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Live tweeting from the Rose Parade

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The La Cañada Valley Sun will be tweeting live, for the first time, from the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.

Log on anytime after 5:30 a.m. for the live feed of the events going on as they happen on the parade route.

Log on to the Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/valleysun to follow us.

Written by Michael J. Arvizu

December 31, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Events

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Religious leaders look back at the last decade

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As the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close, we ask our In Theory writers this week: For you, what has been the most memorable experience of these first 10 years of the 2000s? What advice can you share with our readers to make this new year and decade a prosperous one?

Here is a sample of what they had to say. Catch their complete responses in this week’s editions of the La Canada Valley Sun, Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader.

Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian: “I cannot believe the first decade of the 21st century is coming to a close. My belief is to live our lives, not perfectly, but to contemplate what we can do to be history makers. What legacy can we leave behind?”

Rev. Amy Pringle: “Remember the old ‘Star Trek’ series, and how it always seemed to end with some cheesy Capt. Kirk speech about how the human spirit can’t be defeated, no matter how overwhelming the odds? I thought it was as silly as the idea that you could flip open a little box and talk to someone through it. This decade has proven me wrong, on both points.”

Rev. Skip Lindeman: “For me, the most significant thing that happened was the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. We are still feeling the effects of that attack, whether we’re flying on an airplane or staying at home.”

Rev. Jon Barta: “My most memorable experience in terms of “shock value” was the terror attack of Sept. 11, 2001. But there are many more quiet, personal experiences that affected my life in a more dramatic way.”

Graham Bothwell: “We should not underestimate the role of prayerful spiritual thinking in ensuring a progressive and balanced future for humanity, where social, political, economic, and environmental conditions are peaceful, satisfying, and sound.”

Rabbi Simcha Backman: “Once the final decade of the 20th century had come to a close, we had seen many extraordinary events that provided cause for great optimism … I hate to sound negative, but now that we have lived through this first decade of the 21st century, I must admit the sad truth that I was wrong.”

Rev. Bryan Griem: “… Where darkness lurks and evil plots, flowers continue to bloom and love still makes its sporadic appearance.”

Written by Michael J. Arvizu

December 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Posted in Religion

A guide to Christmas worship for novice churchgoers

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People around the world are thinking of going to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day according to a survey this week. That’s about four times as many people as on an average Sunday.

Even if many of those who are considering stepping over the threshold eventually decide not to, Christmas is far and away the busiest time of the year for churches up and down the country.

For many in the congregations, Christmas is an important time to reflect on spiritual matters and church-going is a key part of this. But many others will be walking into a building that looks strange, for a service that’s not familiar. So what will happen and what should they watch out for?

Read the full story from BBC News here.

Written by Michael J. Arvizu

December 24, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Religion

Student’s death teaches painful lessons

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This week, we ask our In Theory writers about the death of South Pasadena High School senior Aydin Salek, whose death has made shock waves from the scene of the incident to La Cañada.

Reports indicate that Salek was attending an unsupervised party where he was offered alcohol. This is not unlike an incident in 1993 where a Crescenta Valley High School senior was murdered at an unsupervised post-prom party. Who do you believe is at fault here? The parents? The students? Or both? What steps would you suggest to parents in order to deter this behavior? What steps would you suggest to students considering going to an unsupervised party tonight about ways to avoid this behavior and maybe save a life — theirs, perhaps?

Here is a sample of what our writers had to say:

Rev. Jeri Linn: “It is our job, as adults, to mentor young people by example, by sharing information about how destructive any substance abuse can be, and by being present and available to them — even if it means supervising a party.”

Pastor Jon Barta: “Finding ‘fault’ seems harsh at the moment when everybody is emotionally devastated, but I suppose it’s prudent to identify a couple of ways similar incidents might be avoided.”

Pastor Skip Lindeman: “There is no way to guarantee that there will be no more premature deaths due to alcohol poisoning, but parent and child can strive to love and respect each other.”

