Thanks for the memories

by Kevin Uhrich, Pasadena Weekly, July 30, 2009


Possible annexation of Altadena by Pasadena dominates local news.

Loretta Glickman, Pasadena’s first black mayor, ends her term and is replaced by Pasadena’s current mayor, Bill Bogaard, who rotated into the seat as a member of the Board of City Directors, as the council was called in those days.

Then-PUSD Superintendent Ramon “Ray” Cortines tells the Weekly there’s more to education reform than just adding new programs. Cortines would be criticized later that year by members of the African-American community for a plan to shutter junior high schools. Cortines, now head of LAUSD, left Pasadena before the end of the year and was replaced in February 1985 by Philip Jordan.

Pasadena switches from the 213 to 818 area code.

Officials begin meeting with developers about restoring the city’s blighted west side, particularly what would become Old Pasadena.

Los Angeles hosts the Olympic Games, in which track-and-field star Carl Lewis takes four gold medals.

Ella Fitzgerald headlines at the Ambassador Auditorium.

Former Caltech Professor Linus Pauling, who had won two Nobel Prizes (one for chemistry, the other for peace), is honored at All Saints Church by anti-nuke coalition Freeze Vote ’84.

Longtime Pasadenan John Van de Kamp, then serving as state attorney general, is dubbed “The People’s Lawyer” in a profile by Dick Lloyd.

City Director Rick Cole, a founder of the Weekly and the youngest person elected to the board, squares off with City Manager Don McIntyre over the future of city managers. Ironically, Cole would go onto to become a city manager — first in Azusa and then Ventura, where he presently works.

Maestro Jorge Mester takes the baton as director of the Pasadena Symphony.

Bishop Desmond Tutu, a frequent visitor to Pasadena’s All Saints Church, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in fighting apartheid in South Africa.

The city’s attempt to build a new police station collapses when Proposition DD, a $20 million bond issue, fails to win a two-thirds voter majority.

A final decision is expected on the route of the still unbuilt 710 (Long Beach) Freeway.

The wild and whacked out Doo Dah Parade, then under the leadership of Peter Apanel, marks seven straight, as opposed to occasional, years. In a letter to the Star-News that appeared after the first bar-born counterculture event was staged in 1977, a San Marino woman called the parade “a thoroughly unimaginative hodge-podge of thrift shop assemblages providing a background and an excuse for a mawkish exhibition of public cavorting by welfare beneficiaries who should be seeking employment.” Doo Dah, Doo Dah.


Caltech and Cal Berkeley scientists begin their historic work on the Keck Telescope with the help of a $70 million grant.

Current Councilman Chris Holden first comes onto the political scene, running for the District 3 seat held by Loretta Glickman. Holden loses that race, but will run again four years later and win. Incumbents Jess Hughston and Bill Thomson also win reelection to the Board of City Directors.

By this time, Steve Coll, who would go onto to win a Pulitzer Prize and serve as a managing editor with the Washington Post, has left the paper. David Geary becomes city editor and Larry Wilson becomes assistant editor.

Former California Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald R. Wright, for whom the Pasadena Central Library’s auditorium is named, dies at age 78.

New Coke comes and goes.

Altadena’s Kristina Smith becomes the first African-American Rose Queen.

Rock Hudson dies of AIDS, pushing the disease to the forefront of the American consciousness.

“An MX missile,” says former federal judge, first Secretary of Education and Pasadena resident Shirley Hufstedler in an interview by David Geary, “is not, to use Mr. Reagan’s expression, a peacemaker.”  

The Weekly reports cocaine use in Pasadena is on the rise, with 140 local arrests made in just one month. Only 119 cocaine arrests had been made during the previous year.

All in one year, James Vowell takes over as editor and publisher of the Weekly, Pamela Fisher becomes managing editor, plus writers D.G. Fulford, who would go onto to be a nationally syndicated columnist, and Danny Pollack, former Star-News reporter who’s now with Associated Press, also join the paper.


 Geraldo Rivera opens Al Capone’s secret vault.

Plans are made to raze King’s Manor and build a shopping complex on its site at Fair Oaks Avenue and Mountain Street. Developer Danny Bakewell is in the bidding.

The world’s worst nuclear accident occurs when a reactor melts down at Chernobyl Power Station in the former Soviet Union.

Caltech scientists protest President Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars plans.

All Saints Church officially declares itself a sanctuary for those fleeing persecution in El Salvador and other Central American nations.

Eight-year-old Phoebe Ho of South Pasadena is kidnapped, viciously tortured and killed by drifter Warren Bland, who is ultimately executed for the murder.

Best of Pasadena honors go to the Loch Ness Monster for “best graffiti,” Caltech’s Richard Feynman for “best teacher,” Claude Akins (pictured) for “best local actor,” Jirayr (Jerry) Zorthian for “best local character” and Mijares wins “best Mexican restaurant.”

Cartoonist Matt Groening’s “Life In Hell” comic strip also first appears in the Weekly, part of a 12-paper group owned by Pierce O’Donnell’s National Media, Inc.


Phil Simms and the New York Giants defeat John Elway and the Denver Broncos 39-20 in Super Bowl XXI in the Rose Bowl.

