By Carol Pearlman

February 2, 2016

Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.

HaHaHaHaHaHa HaHaHaHaHaHa HaHaHaHaHaHa HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa



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:

Happy New Year, & all that.


  1. February 3, 2016 @ 10:19 am David Pearce

    Another excellent article. Ah yes, welcome to the world of politics and hidden agendas. Aren’t our REPRESENTATIVES supposed to support (represent) what their constituents desire, rather than their own grandiose idea of what is best for Vallejo? Seven hundred signatures and an overwhelming win through Participatory Budgeting certainly makes a clear picture of what is desired by the populace.


  2. February 3, 2016 @ 4:50 pm Coleen

    Carol, I love what you say about city hall – I’ve told so many people going to city council meetings is more entertaining than TV, by a LONG shot! Hopefully reading what you have to say, people might give it a shot, which is always needed. Your commentary is a fresh perspective. Keep it UP! AND I READ YOUR BOOK. What a life!! Inspiring for the adventurous soul ;D


  3. February 4, 2016 @ 7:41 am tramky

    There are many problems with what Pearlman writes about the waterfront ‘art park’, but it all mostly exemplifies with the fundamental problems that tail public discourse and public action in this town.
    Here are a couple of issues associated with these matters:

    – the failure to bring forth the ‘waterfront art park’ that was already passed by PB voters. That had specific elements that were part of the pitch made to Vallejo voters, but now it seems that it was all just a game and that PB proposal is being re-worked into something quite likely different than what was presented to voters in PB. That entire voting result should be negated and the whole process started again from scratch (which is apparently what is taking place anyway). Of course, what that would say about PB is another matter.

    – None of this, including Pearlman’s discovery that the Mayor has brought in yet ANOTHER ‘artist’ with some kind of comprehensive concept for the entire Vallejo waterfront is stunning. This seems to be run by the Mayor as some kind of personal sandbox, with elements of secrecy or, at best, a lack of transparency.

    – The complete failure to include anything associated the the so-called ‘lost art of Vallejo’, the several sculptures that were removed from downtown Vallejo and apparently crated up and dumped on Mare Island and possibly elsewhere when the City tore up & eliminated the Georgia Street Plaza, then known as the Town Square, which had been designed and built to serve as home to some of those sculptures, in order to allow Georgia Street to connect directly with Mare Island Way at the Ferry Terminal.

    The Town Square, part of the huge redevelopment scheme of the 1960s that completely transformed downtown Vallejo and the waterfront, was established on Georgia Street between the Post Office and what we know as the JFK Library. This was all designed some 50 years ago, and much of it of course remains. But a few major elements were NEVER built, which left design issues with a couple or few of the major downtown new buildings that had incorporated those never-built elements into THEIR designs. As a result of the waffling and equivocations about the overall project, Vallejo was left with an incomplete vision of the waterfront buildings while some elements of the original waterfront concept were actually constructed, then later demolished (like the Town Square). Money spent and then blown off to fulfill later schemes that never took proper advantage of the waterfront’s potential.


  4. February 4, 2016 @ 9:39 am wharf rat

    Please read this incredible report by a fellow Citizen , He did it on His own dime and time ! it is extensive and well researched , it leaves few questions to be answered except ”when will we finish
    what we started” ? and the broader issues of the ”public trust” , cultural resources and accountability .

    Vallejo’s Lost Art — The Full Report

    Note: if a report of this scale was done by Local Government it could have cost in excess of $ 50,000 the Author did this for us for free .


  5. February 4, 2016 @ 8:10 pm the macroneurotic

    he called…


  6. February 5, 2016 @ 6:25 pm Publicus

    We keep whipping a dead horse. Good, smart and educated citizens have, for many years, explained how sea level rise works. Some even pointed out that building a parking garage with the lower levels below the water table was sort of stupid. We were told that the Grant the COV had obtained for the garage only worked for THAT particular site….no other would meet the grant criteria. Some pointed out, over 15 years ago, that the sea levels were rising and the pricey new garage would likely be full of water. Now experts agree, civilization will be lucky if it is only 39″. So no wonder there is water in the new parking garage. You really can’t keep it out. It was a stupid site back then and still is. All those COV staff people are still sitting at the same desks but they have not gotten any smarter. When they recruit for new hires, they look for people just like them. No wonder we keep fighting insanely stupid projects. If you want to know what is coming, walk along the waterfront promenade at a King Tide and image 39″ more water. Yes, Virginia, your complex will be flooded.


    • February 5, 2016 @ 8:52 pm wharf rat

      Wonder who the project manager was, and were they bonded ? why must the Citezens pay for their ”product liability” surely there were insurance or surety requirements required for the project ? or was a settlement reached and if so just where did the $ go ? .


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