Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chasing the Light

As I write I'm very sleepy, so just this:

Saturday I took the Digital Camera Bootcamp I told you about with Ibarionex Perello, pro photographer and gifted teacher.

I'll tell you more Tuesday but I couldn't wait to say at least this much: there's one more workshop this year that isn't already full and it's next Saturday. To sign up and pay only $50 for the class, which is worth three times as much, will make you as tired as I am now and will also make you a better photographer in a single day, go here, ignore the other codes and enter this code: perellovip.

Chasing the Light is Ibarionex's most recent book about photography. Boz managed to get his picture in it.

6:58 pm, An Electricity Update and Warning from Ann Erdman, Pasadena's Public Information Officer:


There are been reports of some residents opening pole boxes at the base of street lights and stringing wire from the boxes to their homes.

The voltage in most boxes is much too high for individual homes. This practice is illegal as well as extremely hazardous to people and structures.

Pasadena Water and Power officials have been contacting households without electricity with updates on restoration of services.  Power was restored to several homes today and PWP crews will continue working throughout the night and for as long as it takes to ensure power to all homes is restored as quickly as possible.

Robinson Park Center, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., will open at 7 p.m. tonight to provide a warm place for residents without power.

We have a WINDSTORM UPDATE from Ann Erdman, Pasadena's Public Information Officer Extraordinaire:

today, 5:30pm

The City of Pasadena has been working around the clock on recovery efforts in the wake of the fierce windstorms that struck overnight Nov. 30 to Dec. 1. In response to the disaster, the city declared a local emergency, a proactive protective measure consistent with other neighboring cities that have sustained significant damage. It occurs when a disaster has progressed or is anticipated to extend beyond the capability of regular municipal personnel and resources, assisted by personnel and resources from contiguous municipalities, to maintain order and control and confine the incident.

The following is an update on services and infrastructure as of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011.


Robinson Park Center, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., returned to regular recreation programming yesterday.
The center will open at 7 p.m. tonight to provide a warm place for residents without power.

Streets, Trees and Parks

All primary and secondary arterial roadways were passable as of Saturday afternoon.  As of Sunday afternoon 85 percent of all residential streets are passable.

Removal of debris still along the side of roads will be trucked to two county facilities near Eaton Canyon – the L.A. County Public Works Eaton Yard and the Hastings Spreading Basin.  There it will be chipped and used for mulch citywide.  The removal is expected to take two to four weeks and the chipping could take four to six months depending on the volume of material.  

The removal and clearing of trees that are not in the public right of way is the responsibility of private property owners.  Those who suffered damage to vehicles, homes or other property caused by fallen city trees or tree limbs should contact their private insurers for proper handling of claims.

An assessment of city parks has been completed.  Approximately 100 trees have fallen and approximately 30 have sustained structural damage and may need to be removed for safety reasons.  A number of park improvements at various sites, including play equipment, backstops, pathway lighting and playground surfaces, have been damaged as well as the scoreboard at the historic Jackie Robinson Stadium at Brookside Park.

Refuse (trash, yard waste and recycling) Service

Regular refuse service resumed on Friday, with weekend service provided to those whose regular service was missed on Thursday.  The city’s bulky and abandoned item collection crew has been combing the city to remove large items ahead of the workweek.


Utility Crews, including those from Anaheim Water and Power and Burbank Water and Power as well as private contractors, continue to work around the clock to restore service.  As of late Friday 99 percent of customers had service.  Efforts are being made to contact remaining customers without power to advise of the status of repairs.  In some cases it may take days to restore service, as most remaining issues involve problems on private property. Priority has been given to customers with life-safety concerns and where further structural or electric-system damage is a risk.
Customers may experience intermittent interruptions as Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) disconnects  service momentarily to allow crews to reconnect portions of circuits they repaired or rebuilt.
Some properties in a small section of Northwest Pasadena are served by Southern California Edison and should call (800) 661-1191 to report outages.

All water customers have water.  There are about 150 customers with temporary connections where permanent repairs were not possible due to lack of access caused by fallen trees.  Permanent repairs will be made over the next two weeks as access is made available.

Approximately 25 customers in Northwest Pasadena are experiencing low water pressure due to pumps that are offline at two pumping stations in Edison’s territory where power outages remain.  Edison has restored power to one of the stations.  In the meantime PWP has provided bottle water to residents.


Everyone should stay clear of compromised, overhead electric, cable and telephone lines. Do not attempt to remove trees that are touching any utility line. A list of tree-care professionals with expertise in electrical safety and tree health is available under the FYI section at

Athletic Fields

Athletic fields in city parks are currently being cleared of debris and assessed for playing conditions.  It is anticipated that most, if not all, will reopen Monday, Dec. 5.

Parking Restrictions

Enforcement of all normal parking restrictions is back in effect.  Those needing to park on the street due to the presence of storm debris should obtain a temporary overnight parking exemption (TOPEX) which may be purchased at


Verify all credentials of anyone offering to perform inspection or repair work. Call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241 if you suspect a scam.

More Information

To report fallen public trees and hazardous tree conditions, call (626) 744-4321.

To report downed power lines, call (626) 564-0199 or (626) 564-0299.

Customer service representatives are on duty around the clock, documenting all call details and forwarding to appropriate staff for resolution. Reports can also be made at the online Citizens Service Center at

Pasadena residents and others who want to sign up for local alerts can go to or

Update by the Numbers Begins on the Next Page.