Bill Paparian emerges onto the local political scene, unseating Jo Heckman for a spot on the Board of City Directors.

The Altadena Congregational Church becomes one of the first mainstream churches to openly welcome gay worshippers.

After 10 years, KROQ leaves Pasadena.

James Vowell leaves the Weekly and returns to the Los Angeles Reader.

City officials begin studying plans to turn the old YMCA building at the corner of Marengo Avenue and Holly Street into a single-room-occupancy facility.

Developers Gene and Marilyn Buchanan buy the Raymond Theatre, initially planning to turn it into an office complex.

John J. Kennedy becomes the youngest president of the NAACP Pasadena branch.

In his state of the city address, Mayor John Crowley calls Pasadena “a really civilized place.”

The city’s Health Department begins anonymous AIDS testing.

The owners of the Lamb Funeral Home
are accused of mixing cremated ashes
and selling body parts and the gold fillings from the teeth of cadavers.

Former Black Panther and area activist Michael Zinzun sues the city after losing sight in one eye following an altercation with police at the Community Arms apartments.


NBA star and born-again Christian “Pistol” Pete Maravich dies suddenly while doing a radio program in Pasadena.

Longtime Pasadena-area resident Sue Laris, owner and publisher of the Downtown News, buys the Weekly from O’Donnell’s group and changes the name to the Altadena Weekly. All but Ad Executive Dennis Jopling, food critic Erica Wayne, staff writer Steve Gaydos and contributor Shirley Manning leave the paper. Reporter Danny Pollock and Editor Larry Wilson jump ship for the Star-News.

The city settles out of court with Michael Zinzun, paying the activist $1.3 million for the altercation at Community Arms the
previous year.

Plans are laid by developer Robert Maguire for the Plaza Las Fuentes development project adjacent to City Hall.

City officials review plans to refurbish Perkins Palace, better known as the Raymond Theatre.

An ambitious effort to develop the block bounded by Colorado Boulevard, Fair Oaks Avenue, Union Street and DeLacey Avenue into The Marketplace, a specialty retail center, is abandoned for lack of financing. The project is revived and named One Colorado.

The AIDS Service Center opens at All Saints Church.

Jim Laris formally announces in the July 7 edition that he has assumed ownership of the Weekly from his former wife, making him editor and co-publisher (with wife Marge Wood). Setting a familiar tone for the next decade, Laris chose a profile of the Crown City Brewery titled “Beer Buddies” as his first page-one story. His popular “Cigar Smoke” column premieres Aug. 4.

The Pasadena Playhouse opens its 70th season with the production of “Steel Magnolias,”
starring Barbara Rush.


Plans to redevelop the South Lake Avenue business district begin.

Chris Holden wins a seat on the Board of City Directors over Michael Zinzun. Bill Thomson wins another four-year term to his District 7 seat, as does former Director Jess Hughston in District 5.

A citizen-sponsored slow-growth measure wins voter approval. On the Board of Education, Anne Purcell wins another four years and George Padilla and Wilbert Smith also take seats on the board after an April runoff.

The work of author and cartoonist Callahan, a quadriplegic recovering alcoholic from Portland, appears in the Weekly for the first time.  

The world watches in horror as China crushes dissent in Tiananmen Square.

The city steps up already strict overnight parking restrictions.

“Seinfeld” and “The Simpsons” premiere.

The Posada, an annual Christmastime walk through Pasadena aimed at raising AIDS awareness and funds for treatment, begins.

The Berlin Wall comes down.


Jess Hughston takes over as mayor. Rick Cole wins another four-year term on the board over court counselor “Brother” Ed Bryant.

Police Lt. Bruce Philpott becomes the new interim chief of police.

Over objections by members of the city’s African-American community, who claimed better black candidates were overlooked, Toledo City Manager Phil Hawkey takes over as city manager of Pasadena.

The week after first running adult-oriented advertising, the Weekly is flooded with letters — both for and against running the ads.

The Smothers Brothers perform at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Art Jong buys the Loch Ness Monster, headquarters of the Doo Dah Parade. The popular bar is renamed the Old Towne Pub.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show celebrates 13 years at South Pasadena’s Rialto Theatre.

Concert promoter Gary Folgner, along with Project Director Ed Razor, announce plans to reopen the long-shuttered Raymond Theatre. Folgner bought the building for $2.5 million and pumped another $1 million into it. Unable to keep up the payments, Folgner returns the building to Gene and Marilyn Buchanan a year later.

City Director Rick Cole lambastes the Tournament of Roses as a “bastion for aging white men” after the selection of Cristobol Colon, a Spanish duke and descendant of Christopher Columbus, as grand marshal to mark the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the New World. The controversy provokes the Tournament to name Native American Congressman Ben Nighthorse Campbell as co-grand marshal.  


LAPD officers are captured on videotape viciously beating Altadena motorist Rodney King.

Although there are strong feelings on both sides, many Pasadenans and area students express support for the US-led war with Iraq.

Bill Evans takes over as managing editor of the Weekly.

Jerry Oliver becomes Pasadena’s chief of police.

Isaac Richard wins a runoff election against Nick Conway to take over as the director for the city’s District 1.

