Week In Review

Smokers will have at least one more year to light up in Glendale before a citywide smoking ban is enforced.

The anti-smoking ordinance, which the City Council approved Tuesday, officially hits the books Nov. 10, but it won’t be enforced for about a year. It bans smoking on all city property, including parks. People will also be prohibited from smoking on all publicly accessible private property, including the common areas of apartment complexes, parking lots, service lines and shopping malls, such as the Marketplace and Americana at Brand.

The grace period for Glendale smokers is to allow time for city officials to conduct a $105,000 public outreach campaign promoting the new regulations.

The campaign will include street banners, public signs, advertising, mailers and a new “nonsmoking ambassador” who would work closely with apartment landlords and business owners to facilitate the change.

The ordinance also bans smoking in 80% of all hotel rooms.

Smoking on city streets and sidewalks is excluded from the ordinance, except where within 20 feet of a restricted area, such as an outdoor dining patio or office building entrance.

Over the course of four months of intense lobbying and public debate, the ordinance has undergone several changes and is significantly pared down from the all-out citywide ban that was initially proposed.

 Councilman Bob Yousefian on Tuesday withdrew his nomination of former aerospace engineer Al Hofmann to the Arts & Culture Commission after it became clear he could not muster enough votes among the City Council members to confirm the appointment.

Hofmann’s qualifications for the arts commission came under heavy scrutiny two weeks ago during the first City Council confirmation hearing, with Mayor John Drayman and Councilman Dave Weaver arguing that the former engineer — whose extensive technical resume includes project management experience for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory — was not suited to help guide the new citywide arts plan.

With Councilman Frank Quintero absent, the council decided to postpone the hearing to avoid a split vote.

On Tuesday, Quintero sided against Hofmann’s appointment to the arts commission, citing the need to recruit more media and arts professionals as the city prepares to dissolve the Arts & Culture Commission in favor of a city-subsidized, nonprofit arts council.

With the votes clearly staked against Hofmann, Yousefian withdrew his nomination and was granted another 30 days to come up with an alternate pick.

Manuel Vincent Martin, 30, of Venice was shot and killed while riding his motorcycle on the Glendale (2) Freeway early Wednesday morning.

Police shut down the eastbound Foothill (210) Freeway connector to the southbound Glendale Freeway for eight hours, from about 2 to 10 a.m. directing traffic to surface streets while they looked for clues.

Police have not identified any suspects in the shooting, but said it could be gang related. Questions about the motorcyclist’s possible involvement in the gang were raised after news video footage of the crime scene showed a man at the crime scene who had a tattoo of the gang’s name on his back.

The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission on Wednesday gave unanimous consent for a five-unit town-home complex to be built on the current site of the oldest house in Montrose, despite steep resistance from neighbors.

Approval of the conditional use permit moves owners Razmik Tahmasian and Gevorg Voskanian one step closer to demolishing the 94-year-old Craftsman-style home at 2128 Glenada Ave. and erecting five two-story units on a lot that is zoned for two units.

Scores of neighbors attended the hearing, most voicing discontent with a project they feel will increase traffic, drive down home values and open the door for other multifamily projects.

Residents have until Oct. 22 to submit appeals to Wednesday’s ruling.

The Glendale Unified School District board began to brace itself for serious budget reductions that could come midyear, based on new privileges granted to the governor.

Although officials said they had made reductions in recent years that have put the district in a better position than many other districts in California, board members were on alert about a current budget deficit that will total about $4.7 million when expense adjustments are taken into account, Chief Business and Financial Officer Eva Lueck said.

The board didn’t discuss many specific suggestions for addressing the deficit, or the possibility of added cuts from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but questions about teaching specialists and textbooks were raised.

The Crescenta Valley High girls’ tennis team picked up a key 10-8 nonleague victory against Valencia on Monday. Crescenta Valley fell to Valencia, 13-5, last year. The Falcons have won 26 consecutive regular-season matches since the Valencia loss.

 Glendale High’s boys’ water polo team posted a 21-10 Pacific League victory against host Arcadia on Thursday. Gor Asryan finished with a match-best seven goals to spur the Nitros.

 The Crescenta Valley High boys’ water polo team got another balanced scoring attack Thursday to earn a 19-3 road win against Burbank in a Pacific League match. Matt Peters had a team-high five goals for the Falcons, who got four from Alan Dearman.

 Mary Schroeder had 11 kills and nine blocks Thursday to spark the host Tologs to a 25-18, 25-14, 25-17 Mission League victory against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. Jenna Orlandini collected 35 assists for Flintridge Sacred Heart.

NOTABLE QUOTABLES

“Given the times we’re in, we’re going to have to make some difficult decisions about the types of programs we’re going to fund.”

Zareh Amirian, chairman of the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the City Council on how to dole out federal grants to nonprofit social service programs.

“You can call me anything you want, but an ostrich is not one of them. I knew it was coming; nobody listened.”

— Councilman Bob Yousefian in defending his vote against the city’s $750.3-million budget in June. His comment came as the City Council heard a report on possible methods of raising city revenues to cover the cost of providing public services.

“For the most part, we tell them to call 911, get out of the house, make sure you put your shoes on, and go.”

Marlen Cervantes of teaching her sons about fire safety.

“It really almost denies the victims of full satisfaction in this case. Their lives are forever altered because of Mr. Poe’s conduct.”

— Deputy Dist. Atty. Debra Archuleta of 27-year-old Christopher Poe’s 170 years to life sentence for trying to accost five girls in Glendale and trying to rape six other women.

“When homes get foreclosed, do banks still pay the property taxes?”

— School board member Greg Krikorian while discussing sources of income for the school district’s budget, which officials expect to have a $4.7-million deficit this year.

“If this is granted, it would open the flood gates. If you say yes to this, how will you deny the undoubtedly many others who will come before the commission?”

Mike Lawler, president of the Crescenta Valley Historical Society, on granting a developer a conditional-use permit to built a five-unit town home on Glenada Avenue.


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