I dream that Congress will work together and alongside one another to come up with an improved Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

I dream that our nation will recognize and appreciate the value of every human life without exception or prerequisite or condition.

I dream that each and every one of us will work harder to empathize with those with differing viewpoints.

I dream that I may grow when I acknowledge my failings and shortcomings.

I dream that I may find great beauty hidden in the plain and the simple.

I dream that I am ever more grateful and thankful for all I am blessed with.




Does Alhambra want a tree ordinance?

When it comes to private property, the oft legally embroiled Alhambra City Council has always maintained that without a tree ordinance the city can’t possibly oppose or make any decisions about private property that involves ripping out greenery and established trees in the interest of redevelopment.  

Yet the latest sawing down of trees — the trunks and sawdust still fresh on the ground — was done on city property, and would have been much worse had not a citizens group objected repeatedly in front of the City Council finally to win only some reluctant concessions

That’s why at 7 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2, approximately 13 established trees in Almansor Park area were razed as part of the initial phase of a “park improvement” project. A crew of about 12 hardhats with city chartreuse vests and orange shirts came in with chainsaws, jackhammers, mulchers and heavy equipment to tear out what had been a relaxing lawn bowling green, a horseshoe pit and two basketball half courts, along with several dilapidated chess tables and benches. 

Times and tastes change, true. Few people play horseshoes or public chess anymore, nor shuffle board; now basketball is popular. Even though there was still growing opposition, plans were approved and the large decades established sycamore and pine trees, along with younger schefflera and smaller crape-myrtles, dogwoods and so-called ornamental shrubs were downed. Now these fine and aged trees have been sawed to death and are gone, and their trunks forced open for the first time ever so that they can no longer store within them the noxious carbon now being released into the world’s atmosphere to warm it further and to add to more death and harsher storms and rains. No longer will these decades-old gifts of the Earth provide the shade and the oxygen that cleans the air and provides health that those who practice these outdoor sports actually need for their lungs. 

Also still popular at Almansor Park are the internal exercises, such as tai chi, qigong, yoga, and synchronistic dancing. These shade trees were also necessary for those who regularly partook of these activities, especially seniors, as well as for health of the residents of the neighborhood.  How will that health component be replaced?

So, the question still remains: When will the Alhambra City Council stop using the excuse of not having established a tree ordinance as a false apology for continued green-killing and tree eliminating development? Almansor Park is now tree deficient.

Alhambra needs a tree ordinance now!




Rock icon Tom Petty will always have a special place in my heart because Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was the first concert that I ever attended. Not only was he electrifying onstage, but Tom showed his compassionate side when he abruptly stopped the concert, halfway through “American Girl,” and admonished a security guard (in his trademark twang) for being too rough with one of his fans.

This compassion carried over off the stage too. Petty, who loved dogs, went vegetarian later in life after realizing how animal agriculture was destroying the environment. We could pay no greater respect to this legendary man than by following his lead and showing kindness to animals.

To order a free vegan starter kit, please visit PETA.org.





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