Because I’m Your Mother, That’s Why!


April 21, 2013
When I started my blog I knew I wanted to keep my community informed and involved about Our City, but I also knew that for me, family comes first.

Mother’s Day is a few weeks away and I am hours away from leaving Pinole to fly to Puerto Rico to care for mom.

My 92 year old mother lives alone in Puerto Rico. She went “home” after living in New York City for over 40 years.
I admire her strengths, but her care has become increasingly difficult. She has moderate dementia, a multitude of age related problems and has refused any and all outside help or services. She refuses to pay for anything she doesn’t deem necessary or important, which in her mind is pretty much everything.
My goodness how much is a loaf of bread? Yes mom it’s two bucks.

My sisters and I have been travelling from the States to care for her the for the last 3+ years. Moving her is not an option, she refuses to leave her home and Puerto Rican law is on her side. 
She fell twice yesterday (the last day my other sister was there with her) and is now alone dealing and with her bumps and bruises.  I will fly to Puerto Rico to try and care for her and try to reason with her, yet again. The odds of my getting through? Slim to none. Or as we say in the Bronx, “Forgedaboudit”.
I’m sure there are some of you saying, yeah, been there, done that.

Mom has become a legend among my friends and family.
Like many elders, she is fiercely independent, strong-willed, and plain old hard-headed. I started jotting down her “idiosyncracies” a few years ago. I add to the list whenever I visit. My sisters have also contributed to Mom’s Rules through knowing gales of laughter.
Mom’s Rules help me find humor in what is a sad and tough situation for my sisters and I. We love mom and want to protect her.
I want to share some (not all) of my Mom’s Rules with you as I jet off to be with her. I hope it makes you smile and appreciate family a little bit more.

Mom’s Rules
If broken expect the silent treatment and a hunger strike.

Unplug every electrical appliance after use.
Lock every door, window, and padlock by 6 pm.
Don’t turn on any lights even if it is pitch black.
Don’t use the hot water unless you absolutely have to take a hot shower and then make it quick.
Lift the toilet seat, yes we are all female, but that doesn’t matter, she wants air to circulate in the bowl.
Do not throw away anything, that includes containers from take out food, plastic utensils, old papers, rubber bands, nick knacks, paper clips, diaper pins, old cards, invitations, bills, documents or envelopes, seat cushions, stuffed animals, plastic flowers, broken cups, Melmac dishes that date back to 1970, Styrofoam cups, and containers, ancient utensils or cookware.
Do not throw or give away old appliances or electronics even if they date back to 1960 or full of rust, don’t work and will never work again.
Do not use the air conditioner unless you are gasping for air, same goes for the fan.
Manually shut the 40-50 window louvers in the house if there is any chance of rain at all, (there is always a chance of rain in Puerto Rico).
And hour later open them all up again.
Don’t go to the store and stay too long or you’re leaving her alone and don’t care about her.
Don’t feed her any meat; she won’t eat it when you’re looking.
Don’t throw away any of the hundreds of pairs of socks she owns and never uses. Must be a throw back to her days in New York.
Don’t throw away or give away any of the multitude of clothes, shoes and hand bags she has in the closet that she doesn’t wear and will never wear again.
Don’t throw away any of the empty or half empty bottles of cologne, used lipstick, or make-up.
Don’t use any “good” sheets on the beds; use the ones that have no elastic to keep them on the bed.
Don’t wash too many clothes because you’re using too much water.
Don’t use the water hose because her water bill has gone up.
Don’t disagree with her she knows better than we do.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there.

Mafalda: But…why do I have to do it?
Her mom: Because I order it. I’m your Mother!!
Mafalda: If it’s a question of titles, I’m your Daughter!!
Mafalda: And we graduated on the same day! Or not?

Hey Dude! Can you hear me now?

TGIF – Of Skate Parks and Cell Towers
Friday, April 12, 2013

Hey Dude!
This past Thursday a small group of parents, staff, residents and youth assembled at 2131 Pear Street to listen to presentations made by Cunha Enginnering, Civil Engineers and Brad Siedlicki, President of Pillar Action Sports Development, Skate Park Designer. The purpose of the meeting was to select a Pinole Skate Board Park site from a group of 4 possible sites. After several hours of discussion there was consensus amongst the group that the best location for the Park was “Area 2”. Area 2 is a large area at the northeast corner of the soccer field at the foot of Wright Avenue in Pinole Valley Park.
More than that I can’t provide without scanning a slew of diagrams.
I hope the city will post them on their website so that the community can review them.

