On the Town: Liu honors Women of the Year

“Twenty-four percent of the California Legislature are women. It’s a hard job. No one wants to go to Sacramento,” said Senator Carol Liu. “But it’s a place where power sits and policy is made. It’s a place where you can make a difference.”

Liu’s remarks opened a reception honoring the 2013 Women of the Year in honor of Women’s History Month. On Friday Liu’s gracious La Cañada garden was the late-afternoon setting for the recognition of the honorees from the 25th Senate District, which Liu represents.

First to be recognized was Glendale resident Alice Petrossian. Petrossian is the current president of the Association of California School Administrators. Prior to joining ACSA, she served as assistant superintendent of Educational Services for the Glendale Unified School District. Petrossian was also recognized for her involvement with the Armenian Education Foundation.

Patricia D’Orange-Martin from Pasadena was next recognized. D’Orange-Martin is the founder of the Pasadena City College Veteran’s Resource Center, which serves the college’s more than 700 military veterans, 175 of whom are women. She calls the women “the invisible vets” and says many of them don’t even consider themselves veterans. 

San Dimas resident Lora Mancini was recognized as the chief executive officer and founder of Autism Youth Sports League (AYSL), a community-based sports socialization program open to all children with autism spectrum disorders. The idea for AYSL was sparked by Mancini’s desire to find a sports program that would benefit her autistic son.

Bronze Star recipient Col. Nancy J. Sumner from Glendale was honored for her 31-year military career. Prior to her recent retirement, Sumner was a member of the California National Guard. She was the commander of the 146th Medical Group, 146th Wing. Sumner has just received the prestigious California Legion of Merit.

Upland resident Cynthia Van Hul is resource recovery and recycling consultant for Mariposa Eco Consulting, and technical advisor for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Verification & Inventory Services. As did the other honorees, Hul received a framed certificate from Liu.

Liu represents approximately 93,000 people in the 25th Senate District, which includes Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. A new district office has recently been opened in San Dimas.


Pulitzer winning journalist Hector Tobar was in the spotlight recently at the Glendale Central Library. His novel, “The Barbarian Nurseries,” was recently chosen as the “One Book, One Glendale” selection. On Thursday, Tobar and author Gustavo Arellano took to the stage in a free lecture sponsored by the Library, Arts & Culture Dept. and the Friends of the Glendale Public Library.

Tobar, in conversation with Arellano, revealed that the female protagonist of The Barbarian Nurseries actually represents himself. Mexican maid Araceli works for an Orange County couple, representing the clash the cultures that Tobar frequently depicted in his Los Angeles Times columns.

Tobar was born in East Hollywood, the son of a working class immigrant parents from Guatemala. He is also the author of “Translation Nation” and “The Tattooed Soldier.”

Proceeds from the sale of Tobar’s books will benefit the Friends of the Glendale Library.


RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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