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Temple City news events people

Spring 2012

INSIDE: PLANS FOR ROSEMEAD BLVD. PROGRESS ON THE GATEWAY SPRING RECREATION GUIDE


Learn all about the

NUTS AND BOLTS of our Local Government

2012 ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

CITIZEN’S ACADEMY APPLICATION DEADLINE

PROGRAM STARTS

CITIZEN’S ACADEMY is a free program designed to help Temple City residents, business owners and future leaders get an overview of City Hall operations, the services provided, and the available tools and resources offered to the community. You’ll be able to hear from top staff—the people who shape City policies. There will be seven, two-hour evening sessions, held on alternating Thursdays of each month. Topics discussed include: ★ City government ★ City finances ★ Neighborhood services

APRIL 23

MAY 24

★ Community planning ★ Public safety ★ Parks and recreation ★ Economic development

For an application, visit City Hall or www.templecity.us CITY OF TEMPLE CITY ★ 9701 LAS TUNAS DR., TEMPLE CITY, CA 91780 ★ (626) 285-2171


INSIDE THIS ISSUE 4 City Manager’s Message

18 FASE-ing Out Blight

Connecting you to City Hall

Setting new maintenance standards

5 Perspectives Desired changes for Temple City

22 Recreation Guide Spring 2012 classes and activities

6 Snapshots Capturing the community spirit

8 Bringing in the Wealth Using innovative financing for The Gateway

25 Play On Broadening access to recreational activities

27 A Home Lifeline

10

Miracle Miles

Offering seniors in-home services

10 Miracle Miles Making Rosemead Boulevard a destination

15 Counterparts Coffee or tea?

16 Two-Year Work Plan Upcoming projects

8

29 Ask City Hall Addressing the issue of non-English signage

30 People Meet the Chamber’s new CEO, Peter Choi

18

FASE-ing Out Blight

Bringing in the Wealth

Temple City Connect

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temple city

city manager’s message

Connection YOUR NEW

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Temple City Connect, a celebration of Temple City through a greater understanding and appreciation of the community’s issues,

TEMPLE CITY CONNECT is the City’s quarterly magazine that connects the community to City Hall.

people and projects. Appropriately, the theme of this first issue is the renaissance we are beginning to experience in Temple City. After a long, painful recession, there

EDITOR

are hopeful signs about the economy in California and the nation, and that sense of

Jose Pulido

optimism is even brighter in Temple City, where we have weathered the storm far better than most communities. Last December, as the economic storm clouds were just beginning to break, the San Gabriel Valley was struck by a windstorm of unprecedented magnitude that left most Temple City residents without power for days. It created a situation that in most American cities would have resulted in a complete deterioration of the social fabric, but

MANAGING EDITOR Brian Haworth

COPY EDITOR Roger Grody

in Temple City, there was absolutely no looting or crimes against persons—reminding

WRITERS

us that ours is a community built on the concept of strangers coming together.

Stephanie Chan Wendy Chung Jessica Hsu

Whether you look at the U.S. Census figures or simply people-watch at a local café­— it is obvious we are a community whose roots extend far beyond the San Gabriel Valley to Latin America, Asia and practically every corner of the globe. Unified by common goals and dreams—safe, attractive

Temple City is no ordinary American suburb, which is what makes life here exciting and enriching. JOSE PULIDO, CITY MANAGER

neighborhoods, schools that prepare our kids for a challenging high-tech

PHOTOGRAPHERS Jerry Jambazian Steve Scauzillo

world, and parks in which to gather

TRANSLATOR

with friends and family—Temple

Stella Yu

City residents are able to look to the future with a vision that few suburban

DESIGNER

communities in America could possibly

Fuel Creative Group

appreciate. Fully healed from a windstorm nobody will forget, despite a loss of trees that shaded years of history, Temple City is now ready to emerge from the Great Recession with a renewed anticipation of prosperity. On page 8, you’ll learn new details about The

CITY COUNCIL Vincent Yu MAYOR

Gateway, a project made possible because Temple City is one of the few small cities

Cynthia Sternquist

in the nation that has the standing to raise money internationally, at a time when

MAYOR PRO TEM

American banks are still reluctant to take risks. And on page 10, you can read about

Carl Blum

the City’s ambitious goals for Rosemead Boulevard, which will be almost exclusively

COUNCILMEMBER

funded through competitive grants successfully obtained by City staff. The State of California has eliminated community redevelopment agencies, crippling the economic development efforts of many communities. But Temple City, through an innovative City Council and staff, has been able to keep its economic development goals and dreams alive, with or without a redevelopment agency. Temple City is no ordinary American suburb, which is what makes life here exciting and enriching. The constant meeting of cultures is featured in a food-related

Fernando Vizcarra COUNCILMEMBER

Tom Chavez COUNCILMEMBER

COVER PHOTO

article on page 15, proving again just how delicious diversity can be. There is a true

Rosemead Boulevard looking toward Temple City.

renaissance afoot in Temple City, attributed to both our faith in America and our

PHOTO BY JESSICA HSU

global perspective. City of Temple City 9701 Las Tunas Dr. Temple City, CA 91780 ©2012 City of Temple City. All rights reserved. If you have questions or comments regarding our magazine, please email us at connect@templecity.us. 4

Spring 2012


temple city

perspectives

This year, the City is moving towards growth in new development projects like the Rosemead Boulevard Enhancement Project, The Gateway Temple City and the former Alpha Beta site. We were curious as to what changes the youth, residents and business owners would propose, so we asked:

“WHAT CHANGES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN TEMPLE CITY?”

BY STEPHANIE CHAN AND JESSICA HSU

“I would like more new stuff in the Teen Zone, more parks and an indoor soccer court.”

“A challenge the city faces is there are more and more Asians moving to Temple City. There’s a cultural conflict. For young CRISTIAN, 7TH GRADER AT OAK AVENUE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL people in school, they can be educated to become more “I think just revenue generation accepting and understanding because of the economy and the about different cultures. It’s way the local government is run. harder with seniors because they It’s difficult to start up a business already have their own ideas. here so it takes longer to be At least with the Senior Lunch profitable and support the city. It Program they try to introduce should be more business friendly.” some Chinese culture through the Chinese New Year lunch JERRY C., LOCAL RESIDENT celebration.” “I would like to see an amusement YENETTE, SENIOR VOLUNTEER park with rides in Temple City. And maybe different restaurants. There’s a lot of the same stuff here.”

“More sports activities for kids. More programs like Zumba so that kids can dance.”

“I think they can add more shopping places here so we get more taxes for schools.”

JOE, 7TH GRADER AT RIO HONDO

AMANDA, 7TH GRADER AT OAK

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

AVENUE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL

“I think we have over 40 vacancies here on Las Tunas, and I just want to see them filled up with businesses. I see the City is spending a lot of time on Rosemead Boulevard and also with The Gateway Project, which would eventually help me out, but I would like to see it filter down to the main corridor here and fill up those vacancies that we have.”

“What worries me…my biggest fear is if there’s a loss of transparency at City Hall. But right now, I believe the City is doing its job. My faith in the City is restored. I trust the new leadership.” BETTY, SENIOR VOLUNTEER

JERRY J., BUSINESS OWNER

ANI, 7TH GRADER AT OAK AVENUE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL

AMANDA

JERRY C.

ANI

BETTY

Temple City Connect

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temple city

snapshots

1

NOTHING CAPTURES THE SPIRIT OF A COMMUNITY LIKE PHOTOGRAPHY. FROM THE WINDSTORM OF 2011 TO THE CAMELLIA FESTIVAL, HERE ARE SOME MEMORABLE IMAGES FROM THE LAST QUARTER.

1

LUNAR NEW YEAR On Feb. 4,

the city ushered in the Year of the Dragon with its Lunar New Year celebration. Live cultural performances and a sampling of Chinese fare highlighted the enriching diversity of community life. 2 WINDSTORM OF 2011 The blustery windstorm that swept through the community the night of Nov. 30 was the city’s worst recorded natural disaster to date, uprooting hundreds of trees and causing more than $10 million in damages. 3

CAMELLIA FESTIVAL

Thousands descended on Temple City the weekend of Feb. 28 for the 68th Annual Camellia Festival. The two-day celebration included a spirited parade procession down Las Tunas Drive and a lively carnival at Temple City Park.

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Spring 2012

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3

CITY CALENDAR FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL (626) 285-2171

APRIL 7

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny & Easter Egg Hunt

9

Spring Classes begin

13 Neighborhood Watch Meeting: Area 11 14 Relay for Life

MAY 3

Sheriff’s Community Academy begins

9

Business Watch Meeting

15 Jazz in the Park 18 Neighborhood Watch Meeting: Area 10 24 Citizen’s Academy begins 28 Memorial Day (City offices closed) 31 Deadline to apply for a City commission Farmer’s Market Locally grown fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, honey, cheeses and baked goods.

every sunday

8:30 a.m.–1 p.m. City Hall 9701 Las Tunas Dr.

CITY COUNCIL AND COMMISSION MEETINGS City Council First and third Tuesdays Planning Commission Second and fourth Tuesdays Public Safety Commission Second and fourth Wednesdays Parks and Recreation Third Wednesdays Meetings begin 7:30 p.m. at 5938 Kauffman Ave. Meeting agendas and public notices can be viewed at www.templecity.us.

STAY CONNECTED Get updates on City events @ConnectwithTC

facebook.com/ConnectwithTC

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: Have you attended a recent Temple City event? Submit your favorite photos to connect@templecity.us for possible publication in our next issue.

Temple City Connect

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temple city

feature

Bringing in the Wealth In these tough economic times, a local developer creatively finances his project with overseas investors. BY JESSICA HSU

The empty lot at the northeast corner of Rosemead Boulevard and Las Tunas Drive was once home to an Edwards Cinema complex, but it has been vacant for the past seven years. Those shoppers eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next neighborhood shopping center eventually resigned themselves to the realization that it wouldn’t be coming anytime soon, and moved on to nearby centers and strip malls. The Applebee’s, Starbucks and T.J. Maxx at Temple City Market Place pull in regular customers, as do the Kmart, Office Depot and Denny’s at Temple City Plaza. There is an abundance of retailers and restaurants

The reinvented development is called The Gateway Temple City. 8

Spring 2012

near this bustling intersection, so it seemed unusual for such a promising site to be overgrown with weeds. The original plan for the property was a dense mixed-use development referred to as the “Piazza.” It was intended for 125,000 square feet of commercial space and 58 residential units, but in 2008 the project wound up in a controversial litigation that resulted in bribery charges filed against former Temple City mayors Catherine Wilson and Judy Wong. As part of the settlement, developer Randy Wang agreed to void the project’s development agreement and to work with the City in moving the project to a new chapter.

