Sunday, August 28, 2011

Because Communities Matter


Each one of our communities across our nation face a huge challenge today.  That challenge is keeping our neighborhoods - the place we live - unique and vibrant.  There are too many places in the United States that could be moved from one area to another and no one would be able to tell the difference.  The same brands, the same styles, the same everything all across the county!  Thank goodness that not everyone is content with that.

I'm glad that Altadena is one of those rare places that doesn't want to be a cookie-cutter community.  I'm glad that we've kept our independent businesses alive (for the most part), and I'm certainly glad for Altadena's independent spirit!  I know that there are towns just like Altadena who are proud of their uniqueness as well, so anyone reading from out of town, I'm sure, can identify with one, hopefully their own.  That's great!  We need to continue to support those businesses who have woven their threads into the fabric your communities.

The Shops At Webster's are such businesses.  Webster's has been part of the Altadena landscape since the 1920s and has seen generation after generation of Altadenans come and go.  We're honored, all of us, to be a part of that history.  We're also thrilled that we can be part of history in the making.  With the renovation planned by the pharmacy and the innovation promised by its new owners, you need look for no further signal that the family's old place will continue operation well into its 100 year anniversary!  Scott and I are excited about it all and especially by our contribution to the mix. 

As summer winds down into a new fall season, all of the Webster stores are planning some tremendous fun for you and yours!  Make sure you keep your eyes out for email communications from us and follow our Facebook page or you might miss out on vital information about cool new food trucks at our Fancy Food Truck Friday events; our very popular wine pairing events; book signings and readings and other community-centered happenings.

We hope to see you soon, and wish everyone a great week ahead!

Lori & Scott

Sunday, August 21, 2011

On Our Horizon, Weak Knees And All

This past week saw another of our monthly wine pairing events, and it even generated a story in the Pasadena Weekly!  The Weekly interviewed our intrepid wine bloggers, Anne Bannon and Michael Holland, and outlined our wine pairings at the store.  Here's the link, if you'd like to check it out:  Hat tip to the Weekly for the article! If you're in the area on September 17th, we'll be hosting a special wine event tied into the back to school season - Wine 101, a Wine Primer For Novices.  We'll be tasting and discussing the four major groups of wine - Bubblies (brute Champagne), Whites (Chardonnay) Blushes (Rose) and Reds (Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvingon).  Come to learn the basics of these four groups of wine, come to enjoy the local foods to be paired with them, most of all come to enjoy a great time with good friends!

Webster's Community Pharmacy, Webster's Stationery and Webster's Liquor are planning our next Fancy Food Truck Friday on September 9th.  Not all the details are put together yet, but we've gotten notice from Cathy Gott of  Danny's Farm that they'd like to join the festivities. Wouldn't that be fun, with their new trailer and animals!  We're not sure as of yet whether the County will allow this or not, so stay tuned to our Facebook page for more information throughout the days leading up to the next food truck event!

Friday afternoon I attended a celebration of our women in the Altadena Town Council at Monica Hubbord's and let me tell you, this was such a wonderful event to have been invited to!  Thank you, Monica, for all that you do to support our community, you're truly one in a million!

On a more somber note, we know these days are very challenging, especially for the more vulnerable members of our society.  Organizations like Friends In Deed , Union Rescue Mission and Union Station Pasadena are working valiantly to help feed and house these people, while sometimes the adversity seems to overwhelm them.  I came across Union Rescue Mission's Rev. Andy Bales' recent blogpost and have to link it here.  This has provided me with such inspiration that I really hope it gives you some "strength in your knees" as well.  Watch for upcoming fund raisers for these groups in the future!

We'd like to leave you with a bit of scripture found in Rev. Bales' post: 

"Hebrews 12:12-13 (ESV)
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,
13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed."

Have a wonderful week ahead, friends!

Lori & Scott

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bully, Bully, or, Coercer In The Rye

Friday night's Fancy Food Truck Friday was just fabulous in every way - the weather cooperated (it wasn't a thousand degrees), Paco the Chihuahua made an appearance and the news crews followed!  The Arroyo Food Co-op were had a table there, passing out information to our attendees and so was local resident Tamir Yardenne.  Tamir is a multi-talented young man and his latest endeavor centers around the no-bullying movement.  His latest short film, Silencio, features Altadena actor and activist, , and is a powerful statement against bullying.

As Scott and I were having coffee this morning, we discussed bullying and the oppression that accompanies it.  Scott, dyslexic and ADHD from birth, knows all about that subject.  As he tell it, he's been bullied all his life, mostly by his own family members.  When I first got to know Scott and spoke with him about his troubles, I took it all with a grain of salt.  But having been married to him for 14 years, I can attest to it now - I've seen and experienced it myself. Bullying is never a good thing, but when it comes from within your own family, what can you do?

What you can do is to get help, from friends or professionals.  Bring it into the light and don't suffer in silence.  There's no reason to be bullied for being thought of as "different".  We've been able to rise above it, to deal with the effects of it and so can other people, by taking positive action.  There is much more support out in the world now, thanks to people like Tamir, that can help break the bonds of bullying.

I've rewritten this blog post several times since Sunday evening and ended up with this final post.  I want to apologize if any of the former content made anyone uncomfortable, as that was not my intention.  We'll be back next week with our regularly scheduled posts.

Lori & Scott


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Que Sera Sera

Many times in the past, I've referred to positive changes in Altadena as a "what if".  What if we had the many ammenities that are common in other cities we cherish and envy, such as Sierra Madre.  What if our North Lake Business District were a real town center, with traffic mitigated, building facades upgraded and foot traffic patterns established?  What if our retail shops, groceries and other businesses were more modern and relevant?  What if Altadena, once a thriving destination in the San Gabriel Valley, were to reclaim its renown?

I've asked these questions for several years now, with mixed responses from people I've talked to here and while working in the store.  Back then, most of you were and continue to be enthusiastic about changes; and some not so much.  Over the course of these years, however, I notice people's attitudes changing.  More and more, our community is coming together and change is happening - I can hear it, I can see it and and I can feel it!

The feeling isn't just coming from the anticipation of coming attractions, although that certainly has a part in it - it's the palpable heart beating though our community.  Our town is rich in gifted individuals who are exerting all their efforts into resuscitating Altadena's soul.  Take Altadenablog's Tim Rutt, whose grassroots news blog has partnered with the new Pasadena Sun, giving him the opportunity to reach far more people than ever before and give us coverage we haven't experienced in a long time.  Take the awesomeness that is the Altadena Urban Farmer's Market and their truly unique take on the market concept (even the L.A. Weekly thinks so!).  They're on hiatus right now, but believe me, they'll be back and better than ever!  If that's not enough for you, consider the hugely popular Bulgarini Gelato.  Mentioned in the Los Angeles Times Magazine as one of Los Angeles' iconic eateries, this recent article tells you all you need to know - Altadena is drawing people from outside our borders to visit.  Add that to the draw of our incredible hiking trails, and you've got a destination area waiting to happen!

Compound all this with the planned renovation in Webster's Community Pharmacy.  The new owners, Mike and Meredith Miller will be reinventing the old pharmacy soon and we know it'll be wonderful!  Our store is ready for a rebranding as well.  As new(ish) owners, we've been constrained for some time by circumstances not under our control, but that's changing and changing soon. We plan to be right there with you through all this, my friends, as we take our family store into the future.  The moment is here, and it's undeniable.....the positive changes I told you about all those months ago are imminent.  The groundswell has begun and it will sweep all of us up into it - and I for one, welcome it.  As the old song says, "que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be"......I say bring it!

Have a lovely week ahead and we'll talk again next week,

Lori 'n Scott