Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ride The Red Cars to Glendale with Paul Ayers

From local historian Paul Ayers:

On May 12, 2011 I will be presenting my slide show on the Pacific Electric’s Glendale Line at the Glendale Public Library’s main auditorium. The poster for the show is pasted in below; my 3 year old self is shown hanging out of the back window of P.E. #5010.

Featured will be over 270 views including personal material and comparison shots of line locations as they appear today. P.E. shows are very popular and we expect to fill the auditorium early and have to turn people away. A second presentation is tentatively scheduled for June 1st.


Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 7:00pm
Glendale Central Library
222 E Harvard Street
admission is FREE and open to the public

More info:

Paul also occasionally does an excellent presentation on early silent film locations in Glendale and surrounding areas.

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Dinah's Fried Chicken Groupon: $10 for $20

Going on for the next day and a half or so. Dinah's is very nearby and damn good fried chicken.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Doo-dah Parade Tomorrow

Hope to see everyone at the Doo-Dah Parade tomorrow morning-ish!

When: April 30, 2011
Where: Pasadena, CA (East)
Parade steps off: 11:00AM
Reminder: Bring your own lawn chairs!
Official Doo Dah After-Party: American Legion, 179 N. Vinedo St. (2 blks from Parade at Vinedo & Walnut), immediately following the event. Legendary Doo Dah House Band, Snotty Scotty and the Hankies, and Horses on Astroturf, and assorted Doo Dah Glitterati, cheap food and drinks, smoking patio, big screen TV, cash only!! (626) 792-9938. $5 cover

Unofficial After Parties:

Plate 38, 2361 E. Colorado Blvd. (near Sierra Madre Blvd.), Join Her Royal Majesty the Queen Red Rosie (right after the royals tie the knot!) for your post-parade lunch! American eats, including gourmet burgers, live music, $2.50 Coronas, family-friendly!
Poo Bah Records, 2636 E. Colorado Blvd. (nextdoor to The Colorado Bar) will have live bands all afternoon, records, coolness, and the Grand Marshal, owner Ron Stivers!!
The Colorado Bar, 2640 E. Colorado Blvd. Featuring cheap drinks, darts and pool, and the Infamous Drunk in the Garage band, immediately following the parade.

(via former Glendale resident Queen Skittles.)

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Updated Grandview Cemetery Information

The City of Glendale just posted an update regarding scandal-ridden Grandview Cemetery.

More information is also available at Lisa Burk's Grandview Cemetery website, including news regarding the possibility of the cemetery being sold to the team behind Hollywood Forever.

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Fundraise For Your School With Lexus of Glendale

Lexus of Glendale is my neighbor, and while they occasionally drive me nuts with all the employees parking on my street, this is a very smart idea. A great, easy twist on the classic school car wash fundraiser.

From Lexus of Glendale via Facebook:

Lexus of Glendale has offered our car wash facilities to local public schools to aid them in raising funds to help finance innovative programs and resources that contribute to student learning. We provide the school with coupons for a full-service carwash and full use of our dealership’s amenities, at no cost to the school – they keep 100% of the profits!

We have started this initiative with Rosemont Middle School, by providing them with a donation of carwash fundraiser tickets. Principal, Cynthia Livingston thanks Lexus of Glendale for their support, saying: “It is community organizations like Lexus [of Glendale] who make Rosemont such a special place. Thank you for supporting our journey!

If you know of a local public school that would be interested in this unique fundraising opportunity please contact Johnny Harrison, Lexus of Glendale Vice President, at 818-550-3975.

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Cool Video of GATE Project Artist Anna Magnuson

I briefly stopped by the GATE Project opening last Friday, and I especially enjoyed the projects by Anna Magnuson and James Rojas. Check out this video explaining Magnuson's project.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tropico Station on Facebook

Click here and press "Like". Stay up to date on the latest Glendale goings on directly in your Facebook feed, and post on the Tropico Station wall with link and event suggestions. Currently I've populated the wall with a collection of "Best Of" posts, so if you're new to the site, that's a great place to catch up. Please share on your Facebook Wall and recommend to your friends.

Tropico Station on Facebook

Also, don't forget you can follow me on Twitter @tropicostation.

"Mr. Mathrani, tear down this wall!"

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, "Mr. Mathrani, tear down this wall!"

From The Glendale News-Press:
Mathrani, who took the reins of General Growth Properties in January, said the company is planning to renovate the Galleria this summer, but offered no details. He also said he is open to working with Caruso on Galleria II.