In 2011, Wang presented a reinvented development called The Gateway Temple City. It is a plan to accommodate a major national retailer, two restaurant pads, office spaces and underground parking in 79,000 square feet of Mediterranean architecture. The Gateway, said Wang, was so named to represent the first major retail development to arrive in Temple City’s commercial corridors in over two decades. It is expected to offer exciting shopping and dining opportunities, revitalize the local economy and stimulate additional development in the city. The development process for The Gateway is fairly typical, in that it is absolutely dependent on the availability of financing. Any commercial project lacking the initial startup capital and subsequent funds will be indefinitely delayed, regardless of the degree of government support or community enthusiasm. That is why this prime 3.7acre site has remained vacant—along with countless others in Southern California—as developers patiently wait for banks to begin lending more aggressively. Wang and his senior project manager, Howard Poyourow, had a definitive plan in the works for The Gateway, but faced the challenge of getting the project off the ground as a result of the national recession. Given the extreme riskaversion of American financial institutions, the partners have had to consider alternative financing options.


This vacant but prime site will soon be home to Temple City’s newest commercial development in over 20 years.

Even in light of a sluggish but persistent economic recovery, banks have been slow in lending money to local commercial projects, forcing property owners and developers to find unconventional financing strategies or sit on their vacant lands for months or years to come. Seeking a creative financial solution, Wang capitalized on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, an exchange of U.S. permanent residency for foreigners who invest half a million dollars in a new U.S. commercial enterprise. The federal government established EB-5 in 1990 as a potential source of capital, but the program’s popularity has dramatically increased in the past decade, following China’s economic boom and the recent recession. In October 2010, The Gateway project received approval from the U.S. government to raise foreign investment through EB-5. “This is a fortuitous source of funding in an economy essentially closed to new projects,” said Poyourow. Of the target $21 million to fund The Gateway, roughly $11.5 million has been raised in the past two years from 23 investors. Wang and Poyourow went on an investment mission to Shanghai and Nanjing earlier this year to further promote the project to potential investors, and another $2 million is under consideration. The bulk of funds for The Gateway are predominantly coming from Chinese and Taiwanese investors, who have wealth and appreciate the relative safety of American real estate investments like The Gateway. The promise of a green card and the possibility for high returns are strong incentives for Chinese investors, and the EB-5 is an innovative strategy to obtain funds that are currently unavailable in the U.S. When making the decision to direct assets into another country, foreign investors will

naturally seek opportunities that mitigate their risk. It is important to note that EB-5 is a detailed, time-consuming process in which investments must satisfy the demands of two sovereign nations. Chinese investors have the money to invest in new businesses, and they are very strategic with their investments. They target projects with a high probability of success and focus on cities they know the most about.

The project is estimated to create nearly 600 jobs, $200,000 in property tax per year and $50,000 in annual sales tax revenue. In the U.S., the funds from China are flowing into cities along the East and West coasts where large communities of Chinese immigrants thrive. The Gateway was able to secure interest from Chinese investors because it is a commercial project in the greater Los Angeles area, where precedence already exists for international trade and investment. Temple City, because of its large Chinese-American population, is a community familiar to many Chinese investors, and is one of the few suburban cities in America with the standing to attract this kind of foreign investment. Wang and Poyourow’s business model for The Gateway is to stimulate economic growth and development in Temple City by bringing in national retailers and restaurants, similar to what Temple City Market Place and Temple City Plaza have done. The entrepreneurial duo is committed to this type of center, as opposed to one that is more oriented toward ethnic businesses, because consumers

generally demand iconic national brands. These recognizable tenants cast a broad net for customers, and it can be expected that even one major establishment will result in the influx of many more complementary businesses. Since The Gateway will be built in a highly trafficked corridor for shopping and dining, a substantial customer base of over 120,000 persons is already in place. The next steps required to bring the project to life are the raising of remaining funds and finalizing negotiations with interested national tenants who “guarantee the finances and the success of the project,” according to Poyourow. The project is estimated to create nearly 600 jobs, $200,000 in property tax per year, and $50,000 in annual sales tax revenue for Temple City. All plans for The Gateway project were submitted to the City in November 2011, and grading plans are currently in plan check. The project’s development will be a two-part process, with excavation and construction of the underground parking facility this year, followed by construction of the center itself next year. The community can look forward to the site’s ultimate transformation when the shopping center is completed in August 2013. None of this would have been possible without a creative, resourceful development team, Temple City leaders and staff that encourage innovation, and a community that has a global reputation. The Gateway will finally take its place as the epicenter of a vibrant new Temple City economy. NOTE: This article was written in March 2012, and reflects facts and figures that were verified at that time. Circumstances may change during the course of financing and development.

Temple City Connect

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temple city

feature

Miracle

Miles

Community Involvement Transforms Rosemead Boulevard Into a Place BY WENDY CHUNG AND ROGER GRODY 10

Spring 2012


T

emple City Bike Shop manager Ron McKiernan loves cycling. Between his daily work commutes, recreational rides and occasional errand runs, the local resident covers about 250 miles a week on his two wheels. So when the City unveiled its Rosemead Boulevard Safety Enhancement and Beautification Project—complete with a dedicated bike lane stretching down the nearly two-mile strip of asphalt—one might have expected McKiernan to be ecstatic. Instead, he was one of the proposal’s more vocal critics. “There’s not a street I don’t ride, but Rosemead’s one I’ve always kind of shied away from—just because it’s very high traffic with a lot of big commercial trucks,” he said. “My main concern was for the younger, inexperienced riders. If your kids or grandkids are riding on that road—and they may not be the very best of bike handlers— well, you’ve got big rigs passing by at 40 to 45 miles an hour.” Councilmember Carl Blum remembers the opposition to what at the time were essentially perceived as “honorary” bike lanes. “We had a community meeting and people came in and said, ‘Are you kidding me? I’m not going to ride my bike with all these cars speeding down! I’m not going to use it just because you paint some stripes down the street. I’m not going to ride my bike; my kids aren’t going to ride their bikes—so I don’t know why you’re doing it!’” These are the kinds of concerns often voiced when a major street improvement project is proposed and debated. But the Rosemead Boulevard Project is much more than an ordinary public works project. While it certainly accommodates the needs of motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders, it does what very few ribbons of asphalt are capable of doing—creating a sense of place.

Assuming control of the boulevard was part of a strategy to use the thoroughfare as an economic development tool, a concept that would face many challenges along the way. Having received only $386,000 as part of the transfer agreement, it was clear the City was going nowhere fast with the Caltrans funds alone. To put things into perspective, the county’s recent enhancements on a two-anda-half mile stretch of the boulevard north of the city cost $10 million. While the economic development theory was a worthy one, the previous Temple City administration proceeded to initiate a relatively modest project, comprised primarily of repaving and restriping, with minor aesthetic improvements thrown in for window dressing. The project lacked vision and failed to recognize Rosemead Boulevard’s full potential as a landmark that could unite, rather than divide, the city. The project’s frugality may have been admirable—it was originally budgeted for just $4 million at a time when $6 million was on hand—but the uninspired design would do very little to change Rosemead Boulevard’s image as an unwelcome swatch of asphalt slicing through the fabric of Temple City. This original plan narrowly addressed a transportation corridor most valued by non-residents passing through the city. The approach should have been to transform Rosemead Boulevard into an asset for residents and visitors making Temple City their destination. What was needed was a place, not just another street.

DETOURS & DELAYS That same year, the community was rocked by bribery allegations involving three members

of the City Council that ultimately led to a shakeup at City Hall. Despite the installation of four new Council members—Tom Chavez, Vincent Yu, Cynthia Sternquist and Blum—and the hiring of a new management team, the mood within the community was, understandably, one of distrust. “Our citizens basically lost confidence in our elected officials,” said Chavez. “There was no question about that.” In an effort to rebuild that trust, Chavez and his colleagues developed a set of ethics protocols for City officials, while putting into place new practices promoting governmental transparency. Among other things, the City opened up meetings to encourage community involvement. Meanwhile, a commitment to high professional standards by both the City Council and the new administrative leadership created an optimistic environment in which strategic and ambitious thinking was encouraged. Together, these moves would shape the Rosemead Boulevard Project. Throughout the 2008 scandal and years afterward, City officials worked steadily on healing and rebuilding City Hall’s relationship with the community. In the meantime, the previous Council’s plans for Rosemead Boulevard were quietly progressing through the design phase. When Blum was appointed in November 2010, the first thing he did was ask about the status of the project. As a retired civil engineer and former Deputy Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, the councilmember took a natural interest in Rosemead Boulevard. “The answer I got was it’s ready to go to bids in a month or two,” he recalls. “But when I saw the plans, I thought, ‘Whoa.

DESTINATION: ROSEMEAD BLVD. In 2008, the City acquired the section of Rosemead Boulevard between Callita Street and Pentland Street assuming control over the corridor from Caltrans. Because the City inherited complete responsibility for maintenance, many in the community believed it got the short end of the deal. However, the exciting future of the roadway was placed squarely under local jurisdiction. Temple City Connect

11


We ain’t anywhere close to where we’ve gotta go.’ There was really not much direction. We were essentially doing some repaving work, with nothing to address the sidewalks, and really nothing addressing anything. So at that point, we stopped and said, ‘Time out. Put it on hold.’”

