Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If I Were Editor of the Burbank Patch: March 30, 2011

Some days I really wish I had time to cover all the events in my wonderful town! I spent some time covering Central LA this last week, but Burbank is my pride and joy!

This afternoon there is a MadLibs Workshop at the Buena Vista Library at 4pm. Have you ever played MadLibs? This is pretty much the funniest game EVAR! I would love to attend this Workshop and report on some of the funny stuff these 3rd and 4th graders can come up with (except for the scatological answers that they always try)!

Tomorrow night there is a Trivia Challenge at the Castaway Restaurant that sounds like fun, too! I wonder which team will win...

On Saturday (I really might go to this one) is the annual Magical Magnolia Bicycle Tour. We've been invited to this event by friends for the last couple of years, but have never gone. I bet there will be some great photos to be had! Pick up a treasure map, decorate your helmet and you bike and go off on a tour of this vibrant neighborhood!

I'm still looking for news about what sounded like gunshots last night in my neighborhood, but nothing yet. If I had a police scanner, I would know the scoop for sure.

The Burbank Temporary Aid Center shelves are still suffering, both from fewer donations and more needy families. I would go over and ask if any of the local organizations are upping their normal donations (my church is, for example) and what they especially need. This is a great place to give in your own community!

Something I am attending is a Seminar on Social Media and your business at the Community Services Building in Burbank taught by Dr. Virginia Green, an expert in entrepreneurship. Dr. Green is an amazing instructor with whom I have prior experience and I know she will encourage and educate us all toward success in our entrepreneurial endeavors.

Whew! That was enough alliteration for today!

And that's what I would be covering...

If I Were the Editor of the Burbank Patch!


Monday, March 28, 2011

LIVEBLOG: President Obama's Speech on LIbya, March 29, 2011

The President will begin in a few minutes.

I don't know how I feel about the Libya situation and am eager to get a clear statement from President Obama on what is happening and what the plans are.

I do feel that, as much as I would like him to go to Congress in these kind of situations, the circumstances, especially in the House, are not conducive to quick action, which was probably necessary here.

4:32pm PST: Begins by paying tribute to the troops. Laying out all of the places we are involved, Japan, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.

U.S. has played a unique role in the world. We are naturally reluctant to use force? Oh. Libya, Tunisia and Egypt are one region. Quadaffi has been terrible. It looked like he was going to give way to the calls of the public for him to step down. But his response was to attack his people.

We froze his assets, sanctioned him with the UN. Quadaffi had lost the confidence of his people and the President called for him to step down. Quadaffi escalated his attacks, hospitals, ambulances, civilians, journalists were attacked. Food and water were stopped.

We and our European allies appealed to the world to save civilian lives and we joined with the UNSC to stop Quadaffi's air attacks and protect the Libyan people.

When Quadaffi continued and attacked Bengazi, the world faced a choice. Quadaffi declared "no mercy" and threatened to punish everyone. We know what he is like. We knew that if we waited one more day, Bengazi would be decimated.

4:39pm PST: 9 days ago we decided to move in to stop the looming tragedy. Tonight I can report we have stopped Quadaffi's deadly advance on Bengazi.

Our coalition includes the UK, France, Canada, Demark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey as well as Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

This response came together incredibly quickly. It took us only 31 days to accomplish our goals. We have used no ground troops and on Wednesday we hand over power over the arms embargo and the no-fly-zone to NATO.

The US will continue to play a supporting role in the intervention.

The US has done what we said we would do.

Tomorrow Sec. Clinton will attend a summit in London to discuss the political efforts in Libya and what to do in the future to help Libyan people control their own country.

4:45pm PST: The debate in Washington has been over whether we should intervene at all, since we cannot intervene everywhere. But this is a false argument. We were faced with the prospect of terrible violence, we had the capability to stop it without putting American troops on the ground. We have responsibilities to our fellow human beings. "I refuse to wait for images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."

Failure to act in Libya would carry a far greater price than intervention.

Some suggest we should not only protect the Libyan people but also pursue regime change. I would like if Quadaffi were out of power, but this would be a mistake. The task of our forces is protection and carries international support. Also the Libyan opposition asked us to. Our coalition could not survive a goal of regime change and many more people would be killed, both Libyan and American.