Dan O’Heron pulls double-duty as a columnist and food critic, and Weekly reporters Bruce Koeppel and John Russell keep Pasadenans abreast of local events.

The 5.9-magnitude Sierra Madre earthquake hits Pasadena hard.

Magic Johnson tests HIV positive and retires from the NBA, and Freddie Mercury succumbs to complications from the disease.


In Pasadena, a clash between police and residents that erupted as LA was being rocked by looting and killing claims the life of one man.

The city launches an ambitious project to add a new press box and luxury seating at the Rose Bowl for an estimated $11 million. City officials had made a deal with NFL owners the previous year to secure the 1993 Super Bowl.

On March 27, the Weekly becomes “The Alternative Voice of Pasadena, Glendale and the San Gabriel Valley” and begins several new columns focusing on City Hall, local schools and law enforcement. The first “Garfield Grapevine” column on City Hall is authored by John Russell.

Former Pasadena City College basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian resigns from his job at UNLV following an NCAA investigation of his involvement with gambler Richard Perry.

Rick Cole rotates into the mayor’s seat.

At Bill Paparian’s suggestion, the Board of City Directors is renamed the City Council.

Pasadena, particularly All Saints Church, becomes ground zero in a national debate over gay and lesbian weddings.

JPL launches the Mars Observer, but high hopes would be dashed when the probe is lost almost a year later.


Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Buffalo Bills, led by Jim Kelly and Frank Reich, 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII in the Rose Bowl.

Local bodybuilder Doug Brignole is arrested for steroid possession.

Facing the possibility of closing libraries due to state budget shortfalls, Pasadena initiates a library tax that is overwhelmingly approved by voters.

City officials consider the formation of a citizen review board to oversee police officers.

The City Council orders an audit of the city’s financial dealings with the Tournament of Roses. Former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso heads the audit team.

Chris Bray joins the race for the newly created District 5 City Council seat, a district that was crafted to maximize Latino voter representation. Bill Crowfoot wins the election and Bray goes to work as a City Hall reporter for the Weekly.

Councilman Isaac Richard is accused of sexual assault. Rick Cole, a former friend of Richard, said Richard told him that he was using cocaine at the time of the incident. Richard is neither arrested nor charged with a crime.

Joe Rossi takes over for John Russell in covering what has come to be known as the “Isaac Richard Show” at City Hall.

Pasadena barber Michael Bryant dies from asphyxiation while hogtied and laid on his stomach by police after a lengthy chase.

One Colorado opens.

Three Pasadena youths are mistaken for gang members and gunned down on Halloween night in what has come to be known as the Halloween Murders. Three young men are condemned to die for the crimes. They remain on Death Row.

Feds raid the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
The Top 10 grossing films of the year (in order) are “Jurassic Park,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Fugitive,” “The Firm,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Indecent Proposal,” “In the Line of Fire,” “The Pelican Brief,” “Schindler’s List” and “Cliffhanger.”
Nirvana’s “In Utero,” Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” and Ace of Bases’s “The Sign” all climb the charts. Kurt Kobain would die the following year.


Rick Cole and Isaac Richard both come under threat of recall.

The council signs an exclusive agreement with developer Danny Bakewell for the development of the Fair Grove project, now known as the Renaissance Plaza.

“Big Bad” Brad Garrett, who would later find fame on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” hones his act at the Ice House.

The City Council adopts its General Plan, a 10-year blueprint for growth.

Nelson Mandela is elected president in the first South African election in which black people are allowed to vote.

Back in Pasadena, Kathryn Nack begins her term as mayor.

Nicole Brown Simpson, the ex-wife of OJ Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman, are found stabbed to death in Brentwood.

The city agrees to help out the financially failing Rose Bowl Aquatics Center after already striking a similar bailout deal with the Pasadena Playhouse.

City Manager Phil Hawkey cans longtime Fire Chief Kaya Pekerol, sending the Fire Department into a leadership quandary for the next few years.

World Cup soccer comes to Pasadena.


Police Chief Jerry Oliver leaves Pasadena to head the Richmond, Va., force while dogged by allegations that he abused his ex-wife and an ex-girlfriend.

Four female assistant city attorneys sue their boss and the city, claiming they were passed over for promotions and raises that went to males in the office.

Paul Little, currently head of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, begins his 12 years on the council and Ann-Marie Villicana becomes the city’s first Latina council member. Bill Paparian also begins his term as mayor.

Dana Carvey headlines at the Ice House.

Over many objections, the PUSD attempts to force a dress code on students.

Violence in the community — at home, in the schools and on the streets — takes center stage in a special edition of the Weekly.

City Clerk Maria Stewart heads for greener pastures in Santa Monica.

The Dow closes above 4,000 for the first time.

Weekly columnist Ellen Snortland heads to China for the fourth annual World Conference on Women in Beijing, Contributing Music Editor Bliss joins the paper as a staff writer and former intern now Calendar Editor John Sollenberger begins his 15-year relationship with the paper.   

A tamer, more family-friendly version of the Doo Dah Parade appears, now under the stewardship of Tom Coston and the Light Bringer Project.


The Weekly starts off the New Year by promoting itself as “The Pasadena Paper People Actually Read.”