The Galleria and Americana, he said, should be viewed “as one retail area. We are going to do things that are completely win-win.”

Mathrani also said the company is “well on its way” toward leasing the Mervyns space on Brand Boulevard, which has been empty for more than two years, although he did not reveal the possible tenant.

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To "Alice Peters"

Your comments on the Glendale News-Press and LA Times site are consistently well informed and acerbic. Start a blog! You have the chops and Glendale needs it. Or if you ever want to write an opinion piece on anything, I'd be glad to publish it.

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Bicycle Master Plan Outreach Meeting Tonight 04/28

The City is finally updating their long out of date bicycle master plan, but they need community involvement and your help tonight.

From Fred Zohrehvand with the City of Glendale's Traffic and Transportation Department:
A Bicycle Master Plan is most successful when the members of the community participate in the planning process. In that regard, the City has planned several Community Outreach meetings that will be held at different locations within the City. The entire community is invited to participate and we are hoping for a great turnout with many comments and recommendations.
The first Community Outreach meeting is tonight:

April 28, 2011
6:00 pm
Glendale Central Library
222 E. Harvard Street
Glendale 91205

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Clean Up the LA River This Saturday

Volunteer at 14 sites during the LA River Day of Service this Saturday, April 30th from 9am-noon.

Sign up and find out more info at the Friends of the LA River site.

Three of the cleanup sites are particularly Tropico adjacent:

Afterwards, join the Volunteer Celebration Party with Ozomatli:

Rio de Los Angeles State Park
1900 N. San Fernando Road
Los Angeles CA 90065

Music * Food * Eco- Education
12 noon to 2 p.m.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Feature: The BEST of Tropico Station

I've created a new permanent page called The BEST of Tropico Station. If you're new to the site, start here.

A small sample of the "Best Of":

My all-time favorite post: stills from the Glendale locations featured in Crime Wave, an obscure 1952 film noir filmed almost entirely on the mean streets of downtown Glendale, alongside new photographs I took of the same locations today.

Why the heck is one of our main streets named "Chevy Chase"? Who or what is Chevy Chase? Is it the same as the comedian?

The awesomely spooky abandoned old LA Zoo in Griffith Park is absolutely worth visiting! Photos and directions:

Another of my all-time favorite posts: I was asked to help explore and identify a mysterious abandoned settlement/camp in the Verdugos.
The follow up post, where I solve the mystery thanks to Glendale's awesomely knowledgeable Special Collections librarian:

Directions to prominent early Glendalian Leslie Brand's eerie hidden cemetery in Brand Park. He's buried under a giant stone pyramid!
More pictures from the hidden cemetery:

The Cramps - What's Inside A Girl?

Glendale's Own! Really. Poison Ivy and Lux Interior (RIP), longtime Adams Hill residents.

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Friedman "Bring It On" Cartoon in the News-Press

A nice little cartoon in the Glendale News-Press depicts our new Mayor Laura Friedman, who is off to a good start leading the City Council as they tackle:
  • unemployment
  • arts
  • speeding
  • redevelopment agency
  • teacher layoffs
  • crime
  • 710 fwy
  • prejudice
  • traffic control
  • housing
  • taxes
  • homeless
  • budget deficits
  • ADI
  • water rates
  • GUSD
  • police
  • pedestrian safety
Phew! I'm tired just reading the list!

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Union Station's Ghost Restaurant On Film

This morning I read Franklin Avenue's exciting post that Metro is seeking a restaurant to occupy the spectacular empty Fred Harvey Restaurant space at Union Station. Tonight, on a completely unrelated note, I wondered, "Hey, what happened to Fiona Apple?!" and looked her up on youtube. The first video I stumbled across is an excellent example of the location's second life in film and video - it has a ravishing star turn in the video for Fiona Apple's "Paper Bag," directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. What other films and restaurants have featured the deserted Fred Harvey restaurant space? Let us know in the comments.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tropico Station on Facebook

I've provided a link to the right, or click here and press "Like". Stay up to date on the latest Glendale goings on directly in your Facebook feed, and post on the Tropico Station wall with link and event suggestions. Currently I've populated the wall with a collection of "Best Of" posts, so if you're new to the site, that's a great place to catch up. Please share and recommend to your friends.

Tropico Station on Facebook

Also, don't forget you can follow me on Twitter @tropicostation.

Vintage Glendale on Facebook

Another Facebook note: if you aren't following the Vintage Glendale Facebook group, you should be. The users have posted tons of great historical photos of Glendale; check it out.

