Posted in Let's Get Visual

Welcome Home!

After my last post, sommayous might’ve thought I’d still be in Oregon. But I’m home! Here’s proof:


Hmm. Looks quite a bit like this from my June 2008 post, wouldn’t you say?


Dyslexia?  These two walls are opposite each other on Montana St. just east of Lincoln Avenue. Quite near my house. Why I persist in posting these photos and thereby keeping my property value low, I’ll never know.

Posted in Around Town

While You Were Watching City Council…

I took the ARTS bus to City Hall.

A sign of hope: Somebody used a USPS sticker to tag the ARTS bus stop sign. Easier to remove!

It’s the Pasadena Way to have a meeting outside the meeting:

As I walked toward city council chambers, a pan flute was playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” A couple was enjoying the courtyard.

Note to City Council: There is never enough CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) money for everyone who wants some. That is true EVERY year. Apparently, Door of Hope got a letter awarding them $0.00. No, it wasn’t a typo. Clearly, it was ridiculous to send a letter like that. Clearly, Door of Hope’s executive director should have been informed about the appeal process in a timely manner. (Update: I’ve been told that the CDBG appeals process information is in the application packet distributed by the city.)

Yes, El Centro needs money for their program for seniors at Villa Parke. Should programs that operate in city facilities get special treatment? Sid Tyler busted up that idea. (Disclaimer: Sid Mr. Tyler is on CHAP’s board. I sometimes work as a consultant for CHAP.)

Just as Pasadena City Council was wordsmithing its way to a clunky motion to address perceived potholes in CDBG administration, Margaret McAustin laid the smackdown on micro-managing/undermining the work of Pasadena’s Human Services Commission. “Our job is to set policy,” she said. Huevos around the table were frozen and cracked as though by liquid nitrogen. It was a beautiful moment.

No Virginia, city staff aren’t going to help local nonprofits raise money.

Michael plays his pan flute in City Hall stairwells because the acoustics are splendid. I told him that Pasadena’s City Council was meeting upstairs.

“Can they hear me in there?” he asked.

Posted in Around Town, Issues

The First Graffiti of Summer

But first, a bit about Santa Monica.

I celebrated Father’s Day by taking my dad to Santa Monica, the town that maintains a firing squad for anyone caught smoking anywhere. We sat on the patio sidewalk in front of this place, and my dad asked the waiter server if he could smoke. He knew the answer would be no, but he wanted to see what the guy would say. Server-dude said it’s okay to smoke six feet away from the eating area.

Minutes later, another restaurant patron lit up while sitting at his table. I’m not sure if server-dude saw this or not. No one was at the table next to the guy. In fact, no one was within six feet of this guy. No one was offended. No one said anything.

Later we walked through Palisades Park. I pointed out the “No Smoking” signs. We walked out to the pier, which is also a no smoking area. I saw two elderly tourists, a European-looking couple, both with a cigarette in hand. I thought how incredibly ridiculous it would be for a police officer to approach them and request that they extinguish their smoking materials.

Aggressive anti-smoking ordinances are only effective if they can be enforced. When ordinances are so comprehensive as to be unenforceable, they just end up being silly. Santa Monica, you’ve gone too far. Everyone, even smokers, knows that smoking is bad, even the blind smokers that have to buy the special cigarette packs with the surgeon general’s warning in Braille (not really, I just made that up). I can’t imagine Santa Monica wants to yank cigarettes out of tourists hands and end up losing tourism income. Or will nicotine replacement soon be available at the Visitor’s Center?

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It’s been weeks, people, WEEKS since I’ve seen any egregious graffiti in my little corner of District 1. That really doesn’t mean much considering how I’ve been chained to my desk working on a project. Anyway, this little Father’s Day gift was deposited at the northeast corner of Lincoln and Montana.

In fairness, the WWMHS was not on the wall. It’s just that I figured out that I could put text on photos, so I had to try it out.