Praises Mike Lawler for his Support
I am writing on behalf of the Arroyo Verdugo Trail Committee (AVTC) to thank Mike Lawler for his article dated Jan. 15 [Viewpoints, “Soon to Come – the Arroyo Verdugo Bike Path”]. His support for the idea of a pedestrian/bike trail along the Verdugo Wash is very much appreciated.
AVTC is an ad hoc community group formed to promote conducting a feasibility study of such a trail along the wash from CV Park to the L.A. River and Griffith Park. Our efforts focus on outreach, providing information and requesting support for the study. We have met with numerous homeowner and community groups, as well as Glendale Community College and numerous agencies and public officials including, as Mike indicated, Supervisor Antonovich. We have received overwhelming support for the study. At the same time, a few individuals have voiced their opposition to its being conducted.
As the City of Glendale moves forward with the study, the process will include numerous community meetings where participants will have an opportunity to voice their preferences, questions and concerns. We hope all stakeholders will choose to become involved in the process to ensure the project will benefit our entire region.
For more information on how to get involved, please contact us at AVTC2014@gmail.com.
More Kudos for Lawler
I was thrilled to read Mike Lawler’s article about the Verdugo Bike Path [Viewpoints, “Soon to Come – the Arroyo Verdugo Bike Path,” Jan. 15]. I’m an avid cyclist, but I ride mostly in the mountains because riding on the streets is simply too dangerous for me. I would love to be able to ride my bike to work in Glendale, but the few times I have done so I realized that I will not live very long if I do it regularly.
I have always been frustrated that the entire road system and vehicle codes were designed solely for the benefit of motorists and automobiles, while cyclists are always an afterthought. I feel that cyclists should have their own freeways where they can move freely and efficiently without constantly stopping, since cyclists need to use human power to accelerate their vehicles after every stop.
Since Mike’s article was published, I have begun getting emails from people in our neighborhood watch group opposing this idea. They are claiming it will increase traffic in Whiting Woods. This is absurd! Every time I ride my bike through Whiting Woods to the trailhead, I see many people who drive into Whiting Woods to ride or hike. I suspect most of these people would ride or walk from their homes if they could get to Whiting Woods via a nice bike path.
I feel that one of the reasons our culture has such a problem with obesity and heart disease is that we have built an automobile infrastructure that discourages us from walking or riding bikes by making it inconvenient, dangerous and far less enjoyable than it should be to do so. For most people exercise is a time consuming chore. Making a dedicated bike path that passes through beautiful areas and connects several parks and the trails in the Verdugo Mountains with the surrounding community would be a huge improvement in the lives of everyone in the area. It would encourage people to use the bicycles to combine recreation, exercise and social interaction with their transportation needs. It would reduce automobile traffic, pollution, noise and danger.
Asks Lawler to Reconsider
In Mike Lawler’s article [Viewpoints, “Soon to Come – the Arroyo Verdugo Bike Path,” Jan. 15], he not only sounds ‘pro’ on the idea of this public bike path that will run through the front yards of many of us in Whiting Woods, but he expounds glowingly of its attributes! Many of us are aghast that something so disruptive to our quality of life, especially those who live on El Lado Drive, is even being considered. Just the noise of strangers passing through our quiet neighborhood, let alone lights, increased vulnerability to crime, cars illegally parking on our narrow streets to access the path, is enough to upset anyone.
I am a Glendale and Verdugo foothills native of 65 years, 36 of which I have enjoyed living here in this quiet enclave of Whiting Woods, with its dead-end streets, wildlife-filled backyards, and green space enjoyed by all who live here. This intrusion into our neighborhood will change its ambiance not to mention depreciating the property values especially of those residents in closer proximity to this project.
I believe this project, whose construction would also be a nightmare to live through – can you imagine trucks, tractors, jackhammers all trying to share the single ingress and egress at Whiting Woods Road and El Lado Drive? – to still be in the feasibility study period. Please, Mike, give this more thought before writing more glowing articles taking a positive stance on this proposed bike path and its currently planned itinerary through our front yards.
Over the years, you and I have worked on various community projects that we both backed or fought. I hope we do not land on opposite sides of this neighborhood issue because that is what it is to many Whiting Woods residents – a lifestyle change that would make many of us reconsider living here, staring at and listening to voices and yelling in our front yards, dogs barking, increased burglaries and other criminal activity, debris. . .
While I can imagine this bike path, as your article suggests I do, it is no Treasure of the Valley to those whose homes it will be adjacent to.
Thank you Mike, for all of your great writing and work with the CV Historical Society. I appreciate and enjoy it and you. Please reconsider your position on the bike path or at least its suggested route through our neighborhood, and I request that Supervisor Mike Antonovich do the same.
Homework sucks. Our kids go to school every day for six hours to learn and do class work then get sent home with more work to do. How many adults reading this like going to work for eight hours a day, then go home and spend more time working (for free)? And the irony is not lost on me that teachers get time off every week plus in-service days to plan and grade paperwork. The teachers get student-free time to do the work they used to do at home, yet our kids get more and more work to do at home each day.
In my child’s grade the suggested amount of time that should be spent on homework is 10-30 minutes. In that time frame 20 sentences need to be written from that week’s spelling words, [plus there are] math problems and memorizing multiplication facts. It always takes more than 30 minutes, and let’s not forget the 20 minutes of reading every day in addition to the homework.
I know that homework is supposed to be a way to involve parents in their child’s education, but it’s too much. That leaves little time to enjoy being a parent. Kids have just as much to learn from real life experiences as they do by having their noses stuck in a book. Just plain old playing with them is important; children learn from that, too. I’m tired of having an almost year-round school and not having time to have fun with my kid. International studies show that homework (especially in grade school) does not help kids learn more. It stresses them out – and [their] parents.
Another Reason for Council Districts
[The message of] City Manager [Scott] Ochoa was nothing more than giving accolades to his five bosses, the council members [Viewpoints, News from the City, Jan. 8]. They sign his paycheck and he is not accountable to the voters. This is another reason for council districts because it could require the city manager to report to an elected mayor.
The status of the city, according to Mr. Ochoa, is open to interpretation; as former President Clinton said, it depends on “what is, is.”
In my opinion, we will have more downtown congestion, more traffic grid-lock at Pacific, Central, Brand and Glendale Avenue at the 134 freeway according to a Caltrans study, more parking variances because of off-street parking permits, more dirty parks, more crumbling roads, more broken sewer lines, more lawsuits against the city (i.e., Glendale Coalition For Better Government and IBEW for the illegal transferring of millions of dollars from GWP into the pockets of our public employee unions), more bond debt, extensive usage by developers of the city’s only landfill, etc.
At council on Dec. 16, our City Finance director, reviewing the city’s annual CAFRA report, made a startling statement that there was $1.5 billion of unfunded pension obligations. Nevertheless, council members approved giving city employees over $1 million in Christmas bonuses for a job well done, to pick up the slack of city employees who received “golden parachutes” for retiring prior to the age of 50 or 55. Mr. Ochoa failed to mention, [that] had city employees been on Social Security and a 401K plan, no city employees would have had to be laid off.
The other night at council, City Manager Mr. Ochoa said in reference to the $1.5 billion liability debt, “There are considerable assets to balance out that debt… I believe it’s nearly $900 million in assets to off-set that debt.” (Wonder what private company has Mr. Ochoa ever run.)
As the city manager, it would have been more truthful to tell the public that we are financially upside down!
There’s Mr. Ochoa’s evaluation of the city vs. the actual facts.