ROAD TO NOWHERE? For Temple City residents who’d been hopeful for even a slight transformation of Rosemead Boulevard, having the project grind to a sudden halt was disappointing. But, as Blum firmly asserts, the modest vision for the corridor, as laid out in the original concept, did not align with the future of Temple City as articulated by residents of the community. It represented a conservative, unimaginative approach that perpetuated much of the nondescript suburban environment found throughout Southern California. The new team at City Hall envisioned much more. Blum also recounted a new spirit developing among residents, voiced in surveys and at public meetings. “People said, ‘We want restaurants and places we can shop in town. We don’t like going to Monrovia. We don’t like going to Old Town Pasadena. We don’t like going to Alhambra. We enjoy those, but we want them here.’” As a reaction to the past lack of transparency, the new Council was anxious to cultivate this new Rosemead Boulevard Project as a true communitydriven endeavor. “This project came at a time when we had just celebrated our 50th Anniversary, but frankly, it was also a low-point in the history of Temple City,” explains Yu— who, as a professional architect, serves with Blum to represent the Council on the project’s standing committee. “People were really looking forward to something new happening—something that would bring

the community together.” A bold, ambitious redesign of Rosemead Boulevard would prove to serve that purpose. What may be the single most impressive thing about the Rosemead Boulevard Project is its role as a potential catalyst for economic development, a lofty and unconventional expectation for a street. The appropriate amenities could transform the boulevard into a focal point for commerce and community life, reestablishing itself as a bona fide attraction. People who have been driving right through Temple City for years might be tempted to stop for the first time, discovering the City’s commercial opportunities and rich blend of cultures. Enhanced improvements for both motorists and pedestrians could draw visitors into adjoining commercial centers while encouraging locals to stay in town, rather than spending their money elsewhere. Furthermore, a massive public investment might amplify the message that City Hall is committed to the community’s quality of life, a statement that could spur additional investment from the private sector. With the right design, using Rosemead Boulevard as an economic development tool emerged as a viable strategy. The potential for a world-class project, a much more ambitious approach than was previously attempted, struck a chord with the community. As part of the new protocols for increased governmental transparency, the City engaged the public by holding community meetings about the project in both Chinese and English. As Yu recalls, total attendance at the first information session numbered about 200. Landscape architect Steve Smith of Gruen & Associates, the City’s contracted design team, observes, “Compared to other communities I’ve seen, this outpouring of support was phenomenal.”

“We thought, well maybe it was a one-time fluke. But at the second meeting—same number, even more,” he said. “We were impressed. The residents seem very, very involved; very interested in participating and definitely very excited about this project.”

ROUTE TO THE FUTURE With new leadership at City Hall and support from residents, the reinvented plan for Rosemead Boulevard is more ambitious and more costly, with the stakes raised from $6 million to more than $18 million. But the new project transcends street improvements, creating that elusive sense of place. In terms of safety, it applies state-of-the-art technology to pedestrian crossings, incorporates eco-friendly rubberized asphalt and seamlessly interfaces with mass transit—all firsts in Temple City. Further enhancing the concept of sustainable community are protected bike lanes—part of the City’s newly drawn 29-mile network of master-planned cycling pathways. As it turns out, the proposed bike amenities—which offer a physical barrier between cyclists and automotive traffic— have proven to be one of the more exciting components of the Rosemead Boulevard Project. “We thought we were just providing a traditional bike lane. But what started out as a very modest approach actually became a major, cutting-edge element of the project,” explains Smith, noting that Temple City will be only the second city in Southern California, after Long Beach, to have them. Not surprisingly, the incorporation of this feature was the result of the community’s expressed concern over the dangers of cycling alongside speeding traffic on a 100-foot-wide highway. For local cyclists like McKiernan—who tended to avoid Rosemead Boulevard because of its high traffic volume and popularity with big rigs—this feature was considered a lifesaver—literally. “With

%

ROADWORK AHEAD While large undertakings like the Rosemead Boulevard Project can sometimes spend more than three years in the design phase alone, the City hopes to complete the highway enhancement within that same timeframe.

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Spring 2012

12 MONTHS

10 MONTHS

2 MONTHS

PRE-DESIGN

DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION

BID

2010: Council begins to develop new concept for Rosemead Boulevard.

18 MONTHS

1 MONTH

CONSTRUCTION

CLOSEOUT

APRIL 2012: Final plans drawn, the City is in the process of clearing regulatory hurdles, before contracting builders to begin construction.

EARLY 2014: Slated completion date.


Pedestrian amenities, a protected bike lane, public art installations and added greenery will transform Rosemead Boulevard from an unsightly thoroughfare into vibrant destination and gathering place.

something like this to make riders feel safe, I think we’ll see more people getting on bikes,” he predicts. While the protected bike lanes will certainly be a welcome addition, the heart of this project is really about promoting multimodality, thereby improving mobility, access and safety for all—cyclists, pedestrians, transit riders and drivers. Of the project’s $18 million-plus budget, only two percent comes from the General Fund. The vast majority is represented by competitive grants, secured in recognition of the project’s dedication to promoting a livable, sustainable community. By creating options for walking and biking, installing public furniture and providing

generous landscaping, the project’s design encourages people to get out of their cars and explore the neighborhood. In addition, plans for public art along the boulevard will celebrate the City’s history and cultures, further proclaiming it as a place to explore, not simply a stretch of asphalt. Taken together, the new enhancements will provide unique opportunities for the community to experience the public spaces created along the corridor. As the primary north-south route through Temple City, Rosemead Boulevard has the potential to emerge as a suitable gateway to the community. The difference between the new, more expensive project and the

original modest proposal is dramatic. While the original project would have maintained Rosemead Boulevard as a benefit only to motorists cutting through the community, the more ambitious project is oriented toward Temple City residents or anybody, making the city a destination. Now, when one enters Temple City, it will register as a community worth exploring and participating in, rather than simply passing through. Ultimately, not only will residents experience an enhanced quality of life, but local businesses can expect to benefit from the transformation of Rosemead Boulevard into a regional destination—and an inviting public place.

Temple City Connect

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FULL SPEED AHEAD For local residents anxious to see progress on Rosemead Boulevard, it may come as a surprise that the project has actually been speeding along. According to Blum, who has worked on long-range projects throughout his career with County Public Works, what the City has achieved in a year-and-a-half usually takes three to five years. “What normally happens when you’re just grinding it through a bureaucracy is one thing gets done, it’s handed to the next person. They do their thing, the next does their thing—and pretty soon, three, four, five years have passed,” he explains. “There’s no question it’s easier that way. Here, we’re stacking up all this stuff moving them at once, so we’ve really got to be paying attention.” According to Project Manager Kristi Twilley, the Rosemead Boulevard Project

includes a five-page, 200-item to-do list. Twilley and her team conduct weekly meetings and coordinate communication with the multitude of groups tied to the project—including City staff, designers, consultants, utility companies, surrounding municipalities, affected commercial interests and regulatory agencies. “This project has had such a bad reputation, because the community had been hearing about it for such a long time,” said Twilley. “So we know everyone’s skeptical— thinking, ‘Sure you’re going to do it. We’ll believe it when we see it.’ That’s why it’s so important for us to hold our commitment.” Within the next few months, the construction contract will go out to bid. The project is scheduled to break ground in late summer, with anticipated completion in approximately 18 months. However,

Rosemead Boulevard today (left) and its anticipated transformation in 2014 (below).

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Spring 2012

as Twilley admits, because so many interdependent components are involved, a glitch with some elements on the project’s lengthy to-do list can stall the entire project. As for Blum, he’s eager to see the project completed. “If you drag it too long something changes. The economy changes, people change, rules change, laws change, funding changes and then you can’t make it happen,” he said. “So when you’ve got the window of opportunity, you’ve got to go like heck to make it happen. We’ve just got to stay focused and push hard until we get it built.” SEE THE PLANS Plans for the Rosemead Boulevard Safety Enhancement and Beautification Project may be viewed on the City’s website, www.templecity.us. For more information, call (626) 285-2171.


temple city

counterparts

OTHER HOTSPOTS

Coffee or Tea? BY STEPHANIE CHAN AND JESSICA HSU

On nearly every street corner, you can find an establishment that offers an extensive menu of teas and coffees. The standing debate among tea and coffee lovers is which staple beverage is better, but we don’t like to judge. Whether you prefer a cup of Joe or tea, here are a few spots in Temple City.

Boba Express 9654 Las Tunas Dr. Boba Link 9566 Las Tunas Dr. Cloverleaf Coffee & Bakery 9475 Las Tunas Dr.

FOR COFFEE LOVERS:

FOR TEA LOVERS:

CAFÉ ROULE

TENJU TEA HOUSE

Roadhouse Coffee Stop 5725 Rosemead Blvd. Starbucks 5705 Rosemead Blvd. Tea Station 9578 Las Tunas Dr.

About two-and-a-half years ago, local entrepreneur and resident Megan Pan opened Café Roule on Las Tunas Drive. She has become an expert in coffee, after falling in love with it while working at Starbucks. “My husband persuaded me to pursue my own coffee business, so I talked to coffee masters and went to tastings,” she explains. Pan was taught how quality coffee is supposed to taste and has trained her palate like a connoisseur. Currently she makes her drinks with high-end coffee beans from L.A.’s acclaimed coffee boutique, LAMILL. Café Roule’s clientele is primarily young professionals, college students or recent graduates. “In the mornings, I usually have moms and dads who come in for a cup of coffee…It’s a good balance of people,” says Pan. She is told by regulars that her shop is often referred to as “the café” in Temple City. “If their friends ask them where they’re going and they say ‘the café,’ they know exactly what they’re talking about,” says a proud Pan, adding, “It makes me very happy…I feel so accomplished.”

In October 2004, owner Albert Long opened Tenju Tea House on Rosemead Boulevard after buying it from the shop’s previous owner. Making tea is not as easy as it sounds, which is why Long studied on his own and became a self-taught tea master. “When I first took over Tenju, there weren’t many items on the menu, but after learning more about different teas, I started introducing a wider variety of blends to the tea house,” he says. The most popular tea blend is the Monk’s Blend, which Long created himself. “The customer base is very local,” says Long, adding, “It’s mostly students from Temple City High School and Pasadena City College, but there are some professionals as well…It’s a place for casual business gatherings, too.” Long appreciates the fact that Tenju attracts students to come and study, as well as young professionals to hang out and kick back. “They spend a lot of time here,” he says, noting with some satisfaction, “Some people who used to study here all the time are now doctors and lawyers!”

Café Roule 9153 Las Tunas Dr. (626) 872-1188 www.caferoule.com

Tenju Tea House 5817 Rosemead Blvd. (626) 287-2888 www.tenjuteahouse.com

Connect recommends: The hazelnut latte, white mocha or Vietnamese coffee.

Connect recommends: The Monk’s Blend, milk green tea or the rose black tea.

boba

NO, THOSE AREN’T COFFEE BEANS IN YOUR CUP They’re boba—and 100 percent edible! Made from tapioca starch, boba is a versatile “condiment” that can add a unique chewy textural dimension to any drink experience. The treat was first popularized in Taichung, Taiwan in the 1980s, in its most pervasive form—as the dark brown, marble-sized balls floating in pearl milk teas and bubble teas. Since then the boba craze has taken off. They are now served in fruit-infused beverages, slushies—even as a topping on shaved ice. For the more adventurous, look for boba in new colors, flavors, sizes and varieties. Anyone want to try juice-injected “popping boba?”

