The Altadena Town Council listened to a very extensive proposal for a 9/11 monument, new park, and more on New York Drive Tuesday night, but decided against endorsing the plan to start with a memorial sign in the area.
The monument is being proposed by John McDannel, who is a retired airline pilot and resident of the Kinneloa Mesa area in the foothills just northeast of the intersection of New York and Altadena Drive.
According to Town Council members, county officials are planning to install a "Welcome to Altadena" sign by a bridge over the Eaton Wash just east of that intersection, and will be installing signs in several other places to better familiarize people with the boundaries of Altadena.
McDannel would like to see the backside of the New York Drive sign to have a dedication as a memorial to the victims of the September 11 attack on New York City. And he'd like to see it done by 11 a.m. of this upcoming September 11.
McDannel spoke about his experiences on September 11, when he feared his son-in-law, who worked at the World Trade Center, might have died in the attack. As it turned out, he was fine, but McDannel was unable to get in touch with him at first, and ended up driving from Richmond, Virginia to Manhattan to get news about his daughter and son-in-law.
He spoke about his military service in Vietnam and his daughter's service in the Iraq War.
Several others in the audience, all associated with the Altadena Rotary Club, spoke in favor of the project.
McDannel presented some mock drawing of what the sign could look like, with three proposed designs (they can be viewed to the right of this article).
While not dismissing the project idea out of hand, Town Council members expressed concerns about having a standardized set of signage throughout the town.
Town Council member Diane Marcussen, who is the closest Town Council member to where the sign would be, said that people in her district already have some confusion about whether they live in Pasadena and Altadena.
She said the memorial could present "challenges from an identification standpoint" and said she would want assurances that all the signs would resemble each other before endorsing the 9/11 memorial.
After hearing her concerns, the Town Council agreed to discuss the issue at a future meeting, but all said they would want more information from the county, which would ultimately be responsible for approving installation of the memorial.
In addition to the sign memorial, McDannel spoke of much more ambitious plans about transforming the dam area to the south of Eaton Wash into a park with a lake, and making the theme of the park a memorial to veterans of foreign wars. He also said he'd like to see more bike lanes and improvements to the road.
McDannel has long worked in the area to plant trees and improve the area- he was profiled in January in the Pasadena Star News about his volunteer efforts and plans for the area.