Last week I expressed my approval of Glendale’s inclination to not fund a Rose Parade float, for cutting the city’s 98-year-old tie to the Tournament of Roses and for using the money for other things the city needs.
For now, City Council members have not decided whether to follow through on this, which I’m sure comes as a complete shock to all. Instead, they established a special fund to encourage private donations to fund the float.
According to city officials, the donations will be tax deductible and if the float does not become a reality, donations will be returned.
I rather like leaving the fate of the float in everyone’s hands. Nothing will speak louder about the implied civic pride of a float than the privatization of its funding. If the citizens of Glendale who really want a float pitch in, the float lives. If not, it dies. But either way, it looks like city coffers are not going to be touched — though I am curious how the city plans to cover the administrative costs necessary to refund all the donations if the float never sees the light of New Years Day.
From the looks of it, even if the City Council ultimately decides not to pitch in on a bunch of flowers and chicken wire driving down Colorado Boulevard, its inability to take a firm stand on the matter will end up costing us something anyway.
Of course, if the city really wanted to pay for the float, all it would need to do is continue the stepped up effort to crack down on speeding and distracted drivers. I’d say the stretch of Glenoaks Boulevard between Pacific and Western avenues would be an ideal place to raise the funds necessary to build our float, pay for the recently proposed airport expansion and find a cure for cancer.
I have no idea why drivers think this piece of asphalt is an extension of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But so long as they do, we should consider it a never-ending fountain of civic fundraising and hand out tickets like candy on Halloween.
Speaking of sweet treats....
I was intrigued to read about Glendale-based IHOP’s plans to open 40 restaurants over the next five years in nine Middle Eastern countries. I suppose if our government can’t get some of the countries in that part of the world to be more cognizant of basic human rights, IHOP can at least get them to think about it over a nice, warm 1,250-calorie breakfast.
And if that doesn’t work, the pounds they will have gained eating like Americans will have slowed them down and made them easier to fight the next time we need to send troops in.
But before we do that, there is a piece of our own home front that needs protection from the infidels. I’m talking about the Jewel City Bowl. It seems there’s a plan on the table to tear it down in order to make room for a parking lot that would serve the Glendale courthouse.
While I am somewhat comforted by the fact the city isn’t simply giving the space to Rick Caruso so he can expand the Americana ever closer to Nevada, I am nevertheless disheartened that Glendale might become a city without a bowling alley.
What kind of self-respecting city would Glendale be without a place where one can rent clown shoes, drink gargantuan pitchers of beer and hurl a heavy ball down some oily planks of wood for the simple pleasure of knocking down a few pins?
I, for one, think it would be a bad political move on the part of the City Council to demolish the last bowling alley in town for a few more parking spaces.
I can’t imagine any politician would want to be known as the person who eradicated bowling from the landscape. That’s kind of like saying you hate baseball (except in Los Angeles, where Frank McCourt has turned hating baseball into a whole new art form).
GARY HUERTA is a Glendale resident and author. He is currently working on his second novel and the second half of his life. Gary may be reached at email@example.com.