Posted in Around Town, Let's Get Visual

Is This for Real?

Dispatch from The Scout:

“A frenzied funkosis of fire silhouetting shadowy characters against stroboscopic stabs of colored light. Zounds! I finally understood Huckleberry Finn’s point of view as he was floating down the river, observing from a distance people and the things they do.”

Yes, as AP commented on the churchified post below, that was our neighborhood on the 4th of July. Dozens of people were at the end of their driveways, or even in the street itself, lighting all manner of combustible material to loud boom box music. My inner pyro wanted to join in and blurted out “I wish I had a sparkler!” The Scout remembered that we had three-foot long sparklers we got from the res a few years back. Yes, I indulged, though I kept a close eye on ‘the crocodile’ (that’s what The Scout calls patrol cars) that was a block away.

Yes, I said a block away. I could see the Pasadena Police cruiser a block to the south, while a block to the north you’d have thought the PPD and the Altadena Sheriffs had disappeared in a mutual annihilation exercise. The Scout says: “People were so mesmerized by the bang-bang, they ignored the snapping power of the croc.” My neighbors across the street got a warning. I beat a hasty retreat. I don’t know how it ended up for the 30-40 folks straddling the Pasadena-Altadena border.

In other news…

Shoefiti at the intersection of Navarro and Tremont. What does it mean?

Posted in Around Town

Flyers Away

At least three or four times a week, someone leaves a flyer (or a business card) on our front door.

(Pardon the hand-held fuzziness.) Over the years, there has been a lot of hue and cry about what essentially amounts to the organized distribution of litter in Pasadena. My guess is that this is not just a Northwest Pasadena issue, though I’m sure the flyer guys don’t tackle the hills of Linda Vista on a regular basis.

All the excess paper really bugs my neighbor Steve. If he’s outside when the flyer guys pass by, he shoos them away.

If the flyer distributor can’t get to the front door, there are alternatives available. Gates are handy.

Very handy indeed.

Lots of flyers just end up loose.

These are all Altadena Dental flyers. Proctor and Gamble gets in on the action in a more upscale less recyclable fashion: the plastic bag holder.

As I walked along, I found the guy doing the damage. Here, he’s putting a flyer directly into someone’s mail box. I believe this is illegal.

I hope he appreciates how I protected his identity by cropping his head off.

Sigh. Flyers are here to stay, I’m sure.

Is your doorstep routinely peppered with flyers? Is that Pizza Man pizza any good?

Posted in Around Town, Travel

La Pintoresca Library

La Pintoresca Library, Pasadena, CA

La Pintoresca Library, Pasadena, CA

I am a big fan of “La Pint” as library insiders call it. I went there today to return an audio version of On the Road (by Jack Kerouac) that The Scout listened to while on some long drives recently. (He highly recommends it, btw. He loved the work of reader Will Patton.)

When I asked to be pointed to the travel books section, librarian Diane Walker perked right up and escorted me over to the shelves. You see, La Pintoresca library won the Grand Prize in the Frommer’s 2007 library display contest. A nationwide contest, folks! And what they won is a passel of Frommer’s 2008 travel guides!!! You can see photos of their winning display here.

This is not just a one-off for the marvelous team at La Pint. They previously won a For Dummies library display contest (photos here).

So congratulations to them! I told them that I was going to blog about their victories, and they encouraged me to remind everyone that…

Women at Work has a new satellite office at La Pintoresca. “At La Pintoresca Branch Library in Pasadena, Women at Work provides free assistance with career counseling, resume writing, interview skills, job applications, and other creer-related suppport on Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Sign up for a 45-minute counseling session by calling the library during regular hours at 626-744-7268.

La Pintoresca Branch Library
1355 N. Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103

Why was I asking for travel guides? Because thanks to the generosity of one of my dad’s friends, I am traveling with my dad to England next week. Yes, indeed. I’m excited beyond words. I’m too excited to blog about it! Must prepare for trip!

Posted in Around Town

Pasadena’s District 1 Meeting – Update

UPDATE 30 April 2008: Hop on over to Pasadena’s Political Underbelly for more on this. It’s unfortunate that the District 1 Community Meeting and the Northwest Commission Meeting are at the same exact time. Especially since the Northwest Commission meeting is soliciting community input (April 9, 6:30 pm, Jackie Robinson Center).

