Package Theft

For quite a while now the city of Glendale, California has seen a rash of robberies and Package Theft in residential areas.

People have been locating packages delivered to front doors and porches and then stealing them. These packages have been delivered from numerous sources such as FedEx, USPS, UPS, etc when people aren’t home or aren’t aware of the delivery to their home.

As a result of these thefts, more and more people have been buying home security and surveillance devices including the Ring Doorbell.   The Ring Doorbell has a camera system built into the doorbell that allow you to receive notifications of activity in front of the door. You can monitor it on your smartphone and set the device to record to offsite storage of the video feed (the cloud). It’s a pretty good way to know what’s happening when you are away from home (and even when you are home but not wanting to go to your front door).

Another choice for home video security is SkyBell HD. Skybell operates a little differently but it’s the same general idea. It’s a doorbell that records video and stores it off location, in what is typically referred to as “the cloud” and allows you to access the footage. At last check Skybell gives you 7 days of free online storage and during those 7 days you can download the footage if you wish to keep it permanently.

I want to stress that I’m no expert on these doorbells and that you should do your own research to determine which works the best for you. Both products are priced similarly and have the ability to notify you of motion and let you view on your smartphone. It seems like both are fair options for the average consumer.

Here are two recent cases that are reported on the Glendale City  Website by the Glendale Police.

Until the cases are resolved it’s important to note that these are alleged crimes and the people in these images and videos are suspects. If you know who these people are you should contact the Glendale Police Department at 818-548-4911.

Case #1

1500 block of Wabasso Way, Glendale

On Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 3:27 pm, the suspect ran up to the front porch, grabbed the packages and fled.

Suspect Description – Female, 19-30 years old, thin build and wearing blue jeans and a black shirt.

alleged package theft

 

Here is the video of the event.

 

Case #2

5100 block of New York Avenue, La Crescenta

On Monday, July 3, 2017 at 1:04 pm, the suspect walked up onto the porch, knocked on the front door and when no one answered, she picked up the packages and walked away.

Suspect Description – Female, 55-65 years old, medium build and wearing light colored clothing and a Dodger cap.

alleged package theft

Here is a video of the event.

If you recognize these suspects, please contact the Glendale Police Department at 818-548-4911.

According to package theft statistics, each year more than 23 million Americans have their packages stolen. Follow these tips to avoid being a victim:

  • Have packages delivered to your workplace or to a location where someone is available to receive the item.

  • Use a PO Box.

  • Reroute or reschedule a delivery if you are not home.

  • Require a signature upon delivery.

  • Install a smart security camera at your front door.

  • Use a smart package locker. When adding the shipping address during the checkout process, you can find out whether an Amazon locker is available in your community.

Crime Statistics and Glendale California

A common thought that runs through people’s minds when they are moving into a new area is if it is a safe place to live and how much crime is in the area. I’m happy to share with you that the Glendale Police Department makes the Crime Statistics and the Booking Reports public and online.

This is a great resource for any community to have no matter if you are new to the area or have lived in Glendale for a long time. You can see the reports on the City of Glendale’s website located here.  Remember you’ll have to different choices, one for the crime statistics and the other is the booking reports. Both have great information so you’ll want to check them out.

The reports cover a large range of information that includes (but is not limited to by any means), various types of violent crimes, various types of property crime, special crimes which covers child abuse, simple assault, domestic violence, fraud, identity theft and vandalism. This is of course just a few of the facts that you’ll find it your visit the website and pull up the information on the website.

The information is great. I wish it was geo-tagged so that you could see where the occurrences happen but maybe that’s out there as well and I just don’t know about it.  You’ll see that the Glendale Police Department is hard at work protecting the good people of Glendale. When you look back at a previous post from a couple years ago you’ll see that we were pretty outraged by the amount of traffic vs pedestrian fatalities and the common acceptance of those pedestrian fatalities. It’s really gratifying when you look at the numbers in the bookings reports and the crime statistics to see that the Glendale (California) Police Department is  really tracking the problem and doing their best to reduce the numbers. I’m grateful for the Glendale Police Department and respect the job they do every day for this community.

Adobes of Glendale: The Verdugo Heritage

 

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.

Just another traffic fatality? No more!

It’s Sunday night and I’m hanging out on Twitter. Checking my feeds and wondering what’s going on in the world. Then suddenly a small flurry of local tweets start flowing in about an accident:

I’m not putting making the names public but because I want to get this out right away. They are on Twitter, you can look them up. Here is a bit of the conversation.

