Disturbing Descanso 


Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns brings spooky family fun to Descanso Gardens this weekend


A normal visit to the Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge offers an opportunity to see thousands of beautiful plants and trees in a bucolic setting. However, this Halloween season has presented an entirely different type of surroundings for those who dare to visit there after dark.    


Starting back on Oct. 3 and running through Sunday, the “Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns” event has provided spooky fun that’s still appropriate for all ages. More than 5,000 pumpkins will be cut up and converted into works of Halloween-inspired fun by professional artists and sculptors, arranged in artistic displays along a quarter-mile-long scenic trail that becomes a multi-sensory experience for the whole family. 


Among the designs on the trail are a recreation of the New York City Skyline, favorite sports stars from pro teams, famous TV stars, a giant graveyard made of Jack O’Lanterns, and a pre-historic arrangement of life-size dinosaurs made entirely out of lit Jack O’Lanterns. The entire walk takes anywhere from 45 to 75 minutes, and organizers are requesting that visitors not show up early for their scheduled entrance times to prevent overcrowding. 


 The 2014 Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns takes place from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. tonight and Sunday, and from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge. Tickets are $24 to $28, with children ages 2 and under free. Visit therise.org. 

Startup Support


City of Pasadena to offer $1 business license fees to businesses in their first year in town


Business owners seeking to create startups in high-tech and other key industries may qualify for a reduced business license fee of only $1 for the first year under plans given initial approval on Oct. 20 by the Pasadena City Council.  


The council approved the idea of friendly business license fees for startups and voted to have staff bring back formal change to the city’s schedule of fees and taxes.  The change is expected to take effect on Jan. 1. 


Under the plans approved by the council, the cost of a business license for qualified businesses would be $1 for the first year, and then revert back to the typical rate that averages $390 for small businesses. The decision was aimed primarily at qualified, small start-up companies with no more than five employees that can help support the growing start-up community in Pasadena.


“We are thrilled with the critical collaboration and support that we have received from the city of Pasadena as we work to nurture and expand the local start-up, innovation community. This is a terrific example of how the City Council’s leadership is embracing our local start-ups,” said Andy Wilson, co-chair of Innovate Pasadena.


Innovate Pasadena, www.innovatepasadena.org, is a collaborative Pasadena organization of tech leaders, business entrepreneurs, city officials, venture capitalists and other interested parties who are working together to foster a pro-technology and high-tech startup environment in Pasadena.


The council’s action came as Innovate Pasadena and the city co-sponsored a week-long Innovation Summit event, bringing together an impressive variety of creative entrepreneurs, tech experts and others for networking, idea sharing and inspiration.