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 life.....one 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