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Updated: 14 hours 58 min ago

Self-Driving Vehicle Tech Company GM Cruise Automation to Expand Workforce in Pasadena

Sun, 2019-04-21 06:33

Photo courtesy of GM Cruise

Self-driving vehicle technology developer GM Cruise Automation is putting the building it recently leased in Pasadena to work with the announcement of new hires.

The company is recruiting 20 new employees for addition to its current staff of 30, according to Lute Maleki, senior distinguished engineer, GM Cruise Automation. The move is part of a larger GM plan to hire more people for its Cruise Automation division.

The company announced its new lease on a large 47,000 square-foot complex at 465 North Halstead Street in mid-February.

The Pasadena operation is primarily focused on the development of LIDAR sensors for the autonomous vehicle, said Maleki. Those sensors use light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure distances to help guide self-driving vehicles.

Driverless car tech company GM Cruise has signed an $11.4 million lease agreement to occupy a two-building, 47,000 square-foot complex at 465 North Halstead Street in Pasadena.

“What we’re doing in this particular location is all the work that’s required in order to productize this sensor and bring it to the autonomous car,” he explained.

In addition to research and development, the Pasadena team is doing testing and pre-production development, according to Maleki.

GM Cruise, he explained, is a stand-alone company in which GM owns an 80 percent stake. GM made the acquisition two years ago, but GM Cruise raised some $3 billion from the likes of Softbank and Honda to consolidate its stand-alone status.

The company’s product rollout is focused on San Francisco, where the bulk of its operations are headquartered. There is, currently, no plan for driverless cars in Pasadena.

“Ultimately, Southern California is going to be an area which is particularly suitable for the type of services that autonomous vehicle businesses wish to provide,” said Maleki. “And so, without a doubt, that’s going to come about fairly soon after it’s been implemented in two or three areas around the country.”

As might be expected, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce President Paul Little was pleased.

“Well, it’s always exciting to have a new business moving in and especially one that’s on the cutting edge of automotive technology as well,” he told Pasadena Now. “And it’s very compatible with the educational program that goes on at ArtCenter, for example, in automotive design.”

Little observed that it’s probably not a coincidence that Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech call Pasadena home as well.

“The expertise of people who launch rockets to Mars is also probably very translatable to people who are trying to create vehicles that operate both more efficiently and, ultimately, on their own,” said Little. “So that kind of makes sense, as well.”

California American Water Signs Contract to Acquire East Pasadena Water Company

Sat, 2019-04-20 07:38

California American Water, a subsidiary of American Water , has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of the East Pasadena Water Company. Following the completion of the sale, California American Water will become the new water provider to approximately 10,000 residents in Temple City, Arcadia and the East Pasadena area.

“We are pleased to have entered into a contract and look forward to serving customers in the East Pasadena Water Company service area,”
said California American Water’s President Rich Svindland. “Our San Marino and Rosemead water systems are near East Pasadena so we know the area well. East Pasadena customers will be able to take advantage of our excellent conservation, rate assistance and customer service programs once the integration is complete.”

East Pasadena Water Company is a privately owned class B utility located in Los Angeles County with a long history of serving the community.
California American Water currently supplies water to more than 48,000 homes and businesses in Los Angeles and Ventura County. East Pasadena’s customers will be served by California American Water’s water treatment and distribution operators who are experts in their respective fields and are certified through the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water.

“As a proud water provider to this community for more than 85 years, it was very important that our customers receive service from a company
with local ties to the area,” said Tony (Anton) Garnier, owner of the East Pasadena Water Company. “I believe that California American Water,
with its long and distinguished service record in the area, will continue to provide the exceptional level of service and care our customers have come to expect. In short, I believe this is the right fit for our customers, the community and our employees,” he added.

East Pasadena Water Company and California American Water Company will now file an application for approval of the transaction at the California Public Utilities Commission.

California American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE:AWK), provides high quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to more than 690,000 California residents. Information regarding California American Water’s service areas can be found on the company’s website

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to more than 14 million people in 46 states and Ontario, Canada. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit


Therapists Pledge One-Day Strike at Kaiser Permanente Pasadena Facility

Fri, 2019-04-19 16:05

Two dozen mental health therapists at a Pasadena Kaiser Permanente clinic have announced their intention to strike for one day, April 25, to protest what they describe as severe understaffing, according to the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

Kaiser Permanente responded by noting that it is in ongoing negotiations with the union and suggested the bargaining table is the best place to resolve the staffing issue.

The therapists say a shortage in their number is driving four-month waits for treatment appointments for mental health patients. Kaiser Permanente, NUHW said in a press statement, can avoid the stoppage by taking immediate action, including the hiring of new therapists.

“Understaffing at Kaiser mental health clinics throughout California is making patients wait far too long to see their therapists, but the situation in Pasadena is particularly egregious,” said NUHW President Sal Rosselli. “Kaiser is putting its patients in jeopardy, and it’s putting the licenses of its own clinicians at risk.”