(note: stock photo of Glendale Police Department, not from the scene of the fatality)

Right near the corner of Glendale Blvd and Broadway I think. Cops weren’t even trying to help her cause she was just gone. Bloody.

I saw an old woman lying dead in the street after being hit by a car today. Nice way to end the weekend. 🙁

Pedestrian struck at Glendale ave and California ave in Glendale PD says it could be bad.

Pedestrian struck on intersection of Glendale & California. Victim not to be looking good. Streets closed w/detours

Whats wrong with us Glendale? What’s wrong when an old lady lays dead on the road and it’s busisness as usual. The good people who wrote the tweets above sounded genuinely concerned about this victim of what we are assuming was another traffic fatality. Now we don’t know the facts yet. It sounds like it just happened a few minutes ago but will the good people of Glendale be outraged or will we just accept this as another part of living in Glendale?

I feel outrage. I feel contempt with my own community because we view this tragedy as another day. We have become to complaincent in accepting traffic fatalities in our community when other communities don’t have any. Glendale we must change.

Glendale must find a way to change. We can no longer accept that traffic fatalities are a way of life and that as long as it’s no one that I know, or that it’s no one that I love then it’s okay. No more.

We must become radical in our thinking and be willing to be willing to be radical in our actions. There is still plenty of options that are within our legal rights and I believe that we need to start to explore them. If we don’t start having these conversations and those conversations lead to action then  we shouldn’t be outraged when someone we love gets injured or worse by a driver. Let’s get active before we are forced to experience loss.

What are your thoughts?

 

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!

 

 

 

Get Grounded!

I recently walked into the Starbucks in Frog Alley and saw the sign for Free Grounds for your Garden and what did I see? Free Grounds for your Garden! Now that’s an offer any good composer can’t resist! What I didn’t know is that Starbucks has this environmental program that tries to make each store more green!

Here is What Starbucks has to say:

Composting

Grounds for Your Garden, introduced in 1995, provides interested customers with complimentary five-pound (2.27-kilogram) bags of soil-enriching coffee grounds. Where commercial composting is available, many stores are able to divert any remaining coffee grounds and food waste from the landfill as well.

Are you new to composting? Here are some quick tips:

1. Don’t compost meat, bones, poop, things with chemicals, etc. The meat, bones etc will attract rodents and other yucky things.

2. Do compost grass clippings, leaves, egg shells, coffee grounds, veggie peels, etc.

3. Worms are good! Welcome the worms to your compost!

4. Compost won’t stink if you give it air. When it’s outside turn it out wit a shovel, poke holes with a stick. Just let it breathe!

5. Compost is good for your soil. Mix it with your existing dirt and it will help kill the weeds and make the crops grow higher.

Steve O’Bryan is a resident of Glendale who loves where he lives. He runs Smack Smog Inc a Strategic Content company that helps Organizations reach their goals via the Internet and Social Media. He has a crazy love of composting that he developed when he lived in the crazy province of Manitoba. 

$139,000 Your Life. Animated.

Glendale Logo Description

Back in November of 2011 the city of Glendale announced it’s big plan to fix the city. They spent $139,000 dollars to hire an agency, all the way from Nashville Tennessee to find a way to fix Glendale.

According to the people who live 2,004 miles away in Nashville Tennessee, Glendale is boring. Just think that it took some people who live 2004 miles away from our community to look at Glendale negatively and insult us. Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that they don’t live here They think that Burbank and Pasadena are the hip spots but that Glendale isn’t interesting and gets looked over when compared to Burbank and Pasadena.  They seemed to think that if Glendale were more interesting then more outside companies would want to relocate here, and our tax base would soar, and the Glendale would be a better place.

So are we fixed? Has unemployment gone down? Does Glendale have a problem that there is not enough office space for rent or lease? Have our property taxes dropped because we don’t need the money? Do our schools have enough money? Uhm, the answer to all those questions is obviously no.

Yes, $139,000 dollars was allocated to pay Northstar Brand from  Nashville Tennessee to fix our city.

What’s really interesting is that in 2009 the staff of the City of Glendale developed what was reported to be “Shop Local, Buy Glendale.” Many cities across California have adapted similar campaigns. The idea is simple. The more times we can turn a dollar over within our city the more we all prosper. It’s not very complex. It comes down to the more you do business with your neighbor the better your community will be.  This is a simple, logical and dare I say, a good piece of common sense. Shop Local, Buy Local.

