By Carol Pearlman
February 2, 2016
Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.
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PLAN GENERAL THE
To those who warned me not to trust the Mayor I say this: throughout all the time we worked together on what I’d come to believe was “our” park, mine & the mayor’s, Osby Davis behaved honorably, kept his word, and fulfilled every promise he gave me about beautifying the patch of land known as Independence Park (which is currently being used as a giant bird bath).
Yes, he did!
If you have any doubts, please take a look at Item E under section # 8 of the Action Calendar of the city council meeting on January 26th. “REQUEST FROM MAYOR DAVIS TO PLACE THE FOLLOWING ITEM ON A FUTURE CITY COUNCIL AGENDA: PRESENTATION ON A WATERFRONT ART WALK PROPOSAL Recommendation: City Council to consider request from Mayor Davis to schedule a presentation on a Waterfront Art Walk proposal on a future City Council agenda.”
This small item is proof he means business.
From the outset, Mayor Davis told me his intention was to get that park done before he leaves office, or at least get it to the point where there was no going back, and that’s exactly what he’s doing. I was right to believe him and work with him, as far as we could go. I can only applaud his efforts.
The problem is he’s going full speed ahead without me now. He’s found an artist who wants to fill the entire waterfront, from my house all the way up to the bridge and on the streets as well, with sculpture that will depict & glorify the history of Vallejo. He brings mighty sponsorship with him. This artist is a nice fellow; I’d like to sit down & have a glass of wine with him, but his style of work is not to my taste and I think it’s wrong for Vallejo. I related these thoughts to my friend, the Mayor, who no longer returns my calls.
Oh, the ironies of life are cruel. I will get a park, but it won’t be my park. I yodeled that tune when it was taken over by PB, and I’m howling it again now that the Mayor has taken it over. Yet, it’s not done yet; we’ve yet to hear from the fat lady.
I recently took part in the development of an “arts element” to be included in the Next General Plan, and that element foretells the reconstitution of the much needed Vallejo Commission for Arts & Culture. And, it’s my opinion that it should be the Vallejo Arts & Culture Commission that takes up the question of whether an artist’s work meets their criteria for art in public places of our fair city. Until the commission is established no permanent Art should be installed on our waterfront, Parks or other public spaces. That’s my two cents. Otherwise, it’s a free-for-all, or so it appears to me when I walk out in the streets of Laredo, I mean Vallejo.
I’ve got a lot to learn. I never participated in city government before I came to Vallejo. I don’t know how things work. In the old days my activism was grandiose intellectual coffee-house BS. Now I flap around like a stranded seal, trying this and that, always working for truth & justice; at least I’m on the right side – ain’t I? The good thing is the game is accessible in Vallejo; even I can say my piece, as though it might do any good. I’ve got a front row seat at City Hall where I get to watch political crime & corruption in 3-D & living color nearly every Tuesday night. It’s history in the making; the finest entertainment in town (beside the Empress Theatre, of course), and the best teacher if pay attention.
Listening to our untutored councilors try to figure out rules for cultivating & delivering marijuana made me think I was back in the old world, eavesdropping on a bunch of rabbis arguing some obscure Talmudic point. The mountain of considerations for each decision for each rule is huge. How many inches a baby plant may be before it can be moved from its mother? What is the precise size of the growing area allowed for a vender? Where may it be? Fortunately, the lawyer for the dispensary gang set everyone straight when he said, let’s be real, it has to grow somewhere.
As I see it, city staff runs the whole show. I took part in the citizens workshops that led to the creation of the new General Plan, aka Propel Vallejo, which has been snatched from its cradle by our legal staff because a “certain applicant has spent thousands of dollars” (her words) on his project of putting a deep water port & cement factory on the waterfront that we, the citizens have rightfully claimed to be ours in our new General Plan, & we had better not say anything about it because that’s against the law.
They’re fixing the pipes & water storage tanks in the parking lot across the street from my complex. The report claims that “Rerouting the surface storm water flow will also reduce the risk of flooding of the lower levels in the event of a strong storm coupled with a power outage.”
Man, that scares me. Will the river overflow? How long can the power be out? I get oxygen from a machine that runs on electric power. In case that storm and outage come to my house, I have 4 auxiliary tanks on my patio that hold 72 hours of oxygen, so they say, and that’s it. I’ve asked neighbors to help me if the juice stops. And if you’re around, please come over & help.
One of the first storms of the year knocked my only tomato plant over, breaking the pot & strewing earth on the patio. I had to get rid of the plant but managed to save about 15 marble sized green orbs. What could I do with them? You can’t eat them, they’re no good to cook, but I didn’t want to throw them out, so I pickled them. Got the recipe from the nice pickle vendor at Moschetti’s on Saturday morning. Those babies were so delicious I want to pickle everything in sight.
One of the most interesting things I ever learned about self-defense is when you tear up lettuce leaves they produce more anti-oxidents, so always tear your lettuce when you make a salad.
My memoir is still for sale: www.flatbushprincess.com.
Happy New Year, & all that.