I found the basic recipe for this rice and peppers dish on a recipe site, and tried it. I thought it could use some tweaking, and so here is the result. I really like this as a flavorful side dish, but it holds its own as a light meal too. This one is vegan without needing any modifications.
You will notice a new page in this blog called “Spring Has Sprung.” I’m sorry about the cliché, but I just couldn’t resist after wandering around the yard this morning with my camera. Click on the page for some really beautiful flowers and marvel at nature. Click here to the page….
I got an interesting call for help this last week that turned out to be very educational and a little humbling. A friend of mine called with what sounded like a simple electrical problem on a 1951 (yes, older than I am) Chevrolet Pickup truck. He said that he had installed a retro-fit turn signal system on it, complete with a nice chromed turn signal switch that mounts to the steering column with a stainless steel hose clamp, and replacement sockets for the lights on all four corners of the car to accommodate the new 1157 double filament bulbs .
So far it sounded simple and straight forward. Further, he said the system utilizes a typical “old school” 3 terminal flasher, which was wired in series with the battery and the “new” turn signal switch. He described the problem in a few simple words; “If you run the turn signals with the engine off, they work perfectly. But, as soon as you start the engine, they stop blinking, and stay on continuously.”
Well, I have diagnosed and fixed electrical problems in Cadillacs and Corvettes with a dozen computers in them, and built wiring harnesses from scratch for burn jobs, so I really figured, “How hard could it be to fix a simple 3 wire flasher circuit on a ’51 Chevy?” That’s when the fight started. Continue reading “Schooled by a Flasher”
I just updated this post with the details of the new Radio-Controlled remote that I added to this shed lighting project at the end of the post.
A long while ago, I had a shed built to house the usual collection of gardening tools, mower, and general yard and pool “stuff.” It sits about 30 or 40 feet from my electrical box, and a local electrician quoted me $1000 to run power out to it so I could have light in there at night. I solved the problem a different way, and for WAY less money. Continue reading “I Was So Bright, They Called Me Sonny”
Because some of you have asked for more food, here’s another recipe that not only satisfies on a number of levels, but this big batch almost assures some leftovers that get even better when allowed to rest for a day or two. The Germans call that “Ziehen,” which translates to “draw,” as in drawing the flavor out of the ingredients. Also, it gets you to hunt for a fabulous spice blend, common in Morocco, that you will use again and again once you taste what it can do for a dish. So, continue reading for the recipe, and a bunch of additional information. Continue reading “Hearty Dinner With a Bonus”
For my first cooking post, I’m going a little out on a limb, considering the main ingredient. You see, it’s a food that doesn’t have a very favorable reputation among average diners. Most people I have talked to about it said that they were put off by the smell, and because of that, never tasted it. Well, this recipe mellows both the smell and the taste, elevating it to new heights on the palate.
Click the link in the full article below for the full recipe. Continue reading “OK, Let’s Make Lunch”
There is , to me, a certain satisfaction in making old things work like new again. Although I know a few people who have performed near miracles restoring old cars, that has proven to be way out of my league. But nearly anyone with patience, a little time, and a strong interest can relive a little of the past by restoring or refurbishing some of their old favorite bicycles from their past. Since I started my mechanical career working in a bicycle store, I decided to resurrect a few of the old Schwinns that had been in storage for many years.
This is sort of an introductory article about my Schwinn hobby, but since it was published, so many more interesting bikes and I have crossed paths. Hence, I have devoted an entire page to bicycles and their refurbishment and restoration. If you are interested in more depth, just click HERE!
The long awaited vote on the re-write of City Zoning Code Section 31.04 was conducted at the October 11th, 2022 Planning & Zoning Commission hearing.
The Commissioners held a lively debate, solicited citizen input once again, and then voted 5 to 1 in favor of adopting the strictest language of the three options presented by staff by endorsing “Option 1”, which was also the Staff recommendation since the September meeting.Continue reading “P&Z Votes to Tighten RV Storage Rules in a 5 to 1 vote!”