Bernard Melekian, who served for 23 years with the Santa Monica Police Department, becomes chief of police in Pasadena.

Parsons CEO Leonard Pieroni, Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and 34 others on a trade delegation die in a plane crash in Croatia.

San Marino conservative activist Susan Carpenter-McMillan, a senior adviser to Paula Jones during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, calls for castration of repeat sex offenders.

Longtime PUSD educator Norma Coombs dies.

Rose Bowl General Manager Dave Jacobs comes under fire for allegedly sexually harassing the stadium’s executive secretary, Jane Orr. A jury in Alhambra later finds Jacobs not liable.

Mayor Bill Paparian visits Cuba, creating a firestorm of controversy. He raises even more hell by alleging a Pasadena connection to a CIA ring operating the cocaine trade in Los Angeles.

The city’s racial discrimination lawsuit against the owners of the King’s Villages apartments is thrown out of federal court.

The first “Tomb Raider” game is released for Sega Saturn and Playstation.

Pasadena joins the fight to oppose implementation of Proposition 209, the anti-affirmative action measure passed by voters.

Princess Diana dies.

After 16 years of service, Councilman Bill Thomson decides to not seek reelection.

“Trainspotting,” “Fargo,” “The English Patient,” “Scream,” “Jerry Maguire,” “Evita” and “Independence Day” all hit theaters.
Eve Ensler premieres “The Vagina Monologues.”


Paula Johnson takes over as managing editor of the Weekly.

The Rev. Lee May gets booted out of his own church by parishioners after the Weekly learns May secretly mortgaged church-owned property and made off with the funds.

Sid Tyler replaces Bill Thomson as the council’s District 7 representative, Chris Holden begins his term as mayor, and Pasadena votes to renew the library tax of 1992. One of Holden’s first orders of business is to replace City Manager Phil Hawkey.

Valeria Nicolescu-Matasareanu, mother of North Hollywood Shootout bank robber Emil Dechebal Matasareanu, is arrested after a naked, mentally impaired woman covered in feces is found locked in a house on Orange Grove Boulevard owned by the family.

City Attorney candidate Cheryl Ward comes under fire after it is learned she filed for bankruptcy four times.

Former police Officer Loistine Drake, who gave birth to a child fathered by then-Lt. Paul Gales, is arrested in Dallas for absconding with the child during a court-supervised visit.

A 21-member task force is formed to study reforms to the City Charter.

Pasadena becomes a “living wage” city, setting minimum employee wage standards for contractors on city projects.

Pasadena’s area code switches from 818 to 626.

Deemed unnecessary after being in effect for only one year, the City Council repeals a law requiring registration of all ammunition sales.

Nobel Prize-winning physiologist David Baltimore is tapped to be president of Caltech.

Though off the council for a few years, Isaac Richard is back in the news — this time after a violent altercation with people he claimed were squatting in a house owned by his wife. Richard later claimed his rights as a private citizen had been violated and threatened to sodomize a Weekly reporter with a plunger handle.

On Oct. 31, Jim Laris announces the Weekly is for sale.

Measure Y, a $240 million school facilities repair bond, is approved by 73.7 percent of the voters.

The Star-News calls for Councilman Bill Paparian to resign, describing him as a “useful idiot” for the purposes of Communists. Paparian responds in kind by calling for Star-News Editor Larry Wilson to resign.


William Campbell is named editor of the Weekly, and Paula Johnson becomes associate publisher.

The PUSD enacts anti-pornography policies after learning employees had made at least 100 visits to Internet porn sites.

The city’s Charter Reform Task Force calls for the creation of a citywide elected mayor.

The Los Angeles Times buys the Pasadena Weekly as part of its community newspaper chain.

Embattled City Manager Phil Hawkey finally resigns. Acting City Manager Cynthia Kurtz eventually gets the council’s approval to succeed him.

Award-winning John Muir High School track coach Clyde Turner is arrested and accused of molesting two teenage boys.

Weekly founder and former Mayor Rick Cole becomes city manager of Azusa.

During a City Council meeting, Bill Crowfoot tells Bill Paparian to “just shut the fuck up” — a remark that costs Crowfoot his turn as mayor.

The last issue of the Weekly under Jim Laris hits the streets on June 26. Times Community News takes over, naming Judith Kendall publisher and Bill Lobdell editor.

Mayor Chris Holden’s (now ex-) wife, Michelle, is arrested and charged with having sex with a minor — specifically a babysitter for the couple’s four young children. Holden, who plans to win the spot as Pasadena’s first elected mayor in nearly a century, says the charges against Michelle are politically motivated.

Jeff Bridges and John Goodman find their way to Pasadena in “The Big Lebowski.”

After holding down the same location on Colorado Boulevard since 1953, Ernie Jr.’s Mexican restaurant moves out of Pasadena.

A proposed handbill ordinance — or an anti-litter law, as author Councilman Paul Little called it — is attacked by the ACLU and is eventually defeated in court.  

Former Monrovia Fire Chief Ernest Mitchell is tapped to take over the Pasadena Fire Department.


The upcoming races for council, school board and the newly created elected mayor’s seat promise to be the most expensive in city history.

