Setting the Letter Straight
I am writing this as an addendum to my last letter [Oct. 31, 2013] because I feel like I unfairly stereotyped artists and implied that they are less deserving of affordable housing. There are creative types who need affordable housing, and they deserve access to it. But affordable housing should be for everyone who needs it, not just those who will raise property values, which is what “affordable housing for artists” projects tend to be about.
Violation Not Found
Michael D. Antonovich (supervisor, L.A. county) complained of a Veterans Administration policy requiring hospitals to refuse cards from schoolchildren that say Merry Christmas or God bless you (Letters to the Editor, “Admonishes Administration,” Jan. 2). I was curious and when I inquired via the VA website, received this in response:
“VA’s Chaplaincy Services reviews all holiday cards to, ‘ensure that religion is not imposed on any patient either overtly or subtly. In the event they do, chaplains distribute them by asking patients on an individual basis if they will accept a holiday card with religious references.’”
So their policy isn’t what Mr. Antonovich claims nor does it violate anyone’s freedom of speech or religion. In fact, it would appear that they go to some lengths to honor individual religious preferences.
Error in ’34 Flood Article
Jason Kurosu’s piece on the flood of 1934 (“Remembering the Flood,” Dec. 26) correctly focused on the challenges of fires and floods that have imperiled the residents of the Crescenta Valley since the arrival of the first settlers in the late 19th century.
The inevitable mountain fires that pose a danger to life and property also exacerbate the possibility of severe slope flooding capable of activating massive debris flows during winter rainstorms. Thankfully, we now have in place huge debris basins to capture the boulders, rocks, soil, and vegetation, while miles of flood channels carry the excessive water to the Verdugo Wash, and thence to the Pacific Ocean via the Los Angeles River.
We can thank the Army Corps of Engineers and the Los Angeles County Flood Control for the building of this protective infrastructure in the wake of the 1934 disaster.
However, the article makes reference to the voters’ rejection of the bond measure of 1926 … “which would have strengthened the San Gabriel Dam, possibly preventing the flood on 1934.” The truth is that the completion of the San Gabriel Dam would have provided no protection for the Crescenta Valley because the San Gabriel Canyon drains an entirely different area which is 10 or 15 miles to our east! This said, the passage of the 1926 referendum would have [provided] for the vitally needed funds to build debris basins and flood channels in our valley well before the great flood of 1934.
Asks for Reopening Access to Cross Town Trail
Much to the dismay of many local residents, the access point to the Cross Town Trail at the west end of Flanders Road [in La Cañada] was recently closed by the L.A. County Parks and Recreation Dept. We were delighted the La Cañada Flintridge Parks and Recreation Commission recently voted to take all necessary steps to get the Flanders Road access point reopened.
People using the entrance include children and parents walking to and from school, local residents taking walks, local residents walking their dogs, children playing in the open space, hikers and bike riders. Many people have been using this entrance every day for many years for play, health and pleasure.
We live at the end of Flanders Road right next to the Flanders access gate and the Edison Line easement. For many years we have thoroughly enjoyed watching all the people who have used the gate to access the Cross Town Trail. Everyone using the entrance has been respectful of our property, and the occasional cars parked in front of our house do not cause any problem for us.
Some people may have noticed that L.A. County Parks and Recreation also installed a chain link fence along the west side of our front yard. We were not asked or consulted, but the county did have the right to install the fence. The county workers and supervisors have been very pleasant and considerate, and we appreciate the good job they are doing removing the dead oleander next to our property.
We sincerely hope the Flanders access point to the Cross Town Trail in front of our house will be reopened.
Melinda Thompson and Bill Scherkey
The Horrors of Jim Chase Obamacare
As one of the (very) few people who have actually read the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, let me clarify some of Jim’s misconceptions [Viewpoints, “My Thoughts Exactly,” Jan. 9]. It was written by Congress … not by Obama in a mosque in Kenya. They actually did a pretty good job considering last year they set a record as the poorest Congress in history.
Jim stated (re: Obamacare) [that] “legislation protects no one.” Well, it offers health insurance to all Americans – including 40 million who could not get it before, extends Medicare solvency to 2026 (was 2014), provides Medicaid to the very poor with the federal government paying the states 100% for three years and 90% thereafter, forbids insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, removes the $1 million lifetime cap, no longer allows insurance companies to drop you for actually using your insurance – and I could go on.
Jim stated “nor does it provide any improvements to care (quite the opposite).” Obamacare now provides a free yearly preventative physical exam, free cancer screenings, closes the Medicare drug “donut hole,” pays doctors for results – not just the number of tests they order – allows children to remain on their parent’s policy to age 26, provides subsidized insurance to the working poor limiting their out-of-pocket costs (making it “Affordable”). And I could go on.
“If you like your doctor [health insurance plan], you can keep them. Period. Not hardly.” Actually, my insurance policy was cancelled Dec 31, 2013 because it did not meet the minimum standards required under Obamacare. I opened a new plan at www.coveredca.com. I discovered the insurance company had renewed my “cancelled” plan. They then told me they could only cancel that old plan if I asked them to. My new plan is a PPO and accepts the same doctors my old plan did.
I know the shrieking bobble-heads at FOX News, Rush Limberger (Mr. Oxycodone), the blathering gasbags on talk radio, and the Koch-Brothers- supported-Tea-Bagger-Party do their best to frighten and terrify the public. It is so sad that many Americans have lost common sense, the ability to reason and logic.
Jim, turn off your radio and TV and read the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, then you will see that it actually does do that. Obamacare also requires congressmen to buy health insurance on the exchange.
Jerry Van Orden
Float Delivers Important Message
I want to thank Michael Arvizu for writing the article about [the Glendale] float “Let’s Be Neighbors” [“Celebrating ‘Let’s Be Neighbors,’ Jan. 9]. I also want to thank the CV Weekly for publishing the article.
The message of the float is an important one. We must learn how to co-exist with our native wildlife. It was an honor and a privilege to ride on the float and be a part of the Rose Parade!
I would also like your readers to know about the Wildlife Waystation Ranger Program. This program is for students from ages 5 to 14. At every monthly meeting, an animal is brought from the Waystation to Ranger Park. The children learn about the animal’s origin, habitat, food and care. They also learn how to co-exist with wild animals.
The students also do research reports on wild and exotic animals. This helps them to improve their writing and research skills and share information with new friends. After doing a report, the children receive a Wildlife Waystation photo pin to put on their safari hats. They also receive a Ranger T-shirt when they join the program.
The children are able to enrich the lives of the animals at the Waystation by making appropriate treats for them. They also do craft projects and games. Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops often attend our meetings. This helps them to earn badges.
Meetings are held on the fourth Saturday of the month (usually) from 10 a.m. to noon. The location is Ranger Park at 11301 Clybourn Ave., Lake View Terrace – two blocks east of Osborne Street. This location is easily accessed from the 210 Freeway making it convenient for children who live in Glendale and the foothills areas. More information can be obtained by going to the Wildlife Waystation website.
I have been honored to have been a part of this program for the last two years. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to share this information with your readers.