Adobes of Glendale: The Verdugo Heritage

A video about the Adobes of Glendale


A really great video that describes the history of the Adobes of Glendale, CA. This really wonderfully produced video discusses the history of the Catalina Adobe and the Casa Adobe De San Rafel. I’m really impressed by the depth and complete research that is presented here. They talk about the very early days from the 1500’s to the 1900’s.  Everything from who lived here to how the Adobe Blocks were made.

10 Reasons why Art is important for Children

When you visit a preschool it is essential to ask how much art the children are creating each day. At the core of learning is the desire to be creative, and children know the difference between true art and art that is directed by adult expectations. A good preschool needs to provide art through out the day, not just on certain occasions.

The best art is process art, where children are allowed to create their own vision, with the only result is that they like what they have created.

Why is art important? Here are ten reasons:

1. Art nourishes a child’s soul and true creative spirit.

2. Creating art promotes self esteem.

3. Art encourages children to give attention to the physical space that surrounds them.

4. When creating art children learn to solve problems and think for themselves, known as critical thinking.

5. Art teaches children to use their senses.

6. Children can share and reflect on their art work to help them makes sense of the world they live in.

7. When art is integrated with other curriculum, children commit to the learning process.

8. Art stimulates the right and left side of the brain.

9. Art teaches there is more than one way to solve a problem.

10. If a child learns to love art, this will stay with them forever.

If we want children to love art, it needs to be a part of their daily preschool life. This will far outlast knowing their ABC”S or how to write the alphabet.

Debbie Bacino has been an early childhood educator for the past twenty years as a preschool teacher, director and parent educator. She is a member of the National Association of Early Childhood Educators, Pasadena City College’s Advisory Board and a local preschool directors networking group. Debbie is the owner and Director of La Canada Preschool. Her vision is to provide the best environment for children to experience discovery and their sense of wonder at this magical moment in human development.



Why Play When You Can Already Read?

When people come tour my preschool I am frequently told by the parents that their child is reading at a second grade level; then asked what are your teaching the children? Upon entering a yard under the shady of a Chinese Elm you can see children coming in, finding an activity such as digging a river in the sand, or creating art with a marble, a box, paper and paint. There is play dough made fresh everyday.

A friend is being made while other children are thinking about making a friend.

Developmentally when we study children’s play we are looking for how best to teach each child individually, with objectives that are appropriate for their stage of development. While parents, and my apology in advance yet it is usually fathers, seem to want their children to learn academic principles, feeling that play is something a child can do at home.

While that is true, as I raised four children and they all played at home, children need to learn to be capable and cope able away from their home environment, as someday they will need to be independent of their parents. This is a huge task when you think about it. At the same time if I child can be given the time to develop at home as well as in a school environment from the preschool age with an emphasis on social emotional development studies show children being more secure in the world, with healthier social relationships and even a higher income. All this through exploring the world in a school where children are playing,even while they can read a second grade level.

Debbie Bacino has been an early childhood educator for the past twenty years as a preschool teacher, director and parent educator. She is a member of the National Association of Early Childhood Educators, Pasadena City College’s Advisory Board and a local preschool directors networking group. Debbie is the owner and Director of La Canada Preschool. Her vision is to provide the best environment for children to experience discovery and their sense of wonder at this magical moment in human development.

Urban Toot enjoys the summer!

Hey, Is it just me or have you also noticed that it’s summer? Yup thats right. Summer Rules, School is… well out and so the good folks at Urban Toot have decided to blog on a summer schedule. We know, we know, you will miss us. You want to hangout at the pool or at the beach. Sure we can do that. Just bring your favorite book, a bottle of something tasty to drink and some sun tan lotion and we’ll all be set.

Okay, Okay, just kidding.


The truth is that Urban Toot loves Summer and we really want to enjoy it. We’ll be posting from time to time, but just not our normal 5 articles a week. So for the summer we’ll be posting here and there. We’ll be checking the comment box below. If you really want us to come back leave us a message below. Tell us what you like about Urban Toot and what type of articles you’d like to see more of. We’ll do our best to oblige.

Dog Behavior Lecture: Mischief, Mayhem, and Manners

Did you know that the Glendale Humane Society offers Lectures? Neither did we! However we recently discovered that Janine Pierce is offering a lecture entitled “Mischief, Mayhem, and Manners.” Ms Pierce is a dog behavior expert    (Certified from the Council for Professional Dog Trainers) and she will be shedding light on some interesting information about dogs.

Topics Include:

  • What is normal doggie behavior? Do we have realistic expectations?
  • How do consequences and environment affect a dog’s behavior?
  • How can we survive puppyhood?
  • What do we do with our canine teenagers (adolescence!)?
  • We will also cover specific problem solving like jumping, mouthing, greeting behaviors, coprophagia (gasp!) and more!

Pre-registration is required: Early bird $25 before May 7; regular $30

All proceeds benefit the animals in the shelter. Thank you for your support!