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Sunset Magazine: "One Perfect Day in Glendale"

Sunset Magazine's May issue has a nice feature on "One Perfect Day in Glendale, CA".

Local spots highlighted include:
Top Secret Porto's Tips
Brand Boulevard, Glendale, 1905, A Survivor
A Lunchtime Tour of Forest Lawn
Sidewalk Astronomy at Deukmejian Wilderness Park
The Alex Rose Parade Float on Display at The Alex
Glendale on Film: The Brand Library in The Naked Gun

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Verdugo Mountains 10k Trail Run and Hike This Sunday

From via Coalition For A Green Glendale:

The Course begins in beautiful Brand Park, climbs steadily to one of the highest points in the Verdugo Mountains, then heads back downhill for a fast descent to the finish. Breathtaking views of the Los Angeles Basin, the San Fernando Valley, and the Pacific Ocean await you at every turn. From the race’s highest point, 2670 feet above sea level, the panoramic view of the San Gabriel Mountains is truly spectacular.

DATE: Sunday, May 1, 2011
LOCATION: Brand Park, 1601 West Mountain St., Glendale, 91201
START TIME: 8:00 am

Presented by the City of Glendale’s Community Services and Parks Department to benefit the Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation. Visit for more information.

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May is Glendale Bike Month!

May is Bike Month in Glendale!

I designed the Bike Month poster, which features my newest toy - an incredibly geeky Dahon Vitesse folding bike. Yesterday morning I rode it through the rain to Kaldi Coffee in Atwater Village with Jen from The Cave Wine Storage, where I appreciated the L.A. River inspired artwork by my friend Diana Kohne along with coffee and conversation. When the rain stopped we rode along the bike path up the LA River. Overall, a very pleasant Tropico morning by bike.

Mark your calendar for these scheduled events:
  • Monday, May 2- Bike Commuter Tips Workshop (7pm)
  • Wednesday, May 4 - Pre-Bike to Work Day Expo (11:30am)
  • Monday, May 9 - Basic Bike Repair Workshop (7pm)
  • Saturday, May 14 - Ice Cream Ride! (1pm)
  • Thursday, May 19 - Bike to Work Day
  • Friday, May 20 - Bike to School Day
Find out the details at

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Facade of Historic Building Acquired By The Americana To Be Preserved

The Glendale Historical Society has successfully worked with The Americana to preserve the facade of the beautiful mission revival commercial building recently acquired by Caruso Affiliated as part of their plan to expand the Americana. The facade will be saved and incorporated into the new Nordstrom building, and the windows will be used to display historic photographs of Glendale.

Via an e-mail from The Glendale Historical Society:

The Glendale Historical Society is pleased to announce that it has been working with Caruso Affiliated to relocate the façade of the Mission Revival-style brick commercial building at 230 South Orange Street, recently acquired by Caruso for the expansion of The Americana at Brand. Caruso Affiliated will incorporate the existing building façade into the design of the new Nordstrom building along the new pedestrian passageway to be created on what is now Orange Street between Colorado and Caruso Avenue.

The façade's original steel sash windows will become showcases for The Glendale Historical Society to display photographic images from Glendale's past. Caruso will install display boxes where The Glendale Historical Society can promote special events and install exhibits about the history of the City of Glendale and its architecture.

The Caruso team has been very respectful of TGHS' concerns about preserving this rare Glendale example of Mission Revival-style commercial architecture. TGHS is pleased that the unique architecture of the building façade will be the centerpiece of the new pedestrian walkway between Nordstrom and Barnes & Noble and that the illuminated display windows and light boxes will be prominent and attractive features of the proposed Americana expansion. The restored façade will maintain both its current orientation and the original materials of the building.

Caruso Affiliated is proceeding with the public process to receive permits for the development of the expansion, scheduled for completion in the Fall of 2013.

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Free Comedy Night at Big Fish This Tuesday 4/26/11

D+ D Joke Center's Reunion Show with a good lineup featuring Brody Stevens, Neil Hamburger and Tim Heidecker (of Tim and Eric)! I've been listening to a lot of comedy lately (thanks largely to Marc Maron's excellent WTF podcast) and it'll be great to see some good comics closer to home.

