Not happy with review
Shame on Ted Ayala for his churlish portrayal of the West Covina Symphony Orchestra [“A Road Trip to the Inland Empire with Rimsky-Korsakoff, Liszt, Sibelius, and Prokofiev,” Leisure, June 10] (“….exposed the WCSO’S lapses in intonation….to avoid having the orchestra fall apart….brass….blaring out and drowning….clattery sounding piano….pallor of the orchestral body….”). While attempting to write a music review, Mr. Ayala successfully ignores the value of a community orchestra.
The WCS Orchestra provides a classical music experience to community members who cannot afford a $25 L.A. Phil ticket. It provides playing experience and enjoyment to musicians who may never make it through a professional audition. The presence of a community orchestra strengthens community bonds and gives a sense of place to the population. Think Pasadena Community Symphony, Crown City Symphony, Pasadena Master Chorale: all amateur organizations which may never play Disney Hall but somehow help to put Pasadena on the map.
The WCS Orchestra is a non-profit organization. The concerts are the result of the money and labor of donors and participants who want to share with the community the enjoyment of creating music.
I suspect Mr. Ayala paid little or nothing for his musical experience. If Mr. Ayala is trying to impress us with his refined musicality, I am much less impressed by his bad taste in slamming this dedicated group of hard-working people whose efforts permitted him to attend the concert for little or nothing out of his pocket.
Better he should help buy a new piano.
Comment on dog park
As an owner of two great dogs, I am in agreement that a dog park is needed in our area. CV Hindenburg Park parking lot is a bad choice. The overflow parking area (approximately 80 spaces) is a valuable asset for all of our community. It regularly holds dozens of cars that are unable to park in the 48 painted spaces along with the 2 handicap spaces. I urge everyone to take a look on any weekend or during any big park event. See for yourself. The Boy Scout Troops that are regular park users have well over 48 cars when they use the parking lot. The renaissance group uses much of the overflow lot along with the painted spaces. The same can be said about the Arts and Crafts Fair, the car shows, the overnight campers from the Boy and Girl Scout Jamborees. We will lose the space where we recently had a great community fair with rides. Gone will be the base camp and staging area that is frequently used for our fire fighters and mutual aid fire trucks and equipment. This essential community protection asset will be history.
The alternative parking will be the couple of dozen spaces on lower Dunsmore and on Honolulu Avenue. Use of these spaces must be shared with the self help organization that has its group members parks on the south side of Honolulu along with the rest of CV Park users.
This dog park will have decomposed granite and cedar chips as the surface. No grass. These materials, even with the few shade trees in the area, will be very hot. Thirty feet to the west is Hindenburg Picnic Park. There’s plenty of grass and trees there. What is to stop the dog owners from using Hindenburg to let their dogs run free? The Parks Department says self-regulation will work. I’m not buying that. Our sheriff should not have to spend taxpayer money answering “dog off leash” calls.
The best asset of Hindenburg Park is its ability to have large groups and events with ample accessible parking. People will not be happy having to haul coolers and gear a couple of blocks to use the park. If this were a private venture, I would bet the County would require additional parking added rather than allowing the elimination of over 80 spaces.
I would like to see more research and study on a proper choice of location for a dog park. Let’s make a decision that will benefit the entire community. This project is being pushed down our throats. Let’s not ruin this wonderful community park.
Critical of Krikorian’s speech
Although GUSD School Board President Krikorian’s role stated on the program for last week’s commencement was to help present the diplomas, he managed to hold forth for longer than either of those actually listed on the program as speakers.
Injecting partisan politics into an occasion to celebrate our graduates, Mr. Krikorian began by referring to our country’s president without including the title which President Obama earned by his comfortable majority victory for our highest office. This revealed both the speaker’s politics and his lack of manners.
Rambling on, he blamed President Obama for U.S. budget deficits. It seems Mr. Krikorian’s connection to education has not inspired him to conduct much research on this subject. Economists agree that the deep tax cuts for the rich in effect during almost the entire eight years of the previous administration are the primary cause of the current deficit. That and our deep economic downturn, brought on by unfettered capitalism enabled by both political parties. Also the deficit-financed wars, again with bipartisan support by Congress and the White House. Non-fringe economists also agree that the deficit isn’t nearly as worrisome as persistent high unemployment, and that the government must spend domestically to put people back to work.
Finally, he spoke of local individuals who lost their lives in the Iraq war, worthy of all honor of course, however it does them no honor to repeat the canard that they were sacrificed for “our freedoms,” as Krikorian did. The instigators of the war, again in the previous administration, made many claims to lead us into war, all of them proven wrong, and none more so than that Iraq posed any threat at all to us or to our way of life.
It is unfortunate that board president Krikorian was such a negative presence as a representative of the GUSD Board of Education at our commencement.
Who is fighting for
As the nation’s 4th of July celebrations are about to begin, [the Glendale City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 15] reminded me of how our Founding Fathers must have thought about the British government … the Crown had all the power and the people were being muzzled. The issue before our five council members was to raise trash rates 3%. To the people in the audience that night, it was going to be another fee or tax by the British Crown.
The Crown listened to the public works manager say we needed to raise fees. Furthermore, Glendale’s trash fees were far less than our neighboring cities.
