Homework Rant
Homework sucks. Our kids go to school every day for six hours to learn and do classwork, then get sent home with more work to do. How many adults reading this like going to work for eight hours a day, then going home to 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.
Brandi Nalley
La Crescenta

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 Avenues 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, 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.
Mike Mohill

Sports for San Fernando
[I am a] proud citizen of the San Fernando Valley. I’m writing about the need for the San Fernando Valley to have a sports stadium of its own and teams to play in it. The San Fernando Valley area receives a disproportionately small amount of financing and services compared to the City of Los Angeles. However, if the San Fernando Valley had a stadium and teams of its own, it would not only be a significant source of revenue and recognition to the Valley, but it would be a profitable and well received venture for the parties involved in bringing the stadium and teams here.

To illustrate, if the San Fernando Valley were to become its own city, it would be the seventh largest city in the nation based on population. However, even with these numbers, many citizens can’t find the time or transportation to get to the heart of Los Angeles for sporting events. Yet, if a stadium were to be built in the valley, and the teams played there, it would have the audience and location needed to make it a successful investment for those involved, in addition to being of financial benefit to the area.

I am currently contacting individuals and groups who might find this idea interesting and may want to look further into it, or those who might have information or suggestions for this idea to move forward. Anyone interested can contact me at nolanblakela@gmail.com.
Nolan Blake

Glendale Beautiful
Thanks for the entertaining and informative column by Mike Lawler on Tomas Sanchez, ninth sheriff of L.A. County (Viewpoints, “Glendale’s Tomas Sanchez,” Jan. 29). It was especially interesting to me because I have recently become involved with the organization Glendale Beautiful, which assists the city of Glendale by providing docents at the Casa Adobe de San Rafael.

The Casa at 1330 Dorothy Dr., Glendale is open for tours and self-guided visits on the first Sunday of each month from September through June, and every Sunday during July and August, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. See the Community Services and Parks Dept. website under GlendaleCA.gov for more information.

Glendale Beautiful grew in part out of the group of brave and visionary Casa Adobe neighbors (mostly women) who stopped the bulldozers in 1930 from flattening the historic home and beautiful trees of what is now a lovely city of Glendale park.

In addition to the Casa, we promote beautification of our entire Glendale community. Our current project is the 60th annual Arbor Day celebration on March 3 honoring those who contribute to the purchase of trees for available city parks and library areas.

We are actively recruiting new members to participate in Glendale Beautiful projects. Contact me at (818) 248-8151 or by email at rmedford@ucla.edu about membership and Arbor Day tree donations.
Roberta Medford

Letter to the ‘Champions’
Congratulations, CV Falcon CIF champions, on your season of wonder. Your Falcon alumni are still cheering you all. We have been following your conquering exploits in the CV Weekly; sports writer Bandon Hensley kept us all informed. Indeed, Brandon’s play-by-play often placed us on the field with you.

As a former CV Falcon player, member of CV inaugural Hall of Fame class, a single wing tailback for the Falcons in their first football seasons, 1960-63, I am sooo proud to see the epic undefeated 14-0 Falcon season; you have kept the fighting Falcon spirit alive and thriving always.

You all should know that these HS accomplishments, if well done and energetically pursued, while maximizing your God-given gifts, will last a lifetime, will never be forgotten. Through thick and thin, agony and ecstasy, the Falcon experience in our little Crescenta Valley lives on. Indeed, our first varsity football win in 1961 over Hoover (check the plaque on your CV vs. Hoover helmet trophy) while we were all juniors in the new Crescenta Valley High, remains one of my proudest, most energizing moments in a lifetime of rising to challenges.

Playing with USC on a national championship team, two Rose Bowls, NFC championship and a Super Bowl have not diminished my lifelong appreciation [and] strength derived from those first big steps as a Falcon accomplishing something significant. I know you play for school, family, God and other good reasons, but the innocence of rising to the challenge in your early athletic and academic adventures builds character and  perseverance for the long run.
Keep fighting on always.
Mike Hull
CV Falcons, #14, ’60-’63