When: 9pm on Tuesday 4/26/11

Big Fish (21+)
5230 San Fernando Road (at Wilson)

The Lineup:
Brody Stevens
Neil Hamburger
Tim Heidecker
Johnny Pemberton
Abed Gheith
Emily Maya Mills
Matt Peters
Scott Bowser

The Big Fish is one Glendale's better dive bars. Cheap drinks, friendly crowd, great people watching. Be sure to eat beforehand as there's no real food there, just a few microwaved inedible items. Fun place though.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Recommended: The New "Ask Chris" Blog

My friend Chris Nichols -- local historian, preservationist and man about town -- has started a new blog. Chris writes the always illuminating "Ask Chris" column in Los Angeles Magazine. His new blog has only been up for a few weeks, but he's already posted on topics such as the incredibly detailed L.A. Noire video game, the demolition of the world's oldest In-N-Out Burger location, and observations such as the dueling Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera tip jars at Babycakes Bakery.

His column is always the first thing I turn to in the magazine. Some recent Ask Chris questions:

Chris always needs new questions, so e-mail your questions to him at

Elizabeth Taylor at La Cabinita

Before Hollywood screen icon Elizabeth Taylor was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Glendale, she enjoyed La Cabinita in Montrose while wearing a crazy sweater.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Experimenting With Google AdSense

I've added Google AdSense ads to the blog. It'd be nice to actually make money from this project, which has been entirely a volunteer effort thus far - for 3 years and 474 posts! It would certainly be an incentive for me to post more frequently, which can be difficult, especially with a full time job and many other commitments.

After several months I'll evaluate where AdSense lies on the continuum between lucrative and obnoxious and decide whether to keep it or not.

If anyone has had experiences with AdSense or advice about other advertising options let me know. I blocked the first obnoxious ads that popped up and the ones being served now seem pretty well chosen.

I've also added my Twitter feed in the sidebar and will be making a few other refinements and have other exciting ideas percolating in my head.

If you have suggestions or feedback, I can be reached at


More Volunteers Needed to End Homelessness

More volunteers are needed for PATH Achieve's Glendale Registry Week. It's an early morning time commitment but it's only a few days and should be interesting and challenging. I've done various types of volunteering and have found helping the homeless to be the most rewarding. Check out homeless service provider PATH Achieve Glendale's blog for more info. I'm signed up, are you?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Follow Tropico Station On Twitter

A selection of items from @tropicostation on Twitter over the past week or two:
  • Natalie home sick so I'm free tonight. Think I'll go read for a while at Borders -- oh wait...
  • I'm signed up RT @PATHAchieve Glendale Registry Week. Still need volunteers *hint hint*
  • "let's see if I can bring Shakira inside." - woman holding small dog just outside entrance to Griffith Observatory #overheard
  • amusing headline of the day: "Small fire erupts at Universal Studios earthquake attraction"
  • somehow went through the entire vote count process with my fly down. the perils of citizen journalism. sorry glendale
  • @RickCarusoLA , would love for you to redevelop the mervyns space. it is a burden for the galleria and would be an asset for you & Glendale
  • what! panda express at #glendale marketplace is gone. just when it seemed like the Glendale mp couldn't be any more dismal
Follow me @tropicostation.

A Response to Dave Weaver's Comments on Cycling

On Tuesday night the Glendale City Council finally approved the long awaited Glendale Safe and Healthy Streets Plan, which lays out a framework for improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists in Glendale (full post on the meeting here). It was a wonderful and energizing moment for Glendale. The only sour note of the entire evening was sounded by Councilman Dave Weaver, who reluctantly voted for the plan, but made these comments about the prospects for safer streets in Glendale. Please watch his comments in their entirety, and read my response.

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Councilman Weaver,

Congratulations on your re-election and thank you for your support of the Safe and Healthy Streets Plan last night despite your reservations. I was at last night's City Council meeting (I spoke in support of the plan - the bearded fellow who lost a lot of weight) and there are a number of points you made in your comments regarding the plan that I would like to respond to.

Many of your concerns had to do with redesigning roads to take away traffic capacity.

As you pointed out, most roads in Glendale cannot be widened. As we continue to grow, the roads we have become more congested. Moving people around efficiently with the roads we have is key. Whether by car, bus, foot, or bike. You are certainly correct that most people will still get around by car. It will just get more difficult as more cars continue to clog the roads and gas prices continue to rise. These are both inevitabilities.

I bike to work in downtown Glendale everyday - a little over a mile. It takes me 6 or 7 minutes. It would take me several minutes longer to drive, as I would have to drive up to the third floor of the parking structure on Maryland, walk down, and then walk back up to my office. My bike is a more efficient choice for me. It's also a more efficient choice for the city: every day, my bike is one fewer car clogging up Brand Blvd and one fewer car taking up space in a city parking structure. I am actively reducing transit congestion, and the fact that it makes me healthier, saves money and is fun is just gravy.

