Sunday, November 30, 2008

Blast from the Past

A blast from the past arrived on my doorstep Friday. Mary Durham, long lost past owner of my house: Mary, who was dubbed the mayor of Broadway delivered two huge bags of historical photos, news clippings and other random artifacts for me to caretake.
Seems like weird timing as I just put my house on Zillow's make me move list... but in my lap this all landed. The historical maps, notes and random dinner party notes seemed like a page from the day in the life year 2008. The neighborhood is still tight, enjoying cocktail parties and bbq's at a moment's notice. Petitions were a biggie here on my street, ranging from neighborhood zoning and preservation, historical guidelines to be followed and re paving the street all from 1920-1985...sorry to say I was not the inventor of such left wing intentions. Many things political seemed to emanate from my current address. The thought of political stick- to-itiveness carrying through put a smile on my face. I know that I am not the first nor will I be the last to carry the torch du jour of what-ever- in- the-moment needs to be addressed. It's just so close to home, in a linear lineage.

Sure feels nice to share a karmic moment in memory with whoever lived in my house long before I even knew Los Gatos existed.

My street was also know for parties. Lots of parties. This also seems befitting. We like to party, and having fun is a big part of my 'hood. As keeper of the summer Friday cocktail party email list, Broadway is also the street that spawned Los Gatos Social Club. Lucky mucky us. So this holiday season, as the world digs deep into it's debt ridden pockets it's nice to have a big file of old dog eared newspaper clippings of local rants and raves. Makes what I have experienced here in the last year or two pale in comparison. To those in the know, please email any special memories you may have of my street. I will make a digital copy of all these amazing historical snippets and pass on to Peggy Conway at the Library. Just remember, when you look around at how amazing our town is, realize it did not happen by accident. Let's toast to those who had the vision, and keep our fingers crossed that those currently at the helm don't f@#k it up.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shop Local

You know that things must be pretty horrible in the local small business world when restaurants are posted for sale on Craigslist. Case in point the space next to the apple store fought a contentious fight for a conditional use permit to change the use from retail to food, the windows covered with paper for months. Then last week the place was listed for sale with lease hold improvements in a craigslist posting. Reason given for the sale: staffing. Seems like a given that a fine dining establishment have staffing problems if the place is closed for over six surprises there.

The local businesses are struggling with the lack of credit lines. I have spoken with a few long time merchants, and it's not a pretty picture painted with personal credit cards maxed and credit lines dried up.

A Gallup poll earlier this month found consumers are going to spend $150 less this Christmas than last year. The $616 per person was the lowest amount since the research company began asking the question a decade ago. The time to support downtown business is now. Even if its just a percentage of your holiday shopping. I hate to sound like Henny Penny but the proverbial financial world is falling and our local expenditures will make the difference between life and death for the local merchants.

Next Friday the Town Christmas tree will be lit with new LED lights ( Thank you Paul Dubois and all those who took the helm on this important change.) Please join in on the festivities, then shop, dine, enjoy the carriage rides but most importantly please consider buying whatever you can locally- dinner, coffee beans, the amazing Syrah available from Flemming Jenkins just to throw out a few ideas..You know what's on your list so just a more careful and creative approach can be a huge life line for the merchants we all love but most likely take for granted they will always be there for us. If the present financial environment has taught us anything the last few months, it's to expect things to change. Irrevocably perhaps, so we can all be the life line and feel good about it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Share what you give thanks for

Perfect timing. kizmet. Momento perfecto. Whatever name you choose
the meaning is the same and describes the book that arrived on my
doorstep on Friday, Stopping at every lemonade stand by James
My good friend and neighbor Maria inscribed it with: You're the one
who stops at my kids lemonade stand. Although you already live these
ideals- enjoy!

