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. ūüôĀ

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!

 

 

 

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.

Sorta.

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

http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/lariver/yangna/gabrieleno-tongva-mission-indians.html

 

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 Gabriele√Īo.
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‚ÄôBryan 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.¬†

$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‚Äôs really interesting is that in 2009 the staff of the City of Glendale developed what was reported to be ‚ÄúShop Local, Buy Glendale.‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs 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:

‚ÄúSince 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‚ÄĚ

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‚Äôs Bikeway Master Plan. The city is preparing the¬†Honolulu Avenue Road Diet Test Case (‚ÄúProject‚ÄĚ). 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‚Äôs easterly limit will be Orangedale Avenue. The Project‚Äôs 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

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

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