So instead of taking their own advice and buying local they hire a firm from 2004 miles away. But of course they had a good reason to completely abandon the buy local campigan. No one knew who was in charge or what to do!

The Redevelopment Agency reports stated:

“Since there was no clear consensus on the Buy Glendale campaign, the Agency recommended that the effort would be best served by developing a citywide branding and marketing strategy with the services of a professional marketing firm, and directed staff to issue a Request for Qualifications”

It sounds like no one could agree on the Buy Glendale campaign and so the City decided that they should throw money at it. Brilliant.

The report decided to tap into local big shots who apparently have great marketing skills. In fact here is what they report says:

“Marketing professionals from Glendale businesses assisted staff in interviewing the top four firms to further evaluate the details of their proposals in terms of experience, final work products, timing, creativity and design concepts, and anticipated costs.  These individuals included Senior Vice Presidents, Directors, Managers, and Executives from Glendale Arts, Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Glendale Galleria, Glendale Hilton, Huerta Quorum, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, and The Americana at Brand. “

You can read it yourself at CITY OF GLENDALE CALIFORNIA JOINT REPORT TO THE CITY COUNCIL AND REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY (http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/government/council_packets/Reports_112911/CC_RA_Item3_112911.pdf) it seems like they had a good idea. Shop Local, Buy Local. But they gave up on their idea in order to outsource it.

Now it doesn’t say who those people are or if the people represented in the even live or work directly in Glendale and how much marketing experience they have?

If we really wanted some good advice why didn’t we tap into Disney or DreamWorks. These are people who have a proven track record of marketing? In fact Councilman Weaver said a similar thing.

Glendale City Councilman Dave Weaver, however, isn’t sold on the idea. Calling the campaign a waste of money, he cast the sole dissenting vote last month when the council approved the slogan, as well as a logo featuring the city’s name in lower-case letters and five multicolored curlicues.

“There’s nothing catchy about it that I can see,” he said in an interview. “People are not going to go around using it.

“I think we should just call Glendale `The Animation Capital of the World’ and let go of it,” he said. “Ask the animators of those three (local) studios to come up with a logo.” (http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_19502620)

In my opinion it seems like we wasted something good. It seems like they had a good idea. Shop Local, Buy Local. But they gave up on their idea in order to outsource it.dollars on people from out of town. If we had gone with a local firm it would at least stimulate the local economy but we didn’t even do that. No we sent it to Tennessee instead.

I realize that with all the current State financial problems that the Redevelopment Agency is basically being shut down but I still have to ask who is responsible for this? Is it someone who has lost their job at the ReDevelopment office? Is it the City Council? Who?!?   Has anything positive come from this campaign? Have we gotten our money’s worth?

What can we expect for our $139,000?

You can read it yourself at CITY OF GLENDALE CALIFORNIA JOINT REPORT TO THE CITY COUNCIL AND REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY (http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/government/council_packets/Reports_112911/CC_RA_Item3_112911.pdf) it seems like they had a good idea. Shop Local, Buy Local. But they gave up on their idea in order to outsource it.

Glendale Logo Description

Steve O’Bryan is a resident of Glendale who loves where he lives. He runs Smack Smog Inc a Strategic Content company that helps Organizations reach their goals via the Internet and Social Media. 

 

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 (http://urbantoot.com/bad-driver-bad/) 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

Earth Day in Glendale!

Earth Day

April 21 & 22

Looking for some good Glendale Earth Day Celebrations? You should check out whats happening at Descanso Gardens!

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Saturday | 3:30 p.m. | Under the Oaks Theater

“If music be the food of love, play on!” Revel in the pleasures of the Bard’s luminous comedy presented by the California Shakespeare Ensemble in the shade of Descanso’s oak trees. Enjoy live harp music ahttp://urbantoot.com/wp-admin/edit.php?page=cal#nd purchase selections from an organic wine bar as part of the revels. Free with admission. Recommended for ages 12 and older.

Mobile Homeboys in concert
Sunday | Noon-2 p.m. | Under the Oaks Theater

This rocking ensemble is a Descanso musical favorite. Sit back and enjoy an afternoon of hard-charging country-flavored rock and roll. Free with admission.

Earth Day Activities & Barbecue
Sunday | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | Main Lawn

Learn more about ecosystems at Descanso’s annual Earth Day celebration. Children can explore nature through hands-on activities. Discover the “locavore” culinary movement, celebrating locally raised food, at Patina’s eco-friendly barbecue where mouth-watering selections will be sold. Most activities free with admission.

 

 

 

 

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