Enjoy I did...and you will too. The reason why? Well as the
financial world continues to spin like a whirling dervish.. it's nice
to have a distraction that feels good in a holiday-spirit of giving
kinda way. The theme of the book is community. Transforming our
unstable, disconnected culture into one with meaning and sense of
caring. The positive spin this book gives to community makes me wanna
throw my prozac away. I digress... it does offer a really sweet boost of
energy and spirit we could all use to connect with those who need it
the most: children and teens in our community.
A commitment to those at risk, to those
without a true voice should be first and foremost on the
communal to-do list. To accomplish these monumental tasks takes
only a moment. Examples of this include simply saying hello to people
as you walk down the street. Too smug for that? okay, smile, cause
you gotta start somewhere. Make a connection. Get off the cell phone,
put down your latte and make the effort- we all benefit from it and
you'll feel great. If you don't look me up at LGRC and I'll buy you a
cuppa coffee and you can rant.

Why the soap box this week? Well, it is Thanksgiving.. and it's been a
tough year for many here in the hamlet of the cats. More than a few
lives loss to senseless crime, a contentious local election, misguided
landuse issues, and the normal drama-rama of day -in- the- life means
we all have something to give thanks for..

I am thankful for my health, my husband (who rocks my world) and my
kids. I am also thankful for the gifts this community gives me each
and everyday, the neighbors who leave books on my doorstep, take
my kids on playdates, and just say hi to me while standing in line at
the post office. I am thankful for Center Hardware, and Terri Hope. I
am thankful for The Los Gatos Social Club and it's shadow government
which is not only photogenic but fun.
I am thankful for those of you who read my blog, and send emails
thanking me for my commitment to our town.
I am thankful for the Yelp! app on my iphone..

Now.. what are you thankful for?? Please share, inquiring minds wanna is fine but in person is always better.

Now go on, list...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Big Retail + Small Town=?

I must recommend a great book. Big-Box Swindle: The true cost of Mega-
Retailers and the fight for America's Independent Business by Stacey
Mitchell. Don't be put off by the long name of this short, quick read of a book.
The stories are inspiring and gut wrenching as Ms. Mitchell examines
what happens to local business when big box stores are allowed to move in.

Cut to our local scene... Notice the amazing amount of detail
and lease hold improvement going into the commercial property behind
the Wa-mu at the corner of Highway 9 and Santa Cruz Ave? Think all
that fluff is being added to attract the local mom and pop retailers
think again. I was told Bev MO was "contemplating" a spot here in LG.

All of this and a goldfish. The yearly St.Mary's County Fair is a
favorite of my kids. Anxious anticipation of the "barfing bears" (they
spin round n round till all the 8 year get the idea..)
and the ring toss/win a goldfish. But both of these crowd pleasers
ended up as no shows this year. The bears were on hiatus, and the local
purveyor of the free, finned gift to the ring toss gamer also
gone! OMG, my 6 year old was so upset.. So I got the real scoop on
the fish from someone in the know. Apparently in years past, the
goldfish were donated from the local pet store Critter Corner.
St. Mary's Fair graciously accepted the donation of the ring toss
goldfish, and in turn the lucky winners of said fish headed back to
Critter Corner to purchase all the necessary swag for the new finned family member.
I will cut to the chase, local merchant is happy about making the donation, after
selling $30.00 worth of tank, fish food and pirate ship decoy-decor to
the lucky recipient, the local economy is better off, and the kids have a new hobby until
the fish expires (amazingly around the time of next years' fair) and
the circle starts all over again..the hitch this year with Critter Corner out of biz
Petco was approached for donation of the goldfish. Petco told the
St. Mary's Fair that it was against company policy to donate.

No ring toss means no local kids yanking their parents into the pet store to
plop down the thirty bucks for the new finned family member.
Funny how this micro-economic dilemma comes to bite our town in it's tony behind.

