Late Last December

Caltrans renames a portion of the 134 Freeway after President Barack Obama, Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell names Brenda Harvey-Williams director of human services and recreation, and Pasadena City College Trustees pick Erika Endrijonas as PCC’s President/Superintendent.

January 2019

“SNL” stars Will Ferrell, Molly Shannon and Tim Meadows reteam for Funny or Die’s online Rose Parade commentary parody, a Rose Parade float commemorating Chinese and other ethnic workers on the Transcontinental Railroad breaks down, freelancer journalists unionize for a better life in America’s growing gig economy, illegal pot dispensary operator Shaun Szameit challenges the city’s new cannabis law, a homeless person is accused of killing the mother of a woman who adopted her kids, then proclaims innocence from jail, and LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has big — and controversial — plans for the beleaguered department. Gang members face life in prison for murdering four people in 2017, Professors Peter Dreier and Mark Maier take a critical look at what makes Pasadena such an “unequal” place to live in “Pasadena’s Tale of Two Cities,” Pasadena-born Terry Gamble talks about her latest work, “The Eulogist,” which witnesses slavery, war, industrialization and populism through the experiences of an immigrant Irish family, former city employee Danny Wooten is sentenced to 14 years for embezzlement as Altadena businessman and co-defendant Tyrone Collins gets seven years behind bars, the Tournament of Roses names first Latina president in Laura Farber, backers and opponents of a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2020 turn up the heat ahead of a Pasadena council meeting, once-embattled Altadena librarian Mindy Kittay reaches a settlement with the local library district, and US Rep. Judy Chu introduces legislation to block President Trump’s latest “Muslim ban.”

February

A JPL-NASA report details a gigantic cavity in Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier and former FBI Director James Comey talks to a Pasadena audience about his firing, the Russia investigation and why Americans must vote Trump out of office. Comic Bill Burr lets his inner rage rip at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, gun-dealing Pasadena cop Vasken Gourdikian wants probation for selling weapons online while federal prosecutors say he should serve hard time, the Pasadena City Council votes to raise the minimum wage to $15, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren unveils her policy plans at an Alex Theatre appearance, illegal pot dispensary owner Shaun Sazmeit targets Councilman Victor Gordo in a recall effort but later misses the filing deadline, all-star jam band Wild Honey Orchestra pays tribute to The Kinks at annual autism benefit concert at the Alex, Joan Williams, Miss Crown City 1958 who was denied a place in the Rose Parade due to her race, dies at age 86, and supporters of 2019 Rose Queen Louise Deser Siskel, who went public about her bi-sexuality, drown out Westboro Baptist Church picketers with messages of love.

March

Parsons Engineering announces plans to move its headquarters from Pasadena to Virginia, Los Angeles County workers admit to spraying Roundup weed killer on county property in Pasadena, and a staged concert reading at Boston Court lets audiences experience an opera-in-development about late fashion designer Alexander McQueen. Actor Arsenio Hall brings his stylish comic flair to the Ice House, former Pasadena nun Catherine Morris and her husband Jeff Dietrich continue dedicating their lives to helping the homeless living on Skid Row, county Supervisor Katherine Barger calls for a temporary moratorium on the use of Roundup, and actor Bill Oberst Jr. channels Ray Bradbury in free show at South Pasadena Library. Twenty-one racehorse deaths has Santa Anita Park executives worried the sport could face consequences similar to those of SeaWorld over its treatment of orcas, the Pasadena City Council amends its Tenant Protection Ordinance to increase local renter protections, and El Portal Restaurant owner Abel Ramirez celebrates his 25th anniversary of business in the Playhouse District.

April

Ten-member Tower of Power brings its horn-driven magic to The Rose, a federal judge dismisses some claims in Christopher Ballew’s police brutality lawsuit against the city of Pasadena but allows a racial profiling allegation to go to trial, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” star Nia Vardalos stars in “Tiny Beautiful Things” at the Pasadena Playhouse, The Gin Blossoms, Dustbowl Revival and Incendio are among the many acts at the South Pasadena Eclectic Music Festival, and the state Supreme Court takes up former PW cartoonist Ted Rall’s lawsuit suit against the LA Times.

May

Activists and some local officials worry about a citizenship question being placed on the US Census survey, state officials refuse to grant the city a three-month extension to review the toxic cleanup at the Space Bank storage facility being considered as a major housing development, the county grants a 30-day extension of its Roundup moratorium, and Bob Eubanks reveals his role in rock history in promoting the Beatles. Pasadena Councilman Tyron Hampton becomes vice mayor as Councilman Gene Masuda announces bid for a third term. Legendary Johnny Mathis, appearing at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, fondly recalls the influence of family on his stellar career, author Dean Kuipers explains how rebuilding troubled land helped repair his fractured family in “The Deer Camp,” the Pasadena council awards a San Francisco firm a half-million dollars to design a suicide barrier on Colorado Street Bridge, John C. Reilly finds theater gold at the Pasadena Playhouse in a month-long run of “Gather,” homelessness declines in Pasadena thanks to focus on providing short- and long-term housing, the US Supreme Court refuses to hear a case on what are now Norton Simon’s “Adam” and “Eve” paintings, the Pasadena Tenant Justice Coalition tries to get rent control on the November ballot, and cancer claims the life of beloved community activist and businesswoman Jaylene Moseley.

