Thursday, December 11, 2014

Free Social Security Workshop

Thursday, January 15, 6:30 p.m.

According to famed financial journalist Jane Bryant Quinn, the average retiree leaves thousands of dollars on the table* simply because they don't understand how to optimize their Social Security benefits. This upcoming free workshop at Crowell Public Library offers a chance to avoid this mistake. This informative and easy to understand evening will be led by JOHN PAK, a Certified Financial Planner who will simplify some of the more popular rules as well as the confusing ones. He will revisit the origins of the Social Security system, take a closer look at the mechanics of the program, and explore the ways in which individuals can maximize benefits and avoid the pitfalls. This workshop is open to all who are interested in learning and discussing this federal program. Attendees will receive an opportunity to request a free Social Security personalized assessment. Did you know there are over 500 different ways that enrollees can claim benefits? Or that one can claim 50% of one’s ex-spouse's benefits? Or that one can earn 8% per year for delaying benefits?

John C. Pak has 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. He received a B.A. in Finance through Cal State Fullerton's Mihaylo School of Business and completed financial planning training through NYU. He is very active in spearheading community outreach initiatives with local colleges, public libraries and lifelong learning centers in the greater Los Angeles County area to promote financial literacy and empowerment. John's firm, Searchlight Financial, is the host of KFWB 980AM radio’s “Smart Money Fundamentals.” This workshop has been conducted at numerous Los Angeles area libraries, as well as UCLA extension, UCR extension, UCSB extension, Cal State University of Long Beach (OLLI) and Cal State University of Fullerton (OLLI).

People who have worked hard all their lives should get the most out of their benefits by attending this free seminar Thursday, January 15th at 6:30 p.m. at Crowell Public Library.


Thursday, December 04, 2014

Free Rose Pruning Workshop

Saturday, January 10th, 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Ron Serven, Environmental Services Manager/City Arborist for San Marino will conduct his 22nd annual rose pruning workshop on Saturday, January 10, 2015, and give even the most inexperienced gardeners the knowledge to promote healthy, beautiful rose blooming when spring comes around. Learn the techniques in just an hour or so and be ready to work in companionship with nature in no time.

A former City Parks Division Manager, Ron’s expertise with roses is still visible throughout the city, particularly at Lacy Park. Many rose lovers have benefited from and attended repeat performances of Ron’s workshop at Crowell Library. He will demonstrate optimum rose pruning techniques and answer questions from the audience, such as what to do in cold weather, or how to deal with irregular rainfall. Those who attend will be ready to go out into their own yards the very same day to get the job done. Attendees will get a better sense of how Mother Nature works and will soon be spending some enjoyable time in their home gardens, armed with the knowledge to keep it thriving and beautiful.

This workshop is free and reservations are not required, but if you have questions, please call the library (626) 300-0777, extension 579.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New at Crowell Public Library: Early Literacy Computer

Many thanks go to Crowell Public Library Trustees MARY HSU and DEBRA SADUN who have generously donated an AWE Early Literacy Station to the Children’s Room at the Library. The Early Literacy Station (ELS) is a dynamic all-in-one digital learning solution for children ages 2-8. It features more than 70 educational software applications spanning seven curricular areas. The educational programs are displayed using engaging graphics and intuitive menus. From Math Doodles and Speakaboos e-books to Dora the Explorer, there is something special available for every child's learning preference. These stations have been immensely popular at libraries all across the Southland.

Early Literacy Station™ Version 11 designed for children 2–8 years old—features 16 new programs that kids will love to explore including: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Gingerbread Man, Harry and the Haunted House, Help Me 2 Learn – Letters, Help Me 2 Learn – Numbers, Little Monster at School, Math Arena and Miss Humblebee’s Academy.

“Recent research supports an interactive and experiential process of learning spoken and written language skills that begins in early infancy. We now know that children gain significant knowledge of language, reading, and writing long before they enter school. Children learn to talk, read, and write through such social literacy experiences as adults or older children interacting with them sing
books and other literacy materials…”*

The station will be on display for the Library’s Open House, Saturday, January 24, 2015 from 10:00 to 2:00 p.m. To find the new Literacy Station at the Library, just go to the Children’s Room and look for the long line!

*Boston University Medical Center Erikson Institute And Zero To Three:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reasons a Retiree’s Portfolio Loses Money with Kenneth Sanchez

Monday November 17th 7:00 p.m.

How often are a retiree’s investments held without adequate analysis and attention to detail? When we are working, we’re too busy and when we retire, is it too late? According to Morningstar, “your investment portfolio requires regular reviews... You need to supervise it, just as your manager supervises you, to make sure it stays on track.”* - are your investments performing according to goals and expectations? Is a yearly analysis sufficient? The focus of this informational session will be to understand the foundation of proper analysis and how to remain mindful of the current economic impact on an individual’s finances. Learn how to avoid the most over looked mistakes and strategies which can strengthen financial results and peace of mind.

