Our Readers Write: Kudos to all involved in the Community Breakfast

LA Canada

Supporting Fiesta Days in La Cañada over the Memorial Day holiday, the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada-AM happily served 620 French toast breakfasts to friends and neighbors on May 29 in Memorial Park. Twenty-five club members, assisted by ten Benjamin Franklin Key Club members, set up, cooked, served and cleaned up the meals that had people asking for Chef Rosemary Hook's Secret French Toast recipe. (She isn't giving it up; try to analyze it next year.)

AM Kiwanis would like to acknowledge local businesses that contributed funds and food to our breakfast: orange juice from Ralphs La Cañada; bread, Ralphs La Crescenta; water, Vons La Cañada; syrup, McDonalds; milk and eggs, Trader Joe's; and cream and butter from Greenbergs. Along with other community food vendors, Ralphs and Vons support our club's daily collection of food for distribution to needy people in Pasadena and Los Angeles.

The Morning People (AM Kiwanis) also thank all those who came and enjoyed the food, games and camaraderie at the park that morning, as well as our own chamber, which helped advertise this annual event. Even the weather cooperated.

Event proceeds fund our youth clubs and high school music programs as well as contributions to local Boy and Girl Scout troops, YMCA, LCF Educational Foundation, Community Scholarship Foundation of LCF and the Community Center of LCF.

Martha Burns

La Cañada

Editor's note: Burns is president of Kiwanis Club of La Cañada-AM.

City shouldn't have OKd trees' removal Friday morning all the big shade trees in the Vons shopping center were chain-sawed to the ground. They had shaded that parking lot for more than 40 years. Twenty-nine tall, mature sycamore and jacarandas gone. Along with them all the shade and green masses against the hot summer sky.

They also took down the half dozen or so mature flowering crape myrtles along the Oakwood side of TJ Maxx. Those trees echoed the motif of crape myrtles planted all along the length of Foothill Boulevard

As various shopping centers' designs have been proposed and scrutinized by the city staff and citizens, trees have always been a big issue. We are, after all, a Tree City.

How is it no one I have heard from knew this was slated to happen? Because we live our lives and don't attend every Design Review session or every City Council meeting. Had this been adequately publicized in advance, lots of people would have entered the discussion, and it is likely a design could have been devised that would have allowed the re-aligning of the parking lot and the saving of all or most of these big trees.

The developer went through the meetings and reviews necessary to get the permits for the removal of the 29 trees. On paper it sounds like it's going to be OK. Sixty new trees seems like a reasonable solution in exchange for the 29 lost. But those 29 lost were big, tall, and doing the job now. The 36-inch box trees and the two 60-inch box trees going in will take 15 years to even begin to approach the effect in shading that those big mature trees were already providing.

There is and always will be a clear difference between the motivations and goals of developers and those of the townspeople and their city employees. The city thinks the developer did due diligence in trying to reconfigure the parking lot and save them.

Let a private citizen try to wiggle around the tree ordinance, or any other city regulation, and the rule will triumph even when it ought not to in a particular situation. Yet time and again businesses will get their permits and move ahead with what they want, and generally that is an immediate removal of any impediment to their plans, lowering the cost of that plan now, and then, via a carefully sold replacement plan, reduced costs and maintenance in the future.

In this case it may even turn out that the future does contain a comparably shaded parking lot. But the cost of the 15-plus years that will take, if it ever happens, is left out of the equation.

We could, and ought to, do better.

Lauren Oakes

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