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Updated: 16 hours 38 min ago

Pasadena Company Says Its Barriers Create Safer Dining Zones Following NorCal Tragedy

Tue, 2020-10-20 13:02
Archer 1200 barriers built by the Pasadena-based Meridian Rapid Defense Group are pictured in Wilmington, North Carolina in a picture provided by the company.

In the wake of a crash last week in which a man was killed when a car careened into an outdoor dining area in San Jose, a Pasadena company says steel barriers, like the ones it manufactures, could help ensure such tragedies aren’t repeated as the pandemic continues forcing dining outdoors in L.A. County and other places throughout the country.

Meridian Rapid Defense Group builds and sells the 700-pound, steel Archer 1200 Vehicle Barrier, which “can stop a car or truck at lethal speeds,” the company said in a written statement.

A man died hours after he was struck by a pickup truck that had driven into an outdoor dining area in San Jose on Oct. 11, according to the San Jose Police Department. Seven other diners were reportedly injured.

Investigators determined the driver had mistaken her truck’s gas pedal for the brake while parking, according to San Jose police.

Meridian CEO Peter Whitford said incidents like the one in San Jose, as well as others on the East Coast, demonstrate a need to revisit how outdoor dining areas are kept safe from motor traffic.

“A series of collisions in New York, like that in San Jose, has highlighted that swiftly assembled, flimsy outdoor dining setups just aren’t good enough,” Whitford said. “These terrible tragedies can be averted if the correct equipment is used and the correct decisions are made at the very beginning.”

Meridian’s barriers are being used nationwide, according to the company.

Pasadena, Ventura, and West Hollywood have made use of them during the pandemic, as well as cities in Florida and North Carolina, Meridian representatives said.

“To provide an added layer of safety to on-street dining locations, the City utilizes Meridian Archer barriers as a vehicle arresting device for on-street dining areas that do not have adjacent on-street parking. We have currently deployed 25 Meridian Archers for on-street dining,” according to Pasadena Transportation Director Laura Conejo.

The barriers are selected and placed with high visibility and safety in mind, “as an additional level of safety for dining patrons to serve as protection from a potential errant motorist,” Conejo said.

“With any installation of on-street dining, it is important for the customer and the motorist to be able to distinguish where the dining perimeter ends and where the street begins,” according to Conejo. “In all on-street dining examples, there are barriers that are installed that serve to distinguish between the dining area and the street right of way.”

Meridian’s barriers are “Safety Act certified” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to the company.

More information is available online at

See also:

Pasadena Company Says it Has the Answer to Providing a Safe Sidewalk Dining Experience

Tetra Tech Wins $209 Million USACE Environmental Services Contract

Tue, 2020-10-20 09:40

Pasadena-based Tetra Tech, Inc., a leading provider of high-end consulting and engineering services, announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Mobile District, Planning and Environmental Division, has awarded the company a $209 million multiple-award contract.

Under the five-year contract, Tetra Tech will provide technical services for planning, assessments, and studies to support environmental initiatives for conservation, coastal and shoreline protection, wetland restoration, and sustainable infrastructure development, according to a report issued by the company Tuesday morning. 

Tetra Tech’s scientists and engineers will leverage high-end technology and advanced analytics to deliver innovative solutions in sustainability, environmental planning, and design.

“The USACE has been a valued client for more than 40 years,” said company Chairman and CEO Dan Batrack. “We have been working with the Mobile District for more than 25 years and look forward to continuing to support USACE’s sustainable development and environmental protection initiatives.”

Macy’s Hiring Seasonal Workers in Pasadena, Arcadia, Glendale

Mon, 2020-10-19 15:02

Macy’s is preparing for a holiday season hiring blitz, with a massive telephonic job fair being held Thursday to hire about 6,100 workers for the company’s 97 stores statewide, including outlets in Pasadena, Arcadia, and Glendale, representatives said.

The virtual hiring event will take place between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., according to Macy’s. Positions to be filled include jobs at stores, in fulfillment centers, and at call centers, the company said in a written statement.

“The quick and convenient process allows seasonal candidates to interview from wherever,” the statement said.

Employees are offered competitive pay, access to flexible scheduling, discounts, and opportunities to earn bonuses, according to the company.

Season applicants often receive an offer the same day they are interviewed, and many stay on with the company beyond the holiday season.

