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.

How do preschools handle discipline?

Discipline is an important topic when working with children yet it can be a topic that is minimized or under spoken of by parents when looking for a preschool.

Here are the two methods of discipline in a preschool:

1. time out or

2. conflict resolution

There was an old school theory which still exists with the method being time out. Just search and you can find many schools and parents using this as a way to remove the child from the conflict. While I believe it has its place in the home, in a school setting it can be make a child feel shame for being singled out in a public setting. Conflict resolution suggests that children are educated about the value of communication that is respectful and kind, while expressing feelings of being hurt by someone’s actions. Conflict resolution requires that teachers are trained to help children by modeling communication that is calm and well spoken, where teachers can also interact with children by teaching them how to articulate their feelings.

There are six steps to conflict resolution with preschoolers:

1: approach the children in conflict calmly and stop the conflict

2: acknowledge everyone’s feelings

3: gather information about what happened

4: restate the problem

5: ask for ideas from everyone for a solution and help choose a solution

6: be there for follow and to give support

When you are in a preschool setting ask the teachers how they handle conflict with the children. it is a question that is often overlooked yet one that becomes important as it will effect your child and set the stage for their ability to be social in a school setting.

 

 Debbie 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.

 

Smart Meter Redux

I’ve been reading and thinking about this whole smart meter thing that has been going on here in Glendale. To be honest I’m not sure what to think.

You see, for years Glendale got by pretty well with having regular old meters on the houses and every other month or so Glendale Water and Power would send someone out to read and record the meter. GWP would send me a bill, I’d pay it and that was that.

Then I heard that GWP was going to install this so-called “Smart Meter” on my house and that the smart meter would record my usage and automatically report this back to GWP Headquarters. It didn’t seem like such a big deal. Automation seems like progress.  And hey, who’s against progress?  Certainly not me.  Or am I?

Then I heard that some people were against the smart meters for a number of reasons. From what I understood some of the people felt like the “Big Brother” of Government was watching them. I heard others just felt like they should have the right to say what goes on their property and yet others have said that the radio waves are making them sick.  When I learned about all this I thought: Hooey! You guys must be a bunch of problem causing weirdoes. This is progress people! Get on board or get left behind!

However, now that I’ve taken some time to think about it, I think I was wrong. First of all it is our private property and we should be allowed to have some say in what gets put on it. Sure, anyone can make the case that we don’t have to have electricity and that if we don’t like it then have the power and water turned off and be done with it.  That sounds a lot like when I was a kid and those bratty kids would say well it’s my ball and if you don’t want to play by my rules then I’m not going to play and you can’t play with my ball!  Seems sort of childish doesn’t it?  In today’s society in Glendale it seems like a real necessity to have power and electricity. I am no expert about this but how many choices do I have for water and power?  It’s not like a cable company that I can choose from or a telephone company. It’s pretty close to a monopoly except that my tax dollars support Glendale Water and Power.  If my tax dollars (which I’m obligated by law to pay) support GWP then it’s ridiculous to say that I have a real choice.

Also, I got thinking. People are claiming that they are getting sick from the radio waves from smart meters. Again, I thought: You bunch of whacko’s! What are you talking about? You must just be slackers and con men looking for a pay off! But then I thought some more about it. What if it’s true? What if people really are getting sick from the smart meters? As a community, do we care so very little about our friends and neighbors getting sick and being ill? Why do we just assume that they are being fraudulent?  Shouldn’t we investigate this more?  Are there long-term health problems that we just aren’t seeing? I really don’t know but I do think it’s worthy of our consideration and possibly our action.  Isn’t it just as easy to take the smart meters off the peoples’ homes in return for our neighbors’ good health?

To be honest I don’t know if living under power lines will make you sick but I’ll never volunteer to live under one. If I’m not willing to live under power lines even though it hasn’t been categorically proven unsafe, am I crazy to avoid it? Don’t people claim that living under power lines make them sick? Doesn’t this lend true to the same argument about Smart Meters? Maybe?

