'Tea Party,' GOP events planned at Jeffers estate

Wave the flag and raise the tea bags. Some area residents are getting ready for a patriotic celebration of our nation's independence with just a bit of revolution thrown in for good measure.

Two public gatherings are planned in coming weeks at the Jeffers' estate, 1823 Foothill Blvd., in La Cañada, in honor of Independence Day. Both events need reservations, and include music, speeches and activities for kids and adults, as well as catered meals, with hot dogs, hamburgers, and all the other trimmings of a traditional small town picnic.

On July 3, the Glendale Area Independence Tea Party is scheduled to occur from 3 to 7 p.m. This event is presented by Taxed Enough Already (TEA), the group that earlier this year met on the steps of Glendale City Hall — in conjunction with other TEA parties across the country — to let legislators know that many residents are feeling “taxed enough already.”

TEA is a nonpartisan group, whose local leader, Debi Devens of La Crescenta said she was a Democrat until recently. Now, she said, she's just “fed up.”

Devens said she became involved with TEA after become disgruntled by watching on television as former President George W. Bush signed a stimulus package, with Sen. John McCain standing at his side.

Later, when President Barack Obama spoke of a health care program that takes medical benefits away from soldiers, she said, she “totally lost it.”

“I love our soldiers and I can't see taking anything away from them,” she said.

Devens is a housewife and had no political experience prior to planning the earlier TEA party in Glendale. She later was asked to plan to Independence Tea Party, and readily accepted.

“I feel like I need to save this country for my children and their children after them. We are in a revolution. Our forefathers fought with guns. We're fighting with media and with words,” she said.

In the past month, Devens has been inundated by requests from people asking to speak at the event, including from local actors, activists and business people who have told her they agree with the premise of the Tea Party.

She also heard from a representative of the National Taxpayer Association in Virginia, who also offered to be part of the La Cañada event.

“The movement has become so big, I'm having to turn down some speakers,” Devens said, reiterating that it is a nonpartisan event and she is not including politicians from specific parties.

“This is not a Republican thing. I don't speak to many people who don't agree. Everyone is paying taxes, and everyone is fed up,” she added.

Unlike other TEA parties planned across the country on the July 4 weekend, the La Cañada event will be less geared toward taxes, and more a celebration of America's forefathers, she said.

To make a reservation for the July 3 Tea Party, call Devens at (818) 497-4901 or e-mail: debidevens@earthlink.net. Cost is $10; children 3 and younger will be admitted at no charge..

Another event, planned from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 27, is the All America Rally, sponsored by the United Republicans of the Foothills, the La Cañada Flintridge Republican Club, the Republican Club of the Foothills and the La Crescenta Valley Republican Women's Federated.

Fliers for the All America Rally promise its guests they will “Learn why America the beautiful is becoming America the bankrupt.”

That event will include the American Legion Color Guard, as well as several guest Republican party politicians, a “stupid legislation booth,” music from the Sardo Band, and a petting zoo for the kids.

“This is just a small town summer celebration of the great country we live in,” said Al Restivo, one of the event planners.

To attend this Saturday's event, call Joan at (818) 790-0014. Cost is $10; free for those 5 years old and younger.

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