“Our colleagues help bring the magic of Macy’s to life during the busy holiday season, performing a number of functions that are critical to providing our customers the best experience when they shop in our store,” according to Macy’s employment website.

One of the available jobs represents a new position for the company.

“To support Macy’s convenient shopping experience, stores will also offer a new, versatile role focused on picking and packing contact-free curbside pickup and same-day delivery orders,”’ the statement said.

Those unavailable for the virtual job fair on Thursday can interview prior to the event, according to Macy’s.

Interested candidates can begin the process at

Langham Huntington in Pasadena Named to List of Top 50 Hotels in the World

Mon, 2020-10-19 11:52

The Langham Huntington in Pasadena has been named to Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best Hotels in the World: 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards” list,  the hotel chain has announced.

The hotel was named 46th best hotel in the world, and third best in the Los Angeles area, according to The Langham Hotels & Resorts and Condé Nast.

“The honor of being recognized by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler is one that never stops being exciting,” Langham Hospitality Group CEO Stefan Leser said in a written statement. “But in this year in which travel has been curtailed for many of us, the honor is even greater.”

Other Langham hotels receiving honors from the travel magazine this year include ones in Hong Kong, Boston, Sydney, Melbourne, London, New York City, Shanghai, and Chicago, according to the company.

“This list serves as a reminder of the power of travel to bring us all together and give us something worthwhile to celebrate,” Leser said. “We are so proud of all nine of our hotels that made the list, specifically our hotels in Hong Kong and Shanghai who have made their first appearance on the list this year.”

The list was the result of nearly a half-million reader responses, Langham officials said.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the savvy and knowledgeable readers of Condé Nast Traveler,” said Langham Huntington Managing Director Paul Leclerc. “We are proud to be among the hotels that they consider the best of the best in our city and in the world.”

The Langham Hotels & Resorts operates 17 hotels on four continents.

Council’s Economic, Development, and Technology Committee to Consider Legacy Business Program

Mon, 2020-10-19 01:00

Longtime commercial enterprises that continue contributing to the community could soon be recognized as legacy businesses.

The Economic, Development, and Technology (EDTech) Committee will consider a business legacy recognition program at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

“The variety of businesses in a downtown or along primary commercial streets represent a significant part of what defines a city and creates a local character,” city Economic Development Manager Eric Duyshart said in a staff report.

“As national retailers and online shopping continue to lure a larger portion of consumer spending, it is increasingly important to recognize elements of local commerce that help set our community apart from other cities,” the report states.

Long Beach and San Francisco have already started similar programs, according to Duyshart, who said honoring these businesses is particularly relevant as the negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic continue to threaten small businesses.

The program would create a process in which storefronts, restaurants, and other local companies that have existed for up to 50 years can be acknowledged and celebrated. Pasadena is home to a variety of businesses that have been contributing to the community’s culture for more than a half-century.

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce has a similar program that recognizes businesses that have been members of the organization for long periods of time.

Among the businesses included in the EDTech Committee report are Pashgian Brothers, Fishbecks Patio Center, Mijares Mexican Restaurant, Anderson Business Technology, and Vroman’s Bookstore as examples of local businesses that have been around for more than 50 years.

In a letter to the community last month, Vroman’s Chairman Joel Sheldon said sales at the venerable Pasadena bookstore are down 40 percent from prior years, “A level which cannot sustain our business,” according to Sheldon.

According to its website, Vroman’s is the oldest and largest independent bookstore in Southern California.

“Presenting these businesses with a plaque and window decal to celebrate contributions to the community is a great way to honor them. Such a program can also provide the city with a structured mechanism to recognize and help promote these retailers and restaurants that are unique to Pasadena,” the staff report states.

The EDTech Committee will discuss criteria options for the business, including the minimum business age for eligible businesses, whether only storefront businesses should be eligible, and if changes to business name and ownership should be a factor.

Staff is prepared to craft a version of the program if the committee supports the project. The project would return to EDTech and, if it is approved, presented to the City Council.

Innovate Pasadena’s Connect Week Highlights Local Tech Community

Thu, 2020-10-15 16:41
Click on image to enlarge

Despite the ongoing pandemic, and in some cases as a result of it, innovation is alive and well in Pasadena, as the organization Innovate Pasadena intends to show during its annual Connect Week, which is being presented in an online format this year.

