Ten Years Ago
The tragic death of a newly graduated University of California, Berkeley student sent shock waves through the university community as the news spread of the accident. The tremors were also felt in La Cañada Flintridge, where the 22-year-old had grown up. Alan Kaname Hamai, an honor student and 2004 graduate of La Cañada High, died early on a Saturday morning after falling off the roof of his Berkeley apartment building. He had collected his degree in anthropology the morning before and his parents were on their way home to Redondo Beach following that ceremony when they heard the news. "He was one of the most polite and genuine students I have ever encountered. Very quiet and always with a smile on his face," recalled Hamai's former art instructor at La Cañada High, Mike Kauffman.
Twenty Years Ago
Don and Shirley Hingst of La Cañada were soon to ride high as the grand marshals of the 1998 Fiesta Days Parade held on Memorial Day 1998. Don Hingst, until 2008, oversaw the holiday morning's Memorial Service, so it would be a mad dash for the couple to make it from the 9 a.m. service in Memorial Park to the grand marshals' vehicle in time for the parade.
Thirty Years Ago
La Cañadan George Milan, sponsor of St. George's Boy Scout Troop 502 and unit commissioner, was presented with the Silver Beaver Award during a Court of Honor. The award was given in recognition of Milan's 45 years in scouting and for his service to the local troop.
Forty Years Ago
Two brothers, ages 32 and 16, were caught in the act when they burglarized a pharmacy in the 500 block of Foothill Boulevard during early morning hours. The siblings gained entry through an open vent in the pharmacy's roof and later burrowed through a wall to an adjoining beauty salon, tripping a silent alarm during their caper. Sheriff's deputies found them hiding in the ceiling of the salon with $2,000 in cash on them.
Fifty Years Ago
The county spurned local recommendations to build a new La Cañada Library on land facing Foothill Boulevard between Rinetti Lane and Indianola Way, saying it was too expensive. Instead, the choices were narrowed to a space on the north side of the 800 block of Foothill, or on Oakwood Avenue behind Verdugo Savings & Loan. A new library was necessary because the pending construction of the Foothill (210) Freeway through town called for the demolition of the existing facility then on the east side of La Cañada Boulevard (just north of where See's Candies is today).
Sixty Years Ago
A display window was broken and merchandise damaged at the L.W. Brown toy store at 858 Foothill Blvd. in May 1958 after a car crashed into the building (where Citizens Business Bank operates today). The female behind the wheel said she'd been driving north on Beulah Drive, halted at a stop sign, then turned right onto Foothill. She said that as she made her turn, the driver of a car traveling eastbound on Foothill blasted his horn, causing her to panic and turn her car into the store's window. Neither the driver nor either of her two passengers were hurt in the crash.