What really started me getting upset about all this is Glendale Water and Power saying that its customers can “Opt Out” for a fee. From what I understand that proposed fee is about $56 a month. That’s quite a bit! I have some problems with this ‘Opt Out” policy.

First of all, I was never given the opportunity to “Opt In” and now I have to pay to “Opt Out”?  I’m no lawyer but that seems wrong. I mean I never asked for a Smart Meter. I was never asked if I wanted one. A smart meter was just installed without anyone coming and asking me if it was okay.  So now if I don’t want it I have to opt out? I have to opt out and pay a pretty hefty monthly fee. This just seems wrong.

Second, $56 a month! Since I get billed every 2 months does that means that it costs GWP $112 to have someone drive across town and read my meter. Personally I find that if I plan my day I can make it from any point in Glendale to another in about 20 minutes but to be generous lets say 29. It takes about 30 seconds to read my traditional meter.

It seems to me that even if the meter readers aren’t planning their routes very well that they are paid $224 an hour!? That would be crazy enough but if you figure that there are people all over the city of Glendale who don’t want Smart Meters, then the meter readers can cover even more ground. If that’s true, GWP really has some bigger problems then Smart Meters.

Why is PG&E only charging $10 a month for meter reading? Why do we even have to pay at all? I think that the fact that those smart meters were bought and paid for with money from my taxes, should give me a say about how they are used and if they should be used on my property.  If my tax dollars paid for them, then I have to pay to have them removed and I have to pay monthly — it seems like I’m being triple billed! That just doesn’t seem right.

Now what about progress?  Don’t we need to have everyone on Smart Meters to be on the Smart Grid?  Doesn’t the Smart Grid help us conserve energy and lower gas prices? My answer is: I don’t know. I have it on good authority that Glendale doesn’t need to be on Smart Meters to be on the Smart Grid.

So I have to ask. If you are like me and your bill has substantially gone up; if you have any of the concerns about being forced to install Smart Meters and were never asked; if you are concerned that maybe, just maybe, Smart Meters make people sick.  Then I encourage you to ask: Why do we have them?

We didn’t ask for them. We were told that they were good for us. They were forced upon us. I have to ask. Isn’t Glendale Water and Power part of our local government? Isn’t this the United States where the government is supposed to be FOR THE PEOPLE, by The PEOPLE?

I certainly didn’t want GWP to spend a reported 70 million tax dollars for this. I especially didn’t want GWP to spend my tax dollars and then to make my utility bill go up. How many years will it be before the city of Glendale recoups its 70 million dollars? What has happened to the people who were employed as meter readers? In this lousy economy have we put more people out of work?

When will our local government stop acting like it’s a entity that doesn’t have to be concerned about the people of Glendale and start acting on what the people of Glendale want?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fergie and Walter

I am very excited to write about something amazing that is going on right in our Verdugo Woodlands neighborhood! Did you know that there is a little guide dog in training that lives on Woodland Avenue and attends Verdugo Woodlands Elementary? It’s true. Sheila Abranian has been a 3rd grade teacher at Verdugo Woodlands for the past 17 years and she began raising and training guide dogs 2 ½ years ago. I recently spoke to Sheila at length about guide dogs in training and would love to share with you what I learned.

What is Guide Dogs of America? Guide Dogs of America is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to provide guide dogs and instruction in their use, free of charge, to blind and visually-impaired men and women from the United States and Canada so that they may continue to pursue their goals with increased mobility and independence,” www.guidedogsofamerica.org. The organization was established in 1948 and the closest location is in Sylmar, California. Guide Dogs has three main programs: a breeding program, a puppy raising program and a guide dog program. Sheila became a puppy raiser in 2009. The puppies are placed in foster homes when they are about 8 weeks old. It is a bonus if the foster family has children and/or other pets. Guide Dogs pays for all veterinary bills while in the foster homes, but the family pays for the food, treats, toys and other supplies. It is the role of the puppy raiser to socialize the puppy as much as possible, which often means lots of outings. “A well socialized puppy will have fewer adjustments to make when it comes in for formal guide dog training,” according to Guide Dogs of America. Then the puppy returns to Guide Dogs for formal guide dog training at about 18 months old. The formal training last about 6 months and then, if the dog qualifies, he is paired with a blind or visually-impaired person.

