Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year 2016 | Brion Costa

No real estate information to report today. Just the sincere wish of all of us here at BrionCosta.com that the coming year will bring you and your family happiness, peace, and prosperity.

Happy New Year!

San Gabriel Valley Holiday Events: Snow Days At Kidspace Children's Museum

San Gabriel Valley Holiday Events – “Celebrate the Season at Kidspace! Break out your mittens, boots, and snow hat for a day of winter wonderland fun! …”

San Gabriel Valley Holiday Events:
Snow Days At Kidspace Children’s Museum

San Gabriel Valley Holiday Events | Brion Costa

Snow Play Without Leaving The San Gabriel Valley!

Today we’re highlighting one of the most family friendly of San Gabriel Valley Holiday Events: “Snow Days” at the Kidspace Children’s Museum.

Would you like the little ones to experience the joy and fun of a “White Christmas”, but don’t have the time for a trip to our local mountains? Well, here’s a great solution! For 5 days, Dec. 26-30, Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena is bringing the snow to the San Gabriel Valley!

Kidspace Children’s Museum is a “learning center” dedicated to “hands on” learning for kids. They have wonderful programs and camps goping on all year long, but “Snow Days” is really very special. It’s really a memorable treat, especially if your little ones have never seen or experienced snow up close. What better way for the munchkins among us to celebrate the Season than a day experiencing snow play right here at home.

You can find all the information on the Kidspace website. This is an experience the little ones won’t soon forget! Have fun!

2015 Kidspace Snow Days | Kidspace Children’s Museum

Kidspace Children’s Museum

“Play in real snow, build a snow family, perfect your snowball making skills, and make snow angels. There will also be snow and winter themed activities throughout Kidspace. See full list below …”

Read More Here: http://www.kidspacemuseum.org/events/event-list/snow-days

San Gabriel Valley Holiday Events.

Things To Do In The San Gabriel Valley

Things To Do In The San Gabriel Valley – “Events, entertainment, activities, and other things to do in the San Gabriel Valley”

Things To Do In The San Gabriel Valley:
And The Holiday Season Begins!

San Gabriel Valley Thanksgiving Events | Brion CostaOff To A Running Start With Lots Of Thanksgiving Fun! 

The Holiday season officially begins with the Thanksgiving Holiday approaching later this week. Whether it’s taking in a Thanksgiving weekend production of “The Nutcracker” at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center, or The Holiday Home Tour in Pasadena, there’s something going on for everyone.

To make things really convenient, the folks over at “Eye Spy L.A. have put togetherr a page that is solely focused on what’s happening with events, entertainment, and activities in the San Gabriel Valley from now through the end of the year and some even into next year as well.  Whether you want to see a Christmas Panto at the Pasadena Playhouse or take in a “Musical Sleigh Ride” with the California Philharmonic at the beautiful Pasadena Civic Auditorium, there’s tons to do for everyone!

Here’s Here’s the link to the page at Eye Spy LA :

Events, Activities, Entertainment & Other Things to Do In The San Gabriel Valley Area | EYE Spy L.A.

Eye Spy L.A.

Read More Here: http://www.eyespyla.com/www/thebuzz.nsf/59b8ff6ef35007cf0825729d00611011/49dbc8f8febc89a288256e59005baeed!OpenDocument&Start=1

Happy Thanksgiving

Whatever activities you choose to pursue over the coming Holidays, be safe. Have fun, and have a Great Thanksgiving Holiday!

San Gabriel Valley Recreation – There's Lots Going On Through December!

San Gabriel Valley Recreation – Here’s a handy schedule of Holiday Season oriented activities in the San Gabriel Valley that you and your family can attend …

San Gabriel Valley Recreation:
There’s Lots Going On Though December!

San Gabriel Valley Recreation | Brion Costa

There’s Something for Everyone … From Santa Visits To Santa Anita!

The San Gabriel Valley is hopping! It’s the Holiday Season, and even though December is a bit over 1/2 past, there are just a ton of things to do for everyone in the family!