Perchlorate, an ingredient of rocket fuel, is found in local underground water supplies near Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Bombs fall on Kosovo.

The Times picks Joe Pan to serve as publisher of the Weekly and Mary Emerson is named editor.

Bill Bogaard becomes Pasadena’s first elected mayor in nearly a century.

The Dow closes above 10,000.

The city offers a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Johnny Ortiz, the man ultimately convicted for the brutal stabbing death of flamenco dancer and PCC student Maria Isabel Fernandez.

Michelle Holden pleads no contest and is sentenced to three years probation for having sex with a 15-year-old.

Napster debuts.

Clyde Turner is convicted and sentenced to three years in prison.

Britney Spears hits us with “…Baby One More Time.”

The city hires Michele Beal Bagneris to head the City Attorney’s Office.

Kevin Uhrich becomes editor of the Pasadena Weekly.
Twelve students and a teacher are killed at Columbine High School in Colorado.
“Star Wars: Episode 1,”  
“The Matrix,” “American Beauty” “Fight Club” and “The Sixth Sense” hit the silver screen.

John F. Kennedy Jr. is killed in a plane crash.


Alex Aghajanian beats Rene Amy for a seat on the school board.

President Bill Clinton visits Caltech with promises to increase funding for scientific research.

The anti-drug-and-alcohol group Day One takes on the NAACP for its presentation of Image Awards to rappers.

Police Officer Naum Ware writes a blistering tome — based on real figures, but with different names — about the inner workings of the Pasadena Police Department. Chief Melekian fires Ware, who, alleging his First Amendment rights were violated, later sues but loses.

Democratic State Sen. Adam Schiff defeats Republican incumbent Congressman Jim Rogan. Assemblyman Jack Scott moves up to fill Schiff’s state Senate seat and Carol Liu jumps from La Cañada’s City Council to the Assembly.

Mack Robinson, an Olympic silver medalist and brother of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, dies at age 85.

PUSD Superintendent Vera Vignes retires.

Tribune Media acquires the Weekly when it buys Times Mirror, owners of the LA Times, and quickly announces plans to sell it.


Southland Publishing, owner of the Ventura County Reporter, buys the Weekly from the Times.

Rose Bowl Aquatics Center swimming coach Gary Anderson comes under fire from former employees for allegedly using racial epithets, a claim denied by Anderson.
The Weekly learns of four rapes that occurred in a bathroom at Pasadena High School.

Freddy’s 35er bar sues the city after being turned down for an entertainment license five times in 10 years.

Victor Gordo, a field representative for Councilman Bill Crowfoot since 1997, wins election to the City Council.

Pasadena residents approve Measure B, an anti-corruption measure that prohibits council members from taking gifts, jobs or campaign contributions from those who have benefited from their decisions in office. Council members quickly sue to have the law deemed unconstitutional, and will ultimately spend some $800,000 in that unsuccessful fight.

Wikipedia goes online (according to Wikipedia).

Percy Clark is selected as PUSD Superintendent.

For the first time in San Marino’s history, a majority of the candidates running for City Council seats are Asian-Americans.

Residents of Eaton Canyon complain about the use of a police firing range in their neighborhood.

Alhambra’s Valerie Ehrman finds herself facing charges for too frequently calling the police to complain about gang activity and other crimes in her neighborhood. Charges against Ehrman are later dropped following a series of stories that appeared in the Weekly.


The City Council approves plans to convert the Raymond Theatre into condo and office units.

Rene Amy sues the PUSD over efforts to make a profit on school lunches.

St. Luke Medical Center closes.

A plan is announced to end busing in the PUSD and return to neighborhood-based enrollment.

The granite stone that marked the grave of Altadena’s Owen Brown, son of famed abolitionist John Brown, disappears from Brown Mountain 103 years after Owen was laid to rest.  

Congressman Adam Schiff takes heat at Pasadena’s All Saints Church when hundreds of angry residents want to know why he voted to go to war against Iraq.

Reporter Jaymee Cuti heads off to Oregon. Later, reporter Erica Zeitlin trades covering council meetings for a job with former state Sen. Tom Hayden’s No More Sweatshops project. Judy Seckler and Joe Piasecki stick around in the staff box.

David Ebershoff, a PW intern in 1986, publishes the novel “Pasadena.”

Paul Lines announces the creation of the Pasadena Jazz Institute.

Adam Schiff takes more criticism over his co-sponsorship of the USA PATRIOT Act.

Pasadena hires sports consultant John Moag to help lure an NFL team to Pasadena and lobby for another Super Bowl in the Rose Bowl.

“American Idol” debuts in America and Kelly Clarkson comes out
on top.

John Muir High School math teacher Scott Phelps draws attention to disruptive behavior and negative student attitudes in local schools. He is denounced as a racist by some and hailed as a truth-teller by others.

Organizers of Pasadena’s Doo Dah Parade declare the occasion “a Doo Dah for Peace.”

Whitney Houston informs Diane Sawyer that “crack is wack.”


The Pasadena City Council rejects adopting a resolution opposing war in Iraq.

Longtime Pasadena Star-News columnist Charles Cherniss dies. The local charity toy drive he started is renamed the Charles Cherniss Toy Drive. Star-News Editor Larry Wilson takes over as the paper’s new columnist.