Sheila fell in love with Labradors when she first met one through a friend. She owned two Labs and when they passed away she decided to become a guide dog puppy raiser. She got the idea from a bumper sticker that read “Raise a guide dog and make a difference”. Sheila wanted to volunteer and she is passionate about dogs, so Guide Dogs of America was a perfect fit. She submitted an application and 9 months later took home a little, 7-week-old yellow Lab named Fergie. She explained that Guide Dogs asks for an application and does a home visit to ensure that the potential puppy raiser is fit for the job. They want to make sure that the puppy raiser will be able to train the puppy, can spend a lot of time with it (including taking the puppy to work) and can commit to monthly training sessions at the Guide Dog campus.

Guide Dogs is in favor of the puppy raiser having other pets in the home. It is good to have birds, cats and other dogs so that the puppy is exposed to other animals and will not be distracted by them later in life when they are working dogs. Sheila’s adult daughter co-raises the puppies with Sheila and Guide Dogs encourages such partnerships in the training process.

The primary job of a puppy raiser is to take the puppy to as many places as possible in order to expose them to the world that they will eventually be working in. Sheila brought her puppy in training to work with her as a teacher. Little Fergie puppy was very popular on the campus of Verdugo Woodlands Elementary as she grew and continued in her training. Fergie continued to grow and train but when she started her final testing they discovered a non-life threatening respiratory issue that did not allow her to become a guide dog. Guide dogs are working dogs and need to be in top physical health. When this happens they call it a “career change”. Now Fergie resides with Sheila as her pet.

Sheila still had the strong desire to help blind people and so she applied for another puppy and took a 7-week-old, black Lab named Walter home in January of 2011. Sheila has the full support of the school and district to bring Walter to her work at Verdugo Woodlands Elementary. He goes to work with her about 3 days a week. He is often seen in the computer lab, classrooms, the playground and the hallways of the school. He is a very popular “student”. He is also seen at many of the school events such as awards banquets, the fundraising gala, assemblies, etc. Sheila sent home letters to all of her students’ parents to ask for permission and possible allergies prior to bringing Walter to school. She said that all of the permission slips were returned the next day! Everyone seems to love having Walter on campus. He has a dog crate in her classroom but is so well-behaved that he is often seen lying under the table in the back of the class. Sheila has the children read to Walter and now that he is older they are allowed to pet him after class. People, myself included, often ask if they can pet a guide puppy in training. Sheila explained that it is O.K. to pet the puppy if they are sitting nicely but if the puppy gets too excited and jumps around they have to be taught to be calm. I think that Sheila is setting an amazing example for her students. She is teaching them the importance of volunteering and eventually giving up a pet that you love dearly in order to help a visually-impaired person.

In addition to attending school with Sheila, Walter goes on regular outings in the Glendale area. He enjoys going to coffee, the movies, restaurants, grocery stores, on public buses and has even flown on airplanes. He recently traveled to Washington D.C. and back. When Sheila was called to report for jury duty this year, Walter went too. All of the people in court fell in love with the puppy in training! I was interested to learn that the laws pertaining to guide dogs and puppies in training differs by state. In California, guide puppies in training do not have to be allowed in all public places like guide dogs. In order to qualify for needing a guide dog you need to be legally blind, so this also includes people who have some vision left or are partially blind.

Sheila reported that all places allow them access once they see the “guide puppy in training” jacket on Walter. Walter has many friends all over town. Sheila has been overwhelmed by how positively people react to the puppies in training. Sheila said that the Trader Joes in Montrose is especially fond of Walter, and he is offered a latte at his local coffee shop (of course he declines). Who can resist an adorable black Lab puppy with a yellow “guide puppy in training” jacket?

