Around Town: Waiting for the plastic bag hearing

May 16, 2013|By Anita S. Brenner

It was a normal night in the 91011.The east La Cañada parking lots were full.

The Flintridge Proper waiters served flutes of champagne mixed with gin and flowers.

At Taylors, bartenders quietly cranked out gin and tonics while servers carried baskets of crusty sourdough bread. The Sakura sushi chefs were busy with nigiri, maki and sake. Min’s filled order after order of pad Thai.

While the customers at Min’s waited, they leafed through stacks of local papers.

For example, the Valley Sun.

The Valley Sun, which was strangely full of letters to the editor. We were in the midst of The Great Plastic Shopping Bag Controversy. The efficacy of an ordinance banning plastic shopping bags, under which customers could pay 10 cents for a paper bag and evil plastic bags would be banned, filled the pages of the Valley Sun.


It’s not a new idea. La Cañadans could use their Trader Joe’s bags for absolutely everything. Fruits. Vegetables. Clothing.

Many cities ban single-use plastic bags for environmental reasons. Pasadena does it. San Francisco does it. Los Angeles does it. West Hollywood does it.

That night, I searched our city’s website for the date of the City Council hearing on the proposed ordinance banning single-use plastic bags.

“This will be an interesting hearing,” I said. I was speaking to our dog, a black rescue dog from the Pasadena Humane Society. Her name is Miss Audrey Hepburn.

Miss Hepburn nodded her agreement while munching on a pita and humus sandwich on a biodegradable plate from Whole Foods. “Hey, stop that!” I ordered. “Dogs don’t eat Middle Eastern food!”

As to my search, I was out of luck. The City Council hearing date was not available online.

I turned to Google. I found nothing.

I tried Bing. Nada.

I tried Yahoo! There was zilch.

When was the hearing? How could I find the date? I decided to ask my editor. I cranked up the iPhone and texted Carol Cormaci: When's the plastic bag city council hearing?

I was stunned by her reply: NEVER. The council refused to put it on an upcoming agenda.

What? No plastic bag hearing? How could this be? Daniel Webster must be turning in his grave, along with John Adams.

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