I will not attempt to define the location or the various options discussed. What I will say is that the there was a general feeling of cautious optimism from all parties. Cautious because it has taken a very long time to come this far. Much work still needs to be done, but the possibility of a Skate Park in Pinole has inched ever closer.

Can you hear me now?
Recently I wrote about the proposed Verizon Cell Tower which would be built in Pinole Valley Park. This proposed facility appears to be on the fast track. Now that the Planning Commission has approved the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) by a 4-3 vote, the City Council will consider on Tuesday, April 16, whether or not to approve a resolution to allow the cell tower to be erected.
City Council Agenda here.
Please note the unusual start time (4:30) of the meeting, also note that Councilman Swearingen will be teleconferencing from his home.

Other items of interest on Tuesday’s agenda.
A. Responses to Citizen Questions / Concerns (Standing Item)
B. WCCIWMA Post Collection Negotiations Status Report (Standing Item)
C. Approve the Lease Agreement with Verizon Wireless For A Cellular Tower at Pinole Valley Park [Council Report No. 2013-34; Action: Approve Resolution and Lease per Staff Recommendation (Allison)]

A. Approve the Recreation Department Reorganization Plan [Council Report No.
2013-35; Action: Approve Resolution Per Staff Recommendation (DeLaRosa)]
B. Provide Direction To Staff On The Establishment Of The Wastewater Rates For Fiscal Year 2013-14 Through Fiscal Year 2017-18 [Council Report No. 2013-36; Action: Provide Direction to Staff & Continue to April 16, 2013 (DeLaRosa)]

C. Consider The Feasibility Regarding Contracting Out The City’s Fire Department.

Skating on thin ice


There have been several attempts to build a Skate Board Park in Pinole. Locations have been found, chewed on, then spit out. Money was there, then it wasn’t.
Still the youth fought on. Pointing out that skateboarding is as real a sport as soccer and baseball and while Pinole is home to many baseball and soccer fields, there is no safe area for them to skate.
Why, then has it been such a battle to build a facility for these “skaters”?
It’s been seven years, give or take, since this conversation began.
Community support has been fairly consistent in its support, but it has not been without NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) protests.

There have been untold number of meetings, council meetings, more council meetings, community service commission meetings, community neighborhood meetings, meetings upon meetings. Council people have come and gone, we’ve changed city managers  and the recreation director left. There are always two sides to every issue, and this is the case with the Skate Board park. But the passion and persistence of Max Glanz and others has kept the Skate Board Park idea alive and is far from being forgotten.

They say the wheels of government move ever so slowly, yes, that is absolutely true. The only way to achieve anything is by having  the right people in the right places, knowing who to schmooze in positions of influence and power, or by the persistent efforts of small, grass-roots committees and community advocates who can work hard and apply political pressure.

Here we are seven years later and no closer to realizing Max Glanz and his fellow skaters dream.
Some of the young people who have been lobbying for a skateboard park in Pinole are probably ready to head off to college. At this rate many may become eligible for social security before their vision becomes a reality.
The next Skate Board Park Meeting will be held this week on Thursday April, 11, at 6 PM, Pinole City Hall.

If skaters get their park they might be overheard to say:
“Dude let’s go bust out a P-Town session”
“Yeah that would be sick dude”.
Session-(Sesh-un) Noun. A time that you go out and skate.
Sick-(Sik) Adj. Meaning awesome, skillful, or sweet.

To get some background on this check out the links below.
There is also a video of Max Glanz for you to view.
Pinole-Hercules PatchPinole Teen Fighting for Skatepark Says Council Does Not Keep its Word(VIDEO) Pinole Teen Fights for Skateboard Park

Contra Costa Times
Pinole council restores some skate park funding but proposes changing location

A meeting will be held on Thursday evening April 11, 2013 to discuss the skate park. On hand, will be a skate park designer, and design engineer, to present their evaluation of four sites currently under consideration. The meeting agenda will include discussions regarding the opportunities and constraints of each of the four sites, and discussions as to how each of the four sites will include recreational opportunities for skaters of all ability levels. It is expected that the meeting will be well attended by skaters, however, this will be a public meeting and all are welcome. Once the meeting has been completed, staff will be preparing a report for City Council review, sometime in May.