HomeCity Government NewsCouncil Pushes Climate Talk; Tackles Crime, SCE Outages

Council Pushes Climate Talk; Tackles Crime, SCE Outages

La Cañada Flintridge residents filled the room at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to express concerns about the panel’s postponement of adoption of the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, which was originally on the meeting’s agenda.
The Council also heard from Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Robert Hahnlein about recent increases in residential burglaries — with Hahnlein illustrating the problem by displaying a device left by a suspect in a home. Hahnlein also spoke about recent increases in fraud identity thefts.
Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Davitt began the meeting with an update on recent power outages and the city’s communication with Southern California Edison regarding the matter.
Davitt said that in the last couple of months, about 350 residents whose electricity is provided by the Haskell circuit have experienced multiple outages.
“The city has been pushing on Edison, and relay to them that this is unacceptable,” said Davitt. He said that in a meeting with municipal officials, SCE said it is committed to making improvements and providing more reliability.
“Those improvements are supposed to be taking place now or in the very near future,” said Davitt. “Edison will send out correspondence within the next week to the affected residents, telling them what [company workers are] going to do and when they’re going to do it. So our hope is that that will create a much more reliable system in those affected areas.”
After improvements are made, Davitt said, company officials will come to a City Council meeting in early June and review the work.
“Know that it is a top priority for us because we obviously need power reliability,” he said.
City Manager Dan Jordan told the Outlook Valley Sun that SCE believes that most of the power outages are caused by rodents, primarily squirrels, and that the company has begun adding insulation to the electrical lines in the area. Clearing vegetation was another strategy that SCE said could help with outages.
Later, Davitt addressed the issue over the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, since the city received emails from residents concerned about its removal from the agenda.
The plan will be in place to identify climate-related vulnerabilities, providing adaptation measures that build resilience to current and future climate threats. Examples of that include reducing greenhouse gas emissions and committing to carbon neutrality.
“The CAAP was scheduled to be in front of the Council this evening… and for various reasons that were primarily based upon scheduling of Council and staff resources and some other items, it was decided that the CAAP would not be on the agenda this evening,” said Davitt.
He also said the CAAP is not being ignored and will go through a hearing at the earliest opportunity that makes sense for the Council and city staff.
“I want to assure people that the work that’s been done is not getting tossed out, and we’re not throwing it away,” he said.
A series of public commenters urged the Council to get the CAAP on the agenda as fast as possible to approve, noting that the previously devised plan is eight years old.
Commenters including Julie Kane-Ritsch also addressed what they said is a “misconception” about the CAAP.
“The draft CAAP offers a menu of options for the city to choose from, and adopting the CAAP, [despite] some common misconceptions, does not require the City Council to enact the recommendations and it is not a mandate,” she said.
Kane-Ritsch also requested that the Council establish a commission of residents dedicated to the environment and hire a CAAP coordinator to look for federal, state and county funds to implement the plan.
Some students from La Cañada High School also came to voice their concerns about the CAAP hearing postponement.
“I urge the City Council to hold a hearing and vote on the CAAP as soon as possible, because we’ve already waited long enough to address La Cañada’s impact on the environment,” said one student part of the LCHS Green Club.

Hahnlein presented the public safety update with March crime statistics for the city, which included eight residential burglaries, 70 fraud identity thefts and 11 arrests.
Hahnlein added that five of the burglaries were break-ins involving rear sliding glass doors and urged residents to reinforce such doors and windows in the back of their homes.
“We increased our saturation patrols in the areas that we have targeted, and I had my crime analysts look into the areas at certain times of the day where [burglars] congregate,” he said.
Hahnlein also showed the Council two electronic devices that were recovered from one residential burglary. These devices are called Wi-Fi-jammers, which burglars use to thwart security systems by disabling a residence’s Wi-Fi.
“This is what the crews are using now, and this is what we’re battling against,” said Hahnlein, adding that sheriff’s officials are working to see what strategies they can use to counteract the devices.
He also added that a summer team will begin in the coming weeks to do extra patrols for the city.
Meanwhile, there were 35 traffic citations, 43 warnings to drivers, three traffic collisions involving injuries and six traffic collisions with no injuries in March in LCF.
Public commenter and city resident Cydney Motia expressed her concerns over the growing number of residential burglaries.
“I think more funds need to be put toward overtime patrols, especially with festivities coming up this month, and summertime with people going out of town,” said Motia. “I’m getting emails and calls from people that are really scared… They don’t feel safe in their homes, even with a neighborhood watch group present.”

First published in the May 9 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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