The next time another J Crew, BevMo, Jos E Banks Clothiers or Big-box
of the moment comes knocking on our door, you can almost be sure the
powers that be never won a goldfish from St. Mary's fair. Otherwise
they would realize just how unfair and uninterested corporate stores are
in supporting local organizations no matter what the donation amount.
Our town planners and council should take into account the local
economy of the ring-toss fish, and the ripple effect it has upon the much larger economic pond.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Last year local teens were given a survey, asking about issues important to the junior high demographic. Not surprisingly the answers reflected the following: Town teens feel disconnected and under valued. I can't say I blame them.. The most recent youth commission meeting minutes posted at the town website show a date of april 15,08...eight months old... not a top priority??? Items on the agenda included a skate board park sub committee with short discussion on funding a less expensive park. Earlier this month about three dozen teenagers attended the recent LG council debate held at The Venue and spoke about issues affecting youth. The recent General Plan Committee Meeting on November 1st had a few teens in attendance. One young woman from LGHS voiced her concern of shopping downtown being out of reach to most kids.. Her exact quote was about not wanting to spend $500 for a pair of jeans. YSI is in grave danger of dissolving due to lack of funding... So if the town talks about the importance of youth services, then why is our community so poorly served?

If any time was a 911 call it seems to be now. When important projects like YSI are scrambling to keep the doors open, literally scrambling to scrape together 300K before they will close the doors two weeks from today. The Venue, as mentioned previously serves more kids in this community, doing more to keep them safe, off the street, and occupied then any other service club or organization and then the red herring of the wish list a potential skate park, go begging for money only to come up short of both cash and interest.

How can we create a culture of civic responsibility? A culture of caring -if we as adults can't seem to set a precedence and pony up the support necessary for these important programs.

I have a couple of ideas: we could set up a" skip-your latte" fund and help the under served in our community with the collection. What about a "hire a teen" service to pitch in with the over 50 crowd that can't seem to check a comcast account without tech support, or configure the AARP demographic ipods to listen to prairie home companion..certainly would be a step in the right direction.

With what looks to be very little help forth coming I think it's fair to say the message sent to our community's children: we don't think it's important to fund or furnish extracurricular.

The many civic minded individuals in this town who give and give of themselves and open checkbooks are to be applauded. How can we create a culture of civic responsibility ? The campaign to save YSI needs our attention NOW.. please consider writing a check.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Community Triage in the face of Tragedy

This week Los Gatos morns the tragic death of a teenager. My heart goes out to the parents.

A wake up call too late.. But perhaps as a community we should have or could have offered a safety net. In the face of this tragedy, the immediate triage should be this: talk to your kids about what's a safe, sensible alternative to anger and hurt. Have you hugged your kid today? Well, do it more often because as parents we all forget the importance and besides being free, hugs feel nice and offer a moment to connect.

We owe our kids more than just lip service on caring, more than buying a new ipod or xbox game. A wake up call to us all is the 2008 County score card available at the website and the pdf's available can be found here at the buzz on the sidebar. A wake up call to all of us, and not just those of us picking up the Cheerios and driving to soccer practice but the entire community needs to get behind our youth and offer support and praise. Being a kid in today's world has gotta be tough. The numbers from the county score card support that sentiment. An example: In Santa Clara county fewer parents read to their children compared to the other surrounding counties. Middle school children report feeling disconnected from adults, and undervalued as community members. Pretty grim don't you think? We live in an affluent community, we suffer from a strong case of "affluenza" or throwing money at our kids in the form of new iphones, bmw's and ski holidays. The place for teens or "The Venue" as it's referred to is an amazing resource here in Los Gatos. It's a model for other towns and municipalities who frequently visit, come to learn how to recreate the same magic within their own communities. The director of the Venue, Mike Loya deserves sainthood in my guesstimation. This guy is just about the most even keel, caring, and loyal guy you would ever meet. The 300+kids who frequent the Venue in any given day "get" how key this place is. So why does this amazing community service that provides SO much, receive so little?? That is a great question that I rode hard as a Community Services Commissioner..wish I hand the answer but I have alluded to what part of that funding quandary might be in an earlier post.

