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We had a residential burglary in Brigden Ranch on March 8, 2011.

A house in the 2200 block of Woodlyn near Martelo was broken into.

Normally there are cars in the driveway of this house and the one next door, but not today. This was probably a crime of opportunity. The burglars may have walked down the street until they found empty driveways and figured no one was home. Our neighbors left the house only between 10:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. When they returned, they found a rear door screen torn, a door window broken and the door wide open. Also, there was obvious of attempted break in using a screw driver at another door and a couple windows.

Our neighbors reported the burglars took a laptop, and jewelry, including costume jewelry and some pieces with special meaning. The police could not find fingerprints, probably because of the helpful hints given to burglars by CSI and other police shows.

The police have said these crimes of opportunity have increased because of the poor economy. This means we must be more vigilant.

Know your neighbors and what their routines are. Consider telling them when you plan to be away and if you’re expecting anyone like workers.

Leave a car in the driveway, a radio on inside, and lock your doors and windows.

Report suspicious activity to the police non-emergency line, including door-to-door solicitors. And don’t open your door if you don’t know the person outside.

Make sure your wi-fi systems are password protected. Be aware that your signal may be picked up several houses away.

We still have a very safe neighborhood compared with other areas of Pasadena. BUT, don’t take chances. We obviously have thieves prowling our neighborhood looking for easy money. Let’s not give it to them.

Donn Dufford
President
Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association

Construction workers work on the exterior of Allen-Brigden Classics on North Allen in Pasadena, June 7, 2010, as the latest affordable housing project nearing completion. Four of the six units are designated for moderate-income families, but what also sets the project apart is that two of the units are being marketed as live/work units for small home-based businesses. Applications are still being accepted.

NOTE: Your Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association Board was instrumental in stopping the plan to build the initial project which was totally out of keeping and out of scale with the neighborhood. We worked with the City and Trademark Development to re-group and construct a smaller scale project befitting a gateway to Brigden Ranch.

Here is a excerpt from a Pasadena Star-News article published June 6, 2010. Read the full article at the link below.

Former gas station site reborn as affordable townhouse complex

PASADENA - A former gas station at 1142 N. Allen Ave. is nearing completion as Pasadena’s newest affordable townhouse complex aimed at first-time buyers.

Developer Joel Bryant of Pasadena-based Trademark Development Co. said the company bought the land from the city at the bargain price of $50,000 - with the understanding that any housing development would be affordable.

Read the full Pasadena Star-News at http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_15246352

All residents of Brigden Ranch and surrounding blocks are invited to attend a Neighborhood Watch Meeting on Monday, April 26, 2010.

Anita Butler from the Neighborhood Services Unit of the Pasadena Police Department, along with one of our Central Service Area 3 officers will attend this meeting. They will update us on the recent crime activity in the Brigden Ranch neighborhood and how we can assist in preventing future occurrences.

This meeting is an opportunity for you to learn more about crime prevention and to help organize Neighborhood Watch Programs in Brigden Ranch. We will also leave time to address any issues or concerns you may have.

The Neighborhood Watch meeting will be held at the home of Laura Lee-Chin & Mathieu Desbrun, 2210 Woodlyn Road (Between Martelo and Craig), Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m. Please let them know if you can attend – (626) 798-0131. Laura is Pasadena Police Central Service Area Advisory Community Member.

In June 2008, the City Council approved the implementation of AT&T Project U-Verse, which upgrades its existing network by providing digital television, high-speed internet and telephone service. This upgrade requires the placement of new above-ground cabinets in the public right-of-way both in commercial and residential areas of the City.

Based on a recent field review, Public Works has identified the following location for placement of a U-Verse cabinet in our neighborhood – 2130 Casa Grande St. The cabinet will be on the east side of N. Craig Ave. about halfway between Casa Grande and Cooley. The approximate size of the cabinet is 48” high x 46.5” wide x 26” deep.

This location was pre-approved by the City as part of the Champion Broadcast (formerly Altrio communications) system build-out in which all cabinets have been completely removed from the public right-of-way. The City requires AT&T to minimize major construction in our neighborhood, however minor trenching may occur.

Should anyone want to respond to this notification, they may do so by contacting Danny Wooten, City Project Manager, Public Works, Engineering (626) 744-7401; or Dan Rix, City Engineer at (626) 744-4267 before May 13, 2010.

Donn Dufford
President
Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association

1150 N. ALLEN PROJECT

As many of you have noticed, the 1150 N. Allen (the old Gas Station) Project is well under way. The developer hopes to have the second story framed and a wood roof (not the final completed roof) on by March 31, with the completion date set for July 31.