Walter is allowed to be a regular Lab puppy once his training jacket is off at home. He loves to play fetch, play with his sister, Fergie, and jump around the house. He knows that he is no longer in training once that jacket comes off and knowing that distiction will make a great working dog someday. Guide dogs need to relax, have fun and play when they are not working and helping their owner. Sheila feels that Walter has the qualities that make a great guide dog. He seems to want to have a job and purpose, Sheila said, and seems happiest is doing something.

Not only does Walter have friends all over town but he also has a Facebook page that he shares with his dog sister, Fergie. On Facebook they currently have over 297 followers or “friends”. Sheila established a Facebook page for Fergie in order to connect with other guide puppy raisers and it grew from there. Walter and Fergie post about their outings, photos, and comments. It must be tough to type with paws!

Sheila is often asked, “how can you give up your dog?” She explained, “I am raising my dog for a friend that I haven’t met yet”. She feels that this statement puts everything into perspective. That “friend” could easily be a family member, friend or someone else that you would want to help. On a recent trip with Walter, Sheila was stopped by a sight-impaired stranger who thanked her for all that she is doing to help blind people. She bonded with this lady and spoke for 30 minutes about the amazing difference working dogs make in the lives of blind individuals. Sheila spoke about attending the guide puppy graduation where the puppy raiser gets to meet the new, owner of the puppy. She said that she is filled with joy to see how well the puppy responds to all of the consistent training and in turn changes a life by helping a blind person. Sheila hopes that Walter will be a part of his graduating class and although she knows that she will shed tears of sadness in saying goodbye, she will also shed tears of happiness for the person that really needs Walter.

Guide Dogs of America desperately needs more puppy raisers like Sheila. If you are interested in becoming a puppy raiser, please contact Guide Dogs of America. The organization is 100% funded by donations only and they do not receive any state or federal funding. Please go to their website and you can hit the “make a donation” box and donate right there. Your donation will help them provide a guide dog to a blind individual free of charge. “Help make a difference in the life of a blind individual in the form of a loving, four-pawed partner today”, www.guidedogsofamerica.org.

We wish Walter the best of luck with his continued training and testing and we thank Sheila Abranian for her amazing sacrifice of time and love with these amazing puppies. Look for a black Lab named Walter (wearing a yellow jacket) as you are out and about in Glendale.

 

Maggie Mason, M.S.W.

Mother of two humans and two canines.  Author and therapist in “pre-mom life”.

 

 

Garbage in Montrose

Responsibility. It’s easy to point the finger. The City of Glendale should do a better job emptying the trash containers. Or maybe the local merchants like Froyo (many, many of the containers are from Froyo) should supply more trash containers or even better yet go outside and collect the trash. Or maybe, just maybe those of us who buy from Froyo (and the other merchants) could just walk a few more steps and throw our trash away like civilized human beings.

So yes the responsibility falls in a wide circle. It includes the merchants, the city, and yes even the customers. Let’s not forget that Glendale is a special place because we are a community, a community where everyone pulls together to make Glendale a special place.

Shopping New in Town Again

Yes I am, sort of new in town again. People in Glendale are great. I want to share with you a few of my shopping experiences.

A few days ago I needed a few items from Micheals. Now we all know that to be a good shopper at Micheals you need to cruise around the store and give things a quick once over. However, when my hubby is waiting in the car (and probably timing me) I make every effort to be quick.

So here I am, in Micheals, with a few items in the basket, looking for the end of the line. (I’m sure you know the long line, that thanks to good planning, moves quickly.) Yea Micheals.

I arrive near the end of the line when I realize that I must go around more merchandise to reach the end. The mother and daughter at the end of the line insist that I go ahead of them. I guess I look really old and tired. Yea for people that care.