"We went down that road in Iraq."

We cannot afford to repeat that mistake.

What we can and will do is support the aspirations of the Libyan people. We will maintain their safety. We will work with other nations to hasten the day that Quadaffi leaves office. It should be clear that history is not on his side, but now there is time and space for the Libyans to determine their own destiny.

4:51pm PST: I will never hesitate to use our military when necessary. Sometimes the course of history threatens our common humanity: natural disaster, genocide. These may not be our problems alone, but they are important and worth solving. As the world's most powerful nation, we will be called up on to help. We should not be afraid to act.

American leadership is not just "going it alone." Real leadership creates the conditions where others can step up as well. That is the kind of leadership we have shown in Libya.

The risks are high. But the Libyan people are our friends. This change will complicate the world, change will come differently in different places. Egypt has inspired us. Iran still has difficulties.

The US will not dictate the pace and scope of change, only the people can do that. But we can make a difference. We must stand with those who have the same principles as we do. Universal rights, governments that are responsive to the people.

We welcome the fact that history is on the move and that young people are leading the way. Wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States.

We know that our own future is brighter if more of mankind can live with the bright light of freedom and dignity.

A pretty good job, if I may say so.


LIVEBLOG: President Obama's Speech on Libya

Just to let you know, I will be liveblogging President Obama's speech tonight on the intervention in Libya.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 24, 2011: If I Were the Editor of the Burbank Patch

We are having a bit of a break this morning in the rain, which is welcome, but will continue to have weather here in beautiful Burbank through Sunday, they say.

Have you seen Wundermap? It shows the current weather almost down to the raindrop so you can figure out when it's a good idea to get the dog out or run your errands.

This weekend in Burbank we have a visit from The Liberty Belle B-17 Flying Fortress to Bob Hope Airport. They are offering flights Saturday and Sunday. I would love to go over and interview people before and after or maybe even take a flight myself!

We also have a production of "Murder Takes the Stage" from the John Burroughs High School Drama Club opening tonight and running through Sunday afternoon, Students $8 and Adults $10. Sounds like fun!

The Stough Canyon Nature Center often featured here turned 10 years old last weekend and will be holding Saturday Night Alive! as usual on the 26th: $5 per family for a hike, snacks and a nature activity. Sunday they will host a Wild Creatures Hike at 11:30am.

Yesterday, the choirs from Jordan Middle School received Superior Ratings in competition, congratulations to the kids and their teachers!

I am off to visit the Farmer's Market on Central Avenue in Los Angeles this afternoon for another story which I will link to when it is posted. Hope it doesn't start raining...better check the Wundermap!

But that's what I would be covering...If I Were the Editor of the Burbank Patch!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Break in the Clouds: Today's Edition of...If I Were Editor of the Burbank Patch

Isn't it nice to see the sun again? Don't get used to it, the rain will be back tomorrow, but according to the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, there is no danger of mud or debris coming down in the foothills due to the huge storms we have had the last few days.

They also anticipate that the coming 2 inches of rain expected starting tonight can be handled by debris basins. This storm won't be as bad as the previous one, thank goodness!

There will be a SELPA Family Transition Forum at the Glendale Civic Auditorium tonight at 5:45pm. Over 30 agency providers will be in attendance and students with special needs and their families are invited. Make reservations HERE. You are invited by the Burbank, Glendale and La Canada School Districts.

Burbank business Encompass Digital Media was awarded honors by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth last night. They were awarded Strategic Deal of the Year for their acquisition of Crawford Communications, Inc. Congratulations, Encompass Digital Media!

Apparently Burbank has signed off on the plan to demolish the Burbank Boulevard Bridge (which in my mind was just renovated) in order to be able to add carpool lanes to the I-5 freeway. Yes, readers, this bridge is two blocks from my house and is basically my route everywhere except school. Is this another silver lining to not driving up to the church every day? 14 months. Ho hum. Link is to the full article in the Burbank Leader.

Having a bit of a day today but that is what I would cover...

If I Were the Editor of the Burbank Patch!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day: If I Were Editor of the Burbank Patch

It's weird to have St. Patrick's Day when the kids are not at school. I don't think that's ever happened since we started lo so many years ago. Wear green or get pinched!

