Monday, March 23, 2009

Groundbreakings Aren't as Boring as They Sound!

I’ve always said that from a media perspective, groundbreaking ceremonies are right up there with ribbon cuttings and check presentations.

Newspapers rarely dispatch photographers to these kinds of events, so I take lots of photos and send them to media with captions after the fact.

Some print them, some don't.

My work is complete on our most recent groundbreaking ceremony on March 17, so here are a few photos for your viewing pleasure.

First, this is all about cleaning up four wells in the Monk Hill area of Pasadena, in that funky "index finger" area at the top of District 1 in Northwest Pasadena.

It's an interesting challenge setting up for such an event in the middle of a big empty space.

Thankfully I wasn't in charge of logistics! That was staff from Pasadena Water and Power.

I had the entire event videotaped, and I asked my KPAS crew to get a few interviews in advance to edit into the program.

Here's our city manager, Michael Beck, on camera. That's Stuart Johnson doing the interview and Michelle Maglionico behind the camera.

I'm expecting a final version in the next day or two, and then we'll put it on KPAS.

Pasadena Water and Power staff provided educational information to the many people who attended.

People visited for a while...

..and then the ceremony began. Mayor Bill Bogaard served as master of ceremonies.

District 1 Councilwoman Jacque Robinson presented a certificate of appreciation to Tecumseh Shackelford, a neighborhood leader.


Dig (no pun intended) the Brady Bunch grass.

Left to right: Steve Slaten, NASA's project manager on groundwater cleanup; Keith Takata, director of the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program for Region 9 (Pacific Southwest); City Councilwoman Jacque Robinson; Dr. James Wright of NASA; Mayor Bill Bogaard; and Phyllis Currie, general manager of Pasadena Water and Power.

The area is surrounded by residential neighborhoods, which will be affected by the construction.

To help shield neighbors' view of the project, evergreen trees have been planted and green-screen fence installed all around the project.

Here's the view from the street.

This is a great example of intergovernmental cooperation: NASA and the City of Pasadena have worked closely together on site selection and design of the treatment plant with support from the EPA, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and California Department of Public Health.

NASA is funding construction and operating costs; the City of Pasadena will own and operate the plant.

A contract for construction has been awarded and completion is anticipated in late 2010.

We'll keep you posted!


Daily Brain Scan said...

"funky index finger area" OMG hahaha reminds me of Our Bodies Ourselves, the book about "life" they gave me when I was a budding junior HS feminist.

Are they going to plant sunflowers in there, too? Sunflowers naturally clean the soil.

altadenahiker said...

Very interesting post! Enjoyed the behind-the-scenes commentary.

Cafe Pasadena said...

XXXXce!!ent work, PIO!!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I've been to several ground breaking ceremonies. The last one I attended was for the historical Pico Union district of Los Angeles. Our ceramony also included the use of gold shovels. The major sent a representative.

Petrea said...

Thanks for the great post, Ann. Love the pics! "Cleaning up the wells," does that mean cleaner water for the city? The neighborhood?

Petrea said...

I think you were commenting on my blog at the same time I was commenting on yours!

pasadenapio said...

When the project is completed the wells will be brought back into production again.

Pasadena is extremely fortunate to have water as a natural resource, so we don't have import 100% of water like many utilities do.

Currently we import about 66% from Metropolitan Water District (MWD).

When these wells are brought back online, that will mean less water that we have to import.

Pasadena's water from operating wells and reservoirs far exceeds the state's minimum water quality standards.

You can see our most recent water quality report here.