May 28, 2013

South Marengo Ave: Turning 'Meh' to 'Nice'

South Marengo Ave and E. Glenarm St.
Something bothers me everytime I drive down (or up) Marengo Ave. between Glenarm and California (and maybe even beyond California, say up to Del Mar).  I mean, it's a nice street: tree-lined, wide, view of the mountains on a clear day, well-kept apartments and townhouses all along and a nice alternative to Arroyo without it being too busy.  Then it hit me.  The center median/turn lanes is making this stretch pretty ho-hum.  Let's imagine a pretty esplanade with green shrubery and maybe some jacarandas (There are already palms on Arroyo, so no need to duplicate it here).  We could make it where the esplanade would stagger and enough spacing still maintained to allow ample room for left turns even with two or three cars in a row.  Hmm, I'm liking the idea already...

May 16, 2013

Food Waste = Green Energy

Kroger Co.'s clean-energy production facility in Compton converts food that can't be sold or donated into energy.
Photo: LA Times

Food waste...while I won't dwell on how we tend to waste food within individual households, let's talk about what happens to all the perishable food that doesn't sell in grocery stores.  A subject that has always hit a sore spot with many was profiled with many positives today in an article in the Los Angeles Times, which reported on a large system that turns food that's unable to be sold or donated into organic sludge which in turn converts the methane that's produced into energy.

The facility profiled in the article is located in Kroger's distribution facility in Compton and handles their subsidiaries' food waste (includes Ralph's and Food 4 Less).  What would happen if you had a municipality like Pasadena adopt a facility like this?  Would it be more feasible if you had one large "anaerobic digester system", which is shared among all the grocery stores in Pasadena?  Would there be large opposition, or a NIMBY attitude, to a facility like this even though it emits no odors or pollution?  Can stores and even the city both profit from an operation like this (lower energy costs, transportation cost elimination, etc.) in order to make it truly sustainable?  Can the citizens of Pasadena and others like restaurants, farmers markets and others participate in order to increase capacity and power output and share in the benefits?   I've mentioned before that Pasadena is unique in which we generate our own power and not reliant on inefficient and bureaucratic providers such as Edison and DWP.  Why wouldn't this be an ideal extension of PWP's facilities?