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Life and Arts

The Valley Line: Pass the scissors: LCF Chamber hosts its own ribbon-cutting

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Pat Anderson, chief executive and president of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce Assn., cuts the ribbon Sept. 16, officially opening the Chamber’s new offices at City Hall. Nearly 100 people attended the event.
(Jane Napier Neely/La Cañada Valley Sun)

Nearly 100 people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the new offices of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce and Community Assn. at City Hall Monday evening.

As many locals are well aware, every business that joins the organization is accorded a formal ribbon-cutting to allow the community to get to know its operators. Ironically, in the LCF Chamber’s 107-year history this was the first time such a ceremony was held in its own honor.

Pat Anderson, chief executive and president of the local chamber, welcomed guests and gave a brief history of her organization’s 107 years in the city that was first called the La Cañada Improvement Assn.

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La Cañada Flintridge Mayor Len Pieroni presents Pat Anderson, chief executive of the LCF Chamber of Commerce, with a certificate of recognition.
(Jane Neely/La Cañada Valley Sun)

Former Chamber board presidents stepped up to warmly share stories of their tenure. Also coming to present proclamation and certificates to Anderson were Teresa Lamb-Simpson, representing Rep. Adam Schiff’s office, who presented a flag that had flown over the White House; state Sen. Anthony Portantino; Christian Daly, representing county Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office, and LCF Mayor Len Pieroni.

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Analily Park of Kobeissi Properties coordinated the event that was planned by Events by Contessa. Appetizers and drinks were provided by Los Gringos Locos, cheese and charcuterie provided by Gelson’s and desserts by Rojo’s Bakery, the Baked Bear and Berge’s.

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The hard-working crew helping to make the Sept. 7 Orchard Lane block party such a success included, from left, Martha Petersen, Michal Atkins, Catherine Olivieri, Jennifer Shupper, Bob Shupper and Betsy Bazdarich.
(Hand In/La Cañada Valley Sun)

Saturday, Sept. 7 on La Cañada’s Orchard Lane dawned with a sense of excitement because the residents on the street were going to hold their third block party. It’s always a blast of fun for everyone, young and old. Jennifer and Bob Shupper graciously hosted the party on their front lawn

Betsy Bazdarich, who was my informant, said, “One of the young adult attendees was overheard saying at the end of the day, ‘What generation gap?’”

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The organizing group hopes to keep the tradition going for as long as possible. Neighbors commented on how the annual event is a chance to see their kids run around and play with other kids from the block. The children especially enjoy challenging each other to climb on the remarkable tree house in the Shupper yard.

The adults did what adults do at block parties. They ate too much, drank refreshing beverages, chatted about happenings in the community and enjoyed the camaraderie of their neighbors.

Members of the neighborhood spent days in advance going through their recipe books figuring out what they wanted to bring to the potluck gathering. The food is always an important element for the party and it reflected the nationalities of the neighbors.

The party is a group effort, and members of the organizing group who put in a lot of time and effort to sending out the Evites, chasing down current contact information, hauling out the ice cream cart and generally worrying over the details included Betsy Bazdarich, Michael Atkins, Catherine Telford, Judy Schmidt, Al Salahi and Martha Petersen.

These same stalwart helpers returned to the party site the next morning to drag all the tables and chairs back to their respective owners.

By the way, I understand the Shuppers do an amazing job of decorating their yard for Halloween. You might like to go take a look at their “spooktacular” yard on Oct. 31.

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Over the years I have been a fan of the of the aristocratic British fictional Crawley family and their servants in the “Downton Abbey” PBS series. I could hardly wait for each dramatic turn, the lushness of the English countryside, and the spectacular manor itself. I hated to see the series come to an end in early 2016.

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You can imagine my excitement when I heard that the next chapter was going to be a full-length film. For all of you fans of the series, the long wait is over. It opens in many theaters this Friday, Sept. 20.

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Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary, left, Elizabeth McGovern as Lady Cora and Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith in “Downton Abbey.”
(Nick Briggs / Carnival Film/PBS)

What a surprise it was last Thursday, Sept. 12, when our local Regal Theatre showed a sneak preview of the movie. A friend of mine, who is also a “Downton Abbey” fan, called me in the afternoon to say the “surprise” showing was going to happen at 7 p.m.

Of course I was at the theater door by the stroke of 7. It was so fun to get a sneak peek! The movie didn’t disappoint me. I felt right at home in the beautiful manor and all the people I had come to know so well. I will also go to see the movie again when it officially opens.

Get ready “Downton” fans. I think you’re going to love it. And for those of you who have never heard of the Crawley family and the ins and outs of their servants there is nothing to worry about. The film begins by giving the audience a synopsis of its past history so you will be totally up to speed about who is who and what is what by the time the new scenes are shown.

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