Altadena Junction: Aveson charter school set for big move

After three years of uncertainty, the perennially unfinished commercial building at the corner of Altadena Drive and Lincoln Avenue in Altadena will finally have a tenant: the Aveson charter school.

Aveson will lease the structure for its grades six-through-12 curriculum. Executive Director Kate Bean said the building has a new owner as of November, who has promised to get the property ready for an estimated 280 students by the first day of school in the fall.

Bean says the school plans to incorporate a small cafe, open to the public on the property, which will tie into curricula for the culinary arts, "healthy living" and entrepreneurship.

The building has been under construction in fits and starts for years. Aveson first looked at moving into the building three years ago, under the previous owners, and even held a meet-and-greet with the neighborhood in May 2010, in what everyone thought was a done deal.

But the plans fell through, and the middle and high school students in Aveson's Global Leadership Academy met in other places — currently, at the Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church in Pasadena. The school also has the Aveson School for Leaders for grades kindergarten through five on the campus of the old Noyes Elementary School in east Altadena.

Bean said "traffic will be our No. 1 issue that we'll have to stay on top of" for the site, which is on a busy intersection that only now is having traffic lights installed. Aveson plans to stagger its opening and closing times with the nearby Odyssey Charter School to minimize the impact to traffic, she added.

"We're excited. We're hoping it's a good addition. It's a lovely area," Bean said.


Now that the holidays are over, other things are picking up in Altadena:

Poetry festival: The Altadena Library is still accepting entries from local poets for the annual anthology for its “Poetry and Cookies” festival on Saturday, April 27. Local poets should be available to read their work at the festival.

Deadline for submissions is Jan. 22. For information on how to submit, visit the library's website at

School board candidate forum: The Pasadena League of Women Voters is partnering with the Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Assns. in a forum for the two candidates for the new District 1 seat on the Pasadena Unified school board. Under Pasadena Unified's new district representative system, 87% of that district lies in Altadena. Incumbent Kim Kenne and challenger Hermond Dean Cooper are vying for that seat in the reorganized board.

The forum will be held at the Altadena Senior Center, 560 E. Mariposa St., from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 30. The election will be held March 5.

Club news: The Altadena Town & Country Club will be the site of three gatherings of note at the turn of the month.

On Jan. 26, the St. Andrew's Society of Southern California holds its annual Robert Burns Dinner, which will include a piper leading the procession of the haggis. If you know what a haggis is — and want to come, anyway — visit or contact Ian Skone-Rees at (818) 634 4158.

Meanwhile, the Altadena Chamber of Commerce will hold its 89th annual awards and installation dinner at the club on Feb. 1. The highlight of the evening will be honoring author Michele Zack as Citizen of the Year, and Altadena Hardware as Business of the Year.

Tickets are $75, or $140 for a pair, and are available through the chamber's website, Tickets must be purchased by Jan. 23.

The club will also host the Pasadena PinotFest on Feb. 9. Sponsored by Pasadena's top-rated Noir Food & Wine, the event will be highlighted by a Grand Pinot Noir tasting, during which guests can try 200 pinot noirs from 100 leading California and Oregon wineries.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at For additional information, call (626) 795-7199 or e-mail

A portion of PinotFest proceeds will benefit Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services.


TIMOTHY RUTT is the publisher and editor of