Updated Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011
• 1,382 incidents have been logged in by the Public Works Department since Wednesday.

• 3 of 5 public art pieces at Walnut Street and Foothill Boulevard were damaged. 2 have been stabilized and 1 remains down.

• 3 areas of the San Pasqual pedestrian bridge in the Arroyo Seco were damaged by a fallen tree. The damage will be assessed fully after the tree has been removed.

• A 12-inch diameter concrete drainage pipe that outlets to the street through 4 curb drains was exposed due to a fallen tree at 1824-1826 El Sereno Ave. Public Works engineers will conduct an evaluation next week.

• 325 miles of streets were impacted by storm debris – falling trees, tree limbs, utility poles and/or wires. The primary goal has been to move debris to the side of the road so at least one lane in each direction is open. Debris will be removed over the coming weeks.
   * 100 percent of arterial streets are accessible
   * 100 percent of secondary streets are accessible
   * 85 percent of residential streets are accessible

• 34 traffic signals reported for repair
     * 8 were not Pasadena and were referred to Caltrans and the county of Los Angeles
     * Of the remaining 26, all will be back to normal operations by Monday morning.

• 25 street lights have been evaluated with 19 immediate repairs completed and 6 pending.

• 99 percent of power customers are operational and all water customers have service.  Crews continue to work on restoring service to remaining power customers.

• 37 people were transported by Pasadena ARTs buses to a temporary shelter at Robinson Park Center and there was one walk-in.  All have since been relocated.

• Only 4 known injuries

• Trees
   * More than 600 street trees fell and an unknown number of street trees were severely damaged
   * Approximately 100 trees fell in City parks and 30 are several damaged
   * 67 trees fell at Brookside Golf Course and 120 more were severely damaged

• 5 building inspectors have inspected approximately 200 homes with varying levels of damage
   * 46 housing units have been red-tagged, 40 in the same apartment building
   * 13 structures have been yellow-tagged.

• Street clearing
   * 160 Public Works Department field employees were on duty Thursday and Friday.  93 were on staff Saturday and 65 were on duty Sunday. 
   * 29 workers from Los Angeles County Department of Public Works were on duty Thursday, 32 on Friday, 15 on Saturday and Sunday. 
   * 122 field employees from contractors were on duty Thursday and Friday and 51 Saturday and Sunday.

• Fire Calls - Fire service has returned to normal activity level
     * From 8 p.m. on Nov. 20 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 2, the Fire Department was dispatched to the following:
          - 57 fire calls
          -  42 medical calls
          -  109 service calls
          -  163 wires or other electrical system-related calls
          -  15 natural gas-related calls
          -  Total = 386 (roughly 8 times the normal call volume)
     * 11 other agencies assisted us on 94 calls. At our peak, we had 27 units from other agencies handling calls in our city.
     * Pasadena Fire Department regularly has 7 engines, 2 trucks and 5 ambulances available in the city and added 4 engines and 1 patrol to supplement capacity on Thursday.

• Police Calls – Police service has returned to normal activity level
     * From 10 p.m. on Nov. 30 to 1 p.m. on Dec. 2, the Pasadena Police Department Communication Center processed 4,650 calls for service including 9-1-1 and non-emergency requests.
     * During the same operational period the Police Department called back or extended the shift of on-duty personnel, including:
          -  13 police officers
          -  11 Police Volunteers
     * 248 pending incidents to be investigated were reported on Dec. 1


Shell Sherree said...

I'd be there in a flash. Or better yet, without a flash. What amazing value for something priceless. Sweet dreams, Petrea...

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Shell. We had a blast. In fact we even learned a little bit about painting and how painters use light just as photographers do.

dive said...

Yay Boz and yay Ibarionex. Sounds like you had a wonderful and instructive time, Petrea. You are a fantastic photographer in any case so I can't wait to see the fruits of your workshop over the coming weeks.

Bellis said...

Having recently read the article about a Madonna and Child on the wall of a hardware store, below, I thought you'd spotted Jesus.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Dive. I have to keep shooting and not forget all I learned. There was a lot of information and I want to drum it into my head.

"An image of the Virgin Mary and her child has appeared in the car park of a Cambridge power tools and hardware store."
That's a heck of an opening sentence, Bellis. Something is uncanny in the story and it's not the likeness.
Oh, people.

John Sandel said...

That could be Jesus on the alley door. People change.

Ms M said...

Sounds like the workshop was excellent! I like chasing light and shadows, too. Often times, marvelous photos come out of it.

Petrea Burchard said...

hahahahahaha! JS funny.

Ms. M, that's a photo, isn't it? Shadows and light.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Pasadena has its own Forestry & Electricity utilities.

altadenahiker said...

I just loved his class. And I'll bet the two of you had great fun.


had a great time with you! it was a pleasure meeting you. especially now that i get to read another INCREDIBLE blog and add you as my newest blog friend! looking forward to more of your lovely outlook. come see the photos i took that day.

Petrea Burchard said...

Cafe, the more complaints I hear about how other municipalities are handling this the prouder I am of Pasadena's response.

Karin, the FIVE of us had fun. It was a good, small group and we each got a lot of attention.

Always in Love! Oh, go to her blog everyone and see the pics she took . She is good!