Monday, December 5, 2011

Zen Monday: #173

Happy Zen Monday. Please give us your Zen in the comments.

FYI, East of Allen did a better job with this photographic concept. There's more than one way to make this point, skin this cat, beat this dead horse.

Here's the PIO's update on wind storm clean-up as of 5:45 pm today:
(Before I post it I just want to mention that in other cities, one city in particular which shall not be named but with the initials T.C., my friends tell me they still have ZERO information about what's going on with their power, street clean-up, etc. Ann Erdman and her team have been on the job since very early morning December 1st, and that's not to mention all the Pasadena crews: streets, Water & Power, etc. We've had no trouble getting answers when we call City Hall. Bravo!)

NEWS FOR RELEASE: December 5, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT:  Ann Erdman, Office: (626) 744-4755; Cell: (626) 375-2742

PASADENA WINDSTORM UPDATE – Monday, Dec. 5, 5:45 p.m.

Recovery efforts are in full swing as Pasadena works to restore remaining electric customers who without power and clean up debris left in the wake of last week’s ferocious windstorms.

The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) announced today the activation of the 2-1-1 county disaster hotline – (800) 980-4990 – for residents to report damages caused by the winds. As recovery efforts continue, in the Los Angeles County area, OEM continues to collect initial estimates from county departments, cities and unincorporated areas to determine public and private sector damages. OEM will continue to coordinate with the California Emergency Management Agency to secure state and federal assistance as warranted. The city of Pasadena is fully cooperating in this important effort.

The following is an update on services and infrastructure as of 5 p.m. Monday, December 5, 2011.  Statistical information begins on page 4.

Green Debris Removal

As city crews continue to remove fallen trees and other green storm debris from Pasadena streets and parks, residents are asked to help by moving their green debris out to the gutter as soon as possible for easy pickup. To recycle all green material and avoid contamination of the resulting mulch, please place only non-bagged green material out for pickup. The city plans to recycle 100 percent of the green material into mulch that will be used in parks and open space citywide.

A systematic east-to-west green debris removal process is now underway and will follow existing trash pickup routes the day after normal refuse collection dates.  The deadline for getting rid of green recyclable waste by taking it to the curb will be on residents’ normal trash pickup day the week of Dec. 12.

Green waste drop-off locations will also be established at Eaton Blanche Park, 3100 E. Del Mar Blvd., and Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., from Wednesday, Dec. 7, through Friday, Dec. 16, from 7 a.m. Green material must be placed inside the large bins on site, which will not be available Sunday.

Free mulch from the green recycling effort will be available to the public beginning Dec. 15 at both drop-off locations.

For more information call (626) 744-4721.


Regular recreation programming is scheduled for Robinson Park Center, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., until  8 p.m.  this evening.  City staff will remain on site to reopen the center in the event the few remaining residents without power need a warm place for the evening.

Streets, Parks and Trees

All primary and secondary arterial roadways were passable as of Saturday afternoon.  As of Monday morning 98 percent of all residential streets are passable.

An assessment of city parks has been completed: Approximately 150 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 in Brookside Park.

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.

Refuse Service

Regular refuse service resumed on Friday.  However, there are a total of 88 residences where refuse service has yet to be restored due to downed power lines and trees.

In response to illegal dumping, the Police Department has increased patrols.  Residents are urged to report any such activities they may witness by calling (626) 744-4241.

Some customers may experience intermittent interruptions as Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) disconnects service momentarily to allow crews to reconnect portions of circuits they have repaired or rebuilt.  In some cases, customers are expected to have major repairs performed to their electrical panels before PWP can reconnect permanent power.
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 to roughly 300 or so customers.  Most primary circuits have been repaired, allowing more crews to focus on secondary services.  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 connections to homes with damaged connections.  Priority has been given to customers with
life-safety concerns and where further structural or electric-system damage is a risk.

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 service. Southern California Edison has completed repairs to the pump stations in Northwest Pasadena to correct the low water pressure some customers were experiencing.


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

All City athletic fields, with the exception of Diamond 3 at Brookside Park have been returned to normal usage and programming.