Since we were last together met, the Burbank City Council met to discuss Redevelopment funds and Middle School after school programs, among other things. I would have been there reporting in real time. There was a lot of support voice from parents for the Boys & Girls Club and I would have interviewed some of them (both sides if there were two). The Redevelopment money is something I need to do more research on and I certainly would!

Gas prices having gone up so astronomically, I would report the lowest price in Burbank: $3.93 (!) at Arco, Glenoaks and Verdugo; $3.93 also at Shell, Buena Vista and Magnolia. Highest is $4.03 at Chevron, Alameda and Main St. The last time it went over $4, we started walking to school. Unfortunately, Middle School is just too far and too early.

There are some regular weekend events coming up, but there is actual news about the Burbank Farmer's Market. Customers regularly bring their dogs to the Market, but officials are saying that they are a health hazard. Since they cannot ask the customers to leave, however, they are thinking of citing the people who run the Market. If you love the Farmer's Market, it would be better to leave your non-service dog at home.

There is a hike at Stough Canyon Nature Center on Saturday at 10:30 (I have a feeling there is more exercise in my future--that's good!) called Verdugo Mountains Explorations.

This one sounds super fun: the Multi-Language Purim Festival on Saturday at Temple Beth Emet at 7:30pm. Here is their description:

The carnival-like atmosphere of Purim, wearing of costumes, and bringing gifts of food door-to-door sometimes leads to it being referred to as the "Jewish Mardi Gras" or "Jewish Halloween" by non-Jews. Annually, at Temple Beth Emet, we celebrate the reading of the Megillah in as many as 8 different languages including, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Gaelic, Persian, Arabic, French and German. Bring your own groggers [noise makers] or share ours to drown out the nasty Haman's name and join us for delicious Hamantaschen [pastries made in a triangular shape representing Haman’s ears] following the reading.
I am building up my sources and really wishing I had time to attend all of the events in my City! Hope expands to Burbank soon!

And that's what I would be covering...If I Were the Editor of the Burbank Patch!


Training is fun!

I spent yesterday in Ventura with Ellen Pearson at the First United Methodist Church of Ventura and we had a lovely time finding answers to almost all of her questions. One was a stumper and I am eager to hear the answer from the host company! Lucky I'm not afraid to say "I don't know, that's a good question!"

At any rate, great thanks to FUMC Ventura for having me out!


Monday, March 14, 2011

If I Were Editor of the Burbank Patch: March 14, 2011

If I were Editor of the Burbank Patch today, what would I cover?

It is Spring Break here in beautiful Burbank, California! We are going to have a lovely day your friends on the East Coast and in the Midwest would envy so give them a call! High of 76° and sunny, just the kind of day to take off school!

There are Spring Break drop-in activities at the Ovrom Community Center,
601 South San Fernando Boulevard.
View Larger MapThere is a $5 fee but if your kids are already starting with "I'm bored!" you might want to consider today: Shamrock Fun, Pattern Placemats, Edible Dirt and Lucky Windsocks.

The Stough Canyon Nature Center is open from 1:30-5pm today if you would like to stop by and see the Tarantulas, Snakes and other native flora and fauna.

The big day this week is Tuesday, when there will be a City Council meeting, on the agenda of which are some proposed funding cuts to Middle School after school programs. Attend if you can and let your voice be heard! If you cannot attend, you can watch it on Channel 6.

At last week's City Council meeting, in a 4-1 vote, the City Council decided to put sidewalks in on the 1800 and 1900 blocks of Screenland Boulevard, against the objections of some residents. These sidewalks would improve safety of children walking to and from Luther Burbank Middle School and Bret Harte Elementary School as well as help secure federal funding for infrastructure improvements sorely needed in Burbank.

Photo by IK's World via Flickr Creative Commons.

Of course, if I really were the Editor, I would be following the Police Scanner as well, but let's hope there's no real news there on this lovely Monday morning!

This is what I would cover today...

If I were the Editor of the Burbank Patch!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Graduation Speech

My colleagues at the LA Fellows elected me (along with Fellow Jay Bernard) to speak at our Graduation Ceremony on March 11, 2011.

Here is the text of my speech:

Thank you to the Job Training staff, the Faculty and Administration of LA Valley College, Program Partners, our guests and representatives from our nonprofits for being here with us today.