June

Presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, Jay Inslee and Kirsten Gillibrand bring their campaigns to the Crown City, Pasadena filmmaker Marcos Durian turns a tough childhood into great art with his new short “Fish Head,” Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the man who created “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and retooled Archie comics, brings “Good Boys” to the Pasadena Playhouse, and officials at Santa Anita racetrack refuse to cancel the remainder of scheduled meets after two more horses are put down. Officials with Pasadena’s sister city in Africa pay a visit, Congressman Adam Schiff tries but fails to get US Army Corps of Engineers to stop using Roundup around the LA River, and a Superior Court judge rules against the county in a lawsuit over the “Big Dig” sediment removal project in Devil’s Gate Dam.

July

Breeders’ Cup officials vote to keep racing at Santa Anita Park despite the many fatalities, US District Judge Manuel Real, who ordered busing in Pasadena schools in 1970, dies at age 95, John Lloyd Young turns his Tony-winning starring role as Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys” into a classic pop extravaganza at The Rose, and the High Court bars a citizenship question from appearing on US Census forms. Pasadena celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, Pasadena Weekly celebrates 35 years of publishing, Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden visits the home of Pasadena City Councilman John Kennedy, all systems are go for Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 project, county supervisors formally ban the use of glyphosate-based products, including Roundup, and protesters bring construction of the Caltech-backed Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea to a halt.

August

The Pasadena Weekly, formerly owned by Southland Publishing, is acquired by Times Media Group, based in Tempe, Arizona, Gentrification leads to eviction for members of the Washington 16, Pasadena Heritage Executive Director Sue Mossman celebrates more than 40 years of keeping the Crown City royal, US Rep. Judy Chu is among majority of House Democrats to support a Trump impeachment inquiry, and, as Pasadena celebrates the centennial of the 19th Amendment, activists say the right to vote was but one of many big victories needed for full gender equality. The World Cup-winning US women’s soccer team kicks off victory tour with a 3-0 win over Ireland at the Rose Bowl, George Takei shines a spotlight on the similarities between today’s border detentions and the dark history of Japanese-American internment camps, marchers rally at the federal appeals court in Pasadena in favor of immigrant rights, Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ closes after 37 years, Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago performs three decades of alt-rock hits at the Pasadena Daydream Festival, and Pasadenans call for gun control and immigration reform at a Villa Parke vigil for the victims of recent mass shootings.

September

The League of Women Voters Pasadena Area picks its first black president in Pat Coulter, Vroman’s presents Sister Helen Prejean in conversation with Rev. Mike Kinman about her new book and spiritual journey at All Saints Church, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap bring their emotional rock balladry to The Rose, and Pasadena police turn a corner on transparency seven years after the deadly Kendrec McDade shooting. JPL’s Josh Willis, principal investigator on the Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) project, believes “Climate Rock” can help raise public awareness of global warming, hundreds join the Pasadena “Die-In” as millions worldwide wage “Climate Strikes” to force leaders to combat climate change, and Trump taps Pasadena “Reagan Republican” Robert C. O’Brien to take over as National Security Advisor

October

Joe Biden goes after President Trump in another visit to Pasadena as impeachment inquiry heats up, former Pasadena Mayor Bill Paparian receives a lifesaving kidney from his wife, Sona, even though they have different blood types, the Huntington Library’s “Nineteen Nineteen” exhibit illuminates history’s impact on the present, and parents of girl who drowned at summer day camp establish a foundation. The play “A Kid Like Jake” examines the complexities of a child’s gender identity at the Pasadena playhouse, “The Abuelas” explores Argentina’s ‘living disappeared’ — babies kidnapped from murdered political prisoners after 1976 military junta – at Antaeus Theatre in Glendale, candidates begin campaigns for mayor and City Council seats in districts 1, 2, 4 and 6, local author Chip Jacobs launches “Arroyo,” a historical novel about Pasadena and the origins of the Colorado Street Bridge, at Vroman’s, the Pasadena Weekly learns convicted rapist and former PUSD volunteer John Laurence Whitaker has yet to stand trial 14 years after being charged with two murders, former Rose Queen Drew Washington and her father Craig travel to Africa as part of a campaign to reconnect people with their ancestry in the 400th year since the start of slavery in America, and Tony Award-winning actor BD Wong directs Lauren Yee’s witty and politically relevant basketball drama ‘The Great Leap’ at Pasadena Playhouse.

November

Pasadena Christian leaders are deeply divided in the Era of Trump, calls to end horse racing at Santa Anita are renewed after owners euthanize a gelding at the Breeders’ Cup, Pasadena adopts the state’s Tenant Protection Act in special midnight meeting, the nearly forgotten “Song of the Pasadena Rose Parade” resurfaces after four decades, Lakers co-owner Johnny Buss buys the iconic Ice House comedy club, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown discusses his new book, ‘Desk 88,’ with journalist Miriam Pawel at All Saints. Rabbi and social justice activist Marvin Gross, who helped the homeless and fought for many righteous causes, dies at age 70. The audience joins in the fun of ‘Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)’ at Sierra Madre Playhouse. Congressman Schiff, who since January has been chair of the House Intelligence Committee, is now recommending the president’s impeachment.

December

A Fuller Seminary online student is expelled for violating the school’s “sexual standards,” young stars help “Lythgoe Family Panto’s A Snow White Christmas 2.0” bring audiences into the action at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena Weekly moves from its office of more than 20 years in Old Pasadena to more modern digs in South Pasadena, local students stage another climate strike at Pasadena City Hall, the Pasadena City Council shoots down proposed changes to the city’s cannabis ordinance, and students ask local leaders to sign a climate change pledge.