By Jim CHASE
In January of 2008 when I started writing this column in the pages of the now-defunct Crescenta Valley Sun, I had no clue that I would have so much to say about life in these foothills. Being a writer, and having lived in the Crescenta Valley my entire life (with the exception of my college years in San Diego and various long business trips and vacations over the years), I simply had a few things I wanted to get off my chest and hoped a few people might find them entertaining to read every now and then.
Having lived in essentially the same place all these years, I’ve seen a lot of changes – some good, many troubling, most of them not that unexpected and more or less inevitable for any small town so close to a major U.S. metropolis like Los Angeles. I’ve also raised four kids in the same neighborhoods, playing at the same parks, attending the same schools and walking the same streets that I did way back near the dawn of time.
Now, a surprising two years after that first column, I look back over the topics I’ve brain-dumped about and see an admittedly strange mix of the lighthearted (port-a-potties and store Christmas displays in October), the reminiscent (learning to drive a stick shift on local hills and surviving “dangerous” play equipment in our parks), the serious (school traffic dangers and wild fire evacuations), the controversial (the politics of race and anti-faith school policies) and many, many subjects in between.
Although some topics I write with my shields raised and skin thickened – knowing from the get-go that some readers will take issue with what I have to say – at other times I’m caught off guard by which topics readers respond to, both negatively and positively. It’s always gratifying, however, to get e-mails from fellow CV residents who tell me they’ve been waiting for somebody, anybody, to give voice to their thoughts, concerns and opinions that seem to be ignored by the dominant liberal media outlets of today. And here I thought I was just spouting off. Who knew?
What all of this is leading up to is that, after two years of having my own say with the choice of topics, I’m more than a little curious as to what subjects you would like to see discussed on this page. Maybe I should talk about what’s so good about living in the Crescenta Valley. Or what’s not so good. What’s got your blood pressure up? What makes you proud to live or work here? What embarrasses you? What can we improve? What local issues or events are you concerned about? What is gone that you wish was still here? What’s here that you wish was gone? Do you like driving on Foothill when it’s as rough and rugged as the Baja 500? Will the new library’s librarian be able to say “Shhhhhhh!” in multiple languages? I’m sure you can come up with better topics than some of these. Please.
As CV Weekly publisher, Robin Goldsworthy has often said, this is your newspaper. It exists so everyone who lives and works in the Crescenta Valley can get the local news, reviews, opinions and ads from nearby merchants without having to wade through page after page of rehashed stories, muckraking, scandal and faux outrage that happens miles away in Glendale, Burbank or Pasadena or the San Fernando Valley.
So, what’s on your mind? Send your thoughts directly to me at Jim@WordChaser.com or to Robin@CVWeekly.com.
I can’t promise to address every idea you send. And I always have a handful of topics that I’m working on with at any given time – a few of which in particular I’m anxious to throw out there to see what you all think. But I’m also very curious to know what you’d like to see discussed in this space in upcoming editions. So fire up those e-mails. And in the meantime, I’ll see you ‘round town.
Jim Chase is a lifelong CV resident and freelance writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.