Read Your Local Bookstore Wants You to Know That It’s Struggling (nytimes.com)
Independent booksellers are desperate for customers to return, and not just for an online reading.
Bookmarked on: Oct 15, 2020 at 20:19


Avid Bookshop in Athens, Ga., sends personalized URLs to customers with a list of handpicked recommendations. 

Perhaps if they went the step further to set up domains for their customers, they could ostensibly use them not only as book blogs, but also to replace their social media habits?

An IndieWeb friendly platform run by your local bookseller might be out of their wheelhouse, but it could potentially help solve their proximal problem while also solving one of society’s problems all while helping to build community.
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:51PM

Take Vroman’s Bookstore, a 126-year-old institution in Pasadena, Calif. It has more than 200 employees, 20,000 square feet of space and the rent to go along with it. In a normal year, it hosts anywhere from 300 to 400 events, bringing in authors for readings and signings, along with customers who buy books and maybe a glass of wine from the bar. But none of that is happening this year. 

Coincidentally I bought two books at Vroman’s yesterday and it looked reasonably busy for mid-day. (Maybe because of this article?)

It’s a bit disingenuous to mention wine at their bar as their wine bar was only finally open for a minute before the pandemic shut everything down.
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:54PM

Like many other stores, Vroman’s is hosting online events to promote new books, which can attract attendees from all over the country but generally bring in almost no money. 

Maybe they need a book paywall for admission into those events? Buy a book to get the zoom code to get into the event?

David Dylan Thomas essentially did this for his recent book launch.
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:55PM

In the best of times, the margins at a bookstore are paper thin — traditionally, a successful shop hopes to make 2 percent in profits — but operating during a pandemic is even more expensive. 

Yes—they said paper thin…
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:57PM

Some shots of the Bobcat Fire while away from the house
The wind has shifted and the smoke in the atmosphere isn’t as suffocating as it has been until this morning. I still can’t see the Bobcat fire from the house by looking up at the mountain, but it’s apparently very close to Mt. Wilson and the closest part of the fireline is about 3 miles from the house. Things generally aren’t looking good. I suspect we may see flames before the evening is out.
Replied to a tweet (Twitter)
I’m sure there was a similar peak in 2009 for the Station Fire. I remember seeing the pyrocumulus cloud in Glendale/Pasadena all the way down to San Diego.

It’s also the last time that Mt. Wilson was threatened, though tonight it’s from the East side of the mountain. I’m watching closely because I’m 8 miles from the Bobcat Fire to the East and we’re under an evacuation warning. Fortunately the live cam has some reasonably clear footage of the immediate danger as the observatory is 4 miles up the hill above us.

Night photo of flames burning near the Mt. Wilson Observatory.
Mount Wilson Observatory live cam facing east toward the Bobcat Fire at 12:40 AM PST
Bobcat Fire update
I’m just South and slightly West of the Wilson Observatory which is at the top of the mountain just above our house. Fortunately we’re not in any of the preliminary evacuation zones which are all immediately South of the fire. We won’t really need to worry heavily unless it gets closer to the observatory.

View from the Mount Wilson Observatory East towards the burning flames of the Bobcat Fire
View from the Mount Wilson Observatory facing east toward the fire at 9:00 PM on September 7th.
Topological map of the Bobcat fire in the Angeles National Forest
The Bobcat fire coverage as of about 11:30 AM this morning. (Courtesy of the Angeles National Forest)
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?