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Gold Line extension opens Saturday March 5

March 2, 2016 at 7:40 am in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, Mass Transit, Music, News, San Gabriel Valley, Transportation

Last fall the Foothill Extension signed over the tracks to Metro and testing began.  Testing is nearly over and the grand opening is set for this saturday. Duarte station is the site of the official ribbon cutting and opening at the midway point between Pasadena and the end at Azusa.  With the ribbon cutting trains start rolling at noon to the new stations in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and finally Azusa.

Monrovia plans on making a day of it.   Bands, food tents, craft tents in the area around the train depot known officially as “Station Square”  Their ceremony is set to start at 11AM Saturday with ribbon cutting at 11:30 and first train rolling in at noon.  To ensure the community can get to the fun down at Station Square they will be running a free shuttle from Old Town Monrovia down to the station activities.

Metro to celebrate the day has made the Gold Line a free ride from noon to midnight on Saturday.  This could be your chance to visit the SGV and cities along the route to see what makes them different and special.  Just remember if traveling here from other lines you will need to have your TAP card filled and loaded as those lines will not be free.  Failing to tap your TAP can be a big fine.



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Where will you be in 2024?

February 26, 2016 at 4:42 pm in Entertainment, Events, LA

I’ll still be here.  Ready to celebrate the day.

This video brought to you the Bid for 2024 Olympic Committee.

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Sac to LA County and Cities…here is a bill, figure it out

February 20, 2016 at 1:02 pm in environment, Law, Politics, Social issues, Utilities

LA County Due to embiggen

LA County Due Bill…click to embiggen

Where exactly to start.  The California State Water Resources Control Board decided to that LA. County doesn’t do enough to capture rain water and cycle it into our water supply.  Fair enough.  This group of appointees, not elected officials came up with a plan to use “green streets” and parks to capture rain and get it into the ground water tables and our water supply.  The cost?  A tidge more than $20BILLION with no provisioins for funding.  They dropped that bombshell due bill on the county this week and left it as figure out how to pay it.  Full plans HERE

I learned of this from community leaders as it was a topic of conversation at this weeks Council Meetings that my little corner of L.A share of this some $250M.   The city can’t afford it and was told by the county, state board either add it as a tax (Approx $2.000 per household) or as a fee to monthly water bill of $200/mo per household.  Indefinitely.  Needless to say the mayor and council don’t want to do either option.

This affects every homeowner and renter in the county and various cities.  No one was left untouched.  To save you the look up, Los Angeles share is $8.7B and I know Mr Garcetti doesn’t have a slush fund to cover that.

The turds dumping this on us say the normal 2/3 vote required to pass a tax can be circumvented through loopholes provided in State Initiative 15-0116,

I know my corner of L.A plans of fighting this as we just can’t afford it.  I’d imagine other cities and the county will resist as well.  Do check with your city council, representative to see what actions if any they are taking.


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Bid for Olympic games includes new logo and slogan

February 17, 2016 at 9:34 am in News, People, Social issues, Sports

Logo for the 2024 Olympics

Logo for the 2024 Olympics

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti revealed yesterday the new logo for the cities bid to be the host city for the 2024 Olympic games.

It features and upward stretched angel soaring to the sun in colors of our often magnificent sunrises and sunsets.  The slogan revealed also yesterday is “L.A.’s Brightest Star”

Full article and press conference clip can be found HERE.

I missed the last games and don’t intend to miss this set of games if we get them.   The investment required may seem daunting, but it means jobs while constructing and venues for after the games that will benefit the city.  I’m jazzed at the prospect of them returning, are you?

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Traffic jam from hell this weekend DTLA

February 5, 2016 at 8:41 am in Downtown, Driving, Mass Transit, News, Transportation

Detour route outlined around DTLA starting tonight.

Detour route outlined around DTLA starting tonight.

I know they’re calling it #101slowjam where a section of the 101 on the east side is closed for the demo of the 6th street bridge.  However, last I took the 110 around DTLA, which is their intended detour route, things were at a standstill crawl and it wasn’t even a peak drive time.

My suggestion is if you need to be downtown this weekend during the 40 hour closure you use metro trains and buses as its going to be a hellish drive.  If the intent is catch the 5 or 60 from there find a better spot to grab it and avoid the congestion downtown.  This is going to be a long 40 hour closure.

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Tax seminar for Artists

January 27, 2016 at 7:40 am in Art, Events, LA, San Gabriel Valley, Social issues

Poster for even, click to embiggen.

Poster for even, click to embiggen.