The Commission discussed the matter and numerous questions were asked and discussed. Public comment was solicited, and I used my turn to offer the following perspective;Continue reading “Here’s What Happened at September’s P&Z Meeting”
The city finally placed the code re-write debate and possible recommendation to Council on the agenda for the Planning & Zoning Commission on September 13th, 2022, at Litchfield Public Library at 7:00pm.
Due to some questions regarding the meaning of the word “partially” in Option 3, the Commission voted to continue the discussion at their next meeting to allow staff to more clearly define that option. It has always been my understanding that “partially screened” meant that the six-foot height of an adjacent screening wall or an equal height of dense vegetation would be sufficient to comply with the revised Code.
None -the-less, it was encouraging to see that in the announcement on the agenda, that the City Staff recommended to chose “Option 1”. Here is the text of the agenda item;
ZONING CODE SECTION 31.04 “SCREENING OF NON-PRINCIPAL USES”
Staff recommendation at this time is to support option 1, strengthening the code language to enhance the originally intended protections from parking unscreened RVs and other equipment on residential properties. This draft language is as follows:
“Such items shall be completely screened from view of BY adjacent and nearby properties and the public rights-of-way and parks by a wall or fence not to exceed six feet in height AND/or dense landscaping, TO ENSURE THE EQUIPMENT IS COMPLETELY SCREENED FROM VIEW. DENSE LANDSCAPING IS NOT SUBJECT TO HEIGHT LIMITATIONS. EQUIPMENT that IS more than six feet in height shall be set back a minimum of two feet for every foot of height from any side or rear property line FROM NATURAL GRADE.”
This is good news for us, as it follows the Code interpretation of the earlier Board of Adjustment ruling on April 7th, and retains the strict interpretation that has served the City well since our incorporation.
We can only hope that the vociferous Special Interest Group that want’s to liberalize the Zoning Code for their own financial gain is defeated in its attempt to have the Commission rule in their favor and chose option 3 – allowing unrestricted RV, trailer and large vehicle storage in rear and side yards within The Park!
On the agenda for the July 2022 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission are three (3) variations on the existing City code Section 31.04 that governs the storage of equipment (including travel trailers, RV’s, Boats, trucks, buses, etc. in side and rear yards of residential properties within the City.
The Planning & Zoning Commission agenda packet for this meeting which can be found HERE under “Past Meetings” of the P&Z Commission outlines the history of this proposal and the details of the three directions that the City wants P&Z to consider with input from the public as well as their internal debate. The section in question begins on Packet Page 12.
Below, I will reproduce some of the content and add my comments and concerns.Continue reading “Proposed Text Amendments to City Code, Introduced July 12, 2022 to P&Z.”
The Litchfield Park Planning and Zoning Commission was expected to discuss the change in the RV Parking ordinance at yesterday’s meeting, but the item was not added to the agenda.
Apparently, the issue has now grown to include ALL the parking Codes within the City and City management decided to study it in more detail before making an recommendation to P&Z.
It is expected that they will have a recommendation for the Commission by next month’s scheduled meeting on July 12th.
If you have an interest in seeing that our community does not become a storage lot for all manner of trucks, buses, motor homes, storage trailers and campers, please keep following this situation closely and read my our lead story for information on who to contact. Click HERE.
Plan to attend the next meeting via Zoom or in person to see where they are headed with this. The meetings and agendas are posted 24-48 hours ahead of the meetings at http://litchfieldparkaz.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx
Here is where I will list the latest headlines and links to articles regarding the City’s Planning and Zoning re-write of the RV storage ordinance as they develop. Stop by for the latest. If this is your first visit read the background article by clicking HERE!
THE VOTE IS IN!