Event Properties

Event date: 05-20-2012 02:00 PM
Event End Date: 05-20-2012 03:30 PM
Cut off date 05-19-2012
Individual Price $30.00
Location Glendale Humane Society
 Information courtesy of the Glendale Humane Society Website. We encourage you to visit the site, visit the Humane Society and then responsibly adopt a cat or a dog.

Biking in Glendale

Who isn’t excited about all the energy that is going into biking in Glendale?

It was recently Bike To Work day in Glendale and from all my bike loving friends I heard that was pretty cool. But did you know that the City of Glendale has teamed up with Los Angeles County Biking Coalation to have a month of bike riding activities? I didn’t know until I visited their website. You should as well!

The City of Glendale Traffic & Transportation Division currently is trying to bring Glendale to present with a new revison of the city’s Bikeway Master Plan. The city is preparing the Honolulu Avenue Road Diet Test Case (“Project”). What this means is that in certain parts of the city, bike lanes will be installed and the current roads will be narrowed.  The website describes the actual prjoect in these terms:

No Helmet Bike Rider!

Key Project characteristics include:

  • The Project’s easterly limit will be Orangedale Avenue. The Project’s westerly limit will be based upon funding availability; Public Works anticipates the westerly limit will fall between La Crescenta Avenue and Whiting Woods Road.
  • The existing and proposed cross sections of Honolulu Avenue are described below:
  • Between Orangedale Avenue and La Crescenta Avenue, the existing four through travel lanes will be reduced to two through travel lanes (one per direction). In lieu of the two through travel lanes being eliminated, a two-way-left-turn lane and designated bicycle lanes (one per direction) will be created. Existing separate left-turn lanes and on-street parking will continue to be provided.
  • Between La Crescenta Avenue and (approximately) Whiting Woods Road, the existing four through travel lanes will be reduced to two through travel lanes (one per direction). In lieu of the two through travel lanes being eliminated, designated bicycle lanes (one per direction) will be created. The existing two-way-left-turn lane, separate left-turn lanes, and on-street parking will continue to be provided

You can read more about it here.

Glendale Bike Riders

We just hope that the City of Glendale and the County of Los Angles provides it’s citizen’s a fair amount of education about sharing the road between Cars and Bikes. I’m a little nervous because as Urban Toot has reported in the past ( Glendale has the third worst driving record in the country.  I cringe to think what it will be like having more bicyclists on the road.

However it’s not just the job of the car drivers to be safe. It’s also the job of the bicyclists. Bicyclists need to remember to:

  1.  Wear a helmet.
  2. Follow all traffic laws (including stopping for all redlights)
  3. Use hand signals.
  4. Adults, stay off the sidewalk!
  5. Always be in control of your bike!

Little Free Library in Glendale!

Have you ever heard of the Little Free Library?

One of our Urban Toot Staffers and his family have decided to take on this very cool project of creating their own mini public library. The exact location hasn’t been determined yet (we’ll let you know when it is).

How little you ask. Very little. Here is a picture of a common library.

Little Free Library

Here is the deal. The Little Free Library says that their Mission is to: 

  • To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
  • To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.
  • To build more than 2,510 libraries around the world–more than Andrew Carnegie!

Sounds pretty cool! What is so appealing to us is that it promotes literacy and community. It makes a statement of  “We trust you. we know that you could steal all the books, you could damage our little library but we trust that you won’t.” In other words it builds community.

In today’s world of me, me, me it’s tough to find a worthy project that’s worth supporting. In fact sometimes it’s tough just to find a project not to be cynical about. Today Urban Toot wants to challenge you to be more then just yourself and to get behind a project in which many, many things can go wrong but the Staff at Urban Toot wants to believe that it will go right!

We’ll keep you up to date with what’s going on with the Free Library Project. In the mean time what community projects do you support? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!


Feature Photo Image from Neighborhood Library Builders Guild’s Facebook Page

No End to Graffiti

Remember back on March 30th when we wrote about Graffiti in Glendale and about how awesome it is that the Neighborhood Services Program goes around the city and cleans it up. That way the Graffiti Taggers pretty much learn that it’s useless to Tag in Glendale because it won’t stay? It’s a great concept except for one thing. You really have to do it or it doesn’t work. In fact things only get worse.

How do we know? Because they have become worse, much worse.

Not only is the Graffiti that we reported to you on March 30th still right there on the path that many school children take when they walk to school but it’s also spread to the Wash where it’s bigger and more of any eyesore!

We originally contacted the city via the graffiti removal web form told about the problem, identified where the problem was and we received a response from John J. Brownell, Senior Neighborhood Services Supervisor that said;

Thanks for the request.  It will be scheduled for follow-up. – John J. Brownell

Guess what? They haven’t done anything. Not one thing to clean this up. It’s been over a month and nothing. Shame on you City of Glendale. Clean up your city!