There are many others throughout the city for whom riding bikes short distances would also be an efficient choice - if they felt it was safe to do so. I'm not talking about riding across the whole county, or even the whole city - a 1-3 mile trip only takes a few minutes on a bike and can provide some relief from high gas prices and congestion. These are the people whom the city should be courting to make our road networks safer and more efficient.

As you pointed out many times in your speech, being on a bike in Glendale can be very unsafe. This is a situation a great city like Glendale should be ashamed of. Providing a network of bike routes is a public safety issue. I am a tax-paying Glendale resident, and it is a high priority among the services I expect the city to provide. One only needs to look to Burbank, Pasadena, or even the City of LA to see that Glendale has fallen far behind in providing for the needs of its residents in this regard. To neglect to provide basic amenities that can increase the public safety of my fellow residents - your constituents - is not realistic, it is defeatist. I ask that you reconsider your attitude and research the experiences of cities that have had success in creating bike networks.

I look forward to your support on the council as I continue to volunteer my time towards implementing these important public safety improvements in our fair city.


Scott Lowe

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A Great Day For Glendale

Tuesday night was tremendously energizing for advocates of bicycle and pedestrian friendly infrastructure in Glendale. First and foremost, the City Council unanimously passed the long-awaited Glendale Safe and Healthy Streets Plan, which lays out a framework for bicycle and pedestrian-related safety improvements in the city. So a hearty thank you to the city council for that.

Additionally, with the exception of Dave Weaver -- who still grudgingly voted for the plan -- all of the councilmembers spoke glowingly about bike infrastructure and their experiences with it in other cities. Mayor Laura Friedman, capably presiding over her first full city council meeting at the head of the dais, set the tone, and Frank Quintero, Ara Najarian, and, encouragingly, newly re-elected Councilman Rafi Manoukian also spoke strongly in favor of bike related projects. Mayor Friedman has been a stalwart supporter from the beginning, and councilman Quintero gave an enthusiastic report about his experiences attending the Velo-Cities conference in Seville, Spain; and about how much he has learned from the bicycle infrastructure projects in other cities such as Chicago, Vancouver and Long Beach. He also spoke firmly about how the city will implement these improvements.

LA County Bicycle Coalition Liason and PLACE Grant Coordinator Colin Bogart gave an excellent presentation, and over ten members of the community came forward to speak in support of the plan.

Including me - here are my comments to the city council:

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Mayor Friedman's Comments, followed by some additional comments by Frank Quintero and the Council's vote

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Councilman Manoukian's comments

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Councilman Weaver's comments

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I believe that Councilman Weaver's comments deserved a response, so I wrote a letter to him which I have also posted here.

Now the hard part: actual implementation. The first step is a community outreach meeting about the update of the city's bicycle master plan. I look forward to seeing you there-


A Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) is most successful when the members of the community participate in the planning process. In that regard, the City has planned several Community Outreach meetings that will be held at different locations within the City during April and May of 2011. The entire community is invited to participate and we are hoping for a great turnout with many comments and recommendations.

The first Community Outreach meeting is scheduled as follows:

April 28, 2011
6:00 pm
Glendale Central Library
222 E. Harvard Street
Glendale 91205

Please check back for additional dates to be posted.
The complete council meeting is viewable here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Perhaps Not the Best Wording Regarding the Armenian Genocide

The compression required by Twitter's 140 character limit can occasionally lead to unfortunate choices of words. From the City of Glendale via Twitter:
@MyGlendale "Free tickets for Glendale's Armenian Genocide now available in the Alex Theatre Box Office."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bye Bye, Borders

My last purchases during the final hour (all gifts for colleagues), at 25 cents each:
The only other items left were romance novels and Jeff Foxworthy desk calendars.

RIP Borders. May your glorious location quickly be repurposed for new and wonderful uses that aren't a Ross Dress For Less, and may your employees find a cultural and economic safe haven elsewhere.

Let us transcend this great loss by loading our arms with great heapings of books at the delightful Brand Bookshop or the Mystery and Imagination Bookstore, both of which are just a block and a half north of the defunct Borders on Brand. Amen.

