Area of clouds 1000 miles east of the Caribbean has a 90 percent chance of development in the next five days.The area is moving west at 10-15 mph and conditions are favorable for a new Tropical Depression to form in the days ahead.Computer models show anything developing would move towards northeast Caribbean Thursday and southeast of Bahamas on Saturday.The next name on the 2020 hurricane list is Isaias. Visit the National Hurricane website here.
Talk about old school. One of the oldest, most charming schools in the San Fernando Valley celebrated its 90th year in style this week by throwing a big, belated birthday party. During the celebration, school officials cranked up its vintage 900-pipe organ, which was donated in 1922 by a local music company. “We’re the only elementary school in the Valley that looks like a mission and has its own pipe organ,” said Rosemarie Kubena, principal of Reseda Elementary School, a designated state historical landmark. The school opened in September 1916 with 69 students, a principal and three teachers, each educator making $864 a year. It had eight classrooms, a library, a cafeteria and a front office. “Seniors from all over Michigan collected bulk playing cards from the casinos in the Midwest, then took them to senior centers to be sorted into decks,” Blashek said. “The problem was, they could not afford the close to $10,000 to ship them to us. Meanwhile, a Girl Scout troop in New Berlin, Wis., not only sold Girl Scout cookies for us, but organized a Beanie Baby collection drive after reading the letter from a Marine on our Web site about Beanies saving the lives of troops. “The girls collected 32 barrels of Beanies, but the shipping was going to cost several thousand dollars they didn’t have,” Blashek said. When officials at Roadway, a national shipping company, heard the story, they sent a truck to Michigan that then went on to Wisconsin to collect the items and drive them out to Van Nuys for free. Nice touch, Roadway. The May 26 and 27 drive will be held at the California Army National Guard Armory, 17330 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys. For information on donating or volunteering, log on to www.operationgratitude.com. And finally, if you want to say thank you to some great guys, stop by the Veterans Memorial at the Chatsworth train station at 10a.m. Saturday for the annual Loyalty Day ceremony sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post11508. The station is at 10040 Old Depot Plaza Road in Chatsworth. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. [email protected] (818) 713-3749160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Today, Reseda Elementary – recipient of a California Distinguished School Award this year – has 542 students, 23 classrooms, 30 teachers and administrators, and an old pipe organ that has survived three earthquakes. “Fortunately, after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, there was no major structural damage to the school like there was after the 1933 Long Beach temblor, but all the pipes of the organ fell down and were eventually repaired with a FEMA grant because of our historical landmark status,” said Cathy Altuvilla, who has taught at the school since 1979. Seldom in use these days, the organ was playing again Tuesday during an open house celebration at which students sang popular songs from each of the different eras that their historic little elementary school has taught through for 90 years. Happy Birthday, Reseda Elementary. Here’s a little behind-the-scenes story from Carolyn Blashek, founder of Operation Gratitude, which has sent more than 200,000 care packages in the past four years to troops overseas and those in hospitals back home. Two items that will be in the packages being collected for the troops this Memorial Day weekend will be 55,000 decks of playing cards and more than 6,000 Beanie Babies that soldiers can give to kids in Iraq and Afghanistan to help win their trust and get them to tell where landmines have been buried.