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Beachcomber: Cleaning Up Downtown Monterey Park

  • By David Barron
BeachcomberAt a recent Chamber of commerce meeting, Monterey Park City Manager Paul Talbot complained about the conditions along some of the business sections in the city. He also mentioned some of the homes that are not kept-up.
I walk or drive into my office in downtown Monterey Park without paying much attention to my surroundings. That’s because I have grown used to the environment.
So, the other day, I thought I would walk slowly and take a closer look. I took my camera along to record some of the conditions.
Boy was there a surprise in store for me.
There are some business people who faithfully sweep their sidewalks and wash their windows. However, it appears that they are in the minority.
Cigarette butts are everywhere, in  the gutter, doorways and planters and tree wells.
There are some downtown buildings with faded flaking paint and torn awnings.
On some days, city trashcans are spilling over.
The other day, I saw a workman cleaning up the metal wall and coverings at Mamma L’s Noodle shop and Martin Florists. After the two-day job was finished, it looked very nice.
I think part of the solution is honoring those businesses that do a good job of keeping their storefronts (and the back trash bin areas) nice and clean.
Green metal trashcans were installed a few years ago but now they area necessary nuisance.  You have to have someplace to dump your paper trash. However, I think some shop owners use them to throw their trash away. That’s not the way it is supposed to be.
One local business owner suggested we get rid of all the trash bins and require people to take their trash home. So, if you were having a boba drink you would take the empty cup home.
If you threw the cup on the street, you would then face a heavy fine.  Enforcement of that law is a separate issue. Remember the golden rule, “don’t have a law you can’t enforce.”
On a positive note, there are some plans for the city to become “partners” and help building owners repaint their structures, using new attractive colors. Flower planters and more street “furniture” are planned, similar to what you see in Alhambra. I am afraid the flowerpots will just become giant ashtrays and will be full of cigarette buts.
Next column I’ll talk about trashy residential locations. I am giving you advance warning, If you don’t want your picture in this newspaper, cut your grass, water it and pick up the trash.
I f you want to report your neighbor for a maintenance problem, e-mail me a note to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . I’ll forward your complaint to the city manager.

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