The developer has cooperated with BRNA from day one, been responsive to our requests, and we believe is constructing a project all of Brigden Ranch can be pleased with.

You may be aware that the original developer planned a three-story big box project that did not fit in with our neighborhood. It would have been built all the way to the street, restricting views of traffic, and with no “style” or thought given to our neighborhood architecture. Five years ago, your Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association Board began applying pressure on the City to stop the initial project. After many meetings, the City recalled the zoning permits and agreed to buy back the property from the first developer for about $1 million. To our knowledge, this had never been done before in Pasadena. They also agreed to our requests for including “moderate income” condominiums priced to attract local Pasadena workers.

Eventually, the current developer was approved by the City. The developer has worked with the City and BRNA to design a condominium project we believe is more in fitting with your neighborhood. The architect describes the design as Santa Barbara inspired Spanish style.

The condominium project is a two-story mixed-use building. It will contain two mixed use (live-work) spaces. These consist of a commercial unit downstairs tied to a residential living space on the second floor. The idea is to allow for someone to live in a condominium and have an office downstairs. This space is ideal for home offices, architects, and other low-use workspaces.

These live-work spaces are prohibited from being retail (stores, bakeries, dry cleaners, etc.) or restaurants.

The price for the live-work spaces are expected to be in the low- to mid-$500,000s.

Additionally, there are four residential living spaces on the second floor. Through discussions with BRNA, the City and the developer, these will be targeted at moderate income, first-time homebuyers. Moderate income is defined as a family earning about $56,000 to $70,000. This type of buyer might be a recent college graduate just starting out. They might be an entry-level worker, perhaps a police officer, city worker, teacher, architect, city college worker, or such.

One of the residential living spaces is a one-bedroom priced at $232,000. Two are two-bedrooms priced at $262,000. One is three-bedrooms priced at $292,000.

Prospective buyers will be closely screened to make sure they meet all requirements and understand all the restrictions of the project. They first must be approved by the bank, and then by the City, which has very strict requirements for this type of project. The restrictions will prevent any investors from buying into the project.

You may have seen that the building sits back from Brigden and Allen. Off-street parking will be inside the structures, and should be adequate for each unit. We are discussing the need to maintain the red curb markings on Brigden and Allen to avoid traffic problems due to cars turning onto and off Brigden. The street light on the south side of Brigden has been relocated 10 feet to meet City requirements.

A small garden is being considered.

The developer has worked hard to keep the outside of the site cleaned up. About 90% of the deliveries (like wood) have been made, so neighbors shouldn’t be inconvenienced.

If you have a question, feel free to email me at donnduff@aol.com and I’ll get you an answer.

Donn Dufford
Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association

In an effort to be more “transparent,” the Pasadena Police Department has introduced a new web page. This site, www.crimemapping.com is an attempt to allow citizens to find out what is happening in Pasadena from a crime standpoint.

Unfortunately, as with much of the information found on the Web, the raw data provided needs some explanation to be correctly understood. At first glance, all of the pin points on the map might make it appear as if Pasadena is suffering from a huge number of crimes. This isn’t the case.

This tool allows you to hone in on areas around your home, work place or school. However, it doesn’t easily allow for pinpointing crimes that have actually occurred within Brigden Ranch proper (a much smaller area). The tool also doesn’t spell out exactly what a particular crime actually was, whether the criminal was arrested, whether the District Attorney acted upon the case or whether it was dropped, and other important information needed to draw logical conclusions about the safety of Brigden Ranch, and Pasadena.

Another drawback to this new tool is that it doesn’t start plotting crimes until November 2, 2009, and does not compare statistics with past history. Also, the time period seems too specific (it appears to be only four months back from the current date.)

That given, here are some statistics you may find useful. They include Brigden Ranch proper, along with a half-mile radius from the center of Brigden Ranch.

Let’s start by defining Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association as Casa Grande Street on the south, Galbreth Road on the north, North Allen Avenue on the west and North Martelo Road on the east.

According to the Pasadena Police Department, only 11 crimes were reported during the four months between Nov 2, 2009 and March 10, 2010 within Brigden Ranch.

Those crimes were: Two reports of graffiti on Allen, both the same day, so apparently by the same individual(s). Petty theft in the 2100 block of Queensberry. Public intoxication in the 1900 block of Queensberry (two at the same location), and one in the 2100 block of Brigden. Two residential burglaries (one in the 2300 block of Queensberry, and one in the 2300 block of Woodlyn). Two vehicle burglaries (one in the 1900 block of Queensberry and one in the 2100 block of Casa Grande).

If you believe there were other crimes, they may not have been reported to the PPD, and/or a formal report may not have been taken and a case number assigned.

Note there were no crimes on a person, or violent crimes.

