“Pasadena Monthly with Justin Chapman” Wins 1st Place Video Award and Welcomes Planetary Society President Dr. Bethany Ehlmann Friday


Pasadena Media’s flagship local TV talk show “Pasadena Monthly with Justin Chapman” won a 1st place award in the Talk Show (Professional Producer) category at the Alliance for Community Media (ACM) West’s WAVE (Western Access Video Excellence) Awards on Friday. The show was also a finalist in the Magazine Show (Professional Producer) category.


ACM West’s region includes public access channel programming from Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico.


The “Pasadena Monthly” episode that won aired in July 2023 and featured an interview with Nikki High, founder and owner of Octavia’s Bookshelf, a bookstore dedicated to BIPOC authors located at 1365 N. Hill Ave.


“Once I discovered books written by people who looked like me, I was opened to a new world of history, fiction, sci-fi and more,” High said. “I became a walking advertisement for these works and words written by BIPOC writers. Octavia’s Bookshelf is a space where readers of all walks of life can enjoy these books, a space to find your new BFF inside a book, a space to find community, enjoy a cup of coffee, read, relax, find unique and specially curated products from artisans from around the world and in our neighborhood.”


Last year, the store was burglarized, launching an outpouring of support from the community.


“Pasadena Monthly” airs at 5 p.m. PT on the fourth Friday of every month on Pasadena Media’s Arroyo Channel and streaming apps, available on channel 99 on AT&T U-verse, channel 32 on Charter Spectrum, YouTube, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku. The show is written, hosted and produced by Chapman, directed and edited by Jeffrey Stanfill, supervised by producer Jasiri Jenkins-Glenn, executive produced by Chris Miller and chief executive produced by George Falardeau, CEO and executive director of Pasadena Media.


This month’s episode will air April 26 and feature an interview with Dr. Bethany Ehlmann, president of the Planetary Society, a professor of planetary science at Caltech and director of Caltech’s Keck Institute for Space Studies.


Dr. Ehlmann served for many years also as a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Her research focuses on the mineralogy and chemistry of planetary surfaces, remote sensing techniques and instruments, astrobiology, and science policy and outreach. She is principal investigator of the NASA Lunar Trailblazer small satellite mission to map water on the Moon.  Much of her other recent scientific work has focused on unraveling Mars' environmental history: she is a member of the science teams for the Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity), the CRISM imaging spectrometer on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) rover, and the Mars 2020 rover (Perseverance). She was also an affiliate of the Dawn orbiter team during its exploration of Ceres. She is co-investigator on the upcoming EMIT mission, a space station-based imaging spectrometer to explore dust source regions, and is working to propose mission concepts for ocean worlds, Venus, and asteroids.


In the space policy arena, Bethany is presently a member of the National Academies Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science. She is also vice-chair of the Mars chair and a member of the Steering Committee for the National Academies Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey 2023-2032. She has also served on the science policy committees of presidential candidates. In 2018, she published the children’s book Dr. E’s Super Stellar Solar System with National Geographic. Since 2018, she has served on the board of the Planetary Society, where Bill Nye the Science Guy serves as CEO.


“This is must-watch television each month for everyone who cares about this city,” Falardeau said.


Last year, Chapman won two 1st place journalism awards from the Los Angeles Press Club, as well as two 3rd place awards and two finalist positions. He has won a total of 10 awards from the LA Press Club in recent years, including three 1st place awards. In 2022, the previous iteration of the show, “NewsRap Local,” won a 2nd place award in News Programming at the Alliance for Community Media West’s WAVE video awards.


Guests on “Pasadena Monthly” and “NewsRap Local” have included Congress member Judy Chu; Congress member Adam Schiff; Assembly member Chris Holden; Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo; Pasadena city manager Miguel Márquez; LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger; JPL director Dr. Laurie Leshin; and many others.


Chapman was the youngest elected official in LA County when he served on the Altadena Town Council at age 19. He has served on a number of local boards and wrote hundreds of articles for two dozen print and digital publications, including KPCC/LAistAlta JournalHuffington PostLA Weekly, Irish PostBerkeley Political ReviewPasadena Weekly, Pasadena Star-NewsPasadena Now and many others. He was a professional child actor who starred in dozens of movies, TV shows, commercials, and plays. He previously served as Communications Officer for USC’s Pacific Council on International Policy and currently serves as the District 6 Council Liaison/Field Representative to Pasadena Vice Mayor Steve Madison.


Learn more at justindouglaschapman.com and pasadenamedia.org.