Connect Week takes place Monday through Sept. 24, although several events are scheduled to begin as early as Friday, before the formal start to the week-long celebration of technological innovation, organizers said.

The more than 30 tech-centered online events include activities such as app-building seminars and low temperature metal casting, along with a host of speakers and discussions covering a wide array of tech-related topics, from entrepreneurship and branding to climate change.

While the pandemic has slowed many aspects of society and the economy, new ideas continue to flourish in Pasadena, Innovate Pasadena President Beth Kuchar

“Innovation is not dead, that’s for sure. We do still see many innovations that are happening, new technologies that are emerging,” she said.

“I think one of the effects the pandemic has had is while, yes, it has spawned some new technologies that have been released out there, I think it’s also helped to accelerate technologies and innovations that were already under development,” Kuchar added.

From touch-free temperature scanning door security systems to ventilator machines to unique face masks, new inventions and innovations have continued to pour out of the city amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only is technology evolving in reaction to the pandemic, but so are people’s attitudes and habits toward it, according to Kuchar.

Looking at healthcare, for example, patients have long been leary of virtual doctor visits or diagnosis, she said.

“One of the things that this [pandemic] might accelerate is people being more trusting of some of those distance type interactions,” Kuchar said.

Working from home has made countless people familiar with video meeting software.

“And we’ve seen 3-D printing technologies come out in force to help some of our first responders and some of our hospitals respond to and deal with shortages of PPE,” Kuchar said.

Kuchar pointed to a mobile app recently developed by Innovate Pasadena staff on behalf the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce to help keep residents up-to-date on the offerings of local restaurants. The app can be downloaded at

The planned week of events “lives up to the name of Connect Week in that it’s helping to create these links between institutions and resources and people, Kuchar said.

“I understand people have a Zoom fatigue these days, but we’re hoping that we’ve got some pretty enticing topics to pull people back onto their Zoom accounts and attend,” she added.

Alex Maleki, who serves as managing director of the tech company incubator Idealab, said he has also seen how the challenges of today are fostering innovation.

“As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of all invention,” he said. “I think as people have to figure out what to do and how to survive and innovate… we’re seeing a high level of innovation. And I think that will continue for some time,” he said.

“You’re seeing things around: curbside delivery and how retailers and restaurants and businesses have to find new ways to entice customers and provide value,” Maleki said. “So I think there’s a number of areas where again, just driven out of pure necessity, we’re going to see innovation.”

New tech startups continue to spout up even amid the pandemic,” he said. “We started one in the last month.”

“Obviously we’re dealing with all the changes and all the new scenarios out there, but we’re continuing to do our best to push our companies forward and help them in any way that they can, and ultimately help to make a big impact on the world.”

More information on Connect Week, including a full schedule of events, is available online at

Makers of Covid-19 Testing Kits Leases Office Space in Pasadena Playhouse District for $8.1 Million

Thu, 2020-10-15 11:52

A medical group that is currently focusing on increasing the global supply of COVID-19 rapid test kits has recently leased office space in Pasadena Towers, located in the heart of the city’s Playhouse District.

Innova Medical Group, Inc., which specializes in the production and distribution of innovative medical devices, including the best-in-class SARS-COV-2 rapid antigen testing kit that is being sought out by many countries, struck a long-term lease on the 15,024 square foot office space at 800 E. Colorado Blvd. for $8.1 million.

Innova describes its business strategy as “an open platform to enable top talents and most promising innovative medical technologies to maximize their value through rapid, most cost-effective, and efficient penetration of the global market.”

The group also produces cancer diagnostic devices, cerebra-cardiovascular risk assessment devices, and stem cell technologies — from stem cell separation and isolation devices to stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine.

The growth of Innova Medical Group Inc., a subsidiary of Pasaca Capital Inc., has pushed the group to search for space that would be quickly available in the San Gabriel Valley.

“The Pasadena Towers location offered great accessibility and security in a class A property with space that could be delivered quickly,” said Kathi Constanzo of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT, who represented the group in the property transaction.

“Working with Innova leadership, we carefully evaluated a number of alternative locations and this property met the client’s requirements to meet the needs of their employees and business growth objectives,” Constanzo said.

The property is owned by CBRE Global Investors. Innova Medical will occupy three suites and, with their tenancy, bring the property up to 100 percent occupancy.

For more on Innova Medical Group, visit

For information on property acquisitions, contact Constanzo at or call (626) 898-2308.