Urban Toot is Not Dead!

 

As Monty Python said in that famous scene: “I’m not dead yet! You can view the scene below (It’s actually kinda funny). Yes, it would have been easier to start with that famous quote that has been  attributed to Mark Twain;

“The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated”

But thats just not us. We are more the Monty Python type people. However it’s true, the rumors are exaggerated.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about let me take a minute and explain. Today, Liana  Aghajanian, who is a wonderful columnist from the Glendale News Press, wrote a great piece about the horrible state of driving that existis in Glendale. She actually quoted us (which was awesome! Thanks Liana!) but she did say that we are short lived.

As much as we appreciate the shout out we have to tell you that we aren’t done. We just took the summer off and we are in the process of settling our editorial calendars and getting ready to hit the ground running again.  We are really hoping to continue to write about both the good and the bad in Glendale with the hope of making our community a better place.

In our upcoming issues we’ll be discussing things that people in Glendale do for the summer, Local Sports, resteraunt reviews, local opinions and lots more. However remember, we aren’t just people who write about Glendale, we are people who live in Glendale. We’ll tell you about the things we did this summer as well. All of it. The good the bad and the ugly. Don’t think for a minute that we are finished talking about the state of driving in Glendale, the operating policies at Glendale Water and Power and so much more.

Glendale is truly a wonderful place to live and work. We are very lucky to have a city with such an effective education system, a impressive local police department and a culturally diverse city population. Glendale really is the Jewel City. However we can’t rest on our laurels. There is always room for improvement! Our city needs better driving lessons, a more responsive city government, greater accountability to the public, and the list goes on. Our work here is far from over. Summer’s over, schools back in session and Urban Toot’s back baby!

Is there something that you would like to know more about? Drop us a line or leave a suggestion in our comment section below. We’d love to hear from you! Are you interested in writing and contributing for Urban Toot. Drop us a line and share your ideas!

Anyway as promised here is the video!

Related Posts:

Smileage!

Bad Driver, Bad!

 

 

 

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.

The Six Best Questions to Ask At Open House

Spring Open House Season is in full swing. I had over 60 parties through my open house on 1349 Norton this past weekend and Realtors all over town report similar crowds of eager home buyers.

I am an expert at open houses. I have hosted hundreds of them in my career and there are questions that pop up with stunning regularity. I am talking about questions that make me wonder, “What is this buyer thinking?”

“You listed this as a three bedroom home. Where is the third bedroom?”.

“Um- that would be the home office that has just one door and a lovely walk in closet”

“But that is an office. Where is the third bedroom?”

Oiy.

“Is this house vacant?”

This question is asked in a house full of furniture, personal photographs on the wall and a loaf of bread on the counter.

“Uh, no. No, it isn’t”

Here’s another common one,

“What did they pay for the home?” or “How long have they lived here?”

The open house attendee is trying to find out how much negotiating room there is. Good idea- but this has to be one of the very worst ways to find out. What the homeowner paid ten years ago has nothing to do with what the market might produce for the homeowner today.

Right. Then, what should I do?

Today’s market offers very few good homes for sale. Asking the right questions at open house could make a huge difference in successfully buying the best house today or looking for the rest of your God Given Weekends.

Let’s take a look at some of the very best questions you could ask a Realtor at open house.

1. Why has the seller decided to sell now?

This is a variation on, “How motivated is the seller?”. I like this question because it will take the Realtor by surprise and is much more likely to get an complete answer. The Realtor will almost always answer the “how motivated” question with a “very motivated” answer because they want to hook you in. However, asking “Why” will give you far more insight into what the seller really needs and it might also tell you how urgent the sale is.

2. Have you had any offers?

Almost everyone knows to ask, “How long have you been on the market?”, but very few ask the best follow up question, “Have you had any offers?”. Most buyers miss the fact that they are “negotiating” against two entities- the seller and the other potential buyers. You need to know as much as you can about BOTH. Putting these two questions together will tell you a lot about how your potential buyer competitors are reacting to this home. Bonus points are awarded if you get an answer to, “How much were those offers?”

3. How long have you been at this price?

I have never been asked this question and I think it is a fantastic one. A home that has been at a price for a long time might be ripe for a low offer. A home that has been on the market for a long time, but just reduced the price significantly might be a steal overlooked by others.