Today is a bright new day for all of us: enjoy the beauty of the fall foliage, and contemplate getting involved with a few great programs like The venue, or project cornerstone.
Let's all enjoy the extra hugs were gonna give our kids today, and perhaps we can help prevent a tragic loss like we have experienced this week. This investment will benefit us all.
The websites for the venue (which NEEDS board members-) and the project cornerstone site are listed in the side bar.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hey Neighbor...I mean Mr. Mayor

I am so delighted with my neighborhood. Love my neighbors, love the proximity of the downtown to my abode.. so it goes without saying I am jazzed about my neighbor Mike, filling the shoes of Los Gatos Mayor.  There is a reason why our new mayor is the role model for public service.

I know a little bit about giving to my community, but to build a true resume of public service requires an unwavering commitment to community. This sort of volunteering is a true work of inspiration.  And inspiring IS a word that comes to mind when I think of my neighbor Mike Wasserman.

Inspiring but also grateful. Can't say that being on the firing line with the current complexity
of the economy and all that handbasket holds would be where anybody would wanna be BUT for someone like Mike, it makes perfect sense. Lucky Los Gatans  should be giving thanks
with Thanksgiving just around the corner I can't thank my local volunteer/neighbor/mayor
enough for stepping up and making it happen.  The cornerstone of a vibrant community is a true sense of giving of ones' self for the sake of making a difference and we have that in spades with our new Mayor.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Study of Contrasts: Esalen.

My world went full circle this past weekend. A study of contrasts. It all began at the Stanford Shopping Center and ended in Big Sur at the Esalen Institute. The afternoon in Palo Alto aka "shallow-alto" was unseasonably warm and beautiful.
The shoppers in Bloomingdale's looking particularly well coiffed. The thing that I noticed though, was the sheer number of dogs on leash as the dog owner tried on shoes or sampled a new lip stick shade. Don't get me wrong: I like dogs. Perhaps I just don't get out much into the land of retail therapy but this was such an alarmingly weird experience that I needed to off load. Even the French have the good sense to leave dogs at home while shopping in larger department stores. Just from a sheer number guesstimate I gotta believe "accidents" happen..Eeww. The thought of trying on shoes while tip toeing around small fur balls on rhinestone leashes gave me paws or pause I should say to contemplate my reason for shopping. So much for stimulating the economy, I grabbed a cuppa tea to go and found my way back south..

Highway 1 Big Sur was made for my mini cooper. Tight go cart turns and vistas clear and fog free lead to Nepenthe and twenty minuets later to Esalen. As a newbie to the institute the overwhelming sense of scale of the place hits you over the head like a visceral postcard. As left wingy as I am nothing prepared me for the sheer airy fariyness of the place. Imagine if you will a far left version of Marin and then keep going left.
I suppose what I liked best was the feeling of being the odd ball. It must be what the republicans feel like right now.....

I could not or would not sign up for the Friday evening Anything-but-clothing-party: and I have a reputation to uphold as the moth to the flame when it comes to adventure but this venture into the wild seemed too bohemian, even for me. The natural hot spring baths (also clothing optional) were the high light…under an inky blue sky with the pacific crashing on the rocks below. This experience is worth the trek south, fyi.

As much as I love our small enclave of 95030, it was a slap to my senses to be pulled out of our Truman Show existence, only to experience another version of a reality show.. Makes me not miss owning a television. It also makes sailing to New Zealand seem normal in the whole scheme of things.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why Ask Why

Town Government has a Constitution of sorts, The General Plan. This is the document that supposedly leads the way for open and transparent government. Think of it as a handbook of sorts for those in local office to know the rules and apply such with integrity and sense of purpose.

Why the soliloquy on local civics?

I had etched out some time out of my day to attend a scheduled general plan meeting .
Sure add it to the list of "knowing how to have fun" but it is an important document and as such an important committee to sit in on, listen to and be a part of as a concerned community member.
The catch is that the meeting was canceled. No biggie in the grand scheme of things but this General Plan committee has not met since June 25th... and even then it was a joint meeting with the town Parks Commission.