Re: the District 1 Meeting on May 8, 2008. I stand corrected—it is in Pasadena. It doesn’t even depend upon what you think “is” is. It is in Pasadena, because a piece of the north side of West Altadena Drive is technically in Pasadena. I’ve copied this straight from the comments on the previous post. City councilmember Jacque Robinson says:

Hi Kelly,

Sorry to see you won’t be making the meeting. In any event, just wanted to let you and your readers know that District 1, in fact, includes Altadena addresses and residents who are lucky enough to be able to vote in both Pasadena AND Altadena. District 1 runs along Arroyo straight through Windsor (where the Vista Laguna’s and Florecita’s run as well as about 1/2 of Altadena Dr.) Odyssey is actually in the District. As a general rule, anyone can go to and click on “District look up by address” on the right hand side and it will give you not only your City District, but Congress, Assembly, and all the other elected officials you’d like to contact for your address.

As a general practice, I am making it a practice to move the meetings around the District so everyone has an opportunity to participate, including my Altadena constituents.


So I did go to and

The address you entered:

Was not found. If it is a valid address, Please call the Los Angeles Registrar Recorder’s office at: (562)466-1323.

So I did. I’m on hold.

*Later* Pissed off talked to a couple of people there, and no luck. They couldn’t find 725 W. Altadena Drive in their system. Note to self: Do not move to 725 W. Altadena Drive. You won’t be able to vote.

Still, Jacque is correct. I’ve seen this map (click on the tab “About District 1”). Here’s the map that shows District 1 reaching into Altadena (north side of Altadena drive).

Re: the “move the meetings around the District” idea: IMHO, it’s better to pick a regular meeting place and time. If you are trying to build community, keep the conversation flowing, be accessible, etc. it is much better to say something like “first Wednesday of the month at the Jackie Robinson Center.” It’s easier for people to remember. If the meeting is going to move around, then a lot of work has to be done to get the message out. It’s do-able, but it’s more work on the part of the meeting planners.

So. The District 1 meeting will be, in fact, in District 1. Will the Northwest Commission meeting be happening at the same time?

Posted in Around Town

Pasadena – District 1 Community Meeting

It’s an eerie Monday morning here in Pasadena. The car is covered with ash, and the sunlight filters weird yellow through the dense smoky clouds. For coverage on the Sierra Madre fire, try Sierra Madre 91024 and The FC Blog. See also Flickr photo set here via Yausser.

* _ * _ * _ *

It pains me to state the obvious, but sometimes the little things matter. Sometimes the things that seem little are actually more important than one would think.

The good news? Councilmember Jacque Robinson is hosting a District 1 Community Meeting on Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.

The bad news? The meeting is not being held in District 1. It’s not even being held in Pasadena. No, the meeting will be at Odyssey Charter School (Auditorium) at 725 W. Altadena Drive in Altadena.  This little section of Altadena Drive is technically in Pasadena.

(Click to embiggify.)

It seems that District 1 meetings should be held in District 1. That would encourage folks to participate. That would make the meeting easier to get to. That would engender a sense of place.

(Ow, ow, ow – I’m stating the obvious.)

We have plenty of suitable locations to hold a meeting – La Pintoresca Library, the Jackie Robinson Center, Washington School, John Muir H.S. We have several nonprofits with decent-sized meeting rooms. Were none of these options available?

Picking a central location in District 1 would be ideal. Picking ANY location in District 1 for a community meeting about city government should be de rigueur.

Getting to the May 9 meeting via public transportation is akin to getting to Dodger Stadium via public transportation. In other words, take your car or get a ride with someone else. Your big option is MTA Bus 267 which runs along Lincoln Avenue. All ya’ll who live far east of Lincoln—walk or take the ARTS bus over. Good luck getting home.

While I’m being nit-picky:
1. Is this meeting really being held at the same exact time as the Northwest Commission meeting?

2. Why isn’t this meeting listed on the community calendar?

3. The District 5 meeting got a mention at the City’s Public Affairs website. Why not this one? Oh heck, I’ll send Ann an e-mail myself.

4. The meeting isn’t listed here on the District 1 Announcements page either. (Click on “Announcements” tab.)

5. The meeting announcement gives no indication if transportation assistance is available, or if translation services will be available.

Oh yeah, I’m moaning and groaning. Too bad I won’t be there. But I have a good reason. More on that later.