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.

The Tongva People



Urban Toot is about Glendale, the lives, thoughts and perspectives of the people who live here. We thought it would be interesting to look as far back as possible to see who were the first people who lived in Glendale. These people were called the Tongva, they spoke that was part of a larger group called the Uto-Aztecan language of families and unfortunately the language has gone extinct.
The Tongva lived in what we now would refer to as Los Angeles but it appears that they made the San Gabriel Mountains their central point.  The name of the people has changed over history being called the Gabrielino or San Gabriel Band. The new name came because of the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel  which was established in 1771. This was not exactly a happy time in the history of the Tongva as that they were severely mistreated. The Spanish also confused the Tongva with another nearby group called the Tataviam and just started calling all the Indesious people Gabrieleño.
When the Mission of San Gabriel Arcangel was firmly created in 1771 The Tongva had a population of about 5,000, by the early 1900’s the Tongva culture was almost completely gone. While there are some records and historical artifacts, most of the Tongva language and culture had disappeared. However I do think it’s important to note that Loyloa Marymount University has archives of Tongva culture. It’s also of note that at this time there are about 1500 people who claim Tongva  or Gabreilino
as their tribe.
From what I read online that there is no one group that is recognized as the Tongva  (or Gabreilino) Nation. While the state of California does recognize the Tongva as a legitimate First Nation the Federal Government does not.
A few other random tidbits that I picked up:
  • The Tongva believed in a supreme being that brought order to the chaotic world by setting it upon the shoulders of seven giants made for that purpose.
  • To fail to show courage was the height of disgrace among the Tongva. Men would deliberately lie on top of red anthills and have handfuls of ants placed in their face as a demonstration of courage.
  • boys sought visions of their own special animal protector.
  • By the time the first American settlers arrival in the Los Angeles area in 1841, Tongva survivors were scattered and working at subsistence level on Mexican land grants. Disease further decimated the Tongva population.
You can read more about these very early first  people of Glendale at these Web Sites:
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 minored in History and likes to share what he’s learned. 

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!

6 Easter Safety Tips

With this being a big holiday and travel weekend Urban Toot thought that we’d share some safety tips and suggestions for this years Easter Weekend.

1. Ask a friend or a neighbor to pick up your mail, your newspaper and your trash cans from the side of the road. These things left out are a sure sign that no one is home and thieves consider this to be an invitation to rob your home!

2. Planning on driving this weekend? Be sure to check your tire pressure before you hit the road. It will hep you to save money and drive safer!

3. Not going to be home? Place some lights on a timer to go off at different times. I always place a lamp (on a timer) in the bathroom to go on and off in the middle of the night. It really helps to make it look like  you are home.

4. Easter Lilies are toxic and should not be within reach of kids, pets and anyone else who might put part of it into their mouth.

5. Turn Off and Unplug all those electrical devices. If you aren’t home do they really need to be plugged in? Save some money and unplug for this yeats Holiday Weekend!

6. Before making those easter eggs, make sure that you buy fresh eggs from the store. Check the date on the package to ensure that they are fresh and safe to eat!

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!

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. 

Best Blogs in Glendale

Glendale is a wonderful place to live but a tough place to be a blogger. Many bloggers start and then stop. Its okay, blogging isn’t as easy as it seems. To constantly come up with fresh content when you are  probably working a day job and have all the other pressures of life is difficult. We applaud these Glendale Bloggers for their perseverance and for letting us know their thoughts about Glendale.


Here is a list of some of our favorite local blogs:

  • Tropico Station – Is written by Scott who descirbes himself as that he does indeed. ” live, work, bike, and walk in southwest and downtown Glendale. ” Tropico is a great blog that is updated about once or twice a month and always has really good fresh content. Urban Toot has lots and lots of respect for Tropico Station.
  • Glendale Noon Concerts – We think that Glendale Noon Concerts are a best kept secrect in Los Angeles. While not exactly a secrect we do wish that everyone knew more about these free (did we say “FREE?”) concerts in Glendale. The blog does a great job at keeping the schedule up to date and allowing you to see whats coming up. It’s worth a good long look and even better go to a FREE concert!
  • Leon Bakery & Cafe – While we must disclose that Leon is a client of Smack Smog This most incredible Bakery and Cafe serves real Peets Coffee. That alone is worth putting them on the list but the  really cool thing about this blog is that you can tell that they love what they do! They blog about their pastries, their coffee, etc. They love to donate coffee to community groups and even host community  meetings at their shop!
  • Kendyl’s Open House – There are many fine Realtors in Glendale but I have to tell you that Kendyl uses technlogoy better then anyone I have ever seen in her field. She blogs via the traditional written word as well as video blogging. You can get current up to date information on the market as well as who knows what information from her blog.
  • Ascencia – Formerly known as PATH Achieve Glendale they changed their name but kept their commitment to end homelessness in Glendale. While we wish that they would update their blog more often (at least lately) we do understand that it is the holiday season and that they must be busy.
  • La Canada Preschool – While technically not in Glendale it’s only about 10 minutes away. La Canada Preschool is the oldest preschool in La Canada. They tweet and blog on a semi regular basis and provide good information about early childhood development and preschool issues that affect everyone with small children. Oh and we should also point out that they are also a client of  Smack Smog.
  • Sunroom Desk – Sunroom Desk is a cool website with lots of good information about whats happening in Glendale and how larger things like the state budget can impact our great city of Glendale. Lots of news about community events, reports and grassroots organizations. Sunroom Desk really pulls everything together for the people of Glendale.
We know that there must be other good blogs out there. What local bloggers do you find deserving? Let us know in the comments!

Glendale Holiday Hours

Well Glendale, you asked for it, we are giving it to you Yup, that’s right you asked for a smattering of Glendale well known establishments and their holiday hours and we are giving them to you. We hope that they help. If you know of any others that we missed then just put them in the comments section!


Glendale Galleria

Holiday Hours

December 31


Glendale Community College

Holiday Closures

Glendale Community College will be closed from Dec.16 through Jan. 2 for staff furlough days and the holiday break.

Glendale Hyundai

411 South Brand Blvd.

Glendale, CA 91204

(877) 545-9125

Parts / Service / Business Office will be closed:

  • Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

 Sales will be closed

  • Christmas Day and New Years Day.

 Sales Hours

  • (Thanksgiving, Christmas eve, New Years Eve):
  • open until 4pm

 Parts / Service Hours

  • (Christmas eve, New Years Eve)
  • open until 4pm

 New Car Sales

Sun 10:00 AM-6:00 PM

Mon-Sat 9:00 AM-8:00 PM


Sun Closed

Mon-Fri 7:30 AM-5:00 PM

Sat 8:00 AM-4:00 PM


Sun-Sat Closed

Certified Pre-Owned

Sun 10:00 AM-6:00 PM

Mon-Sat 9:00 AM-8:00 PM

Glendale Americana Holiday Hours


Whole Foods

331 North Glendale Ave

Glendale, CA 91206 USA
map, directions & nearby stores

Phone 818.548.3695
Store contact form

Store hours:
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Special Dates to make note of :

December 31st New Year’s Eve: 7am – 8pm

January 1st New Year’s Day: 10am – 8pm

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.