Why ask why this is important? Just how important is the general plan if the committee appointed to discuss it can't seem to find items to discuss ( the pdf I downloaded states lack of items..)
The last eight General Plan Committee meetings have been cancelled for lack of items. Certainly not lack of interest at least from my nerdy perspective. If you too find this to be unacceptable would you be so kind to email them and ask why?? The town planners can be reached at 408.354-6874 or email them: if you too care to question.

The town website talks a great game about the importance of the upcoming General Plan update, but perhaps it's just that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

$7.25 a Vote

So this might be my last snarly post..I can only look to the bright side this evening: a full moon,
my Mac powerbook, a glass of local should seem, well, brighter. I had to go down to the town office this afternoon to take a peek at the 460 paperwork of election accounting the local candidates all must file post election. I know what you're thinking: man does she know how to have fun, but that's for another blog site.

The returns are in, the numbers sketch an interesting picture of who bought what. Those fabulously slick trifold brochures mailed by the candidate-elect: $13,700.00.  Web design: $3,000. Fancy pants fundraiser hosted for afore mentioned candidate: $5,000.  Results: priceless....You can see where I am going with the rational..Total expenditures came to $49,380.00.  If one has enough cash to throw at a local town council race it's easy to see how well it works. Back of the envelope tally is $ 7.25  per vote.

Not sure how many people will be in a position to run a fair future race if this is the price precedent of future elections. 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Local Grant Giving Needs Overhaul

Feeling a bit guilty this week, do I dare share? The community services commission that I serve on met this week and I feigned an excuse not too attend.
It's a bit of a dysfunctional commission to say the least. Completely without teeth and without any clear leadership. The big goals of this group include community grant dollars doled out to a deserving but small group of non-profits. The current calculation of who receives what and why should and could be a well thought out reward system for hard working non profits to realize goals and offer services. Instead the current consideration of how these funds are divvy ed
up is this: Who received what last year? The kitty is then allocated according to that well thought out rational. Yes, I know what your thinking, why f@#%ing bother!

So If a committee sets an agenda item, holds hours worth of discussions on executing the agenda item, sends out the "applications" for the grants, collects the grant application filled out by over-worked under paid non profit executive directors only to make the same decision? Wait, it gets better...the non profits are then all called to a meeting to plead worthiness and to discuss current programs highlighting the theme of how this grant money will help achieve goals, provide services, enabling them to work the magic they do on an obscenely small budget. The meeting usually lasts an hour and a half, and typically 40 people show up on a Thursday evening at 5:00pm to speak on behalf of pet projects. All are worthy; all are doing important work in the community and greater Santa Clara Valley. But amid the emotional pleas for consideration unbeknown st to the applicants the decision was made long before anyone sat down in the room.

So why the dog and pony show you ask? I would love to give you an answer. I asked of course in my always non-tactful idiot savant way- blunt Midwestern to the point cut to the chase sort of approach only to be told it's always done this way. Oh, okay. Then why are we here? Why offer people a glimmer of fairness when the system is rigged??
Apparently the sub committee met this summer while I was on holiday in Maine. The notes and discussion points of how to improve a non-functioning decision-making process never appeared in the form of minuets so I can only assume the process shall remain the same.

Applications are available to those of you in need of funding, just be aware. If you would like to help watch dog this important process please sit in on the next Community Services Commission meeting in The Neighborhood Center on N. Main st. on the first Thursday of the month 5 p.m. I would join you, but my tenure is up. The commission could be a vital part of the process but needs local input from those willing to question the current commission and it's ineffective mode of operation.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The writing on the wall

The dust has settled in the hamlet of the cats. As we approach a new regime in local political circles the question lingers: Is this the community that I want to pour my heart and soul into?

