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:

Larry Wilson: Water, water everywhere , but storing it is the problem

Subtitle:

Date:

2010-01-22

Author:

Larry Wilson

Publication:

Pasadena Star News

Content:

It's a hoary cliche of Southern California amateur-hour water musers such as oneself, but I can never go out in a downpour to check the deluge roaring through a concrete channel without pondering the what-ifs.

Because the torrent, seemingly wide and brown as the Colorado, going through the middle of Brookside Golf Course just today would be enough to water all 36 fairways for an entire year.

Harnessing - and storing - that beast is the problem. And I'm sure it's all part of the natural order to have that water and silt end up in the Pacific, as it has done for eons. But the ocean doesn't look as if it needs a refill. And on an August day, all those acres of grass will be very thirsty indeed.

It's not just the logistical matter of where to put it and how to suck it up, of course. It's a question of water rights that's as old as the populated West. City, county, state, feds - not to mention the MWD - who really owns the rain that hits the ground in the Angeles National Forest, flows into Hahamongna and through Devil's Gate Dam down the Arroyo Seco to the sea? Everyone - and no one - and so it goes.

More rainy-day musings: Friday's opening-night performance of "Camelot" at the Pasadena Playhouse showed yet again that the region's premiere theater is on the right track. Great American musicals ignoramus that I am, I had never seen Lerner & Loewe's early '60s follow-up to "My Fair Lady," and I wasn't even aware that early on the knock on it was, classic songs such as "I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight" and "If Ever I Would Leave You" aside, that the original production was simply way too long. (After its first Toronto production finished at 12:40 a.m., Lerner said that "Only 'Tristan and Isolde' equaled it as a bladder-endurance contest.") But the Playhouse production is beautifully stripped down - especially when for a brief, shining moment, leads Shannon Warne and Doug Carpenter disrobe - and focuses on the gorgeous songs rather than the expository whatnot. Director David Lee finds brilliant ways to tell the tale with only eight actors, each stellar, particularly the above and Shannon Stoeke as King Arthur. Tom Buderwitz's set is a minimalist wonder. It plays through this month - go! And when you do, the good news for noshing on South El Molino Avenue is that genius chef Onil Chib s has finally opened his Elements Kitchen in the long star -crossed restaurant space adjacent to the Playhouse courtyard. If you've eaten in his Old Pas Elements Cafe at Fair Oaks and Dayton, you already know he's one of the most inventive cooks in Southern California; that his breads are from Sumi Chang's Europane and his greens from that family-run farm in Northwest Pasadena ; that his menus run to marinated flank steak and kimchi tacos, Cuban pulled-pork sandwiches and roasted red pepper soup with sheep's milk cheese, pine nuts and fried endive. KPCC's Steve Julian blogged yesterday: "We like the braised Wagyu beef cheeks over homemade porcini fettuccine." So would I.