Quotidian Scenes…Petaluma

I have not decided whether to continue with this blog site, or to focus (pun intended) more on my photo blog.

So, I will continue to offer a blend of offerings on both sites until I make a decision or inertia intervenes…

For your consideration today, I first offer a view of two Petaluma bicycle racks–one photo gives me pause as to how the bicycles made it to the rack and whether they will depart.  The other photo…a promo for a new store–”Opperfields” ?  Or did someone remove the “C” from the Copperfield’s rack?

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Target on Water St!

Really, you would think Target would take a lesson from Safeway on cart management.  Still you have to admire the tenacity of the person who pushed this puppy all the way to Water St.

Target expanding to Water Street? (Petaluma)

Target expanding to Water Street? (Petaluma)

Finally, if you are interested in photos made for themselves and not expressing a social comment (at least I did not intend to do so), go to my photo blog and check out Scenes about  (Petaluma) town…

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping…Carts in 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! I hope that everyone has something to be thankful for!  If not, you can take comfort in the fact that many of your favorite stores will be open on Thanksgiving! In addition many restaurants will be open to fuel the hungry shoppers! Best of all, shopping carts will get a workout on Turkey Day!

Yes indeed! According to the Oracle of the 21st Century (The Internet), Walmart, Target, and Kmart will be standing at the ready to facilitate your purchases early on Thanksgiving Morn. In addition, Best Buy and Macy’s are opening their doors in many locales.

Nordstrom apparently is the Grinch of the Retail World and won’t be open. Emoji

Be sure and check with your local stores and be first in line.

For shoppers in Petaluma there is an added a la shopping cart bonus this shopping season!  If you are too tired to return your shopping carts, there is a convenient drop off point at Sonoma Mountain and East Washington….

Shopping CartsaWeb

Lose something? Baby Stroller? Grocery cart?

There is nothing like a casual trip across town–in this case late afternoon on June 7, 2011– for opportunistic photo ops.

This has always been the case, but this time there was a special twist.

Lost and alone in Petaluma’s urban wilderness…a baby stroller perched on top of a building at Water Street & Petaluma Blvd. in downtown Petaluma…

Over the years I have photographed many an unusual piece of discarded wheeled manual transport–shopping carts to be sure, but also hospital gurneys, baby strollers and wheel chairs.  But a stroller on top of a building was a first. There are many possible captions for this scene…but I, of course, could not possibly comment.

Turning now to regularly abandoned means of transport…our forlorn and forgotten shopping carts.*

Nicely and neatly  placed at the corner of East Washington & Sonoma Mountain next to the St. James Community Garden…

*NOTE–I am not about to reinstate my ancient campaign against shopping carts.  The gaggle of carts by St. James was just too hard to resist. On the plus side, this scene did not contain any carts from Safeway or Raley’s.  Their cart control systems seem to be working. There are, however quite a few other “cart” stores in P-Town.

For those who are morbidly curious about the shopping cart phenom go to>> PETSHOPCART

Petaluma’s Blight Plight!

…and by blight I am referring to graffiti, trash, and abandoned shopping carts.  Granted, there is a large problem with foreclosed homes, or soon to be foreclosed homes, in our neighborhoods; however, I make no attempt to address that issue in this article….

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While the obvious graffiti has been somewhat down of late, I have noticed a resurgence of “practitioners” in certain areas around Lucchesi Park…

And of course, there is always the Weir Writing Wall on the Lynch Creek Trail…

There has been some progress on the abandoned shopping cart front now that Raley’s and Safeway have controlled their carts with electronic locking devices. I trust, however, that Safeway will not relax their diligence because they are diverting resources to scanning driver’s licenses!

But it matters not what Raley’s and Safeway do–there are still plenty of  carts from other stores roaming about our streets and neighborhoods…not to mention cavorting in our parks…

Lucchesi Park continues to be a shopping cart magnet. They should be listed as a featured attraction…

…along with other manifestations of  “trashy” behavior…

On a positive note, I can report that at least one person was thoughtful enough not to throw an empty cup on the ground…

I now close the Blight Report for March 2010. In fact, it will suffice for the balance of 2010.

 

 

2010–Ah, Another Petaluma New Year

Good morning on this first day of 2010! 

As with most new years, I suspect 2010 will be more of the same with a few surprises tucked in to keep it interesting…

  • Debates and discussions over local and state revenues, budgets, etc. will continue. 
  • As it is an election year, you can expect a flood of campaign promises, literature, and the usual political posturing and pandering for votes.

The full nature and extent of my participation in the election cycle has already been discussed in Petaluma Politics–Campaign 2010 

The only question before me now is what I will “cover” in 2010. 

Will it be abandoned shopping carts? 

 

Granted, shopping carts have been a constant visual plague in Petaluma. Fortunately, their numbers have been greatly reduced due to the efforts of Raley’s and Safeway to keep them confined on their lots.  Unfortunately, other stores have not been as proactive.  Nonetheless, I see no reason to resume my “coverage” of shopping carts.  You see one cart, you’ve seen them all

 Should I resume following the Petaluma Graffiti Trail?

I abandoned the graffiti beat in 2009 for practical and personal reasons and see no reason to resume it in 2010. Graffiti has become an established part of urban culture in our society and Petaluma is no exception.