Temple City Connect

15


temple city

feature

TWO-YEAR

WORK PROGRAM BY JESSICA HSU

Looking into the future of Temple City, we can observe the physical transformation of the community in conjunction with different civic needs at different times. Of course, we cannot predict the social, political and economic constraints that may occur in the distant future, but we can presume that the overall development of the city will be profoundly influenced by the actions we take in the near term. Based on the City’s ambitious Two-Year Work Program, we’ve plotted eight of 80 major initiatives that correspond with eight primary goals, listed below. While the long-term vision for Temple City is the inspiration for these goals and initiatives, the real power lies in what we accomplish in the forthcoming months and years.

PRIMARY GOALS MAJOR INITIATIVES

16

Spring 2012

PUBLIC SAFETY STRATEGIC PLAN SHERIFF’S STATION

ROSEMEAD BOULEVARD

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

AM RADIO STATION

VISION AND LONG RANGE PLANNING

PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY

PARKS AND OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN

PUBLIC SAFETY STRATEGIC PLAN

Temple City parks and recreational facilities are struggling to meet high community demand for use and programs. This long range plan, along with recreational reprogramming, will guide and help fund the construction of additional parks, public spaces and facilities.

The City is committed to ensuring public safety in Temple City neighborhoods. The alignment of efforts with local law enforcement will help reduce response times, enhance community awareness and define common safety goals.


The Two-Year Work Program is a document that outlines eight goals and 80 initiatives to unfold over the next few years in Temple City. It will be available to download on www.templecity.us, beginning May 2012.

ALPHA BETA SITE REUSE

GRANT WRITING TEAM

L CIT Y HAL

S L AS TUNA

DRIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE AND CROSS-TRAINING

BALDWIN

TRAFFIC CALMING MASTER PLAN

AVENUE

PARKS AND OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN

SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE

BASIC CITY SERVICES

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

COMMUNICATIONS/ CITIZEN EDUCATION

QUALITY OF LIFE

FISCAL POLICIES

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

CUSTOMER SERVICE AND CROSS-TRAINING

ALPHA BETA SITE REUSE

AM RADIO STATION

TRAFFIC CALMING MASTER PLAN

GRANT WRITING TEAM

The City will program traffic calming strategies to slow speeds through neighborhoods and better manage traffic flow along major streets like Las Tunas Drive. The citywide improvements will create a multimodal environment where pedestrians, vehicles and bicycles can harmoniously coexist.

Many projects in Temple City are funded by federal, state and local grants. The City’s establishment of a grant writing team will expand funding opportunities, leverage existing resources and lessen dependency on the General Fund.

Beginning with new streetlights on Rosemead Boulevard, the City is taking a first step towards improving energy efficiency throughout the city. LED and meta-fuel lighting are estimated to save 30 percent in energy costs.

Local government should provide excellent customer service for the community. Mandatory annual City staff trainings will set present standards and future expectations for a high level of customer service.

The Alpha Beta site has been vacant for 24 years, but negotiations are underway to transform it into a mixed-use development. Retail, parking and housing opportunities will eliminate the site’s underuse.

The launch of an AM radio station will provide citizens with information on community events, traffic information, road advisories and emergency bulletins. The radio station will also be a critical information tool during construction of the Rosemead Boulevard Project.

Temple City Connect

17


temple city

neighborhoods

BY WENDY CHUNG AND ROGER GRODY

ROSEMEAD BOULEVARD

TEMPLE CITY

N A S DR L AS TU

IVE

On a typical day, Community Preservation Officers Viet Tran, Rommel Delagarza and Jonathan Aceves log about 11 miles patrolling more than a hundred blocks of local residential streets. Donning official City uniforms, these three might easily be mistaken for parking control officers—but what they’re looking for are property deficiencies that prevent Temple City neighborhoods from looking their best.

Already inspected

18

Spring 2012


NEW NAME, NEW PHILOSOPHY Like most municipalities, Temple City has operated a “Code Enforcement” function for many years, charged with citing—and ultimately, if necessary, prosecuting— violators of property maintenance regulations. But the old-school concept of enforcement has been phased out in favor of the more progressive Community Preservation Division, now part of the City’s Community Development Department. The change in name reflects a change in philosophy. Rather than simply cracking down on violators, the role of Community Preservation encompasses a wide range of activities, not the least of which is education. The intent is to work with residents, rather than against them, toward the goals of enhancing property values, increasing civic pride and improving quality of life. Officers Tran, Delagarza and Aceves are not just enforcers, but educators as well. One way in which the Preservation team has begun undertaking its new, interactive approach is by implementing the Focus Area Systematic Enforcement (FASE) Program, which involves conducting a citywide assessment of property conditions. The effort targets the most common and easily resolved violations that can otherwise detract from a community’s aesthetics and drag down property values. Through FASE, officers survey properties to identify instances of inadequate maintenance, as well as work with property owners to address such problems as overgrown vegetation, inoperable vehicles and visible trash cans. A high priority is placed on collaborating with cooperative homeowners, rather than simply enforcing an ordinance. As Community Preservation Supervisor Robert Sahagun explains, “Many residents may not be aware how properties should be maintained.” His staff can help them comply with current regulations and enhance their homes’ appearance and value. While the City has always had property maintenance standards, they had not been comprehensively updated in almost 50 years. In reality, the standards were from another era and lacked relevance to current Temple City residents. Most homeowners were unfamiliar with the obsolete code—many did not even know it existed— and the City’s expectations of compliance were never effectively communicated. As a result, enforcement was practically impossible, but existing violations were taking their toll on the City’s economy. Assistant to the City Manager Brian Haworth explains that the appearance of a community’s neighborhoods can have a very significant impact on its investment value to national chain retailers or restaurants, like Target and Olive Garden. These companies apply very sophisticated criteria to their decisions on where to locate, including considerations that go beyond quantifiable factors like household income. Even if they are impressed by Temple City’s median home value—well over $500,000—corporate

executives are likely to explore neighborhoods to get impressions not obvious from the numbers. “They do drive local neighborhoods to assess whether residents might support the type of consumer base they seek,” says Haworth, adding, “If homes are dilapidated or unkempt, these prospective investors may unfairly assume that our residents do not have the disposable income to even mow their lawns.” Last year, the City began to overhaul its code enforcement program to support its expanded economic development goals. To make Temple City more competitive with neighboring San Gabriel Valley communities, staff has aggressively emphasized bringing in new national retailers, while working just as hard to retain the high quality enterprises already doing business here. Because healthy neighborhoods complement vibrant commercial districts, Community Preservation is an effective economic development strategy. But to apply the desired property standards to a community that had undergone dramatic changes over the past half-century, it was essential to rewrite the code itself, eliminating ambiguities and making it more understandable to local residents—the very people who are expected to comply. One problem that plagued the former code was a lack of specificity in its language. “There were no quantifiable measures or definitions on which officers could positively issue citations,” reports Sahagun. “We identified that you couldn’t have ‘tall grass.’ But how tall is ‘tall grass’? An inch? Two inches? Ten inches? It was impossible to know.” This type of ambiguity made it difficult for officers to equitably and fairly apply the regulations to all property owners. “Under previous management teams, officers couldn’t write citations without the City Manager’s permission, couldn’t act on anonymous reports and were restricted to acting only on resident complaints,” said Sahagun. “For example, if an officer were driving down the street and saw something on the way to enforce something else—he had no authority to stop and handle it. The City was really hamstrung in how it could enforce the code.”

FROM CONFRONTATION TO COOPERATION Since coming onboard, Sahagun has overseen a transition from the function of enforcement, which is essentially a confrontational concept, to the new philosophy of Community Preservation, which emphasizes cooperation between the City and its residents. “We’ve gone from a totally reactive approach to one that’s completely proactive,” he explains, citing the Division’s emphasis on community outreach and public information to encourage compliance. While institutionalizing a new spirit of cooperation, Sahagun began the process of amending the entire set of the City’s property maintenance regulations—an undertaking which requires a painstaking, line-by-line review of a more than 400-page document. Coupled

Focus Area Systematic Enforcement (FASE) Program

COMMON VIOLATIONS Here’s a list of the Top 5 code violations addressed by the FASE Program and tips for proper property maintenance.

VISIBLE TRASHCANS After collection, promptly take in trashcans and store them from public view.

UNKEMPT LANDSCAPE Maintain lawns and landscape. Grass should be no taller than six inches; weeds and debris should be removed.

INOPERABLE VEHICLES Keep any inoperable vehicles in your garage or a private storage facility.

VISIBLE HOUSEHOLD ITEMS Children’s toys, furniture, cleaning items, appliances, etc., should be kept inside the home, garage or toolshed.

PEELING PAINT A fresh coat of paint not only improves home appearance, but prevents water infiltration—which can lead to wood rot and mold.

Temple City Connect

19


with updating the residential property maintenance section of the City’s Municipal Code, the FASE Program was launched last September in an effort to educate residents on the new regulations. As a result, the chronic problem afflicting most government agencies— that of creating new regulations while failing to provide adequate information about how to comply with them—was averted. Temple City leaders were adamant about providing extensive outreach and education to make the new regulations easier to live with. By now, many homes have received courtesy door tags, issued during initial FASE inspections. The tags—more advisory notices than citations—provide information in both English and Chinese on the most common yet easily correctable code violations: tall grass, weeds, trash and debris, inadequate landscaping, clotheslines in front yards, inoperable vehicles and visible trash cans. Sahagun assures residents, “These notices are not citations, but an effort to educate the public on the City’s new property maintenance standards.” Resolving the relatively minor problems targeted by FASE can transform a property, and ultimately, entire neighborhood. “We know that most violations come from residents simply not knowing the regulations,” says Sahagun. By educating the community on the rules, the hope is to obtain voluntary compliance by property owners who genuinely care about their neighborhoods. “We all love Temple City, we all want quiet, safer neighborhoods and a great quality of life—so we want to work with you,” explains Sahagun. While he acknowledges the City has the legal authorization to cite, fine and prosecute, he insists that kind of hardball approach is contrary to the overall philosophy and spirit of community preservation. Voluntary compliance by homeowners, streamlined through educational interactions with staff, is the City’s preferred process.