With many thanks I got on line. Now the lady in front of me has some pencil erasers in her basket. I ask her how much they cost.

She told me they were only $1.00 for a pack of 40. I thought that was a good deal and asked if they were nearby. No, they were in the rear of the store. She then offered to go get them for me. I watched her basket and off she went.

Quickly from the back of the line she was now first, but no sign of her. I left her cart under the watchful care of the mother and daughter behind me. So there I was at the cashier, watching the cart (from a distance) along with the young lady who was behind me. In time for me to still buy the erasers, she suddenly appeared, and I got my erasers and she went right to another cashier. I conclude that good people shop in Micheals.

Now let me tell you I love to shop. (especially without my husband) My health doesn’t allow for much shopping times, but it’s still one of my favorite things to do. To be visiting here from out of town is great. My daughter in law is a good shopping partner. Yea for a great daughter-in- law.

To know Glendale is brimming with many helpful people is really special. The other day I was in CVS and a lady came up to me and gave me a coupon for $10.00 off that she was unable to use. My goodness. What a kind person. She was very generous to take her time to share.

Today at Target I was able to get a handicapped shopping cart because one lady had not only brought it back into the store, but cared enough to also plug it in. A special yea for Target because I can shop there without pain or bring by wheelchair.

You need to know that there are many kind and generous people living in your community. Let’s work on getting to be able to do acts of kindness wherever we are.

Me, Too

Me Too ScupltureIn Downtown Glendale, where I work, there is a sculpture that I see almost everyday. Some days it kind of blends into the background. Some days, the dark contrasts are absorbed by an overcast SoCal sky, but some days, most days actually, it stands there in the lawn of the Glendale Public Library and tells me a story.

Now, I’m no exemplar of art scholarship or even interpretation, but this work moves me. The title of the piece, commissioned from artist Natalie Krol, is “Me Too.”

When you look at “Me Too,” the first thing you see is an embrace. What a profound symbol! A community is defined by its capacity for embrace. Too often, when we talk about community…or any community for that matter…we usually end up sharing the ways that we have been hurt by exclusion.

Why? Because each of us longs for inclusion. Our deepest desire is to be embraced.

One of the beautiful gifts art gives us is it usually always embraces our perspective. The artist may have had one thing in mind when she created it, but you as the viewer bring new meaning to it when you see it. It’s prismatic and mysterious that way. When I look at this sculpture, a variety of scenarios take shape in my imagination.

Sometimes I see a father hugging his daughter. His toughness melts, as do the stresses of the day, in the too short reach of her grappling arms. As his heart melts a little and a tender smile spreads across his face, it creates a warm and safe space in the home. His wife walks over and says, “me, too?”

Or perhaps, a mother and her daughter are holding one another, waiting for the terminal door to open, anxiously hoping to be first one to see him as he arrives home from Afghanistan. Eyes wide open, he walks into their line of sight. He runs to them as they get to their feet. “Me, too?”

Then, maybe this is a moment where a young couple stand in the library lawn, watching his neighbors’ son roll around in the grass, pretending the Goodnight Moon he just borrowed is a space ship. Suddenly he looks up and see that the young man and woman are close together. He knows what his job is. Forgetting his book behind him, he runs…”me, too!”

When I asked Natalie Krol, the artist, about the piece, she related, “When I decided to create the imagery the uppermost thought in my mind was to express the love that is shared with family members. I decided to leave the figures faceless to represent all of humanity.”

All of humanity.

That’s alot of embrace.

Glendale is an impressively diverse community. We have it all, so to speak, and Krol’s sculpture is an appropriately placed reminder of that fact. Kristin Hunter wrote, “First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms.”

Remember, the next time you are at the downtown library, stop and enter into the story of the art. And also, remember the next time you pull somebody close that someone else may be quietlythinking, “Me, too.”

Chris Harrison is pastor @glenpres church and blogs at http:// prophetsandpopstars.com . Most days you can find him venturing back and forth from the Starbucks in Frog Alley (He has a gold card, you know).