How about Trash?

Trash is an “attractive” subject in that there are many photographic opportunities. It also is a low risk subject as it is not likely you will see your name written on a wall if you write about it.  I recently acquired a camera with a powerful telephoto that enabled me to identify all the objects floating in the lake at Lucchesi…

But alas, how many photos of cups, bags, and bottles are too many? I suspect those displayed here will be sufficient unto the cause for 2010.

Looking forward…

We will just have to see what comes along.

At a minimum, I will post a blog monthly on subjects yet unknown.

……

As an aside, I started this WordPress blog in May, 2009. For a retrospective look at some of the photos used in my WordPress posts, go to Pixels of Petaluma (2009)

Happy New Year!

A Good Cart Samaritan…

From time to time, I am asked why there are no new  graffiti blogs and photos..

OK, here’s a new graffiti pix…

August 13 2009 Download 006

Another version of the question is why no new trashy trail pixs and rants about debris in our environment? Fortunately, a partial answer to this question is that the trails have been cleaned up a bit by volunteers.

However, if needs must, I present a new trashy trail pix… featuring a bicycle (to be precise, what is left of a bicycle) and a hubcap…

August 13 2009 Download 003

Yes, these urban problems remain in Petaluma. However, I tend to tune them out these days.

So, what is important? What still interests me?  The answer is simple– spontaneous efforts of individuals who tidy things up a bit in our fair city.  For example, this morning, a woman  decided to return an abandoned shopping cart to Long’s Drugs–3/4 of a mile away…

Good Samaritan

I wonder what she might have said to the store manager…

Lucchesi’s Still & Stagnant Waters…

FOREWORD

Petaluma’s Lucchesi Park and Community Center have endured many public indignities over recent years

  • Abandoned shopping carts
  • Graffiti (gang & hate tags)
  • Homeless camps
  • Trash
  • Vandalism

Much of this blight continues to this day as evidenced in these photos taken during the week of July 12…

Composite July 2009 Lucchesi

Fortunately, the good efforts of various volunteers and City staff have helped keep the worst manifestations of our urban blight in check.

Unfortunately, recent cuts in the City Budget necessitated by the ongoing financial crisis have reduced the ability to keep up.  For example, the build up of debris and duck doo doo is becoming quite noticeable…

Lucchesi July 13 2009 033

STAGNANT WATERS

Graffiti, shopping carts, trash and duck doo doo notwithstanding, there is a far more serious problem lurking beneath the waters in Lucchesi

The fountains in Lucchesi have not been operating for months.  Presumably, they are broken or are not being operated to save money. 

Whatever the reason, the waters are now showing the effects.  Artificial ponds or lakes require aeration and maintenance to keep the algae under control.  The fountains were not merely ornamental. They provided the necessary aeration.

Without the fountains, we are now presented with a large stagnant body of water full of algae…

Lucchesi July 13 2009 001

The consequences are quite visible…

Lucchesi July 13 2009 036Lucchesi July 13 2009 022Lucchesi July 13 2009 009

To see more of the rapid deterioration, view a photo album by Clicking Here When it opens, select the full screen option for the “best” viewing experience.

COMMENT

The budget crisis has set the stage for an unfortunate but inevitable change in Lucchesi

As the stagnation continues, I suspect odors may start wafting off the now dead waters. In a few more months the algae build-up may reach the point where visitors can walk on water.

On a more serious note…

  • Will the pond become a public health hazard? 
  • Is the pond already a public health hazard? 

We are going to have to come to terms with what to do about the pond.  If there is no money to run the fountains and to maintain the pond, then I am afraid it is time to do what some have wanted for a long time—drain it.

Doing nothing is no longer an option…

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For an update on the status of the fountains, Click Here.

Coralling & Hobbling Shopping Carts Part II

In April, Safeway implemented the Carttronics cart control system. Basically, it is an electronic control system which prevents the easy removal of the carts from the parking lot…

Carte Signs 001

If the cart goes beyond a certain point, the front wheel locks…

 

I have already noticed behavioral changes in some people. For example, one of Petaluma’s most prolific “Kart Kleptos” now uses a K-Mart Cart or a Staples Cart when shopping at Safeway…or any other store for that matter.

A more practical solution frequently employed by determined Safeway “cartnappers” is to simply transfer their groceries to the cart of another store (currently Staples is the number one choice, with K-Mart and Longs as close runners-up) and take off.

Of course this means the other stores are probably wondering where all their carts are going.

Raley’s in Petaluma recently opened a new store with an electronics cart control system similar to the one installed by Safeway…

Carte Signs 002

Raley’s also stenciled warnings in the parking lot…

Carte Street Sign

The systems installed by Raley’s and Safeway have drastically reduced the number of abandoned shopping carts in our environment…Reducing scenes such as these…

A resounding thanks to both stores!

Coralling & Hobbling Shopping Carts Part I

Foreword

This article was originally published on November 27, 2007 on Petaluma 360 as Petaluma A La Carte (The Shopping Cart Depository Blues). The original article was lost in the migration by Petaluma 360 to a new platform.

The text of the article is available as a pdf download by CLICKING ON>> PETSHOPCART