The kids, furniture, big mortgage demographic ponders this question right along with me. Perhaps I should preface this group by adding yet another adjective to that demographic: well traveled/big picture. The group I refer to is my social group of parents that share a proclivity for urbane humor, well-read minds , traveled and "experience of the world " mantras.
This matters because???
It matters because the value that levels the playing field for this age demographic is how we choose to actively engage in our community. The end result distilled down to a community that represents who we are, what we value, and the stewardship of these items. If the people at the helm bear little resemblance to my core community values and group than the question begs: "why hang around?"

I have been blessed with an ability to create community where ever I go. The equation is simple, not top secret and easily adapted to individuals who can grasp and execute on the following:

1. Put yourself out there. Care and show concern in a proactive manner.
People who "get it" will get you.
2. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Curiosity is the cornerstone to a creative life.
Question anything that seems off, odd, staid or just plain stupid.
3. Invite people to dinner. Yes, even if you are not the most adept at entertaining remember that practice makes perfect , and people genuinely appreciate the effort.
4. Conversation is a lost art...knowing my neighbors has helped me cement my current views, helped form new opinions, was a ton of fun along the way.. Great local Pinot Noirs haven't hurt the conversation piece either.
5. The idea of putting down roots is like re potting a plant. If you don't like what you experience, you can always re=plant and try again.
6. Be brave. The world has become exceedingly complex. So be brave- or stay home in your pj's.

The beta test for me was this recent election. If my social demographic can't embrace the stewardship and ideals of preservation coexisting with careful development than perhaps it's time to seek out a new community. One less white, less wealthy, and less insular.
I know this is broad brush statement but it is a factor.
Sometimes being curious and a conversationalist with a cause hurts. Sure beats whinging about how things never change.

Thanks for the catalyst Los Gatos. It was just what I needed. Change is just what I need.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Where R we going and why R we in this basket?

I've had it with being played. The day after election day was an ah-ha moment for me. People can talk a great game, lead us all down a path where the line on what's real and what's not is blurred. With enough money thrown a particular way, one can create a story that influences and smears... it's hard to imagine any other way but what's described on ink and 100lb paper stock teasing us with secret shadow government. Clandestine can be sexy but this was mean spirited and meant to harm. Harm it did. The local election was bought off by the dollar bill gang to steal the phrase from our own Los Gatan Citizen Ray. When someone running for local council almost tie with the number of votes an incumbent receives (and a popular mayor as incumbent who is wicked smart) and so the story gets hazy.. How did that happen again, oh yeah...big dough. I get it. Wish it felt better.

Perhaps the secret shadow government mailing piece made a small wave in getting the vote to swing . What this whole experience has taught me: too do exactly what I have done, but maybe
a little more in your face dispelling-of-rumor and innuendo.

Glad I saved the much miligned piece of trash mail..I think I will bring it to the next Social Club to be autographed by the beautiful people of LG.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The WOW factor of 365 votes

The local election was a big surprise. Not that I have a crystal
ball, but walking the neighborhoods with my kids for both Barbara and
Michael Kane I was impressed with how many people knew about the
Friends of the Hillsides, and the issues surrounding development in
the hillside area surrounding the town of Los Gatos. If Michael Kane
was the poster child for Hillside preservation in this race, then
Peggy Dallas was the friend to big developers. To say that she was
trolling for business might be over stating the obvious.

It was the sheer negative of the Dallas camp that shone through.
The quip about her expertise as an architect positioned as some sort of gift to the council implying other council members can't read plans or understand development . An insult on multiple layers to the community and to the council persons and planning commissioners who are accomplished and bring a breadth of knowledge to the dais.

Three hundred and sixty five votes separated the most different of candidates.
The protect and preserve candidate and the pander to developer candidate.
That is indeed the big wow factor.

Of the 21,000 registered voters on the rolls in Los Gatos per the last election, 97% voted.. Comparatively speaking with all the issues, initiatives, and a historic presidential vote to boot I expected a larger turn out on a local level.

