It is with a heavy heart that after failed attempts to sell The Flowering Tree that I am looking at having to close after 23 years serving the community. Health and financial reasons have led to this decision. It is a sad commentary that the store will be added to a dying breed of Christian bookstores that have fallen to the Internet over the last few years. It seems the small business is a thing of the past.
I have been touched by the outpouring of love and support I have received in light of this difficult decision. Over the years as I have ministered to the community I have been buoyed by those who have been so supportive of me and my business. I have met and become friends with so many new people and deepened old friendships, and for that I am forever grateful. These people and memories will go with me as I travel through the next phase of my life whatever that may be.
I would like to publicly thank the community at large and in particular those who helped in a more personal way by volunteering at the store so I could get much needed rest and a break from the pressures of running a small business. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
At this point in time, short of a last minute reprieve, the store will be closing its doors for good the end of March. I have very mixed feelings about the recent turn of events that have precipitated this decision; however, I feel in the long run it will benefit me and my long struggle with multiple sclerosis.
Thank you again to everyone.
Christine Stafford, Owner
The Flowering Tree in Montrose
Urges Bill Support
I’m writing to urge my fellow Californians to support AB 1839. This is called the Expanded Film and Television Job Creation Act. The film and TV business is one of the most important industries in L.A. County, employing hundreds of thousands of your neighbors in good paying jobs. This assembly bill will help to encourage production companies to stay and shoot their projects in California. Those jobs help increase tax revenues which in turn fund California’s schools, police, fire departments and our infrastructure. These jobs also support businesses less directly connected to the film biz.
When film workers (like me) have more income, we can spend more on other goods and services (I don’t make a six-digit income and most of my film and TV co-workers don’t either). These jobs have been flooding away from California at an alarming rate. Currently 44 other states have been offering incentives to production companies. Over the past decade, California’s share of one-hour TV series has dropped 36% which cost the state 10,000 jobs. Of the 41 big budget films shot in the last two years, only one was shot in California.
I know some folks will say that this is a subsidy for rich production companies. But understand this: these companies will make their films and TV shows one way or another, whether it’s here or Atlanta or NYC. Wouldn’t it be better for California’s economy if they shot these shows here?
Lesson in Cell Tower Technology
Congratulations to all who were successful in stopping the cell tower from being installed. Now would all those who know I retired from the telecommunications industry in 2002 stop complaining about the lousy and spotty service they get from AT&T Mobility? I am tired of hearing about it. You cannot have it both ways, folks. Just keep using those wired landlines. Sometimes I wish we had worse cellular service. Then maybe I would not see so many people with a cellphone glued to their ear while they are driving.
A few items to think about: First, if you hear any noise from the cell tower it is probably the power supply that converts the AC power to the DC power. I know for sure your hearing is not good enough to hear the 800-plus megahertz carrier frequencies. That little old 60 hertz hum will not harm you at all.
Now, did you know that you are dealing with a system where the received signal strength may be measured in micro-volts per meter? Think about it – micro-volts. Get out your decimal points and zeros. How much power do you think those transmitters have? They do not have to be a whole lot more powerful than the one you are holding in your hand up against your ear. That is why they are placed in small cells. Are you really that concerned about the radio frequency emissions? Do you have a Bluetooth head set in your ear? Do you have a wireless router (WiFi) in your home? Do you have the new wireless television system? Do you have cordless telephones? Those are all radio frequency devices. Just like a cellular system. Think about it. You are worried about RF emissions from the tower, yet you have your own cellular network right in your own home. Your favorite Starbucks and any place that offers WiFi service have it too. Many restaurants have it for their terminals that process your order. Just look at your cellphone and see how often it is asking you if you want to join a WiFi network. The strongest RF signal level you will ever be subjected to is when you put the cellphone to your ear or stick the Bluetooth headset in your ear.
Do yourselves a favor and learn about the system you hate. Learn what the transmitter powers are (watts). Learn about how much the signal strength diminishes for every 10 feet of distance. Buy a signal strength meter if you have enough money. Learn everything you can about these systems. Speak with intelligence and not emotion. It is a big job. I can barely keep up now that I do not have access to the manuals and experts.
Last note on RF power. Twenty-five watts at 146 megahertz can get from La Crescenta to San Diego. One hundred watts at 28 megahertz can cover the surrounding western states. That same 100 watts at 14 or seven megahertz can pretty well cover the globe. It is all in the frequencies used, antenna design and atmospheric conditions.
Comfort Women Survival
Recently, there has been a great deal of controversy about the Korean Comfort Women statue located at Glendale Central Park and what the message says about man’s inhumanity to man.
Some people say Glendale should not get involved in international politics; some say otherwise.
I find it appalling that the people who have filed a lawsuit against the City [of Glendale] have said that “many comfort women acted willingly as prostitutes and the military was not directly involved in any coercion.” These are the same tactics that the Turkish lobbyists use to deny the Armenian Genocide by claiming the Armenians were siding with the Russians during WWI.
Can one just imagine if one’s wife, sister or girlfriend offered their body to a military officer? The real question is why, if at all, did these Korean women offer their virginity? Did they offer it for survival?
Recently, I read in the Los Angeles Times of Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest living holocaust survivor, who died at age 111. Ms. Sommer lost her husband and family members to the Nazis of Germany. In her biography, she said, “Practice the Chopin Ètudes” a voice told her as her mother was carted away. “They will save you.” Because of her special talent at the piano, she entertained her Nazi guards in order to survive the gas chambers.
Like Ms. Sommer, the comfort women did what they did in order to survive.
The Korean Comfort Women statue is a small way to remember man’s inhumanity to man.