HOUSE BY HOUSE, BLOCK BY BLOCK “At the end of the day, 20 percent of your efforts yield 80 percent of your results,” Sahagun says. “The items we identified on the tag are the easiest things a resident can fix to make a neighborhood look nicer.” In fact, many resources are available in helping residents correct violations.

FASE IN How the FASE program works to better our community

20

Spring 2012

For instance, the City’s contract with Athens Services includes free bulky-item pickup; the County provides free e-waste disposal; and the City hosts annual compost giveaways for local gardeners. So far, officers have issued more than 700 courtesy notices. Of that number, the community has responded with a 75 percent voluntary compliance rate, reflecting a high degree of individual and civic responsibility. “People in Temple City already have great pride of ownership. It’s the few who don’t that can bring down entire neighborhoods. And that’s what we’re up against,” says Sahagun. Looking ahead, Sahagun is working on amending maintenance regulations for commercial properties. The plan is to launch a separate FASE program for the business corridors by next year, addressing signage, storefront façades, deterioration and blight, and excessive window coverage by posters or temporary signs. In the meantime, officers are busy trying to achieve their goal of surveying all Temple City homes within the next 18 months. So far, the team has reached about 20 percent of its target, which is remarkable given that there are only three officers available to survey 13,000 housing units. About 200 properties per month are assessed by officers using a door-by-door approach. Naturally, the most egregious violations are addressed first, but an attempt to hit every address in the city is underway. “It’s an ambitious undertaking,” Sahagun admits, “but we’re always up for a challenge!”

LEARN, COMPLY AND REPORT Residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the City’s newly revised property maintenance standards. For a copy of the City’s Municipal Code with new property maintenance regulations, visit www.templecity.us. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on the FASE Program or to report a property maintenance violation in your neighborhood, call the Community Preservation Division at (626) 285-2171. To report after-hours illegal construction, leave a message on the Community Preservation Hotline at (626) 285-5240.

Education

Cooperation

Enhancement

Through FASE, the Community Preservation Division works with the public to observe new property maintenance standards.

Courtesy notices in both English and Chinese maximize community reach in targeting the most common yet easily fixed violations (see page 19).

Improved properties enhance a neighborhood’s look, feel and value—making the City a more attractive place for new investment.

Officers tag properties identified as lacking in maintenance. Owners have 14 days to ask questions and correct violations. Nonresponsive properties receive official code compliance notices as warnings. Owners have another 14 days. Continued inaction results in citation. Fines for code violations typically start at $100. Lack of compliance or evasion of payment may result in increased penalty fees or legal action in pursuit of cooperation.


Are you ready to face your fears?

FUN fears, that is!

Spring camp

Spring zone

For Kinder through 5 thGraders

For 6 th through 8 th Graders

Spring break is here and kids are invited to hang out for a fun-filled “Fear Factor” themed week! This epic week will be packed with wild field trips that test your adrenaline, sports and games that get your blood pumping, and other cool activities that are sure to make your heart race! Have you ever eaten worms from dirt using just your teeth? (Gummy worms from Oreo cookie crumbs, of course!) We didn’t think so!

WHEN: April 2-6 and April 9-13, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

So come face your FUN fears this spring break... because staying home alone is just SCARY.

COST: For Spring Camp, $95/child/week For Spring Zone, $80/child/week (Additional fee will apply for field trips) OTHER: Visit Live Oak Park Annex to register. For more information, call (626) 285-2171, ext. 2360

Temple City Connect

21


recreation guide

Get Active!

temple city

Don’t just stand there! Get your body moving and your brain thinking with stimulating classes offered by our Parks and Recreation Department.

22

Spring 2012

Sign up for classes starting March 15 online at www.templecity.us or by mailing in completed registration forms, which can be obtained at Live Oak Park Community Center, 10144 Bogue Street, Temple City. In-person enrollment begins March 19 at the community center. Incomplete applications or checks may result in failed enrollment. Space is limited, so reserve your spot early! For more information, call the Parks and Recreation Department at (626) 579-0461. Classes begin the week of April 9 at Live Oak Park unless otherwise noted. No class will be held May 28 in observance of Memorial Day.


Youth and Adult Activities

TINY TOTS / Sarah Nichols Tiny Tots Toddlers can build social skills, make new friends and learn independence in this fun program. Learn while experiencing music, art projects and group activities. Children must be at least 3 years old and potty-trained by the first class. In-person registration required; bring proof of birth date and immunization record.

DANCE

CODE 8533 8534

BALLET AND TAP / Shekinah Glory School of Dance

TYPING AND MICROSOFT WORD / AGI Academy

Lively music and classical steps introduce children to the art of dance. Ballet and tap shoes required. Family members allowed during 2 year-old class only.

Microsoft Word is not just for writing reports. Discover ways to create art and exciting graphics. Participants learn word processing, as well as basic computer terms and usage. $10 lab fee due at first class.

CODE 8509 8510 8511 8512 8513

DATES 4/13-6/1 4/13-6/1 4/13-6/1 4/13-6/1 4/13-6/1

AGE 2 yrs. 3 yrs. 4-5 yrs. 6-8 yrs. 8+ yrs.

DAY F F F F F

TIME 1:30-2 p.m. 2-2:30 p.m. 3:15-4 p.m. 4-4:45 p.m. 4:45-5:45 p.m.

FEE $50 $50 $60 $60 $60

CODE 8524

DATES 4/9-6/21 4/10-6/22

DATES 4/13-6/15

AGE 3-5 yrs. 3-5 yrs.

AGE 8+ yrs.

DAY M/W/F T/Th

DAY F

TIME FEE 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $325 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $235

TIME 7-8 p.m.

FEE $130

FITNESS

BALLROOM DANCE / Dance with Virginia

45+ CARDIO DANCE & STRENGTH TRAINING / Amy’s Health & Fitness

Learn the basics of the Foxtrot and Tango. Singles and couples welcome. Leather or plastic-soled shoes required.

Burn calories as you build strength through a fusion of low-impact, high-energy dance and exercise. Bring two light hand weights (2-3 lbs. each).

CODE 8515 8516

CODE 8500 8501 8502

DATES 4/11-5/30 4/11-5/30

LEVEL Beg. Int./Adv.

AGE 16+ yrs. 16+ yrs.

DAY W W

TIME 7-8 p.m. 8:15-9:15 p.m.

FEE $45 $45

LINE DANCE / Bill Chang Step into this old Western dance—with a twist! Learn basic line dancing set to country and noncountry music. Level I for beginners, levels II and III for experienced dancers. Comfortable shoes needed. Sign up for two or more line dance sessions and receive a discount. CODE 8517 8518 8519 8520 8521 8522 8523

DATES 4/13-6/15 4/13-6/15 4/10-6/12 4/9-6/18 4/12-6/14 4/10-6/12 4/11-6/13

LEVEL Level II Level III Level II Level I Level II Level I Level I

AGE 15+ yrs. 15+ yrs. 15+ yrs. 15+ yrs. 15+ yrs. 15+ yrs. 15+ yrs.

DAY F F T M Th T W

TIME 6:20-7:50 p.m. 8-9:30 p.m. 7:30-9 p.m. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. 9-10:30 a.m. 6-7:30 p.m. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

FEE $55 $55 $55 $55 $55 $55 $55

DATES 4/9-6/18 4/11-6/13 4/9-6/18

AGE 45+ yrs. 45+ yrs. 45+ yrs.

DAY M W M/W

TIME 8:15-9:45 a.m. 8:15-9:45 a.m. 8:15-9:45 a.m.

FEE $40 $40 $68

CARDIO & FUN BELLY DANCE WORKOUT / Amy’s Health & Fitness Get the strong, sleek, toned abs you’ve always wanted. This workout is designed to help define and elongate your muscles while enhancing your natural grace and flexibility. CODE 8504

DATES 4/11-6/13

AGE 16+ yrs.

DAY W

TIME 7-8:30 p.m.

FEE $55

SENIOR SWEATING TO THE OLDIES / Amy’s Health & Fitness Burn calories and strengthen your heart through gentle stretching and exercising (from both standing and seated positions) that focus on cardio, toning and balance. CODE 8628

DATES 4/13-6/15

AGE 55+ yrs.

DAY F

TIME 8:30-9:45 a.m.

FEE $35

EDUCATIONAL

SLIM AND TONE PILATES-YOGA BLEND / Amy’s Health & Fitness

ALGEBRA / The Left Brain

Get relaxed and strong at the same time. Reduce stress while increasing strength, flexibility and energy. Yoga mat required.

Tackle math problems from a new angle! Strengthen algebra knowledge or refresh numerical skills through problem-solving methods imported from Hong Kong. Lessons include fractions, decimals, negative numbers, variables, exponents and roots, equations and inequalities.

CODE 8505

CODE 8532

SUN-MOON YOGA / Michael Appleby

DATES 4/12-6/31

AGE 11+ yrs.

DAY Th

TIME 7-8 p.m.

FEE $85

CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING / The Left Brain

DATES 4/14-6/16

AGE 16+ yrs.

DAY S

TIME 8:45-10:30 a.m.

FEE $55

Balance, strengthen, align and flex. A well-developed mind-body rapport brings better health and well being. Yoga mat required.

Develop creative strategies to solve complex math problems and foster critical thinking skills to improve academic performance. Students who successfully complete Level II (for which Level I is a prerequisite) will be invited to compete in a math competition the next school year.

CODE 8506 8507 8508

CODE 8530 8514

TOTAL YOGA BEAT STRESS AND TONE / Amy’s Health & Fitness

DATES 4/12-6/31 4/12-6/31

LEVEL Level I Level II

AGE 9-11 yrs. 9-11 yrs.

DAY Th Th

TIME 5-6 p.m. 6-7 p.m.

FEE $85 $85

INTRO TO COMPUTERS FOR SENIORS / AGI Academy It’s never too late to learn! Get hands-on practice with basic computer usage and word processing. Experienced users can advance their skills by working with a digital camera. $10 lab fee due at first class. CODE 8526 8527

DATES 4/13-5/11 5/18-6/15

AGE 55+ yrs. 55+ yrs

DAY F F

TIME 11 a.m.-12 p.m. 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

FEE $60 $60

LITTLE STARS / Recreation Leaders Bond with your tot through song, game, stories and crafts in this parent participation class. CODE 8528 8529

DATES 4/10-6/14 4/10-6/14

AGE 2 yrs. 2 yrs.