In other words, your Brigden Ranch neighborhood is pretty darn safe. (BUT it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set up Neighborhood Watches and know your neighbors and their schedules. To date, only two sets of homeowners within Brigden Ranch, and one immediately outside have

By comparison, there were 33 crimes within a half-mile radius of the 2200 block of Brigden (approximately Allen on the west, Buena Vista on the east (east of Altadena Drive), Orange Grove on the south, and just south of New York on the north). This includes Brigden Ranch as well as areas adjacent.

There were 122 crimes within a one-mile radius (approximately Hill on the west, Eaton Canyon Golf Course on the east, the 210 Freeway on the south, and Meadowbrook Road and Glen Canyon Road on the north). Within 2 miles, there were 167 crimes between Dec. 1, 2009 and March 10, 2010 (approximately Rosemead on the east, Los Robles on the west, California on the south and the foothills to the north).

Two other web sites are available to the public. The general PPD site:

http://cityofpasadena.net/Police/ where you can click on the “e-policing tool bar” to reach the above site. And, another where you can subscribe to emails from the PPD and other areas policing agencies.

http://www.nixle.com We haven’t found this service to be of much use, other than to find out when area police departments are running sobriety checkpoints (but not where).

A dear friend of Brigden Ranch, Pasadena neighborhoods, and mine, has passed away. Henry Sherrod, BRNA director and officer, lost his six-month battle with lung cancer January 13.

Henry had lived on Galbreth Road in Brigden Ranch for 17 years. As a director of the Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association, he was instrumental in working with the City to build an appealing mixed-use structure at Brigden and Allen. Henry was active in convincing the City to change the old gas station project at 1950 N. Allen from a large project that didn’t fit Brigden Ranch into a smaller, more realistic project to help provide housing for people with moderate incomes.

Through his work on behalf of BRNA, Henry became the long-time president of the Pasadena Neighborhood Coalition, an organization of neighborhood associations dedicated to improving the quality of life in all of Pasadena’s neighborhoods.

Born in Palo Alto in 1947, Henry moved to Redlands, California the same year. After graduation from Redlands High School, he completed his bachelor’s degree in economics at Claremont McKenna College (then Claremont Men’s College). He received his master’s degree in business administration from Mount St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, and his law degree from the University of San Francisco.

Henry served in the Vietnam conflict as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army before beginning a successful career as an accomplished attorney and trial litigator in Northern and later Southern California.

He and his domestic partner, John Marquette, met in Oakland in 1983, and moved to Southern California in 1986. He worked for the Auto Club of Southern California for 13 years, retiring in 2005. Not one to sit still, Henry then worked for private legal firms as a trial attorney. Shortly after retirement, he was selected to be a member of the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Temporary Judge Program, and was active in the program until mid-2009.

Henry and John moved from Highland Park in Los Angeles to the Brigden Ranch neighborhood on Halloween Day, 1992. He and John installed one of the first solar energy systems at their home in 2005.

Henry is survived by his domestic partner John Marquette; his sister Ann Sherrod Russell of Los Angeles; two brothers, David of Portland, Oregon and Charles of Arizona; and two nephews, Kenneth Sackett of San Diego and Kelly Sackett of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A memorial and celebration of life Henry will be held Sunday, February 21, at 3:00 p.m. at the Altadena Town and Country Club. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made to the donor’s choice of charities assisting the children of Haiti.

Donn Dufford
President
Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association

Pasadena’s most popular exercise track is scheduled for a facelift.

Pasadena city staff will outline steps for improving the 3.3-mile Rose Bowl recreation loop during a community meeting Wednesday, Feb. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Arroyo Room at Brookside Golf Club, 1133 Rosemont Ave.  The meeting will be hosted by the Pasadena Transportation Department.

Proposed plans call for slurry seal of the entire loop, a new and wider section for walkers in both directions, a suitable lane for bicyclists and vehicles, and a narrower outside lane for vehicles. This combination was chosen for its adaptability to future changes, if needed.

“The roadways that encircle the Rose Bowl Stadium provide a unique and valuable resource to those who enjoy outdoor exercise,” said Bahman Janka, transportation administrator.

The innermost portion of the loop is a dedicated walkway currently outlined with a painted buffer zone separating foot traffic from the adjacent bicycle and vehicular traffic.

The final draft report describing the improvements is available at reference desks at all Pasadena public libraries and at www.cityofpasadena.net/rosebowlloop.  For more information call 744-4610.

Margo Morales-Fuller
District 2 Field Representative
(626) 744-4742
(626) 744-3814 fax

Neighborhood Watch Kick-Off

Thanks to the dozen people who participated in Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association’s first Neighborhood Watch organizational meeting last night at the Hastings Ranch Library.  This is the first formal step toward helping make Brigden Ranch safer.

