Now there are probably a couple of workable theories for this having occurred. Perhaps the guy who entered text for the print version didn't have the final copy points handy. Or maybe Frank's boss came in to work that morning, thought his Senior Metro Editor was going entirely too easy on that little backwards town stuffed up against the foothills, and wanted something a tad less laudatory for the website. Both a possibility, I suppose.
But my theory is that the Pasadena Star News occasionally uses conflicting headlines because those running the place believe the paper and its website attract two decidedly different readerships. The pulp version appeals an older and more decorous set, those who are still largely content with life in the analog age. Whereas on the internet version the paper's brain trust is attempting to show an edgier style. They're trying to appeal to a younger office worker kind crowd, people who grew up in a harder, more ironic age. Information consumers who prefer their news product with some snark and bite to it.
But I liked the article anyway. And why shouldn't I? It pretty much reiterates one of the main talking points of my campaign. That being, despite all the badmouthing it gets from the proto-development claque, downtown Sierra Madre is a remarkable place. And one of the things that makes it that way is it's home to a vast array of independently owned and unique shops. Downtown Sierra Madre is walkable, bikeable, and interesting. And in a world where almost every other downtown in the western world has basically the same uninspiring and generic chain retailers, that really makes it kind of special.
It is also something that I brought up at both the Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis debates.
Now Frank rolls his portion out by contrasting Sierra Madre with a town that isn't Pasadena. Temple City to be exact. And while I'm not quite sure that I am completely in agreement with this choice, I suppose we could just roll with it.
(Sierra Madre) reminds me of Felton, Boulder Creek and Ben Lomond, the tiny towns along Highway 9 in the San Lorenzo Valley between Saratoga and Santa Cruz ... Even if it has a Starbucks, like everywhere else in the civilized world, for sure there's no Applebees, McDonald's, or Crate and Barrels within Sierra Madre's borders ... And one need look no further than the Adams Pack Station in Chantry Flat to understand why folks in Sierra Madre are nervous about joining county cooperatives such as the Valley COG, or bureaucracies such as SCAG.
Marvelous! The bit about our not joining SCAG might be a little off, though. Sierra Madre actually is a part of that mess, and we even got around to paying our dues once we got what we wanted from whoopin' up on them over a few things. Besides, we're only there as a way of monkey-wrenching their enforcement of some rather draconian Sacramento generated development agendas. Keep your enemies closer, as they say. But otherwise, what is there to complain about in this article? You won't hear any gripes from me. I've been saying a lot of that kind of stuff for years. Frank continues:
One can only imagine how the look and feel of tiny Sierra Madre would be altered if the town suddenly had to conform to the look and feel of the rest of the county.
Pretty much sums up the regionalist challenge. Joe Mosca gets a bit too cheerful when he describes "the collaborative process" that will bring us closer to other locales, but most see right through that stuff. I mean, why would we want to be conjoined to cities that are so unlike our own? We didn't move here to live in an Arcadia North, Pasadena Adjacent, or Glendale Once Removed. We live in Sierra Madre because it really is different, and better.
Temple City's attempt to be like every place else might have a lot to do with its decline. What was once a shining example of affordable suburbia - good schools, nice homes, civic pride - isn't too much different from La Puente or Pico Rivera anymore ... Take Las Tunas Boulevard. It's a vast wasteland compared to thriving Sierra Madre Boulevard. What was once a nice movie theater at a prime intersection has been leveled, and plans to revive the plot constantly change ... Folks in Temple City will tell you that developers are to blame. Of course there is evidence - the whole corruption probe that centers on a developer's alleged bribery of City Council members.
You can only imagine the horror that must have passed through the entire Mosca Slate when they read the word "thriving" being used to describe Sierra Madre Boulevard. After all, hasn't it been an article of faith there for years that downtown Sierra Madre is falling to pieces, and that only by bringing in 15 different chain store establishments will we ever rise to the level of, I don't know, Eagle Rock? And that we must tear down our entire downtown and build something large and stupid in order to get the Applebees and Sit 'N Sleeps of the world to come and save us?
As most of us know, there is precious little salvation in that. And those who advocate this kind of so-called development really aren't here to do us any favors. Which is why we're about to return the people pushing that brand of rubbish to the comforts of private lives they'd somehow hoped to leave behind.
Bonus Coverage: The LA County Democratic Party has endorsed Joe Mosca, but not Nancy Walsh or Josh Moran. Click here for site verification.