I feel like I’ve been writing this speech for seven weeks. And I guess I have. On Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, on the LA Fellows Blog and my own and in my journal, I have tried throughout to think about what has really been going on and what the impact of the LA Fellows program has been on far. I say “so far” because the journey isn’t finished yet. And even when we all have fabulous new jobs, the journey will continue.

We all came into the LA Fellows missing something. What, you ask? A job, I would have said. That’s what’s missing in my life. But what were we really missing? A lot...and then again not so much.

So I will say thank you to our instructors both for showing us what we brought with us and for what they gave us that we needed.

We came here with our spirits. Thank you to Jim Marteney for showing us that the spirits we have and bring to our work are important and valuable and then how to tap into those spirits and put them to good use.

We came here with our brains and our bodies. Thank you to Larry Braman, a special reconnection for me from long ago and far away, for showing us the skills and energy we have and bring to our work are amazing resources for ourselves and our employers. And for showing us that any way we connect with one another and the world is significant.

We came here with dreams. Thank you to Dr. Virginia Green who taught us to only accept the best from ourselves, from our team, from our lives, from our time. Some of us didn’t know what our dreams were, some of us even found that our dreams were different from what we thought. Wherever we are in our journey today, all of us have gained clarity and if we don’t yet know what we want, we do know what we need.

We came here with an idea of what job search was. Thank you to Tony Jaramillo for giving us concrete skills to deal with what we have to go through to reach our goals.

We came here thinking we knew about group dynamics and communications. Thank you to Michael Tompkins for reminding us that listening can always be improved and that openness to others is a huge asset in any situation. And thank you for being there for us after the program ends.

We came here feeling powerless. Great thanks to Roberto Guitierrez for giving us a safe place to find the power within us and proclaim it to the world.

And for the things we needed:

Thank you Doug Card for getting us up to speed on the computers with such good nature, humor and patience.

Thank you to Andrea Mitchel, who made “nonprofit” into a reality for us, a place where we can learn and grow and thrive. And for giving us a whole new skillset that will serve us well as we move on.

And to Lynette Ward, thank you for giving us so many things we really did not have at all through her immense knowledge and generosity: what to do, what to use, what to bring, what to say, what to ask, and what to do when we land.

And Allison, our bright shiny penny, our touchstone, our confidante, our mentor. I cannot imagine anyone doing this better than you do, working harder, being kinder.

But, sorry everyone, my biggest thank you has to be to my colleagues. Thank you for connecting with one another, for supporting one another, for becoming a family, for crisis counseling and for laughter. I don’t think any of us knew we were missing each other, but we were and now we’re not. And thank goodness, we never will be.

I will finish with an Irish blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
Until we meet again.

Thank you.

Great thanks to all of my friends at LA Fellows Cohort 2 for trusting me to speak. I am humbled by your confidence.


New Feature: If I Were the Editor of the Burbank Patch!

I have a dream. That dream is to take my hyper-local journalism and webmaster experience and turn it into a career.

And so I present to you my new daily feature:

If I Were the Editor of the Burbank Patch!

The Burbank Patch doesn't exist yet...but when it does, watch out!

On this beautiful Saturday in Burbank, California, I would remind parents that there is a Bird Walk tomorrow morning in Wildwood Canyon, as there is every Second Sunday of the month. It's the perfect time of year to hike up there, as it's not too hot and the plants are in their spring burgeoning time. Great day to take some pictures!

It's also a wonderful day to go to the Burbank Farmer's Market, where each week I would feature a different vendor and try their wares: good blog-fodder and also lovely photos.

[I wish I had time to do this NOW!]

Okay, get this one: Professional Cars International is going to attempt to break the World Record (Guiness Book and all) for the WORLD'S LONGEST HEARSE PARADE starting at the top of the parking structure at the Burbank Holiday Inn at 9am! I can hardly stand not to be there!

Photo via FlickrCreativeCommons by Mr Littlehand

The Burbank Animal Shelter is having a Pet Adoption day today at 11am. I could easily go over and take heart wrenching pictures of the kittens and puppies! Come on, dogs is wonderful!

Photo via FlickrCreativeCommons by Kiwi NZ

Sounds like I would have a busy--and FUN!--day ahead...

...If I Were the Editor of the Burbank Patch!