Sunday, June 24, 2012

Raise A Little Hell, Redux

I’m going to do something that I haven’t ever done on this blog before – I’ll be reprising one of my posts that I wrote on May 3, 2010.  I’m doing this because I thought this post was prescient, given the circumstances Altadena finds itself in now.  However, it’s not going to be a simple cut and paste job, I’m going to fill it in a bit more, to shape it to what’s happening now. So hang on, folks, it started off with a snippet of a song about raising a little hell:

“I never read it in a book,
I never saw it on a show,
but I heard it in the alley
on a weird radio. 
If you want a drink of water,
you got to get it from a well, 
if you want to get to heaven 
you got to raise a little hell......”
----Steve Cash and John Dillon, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, 1973

To me, this song has always been about wanting something enough to fight for it.  It urges us to be vocal about things we care about, maybe make a stir about what you think is important.  Thirty-seven years ago, in 1973, kids all over the world learned to be vocal about things they cared about and people started taking notice.  Things changed because so many young people demanded it.  Opinions were challenged and mind-sets were changed forever.
As I've said before, time is a circle and what goes around, comes around .  People are again starting to stand up for their core values, especially when it comes to issues like affordable medical insurance and state policies on immigration.  People are also becoming more aware about their neighborhoods and local communities, keeping tabs on and working towards their area's fiscal health.  Of course, in this time of financial uncertainty, it's more important than ever to know where your community is headed.  Now, though, I’m uncertain exactly where Altadena is headed – the news of the invasion of WalMart this week has polarized this town and looks to split it right down the middle. 

You can follow the drama on Altadenablog and on AltadenaPatch, on Altadena’s Facebook page, and on our own store’s page.  No, I’m not neutral in this debate.  I feel very strongly about big-box stores in general and WalMart in particular, as my readers know.  I’d like to say a word to my out-of-town friends, if I may – tf your town or city is currently WalMart free, keep it that way.  Keep your local independent businesses in business and never let there be a chink in your armor where they might be able to slip a hook into.  Educate your friends on the value of shopping locally with independent businesses and make sure they know that’s the way to their community’s prosperity.

 Speaking of big box stores, Greg Sweet, one of the commenters on the thread on Altadenablog I've linked above, posted this fabulous cartoon video from JibJab.  Thanks, Greg, for sharing this funny yet truly sad commentary on this fact of American I think we can change with some education.

 For you locals, don’t forget about this week’s ACONA meeting, on Tuesday the 26th of June at the Altadena Public Library on Mariposa at 7:00 pm.  Ed Meyers, Daniel Harlow, and I will be there representing the Chamber of Commerce, and we’ll be discussing the Visioning meetings, the retail outlook, and the results of last year’s shopping survey conducted by the COC.   Alex from El Patron will also be speaking, and you won’t want to miss finding out what makes his restaurant so wildly popular and why no other has been able to survive there in years.  Enjoy the week ahead, my friends and we’ll talk again next week!

Lori and Scott

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Celebrating Dad

On July 19, 1910, the governor of the U.S. state of Washington proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.” However, it was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States. 

Typically overshadowed by Mother's Day, dad's special day has been gaining on mom's, and spending on gifts in 2012 will help narrow that gap even further.  According to the National Retail Federation, Father’s Day spending was expected to reach $12.7 billion this year alone.

This Father’s Day, why not spend your hard earned money on Dad at his favorite local business? An added benefit of shopping locally for Dad is that the money that you spend at locally owned businesses will be reinvested in the local economy at a 60 percent higher rate than chains and Internet retailers.

So this Father’s Day, take him out to eat at his favorite locally owned restaurant. Buy him a book at that family run store down the street. Nothing says “I love you, Dad” like a Father’s Day present bought from a locally owned business!

Get Father's Day off to a great start by bringing Dad to our monthly wine pairing events with!  This month's theme is "Wines Of La Mancha", where we'll be pairing Chilled Spanish Wines with Tappas from Amy's Patio Cafe at 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 16th.  This is one event you won't want to miss!  We'll also be hosting Danica Patton, local businesswoman and author, who will be discussing and signing her new book "Where Do We Go From Here?".  Check out our News You Can Use for further information and we hope to see you on Saturday!

Enjoy the next two weeks, friends.  We'll be taking a blogging holiday on Father's Day, so we'll talk again the week after next.

Lori and Scott

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hot Times In Altadena

Altadena Urban Farmers Market  Photo credit

Altadena is hot indeed, and we're not talking about its weather!  Lately, our lovely town has been making news headlines just about everywhere - from the mighty Los Angeles Times, and Westways Magazine (in their Out & About section, scroll down to the article "Good Gouda"), to our own Altadenablog proprietor's column in the Pasadena Sun, the foodie industry here is taking off like a rocket!

Of course, they're talking about our new Altadena Farmer's Market and The Institute Of Domestic Technology, and the Arroyo Time Bank's venerable Altadena Urban Farmers Market, which started the  ball rolling.  I couldn't be more thrilled for all our friends involved with these ventures and we're crossing our fingers and toes that they all remain sustainably successful.  Finally, something for the rest of LA to talk about besides our area's perceived gang problems and crime!  This is the type of thing we've been talking about - these type of events, whether centered around food or not, is exactly what we need, so our kudos to the organizers!

Were you aware that WFS buys from several of the Altadena Urban Farmers Market and new Farmers Market vendors?  Yes, we do and we're working on adding more.  At the moment, we carry Pine Street Products' soaps; Earl's Gone Wild's barbeque sauce (both original and new spicy) and their Earl Jam, a savory and not too hot jalapeno pepper jelly that's amazing; wonderful HomeBody Botanicals, an amazing line of holistic products for your body, health and home; and the extremely popular (and so tantalizing) Jabberwocky Smooth Jerk!  This is what it's all about, my friends - supporting those local folks working so hard to change the status quo here in our beautiful town.  Power on, Altadena.....power on!

For those of you who aren't in our neighborhood but like reading our blog anyway, think about how your town excels or doesn't.  Then think how you can help it improve.  There are lots of ideas out there, from starting a cash mob, giving a shout out to local vendors and independent retail stores in your blog, or taking the steps toward a shop local initiative where ever you live! 

Have a wonderful week, and we'll talk again next Sunday....

Lori and Scott