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La Cañada History: Safety task force formed to cut deadly accidents on Angeles Crest Highway

La Cañada History: Safety task force formed to cut deadly accidents on Angeles Crest Highway
Then-state Sen. Jack Scott speaks to a California Highway Patrol official during a 1999 press conference to announce the formation of a task force aimed at improving safety along Angeles Crest Highway, with the goal to reduce fatal and injury accidents by 15%. (File Photo)

Ten Years Ago

There was a soft opening at Sakura steak, seafood and sushi bar restaurant in the new La Cañada Town Center, drawing the interest of several hundred guests over a three-day period. The high turnout far surpassed the expectations of its owners who had kept the opening quiet to insure a solid trial run.

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Twenty Years Ago

Dr. Cesar Aristeiguieta, then working for Huntington Memorial Hospital, noted the high number of Angeles Crest Highway motorcycle accident victims coming into the emergency room, including four from three separate crashes that took place within a four-hour period in February 1999. He studied the issue and discovered motorcycles were involved in 47% of the ACH accidents between 1995 and 1998. On hearing of Aristeiguieta’s study, state Sen. Jack Scott secured a $100,000 grant to fund the Corridor Safety Program that allowed for overtime costs for California Highway Patrol officers to crack down on violations and write more tickets. (Follow up: A year later it was reported there had been just two deaths during the 12-month program, down from an average of five deaths a year between 1995 and 1999; and just 32 injuries, down from an average of 66 per year.)

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Thirty Years Ago

Sport Chalet’s La Cañada and Huntington Beach retail stores held their first “Rock ’Til You Drop” climbing competitions, consisting of three rounds. Contestants were tasked with scaling a 50-foot tower.

Forty Years Ago

In the spring of 1979 a proposed hillside subdivision comprised of 84 residential lots above the La Canada Flintridge Country Club golf course received a final OK from the City Council. It was reported to have been the city’s longest subdivision matter on record, having been filed with the county by Gilbert Dreyfuss in 1975, before the city’s incorporation.

Fifty Years Ago

The life of La Cañadan Louis Reichardt, 27, was spared when an ice avalanche buried five Americans and two Sherpa guides in Nepal on April 28, 1969. The avalanche came without warning as an 18-member team that included Reichardt reached the 16,400-foot elevation point while scaling Mt. Dhaulagiri.

Sixty Years Ago

Ken’s Lariat, a restaurant then located in the 700 block of Foothill Boulevard (between Commonwealth and Oakwood) advertised its 1958 Mother’s Day specials: hickery-smoked ham, fresh seafood and T-bone or top sirloin steaks. For dessert, Mom could choose a slice of deep dish or cream pie. The restaurant was owned by Ken and Veta Smith.

Compiled from the Valley Sun archives by Carol Cormaci.

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