THE CITY COUNCIL VOTED TO TIGHTEN RV STORAGE RESTRICTIONS IN OLD LITCHFIELD PARK
The Vote Was 6 to 1, But The Opinion Of the Council Was Unanimous
3/16/2023 – At last night’s City Council meeting, the final re-write of Ordinance 31.04 governing the storage of RV’s, trailers, boats, busses, and other large vehicles in side and rear yards of properties within the walls of Old Litchfield Park was scheduled for a vote.
I am thrilled to report that after two years, two months, and 14 days since the subject was first brought to the attention of City Hall, the new language of the ordinance has been ratified and voted into law. The City Council voiced their unanimous support of the new wording that tightens the Code. The new language reads as follows:
“Such items shall be completely screened from view of adjacent and nearby properties and the public rights-of-way and parks by a wall or fence not to exceed six feet in height AND/or dense landscaping, TO ENSURE THE EQUIPMENT IS COMPLETELY SCREENED FROM VIEW. DENSE LANDSCAPING IS NOT SUBJECT TO HEIGHT LIMITATIONS.“
Although the actual vote was 6 to 1, the one “nay” was the Vice Mayor, who clearly stated that his objection was that he didn’t think the wording was strict enough, effectively passing the Ordinance unanimously.
The vote concurs with the Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation and that of City Staff, all of whom worked diligently to make the new wording a reality. This will keep Litchfield Park the unique and special community that makes it a shining jewel in the West Valley.
P&Z COMMISSION VOTED 5 to 1 TO TIGHTEN RESTRICTIONS AT THEIR OCTOBER MEETING!
At the October 11th, 2022 Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting, the long-awaited vote on the re-write of Zoning Code Section 31.04 found the Commissioners in favor of tightening large vehicle and equipment storage restrictions in side and rear yards of residential properties in “Old” Litchfield Park. —–> Read more by clicking HERE!
This Text Amendment will be going to the City Council next for a final vote.
At the September meeting, the matter was tabled and continued to the October meeting for Staff to clarify some wording, but Staff is on record supporting Option 1 – Restricting the storage of RV’s and large vehicles.
Unfortunately, those of us that want to see the existing code strengthened and enforced were under-represented at the meeting where I was the only one to speak out for Option 1. See more details by clicking HERE.
The Text Amendment was on the Planning & Zoning commission Agenda – on September 13, 2022! With the City only publishing the agenda about 24 hours in advance, it was difficult to muster much support at the meeting, but I spoke in favor of Option 1 and 4 people spoke in favor of Option 3. Due to questions regarding some wording of Option 3, the topic was tabled and continued to the next meeting on October 11th.
More details are HERE.
P&Z Meeting to Introduce Proposed Code Amendments – On July 12th the Planning And Zoning Commission meets in a study session to introduce three (3) variations of the existing City Code that governs the storage of “equipment” in side and rear yards of residential properties within the City.
Since the topic has been designated a “study session” no action can or will be taken on these three (3) proposals, but rather, open the subject to the formal process of future public hearings, debate, and the construction of the final form of an ordinance by the P&Z Commission to be brought to the City Council for ratification.
If you want to see the three proposals and background along with my commentary and analysis click HERE.
P&Z NEWS – The Planning and Zoning Commission met yesterday, June 14th, 2022, but did not put the Parking Code on the agenda. Now, they expect to hear the case at their July 12th meeting. For the details about why, as I know them, click HERE!
Litchfield Park Planning & Zoning Commission Needs Your Input!
Hello neighbors! My name is Tommy, and I have lived in beautiful Litchfield Park for 30 years. In all that time we have enjoyed the unique character and beauty of The Park with its open spaces and unobstructed sight lines, protected by carefully crafted Zoning Restrictions dutifully enforced.
That may be about to change!
At the request of some residents, and following procedure, our City Council has tasked the Planning & Zoning Commission to study the wording of the portion of the City Code that deals with the storage of RV’s, Trailers, motor homes, and other large vehicles in rear and side yards of residential lots within The Park.Continue reading “Big Changes May Be Coming to Our Litchfield Park Neighborhood”