Dear Altadena Heritage Members,

It’s been a busy year for us. Still high from the amazing party we threw in November for Altadena’s 125th Birthday, we started with a tour of the urban agriculture research station at the Huntington, followed by a lecture by Arboretum director Frank McDonough, “Killer Bugs” threatening Altadena’s trees, and in June we held our famous Garden Party & Golden Poppy Garden Awards. Hold on… three more big ones are coming.

On September 23rd we will host a “water summit” at the Community Center, Altadena’s Water Future, where we’ll hear predictions and opinions on Altadena’s water security, and how compliance with the Clean Water Act may impact —and provide opportunities for—Altadena. Believe me: our speakers are some heavy hitters and there’s plenty of controversy to go around; you won’t want to miss this! Event will be taped for TV.

Every few years, we discover one of the many special enclaves in our town and say “AHA! – an Altadena Heritage Area.” On October 19th we celebrate our seventh AHA! the Altadena Equestrian Block, with an afternoon street party on Ridgeview Drive (and Altadena Stables. Please join us and connect with our horsey past and present.

Our bylaws mandate we hold a Members Meeting once a year to nominate and elect Board candidates. We disguise this business as a party, with Christmas tree, marvelous food, and generous libations in one of Altadena’s many amazing homes. We are actively seeking a venue, and we’ve set a target date of Sunday, December 8th. Members only!

With all this good stuff to announce, let me introduce a little sadness. Our unincorporated community needs organizations like Heritage, but no one has stepped up to lead. We have no city government – and maybe that’s good – but it means we have to advocate for ourselves, to lobby for the community we want, and to work with others in a positive way. The County folk don’t want to hear our squabbles.

Altadena Heritage reaches out to educate and enlighten, to address ongoing issues, and to connect us to our historical roots. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit is a marvelous vehicle to advocate for positive things, which AH has been doing for 30 years (including pre-incorporation years). Over the past seven, we’ve seen membership grow, we have an imaginative Board and sound financials. Most important, we have respect and influence within the community, and the Supervisor’s ear.

Yet our organization is in crisis. It is time for a new generation to take the helm, I’ve been on the board way too long, as have other stalwarts. It’s a good gig! No pay, requires some energy, and it satisfies a need so many of us have to give back. So, if you harbor a desire to help build community in a cooperative atmosphere, with an imaginative, free-wheeling group, please consider joining our Board. With new blood and energy, Heritage can keep on enriching our lives in Altadena. —Mark Goldschmidt, Chairman