Presenter KENNETH A. SANCHEZ is Vice President of Floe Financial Partners has worked in the financial advisory industry for 20 years. Kenneth is a frequent speaker for a number of the largest non-profit organizations in Southern California on such topics as financial planning and strategic investment management.


Monday, October 20, 2014

LA Opera Talk Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas

Sunday, November 16, 2:00 p.m.

A steamboat passage through the fabled rainforest becomes a mystical voyage of discovery, each passenger harboring secret hopes of what the trip will bring. Among them, a famous prima donna hopes to recapture the great love of her life. Reality and fantasy intertwine as the dangerous splendors of the Amazon test the travelers’ preconceptions of their hopes and dreams. The Los Angeles Opera Production of Florencia en el Amazonas features the sensational Chilean soprano Verónica Villarroel as Florencia, along with soprano Lisette Oropesa. A ravishingly beautiful score by the late Daniel Catán, the beloved composer of Il Postino, shimmers with passionate melodies and sumptuous orchestrations reminiscent of Puccini and Debussy. Inspired by the writings of Gabriel García Márquez, Florencia en el Amazonas paints an intoxicating portrait of the transformative nature of love.

LA Opera Community Educator STEVE KOHN will present a free audio-visual presentation on this dazzling opera on Sunday, November 16 at 2:00 p.m. in the Library’s Barth Community Room. Steve fondly recalls his first opera when he was a college freshman: Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti, and it was “love at first hear.” His enthusiasm and devotion to Los Angeles Opera has been growing for over fifteen years: he is a charter subscriber and a member of the Board of the Opera League as well as being a Community Educator. Steve is a retired professional from the sports marketing world who chooses to spend his leisure time enlightening one and all about this beautiful art form.

Opera is not just magnificent music, dance and theater with astounding sets on a beautiful stage. An opera can sweep you away to foreign lands, take you back in time, dazzle you with pageantry and bring history to life. It is literature, social studies, cultural diversity, multiple languages and most of all, it is exciting! Come explore the world of opera through LA Opera’s education programs. Opera has something for everyone. The program is free and open to all opera aficionados and first timers. Light refreshments will be served.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Helping Hands for Hand-Held Devices

Monday, November 3, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 8, 2:00 pm

Electronically savvy students from San Marino High School will be available on Monday night, November 3 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and again on Saturday afternoon, November 8 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Crowell Public Library’s Thornton Room to help people figure out how to use their hand-held devices. People can sign up for either of the free sessions. Many people have iPods, Androids, tablets, iPhones, and other gadgets these days, but can’t figure out all of the features. The teen volunteers are familiar with many of the concepts behind these devices, so even if they haven’t used a particular device, they may be able to help a person figure out what to do. The Los Angeles Times covered a previous session earlier this year and posted a story about it at
If you are frustrated with online and telephone support options, come to Crowell Library and work with a living, breathing techie that will help you “bond” with your device. There’s nothing like one-on-one assistance to help solve problems and tackle sticky widgets. Crowell Library thanks Alice Computerworks, a store offering computer sales and services in San Marino, for providing light refreshments to fuel the young volunteers and provide a friendly environment for those attending.
To reserve your spot for this program and spend time getting a better understanding of your device, please call 626-300-0777, extension 579 as soon as possible. There are a limited number of teen volunteers, so slots will fill quickly.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Friends of Crowell Public Library Meet the Authors Series: Susan Rosvall: Silence is Broken

Wednesday November 5th 7:00 p.m.

The Friends of Crowell Public Library’s Meet the Authors series continues with Susan Rosvall, whose first novel, Silence is Broken, is about a naïve young private on a howitzer crew at Phu Loi base camp, Vietnam circa 1966. There he encounters an illiterate Klansman from rural Alabama who launches a series of increasingly homicidal attacks against him. The Private gains respect among the men when he confronts his nemesis and emerges a true hero during an attack where he saves the lives of eighty men. Swirling with local color and hard facts, the novel reveals a compelling story of survival, growth, and heroism, grounded in the history of the times. Silence is Broken is about self-reliance and personal courage, the metamorphic qualities of war and the healing power of empathy. At the broadest and most universal level, it’s about informed citizenship and the just use of deadly force. Learn some fascinating insights into this amazing story direct from the author on Wednesday November 5th at 7:00 p.m. in the Library’s Barth Community Room.

Since 1998, Susan Rosvall has taught English Composition at California State University, Los Angeles. Over the past several years, she has developed a theme-based course on just war theory. Recently, she has traveled to Vietnam and the Southern United States, where she researched the Vietnam Conflict and the American Civil Rights Movement, respectively. Ms. Rosvall received a B.A. in English from the University of California at Los Angeles, an M.S. in Education from the University of Southern California, and an M.A. in TESOL (linguistics) from California State University, Los Angeles. She is the mother of three and resides in San Marino with her husband.

This event is free and open to all. Light refreshments will be served. With wonderful Friends like these, the authors keep coming at Crowell Public Library!