Piece of Mind: The General Plan is waiting in the wings

Now that we can all stop complaining about the freezing temperatures of the past several days and move on to whining about how unseasonably warm it is (thank you, global warming, for giving us all something to talk about on a regular basis), let’s address other local happenings.

For example, there’s that persimmon orchard in the nether reaches of La Cañada, where owner William Johnson might just be forced to take out the 475 trees he planted before they’ve even borne fruit. What was your take on that story? It sure got a lot of play after hitting the Valley Sun earlier this month. I saw it crop up not only on a local TV newscast, but in papers across the country — I was clued in to the latter via Google Alerts for “La Cañada Flintridge.” One of our own columnists, Anita Brenner, also riffed on our news article, taking the side of the poor, possibly doomed trees.

I feel for the trees, really I do. It’s not their fault they were planted in an area not currently zoned for agricultural use. But we do have a General Plan that everyone was presumably in agreement with the last time it was updated. If it had been respected by Johnson, the trees might not be in peril today. He’s a well-educated man, an attorney, so there’s no doubt in my mind he can navigate City Hall and ask questions before taking actions that might put him in this position. The next General Plan update is expected to be before the City Council on Tuesday. There’s no better time than now for all concerned residents and business owners to pay attention as that blueprint for the city’s desired development is shaped and pruned.


What else is going on around here? The General Plan must be OK with plenty of eateries: People with a hankering for chicken wings and fries can rejoice in the news that the Wingstop chain, “Two billion wings and counting...,” has posted a sign announcing its pending arrival in that new building on Verdugo Boulevard, It’s on that same little lot where people once pumped gas at a Texaco station. But now they’ll be able to fill up on Hickory-smoked BBQ! Parmesan garlic! Louisiana rub! There’s apparently a wing to please all non-vegan palates. Will it be as popular as the Habit Burger Grill in the Town Center? All will be revealed soon enough.


We couldn’t help but notice several weeks ago that La Cañada’s only movie theater complex has gone upscale. Have you been there lately and settled into one of the  new black leather recliners that line the auditoriums, making them look like family rooms on steroids?

In November I was a little taken aback by the seediness of the theater and its seats, which looked worse for the wear they’ve gotten over the years.  A couple of weeks later, Gil and I arrived about 30 minutes early for “Lincoln,” only to be forced to sit in the second row because the new recliners had been installed and they take up a significant amount of space. There were not as many seats as had been there on our previous visit. But they were very nice seats, indeed, we had to admit, as we looked straight up into Honest Abe’s nostrils. Probably not the effect Spielberg was going for, but comfy enough. The next day we arrived even earlier for “Skyfall” and were happy to find seats toward the rear of that particular auditorium so that we could truly enjoy the film.

I have only one small gripe about the new seats: I haven’t figured out how to put the leg rests back down without help. Is there a trick to it? If Gil hadn’t been there both times to push it back into place for me when the movies ended, I’d still be reclining.

I wonder if that wing joint will deliver.


CAROL CORMACI is the managing editor. Email her at carol.cormaci@latimes.com.

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