Alhambra resident and rock ’n’ roll legend Phil Spector is arrested on suspicion of murder after 40-year-old Lana Clarkson is found shot to death in the foyer of his mansion.

Police Chief Bernard Melekian, a member of the Coast Guard Reserves, is called to active duty.

Glendale Police Officers Renae Kerner, Kathy Frieders and Jamie Frankie win a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the city and the department for sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace after being groped and exposed to a pornographic Web site,, that was owned by one of the officers and operated out of the watch commander’s office.  

Mayor Bill Bogaard wins reelection and Gov. Gray Davis is recalled and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Educator and civil rights activist Elbie J. Hickambottom dies on New Year’s Eve.

The Theatre @ Boston Court stages its inaugural production, “Romeo & Juliet: Antebellum New Orleans, 1836.”


JPL lands two probes, rovers Spirit and Opportunity, safely on the Red Planet over a 20-day stretch. Opportunity finds strong evidence that Mars once possessed water.

The Weekly devotes a special issue to the death penalty days before Kevin Cooper is scheduled to die by lethal injection. Cooper’s execution is halted and he remains on Death Row.

A PW April Fool’s satire edition stirs up the community when PUSD Superintendent Percy Clark claims that a mock letter attributed to him is racist. The controversy makes its way to the Star-News, the FOX News Web site and several blogs.

Columnist Molly Ivins, the first to call President George W. Bush “Shrub,” speaks at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Incidents of interracial violence erupt at PUSD schools, and later the district awards $2.5 million to former schools police Chief Jarado Blue over prior accusations he had videotaped female employees while they dressed.

Caltech grad and radio personality Sandra Tsing Loh is fired from KCRW 89.3-FM for accidental on-air use of the F-word.

Fire Chief Ernest Mitchell leaves to take a job with the Department of Homeland Security.

Maurice Clark, 30, is shot dead by police in Northwest Pasadena. That shooting and the death of LaMont Robinson following a pre-Easter altercation with officers spark hostilities between African-American residents and the police, as well as calls for a police accountability board. Community members question whether Clark was armed until Clark’s father, Dexter Clark, tells the Weekly that his son often carried a weapon, which he had fired the day before his death and was likely carrying during the incident. Officers were cleared of wrongdoing in both incidents.

Former President Ronald Reagan dies.

After serving 23 years for a murder she was all but officially cleared of, Maria Suarez, who had been illegally trafficked into the country as a teenager and was accused of helping her victimizer’s attacker, is released from prison. Pasadena activists Gloria Killian and Joyce Ride, mother of astronaut Sally Ride, had worked to free her.

Finding minorities underrepresented among employees at Pasadena development sites, the city passes its First Source ordinance to encourage local hiring.

Daniel and Ruth Pearl, parents of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, visit Pasadena to speak at the annual Peace Through Music concert organized by Pasadena Human Relations Commission member Nat Nehdar.

Former Alhambra City Council member John Parker Williams is arrested and charged with bribing Vice Mayor Danny Arguello, who was working with police.

Glendale voters narrowly approve developer Rick Caruso’s plans to build The Americana at Brand.

Led by Pasadena City Councilman Victor Gordo, city leaders craft stricter policies for alcohol vendors and require day laborers to operate from the Pasadena Job Center on Lake Avenue.

“There is no question that the burden of this war falls disproportionately on a small number of troops,” Congressman Adam Schiff writes in the Weekly of recent official visits to Iraq and Afghanistan

José José, Quetzal and Johnny Canales headline at Pasadena’s annual Latino Fest, and Poncho Sanchez closes out a concert series at Santa Anita Park.

Pasadena officially dedicates its Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Memorial Park.

The Weekly dubs a group of teenage foster brothers “The El Sereno 3” after an all-out brawl with Pasadena­ police officers in Northwest Pasadena. Despite the severe nature of initial charges filed against them, none received jail time in relation to the incident.

The Weekly learns that the PUSD gave convicted rapist and accused killer
John Laurence Whitaker, who posed as a Vietnam veteran named John Whitaker Betances, broad access to school campuses and spent tens of thousands of dollars on his Dads

Are Doing Something program.

A massive tsunami strikes Southeast Asia, killing hundreds of thousands. Caltech scientist Kerry Sieh, who had studied tsunamis in Indonesia and trained many villagers to seek high ground, heads back to the region.

Brian Wilson completes “SMiLE” 37 years after its planned release, Lindsay Lohan debuts and Ashlee Simpson chokes on “Saturday Night Live.”
Martha Stewart begins her five-month prison term.


A judge dismisses charges against San Marino socialite and accused double agent Katrina Leung, who was accused of using an affair with an FBI agent to steal national security documents.

President Bush begins his second term and Iraqis hold parliamentary elections just 10 days later.

The Glendale Metrolink train crash claims 11 lives.

A series of court decisions upholds 2001’s Measure B, which the Weekly finds has been violated multiple times by most City Council members as it wended its way through the courts. The city later taps John Van de Kamp to lead a task force on implementing the law.

YouTube goes online.