4. What are the comparable sales?

Theoretically the Realtor has intimate knowledge of the recent sales in the area and how they compare to the home you are viewing. Asking about these sales will tell you a lot about the seller’s negotiating strategy. Did they price high, low or right at recent comparable sales? As a bonus, you will find out a lot about the Realtor answering the question. If you are shopping for a Realtor to represent you, the ability to answer (or not) will tell you a lot about their expertise.

5. Beside price, is there anything else important to the seller?

Let’s not kid ourselves, price is almost always the most important factor to a seller. However, in a market where multiple offers are common, like today, other factors can make the difference between two similarly priced offers. It might be the length of escrow or the possession date. It might be the size of a down payment or a commonality of values. If this is a house you covet, you will want to know the answer to this question.

6. What will it take to buy this home?

I know, I know. You are thinking, “If I ask this question, won’t I tip my hand to the Realtor? They will know I really want the home!” First of all, if you really DO want the home, it isn’t a bad idea to let the Realtor know. Our job isn’t to trick you into paying too much for the home. Our job is to facilitate a mutually beneficial deal. If you ask this question you are only indicating that you are a serious buyer. Nothing more. You might even find out that you could buy the home for a lower price than you are willing to pay.

There you have it, the very best questions to ask at an open house. You are officially the best armed buyers in town. And, if you are curious, I am happy to answer any of those questions at my next open house. Bring it on.

 

 

The Poop on Earth Day!

In light of “Earth Day” I just wanted to share some quick tips for my fellow canine owners.  We all have to use those plastic poop bags to clean up after our furry friends, but I have some biodegradable options.  The website called “poopbags.com” offers several poop bag options and healthy, natural doggie treats as well.

Their “original poopbags” are made in the USA with renewable resources such as corn and are biodegradable. They sell “Flush Puppies” which are PVA bags that dissolve in water and so you can actually flush the bags and doggie deposit down the toilet.  I also saw “mutt mitts” which are another option to picking up doggie deposits and they are also degradable.

    When we go camping with our 2 Labs we often use 8 or more poop bags per day.  Large dogs make large… well you know.  It would be great if our canine community could switch to poop bags that do not contribute more to our landfills.  The dogs don’t have a say about it so let’s do our part.  Here is the website if you would like to check out the bags that I mentioned and many other cool products. www.poopbags.com.  Happy Earth Day.

What’s happening this week.

 

 

 

The Americana at Brand has a full week of activities and events. Events listed are from the Americana at Brand Website.

 

WEEKLY EVENTS

Yoga with Lululemon Athletica

Lululemon Athletica hosts a complimentary yoga class every Sunday, 9:30-10:30am

Barnes & Noble Storytime

Join Barnes & Noble as they read a delightful variety of children’s books. (4+ years old) Thursdays, 7pm

Gigi’s Farmers Market

A Farmers Market with a New Approach

Come discover an inspired collection of fresh offerings from many of the area’s best farmers and merchants. Saturdays, 10am-2pm.

Kids Yoga with Lululemon Athletica

Please join Lululemon Athletica for a fun filled Kids Yoga class on The Green. Recommended for 3-6 year olds, but parents are always welcome to join in on the fun! Wednesdays, 11-11:45am.

Barnes & Noble Storytime

Join Barnes & Noble as they read a delightful variety of children’s books. (2+ years old) Wednesdays, 12 pm

Stroller Strides

Getting in shape has never been so fun! Join Stroller Strides for a total fitness program that moms can enjoy with their babies! Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9-10am

Monday Morning Mommy Movies

Moms, Dads, Caregivers – come see a first-run movie…with your baby! No one will mind if your baby cries, so pick up your diaper bag and stroller! Mondays, 11am

Kids Club on The Green

Enjoy a terrific selection of enriching activities for kids, parents and caregivers. Join us for a weekly dose of fun, including music, entertainment and so much more! Tuesdays, 11am – 1pm

 

Americana photo image from Kendyl Young on Flickr Creative Commons

How to make a Hard Boiled Egg

With Easter just a couple days away we thought that we share this great video about how to Hard Boil an egg. The coloring is up to you!

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