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Morning Brief: Pasadena Homicides, Canceled Flights And Lightscape LA

A view of the Central Library in sunlight, with palm trees and a green lawn out front.
Pasadena's historic Central Library has been closed due to seismic concerns.
(Courtesy City of Pasadena)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Dec. 28.

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And now, back to the news…

“They always say, ‘Oh, there's no crime in Pasadena.’ And there is crime in Pasadena.”

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Those are the words of Sarah Toni Mendoza, whose son, Robert Calrderon, was fatally shot outside an apartment complex on North Mentor Avenue in Dec. 2015. Speaking to my colleague Emily Elena Dugdale, Mendoza said that ever since then, she’s been waiting for police to find his killer.

“I know COVID hit, but the phones still work,” she said.

Mendoza’s experience was brought back into the spotlight after the shooting death of 13-year-old Iran Moreno Balvaneda, who was hit by a stray bullet while playing video games inside his Pasadena home just before Thanksgiving. According to residents, law enforcement officials have dragged their feet on finding the perpetrators of these crimes.

In response, police officers in the area said that oftentimes, witnesses won’t talk.

“We all know who did it,” said Pasadena police spokesperson Lt. Bill Grisafe of some cases. “But somebody’s not stepping forward to report it.”

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Still, Grisafe confirmed that Pasadena currently has 14 unsolved homicides from the last 10 years. For mothers like Mendoza, that reality can be unbearable.

“He was really happy where he was in his life,” she said of her son. “I'll never be a grandmother, I'll never go to his wedding … I had one son, I have no other children.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... This Week's Outdoors Pick: Lightscape LA

'Lightscape LA' is currently on view at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.
(Christine N. Ziemba/LAist)
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Walk through an illuminated, one-mile trail at the L.A. County Arboretum in Lightscape L.A., an after-dark outdoor experience. The immersive light installations come alive with color and sound as guests view thousands of twinkling lights, from the Winter Cathedral to the Fire Garden.

Or, you could: Watch the Rose Parade bands perform at Bandfest. Enter a NYE curling tournament. Catch The Go-Go’s or Tinashe live. Bring friends and family in town to a number of art exhibitions, including Banksy and The Broad’s recent collections. And more.

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