IMPORTANT: Come To Glendale City Hall This Tuesday to Support Safer Walking and Bicycling in Glendale

Please come to the City Council meeting this Tuesday, April 19th at 6pm to encourage the adoption of the Glendale Safe and Healthy Streets Plan. It is very important. The Glendale Safe and Healthy Streets Plan, which LA County Bicycle Coalition liason Colin Bogart has been assembling from public meetings with Glendale residents, is a policy document that is intended to provide a blueprint for making the city a safer place for bicyclists and pedestrians. In the short amount of time that Colin has been working with the city, his presence and energy have already resulted in numerous positive changes for bicyclists and pedestrians in the city of Glendale. Some examples of these changes are improved bicycle parking throughout the city, sharrows on numerous Glendale streets, landscaping, bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the Riverdale-Maple corridor, and safe bicycling education classes being conducted in Glendale schools. I fully endorse the plan and the efforts of Colin, the LA County Bicycle Coalition and the LA County Department of Public Health, whose grant made this project possible. Please come to the City Council meeting on Tuesday to support it.

In addition to the hopeful adoption of the Glendale Safe and Healthy Streets Plan, you will also get to see the re-seating of Rafi Manoukian and the election by the city council of Glendale's new mayor, so it should be an unusually interesting council meeting no matter what. Please come.

Don’t forget, we will be presenting the Safe & Healthy Streets Plan to Glendale City Council on Tuesday, April 19, 6:00 pm in Council Chambers at Glendale City Hall. Please attend the meeting if you can to show your support of the Plan. We need your support! Invite your friends!

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has been working in partnership with The City of Glendale to conduct extensive outreach, build support, and develop the Plan since 2008. The Draft Safe & Healthy Streets Plan has already received unanimous votes from three City Commissions recommending Council approval.

Adoption of the Safe & Healthy Streets Plan would establish programs and policies that will support and encourage biking and walking. The Plan is organized into five main categories (plus a few more):

  1. Education
  2. Encouragement
  3. Enforcement
  4. Engineering
  5. Evaluation

Examples of what you can expect if the Safe & Healthy Streets Plan is approved include:

  • A Pedestrian and Bicyclist Advisory Committee that will meet regularly to address ongoing concerns for Glendale pedestrians and bicyclists
  • City-sponsored rides and walks
  • Safety education classes (and materials online)
  • Helmet and light distribution programs in lieu of citations
  • City-sponsored promotions such as Car Free Fridays or Walking Wednesdays
  • Incentive programs for those who commute on foot or by bike
  • Walking and biking maps for Glendale

If you can’t attend the Council meeting, please send an e-mail expressing your support of the Safe & Healthy Streets Plan to the City Council no later than 12 noon on April 19. You can e-mail the entire Council at . If you send an e-mail, please cc . Once again, here are the details for the Council presentation.

Safe & Healthy Streets Presentation to Glendale City Council
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
6:00 pm at Glendale City Hall, Council Chambers
613 E. Broadway
Glendale, CA 91206

See you on Tuesday!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Manoukian 10197, Weaver 9903, Drayman 9842

Final results in the hotly contested City Council election:

  • 1. 10197 Rafi Manoukian
  • 2. 9903 Dave Weaver
  • 3. 9842 John Drayman

Manoukian's back, Weaver stays, Drayman is out. That's all, folks. I took these photos at the election center at the Glendale Police Department this afternoon:

Tension in the room as counting of ballots gets underway. The ballots were fed into the counting machine by the guy in the rear of the room, and it was all over within about ten minutes.

The final board

The vote summary handed out to those in attendance

Volunteer to Help End Chronic Homelessness in Glendale

Do you see homeless people on the streets of Glendale and wish someone would do something to help get them off the streets? Here is an excellent hands-on volunteer opportunity for you to work towards reducing chronic homelessness from PATH Achieve Glendale:
The City of Glendale, PATH Achieve and a growing list of partners, are planning a Registry Week to find and identify persons who are homeless in Glendale. The goal of the Glendale Registry Week is to create a by-name registry of people living on our streets; allowing us to prioritize those who have been out there the longest and who are the most vulnerable. What we learn together during this week will help us reduce chronic homelessness in Glendale and will help assure we are targeting our efforts in ways that are life saving for the most vulnerable homeless.
The campaign is recruiting dedicated volunteers to canvass Glendale’s streets and survey the city’s most vulnerable homeless people. To ensure the most accurate count possible, we will survey individuals during the early morning hours for three consecutive days. Registry Team volunteers must be available May 1st – May 4th

♦ Sunday, May 1st 2-5pm (training) ♦ Tuesday, May 3rd 4-7am
♦ Monday, May 2nd 4-7am ♦ Wednesday, May 4th 4-7am

Other volunteer opportunities are available for those who cannot commit to Registry Teams.

♦ Data Entry May 2-5 and/or ♦ Set up/ clean up May 1-4

More info here.
Sign up here.

Learn about PATH Achieve.