Marine Lance Cpl. Dion Mario Whitley, 21, of Altadena, and Marine Lance Cpl. Sergio Hernandez Escobar, 18, of Pasadena, are killed in Iraq.

City officials shut down a home for sex offenders operating blocks away from Cleveland Elementary School.

Teenage PW contributor Justin Chapman wins a seat on the Altadena Town Council.

The Kyoto Protocol goes into effect without the support of the US.

Southland Publishing introduces Arroyo Monthly magazine. PW Arts Editor Julie Riggott does double duty as its editor, with the assistance of contributor Tracy Spicer.

Family, friends and Chandler School acquaintances join Pasadena’s Jill Leighton in Memorial Park to celebrate the life of her sister, Marla “Bubbles” Ruzicka, founder of the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, who died at age 28 during a suicide bombing in Baghdad.

Pope John Paul II dies.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong wins his 7th straight Tour de France.

The body of Pasadena teen Frank Mitchell is discovered in an alley near El Molino Avenue and Mountain Street. Two men would later be convicted of participating in his murder, committed to cover up sexual abuse.

The Pasadena Museum of California Art holds its first exhibits, “Fun, California Style” and a retrospective on Pasadena artist R. Kenton Nelson.  

Journalism icon Peter Jennings dies.

Hurricane Katrina hits hard. 

The Weekly debuts The Count, keeping tabs on the Iraq War’s human and other costs.  

Demonstrators picket former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s visit to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Former Rose Bowl Executive Secretary Jane Orr, who had accused then Rose Bowl General Manager Dave Jacobs of sexual harassment but lost, discovers the city had placed liens on her home for court costs. Weekly coverage prompts the city to waive most of the fees.


For the first time in 50 years, rain comes down on the Rose Parade. The event, with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as grand marshal, goes off beautifully. The same cannot be said for USC’s national championship hopes, which are dashed at the Rose Bowl in a nail-biting 41-38 loss to Texas.

Charges are filed against former Glendale cop Art Crabtree for trying to solicit sex from a minor over the Internet.

Plans arise for Altadena to secede from the PUSD.

PW writer Nikki Bazar becomes editor of Southland Publishing’s Verdugo Magazine.

Activists mark the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by holding a protest outside the Pasadena headquarters of Parsons Corp., which held war contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Pasadena Police Officer Kyle Ballard dies of a heart attack while running at the Rose Bowl.

Cindy Sheehan and Jackson Browne lead a peace rally at All Saints Church.

Based on an investigative report by the PW’s Chip Jacobs, the LA County Sheriff’s Department reopens the
cold case murder of former Alhambra Mayor Stephen Ballreich.

Brothers Ramon and Ignacio Chavez, already serving life sentences for a murder during an attempted armored car robbery, are brought to trial for the murder of store owner Olivia de la Torre five years earlier earlier.

Hundreds of thousands converge in downtown LA for an immigrant rights march.

Former Vice President Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” hits theaters.

The Board of Education fires Percy Clark for plagiarizing portions of a column he wrote for the Weekly.

Weekly Deputy Editor Joe Piasecki examines the plight of current and former foster youth in a five-part, 16,000-word investigative series.

Activist Michael Zinzun dies of a heart attack at age 57. 

Linda Lee Bukowski, widow of Charles Bukowski, talks to the Weekly about the Huntington archiving the author’s collected works.

Civil engineer Jean-Lou Chameau becomes president of Caltech.

Pasadena artist Syd Mead is honored with a National Design Award for his conceptual design work in the entertainment and transportation industries.

Sen. John Kerry makes national news at a PCC political forum after telling students, “If you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

James Frey admits to fabricating parts of his best seller memoir
“A Million Little Pieces.”

Samuel L. Jackson gets tired of all those motherfucking snakes on his motherfucking plane.

Green Party candidates Bill Paparian (Congress), Ricardo Costa (state Assembly) and Peter Camejo (governor) sit down with the Weekly after months of shaking up state and local politics.

Pasadena voters reject plans to invite an NFL team to play at the Rose Bowl.

Nearly 40 years after the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, PW reporter Carl Kozlowski takes a fresh look at the still-evolving story of Pasadena’s Sirhan Sirhan.

“Jersey Boys” wins the Tony for Best Musical.

The Pasadena Board of Education hires Gilroy’s Edwin Diaz as the district’s new superintendent.

Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion.

Mel Gibson is pulled over for drunk driving and all sorts of craziness ensues.


The number of Americans dead in Iraq tops 3,000.

Former President Gerald Ford dies.

San Francisco police arrest former Black Liberation Army members and Altadena residents Henry Jones and Ray Michael Boudreaux in relation to the 1971 murder of a police officer. Charges against them were dropped earlier this month.

The Norton Simon Museum celebrates what would have been the 100th birthday of its founder.

Howard Zinn calls for grassroots efforts to force Democrats to end the occupation of Iraq during a visit to Pasadena weeks before Army Spc. Adam Jason Rosema, 27, of Pasadena, is killed in Iraq. Lance Cpl. Rogelio Antonio Ramirez, 21, of Pasadena, is also killed in Iraq later that year.

Congressman Adam Schiff pens a Weekly column opposing escalation of the Iraq War.

