Read An Almost Thirty Year Journey of a non-African-American Black Man Residing in the U.S. by David SamuelsDavid Samuels (DLS Partners)
Before I moved to the United States of America in 1991, I had very mixed feelings about this country that called itself a “Melting Pot.” Perhaps it was because my Jamaican parents had siblings that had emigrated here, just as my parents had emigrated to England post World War II. In actuality, I was curious about the USA because of its history and accomplishments. As a young black British boy, it did not escape me that the racial history of American and England were significantly different. I was both aware of the relationship between England and its former colonies, as well as the unique history in America to slavery, Jim Crow and segregation, and its laws and views on interracial relationships. Just as in the famous work of Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” published in 1835, he also noted the irony of the freedom-loving nation’s mistreatment of Native Americans and its embrace of slavery.
I’ve met David several times at local events including Innovate Pasadena‘s excellent Friday Morning Coffee Meetup. It was great to see his article on the front page of the Pasadena Outlook (though I’d have put it above the fold) this morning. I was saddened not to find it on the Outlook’s website, but was glad to find it living on David’s own website so I could share it. (Hooray for the independent web and David’s owning his own content!)

I share it not only because his experiences are valuable and worth noting, but because I hope that people will take a look at the leadership services he’s offering to the community as well. 

Acquired Two Story Shed Blue Little Free Library (Little Free Library)

The Two Story Shed Blue Little Free Library is handmade by craftsmen in Wisconsin and Minnesota. This little library box is weather-resistant, long-lasting, and would make a great addition to any neighborhood.

$349.95

Key Features:

  • Durable little library design made from pine and plywood with a metal roof for extra water protection
  • Popular two-story design with an adjustable shelf for extra book storage
  • Arrives completely finished, assembled, and ready for installation
  • Handcrafted in America by Amish artisans

Details:

  • Weighs 40 lbs
  • Exterior dimensions: 22.5" tall x 14.5" deep x 17" wide (Roof overhangs 1" on all sides of the library)
  • Interior dimensions: 14.5" wide x 21" tall x 12" deep
  • Installation materials (post, post topper, and installation hardware) not included
  • View our Returns Policy.

Official registration and standard charter sign included with your library ($39 value)! They're your key to our World Map, exclusive Facebook stewards group, and other helpful offers and activities. Choose your sign with the drop-down box above. (Charter sign ships separately. Spanish and French signs available in Silver only.)

Special offer! Save 10% with promo code JULY2020 at checkout. Offer is good through July 14 or while supplies last.

Okay, it’s been far too long since I had to decommission my original Little Free Library. So for my birthday today I’ve ordered a new library. It’ll be about two weeks and we’ll be back in business!

I’ve been tempted to build or up-cycle something like I did last time, but I also wanted to support the mission of the non-profit, so I’m considering the overage on my purchase to be a donation to the cause. Plus, this one looks pretty cute even if it’s a bit smaller than my last library.

Watched Return to School Task Force Presentation June 16, 2020 from YouTube

Glendale Unified School District Return to School Task Force leaders share possible options for re-opening campuses in August based on recommendations from the California and Los Angeles County Departments of Education. Learn more at www.gusd.net/returntoschool.

[.pdf slides]

Replied to Pasadena Unified Board: Torres Not Running for Re-Election by News Desk (ColoradoBoulevard.net)
Lawrence Torres, Pasadena Unified School District Board member representing District 6, has decided not to run for reelection.
Sad to see just a press release here. Was there a separate underlying reason he’s leaving. Was there communication between him and the other contender? Is the seat  being “handed” to a successor and his announcement is timed when it’s too late for others to enter the race? It would be nice to see some additional reporting here.
Read Juneteenth Has New Meaning in Pasadena by Jason Hardin (ColoradoBoulevard.net)
As thousands of local residents of all ethnicities continue to participate in peaceful protests against the culture of racial bias, profiling, and misuse of force in police departments across our nation, “Juneteenth” is sure to have taken on a new meaning this year.
Read Here’s What the Rose Bowl is Doing on July 4 (Pasadena Now)

Although the Rose Bowl will not put on the traditional July 4 event with a big crowd viewing fireworks, there will be a celebration of the nation’s birthday.

At the last meeting of the Rose Bowl Operating Company, the group agreed to hold an online event.

Replied to Council Approves Balanced 2021 Budget (Pasadena Now)
In the midst of an extraordinary year which has seen unprecedented damage to the City’s revenue stream due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council Monday unanimously approved a balanced 2021 Fiscal Year budget.
Presumably the budget is a public document. The reporting here would be better if there were some analysis of its breakdown as well as a link to a copy of the budget itself. What percentage of the budget goes to the police versus the percentages that go to the other services mentioned?
Read Guest Opinion | Ryan Bell: It’s Time to End Policing As We Know It (Pasadena Now)
But what really surprised me at Monday’s city council meeting were the comments from council members in response to public comments. To a one, they swore they were opposed to defunding the police. This tells me that they either don’t understand what defunding the police means or they’re being deliberately obtuse. Legislators defund things all the time. Public education has been undergoing massive defunding for decades nationwide. Same with housing. But suddenly everyone is gobsmacked by the idea of reducing the funding to a city department and reallocating those resources to provide essential services in a safer, more effective way. Several councilmembers, including Mayor Tornek, said that to defund the PPD would be irresponsible and then went on to say that it’s very important that we examine the budget allocations for all departments, including the police, and make adjustments that are responsive to the community. Yes, exactly! That’s exactly what community leaders are talking about.
Read Sweet smells of success emanate from the Gourmet Cobbler Factory and Clifton’s BBQ by Frier McCollister (Pasadena Weekly)
When we hear about how the pandemic and ensuing lockdown has affected local “industry” we might not have been thinking of the Gourmet Cobbler Factory. Gourmet cobbler? Factory? Yes, another little known facet of our local dining scene is that apparently Pasadena has been the epicenter of artisanal fruit cobbler production for several decades. Just around the corner from the Academy Theater, the current iteration of the Gourmet Cobbler Factory dates to 2002, when Clifton and Gloria Powell brought their recipes for “Southern” fruit cobbler to replace those at the original cobbler operation, which had been producing cobbler in the same location since 1978.
Need an idea for take out on Juneteenth or for Father’s Day?

I just went for BBQ and cobbler on Wednesday night and can confirm this place is pretty solid. I wish I had gotten twice the amount of cobbler, but I guess I can go again soon. Like all good BBQ joints, one should call their order in ahead for best availability of meat. 😉

Read County Shuts Down Eaton Canyon Hiking Trails (pasadenanow.com)
“Eaton Canyon Natural Areas & Trails are closed for the rest of today & Memorial Day, May 25, due to overwhelming crowds that were not following the COVID-19 public health requirements. No walk-ins” the Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation tweeted on Sunday.
The neighborhood has been overly busy since Friday at around noon. I’ve never seen so many people parking (even past our block) in the neighborhood to go hiking over here. Memorial day would have been insane if they didn’t shut it down.
Read Glendale Unified district to close all schools for students through April 3 by Vera CastanedaVera Castaneda (Glendale News-Press)
The Glendale Unified School District Board of Education will close schools to students from March 16 to April 3. School sites will remain partially open for staff.
I’ll have to admit I’m kind of looking forward to homeschooling a bit.