Election Results Coming Today

Should have clearer results in the city council election tonight. From the Glendale City Clerk:

The following events will take place at the Election Center, located at 131 N. Isabel in the GPD Community Room, and are open to the public:

9:00 am - The post-election day Canvassing of Vote-by-Mail ballots and Provisional ballots (opening the returned vote-by-mail and provisional ballot envelopes, removing the ballots, accurately duplicating any damaged or defective ballots, and preparing the ballots for the ballot count) will commence.

11:00 am - The City Clerk or his designee, will review all Provisional envelopes which have been rejected for deficiencies by the City Clerk.

2:00 pm The post-election count of the 2nd batch of Vote-by-Mail ballots and Provisional ballots will commence.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Weird McDonalds

After a debate with my girlfriend on whether McNuggets were disgusting or delicious, I headed over to the McDonalds on Central and Milford to evaluate. (My verdict: they are both disgusting and delicious, especially when dipped in lots of barbecue sauce.)

While there, these large displays caught my eye:

Why, why, why are these creepy mannequins there!? This is not part of Glendale's recent "put art in vacant storefronts" Gate Project. What do they mean? Why are they so intentionally grotesque? Is it some sort of warning about the dangers of fast food? Is the mustachioed fellow supposed to be Groucho Marx or just an Armenian dude? Why does Ronald appear to be threatening him?

As I finished my gross yet satisfying meal, an elderly couple came over and sat uncomfortably close to me. They sat so close that I couldn't laugh without them seeing me, so I started transcribing their conversation on my phone to prevent myself from cracking up. Here are some overheard snippets of conversation:
old guy, to wife: "this is a handicap spot. you dont walk like a handicap. I'm gonna hit you with my cane"

old guy: "there ain't that many nuts. he made a big deal about the nuts. just like an oriental, always getting too detailed"

old guy: "I remember how beautiful America used to be at one time? now you can't tell the men from the women!"

wife: "you blame everything on the queers!"

old guy: "no I don't, just what they're tryin to get! they got some people feeling sorry for them! that singer you like, he's one!"

wife: "dont you say anything about Clay Aiken, he's my adopted son!"
I broke up in laughter at the Clay Aiken line and made a hasty retreat. So long, McDonalds. See you in two years when I have another inexplicable barbecue sauce craving.

The Spirit of CicLAvia

My favorite of the many photos I took at CicLAvia this past Sunday. What a marvelous event.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Armed Jerk Magnets

My proposed solution to the intimidation of fans at Dodger Stadium:
Plant undercover cops wearing the opposing team's apparel throughout the stadium. Armed jerk magnets! Start tazing and arresting those who make threats on the Jumbotron to amusing organ music. It would have the added benefit of being much more exciting than the actual game.

Friday, April 8, 2011

City Council Election Results On April 14th

Because of the close results, the City Clerk will begin the aforementioned preparations of counting all remaining ballots on Thursday April 14, 2011 at 9 a.m. This process will occur at the Election Center located 131 Isabel St. in the Police Department’s Community Room. Public viewing will be allowed for the preparations, processing and eventual count of the remaining ballots. Results are expected to be announced the same day.

Garden Bandit Menaces South Glendale

Spotted on Maple, just east of Chevy Chase by Jen:

The sign says:-
"To Glendale and my neighbors:

I am sorry, but I can no longer keep my garden beautiful for you. Someone has been stealing plants right from the front of my home. The only clue I have is that a man was seen leaving my property around 4AM. Please watch for him to keep the rest of the neighborhood safe. Because of this, I will be moving many of my plants away from the front.

This makes me sad because I cannot make Glendale more beautiful. It's all I ever wanted from my garden."
In addition to this sad case, my neighbor Cassandra just had a concrete decorative lion stolen from her front porch. What the hell, Glendale?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

State of the City Video Report

Also works well if you lower the sound and watch simultaneously with Metallica's "Orion." (Click play on both videos as quickly as you can, and I've already set Metallica to start playing at 1:36)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

3153 Votes Remain to Be Counted

From the City Clerk:

Glendale voted on April 5, 2011

The posted figures are the unofficial results of the April 5, 2011 Glendale Municipal Election after the closing of polls. There remain 3153 ballots to be processed which include Vote by Mail (VBM) and provisional ballots. Processing these ballots includes verification of signatures with County Registrar/Recorder records, duplication, and the review of disqualifying requirements of a ballot per the California Elections Code. Following verification, the qualifying ballots will be counted subsequent to the reconciliation of the voting records for Election Day per the California Elections Code.