DAY T/Th T/Th

TIME 9:30-10:30 a.m. 10:45-11:45 a.m.

FEE $90 $90

DATES 4/9-6/18 4/12-6/14 4/9-6/18

AGE 16+ yrs. 16+ yrs. 16+ yrs.

DAY M Th M/Th

TIME 7-9 p.m. 7-9 p.m. 7-9 p.m.

FEE $50 $50 $75

Feel invigorated from the inside-out through a flowing series of dynamic yoga poses. Yoga mat required. CODE 8503

DATES 4/12-6/14

AGE 16+ yrs.

DAY Th

TIME 5-6:30 p.m.

FEE $45

ZUMBA / Sylvia Escobar and Clarissa Fawks Zumba features exotic rhythms set to high-energy Latin and international beats. Before you know it, you’re getting fit and your energy level is soaring! CODE 8618 8619 8620

DATES 4/17-5/8 4/18-5/9 4/19-5/10

AGE 15+ yrs. 15+ yrs. 15+ yrs.

DAY T W Th

TIME 7:30-8:30 p.m. 6:30-7:30 p.m. 6:15-7:15 p.m.

FEE $30 $30 $30

Temple City Connect

23


temple city

recreation guide

MUSIC AND PRODUCTION

JU-JITSU AND KARATE / Jennies Gym Build strength while learning martial arts techniques for self-defense. Lessons include Judo, Aikido, Kendo and Karate.

ABC, MUSIC, AND ME / Emily Chang Uncover an engaging musical world in this Kindermusik program. Help your little one build social skills while having fun singing, moving and playing instruments. $6 materials fee per child; $22 materials fee per family—includes instrument, CD and home activity guide. CODE 8539 8540

DATES 4/20-5/11 5/18-6/8

AGE DAY 19 mos.-4 yrs. F 19 mos.-4 yrs. F

TIME 10:15-11 a.m. 10:15-11 a.m.

FEE $54 $54

FLUTE / ARK International Learn the fundamentals of playing a flute. No experience required. $10 materials fee due at first class. CODE 8535 8536

DATES 4/12-5/10 5/17-6/21

LEVEL Beg. Int.

AGE 8+ yrs. 8+ yrs.

DAY Th Th

TIME 4:15-5 p.m. 4:15-5 p.m.

FEE $80 $95

GUITAR / Six String Poetry Jam like a rock star! Learn basic chords, note reading and the culture of music. Limited guitars available for purchase or rent. CODE 8537 8538

DATES 4/11-6/20 4/11-6/20

LEVEL Beg. Int.

AGE 10-18 yrs. 10-18 yrs.

DAY W W

TIME 6-7 p.m. 5-6 p.m.

FEE $100 $100

KINDERMUSIK VILLAGE / Emily Chang This class—for lap babies, crawlers and walkers—incorporates the latest research on early childhood development, providing families a special place for learning and connecting through music and movement. $18 materials fee per child; $41 materials fee per family—includes age-appropriate instrument, CD, literature board book and art banner. New materials required for each session. CODE 8541

DATES 5/4-6/8

AGE 6 mos.-3 yrs.

DAY F

TIME 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.

FEE $74

PIANO, PIANO! / Music, Math and More This class is for anyone interested in learning play piano. Learn to read music and play basic songs. Bring a three-ring binder and 20 sheet protectors to the first class. CODE 8542 8543

DATES 4/9-6/4 4/9-6/4

LEVEL Beg. Int.

AGE 5+ yrs. 7+ yrs.

DAY M M

TIME 4-4:30 p.m. 4:30-5 p.m.

FEE $75 $75

VIOLIN / Vic Che DATES 4/14-6/2

LEVEL Beg./Int.

AGE 3+ yrs.

DAY S

TIME 10-11 a.m.

FEE $55

VOCAL–POPULAR SONG / ARK International Calling all singers! Come learn the fundamentals of singing—including breathing, vocal power range, pitch and rhythm skills. $10 material fee due at first class. CODE 8545 8546 8623 8624

DATES 4/12-5/10 4/12-5/10 5/17-6/21 5/17-6/21

LEVEL Beg. Beg. Int. Int.

AGE 5-11 yrs. 18+ yrs. 5-11 yrs. 18+ yrs.

DAY Th Th Th Th

TIME 5-6 p.m. 6-7 p.m. 5-6 p.m. 6-7 p.m.

FEE $65 $75 $77 $89

SELF DEFENSE AND MARTIAL ARTS JAPANESE SWORD–IAIDO / Rojen Recreation Iaido is a traditional art of Japanese swordsmanship. Learn to draw and cut the samurai sword in this hands-on class. CODE 8547

DATES 4/13-6/15

AGE 15+ yrs.

DAY F

TIME 8-9 p.m.

FEE $46

JU-JITSU AND JAPANESE SWORD / Rojen Recreation Learn self-defense in this class, which covers the fundamentals of traditional martial arts—Judo, Aikido, Kendo—and weapons of self-defense. The second hour will include fundamentals of Iaido, the art of Japanese swordsmanship. CODE 8548 24

DATES 4/13-6/15

Spring 2012

AGE 15+ yrs.

DAY F

DATES 4/10-6/14 4/10-6/14 4/10-6/14

LEVEL AGE All levels 13+ yrs. New 8-12 yrs. Green belt+ 8-12 yrs.

DAY T/Th T/Th T/Th

TIME 8-9 p.m. 6-7 p.m. 7-8 p.m.

FEE $56 $56 $56

LITTLE KICKERS JU-JITSU / Jennies Gym Teaches self-esteem and discipline through age-appropriate martial arts lessons. CODE 8552 8553 8554

DATES 4/13-6/15 4/13-6/15 4/13-6/15

LEVEL AGE New 5-7 yrs. Yellow belt+ 5-7 yrs All levels 8+ yrs.

DAY F F F

TIME 4:30-5:15 p.m. 5:15-6 p.m. 6-7 p.m.

FEE $39 $39 $46

NIPPON KEMPO KARATE / Do Mar Develop respect, discipline and self-confidence through this self-defense system based on punching, kicking, blocking, joint locks and ground combat. CODE 8555 8556 8857

DATES 4/9-6/18 4/11-6/13 4/9-6/18

LEVEL AGE All levels 7+ yrs. New 5-9 yrs. Yellow belt+ 5-10 yrs.

DAY M/W W M

TIME 6:30-8 p.m. 5:45-6:25 p.m. 5:45-6:25 p.m.

FEE $50 $28 $28

SPECIAL INTEREST KIDS IN THE KITCHEN / Jennies Gym Let’s get cooking! Little chefs can learn their way around the kitchen practicing new skills, techniques and recipes. $25 materials fee due at first class. CODE 8558 8559

DATES 4/11-5/30 4/11-5/30

AGE 4-7 yrs. 8-12 yrs.

DAY W W

TIME 4-4:45 p.m. 5-6 p.m.

FEE $48 $48

NATURE AND SCIENCE WORKSHOP / Jennies Gym Explore the wonders of nature and learn the principles of science through simple experiments with household items. A list of materials for the entire session will be provided at the first class. CODE 8560

DATES 4/11-5/30

AGE 6-12 yrs.

DAY W

TIME 3-3:45 p.m.

FEE $56

PARENT WORKSHOP / Platinum Academy

Learn the fundamentals of playing violin. No experience required. CODE 8544

CODE 8549 8550 8551

TIME 7-9 p.m.

FEE $56

Taught by a Harvard-educated instructor, this workshop empowers parents to forge strong relationships with their teenagers during the high school years. Learn to increase mutual trust and prepare your kids for the challenges of college, both academically and emotionally. CODE 8561 8562 8563 8564

DATES 4/10 4/24 5/8 5/22

DAY T T T T

TIME 7-8 p.m. 7-8 p.m. 7-8 p.m. 7-8 p.m.

JUNE 4: PENTATHLON Open to boys and girls in grades 3 through 6, the City’s Pentathlon—based on an Olympic event that originated in ancient Greece—combines five different track and field events. Challenging a diverse set of athletic skills, it includes the 50-meter dash, 400-meter run, softball throw for distance, standing long jump and standing triple jump. Winners will be determined through combined scores in all five events at the Pentathlon competition at Live Oak Park, Saturday, June 2, at 4:00 p.m. Instructional clinics begin April 16 at various sites throughout the city. Call Mike Koski at (626) 579-0461 for information on practice dates and locations. Registrations will be taken through April 20 at Live Oak Park Community Center and STARS Club sites. Fee is $10, which includes T-shirt and award.

FEE Free Free Free Free


SPORTS GYMNASTICS AND TRAMPOLINE / Jennies Gym Young gymnasts will learn basic skills for tumbling, balance beam, bars, vault and trampoline. New students will be evaluated and grouped by ability. CODE 8567 8568 8569 8570 8571 8572 8573 8574 8575

DATES 4/14-6/2 4/14-6/2 4/10-5/29 4/10-5/29 4/12-5/31 4/12-5/31 4/10-5/31 4/10-5/31 4/14-6/2

AGE 4-7 yrs. 7-15 yrs. 4-7 yrs. 7-15 yrs. 4-7 yrs. 7-15 yrs. 4-7 yrs. 7-15 yrs. 13+ yrs.

DAY S S T T Th Th T/Th T/Th S

TIME 10:30-11:30 a.m. 11:30-12:30 p.m. 3:30-4:30 p.m. 4:30-5:30 p.m. 3:30-4:30 p.m. 4:30-5:30 p.m. 3:30-4:30 p.m. 4:30-5:30 p.m. 11:30-12:30 p.m.

FEE $66 $66 $66 $66 $66 $66 $106 $106 $66

KINDERGYM / Jennies Gym In this class, kids are not the only ones allowed to have fun, since parents get to come, too! You’ll learn forward rolls, back rolls, handstands and more with your kids. Together, you’ll walk the balance beam, swing on the bars and jump on the trampoline! One parent per child must attend. CODE 8576 8577

DATES 4/14-6/2 4/14-6/2

AGE 9 mos.-2 yrs. 2-3 yrs.

DAY S S

TIME 9-9:45 a.m. 9:45-10:30 a.m.

