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:

Protecting open space

Subtitle:

Date:

2011-07-18

Author:

Dianne Patrizzi

Publication:

Pasadena Star-News

Content:

A community meeting was well attended (about 50 people) Wednesday evening at the La Casita del Arroyo. Laura Dahl, senior planner for the city of Pasadena, made a presentation of the draft. This particular element to the city's General Plan Update has been three years in the making.

Besides paid city staff, many voluntary hours of local residents, commission members, local organizations were invested into creating the content of the document. The city provided attendees with a complete 56-page booklet of the plan. As an integral part of the Pasadena General Plan Update, this instrument provides an umbrella of guidelines and stated intent for other plans under more specific context, such as the Hahamongna Watershed Park Master Plan to follow.

For the Hahamongna plan, consistency with the draft element presented has been an item of contention with the city, as mentioned by one of the attendees who worked on the draft. Another attendee observed the words "protect" and "protection" sprinkled liberally throughout the draft, and asked what it meant. The answer from the senior planner may astound you.

"It is up to you (the citizens) to elect City Council representatives that will protect it," she said.

This statement has been made before at other community meetings by people who have worked for the city in various capacities. Implementation of protections are left up to the whims of politics! It seems

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outrageous and cavalier to put in the hands of temporary officials the fate of important and vital environmental resources for sustainability.
Are we to spend the next 25 years nursemaiding future city councils in protecting the areas so beautifully outlined in this Open Space and Conservation Element of the General Plan? After many citizens have devoted the last 25 years to doing so, on an almost constant basis? Why do we have to carry the burden of protecting something that should simply have permanent legal protection?

How often is it that we agree with everything a candidate for public office says they stand for?

Dianne Patrizzi

Pasadena