School Days

PUSD to hold two town halls to discuss closures

The Pasadena Unified School Board will conduct a town hall meeting at 5:30 p.m. tonight, Oct. 17, at Pasadena High School, 2925 E Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena, to discuss closing middle schools and high schools.

According to five plans being considered by the district, McKinley School, a middle school which is located next to district headquarters, appears to be on the chopping block. The school faces closure in four-of-the-five middle school recommendations submitted by the Master Plan Boundary Subcommittee.

Other options include closing the middle school programs at Marshall and Blair high schools and closing Sierra Madre and Wilson middle schools. 

The options for high schools include keeping all four of the city’s high schools open. A second option recommends the closure of Marshall Fundamental School.

“It is inevitable that schools are going to be consolidated,” Board of Education member Michelle Richardson Bailey told the Pasadena Weekly. “The best thing we can do for our kids is prepare them.”

The board voted 4-3 last month to close Jefferson, Franklin, and Roosevelt elementary schools. Since 2012 the district has lost 2,087 students and is projected to lose another 1,717 students through 2025. The loss of each student equals about $10,100 a year in revenue. The district is projected to lose $17.3 million over the next six years, according to a report by the subcommittee.

Another Honor

Moreno, Hernandez, Torres named co-grand marshals of Rose Parade

Rita Moreno, one of 15 people to win Emmy, Grammy, Tony and Academy awards, was named one of three co-grand marshals of the 131st Rose Parade.

The 87-year-old performer will share the honor with 2016 Puerto Rican Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez and Cuban-American actor Gina Torres.

Hernandez was a member of the 2016 gold medal-winning US women’s gymnastics team in Rio de Janeiro.

Torres’ acting credits include “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” “Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Alias,” and “Westworld.”

Moreno won a best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 1961 for her role in “West Side Story.” In 1972, she won a Best Album Grammy Award for Children for her work on “The Electric Company Album.” In 1975 she won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in “The Ritz.” In 1977 she won an Emmy Award for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. Moreno was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2004.

“The 2020 theme is ‘The Power of Hope,’” said Tournament of Roses President Laura Farber, the first Latina to lead the organization.

“With hope, we can aspire to do better and inspire others to reach higher; hope never quits; with hope anything, in fact everything is possible. Rita Moreno, Gina Torres, and Laurie Hernandez epitomize hope,” Farber said.

Parade Time

Latino Heritage event scheduled for Saturday

The 21st annual Latino Heritage Parade and Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19.

The parade will begin at the corner of North Los Robles Avenue and Prescott Street, them head South to Villa Street, culminating at Villa Parke’s Multi-Purpose Field with cultural activities, food, music, and dance from noon to 4 p.m. This year’s theme is “Latinos in the 21st Century.”

The festival will feature food, live entertainment and fun activities for children.

Laura Farber, the first Latina to serve as president of the Tournament of Roses Association, will be honored at 1 p.m. along with Community Grand Marshal and Pasadena City College Vice President Cynthia Olivo.

Street closures and temporary no parking zones on Prescott Street, North Los Robles Avenue and Villa Street will be in effect from 8:30 a.m. through 2 p.m. Street closures will be lifted as soon as the parade clears the area.

Visit pasadenalatinoheritageparade2019.org for more information. n