News Release: Arrow Found in Neighbor’s Yard Raises New Safety Concerns about the Pasadena Archery Range

For Immediate Release – August 17, 2015

A new arrow has been found on the home of Sally Barngrove and Tom Gertmenian, whose property abuts the archery range in the west side of the Lower Arroyo Seco in Pasadena. This carbon arrow, possibly shot by a crossbow, was found on the west side of the residence and is the third arrow that Sally Barngrove has found in her yard since January. Each time she has reported the incident to the Pasadena Police Department.

A total of 78 arrows have been found on adjoining residences in recent years, but Pasadena city officials and council members have dismissed the neighbors’ claims because the Police Department had no record of the incidents. Some of the 78 arrows were not reported to the police, but others were. The Pasadena Police Department has simply failed to document and file appropriate reports in a number of instances.

Ms. Barngrove notified Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and the City Council of the incident in an email dated August 12, 2015 that included pictures of the arrow. She noted in her message that it is both puzzling and ominous that the arrow landed on the west side of their property, quite a distance from the archery range. “Whatever the scenario, the outcome is potentially life threatening,” she stated.

The new arrow incidents comes to light just before the City Council will consider amendments to the Municipal Code to give the City Manager unrestricted authority over the archery range, the placement of targets, and safety issues involved. Those amendments, which have not been released for public review, are now scheduled to be considered by the City Council on Monday, August 24th.

“We have tried to work with city staff and the City Manager for years about safety and public access issues regarding the archery range, but we have found them unresponsive to our concerns,” said Thomas Seifert, President of Stewards of Public Land.

Local historian Ann Scheid has prepared an evaluation of the archery range and established definitively that the range does not meet the safety guidelines established by the National Field Archery Association, despite repeated contrary claims from the Pasadena Roving Archers. “A survey of the range commissioned by the City clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of the targets are located within 25 feet of the property line, while the NFAA guidelines recommend a minimum distance of 25 yards behind the targets to the property line. One target is actually located within .2 feet of the property line. It is ironic and tragic that the range is in the only area in Pasadena that has been designated by the Municipal Code as a nature preservation area.”

Stewards of Public Land filed a lawsuit in March challenging violations of the Municipal Code and the California Environmental Quality Act in the Council’s 5-3 decision on February 5, 2015 to approve policy changes and a new operating agreement with the Pasadena Roving Archers. “It’s sad that local residents have to file a lawsuit against the City of Pasadena to ensure public safety and access to this wonderful area,” said Seifert. “Since we filed the lawsuit, we have offered reasonable measures that could ensure a safe range that would not bar the public from enjoying the area, but again Pasadena officials have been unresponsive to local residents. It’s all the more puzzling since we now know that 83% of the archers are coming from outside our community. We urge the Pasadena City Council to take a deep breath and recognize the dangers to public safety and access found in the archery range agreement.”

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