Its that time of year for me. Sorting receipts, wondering what’s deductible or not and what new tax laws affect my art generated income.  If you’re an artist looking for guidance to make sure you get all your deductions and not sure what changes this year took place that could affect you, have I got a seminar for us.

Monrovia Association of Fine Arts as the first installment of its Professional Development Series offers up for artists, members and non-members alike a seminar by Abe Carrow CPA “Tax and the Artist”.  It will be a one day seminar held Saturday February 13 from 10-noon.  The fee is $20 for members, $30 for non-members and $10 for students regardless of membership status and can be paid here.

Deets:  Tax and the Artist.  February 13, 10AM-Noon, Monrovia Community Center, 119 W Palm Ave, Monrovia 91016.

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Helpful Honda guys help my favorite local charity

January 22, 2016 at 9:00 am in Media, News, San Gabriel Valley, Social issues

How cool is this.  A charity that helps people here in the SGV and is near and dear to my heart got a big help from the Helpful Honday Guys.  The publicity for the brand aside, its nice to see Torrance based Honda and its local dealers step up and help the entire community they do business in.  This is what a good corporate citizen does.  Thanks Honda.

Foothill Unity Center is always in need of some help…you can visit them here for ways to help them out.

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Help the homeless in DTLA with tarps and tents

January 21, 2016 at 9:40 am in Downtown, environment, LA, Seasonal, Social issues

Screen grab from the Crowdrise donation page.

Screen grab from the Crowdrise donation page.

Its sorta the lull between storms and the homeless are getting a bit of a break from the rain, but not the cold so much.  I got this email from former BLA’er Dave Bullock and thought I’d share it with you all here.  Its a campaign to raise funds to buy tarps and tents for the homeless on skidrow.  Help if you can.


People are dying from exposure in Skid Row and there is something we can do about it.

My long time friend, community activist Don Garza, has been walking the streets of Skid Row before and during the rain storms and handing out tarps and tents to the homeless who don’t have adequate protection from the elements. He needs our help to buy more tarps and tents that he can hand out. Please consider donating and sharing to your friends and social network:

Don and I really appreciate your help.


Dave and Don

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Happy New Year Los Angeles

January 3, 2016 at 10:56 am in Driving, Entertainment, Mass Transit, News, Seasonal

B2 Bomber buzzes my 'hood

Its that time of year again.  The SGV just KNOWS its the New Year when a B2 bomber flies down over the Rose Parade route and on down the 210 before they turn it to its home base.  The rest of you get to watch it on TV.  Yeah, we’re special.

A lot of cool stuff is happening in Los Angeles this coming year.  Sometime this month the NFL is meeting to talk about moving not one but THREE teams to Los Angeles.  Feetball isn’t my thing except for the odd Packers game and the Superbowl but a ton of Angelenos are terribly excited by the prospect so I am for them.

The iconic 6th street bridge falls this month sometime to be replaced by something new spanning the Los Angeles River.  On the topic of the river…the Corp of Engineers signed off on a plan to turn the river back into a natural stream bed replete with trees and parkways along its course to the sea.

The Gold Line extension opens all the way to Azusa March 5.  The Expo line this spring makes it all the way to SaMo.  Progress in spite of ourselves.  Personally I can’t wait as it will be possible to make a quick jaunt to SaMo from the SGV to lunch with a dear friend instead of spending hours on the 10 trying to get there.

Of course this is a big city and room for lots of voices telling what they saw or did.  Care to join me in sharing your L.A stories?


Merry Luna-See: Rare Christmas Day Full Moon Sets On LA

December 25, 2015 at 8:13 am in Events, News, Photography, Seasonal

When word hit that Christmas morning would bring with it a rare full moon (last one to happen on December 25: 1977), of course I got up in time so you wouldn’t have to and snapped it (click the pics below to enlargify) setting over the ridge to the west of our humble Silver Lake abode.

The first shot is plain sight from the porch, the latter two at about 40x magnification through a scope, with the last one getting photobombed by a palm tree. So LA! Happy Holidays!



School v. Tool Revisited

December 20, 2015 at 9:06 am in History, LA, Law, Media, News, People, Politics

Screengrab from LATimes.comThis story in today’s Los Angeles Times (link) explores the incident from which I derived a foundation-level disdain for Donald Trump, and I, like much of 1989 Los Angeles, was only all too relieved when his proposed tower plan was killed.

It’s understandable given Trump’s recent and meteoric rise as a politician that the article’s tone is chest-thumpy about how he “got schooled,” but still it’s interesting (and disappointing) given the ultimate loss of the Ambassador Hotel. The irony, of course, is that at the time of the clash the subtext of the LAUSD’s efforts to build public opinion against the project wasn’t just how distasteful it was for Trump to erect a quarter-mile phallic monument to himself, but that the Ambassador deserved the far better fate of being preserved and repurposed as a school, rather than razed in vein for so vain an endeavor.