Parking Restrictions

Enforcement of all normal parking restrictions is back in effect.  Those needing to park on street due to the presence of storm debris should purchase a temporary overnight parking exemption at or contact the Pasadena Police at (626) 744-4241 for a temporary permit.

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.

Declaration of Local Disaster

In response to the disaster, the city declared a local emergency.  This declaration is a proactive and  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 neighboring communities, to maintain order and control and confine the incident.

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

Updated Monday, Dec. 5, 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
   * Only two residential streets remain inaccessible

• 23 traffic signals have been repaired; the 3 final repairs are expected today at Orange Grove Boulevard at Allen Avenue, Greenhill at Michillinda Street and Washington Boulevard near Pasadena High School.

• 23 street lights have been repaired.

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

• A total of 39 people have used the shelter at Robinson Park, 37 of which were transported by Pasadena ARTS buses following an incident at a single apartment complex.

• Only 4 known injuries

• Trees
   * More than 1,000 street trees fell and an unknown number of street trees were severely damaged
   * Approximately 150 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.  177 were on duty Monday morning.
   * 29 workers from Los Angeles County Department of Public Works were on duty Thursday, 32 on Friday and 15 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. 
   * 122 field employees from contractors were on duty Thursday and Friday and 51 Saturday and Sunday. On Monday there were 43 on duty.

• 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 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

# # #

Ann Erdman
Public Information Officer
City of Pasadena
Public Affairs Office
100 N. Garfield Ave., Room S228
Pasadena CA  91109
(626) 744-4755
Cell: (626) 375-2742
Facebook:  Pasadena PIO
Twitter:  pasadenapio


Kalei's Best Friend said...

"Resident Parking Only"...

Michael Coppess said...

My thought -- "I SAID MERGE RIGHT."

Hey, thanks for the nod.

Md.Abdul Aziz said...

your blog is very fine. I like it. Thanks
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Trish said...

Apparently, like with some drivers, trees are unable to SEE the signs that indicate to them what to do.

Then again, it isn't like trees have signals so, maybe it DID signal to merge and someone just wouldn't share the lane?

Vanda said...

Squirrel highway.

alex said...

the tree to motorists: "stick it."

Anonymous said...

I hope no car was trying to merge right at the time.

Desiree said...

The story of my past few days--

Pasadena Adjacent said...

new speed bump

Dianne Emley said...

"Or... maybe not."

dive said...

I love highway beautification.

John Sandel said...

"When you come to a [60-foot tree] in the road, take it."—Y. Berra

Susan Campisi said...

Desiree and I have similar stories: otherworldly just like the past few days.

Speedway said...

Revenge of the 'Little Tree' deodorizers.

Clifford Beshers said...

But I'm liberal!

Steven said...

I think I am going to YIELD.

altadenahiker said...

The bottom of the sign is obscured, but does is end with "Merge right here left"

postie said...

Well following that sign would be a brush with danger. Sorry for the pun

Ms M said...

Merging with nature? New traffic reduction strategy?

Katie said...

Two woods diverged in a yellow road sign.

Trish said...

well, you used to be able to merge right, but now there is no "right" anymore...guess you have to turn left.

Petrea Burchard said...

I think this proves something, but I'm not sure what. This has got to be one of the worst photos I've ever posted, technically speaking, but apparently it doesn't matter on Zen Monday. Thank you all for going for it--and cleverly, too.

Anonymous said...

Looks like u took this shot with your old camera. :)

Dina said...

I am so impressed by Pasadena's orderly and efficient response to disaster; I wish Home Front Command teams from Israel could go there to learn from your city.

Petrea Burchard said...

Believe it or not I didn't, Cafe. It goes to show you it's less about the camera than it is about the photographer.

Dina, I'm impressed, too. They have experience in fast clean-up from the annual Tournament of Roses, but this is an exceptional experience. It gives me confidence for other potential disasters like earthquake, which will be worse, but which Pasadena seems better prepared for than some nearby cities.

That's terrifying, when you think about it.

Dina said...

I wonder who will have the big one sooner, you or we.

Petrea Burchard said...

I hope neither, Dina. But we've got our big water tank ready and some canned goods set aside in the garage. After this week's power outage we've added a generator to our list. I don't know what made me think the earthquake would come in summer.