I’m starting a new category — Businesses that need to WAKE UP!

I’m just appalled by how some of the stores and businesses are being run in Altadena. The first on the list is the filthy pit called the am/pm Arco station on Lake at New York. I’ve gone in to complain about the filth and it’s not being addressed. There was a time when proprietors of “service stations” were proud of their business, and displayed their name in a prominent location for the community to see and know.

That is not the case at am/pm. Does anyone know who owns this station? I’m going to check it out, but if you know, I’d appreciate it. The grounds are covered in spilled gasoline and other schmutz, the station signs, pay stations, and gas pumps are dirty, dented and show no signs of being cared for in any way. I can’t stand to even touch the handles on the gas hoses. How hard is it to rent a steam cleaner once a month and give the place a bath? It’s disgusting and a blight on Altadena. What can be done to instill some pride in these “operators?” I will not be spending my money here until something is done.

Second on the list is the Ralph’s on North Lake. Why on earth has that store been allowed to deteriorate into the blight that it is? This neighborhood deserves better. In fact, why don’t we have a Trader Joe’s? Or an upscale Fresh Fair Ralphs instead of this remnant of the mid-20th century? The parking lot, like the one at the Rite-Aid on Altadena Drive, is a huge black, heat generating ugly blight. Why does Ralphs allow their image to be tainted this way? I’ve asked the staff when it’s going to be redone and they said never. The changing “marketplace” demands quality, cleanliness, variety and innovation with services. There’s a Food4Less down the street, so why do we have to put up with a crappy, neglected Ralph’s? Who’s going to this store? It’s Vons on Allen, Whole Foods, TJ’s or La Canada for me. Even the new Ranch Market on Lincoln is waaaaay up the ladder from this Ralphs. I know the strike a couple of years ago hurt the markets, but they have to have some respect for their customers. And customers should be demanding a better environment.

Appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on how to force some changes here!