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By Anna Daniels
My mother loved the horses. She grudgingly attended sulky races at The Meadows race track in western Pennsylvania, but it was flat racing that captivated her heart. She and my father would argue for days about the line up for the Kentucky Derby and lay bets with the local bookie; only the stupid or insane would dare to carry on a conversation anywhere close to the television set during the broadcast of this event.
Mom was also a devoted albeit quirky gardener–confident in her abilities to grow abundant vegetables and flowers and contemptuous of those who over-think the process. “Grow where you are planted” was delivered as an edict, not cajolery. Her gardening philosophy mirrored in many ways her philosophy on child rearing.
My younger sister and I were sitting in Mom’s kitchen a few decades ago discussing gardening. We had both thrown ourselves completely into turning our yards into beds for flowers, bushes and trees. We were comparing notes on the use of root toner when transplanting and whether to use fungicides on dahlia tubers. Seed catalogs passed between us for close review.
Mom stood at the table listening. “You two sure have more money than brains,” she pronounced. This was one of her favorite all-purpose phrases. “Do you know what I do? On Derby Day I go down into the basement and bring up the seeds I saved from last year and I throw them out into the beds. That’s it. What’s wrong with my gardens?”
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Community Power Affecting Budget Decisions that Impact Our Neighborhoods
by Anna Daniels
It is highly unusual for a group of strangers to smile broadly at each other and enthusiastically confess that the workshop they had just attended on how to read the City’s Capital Improvement Budget had been really interesting and very worthwhile. That is exactly what happened a few weeks ago when I got into the elevator with a group of people with whom I had just attended the Community Budget Alliance‘s hands on budget workshop held in City Heights.
It’s budget season! The total City Of San Diego budget is a whopping 2.7 billion dollars, with 1.1 billion dollars allocated to the General Fund, which is where the rubber meets the road in providing core services to residents- police and fire, libraries and recreation. Another 363 million dollars is allocated to the Capital Improvement Program.
This is the annual budget exercise to determine how well our need for safe, sustainable and livable neighborhoods will be met. Mayor Filner has made neighborhood services a top priority, which includes the revitalization of our neighborhood infrastructure. As residents, we should do much more than wait and see what happens– we should be informed and involved.