All results are unofficial until they are certified by the City Clerk and presented to the City Council on April 18, 2011.

For questions, please call 818.548.4000.

City Council Election Results...Mostly

Manoukian, Weaver, Drayman. In that order. For now. Only 162 votes separate #1 candidate Rafi Manoukian and #3 John Drayman, and only 27 votes separate #3 Drayman from #2 Dave Weaver...and a council seat. However, according to the Glendale News-Press, "roughly 3,000 ballots are still uncounted, including provisional and mail-ins that were turned in at the polls." With that many votes remaining to be processed, any outcome is still possible.

The unofficial results as of last night:

8968 Rafi Manoukian
8833 Dave Weaver
8806 John Drayman
6598 Chahe Keuroghelian
1760 Mike Mohill
1467 Garen Mailyan

Precinct by precinct vote counts are available via this neat interactive gadget here:

Having looked at the precinct-by-precinct counts, it appears that voting broke along predictable ethnic and geographical lines, though Manoukian did fairly well everywhere.

In a nutshell:
  • Manoukian and Keuroghelian dominated south of the 134
  • Weaver and Drayman dominated north of the 134, with middling support in South Glendale, and strong support in Adams Hill
  • In addition to dominating south Glendale, Manoukian did very well with absentees, fairly well in North Glendale (though behind Drayman/Weaver) and even had a fair amount of support in Crescenta Valley
  • Overall, Weaver did better in South Glendale than Drayman, slightly better in absentee voting, though Drayman's strong appeal north of GCC was enough to make up the difference and bring him to within a few votes
The full results are worth exploring here.

It'll take a while for every vote to be accounted for, so stay tuned. Two council seats are still up in the air.

Our Big Fat Gay Election

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our Big Fat Election

It's election day in Glendale! Here is my long overdue City Council election post.

The candidates for City Council are:

The very serious charges of battery brought against fired former Glendale PD spokesman Chahe Keuroghelian in 2000 deny him any consideration in my book, and if those didn't disqualify him, the immigration fraud charges in 2001 should.

Garen Mailyan has no experience and his only platform is running for Jesus and Anglo-Armenian relations, so he's out.

The fact that Mike Mohill is a "happily married to a woman" gay man makes him a much more sympathetic and complex character than I would have thought previously, and I now like him six times more than before.

Unfortunately, six times zero is still zero. Anyone who has ever endured a grueling, non-consensual conversation with Mike Mohill -- and I have endured several -- knows that it would be impossible for him to work effectively on Glendale's behalf, or on behalf of anything other than the sound of his own voice.

On to John Drayman. In the absence of concrete evidence of wrongdoing in the ADI issue, Drayman's record on the council of bringing development downtown, bicycle/pedestrian issues, historic preservation, arts-related projects, the Museum of Neon Art and his sincere dedication to his hometown of Glendale speak for themselves. In my personal experience (dating to before I had this blog or any larger public voice) John Drayman has been very engaged and responsive to constituent issues. He has my vote.

Dave Weaver...I'm not so sure. I believe Weaver always votes for what he believes is right, but we have very, very different ideas about what an ideal Glendale would look like. His vote against the Laemmle Theater complex at Maryland/Wilson over unrealistic parking concerns is one example.

I was not living in Glendale during Rafi Manoukian's previous two terms as a councilman, but in my research, I couldn't find any substantial dirt on him. That's something! Unless someone can convince me otherwise (and feel free to e-mail me personally and off the record if you'd like), I'm voting for Manoukian over Weaver.

For Board of Education, I'm voting Ingrid Gunnell and Mary Boger. Nayiri Nahabedian is disqualified for me due to the relentless negative mailers I received from her during her campaign against Mike Gatto for Assembly. Ugh. Out of my mailbox, mean lady.

Get out there and vote!

Glendale City Clerk on Twitter: @cogCityClerk
Find your polling place
Official City of Glendale Voting Information

Glendale News-Press School Board/Community College Board Endorsements
GNP City Council Candidate Interviews

Other takes on the election:
Burbank Blog
Daily News

Glendale Election Information

Glendale City Clerk on Twitter: @cogCityClerk
Find your polling place
Official City of Glendale Voting Information

Glendale News-Press School Board/Community College Board Endorsements
GNP City Council Candidate Interviews

My take is here.

Other takes on the election:
Burbank Blog
Daily New

Monday, April 4, 2011

Follow @tropicostation On Twitter!

Follow me on Twitter @tropicostation!

If you see something interesting and Glendale-specific, tag it with @tropicostation and I'll retweet it.