From Breakfast with Santa at Descanso Gardens … which happens tomorrow morning (Dec 20th) … to Opening Day at Santa Anita on Dec. 26th, there is a huge array of fun activities for the entire family to enjoy in our lively Southern California area!

Here’s a really great list of some of the area’s best upcoming events compiled by Discover San Gabriel Valley:

Upcoming Events – Dec 2014 | DiscoverSGV

DiscoverSGV.com      Aug 13, 2013

Rose Parade Float Decorating – Experience the magic of the floats before they make their debut in the 2015 Rose Parade. During the final stages of preparation a variety of seeds, bark, fruits and vegetables, grasses and of course, flowers are being applied to the floats by experienced professionals as well as hard working volunteers.” …

Read More Here: http://www.discoversgv.com/events/upcoming/

Enjoy Our Beautiful San Gabriel Valley Area With Your Family … & Happy Holidays!

That list should provide you with some great ideas for Holiday recreational activities here in the San Gabriel Valley.

From Brion Costa, as well as the rest of us here, we wish you and yours a joyous Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

San Gabriel Valley Veterans Day: What's Open and What's Closed

Veterans Day In The San Gabriel Valley – A Quick List Of What’s Open And What’s Closed On Veterans Day.

San Gabriel Valley Veteran’s Day:
What’s Open & What’s Closed

San Gabriel Valley Veterans Day | Brion Costa

A List Of Operating And Non-Operating Services

Today is Veteran’s Day. There are many events and activities ongoing … and also the usual confusion about just what services … like libraries, banks, government offices … are operating and which are not.

Linda Gold at The Pasadena Star News has put together a helpful list:

What’s Open, Closed On Veterans Day In The San Gabriel Valley | Pasadena Star-News

Pasadena Star-News      11/06/14, 4:21 PM PST

“When in doubt, call your destination prior to Tuesday, Nov. 11. Banks will be closed. California and U.S. government offices and courts will be closed. City offices and libraries will be closed.” …

Read More Here: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/lifestyle/20141106/whats-open-closed-on-veterans-day-in-the-san-gabriel-valley

Check First

It’s probably safe to expect most government offices … city, county, state, and federal … to be closed. Most schools will be as well. A good rule to adopt is to simply check first by calling before you make a trip somewhere.

San Gabriel Valley Recreation: Cool Things To Do In The SGV

Things To Do In The San Gabriel Valley – What are your favorite recreational spots in the San Gabriel Valley? Share them in the comments below!

San Gabriel Valley Recreation:
Cool Things To Do In The SGV

San Gabriel Valley Recreation | Brion Costa

Recreational Opportunities Run The Gamut In The San Gabriel Valley

Today I’m sharing an article from the website of K-EARTH 101, a local radio station and CBS affiliate. It’s a good article highlighting several great “things to do” in our local area … from restaurants to the nostalgic Vineland Drive-In Theater … but that’s really not why I’m sharing this.

Get the introduction! WOW!

“An often-overlooked part of Los Angeles located in eastern part of the county, The San Gabriel Valley is actually larger than its San Fernando counterpart at 284.13 square miles. Most people just don’t know that much about it.

Pardon my French … but what the hell? The article was written by Clarissa Wei, and she speaks about the San Gabriel Valley as if it’s Mars. Most folks who live in “other” parts of L.A. are well-aware that being a “Westsider” or “Valley-ite” can sometimes become almost a cult status, but this is ridiculous. Am I detecting a bit of a snob problem, Ms Wei?

I am just kidding around here, but on the serious side, how can you live anywhere in L.A. and be ignorant of the San Gabriel Valley? That opening sentence struck me as very strange. I have no idea which “most people” Ms. Wei spends her time with, but I will say they’re apparently a bit insular and and a very ill-informed crowd.

All that said … here’s the article, and it’s got some great suggestions of stuff to do in the SGV.