The feeling in the pit of my stomach?? People who care about development now have a majority on council. Stewardship will receive lip service so expect the look, feel and demographic make up continuing to trend white, wealthy and willful.

The "we get what we want era" has evolved . Now we have the third voice on council to cement these decisions. Let's hope our new council person elect can improve upon his attendance record and show up prepped and prepared for those Monday evenings.

Toast to Community

My neighbors hosted a small gathering to watch the returns roll in last night. Most of the street showed up, kids in tow and a dish to pass. I dug deep into my wine stash and found two stellar syrah's
in hopes of toasting victory. 
The feeling of community that I experienced last night was akin to
being at a family gathering. You could cut the emotion with a knife.
The two right wingers in the gathering could have been the nutty aunt who sports jewelry fashioned from dried pasta, and the neo-con uncle who is just a little too paranoid. Teasing them was too much fun, but after the 130 electoral vote mark it just felt like bad sportsmanship to poke fun. A historic moment enjoyed with friends and family made for the ending of a long long day. Community made last night special, and the road ahead a little more fun.. The syrah was a huge hit.. and the occasion could not have been more special. Thank you Broadway neighbors- you rock my world in such a profound way.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote Today

It felt really great to drop that completed ballot into the box first thing this morning.  My local polling place was busy at 7:45, but no que had formed.... I think my kids were disappointed getting to school early for once. 

The funny thing about my neighborhood polling place, poll workers cars all rock star parked
in front of the doorway sporting any number of political bumper stickers. I too am a fan of the bumper sticker, or as I like to think of them: the visual equivalent to everyone has the right to hear/see/comment on my opinions. Snob that I am of the  bumper sticker genre, I like to think my mini cooper bumper speaks cheeky vs. staid. I suppose seeing right to life, Palin for VP and NRA stickers in my line of direct sight was too much of a political lap dance without my morning coffee. There is a state law that calls for no political messages within 500 ft of a polling place, but in my new found "pick my battle" vs "Equal opportunity to pick all battles no matter how small/lg" mental space I choose not to say anything to my non-neighbor poll workers. I thanked them and went on my way.  One down side, if there is one of a non republican in office is my bumper stickers will all be passe' and need to come off.
My mini cooper has not had a naked bumper in eight years. My hope is that this down side is  the very first thing I tackle with a scrapper and windex tomorrow morning. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Only one day and counting. Sweating this election as much as four years ago when I hoped into a rental RV with another film maker mom with minions in tow, legos and a whole lotta film gear for a road trip thru the swing states to register women voters.  It all comes back in technicolor clarity as we await Tuesday.

The podcast of this week's "This American Life," spotlights the passionate positions people take during an election year and how it effects every aspect of life. Misery loves company so I suppose it was with a certain sentiment that I listened to Ira Glass Interview the people on the firing line of registering voters and campaigning for a candidate. 

The turnout for Tuesday is the stuff legends are made of. 

General plan update goes local

The twenty-five interested community members that showed up yesterday a.m. to discuss the current General Plan update brought enthusiasm and list making ability to the round of breakout
groups.  The town staff out numbered and micro-managed, but the catered spread was a nice surprise so I guess it evens out the "trying" too hard vision of what was the scope of an ambitious morning agenda.

The sentiment of community involvement was not lost on me...misplaced perhaps. Anytime community members can come together to discuss how to make our town better is nothing short of inspiring. 

What is puzzling is the residential guidelines that make up the filet mignon cut of the General Plan were condensed, homogenized and passed onto a council agenda only to be approved a few short weeks ago. Under the radar of any update committee or anyone else for that matter. If real input was what really mattered, wouldn't shouldn't we have been able to have had a chance to chime in as well? 

My favorite quote from the morning presentation was from a young woman, perhaps on the youth commission who wanted to see a place for teenagers to shop. Boutiques selling $500.00 jeans are not an option for those spending babysitting money. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008