Last Tuesday was the long-awaited and anticipated S-T Rotary Club 4th of July parade. Like previous years, the call went out for clubs, organizations and individuals to participate. It’s a fun walk or ride or skate or-or-or…… it was something for everyone.
But this year was different. There was absolutely no advertising in any media EXCEPT for The Foothills Paper. For months in advance, The Paper worked with Rotary president Sabrina Godinez on how to get the word out to the community. With many email letters back and forth, it was acknowledged that The Paper would be in the parade, near the middle. In fact, Sabrina’s last email stated “Just show up Monday and I’ll sign you in!”
Well, when Tuesday came around, The Paper went to the sign-in table only to find Legion Auxiliary member Joan Slater being told that the Veterans float was not going to be signed in. “You mean that I got up early to be here at 7:30 AM and you’re not going to let me sign them in?” demanded Joan, only to be referred to the new Rotary president Roger Klemm.
The Paper was next in line – SURPRISE! The Paper was told “You can’t be in the parade this year because we have had issues with you and The Paper!” That’s when things started to get interesting. Doc who is the editor and publisher of The Paper stated “I have an email from Sabrina saying that I’m supposed to be in it.” Klemm smirked and said “She’s not here and my valued volunteers don’t want you in the parade!” Hummmm, that meant that the rumors that Jean Traubner had made a generous donation to keep The Paper out of the parade could be true. This is the same Traubner that bribed Dana Stangel with a $2,500 “donation” to keep The Paper out of the Summerfest. A Facebook posting by Traubner also stated “There is no way in hell that Doc will be in this parade!”
And the game went on. Moving from a discussion to a confrontation, Doc stood his ground and stated that he had written proof that he was allowed in the parade and that if it didn’t happen, that would be a violation of his civil rights. Klemm immediately took on the stature of a catatonic schizophrenic which is a defense mechanism of lower grade Scientologists. Klemm’s eyes glazed over and he stared out into the distance until Doc clapped his hands and said “You can relax now!”
Doc was allowed to participate in the parade, but was given the almost last position in the parade, #60. Which if you turn it over, read as 09. LOL. And the parade lineup began.
As the parade went down Foothill Blvd., past Rotary president Michael Lucas challenged The Paper’s entry, but Doc used the “Martian Mind Meld” on him and he staggered down Foothill Blvd. Art Miner, owner of the Crow’s Nest, wasn’t as fortunate. Lucas finally realizing that he had been duped, yelled at Miner that he “Was Banned” from the parade and had his “volunteers” Kurt Koesler and Mike Lucas to block the Crow’s Nest entry with their golf carts.
No Scientology games for him. Shrugging his massive hairy shoulders, Miner drove his float off Foothill Blvd., down Woodward and back onto Foothill at a lower opening. This debacle slowed down the already slow parade by 20 minutes. There was no marching band. There were no children parading in 4th of July costumes, no family groups strutting the strut and there was no patriotic music. In short, it was so sanitized that even a trash truck was an entry.
This poorly attended 4th of July Parade was the worst ever in the history of Sunland-Tujunga. There were less than 60 entries and maybe 1,000 viewers. But, it did have a whole pot-load of dignitaries surrounded by police officers and police cadets so that they wouldn’t be in danger of getting squirted by water guns. They were oblivious to the Rotary Club shenanigans.
The Rover-mobile having been in the parades before was “loaded for bear.” Anyone that came close the rig with a water balloon or water canon in hand was doused by an array of 2.5 gallon high pressure fire extinguishers. And everybody had a great time.
The S-T Rotary Club used to be the most elite service organization in the Foothills, but as members got disenchanted and either moved away or just plain quit, they kept lowering their standards until the Sunland-Tujunga Rotary Club only represented the select, impoverished few. Not even able to maintain the required membership that Rotary International demands, they have to fill a meeting room with their friends to impress the “District Governor” that they had enough members to continue their charter. That will end soon as complaints are being filed by disenchanted community members.
Rotary volunteer Kurt Koesler threatened Honorary Mayor candidate John Clausen with “I’m going to get a gun and shoot you!” At another incident, community activist Bonnie Corwin was “Thrown the Bone” by Koesler in front of about 15 young kids. Not a good representation for our elite community service club. The S-T 4TH of July Parade is dead and the Rotary Club killed it. Sabrina Godinez did not return our calls or emails. She had left town.