Top 7 Things To Do In The San Gabriel Valley | K-EARTH 101 – CBS

K-EARTH101      November 7, 2014 12:30 PM

“VINELAND DRIVE-IN – Located in the City of Industry, this classic drive-in movie theater is open seven days a week and shows the latest blockbusters under the night’s sky. A swap meet by day and a movie venue by night, the admission is notably cheaper than regular theaters and the benefit is you get to watch from the comfort of your own car.”

Read More Here: http://kearth101.cbslocal.com/2014/11/07/top-7-things-to-do-in-the-san-gabriel-valley/

Never A Dull Moment

All kidding aside, from an evening spent with the family at a nostalig drive-in theater that shows today’s first-run releases, to hiking the miles and miles of gorgeous wilderness trails you can easily access in the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains, the San Gabriel Valley is jam packed with a wide variety of things to do for everyone in the family. Keep your eyes on this spot for our continuing recommendations.

Until then … see you at the Drive-In!

San Gabriel Valley Recreation: Precautions For Snakebite Season

San Gabriel Valley Recreation – “As Southern California suffers through the third year of drought, rattlesnakes are moving farther from their territory searching for food and water, many biologists report. ”  …

San Gabriel Valley Recreation:
Precautions For Snakebite Season

San Gabriel Valley Recreation | Brion Costa

The Southern Pacific rattlesnake is the most common rattlesnake found in wild area in Southern California and one of the most deadly. This snake was just off the trail in Powder Canyon, near La Habra, part of the Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority. (photo by Terry Tuttle).

Hikers & Mountain Bikers Warned To Be On The Lookout

It’s official. Southern California, and the San Gabriel Valley, are officially in a severe drought. That’s nothing new. The area is a “desert” after all, and residents are used to living in an area that is either entering a drought or recovering from one in a seemingly endless cycle.

One of the things that happens under drought conditions here in certain areas of the San Gabriel Valley can be increased activity and meetings with wild animals who may range farther than normal searching for food and water. This is especially true in the foothill areas of the valley, where encounters with animals such as wild cats, bears, and rattlesnakes can become more numerous as a result of the drought conditions.

According to doctors with the California Poison Control System, the state and our area are on a pace to break records for snake bites this season. There has been one resident in Sierra Madre bitten already this year, and several calls in foothill areas to animal control and the police to remove snakes found in foothill neighborhoods and yards.

Here’s an article just published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. It’s by Steve Scauzillo, and it outlines the situation and the different factors causing the increase of snake encounters.

Drought May Be Causing Higher Rates Of Snakebites In Southern California

San Gabriel Valley Tribune 06/24/14, 7:04 PM PDT

Too many people wear shorts and flip-flops instead of long, loose-fitting pants and boots or sturdy shoes, said biologists. Also, going off trail and being unable to hear a snake’s rattle because someone’s wearing earbuds with music blaring adds to the possibility of getting bitten, said Lizette Longacre, ecologist with the Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority.

Read More At: http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-news/20140624/drought-may-be-causing-higher-rates-of-snakebites-in-southern-california

Being Prepared & Observant Are The Best Preventatives

The San Gabriel Valley is full of great opportunities for fun and recreation. Hikers and Bikers can choose from the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains, the Puente Hills, and many more areas that are great places to hike and ride. Some of the most beautiful and fun country in the area is right here, and it’s not our intent to discourage people from making use of those opportunities! In fact, we encourage you to get out there and experience the beauty of the wonderful place we live in.

We do need to remember, though, that when we live in areas that border the forest or hills, or when we visit the more remote areas of our valley, we face the possibility of encountering the actual residents of our more rustic areas. Being smart and prepared is the best advice on how to remain safe. There are things you can do!

1) Don’t go into our neighboring forest wearing beach sandals and shorts. If you’re going off hiking wear long pants that are loose fitting and boots or very sturdy shoes.

