has clashed with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently about cutting deputy overtime, which has the immediate effect of reducing patrols in unincorporated county areas. Supervisors felt that Baca was favoring cities that contract with the sheriff's office for police services, while depriving unincorporated areas.
A county audit released last week seemed to prove the point, showing that it took a minute longer for deputies to respond to emergency calls in unincorporated areas compared to contracted cities.
The cuts are definitely squeezing unincorporated Altadena. Capt. John S. Benedict said he was still running three patrol cars during most shifts. Without overtime available, however, he has to pull from other tasks to make that happen. Every ranking officer now pulls a day of patrol a week.
“Not only my detectives, but my lieutenants, community relations officers, deputy administrators, sergeants — even the captain,” Benedict said.
What this means is that some other tasks will feel the pain, Benedict said — detectives will have one less day a week to investigate crimes, and community relations officers will have one less day a week to work on graffiti abatement and other quality-of-life issues.
“We're looking at creative ways to maximize resources is what it comes down to — but it won't be easy,” Benedict said.
The manpower is so stretched, there's not much left, he added.
“We're not talking about vacations, sickness or if a deputy is injured on duty,” Benedict said. “I don't even have time to think of that right now.”
announced last week that more than 1,100 people have applied for the 65 jobs that will be created when the Walmart Neighborhood Market opens in Altadena this spring.
“We've been impressed with the quantity and quality of applicants so far,” said Jennifer Gonzales, Altadena store manager, in a statement. “Many of the folks we've talked to are local and have a background in retail and grocery. They've been pleasantly surprised to learn about our offerings and the opportunity for advancement at Walmart.”
While Walmart's move into Altadena has been actively opposed by many in the community — there are at least two organized groups opposing it — not everybody seems to be against it.
A recent announcement from Walmart quotes Mark Harris, owner of Spin-Off Records near the market location, as saying, “The hiring center [across the street from the market] has already brought foot traffic to the block; I can't wait to see what happens when the store opens ... This is a good thing for Altadena.”
The Altadena Community Arts Center, 2460 N. Lake Ave., will commemorate
with the exhibit, “The Art of a People,” which opened Saturday. The event features works by contemporary artists Michael Massenburg, Cedric Adams, Ben Sakoguchi, Timothy Washington and Richard Wyatt Jr.
There is no charge. Showings will continue Wednesdays through Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m., through Thursday, Feb. 28. The arts center will also have three symposiums on “The Art of Creating Art” at 7 p.m. Fridays from three of the artists featured in the exhibition — Adams on Feb. 8, Massenburg on Feb. 15 and Wyatt on Feb. 22.
Be ready to use all of your senses when the Altadena Library serves up “Impressions of
,” a feast of film, art, music, poetry and discussion with artist Susan Dobay from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9.
“Impressions of China” is Dobay's most recent work, a series of digital collages mixing paintings and photographs from a recent trip to this changing country, along with a film by Lance Mungia about Dobay, her work, and views of China. After the film, Dobay will share more of her insights on this fascinating country.
“Poets on Site” will recite poems inspired by the images. Rick Wilson will accompany the poets on a xiao, a traditional Chinese bamboo flute. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served.
The Altadena Main Library is at 600 E. Mariposa St.