The Meaning of Hahamongna

The original settlers of the region were sometimes called the Hahamongna Indians. The word means "Flowing Waters, Fruitful Valley" in the native Tongva language.

Hahamongna News

Title:

Major revisions not incorporated

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Date:

2003-06-03

Author:

Gene Maddaus, Staff Writer

Publication:

Pasadena Star News

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Group: Not much wilderness left

PASADENA -- The city's master plans for preservation of its vast streambed have been 15 years in the making.

And they'll take longer still.

The City Council was set to vote on recommended plans for the Lower and Central Arroyo Seco on Monday night when it was discovered that portions of the plans did not incorporate major revisions.

The council delayed the vote at least a couple of weeks.

"I was all ready to have a party,' said Tim Brick, managing director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation.

The plans are part of a massive effort to set a course for the future of the 1,000 acre gulch that forms the backbone of Pasadena.

As proposed Monday night, the plan for the Lower and Central Arroyo attempts to balance preservation with recreation. City staffers removed some 36 proposals for new picnic areas, parking lots, bike paths and rest areas, opting instead for wilderness preservation.

But the city stopped short of adopting a plan to remove large chunks of the concrete flood- control channel installed in the 1930s. City Manager Cynthia Kurtz called "streambed restoration' a goal, "if it's feasible.'

The Arroyo Seco is divided into three parts. The Lower Arroyo runs south of the Ventura (134) Freeway to the South Pasadena border. The Central Arroyo is 550 acres that includes the Rose Bowl and Brookside Golf Course.

The Arroyo Seco Master Plan provides a road map for scores of projects throughout the park. The City Council has deferred consideration of the most controversial portion of the plan, the third section, Hahamongna Watershed Park. It was unclear Monday night when that portion might come up for approval.

Preservationists have argued against building new sports fields in the Hahamongna area, which lies north of the Devil's Gate Dam.

"That's not the appropriate area,' for soccer fields said Leeona Klippstein, executive director of the Spirit of the Sage Council, a Pasadena environmental group. "The majority of the people want it to be left natural.'

The Spirit of the Sage filed a lawsuit May 14 to block the implementation of the master plans for all three sections of the Arroyo.

The group argues that the city's master environmental impact report, approved in mid-March, failed to analyze sufficiently each project on its own merits.

"It's too aggressive,' said Craig Sherman, attorney for the group.

In addition to providing for new sports fields, the Hahamongna plan includes development of new parking lots and spreading basins for the city's water utility.

"In reality, what they call restoration is a huge water project,' Klippstein said.

The Spirit of the Sage also opposes new plans in the Central Arroyo, but members concede that with the Rose Bowl and a golf course, there isn't much wilderness left in the Central Arroyo to protect.

-- Gene Maddaus can be reached at (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4444, or by e-mail at gene.maddaus@sgvn.com.