Pasadena’s Past, Future, Present; Local Residents Association Hears About All Three at Annual Meeting

West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015West Pasadena Residents\' Association Annual Meeting 2015

CHUCK HUDSON and JAMES MACPHERSON

5:24 am | May 8, 2015


The West Pasadena Residents’ Association, an effective and influential association comprised of residents who live near the Arroyo Seco, held its annual meeting Wednesday and elected new officers, presented awards and heard from three speakers – including Mayor Tornek – about Pasadena’s past, future and present.

About 175 southwest Pasadena residents gathered at Sequoyah School first to visit exhibitor booths of local organizations on an outdoor basketball court then to move inside the school’s auditorium for “Challenges and Opportunities for Change.”

Sequoyah School’s uncertain future reflects the uneasiness many who live in that part of the city already feel: it is situated near where Caltrans is proposing the SR-710 tunnel entrance be located, leaving the celebrated school’s fate unknowable.

The recommended slate of officers and directors was approved by the membership. Geoffrey Baum, who emceed the meeting, was elected President, with Sarah Gavit as Vice President, Blaine Cavena as Treasurer, and Justin Chapman as Secretary.

Confirmed as Directors are Elissa DeAngelo, Avram Gold, Ken Grobecker, Kenyon Harbison, Joan Hearst, Chuck Hudson, Jim Keatley, Audrey O’Kelley, Catherine Stringer, Priscilla Taylor, Bill Urban, John Can de Kamp, Nancy Walker, Fred Zepeda and Lina Zinn.

The Association also recognized two outstanding local people and one group.

The Dorothy Lindsey Community Service Award went to Vince Farhat, and was accepted with aplomb by his young son. The Community Service Award was bestowed upon the Pasadena Garden Club, and was accepted by Thomas Seifert.

A special surprise award was given to Chuck Hudson, who is responsible in large measure for the Association’s electronic and print publications. Those publications are one of the Association’s hallmarks. In his remarks that night, Mayor Tornek referred to the Association’s communications outreach to the community as exemplary.

The group heard an update on District affairs from Councilmember Steve Madison.

The evening’s program presented three thoughtful speakers addressing the character of Pasadena’s past, future and present.

John van de Kamp, WPRA board member and former California attorney general, gave a synopsis of Pasadena’s recent history from his personal recollection over eight decades and articulated his thoughts on what makes Pasadena so special.

Mic Hansen, a former recipient of the  Dorothy Lindsey Community Service Award who is a commissioner on the city’s Planning Commission, presented a Powerpoint talk on future developments planned or underway in the Pasadena.

The final speaker was Mayor Terry Tornek, just 48 hours into his first term. Tornek spoke about issues facing Pasadena here and now, and described initiatives he plans to launch soon as his administration launches.

Mayor Tornek saluted the WPRA, calling it “remarkable” and praising it taking well-founded positions — not “just the emotional pitch, which can be effective, but one that’s predicated on having done your homework and really offering appropriate alternatives to decision makers.”

For more information about the West Pasadena Residents’ Association, visit www.wpra.net.