FEE $66 $66

MINI-SOCCER / Recreation Leaders This class provides youngsters with an opportunity to master the fundamentals of soccer, the world’s most popular sport. Through non-competitive games, fun and sportsmanship are emphasized, while new friendships are formed. Fee includes trophy and t-shirt. CODE 8591 8592

DATES 4/24-6/7 4/24-6/7

LEVEL Beg./Int. Beg./Int.

AGE 4-5 yrs. 6-7 yrs.

DAY T/Th T/Th

TIME 4-5 p.m. 5-6 p.m.

FEE $50 $50

TABLE TENNIS / L.A. Table Tennis Association Learn table tennis from the pros! Former U.S. Olympians and National Champions teach rules and proper techniques. Dress in athletic wear and light shoes, and bring your own racquet. Equipment available for purchase on-site. All classes held at the L.A. Table Tennis Association facility, 10180 Valley Blvd., El Monte. CODE 8587 8588 8589 8590

DATES 4/10-6/12 4/12-6/14 4/14-6/16 4/15-6/17

AGE 6+ yrs. 6+ yrs. 6+ yrs. 6+ yrs.

DAY T Th S Su

TIME 7-8:30 p.m. 7-8:30 p.m. 2-4 p.m. 3-5 p.m.

FEE $185 $185 $245 $245

TENNIS CLINIC / TJP Tennis Professionals Have fun while preparing for match play. Challenge yourself with physically demanding court workout and drills. Tennis shoes required. Bring racquet and a new can of three tennis balls to first class. CODE 8578 8579 8580 8581 8582 8583 8584 8585 8625 8626 8627

DATES 4/9-6/4 4/9-6/4 4/11-5/30 4/9-6/4 4/13-6/1 4/13-6/1 4/13-6/1 4/13-6/1 4/11-5/30 4/11-5/30 4/11-5/30

LEVEL Beg./Int. Parent/child Beg./Int. Int./Adv. Beg./Int. Parent/child Int./Adv. Int./Adv. Beg. Int. Beg.

AGE 5-12 yrs. 5+ yrs. 5-12 yrs. 10+ yrs. 5-12 yrs. 5+ yrs. 10+ yrs. 10+ yrs. 18+ yrs. 18+ yrs. 18+ yrs.

DAY M M W M F F F F W W W

TIME 6-7 p.m. 6-7 p.m. 3:30-4:30 p.m. 7-8 p.m. 6-7 p.m. 6-7 p.m. 7-8 p.m. 3:30-4:30 p.m. 6-7 p.m. 7-8 p.m. 8-9 p.m.

FEE $80 $135 $80 $80 $80 $135 $80 $80 $85 $85 $85

PHOTO POLICY: Please be advised that all participants involved in any City of Temple City (“City”) programs or special events are subject to being photographed. Such photographs may be used by the City without an obligation to provide compensation to those photographed.

BY JESSICA HSU

PLAY ON Temple City Youth Scholarship Program makes sure no child is left behind. In the early 1990s, the Youth Scholarship Program was initiated to assist families without the financial means to enroll their children in the City’s recreational programs. It is healthy for children to stay physically active, be involved in their community, adopt new skills and interests, and also to make new friends. “Some people can’t provide $5 for a dance class,” reports Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Burroughs, who adds, “But we don’t want any child not to be able to participate because of that.” The Scholarship Program allows underprivileged youth and families to be involved in community activities without having to worry about affording the fees. Through its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the federal government provides the City with funding for youth enhancement programs like the Youth Scholarship Program. Qualifying families receive either a 50 or 75 percent discount on fees for all City recreational programs offered to youth under the age of 18. The scholarship percentage is dependent on federal household and income guidelines, but there is no limit to the number of programs in which a family can enroll. Since the start of the program, over 100 families per year have been approved for program participation. Typically, eligible families participate most frequently in summer and afterschool recreational programs like the STARS Club. These types of programs offer a diverse array of outdoor activities for youth and also function as dependable childcare options for parents who feel more comfortable leaving their children under adult supervision. The Youth Scholarship Program faces the challenge of obtaining funds, especially with repeated cuts to the federal budget. The available funding for 2011–12 was approximately $40,000, and the amount for the upcoming fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2012, is roughly $30,000. “Currently, there are more families who want to participate in the Scholarship Program than there are funds,” said Burroughs. “We wish for more funding. We wish we could offer this type of program for more people.” WANT TO APPLY? Applications for the upcoming period (July 1, 2012–June 30, 2013) will be available June 1, 2012, and scholarships are issued on a first-come first-served basis. Interested families must meet federal household and income guidelines. For more information, call (626) 285-2171, ext. 2361.

Temple City Connect

25


temple city

recreation guide

Senior Programs

Senior Excursions

AARP DRIVER SAFETY

The City offers one-day excursions to local and nearby destinations. These day trips—which show off the incredible diversity of attractions in Southern California—range from tours and shows, to dinners and holiday shopping! Registration is taken on a first-come, first-paid basis at Live Oak Park Community Center. For more information, call (626) 579-0461.

MAY 14 & 15, 8:30 A.M.–12 P.M.

Everybody could use a few tips on how to cope with Southern California’s crazy traffic! As you age, driving proficiency becomes increasingly important. The AARP Driver Safety Program is the largest and most respected refresher course, designed to help those 55 years and older adjust their driving skills, allowing for normal age-related physical changes. In fact, depending on your auto insurance company, you may be eligible for a multi-year discount just for completing the course. Classes are held at Live Oak Park Community Center. The fee is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members, payable by check at the first day of class. Pre-registration is recommended and space is limited. Call (626) 579-0461 for more information and to sign up.

SENIOR LUNCH WEEKDAYS, 11:45 A.M.

Seniors over 60 years of age are invited to Live Oak Park Community Center every weekday at 11:45 a.m. for a hot lunch, activities, and socializing with friends and neighbors. Monthly menus are available at the community center and on the City’s website, www.templecity.us. There is a recommended donation of $2 per meal, while hot tea and coffee are available for just 25 cents per cup—best price in town! Reservations are required 24 hours in advance by calling (626) 579-0461.

MEALS ON WHEELS For homebound seniors who want to start receiving delivered meals, please call (626) 214-9465. There is no charge for the service, but donations are appreciated.

TASTE OF SUCCESS First launched in February 2011, the Senior Lunch Program has gone from serving 50, to now more than 100 meals daily. Community Services Specialist Roman Rodriguez can easily see the reason for its rise in popularity. Not only does the program provide seniors a hot nutritious meal to meet one-third their daily dietary needs, but for aging residents—often home alone in the daytime—it is an opportunity for diversion and social contact. “The seniors who come—they’ve grown so close,” Rodriguez observes. “Even though a lot of them came first for the meals, it’s the bonds they’ve built here that keep them coming.” Note: The Senior Lunch and Meals on Wheels programs are offered by the YWCA San Gabriel Valley and funded in part by the Los Angeles County Agency on Aging through the Older Americans Act of 1965.

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Spring 2012

FLOWER POWER IN CARLSBAD APRIL 24, 8:30 A.M.–5 P.M.

Enjoy a self-guided wagon tour with audio at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, featuring 50 spectacularly colored acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You’ll have time on your own to explore the gift shop and take home fresh cut flowers, plants, bulbs and a variety of specialty garden items. A stop at Carlsbad Premium Outlets for shopping and lunch on your own will wrap up this fun day. Fee: $25. Registration deadline: April 17

PALM SPRINGS FOLLIES MAY 11, 9 A.M.–7 P.M.

Spend the day in the desert resort city of Palm Springs. We’ll arrive into downtown for lunch on your own and some browsing before the show, the fabulous Palm Springs Follies. The renowned LongLegged Lovelies and Follies Gentlemen put on one of the best musical performances in Southern California at the historic Plaza Theatre. Tickets are included, with prime seating on the main floor. Check in by 1:05 p.m. for the show-stopping performance at 1:30 p.m. Fee: $65. Registration deadline: April 20

WILD KINGDOM ADVENTURE MAY 21, 8 A.M.–6:30 P.M.

The world-renowned San Diego Zoo needs no introduction, and is a joy at any age. The Balboa Park facility features more than 100 acres of award-winning gardens, exhibits, entertaining tours and shows, all contributing to a memorable day of fun and discovery. Narrated bus tour included. Enjoy lunch on your own at the zoo. Fee: $46. Registration deadline: May 14 Note: Trips may be cancelled or changed at the City’s discretion. Refunds will be offered only if a replacement is found and notification of cancellation is provided at least eight days in advance of the trip date.


temple city

golden years

A Home

Lifeline BY JESSICA HSU

About a year ago, the City of Temple City and the YWCA San Gabriel Valley partnered to deliver in-home care services to seniors and disabled adults. The idea was born after the organizations recognized that public programs, such as the Senior Lunch Program at Live Oak Park Community Center, were only reaching a portion of the senior population. Individuals who were homebound due to poor health or had no access to transportation were inadvertently excluded. The Linkages Program provides seniors in Los Angeles County’s Supervisorial District 5, which includes Temple City and neighboring communities, free meals and transportation, but also services such as housekeeping, caregiving and medical equipment, to name a few. The program, according to YWCA Senior Services Director Don Herring, currently offers support services to 896 clients, of which approximately 100 are Temple City residents, allowing all of them to remain in the comforts of their own homes. The Linkages Program, a continuum of existing care services in the county, allows seniors and disabled adults the ability to maintain their independence and dignity with a little help.

“The vision of the program is to offer all seniors access to case management—even if they just have questions about obtaining services.” ROMAN RODRIGUEZ, COMMUNITY SERVICES SPECIALIST

One elderly couple faced challenges in purchasing household items to heat their home-delivered meals and in safely navigating their bathroom. Program coordinators helped them obtain funds to purchase a microwave, as well as providing them with a shower chair and bathtub safety bar. The clients in District 5 represent a diverse cultural fabric, and some are not completely fluent in English. With Linkages, they have the option of working with care managers in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin or Vietnamese. This makes the program more accessible and less intimidating

to all seniors and disabled adults, regardless of cultural background or language limitations. “The vision of the program,” said the City’s Community Services Specialist Roman Rodriguez, “is to offer all seniors access to case management—even if they just have questions about obtaining services.” Case management is available by appointment, and on-site services are available the first and third Monday of each month from 9–10:30 a.m. at Live Oak Park Community Center. For assistance, contact the YWCA San Gabriel Valley at (626) 214-9465.

