-time replacement is hired.

Lujan talked about the decreasing pool of qualified city managers out there. He also referred to this story (salaries.pdf) from the Press-Enterprise about upped city manager salaries.

I spotted a $300,000-something salary in there somewhere.


Carol Cowley was making roughly $140,000 when she retired last month. But that’s because, Lujan said, she didn’t have a degree and she had no experience.

If Tripepi were to stay on as a transition manager for a year, he’d make $240,000 in La Puente.

Lujan talked about a very narrow gap between the lowest and highest city manager salaries in the SGV. Let’s take a look.

In Rosemead, City Manager Oliver Chi makes about $178,000 a year.

Irwindale’s Robert Griego makes about $180,000.

Michelle Keith took a job as Bradbury’s city manager for $106,000 a year.

Covina’s former city manager Paul Phillips — who was city manager for eight years — got $95,280 as part of a six-month severance package when he was fired a few months back. Double that, and the figure you get was his outgoing salary.

Cynthia Kurtz, who is serving as Covina’s interim, is making $12,900 per month — if she were there for a year, she’d make $154,000.

And in Pasadena, Michael Beck makes about $265,000 a year.



Washington is looking at a $700 billion bailout, California is facing an economic crunch and many San Gabriel Valley cities are weathering budget shortfalls.

But Pasadena apparently has $2 million for a “quieter” helicopter.
The move to buy one was prompted by resident complaints of loud choppers hovering at night, according to Pasadena Star-News reporter Dan Abendschein.
Of course, Glendale and Burbank have quiet helicopters too…..

Cars not wanted….


Only for two hours that is.

Rose Bowl to try vehicle ban
Human-power only on the loop on Thursday
By Janette Williams, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 09/22/2008 10:34:38 PM PDT

PASADENA – In a two-hour experiment this Thursday, the 3.3-mile loop around the Rose Bowl will be given over to walkers, skaters, strollers and cyclists – no sharing space with anything that’s not people-powered.

The 5 to 7 p.m. ban on vehicle traffic is a pilot program designed to find out how traffic impacts the increasing numbers of recreational users, and so far it’s a one-off, Assistant City Manager Stephanie De Wolfe said Monday.

Read the full story here.

Las Encinas’ dark past

The L.A. Times wrote a really interesting article on the Aurora Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, where earlier this month, a 14-year-old girl was raped by a 16-year-old patient at the hospital, as staffers and the suspect’s probation officer slept nearby.

A source told me the incident happened in the middle of the night, during the hospital’s “noc” or night shift.

Since then, a nurse and a mental health worker have been let go, the source told me.

Needless to say, the Times piece also delves into the hospital’s track record, which apparently isn’t that great.

Worth a read.

Pasadena gets new top exec

So Pasadena has a new city manager, Michael Beck. But what is he going to get paid? More on that later in the day…

Here’s what a Riverside blog had to say about the hiring. And here’s how a Pasadena blog intiated him.

Riverside asst. city manager named Pasadena city manager
By Janette Williams, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 08/11/2008 03:39:04 PM PDT

PASADENA – Michael Beck was named Pasadena’s new city manager Monday and will take up the position on Oct. 1.

Beck, 43, who is assistant city manager in Riverside, emerged from an initial field of 60 candidates as the City Council’s unanimous choice, Mayor Bill Bogaard said.

“We recognize this is one of the most important decisions any City Council can make,” Bogaard said, announcing Beck’s appointment before an audience of city staffers in the City Council Chambers. “We treated it with the urgency and importance consistent with that.”

Beck, Bogaard said, would make a “significant contribution to the future of the city … and provide leadership consistent with the expectations of this great community.”

Beck, a Claremont resident, said Riverside and Pasadena were alike in many ways, including “their historic natures,” commitment to revitalizing their downtowns, their “multigenerational residents,” finding solutions to traffic problems, greenhouse gas emissions and to electricity and water issues.

Read more

Free parking: It’s in the fine print


Pasadena Star-News reporter Fred Ortega tells us that parking signs in Pasadena are confusing motorists. Apparently, the drivers get two-free hours of parking, but you can’t tell that by reading the signs.

But signs noting that patrons need not pay for the first two hours are nowhere to be found.

“Of course it is confusing,” said Flor Almaguer, who works at Dental Plus + Dental Group near Del Mar and Lake. “I’ve seen people drive up and right away go to the machines and pay.”

Here are what some readers have said about it:

— I have lived in Pasadena almost all my 52 years. I stopped going to Old Town because of the parking. Last weekend I saw this parking mess on South Lake. I guess Arcadia and Monrovia gets all my business now. Just who is driving all the customers out of Pasadena? —

— Good Idea !!!lets go to Arcadia where they want our business. —

— South Lake was family friendly, now it is a burden. The parking metering/posting/enforcement is going to truly hurt some of the smaller shops. The only patrons to the district will be those who can walk from the surrounding apartments & condos. OFF TO SANTA ANITA WE GO!! —-