Check out Natalie Krols website!

Burglaries

Urban Toot will pass along any official corresponding regarding public safety that is submitted to us. We hope all of our neighbors stay safe and vigilant. Please pass this along.

Neighborhood Watch Leaders:

Along the western edge of Rossmoyne and into our West Command, there have been several attempts and a few successful residential burglaries. The MO is the same as what we have seen: The residents that have seen and thwarted the burglars, have reported a knock at the front door. When they have not answered, the suspect (so far, all male) walks toward the side of the residence and begins to attempt entry. In these cases, the residents have chased off the suspect and called us after they have lost sight of the suspect. We have had vehicles stolen (300 block East Dryden and 1100 Block Campbell on Jan 13), and another residential burglary (also on Jan 13th). This burglary was similar to the one on Cordova (shared driveway with obscured view from street) with jewelry being the target. The residents secured the home around 9:00AM and returned at 4:30 to find a pried rear slider door. No suspects were seen. Our detectives are working leads, but it is always observant residents who make the difference. When in doubt about who the person at your door is, don’t open the door. Acknowledge them with a, “Who is it?” and if they still seem unsavory, call us right away. The general dispatch number is: (818) 548-4841. When in doubt, call 911.

Send this to those in the area. Hopefully, we can collect new Neighborhood Watch members and host a meeting with a terrific topic in the next month!!!

 

Officer Sue Shine

East Command, Lead Officer

Glendale Police Department

131 North Isabel Street

Glendale, CA 91206

Parents in Preschools: Seek first to understand

As a preschool director I find one of the most important things I can do is to understand parents. And at the same time I find it can be one of the hardest things to do. While I am a parent my children are grown. I have a different perspective having gone through adolescents with three strong willed children who were bound and determined to push me away as far as they could, only to come back as amazing adults.

Well, I have a puppy, and in this experience I have been reminded of how it feels to be a new parent, with a vulnerable being. My puppy is 2 pounds eight ounces and her name is Sofi. She reminds me of a toddler, with her uncoordinated body, her inability to regulate herself, her neediness and her fun spirit.

At the same time I an anxious, waking up in the middle of the night, wondering if she is ok when I am at work, showing pictures of her and telling everyone how smart she is.

When we work with parents I believe we have an obligation to see their child as that little pup, so young and fresh, their pride and joy. When you are looking for a preschool be sure to get a feel for the director and the teachers by interacting with them when possible. Do they smile when you walk in the classroom? Are you greeted or glared at?

Many times I have heard teachers being negative about parents coming into the school environment. While it can be disruptive, I believe we make unstructured time in a school program where parents are welcome to come in and have a visit. Many days I have seen the need for a parent to come in and observe their child, watching them and being able to see what is going on in the school. This can create trust, build a bond and reassure parents that their child is settled and doing well.

When looking at preschools take the time to tour and visit the school while in session. You will come to know if it is a place where parents are being understood and valued. A place where you can chat with a teacher, hear how your child is doing, a place where you belong.

 Debbie 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. 

School Zone

This past Monday a group of over twenty parents from a local elementary school, Verdugo Woodlands, attended a Special Meeting of the  Glendale Unified School District (GUSD) Board meeting. The meeting was scheduled to discuss ORG Money that addresses the removal of the portable classrooms (some of which have been on site since World War II). GUSD is planning on removing the portables and building new construction of classrooms.

The parents of Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School spoke up and shared with the School Board their concerns about the growth of the student body and traffic safety. They explained that they didn’t understand how the school could expand to such a size and that they didn’t think that the new building that is planned for the site would be large enough. The parents were also very vocal about their concerns about the students safety in regard to the high traffic that surrounds the school. One of the parents, Stephen O’Bryan said “we want to partner with the Board of Education in finding real solutions to the issues surrounding our local school and our community. We want to have real solutions to these very real problems while maintaining our sense of community.”

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