Pasadena: World Class City
Last night I heard a couple of politicians refer to Pasadena as a “World Class City.” I had no idea. I kinda guessed it, I mean, after all there is a music hall, orchestra, a couple of museums, lots of churches, a light rail, and that classy 35’er joint. All of these are certainly indicators of a world class city. Heck, because of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl, Pasadena is pretty much world famous. Never mind that I have been to thirty countries in the world and all of their people stare blankly at me when I say, “You know, the home of the Rose Parade” (click here).
Don’t they know that the Rose City is a famous World Class City? I certainly didn’t way back when, but I do now. I watched them turn a skid row into a Cheesecake Factory. I know that when I think of the great cities I like to revisit - Paris, Rome, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Hamburg, London ... I always think of Pasadena, too. I mean, who doesn’t, right?
Long gone are the days when blowing things up in the Arroyo Seco was a cause for panic (click here), and JPL is practically an American institution (click here) but still, the nagging question remains: Will we ever have a Jack Parsons Parade?
Back to my point: of all of the great cities in America, Pasadena is only outclassed twice - by Baltimore and Cleveland.
You go, Rose Kings.
A Waste is an Awful Thing to Mind
I got to thinking today. That’s never a good thing. It inevitably leads to more thinking. It generally devolves into trouble and misfortune. I was thinking about one of those useless pearls of wisdom: I think the phrase is Idle Hands are the Devil’s Plaything, or some such nonsense. My friend’s mom used to always say that when I was a kid. She also called me devil spawn.
Anyway. When I get to thinking too long on something the outcome can never be good.
Give Me Plastic, or Give me Death
The Tattler has discussed the folly of our northwestern neighbors and their green obsession, specifically in regards to plastic bags (click here). I have never really chimed in on the topic, but I am a little behind the beat sometimes.
Listen: I am all for stupid rules, especially when they are engineered by well-meaning buffoons in suits (click here). I also support higher taxes, unlimited fiscal waste, more Federal holidays, covert meetings, smash-up derbies, and city government members meetings wearing beer sipping hats. I love hearing the Pasadena Board of Education president Renatta Cooper talk about taking tequila shots after my friend Mary and I speak at meetings. It makes me feel validated that the truth drives people to drink, but who’s going to eat that nasty worm?
In fact, I think all meetings of this caliber should be conducted with the members of the BOE passing around a bottle of Jack Daniels. Now that’s integrity! There is also the other method of conflict resolution (click here), right Mr. Honowitz?
So. There are a few things I have learned from this little rule, and to the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, take heed. I live in a city that is surrounded by neighboring cities. That means I can drive in three directions for shopping. I may drive to Pasadena, or to Arcadia/Temple City, or to Arcadia/Monrovia. Pasadena’s ban on bags, which I may purchase for 10 cents a piece if I forget mine - annoys me on two levels:
1 - I do not appreciate paying a dime to promote branding i.e. showing my neighbors I use your product so that they might be influenced to as well (as if they can’t think, right?); and
2 - I feel cheated by you because you are profiting at the expense of the cause you supposedly support.
My friends the dolphin free tunas, the range-free bison, and the Sierra Madre illegally bred chinchillas do not get saved. In fact, their plight is being exploited, and they are being used. Maybe that ten cents a bag emblazoned with the Whole Foods logo should go straight into the kitty to help Save the Whales, to euthanize encroaching wildlife, to build a dog park, promote a flea circus, save a panda for the WWF (click here), or some other charity.
Every day Ralph’s sells a bag, another Unicorn loses its Horn.
My solution is to do my big purchase grocery shopping in Temple City, Arcadia, and Monrovia. When I do that I also spend my money there on gas there. If I feel the need to go to Target? I go to Duarte. Staples? I go to Rosemead. The City Council of Pasadena has cost Pasadena stores and gas stations in Pasadena more than ten thousand Brandenbucks annually, as well as grossly hiked taxes that could’ve been transinflated into ‘denas, but will instead become recused as ‘rcadians and ‘rovians. I suggest you consider what I am saying, and follow suit. It’s time to stand up to these so called “environmental” bullies and tell them to back off.
Thank your City Hall, retailers of Pasadena.
The best part of this policy is the Orwellian drive to rat out your neighbors and shopkeepers. According to the policy, enforcement of the ban will be complaint driven. Code Enforcement within the City’s Planning & Community Development Department will investigate any complaints.
Amazing. On one hand the Pasadena City Council spend countless millions of dollars - your tax dollars - to build pack-n-stack apartments, a train line, a special road for bicyclists, and a plan for community schools. They do this, allegedly, to build bridges between the communities. With the other hand they encourage people to snitch on the environmentally unsound. They even have a crack-shot investigative team of handle it
Obviously these people are totally insane and should be institutionalized, but they are not. In fact, instead of locking them up, we put them in charge of the very junta that keeps are children imprisoned every day. They are in charge of mandating the very School Board we are indentured to. But wait! There’s more.
Our taxes pay for this insanity.
Why Pasadena Cares Less About the Poor than You Do
Some people are exempt from the policy, and thus cannot be touched by the long arm of the Eco-Police. You may ask, just who are these special people? What is this special class so beholden (click here)? Who is it that has been exempted from paying the fee? The lucky people who are exempted are those who cannot afford the bag fees, those of us who are just flat broke:
The charge will be waived for customers participating in either the State Department of Social Services Food Stamp Program or the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
This all was the result of the Green Fascistic Accords, as you’ll recall, and a study, which probably cost the magic number ($50,000) (click here) and which stated:
On September 18, 2006, the City Council adopted a comprehensive environmental Green City Action Plan (GCAP) based on 21 specific actions identified in the United Nations Green Cities Declaration and Urban Environmental Accords (UEA). The adopted plan identifies the development of a plastic bag reduction program to support the goals of achieving zero waste to landfills by 2040, reducing the use of a disposable, toxic, or non-renewable product category by 50 percent by 2012, and protecting the watershed.
Let’s get this straight. If you are the poorest among us, you have the permission of the Pasadena City Council to skip this rule. You can also skip it if you are a farmer’s market seller, or a restaurateur.
In other words, one of the groups most affected by damage to the watershed - farmers - are encouraged to cut their own environmental throats.
Another group, the poor, are allowed, even encouraged - to destroy the watershed and abuse the landfills. Technically, they aren’t even allowed to be part of the Green Machine because they are below the poverty line.
So, the City Council members will exempt the poor?
Well, no, not exactly. Actually the City Council choose to hand them the very material needed to destroy the environment, and they will do it free of charge. If you or I want the privilege of wrecking the landfills, we have to give ten cents a pop, payable to the supermarkets. Obviously, they want to destroy the environment, too, or they wouldn’t make the bags with their company brand lasered on them in the first place.
Does any of it even make sense?
Oh I forgot: Don’t worry, be happy. The guys who brown bag their tall-boys can do it right out in the open. In doing so, they are being environmentally sound alcoholics.
Devil’s plaything, Devil’s workshop. If you overthink it you’ll go to Hell. OK. Got it.
Obviously the City of Pasadena cares less about the farmers and about the poor than you do. Even the Pasadena bicyclists feel the eco-love. That’s why the ‘Dena is a world class city, and that’s why we all are just a bunch of Sierra Madre hillbillies.
Man, I wish we were forward thinking and cultured enough to have an orchestra, a couple of Denny’s, a few museums, and other cool pointy-headed stuff, too.
Oh. Did I mention Luis Ayala is an attorney? (click here)
Please save your questions for the candidates until after the resolutions are passed. Thank you.