Cherniss: Get voter OK on parkland

November 30, 2000

By Charles Cherniss

THOUGH they're still wrestling with ballots in Florida, dare I suggest we vote on some other matters right here at home?

Let's set a couple of things straight first.

1) I admire KidSpace and hope against hope that the Pasadena institution gets to enlarge its wonderful museum where the long moribund Fannie Morrison Horticulture Center stands in Brookside Park.

2) I also admire the Arroyo Seco Foundation's aims, but sometimes think its exuberance for flora and fauna in the Arroyo Seco goes overboard.

That being said, please note I also support the foundation's efforts to allow the voters of Pasadena to decide the KidSpace in Brookside issue.

As is far too common in today's litigious society (reference Florida again), the Arroyo Seco Foundation threatens to challenge City Hall in court over that $1 a year, 50-year lease of parkland at Brookside.

The foundation would prevail in court. The City Charter and city ordinance properly require a popular vote on the disposition of parkland.

JUST as I campaigned to let the voters decide Pasadena policy on the 710 Freeway, which will be on the March ballot, I think the voters should be allowed to vent their feelings on other big matters.

That includes more use of the Rose Bowl to help the city treasury and other Arroyo Seco issues.

Be not afraid of the people.

I'll vote in favor of KidSpace, but parkland is so scarce that major changes in its usage should not be obtained easily.

The City Council needs to put the issue on the March ballot and march forward.

IF I HAD a nickel for everyone upset by Pasadena teacher demands for a double-digit raise, I'd have a double-digit hike in my income.

Typical reaction to teacher demands: "Yeah. I want a double-digit raise, too. But I know I'm not going to get one."

As soon as teachers produce double-digit improvements in test scores and double-digit improvements in the products they deliver to society, taxpayers will find double-digit pay hikes more palatable.

Meanwhile, do only old fogies such as me find news photos of teachers acting like crazed English soccer fans nauseating?

ALEX TRANQUADA, age 6, made my day with his nicely printed letter.

"Dear Mr. Cherniss,

"I had a toy sale and earned $10.35.

"Please use it to buy toys for other kids."

Enclosed was a check from Jim and Kristin Tranquada of Pasadena in that amount.

Alex, of course, meant that money for the Star-News Tournament of Toys drive. That's where it'll go.

Jim, it should be noted, was a Star-News reporter a decade or so ago. We miss him.

You can join Alex in making me feel good by sending your own check to Tournament of Toys, in care of the Star-News, 911 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena CA 91106.

Things look tough in this, the 21st year of our drive, so whatever you can spare will be much appreciated by kids in Our Valley.

And by me, too.

ALEX appears to be big hearted and entrepreneurial.

He'll never make it in journalism.

-- Reach Charles Cherniss by snail mail at 911 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106, by phone at (626) 578-6300, Ext. #4501