2) If you’re off in the hills hiking or biking, leave the earbuds off. The music may be enjoyable, but the fact is that many rattlesnake bites happen when people step on or very near a snake that is rattling and attempting to warn them to stay away. The hapless hiker, though, can’t hear the warning because of their earbuds. Leave them off, and be more attuned to your surroundings.

If you take a few precautions and simply remain aware and observant, you’ll have a much better time enjoying the wilderness that is such a benefit of living and visiting our area.

San Gabriel Valley Recreation: Say Goodbye To The "Adventure Pass"

San Gabriel Valley Recreation – A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Forest Service can no longer charge fees to visitors who hike, walk and bike in the undeveloped regions of the Cleveland, Los Padres, Angeles and San Bernardino national forests.” …

San Gabriel Valley Recreation:
Say Goodbye To The “Adventure Pass”

San Gabriel Valley Recreation |Adventure Pass | Brion Costa

Deb Burgess, owner of Adams Pack Station for eight years at Chantry Flat, in Big Santa Anita Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains is the largest seller of the Adventure Pass Program in the United States.
(Photo by Walt Mancini/Pasadena Star-News)

Controversial Fee Program Appears On Way Out 

Oneof the great recreational opportunities here in the San Gabriel Valley is afforded to us by the proximity of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest. Many of us who grew up here … some for multiple generations … can site a long list of favorite sites for camping, hiking, and biking. Many of us have created some of our best memories with family and friends in our nearby Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests.

One of the nicest things about the forest was …it was free. It didn’t cost anything to take a drive up Angeles Crest Highway or to the end of Santa Anita Ave and up to Chantry Flats where you could simply park anywhere … and then hike on some great trails right off into the woods. Well, that all changed about 17 years ago when the National Forest Service instituted the “Adventure Pass” program in National Forests across the nation.

The AP program levied fees on “users” of the National forest areas. Now those “users” were not restricted to people who “used” camp sites, rest room facilities, or amenities like that. Different areas applied the rules in different ways, but in many areas “Users” were considered to be anyone in the forest. In those areas that meant you could no longer hike or bike into an area for an excursion and then leave … without paying the AP fee.

For many years now, the Adventure Pass program has been challenged in various courts all over the nation. Now a federal judge has ruled that in our local National Forests … the Cleveland, Los Padres, Angeles, and San Bernardino forests … the US Forest Service can no longer charge the AP fees unless someone is actually using provided facilities. People who are merely hiking, biking, or driving through the National Forest areas cannot be charged.

Here’s a comprehensive article by Steve Scauzillo in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune:.

Adventure Pass Nixed For Visitors Who Hike, Bike Into Southern California Forests … – San Gabriel Valley Tribune

http://www.sgvtribune.com Fri, 09 May 2014 17:38:34 GMT

“The Forest Service is prohibited from charging a fee solely for parking,” Hatter wrote. … The Forest Service is reviewing last week’s ruling. In the meantime, visitors can park for free unless they use amenities like toilets or picnic tables. … “They can’t charge a person who doesn’t use the facilities,” said Matt Kenna, attorney for the hikers. “Just because there is a picnic table next to a trail head, they still can’t charge that person.” …

Read More At: http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-news/20140507/adventure-pass-nixed-for-visitors-who-hike-bike-into-southern-california-forests-judge-rules

Enjoy Our Local Forest – Support The Work Of The US Forest Service

Our local National Forest is one of the “jewels” of the area’s recreational opportunities. Over the last 17 years the funding from the Adventure Pass program has provided for much of the maintenance and development of facilities we’ve seen in the forest areas. This loss of AP funding could potentailly be a “hard knock” for the forest service to absorb.

While we appreciate the idea of not having to pay the Adventure Pass fee every year, let’s keep in mind that our forest recreational areas do need maintenance. Trails, parking areas, rest room facilities, campgrounds … all of these things cost money to build and to maintain. If we’re going to eliminate the Adventure Pass funding, let’s keep in mind the needs of the Forest Service when it comes to allocating tax funding in the future.