AGE

Seniors 60 years or older; disabled adults 18–59 years

LOCATION

Los Angeles County Supervisorial District 5, including Temple City

OTHER

Currently not receiving case management services Difficulty performing bathing, toileting, dressing, feeding, breathing, transferring and mobility, housework, shopping, ability to access transportation, meal preparation, using the telephone, managing medications or managing money

Temple City Connect

27


TE M PLE CIT Y’S ANNUAL

Easter Egg Hunt and Breakfast with the Easter Bunny Saturday, April 7 Live Oak Park 10144 Bogue St.

Easter Egg Hunt

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

Hunt begins promptly at 10 a.m. Free face painting, crafts, petting zoo & more

Includes pancakes, sausage or bacon, pastry & beverage

9:30–11 a.m.

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Spring 2012

8:30–11:30 a.m. – $5 per person

Sponsored by the Temple City SuperSTARS Drill Team and Kiwanis Club of Temple City

For more information, call (626) 285-2171, ext. 2360


temple city

ask city hall

Ask City Hall Temple City Connect addresses questions from the community on a wide variety of City activities, projects and policies, to keep you connected, engaged and informed. In this issue, we respond to inquiries about the use of non-English signs in Temple City.

Why do so many businesses in Temple City use foreign characters in their signs?

Like many great communities, Temple City boasts a diversity of ethnic businesses, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Armenian, Mexican and others. Some people argue that the use of foreign language lettering in signs is not necessary, citing other shopping districts (even in culturally diverse areas) where foreign characters are not displayed. We believe multilingual signage is a reflection of our increasingly globalized society, and that it should not create anxiety among those who cannot read those languages. But to better address this issue, City Hall will be collaborating with business and property owners, the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to develop better regulations for commercial signage. Public input will be critical to this process.

narrow customer base. The City values the investment of its ethnic businesses but also wants mainstream national retailers to find our community attractive. There is a balance that can be reached to satisfy all businesses, shoppers and residents.

The City values the investment of its ethnic businesses but also wants mainstream national retailers to find our community attractive. How does the City regulate the use of foreign lettering in business signs,

Doesn’t the non-English lettering limit

especially along Las Tunas Drive?

the customer base for businesses?

Business signs, like those on Las Tunas Drive, are regulated by the Temple City Municipal Code. It contains regulations on size and placement of signs (commonly referred to as the “Sign Code”), to ensure easy identification of businesses while at the same time avoiding competitive over-signage and visual clutter. However, the freedom of expression provided by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits regulating

The prevalence of foreign lettering might suggest that the Temple City business community is dominated by ethnic businesses, although that is not actually true. While the international flavor of Temple City often gives it a competitive advantage, we also risk the perception—particularly from a national retailer’s point of view— that our economic activity is limited to a

the content of business signs—including the language used—with just a few exceptions. One important exception is that the name of the business must be indicated in English (in addition to any other language), with the address clearly visible. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure rapid response by public safety personnel. Does the Temple City community have a say in how business signs are displayed?

The City Council has adopted various initiatives and projects intended to improve the quality of life in Temple City, and updating the Sign Code is one of these priorities. It will not only address design considerations, but also the current requirements for the identification of all businesses to our multicultural consumer base. We expect to start this project by year’s end and will welcome input from residents and business owners. Part of living in a diverse community is celebrating our differences, but not at the cost of losing the connection between us and other retail opportunities. Every business should aspire to reflect its rich heritage, yet still reach out to all customers.

HAVE A QUESTION FOR CITY HALL? E-mail it to connect@templecity.us. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity.

Temple City Connect

29


temple city

people

Peter Choi CEO OF THE TEMPLE CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Here’s an easy question. Describe Temple City in three words.

Beautiful, progressive, forward-thinking. Tell us about your role at the Chamber of Commerce.

My role is to help promote membership and economic development. I work with a Board of Directors, volunteers from the business community, small businesses, residents, non-profits, and church groups. I provide vision and leadership. I truly believe more gets done in groups than as individuals. Now describe the Chamber in three words.

Diverse, productive, involved. So what’s your work schedule like?

It’s different and busy everyday! It’s a two-person office—just Trish O’ Brien, my office manager, and me. We work with walk-ins, referrals, and different projects and agendas. Since we publish Temple City Life every month, which is very deadline-driven, it’s something we’re always working on. I also organize and attend network mixers, advise on board meetings and promote new memberships. I want to help businesses realize that it’s not just about sales, but being a part of the community. Throw in community events and meetings with various business and legislative groups in the San Gabriel Valley, and life is a fantastic blur of new faces and information. Tell us what projects you’re working on right now.

We just initiated our “Welcome Basket” program, where we present welcome packets to our new members. There are four major events we work on year-round: the spring Small Business Expo, our summer July 4th BBQ, the fall Installation Dinner and our winter Holiday Mixer. A big part of what we do is publish the Temple City Life newspaper, which hits the streets and our website the first week of every month. We’re always soliciting submissions from our members and, of course, we help get the word out on all sorts of community and City events. What would you like the community to know about the Chamber?

This is the Chamber of Commerce 2.0. We’re excited to promote and create a business community because a strong, vibrant business community is good for the city—it raises property values, improves public safety and elevates the quality of life for everyone who lives, works and visits Temple City. And we’re ready to take not just the business community, but the entire town of Temple City, to the next level! STOP BY THE CHAMBER The Temple City Chamber of Commerce (9050 Las Tunas Dr.) is an all-access pass to the entire community. Stop by and say hello!

30

Spring 2012

BY STEPHANIE CHAN AND JESSICA HSU

Last December, the Temple City Chamber of Commerce welcomed Peter Choi as its new President and CEO. He previously served as Chairman of the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, where he led the transformation of a gritty, urban neighborhood into a hip, pedestrian-friendly destination filled with boutiques and coffee shops. He and his wife have owned Serifos, their successful Sunset Junction gift shop, for over ten years, but Choi felt ready for a new adventure and has brought his passion for revitalizing commerce to the San Gabriel Valley. We recently sat down with Choi to learn how he is applying his enthusiasm and positive approach to enhancing the business community in Temple City.


temple city

city services

QUICK CONTACTS

City Services

SCHOOL DISTRICTS ALL TELEPHONE NUMBERS ARE 626 AREA CODE UNLESS DESIGNATED

Arcadia Unified 821-8300

Emergencies

Emergency Preparedness

Planning and Zoning

911

285-2171, ext. 2333

285-2171, ext. 2303

Request immediate sheriff, fire department or ambulance assistance to protect life or property.

Receive training to handle an emergency situation or local disaster.

See what you can do with your property and what developments are planned in your neighborhood.

Employment

Public Safety (Temple Sheriff’s Station)

Animals 285-7187

Call to report a lost pet and stray or dead animals; get or renew a license.

285-2171, ext. 2330

Apply for a City job and learn of other government employment opportunities. Environment

Building and Development 285-2171, ext. 2301

Obtain permits and inspections for repairing, remodeling or adding onto your home or business. Business Assistance 285-2171, ext. 2303

Find out how to start or expand a business, and how to do business with the City.

Public Records

Learn about water, recycling and energy conservation programs.

285-2171, ext. 2317

Facility Rentals

286-2456

Schedule service Elections and Voting 285-2171, ext. 2317

Register to vote, get information on election dates and find out how to run for City public office.

548-5000

MASS TRANSIT Foothill Transit District (800) 743-3463

Metro Transportation Authority (323) 466-3876

RESOURCES

Participate in our many recreational and cultural activities; report maintenance needs at City parks.

Chamber of Commerce

Seniors

Temple City Library

Abandoned Shopping Carts

Establish membership; general inquiries

Temple City Unified

285-2171, ext. 2361

Learn of upcoming public meetings, volunteer opportunities and how to serve on a City commission.

285-2171, ext. 2361

312-2900

Recreation and Parks

(800) 252-4613

Dial-A-Ride (First Transit) Request shared transit service for seniors and the disabled.

Rosemead Unified

Reserve one of our facilities for sports team practices, birthday parties and private events.

285-2171, ext. 2317

Improve your neighborhood— report property maintenance issues, illegal construction and garage conversions.

Review or request copies of City records and documents.

453-3700

285-2171, ext. 2361

Community Involvement

285-2171

Form a Neighborhood Watch group, request increased patrolling and obtain police reports.

285-2171, ext. 2333

Hotlines Help keep Temple City looking great by reporting:

Community Preservation

285-7171

El Monte City

(800) 794-7384

Graffiti Removal 285-5240

Illegal Construction (after hours) Housing 285-2171, ext. 2303

Get information on rehabilitation programs, homeownership opportunities and landlord/ tenant rights. Mayor and City Council Let them know what you think! 285-2171, ext. 2322

579-0461

Stay active and healthy with our lunch program, recreational classes and referrals to wellness providers.

286-3101

285-2136

UTILITIES AT&T U-Verse

Streets and Sidewalks 285-2171, ext. 2333

Request street or sidewalk maintenance; report broken street lights, traffic signals and signs.

(800) 288-2020

Charter Communications (866) 499-8080

Southern California Edison Trash and Street Sweeping (Athens Services)

(800) 655-4555

336-3636

The Gas Company

Report service problems or make a special service request; get help with billing.

287-5238

AT&T (800) 288-2020

Tree and Median Maintenance

California American Water Company

285-2171, ext. 2361

(888) 422-5269

East Pasadena Water Company

Parking

Get a street tree; report maintenance issues on street trees and medians.

285-2171, ext. 2333

Youth

Golden State Water Company

285-2171, ext. 2360

(800) 999-4033

Learn about after school programs, day camps, sports leagues and recreational activities.

San Gabriel County Water District

Schedule a meeting 285-2189

Leave a suggestion, comment or complaint

Ask about residential parking permits and parking tickets; report nuisance vehicles on public streets. Permits and Licenses 285-2171, ext. 2300

Find out what is required to improve your property, operate a business and conduct special events.

793-6189

287-0341

Sunnyslope Water Company 287-5238

CAN’T FIND WHAT YOU NEED? We’ll find it for you! Just call (626) 285-2171.

Temple City Connect

31


Temple City Farmer’s Market

Locally grown fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, honey, cheeses, baked goods and more!

Every Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. City Hall 9701 Las Tunas Dr.

Stay up-to-date on the latest Temple City Farmer’s Market news and events!

Cash and EBT only/ATM on-site

32

Spring 2012

Temple City Connect Spring 2012  

Connect is the City of Temple City’s quarterly magazine and recreation guide aimed at informing and engaging the local public. Each issue pr...

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