10 Questions to Ask When Looking for a Preschool

The things to look for in a preschool = the right fit. When looking for a preschool life the options of various programs can be overwhelming. Here are ten questions to ask when looking for a preschool:

1. Class size, as well as the size of the entire school. Small is better.

2. Student/teacher ratio. How many adults are with the children. More is better.

3. Food. What do they serve the children to eat and how often.

4. Quiet time. Are there areas where children can be quiet, such as a play dough, art or reading table.

5. Communication. Listen to how the children are spoken to.

6. Teachers education and work experience : more is better. AA degree preferred as aminimum in early childhood education.

7. Directors education and work experience. BA degree minimum, masters preferred.

8. Art. Are the children engaged in being artistically creative every

day, and how.

9. Music. Is there singing, dancing and music being played all through out the day.

10.Literature. Is there children’s literature in the classroomand being read consistently.

With these questions you can find the rightness of fit for your child based on learning what is the core philosophy of each school you visit. It is a big decision, based on a brief visit, recommendations, and trust. Listen to your feelings.  I know there are many wonderful preschools in Glendale and the surrounding communities to meet your needs.


Debbie Bacino has been an early childhood educator for the past twenty years as a preschool teacher, director and parent educator. She is a member of the National Association of Early Childhood Educators, Pasadena City College’s Advisory Board and a local preschool directors networking group. Debbie is the owner and Director of La Canada Preschool. Her vision is to provide the best environment for children to experience discovery and their sense of wonder at this magical moment in human development.


Flickr Creative Commons images: Reading by Kaylhew, Crafts by Mrs. Flinger, Music by Cambodia4kidsorg

Good Intentions

When we start something new or make a promise to ourselves it is usually with good intentions in mind.  We start with a positive can do attitude and are not planning on taking a detour or hitting a roadblock along the way.  However life happens and maybe your plan that you thought was such a great idea was not such a doable one after all.  Maybe giving up all sugar for example was a little extreme.

This past summer I started training for a 25k (15.7 miles) Trail Race with good intentions in mind of course.   This wasn’t just any trail race however.  This was the Bulldog named after its long 4.3 mile long hill that climbs up to 2500 hundred feet.  This was a brutal trail race and it was supposed to be my  “first” big comeback race since the birth of my youngest son.  Sure I had run the local races around town but this was going to be my first big test.  For those of you that don’t know, my third pregnancy really threw me for a loop both mentally and physically and finally two years later I felt ready to go at it again.

Well the big day arrived and my body was ready, but mentally I was not.  It was literally the HOTTEST day of the summer and I began to have my doubts.  I had been envisioning a top three finish but that soon clearly became not the case.  In the middle of the wretched Bulldog hill all I wanted to do was turn around.  It was hot, I had fallen off the pace and there was an “old “ lady that just passed me up the hill.  My good intentions started to turn into no intentions.  My friend’s husband caught up with me and we started talking.  Clearly if I was able to hold a conversation up the Bulldog with him I was not pushing myself.  We arrived at the aid station at mile 7 and after the volunteer doused me with fabulously cold water something clicked in me.  My race was not going how I had envisioned it to but I was not a quitter.  I said so long to my friend’s husband and was off.  My body was flying up and down the trail and I was passing runner after runner.   I came through the finish line feeling depleted.  I made up so much time I ended up beating my friend’s husband by eleven minutes.  I did not finish in the top three as I hoped but I felt good that I did not let my whole entire race fall apart.  My intentions were to run hard and finish at least third woman.  My reality:  I ran hard the second half of the race and had to settle for sixth woman.  As I drove home from the race that day I felt disappointed and sad that I did not accomplish what I had set out to do. (I was also wising that I was not such a competitive person!)  However I did not let myself completely fall apart which is something I should be proud of.  My goal that I had set for myself with good intentions in mind was not completely fulfilled but I did not abandon it because I hit a roadblock.

When you set a goal for yourself whether it is to include more fruits and veggies in your diet or to workout more often and you hit a roadblock don’t jump ship.  Get over the obstacle and continue where you left off.    It is often thought that if a person eats one so called bad food during the day that their diet is ruined and they may as well continue to eat poorly the rest of the day.  This is not the case.  Get over the “bad food” and jump back to your plan.  The same goes for exercise.  If you can’t get your full one-hour workout in and can only fit in 30 minutes, do it!  Something is better that nothing.

So next time your healthy living plan that was made with good intentions of course does not go as planned don’t jump ship.  Make adjustments and continue on.


Katie Valdes MS RD CSSD

Katie is a Registered Dietitian specializing in weight management, sports nutrition and child nutrition. Katie maintains her own practice in Southern California consulting with individuals of all ages.  She has taught university nutrition classes, conducted nutrition seminars and lectures, and continues to author a nutrition newsletter.

She is an avid runner, having regularly run long distance competitively in high school, at USC, and she continues to do it today while pushing two of her three children, ages 25, and 8, in a stroller.  Katie has placed 13th overall female in the Los Angeles Marathon, 4th overall female in the Napa Valley Marathon and regularly ranks at the top of her class in races today.

Katie holds a Masters Degree in Nutrition and is Board Certified in Sports Dietetics in addition to her Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science from USC.


Image from Flickr Creative Commons lululemonathletica

Social Widgets powered by