Rev. Amy Pringle: “Look at every single drink that comes your way and ask: What am I choosing here? Is this particular drink worth whatever I’m risking? (Trouble with your parents, puking your guts out, getting in a car accident, losing the favor of the guy/girl who sees you drunk and stupid; and yeah, alcohol poisoning …)

“Is the next drink worth it?

“Seriously?

“Is that sorta-nasty-tasting cup of something sorta-nasty-tasting worth it?”

Levent Akbarut: We are very fortunate to live in cities where we have every opportunity to prevent this kind of tragedy from occurring again to our children. In Islam, we are taught to express love and friendship at all times, but not at the expense of protecting crime or social danger. It takes courage to disrupt social order when the status quo is unacceptable.

Rev. Bryan Griem: “While most everyone that drinks with moderation has at one time or other overdone it, a lot of kids know nothing of this because nobody is telling them anything except ‘don’t.'”

Rabbi Simcha Backman: Although, statistically, our local neighborhoods rank relatively low in regard to underage drug and alcohol use, the fact is that any amount of adolescent substance abuse is dangerous. Every single child is precious, and it is incumbent upon society to do everything possible to protect its young people from harm.”

Fred L. Carpenter: “Too often parents are in denial when their children are participating in drinking parties, drugs or other like events. Parents have to be smart and understand what their children are doing.”

Rev. Richard Albarano: If we receive the love, nurture, security and guidance we need, we will grow — as the scriptures say about the boy Jesus — in age and wisdom and grace. That is not to say that we will not have temptations and have to overcome obstacles, but we will have the character development to overcome these.

Written by Michael J. Arvizu

December 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Posted in Religion

California Credit Union warns of new smishing scam

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A fraudulent — known as smishing — text message from “California Credit Union.”

 

This morning I received a fraudulent — known as smishing — text message from “California Credit Union.” 

The real California Credit Union, which has a branch at 701 N. Brand Blvd. in Glendale, warned of smishing attempts by scammers on its website: “CCU is not sending text messages to members or non-members,” the website said. “CCU will never send a text message, e-mail or call you directly asking for any account or personal information.” 

The text contained a warning about my credit union service and instructed that I call the 248-number sent with the text. 

A robotic-sounding voice answered instructing me to enter my credit card number — I dialed a fake number.

The voice proceeded to tell me that the call would be monitored or recorded for “quality assurance.” Twice more, the recording asked for my credit card information, and I again entered a fake number. 

I’ve since called the number again, and was greeted with, “This mailbox is full, and cannot accept new messages at this time.”

Several postings on 800notes.com, a Web forum dedicated to people’s complaints about annoying calls from mystery phone numbers, said that in the time it took to write this post, five people had received the same text.

Like me, three people claim to be Glendale residents and use Sprint as their cell phone service provider.

Written by Michael J. Arvizu

December 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Posted in business, Crime

Late actress was Burbank resident, student

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Brittany Murphy is photographed by The Times in 2001, the year she appeared in the Michael Douglas thriller "Don't Say a Word." (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

Brittany Murphy, who died Sunday at the age of 32, moved to Burbank from Atlanta with her mother when she was 13, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times where, according to IMDB, she landed her first television role on the show 1990s television series “Blossom,” starring opposite Joey Lawrence and Melissa Manchester.

The actress died in the home she shared with her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack.

The actress also attended John Burroughs High School, where she briefly attended but did not graduate, according to IMBD, and San Fernando Valley Professional School, according to the school’s alumni page.

The cause of death is under investigation, The Times reported Sunday, and an autopsy is planned for Tuesday, a coroner’s official said. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Written by Michael J. Arvizu

December 20, 2009 at 11:42 pm

A labor of love

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The Green was family among more than 100 volunteers who gathered Saturday to prepare commemorative florographs of organ donors for the Donate Life float, which will be entered into the Jan. 1 Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena.

The year 2010 marks 15 years since the Green’s oldest child, Nicholas, was shot while he slept in the back seat of his family’s rental car in Italy while on vacation, the victim of highway robbers.

VIDEO BY MICHAEL J. ARVIZU

Written by Michael J. Arvizu

December 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Posted in la cañada, Video