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Life and Arts

La Cañada History: Soap suds in shopping center fountain irk owner

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Plaza de La Cañada developer and owner Phil Kirst, right, and John Ivers of the Ivers department store family in October 1969 point out vandalism at a tiled fountain at the shopping center.
(File Photo/La Cañada Valley Sun)

Ten Years Ago

Thieves hit three banks in the Foothills 10 years ago this month, including a robbery in the Chase bank at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Commonwealth Avenue in La Cañada. Two masked men entered the local bank at 9:52 a.m. Oct. 22, 2009 with guns drawn, according to an FBI spokesperson. One stood next to the security guard while the other jumped over the bank counter and demanded money at gunpoint. One of the robbers reportedly said, “Everybody get down on the ground and count backward from 90,” before the pair fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Twenty Years Ago

A nine-car pileup on the westbound 210 Freeway near Angeles Crest Highway brought traffic to a standstill for about two hours on a Tuesday afternoon 20 years ago this week. One driver was sent to an area hospital, but no other injuries were reported in the multiple collisions, which involved residents of La Crescenta, Valencia, Hacienda Heights, Canyon Country, Chatsworth, Rosemead, Oxnard and Caliente, according to a CHP spokesman.

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Thirty Years Ago

As news being reported in the aftermath of the Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area continued to worsen, the La Cañada school board reviewed La Cañada Unified’s disaster preparedness plan, particularly in regards to improving communication between the various school sites.

Forty Years Ago

The La Cañada United Methodist Church celebrated its 15th anniversary with visits by former ministers, choir directors and members. A potluck lunch followed the service.

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Fifty Years Ago

Widespread acts of vandalism at Plaza de La Cañada (then anchored by an Ivers department store and an Alexander’s market, now T.J.Maxx and Gelson’s, respectively), reached such proportions that shopping center owner Phil Kirst and John Ivers of Ivers department store offered a $100 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals. One of the repeated offenses was dumping soap into a costly Spanish-style fountain Kirst had installed on the property to collect coins for donation to assorted charities.

Sixty Years Ago

A drive for a unified school district in La Cañada got underway with the formation of a citizens committee, which filed a petition with the county requesting a formal study of the matter.

Compiled from the Valley Sun archives.

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