Here’s a surprise: Turned out school and civic officials were rather disingenuous in their commitment to preserving the historic landmark. And while one could well argue that the new school there now is better than a giant tool and how, what we’ve learned a quarter-century after Donald’s failed deal is that  the Ambassador was doomed to be collateral damage either way.

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Santa did a recon visit in my neighborhood

December 17, 2015 at 8:55 am in Entertainment, Events, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal

To the delight of the kids on my street the MPD and MFD escorted Santa through my neighborhood the other night.  Call it recon looking for the kidlets and getting them amped for his arrival Christmas Eve.  Kidding aside this is a wonderful tradition in Monrovia one that helps build community and break down walls between neighbors.  I love it.

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It’s not the fat lady singing…it is Santa

December 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm in Entertainment, Events, Holidays, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal

Yup…we end our Christmas Holiday Parade with Santa.  Not some fat lady singing an operetta.  AND in 2 short weeks he’ll be cruising the streets of “M” town with escorts rolling code up and down every street and cul de sac in town.  It’s Merry Christmas in my ‘hood.

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It’s #GivingTuesday sweet charity guide to giving

December 1, 2015 at 8:56 am in Holidays, LA, Seasonal

Even Facebook is promo-ing Giving Tuesday to its to embiggen

Even Facebook is promo-ing Giving Tuesday to its users…click to embiggen

Bah humbug to Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday and Cyber Monday.  #GivingTuesday is where its at.  Its the true fulfillment of the holiday dream.  Giving back to your community and those less fortunate.  It started with a whimper last year, but this year its getting promo’d to the nth degree by the big guys like Facebook.

There are multiple ways to help the many local charities and non-profits in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

First up…good old cash.  Cold hard cash fills their coiffers and ensures that they have operating capital to cover their overhead and fund programs.  Its usually tax deductible if they’re a 503(c) non-profit.  Also check with your employer, they often match cash contributions which is a nice way toy double down your good deed.

Volunteer “in kind” gifts.  Socks for the homeless, food for the hungry drives will take those donations.  If you buy new for the cause save your receipts as those too are tax deductible.

Donate your time to them.  EVen some employers will make a cash donation for your time donated to a qualifying non-profit.  As an example a friend at the Gas company helped out the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts at this fall’s Celebrate the Arts and ChalkFest.  The Gas company made a cash donation for the 16 hours she donated at the rate of $10/hour.

Check with your local food kitchens.  They need help putting out meals daily, not just for the holiday.  Check what they need and if your skill set fits jump in and help them prep, cook, serve or bus tables.

The point is, give back to your community and make lives a little better.  There are so many options and ways to help you can’t go wrong for trying.

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Sneak peak blogathon at “A Christmas Memory”

November 25, 2015 at 9:27 am in Entertainment, Holidays, Media, News, People, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Theatre/Stage

Buddy (Jeff Scott Carey) and Anna Stabler (Theresa Ford) reunite at play opening. click to embiggen

Buddy (Jeff Scott Carey) and Anna Stabler (Theresa Ford) reunite at play opening. click to embiggen

Last night was the sneak preview blogathon at the Sierra Madre Playhouse for “A Christmas Memory” based on a short story by Truman Capote.  This is a musical with live musicians, not canned sound tracks.

I was captured from the get go with this play.  The performances by the cast were engaging and brought the story to life.  To avoid spoilers I’ll not give away too much of the plot or story line. The setting is a man’s boyhood home and sequences between the now and his boyhood spent in rural Alabama raised by cousins in the depression.  The story is about a man returning “home” after being gone a long time for the funeral of a cousin who raised him.  Its an interesting story of familial love and bonding, with adventures and making fruitcake.

The latter is central to the story and the song “Fruitcake Weather” is lively and just adds to the story line. Young Buddy (Ian Branch) and Sook (Diane Kelber) have a bond that is magical and plays out well on stage.

The music gets a big round of applause, but one of the best sequences in the production is when the cast breaks out the ukelele’s and busts out into song.  Fun, well done and did I mention fun?

To read more about the cast and production team visit their website HERE. The Sierra Madre Playhouse has another hit on its hands here.  The play has already sold out for Friday and Saturday night its opening weekend.  You can still get tickets for Sunday and the remaining dates (the play closes December 27) via the Playhouse HERE.

Deets Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre CA

More pics from the blogathon in the a flickr album