By the union’s account, Kaiser Permanente is having all manner of trouble with state regulators when it comes to its mental health facilities. The NUHW said 4,000 psychologists, therapists, social workers and psychiatric nurses struck company clinics for five days over the same issue in December 2018.

Kaiser Permanente said that “the union’s principal demands at the bargaining table have not been about improving care and access, but about gaining even higher wages and benefits and demanding changes to performance standards that would reduce, not increase, the availability of mental health care for our members.”

Kaiser Permanente continued, “We are offering guaranteed wage increases that would keep our expert therapists among the best compensated in their profession. Our organization has a track record of paying above the median market rate for our NUHW Psych-Social and Healthcare Professionals employees and market data already shared with the union’s bargaining teams verify that fact.”

The company asserted that it meets regulatory standards for mental health care and wellness first appointments 90 percent of the time, statewide. Kaiser Permanente said it monitors specialty return visits and is following therapists’ recommendations for the timing of those visits between 86 percent and 94 percent of the time.

The Kaiser Permanente Pasadena Medical Offices are located at 3280 East Foothill Boulevard.



Pasadena Terrorism and Workplace Violence Expert Gives Safe Haven on Popular Radio Show, ‘Listen Up with Jim Potts”

Tue, 2019-04-16 06:26

[Updated] Jim Potts knows how to keep America safe. The Pasadena-based terrorism and safety expert is a top resource on protecting businesses and everyday people in dangerous situations — online and in the real, on-edge world today.

The law enforcement expert and lawyer has a popular call-in radio show called “Listen Up with Jim Potts,” that is broadcast on on Sundays at 3 p.m. (PST). Potts publishes a blog by the same name, and he is in demand as a keynote speaker and seminar provider. He talks about safety in the workplace, in shopping malls and online.

His message is to be aware of potentially dangerous situations whether you’re working, running errands or even at the gym.

“Don’t think it can’t happen to you,” Potts said in an interview with “You’ve got to start paying attention out there now. You’ve got to be aware; you’ve got to be vigilant and you’ve got to be safe.”

Potts has a remarkable background. His Pasadena-based company, Potts and Associates, works with companies, helping employers to stay safe physically and financially. He started out protecting employers against human resources issues then gradually moved into helping employers with “anything that an employer need,” he said.

He’s delivered speeches on the domestic terrorism in front of business associations, political groups, and political associations all over the United States.

“I really seek to protect employers from the ground up, no matter what it is,” he said.

But his expertise can be used by people in all walks of life, he said.

His radio show, “Listen Up with Jim Potts” on covers the gamut of safety issues. He talks about subjects many people don’t want to discuss or know only what the media presents. Potts said his “Listen Up with Jim Potts” is committed to bringing businesses and the general public into a heightened awareness of the issues surrounding the workplace.

Citizens can’t afford to be lackadaisical when it comes to being aware of their surroundings, he said.

“You have to understand that we’re living in different times,” Potts said. “Those are the things that I’m trying to emphasize to people. We are living in different times.”

Potts said workplace shootings have increased overall but, violent incidents have occurred since the 1700s, it’s just that with the Internet, these incidents receive increased attention. Workplace violence is a real concern that falls under the broad banner of domestic terrorism.

“My whole attitude is that this ties in because business, they get situations where you have a disgruntled former employee, disgruntled current employee, irate customers and domestic violence. All of those situations, (come) into the work environment and that’s part of domestic terrorism.

“If you look at these events that happened with these active shooters, a lot of times these active shooters are also going back into the work environment,” Potts said. “You have more issues that way than you truly have from a domestic terrorism standpoint.”

Of all the topics his listeners are interested in, which are of most interest?

“Discussions about the second amendment,” he said. “There was also a show that was done where we talked about how to protect your computer from hacking, cybersecurity, whether it’s at home or at the office. That was a very popular one.

“You know, in general, people just want to be safe and they want to understand some of these things,” he said. “‘Why Kids Kill’ was very popular. I went through that because that was a two-week episode. It’s not what people think to make a long story short. To be honest with you, a lot of people are just concerned about the issues that we’re being faced with as a nation regarding our safety. “

Potts encourages listeners to tune in and call or email to get questions and comments on the air. You can reach him at

For more, visit or call 626-396-1070.


Listen Up Online to Recent Shows

This Sunday’s show on Easter Day will replay the April 14, 2019

Listen Up! This week Potts discusses the definition of an active shooter, and How to Survive an Active Shooter event, and what to do when law enforcement arrives.

06-24-18 Preventing School Shootings: Click here

07-01-18 Road Rage: Click here

07-29-18 Second Amendment: Click here

08-05-18 Cyber Security: Click here

10-07-18 Why Kids Kill: Click here

12-16-18 Violent Crimes Against Children: Click here