Bobbi Spangler, who fought to integrate Pasadena schools, dies at 79.

Tom Selinske and Renatta Cooper are elected as new members of the Board of Education, and Margaret McAustin and Jacque Robinson join the City Council.

City Hall coughs up $4.6 million to purchase and shutter the Peppermint Garden strip club on Foothill Boulevard.

Victor Wright, who became quadriplegic during a 1976 John Muir High School football game, is inducted into that school’s Hall of Fame.

Pasadena City Hall reopens its doors for the first time in three years after a $117 million-plus restoration and seismic retrofit.

Tempers flare at City Hall when Danny Bakewell is taken out of the running for a contract to develop the Heritage Square housing project.

The Tournament of Roses announces the first-ever inclusion of a China-backed float in the Rose Parade, and coverage by the Weekly sparks months of frenzied protest by human rights activists and groups oppressed by China’s authoritarian leadership.

Jon Guynn takes over from Dale Tiffany as publisher of the Weekly.

Ebony Huel, a 16-year-old Muir High student, is shot and killed during a gang-related altercation outside a Pasadena nightclub.

Drew Carey takes over hosting duties on “The Price is Right.”

Police Chief Bernard Melekian takes over as interim city manager after Cynthia Kurtz announces her retirement. He would hold the job for more than a year before the city hired current City Manager Michael Beck.

Led by Robert Nelson, JPL scientists win a court injunction against NASA’s attempts to enforce a Bush administration order for broad and invasive background checks.

The Internal Revenue Service ends a probe into the politics of All Saints Church, which had been threatened with removal of tax-exempt status after an anti-war sermon days before the 2004 presidential election.

“No Country for Old Men” wins Best Picture at the 80th Academy Awards.

 Spice Girls announce their reunion. Now tell us what you want … what you really, really want.


The Rose Parade and its China float go off without a hitch, except for the arrest of Andrew Koenig — an actor who played Richard “Boner” Stabone on TV’s “Growing Pains” and the son of Star Trek’s Mr. Checkov, Walter Koenig. He would eventually be convicted of disrupting the parade, but attorney Bill Paparian convinced the court his arrest was punishment enough. Cindy Sheehan also showed up at the parade to lead a pro-impeachment demonstration.

Bungalow News closes its East Colorado Boulevard newsstand, which had opened in 1962, while the Star-News and other papers around the country announce big cuts and layoffs.

Former Mayor Katie Nack dies at 83.

Former Pasadenan Dick Williams is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, advocates reconciliation with the Muslim world during an event at Pasadena City College.

The Pasadena Weekly adopts its latest look under the guidance of Art Director Joel Vendette.

Pasadena police change their investigation into the death of former officer Dave Richter from one of suicide to murder.

The saga of feuding Altadena neighbors John and Mellaine Hamilton and former LAPD officer Irsie Henry seem to have inspired a big-screen thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson.

Veteran Councilman Sid Tyler announces his retirement.

The city considers building a statue in honor of boxer and trainer Canto ‘TNT” Robledo.

Pasadena resident Vincent Bugliosi discusses his latest book, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.”

Numerous same sex weddings take place in Pasadena until voters pass Proposition 8.

Yoko Ono talks with the Weekly about peace, John Lennon and her “Wish Tree for Pasadena” exhibit in the One Colorado Courtyard.

Gore Vidal gives Weekly readers a history lesson before making a speaking appearance at Pasadena City College.

Hillary Clinton drops by Pasadena for a fundraiser but Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination and the presidency. Michelle Obama and Pasadena-born New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson hit Pasadena fundraisers.

Californians erupt in protest after voters pass Proposition 8, banning gay marriage.

Keanu Reeves drops by Caltech to talk science and the remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”

PW Reporter André Coleman becomes a father with the birth of Lauren Marie Mendes Coleman.

The Weekly learns of the theft of hundreds of thousands of Measure Y funds while voters are asked to approve Measure TT, a $350-million facilities improvement bond. It passes with nearly
75 percent support. 

Actor Heath Ledger dies from a toxic combination of prescription drugs.


Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President.

Council members approve plans to cut down ficus trees in the Playhouse District over the objections of Sid Tyler and a large number of community activists. With only a few hours notice, city workers get a leg up on demonstrators and fell the trees overnight.

John Laurence Whitaker calls the Weekly from jail to proclaim his innocence.

Council members give $2 million to preserve Annandale Canyon from development.

Old wounds are opened in the African-American community with the officer-involved death of Leroy Barnes during a traffic stop in Northwest Pasadena. Seven of 11 shots hit him in the back.

Lance Armstrong gets back on his bike to ride through Pasadena in the Amgen Tour of California.

Swine Flu is declared a global pandemic.

Activist and longtime PCC Board member Walter Shatford dies at 93.

Michael Jackson, who first did the moonwalk at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in 1983, dies at his home in Holmby Hills.

Conan O’Brien takes over for Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show.”

City Council members consider bringing back a revised version of the anti-handbill ordinance that had been struck down 10 years ago as unconstitutional.

U2 takes over the Rose Bowl.

The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting up to six minutes and 38.8 seconds, occurs over parts of Asia and the Pacific Ocean.