The meeting was held to 1) start our first formal Neighborhood Watch, 2) to explain the duties of Block Captains who are needed to organize Neighborhood Watches, 3) to seek volunteers to become Block Captains, and 4) to answer general questions about crime in our neighborhood.

Anita Butler, our representative from the Pasadena Police Department, presented information about setting up Neighborhood Watches.  Anita shared crime statistics which showed crime in Brigden Ranch has declined over the past three years.  Anita stressed that we have a safe neighborhood with very little crime.  The Sergeant from the Central Service Area, which Brigden Ranch is part of, dropped by and repeated this message.  He encourage the start of Neighborhood Watches as a great way for neighbors to look after neighbors, and as a way of staying vigilant.

The first formal step in creating a Neighborhood Watch is for a person to volunteer to be a Block Captain.  The Block Captain organizes a group of their neighbors, works with the police department to set up an organizational meeting like last night’s, creates phone trees, and keeps the Neighborhood Watch active.  Each Neighborhood Watch is about eight to 12 homes, depending on how many the Block Captain is comfortable with.

This isn’t a lot of work, but the rewards are a safer neighborhood for all of us.  I would encourage anyone who wants more information to contact me in order to set up an organizational meeting in your neighborhood.

The first formal Neighborhood Watch was started last night in the 2200 block of Casa Grande.  Craig Valenzuela is the Block Captain.  Anyone in that area who is interested should contact Craig at cval33440@sbcglobal.net

We want to formally thank Craig for taking this on.

If you are interested in becoming a Block Captain for another block on Casa Grande, or another street, please let me know.  One other individual in the 2000 block of Galbreth has volunteered to be a Block Captain.  Neighbors there will be contacted shortly.

Recent Police Activity

During the past three weeks there have been two home burglaries, an attempted burglary, and three thefts from automobiles on Brigden Road.

The burglars hit homes where there were no cars in the driveway and it appeared no one was home.

A laptop and some miscellaneous items were stolen from one home in the 2200 block about three weeks ago.

At another home in the 2200 block, neighbor Donn Dufford saw the burglars and frightened them off. Donn has been working with Pasadena Police detectives to identify one of the burglars.

As of June 18, arrests had been made in Altadena by Sherriff’s officer. Pasadena Police believe they are the same boys who committed the Brigden burglaries.

This week, a laptop, some currency from a coin bank, and a wallet were stolen between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the 2100 block of Brigden. The thief or thieves preyed open a door know lock on a side door to gain entrance.

Two weeks ago, someone stole catalytic converters from two Toyota automobiles and attempted to steal a third, but may have been frightened off.

In the case of the catalytic converters, they are easy to quickly take from under the car, and have been a hot item in L.A. County for several months. Thieves take the platinum out of them and sell them to scrap dealers for about $50 each. Unfortunately for the owner of the auto, they have to pay about $1,100 for a new one.

It appears the auto thefts have occurred between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. in homeowners’ driveways.

On June 23, there reportedly was a vehicle burglary on Brigden Rd. around 7:23 a.m. The vehicle was parked in the driveway. Unknown suspect opened the door by unknown means (which means the door may have been left unlocked). Once inside, the suspect removed the loss $1.00 in currency. No one was seen or heard. (The address does not match Brigden Road addresses, so we’re not sure about this one.)
I would guess the burglaries are Marshall High School kids looking for quick cash or items they could use or sell (that’s what police have told us is common). Also they were probably kids because they only hit one house at a time and took little. If the car burglars were pros, they would have hit several cars.

What the police have told us is that the kids are starting to steal because their parents can’t afford and aren’t buying them the expensive games, phones, ipods, and such now that the economy has turned down. So the kids are stealing what they need (laptops) and what they can sell for some quick cash.

RECOMMENDATION: Take precautions to lock all doors and windows, even if you’re leaving for a short period. Let your neighbors know if you’re not home. Put your cars in secure locations. All of the cars being hit are Toyotas, with the 4Runner being the easiest to slide under, unbolt the converter, and leave off.

NOTE: The police have constantly told us the BRN area is very safe. They get very few calls from here. Vigilance is the key.

With the economy, it seems to be our turn to be hit.

Your BRNA Board is developing an Emergency Preparedness/Neighborhood Watch program. You’ll be hearing about it soon.

Anyone interested in participating, please send a note to info@brigdenranch.org.

Welcome

Welcome to the new website of the Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association. We’ll be using this space to update you on the latest news and events concerning our neighborhood.

Your questions, comments or contributions are welcome. Write us at brigdenranch@gmail.com.