Councilwoman Laura Freidman empathized with the public, as did her colleagues, but she and Councilman Dave Weaver, Frank Quintero and Mayor Ara Najarian at the end all voted to raise the trash fees. Only councilman John Drayman read the tea leaves.
“It was the wrong move in a down economy,” and he would be up for re-election in April 2011. Councilman Drayman probably knew the four other council members would vote yes and the Crown would have its additional 3%.
The Crown heard from a handful of residents stating this was the wrong thing to do when there is record unemployment in the city as well as other poor economic indicators. One renter spoke before the council and said he was not working nor were half the renters in his apartment building.
Another concerned citizen said when he was in sales, if customers did not have the money he would have to lower his prices to stay in business. The same concerned citizen said, “Maybe we needed another refuse company.” But, since the Crown had all the power, the peoples’ voices fell on deaf ears.
During Oral Communi- cations, after the Crown approved the 3% increase in trash fees, the same critic who previously stated we needed another refuse company asked, “If the Crown says our trash fees are very low and a fee increase is justified, then Glendale should lower its water rates as we have one of the highest rates in the state.” The Crown was silent and did not respond.
Happy 4th of July, folks!
Where are Washington, Madison or Jefferson when we need them? Will the battle for Glendale’s independence begin Election Day, April 2011?
Resident commended for helping out
I’m writing to commend a community hero. He is well known to most of us in the community, and he is VERY well known to the CV Weekly family. On Saturday, June 20, at 3 p.m., the Montrose Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was asked to assist the Antelope Valley SAR team to search for a missing hiker. The 45-year-old female hiker and her dog were lost, and injured. She was able to call a friend on her cell- phone, but was unable to give an exact location. She began the day by being dropped off by her husband with the target destination being an old airplane crash site somewhere between Islip Saddle (where highway 39 meets the Angeles Crest Highway) and an area known as The Punchbowl on the Antelope Valley side of the Angeles National Forest. The potential search area was 100 square miles.
When I heard the intended destination was an old crash site, I immediately thought of my friend, CV Town Council member and Crescenta Valley Station volunteer Steve Goldsworthy. The reason I thought of Steve is that old airplane crash sites are one of his hobbies. Being the helicopter pilot for the “CV Weekly-1,” the unofficial eye-in-the-sky, Steve takes flying very seriously and studies old crash sites along with the history of those previously doomed mishaps.
As we were loading up our rescue trucks at CV Sheriff’s station, I got a hold of Steve on his cell. After relaying the facts as I knew them, Steve said he would research his databases and call me on the radio with the coordinates of the closest known crash site to our victim.
As we were en route we learned that our victim’s phone call was made while she was at one of the crash sites. Subsequently, her phone battery died and further contact was lost. (A lesson to all hikers: Take your cell phone with you, but turn the phone off because while you are in the mountains the phone is constantly searching for a cell signal, causing the battery life to dwindle).
As we were on the trail hiking to the summit of Mount Williamson at over 8,000 vertical feet, Steve called me on the Sheriff’s radio. He relayed the exact coordinates of the closest crash site. We were 1.5 miles away from that very location. With renewed energy, we pushed ahead, beginning to notice the absence of oxygen at the high altitude. A sheriff’s patrol helicopter arrived in the search area and began to fly the trails. After not seeing our victim, the pilots then used the coordinates Steve provided and flew to the crash site location. After orbiting around the crash site, the pilot and observer saw our victim on a hillside, off the trail. She had fallen and injured her knee.
With darkness coming fast, the patrol helicopter called in the large Sheriff’s Air Rescue 5 Sikorski. At this time we were a mere couple of hundred yards away from the victim. We watched as the Air 5 pilots skillfully maneuvered the large rescue bird into a steep and narrow canyon, rotor blades being a mere few feet from towering pine trees! A paramedic crew member was lowered to the victim and her dog.
After stabilizing the injured hiker, she and her dog were hoisted into Air 5 and flown to the command post where they were reunited with family members.
I found out later that Steve had actually gone to Starbucks to bring gallons of coffee up the hill for those of us coming off the mountain in temperatures that were rapidly dropping. While he was ordering us food, he heard that the victim was found.
This successful SAR mission would not have happened in
such a timely manner without the critical information provided by Steve. His actions on that day, like every other day, make him an exemplary member of our community, and are one of the many reasons the Crescenta Valley is such a great place to live and raise families.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Reserve Forces Bureau
Reserve Chief, Search and Rescue
Public note of thanks
Recently my wife Ellen and our son and his wife were celebrating our grandson’s birthday at Taylor’s restaurant in la Cañada. During the meal my wife started to choke on a piece of improperly chewed meat and could neither speak nor breathe. Our son, who had E.M.T. training thirty years ago, started the Heimlich thrusts immediately, and asked for someone to call 911. After a few unsuccessful tries, he turned her over to some men with more recent experience who came forward. They placed her on the floor and continued the chest, stomach thrusts until, in amazingly short time, a sheriff’s deputy arrived followed by the paramedics. The deputy took over and his additional efforts dislodged the obstruction. The paramedics provided oxygen and checked her vital signs.
In a society often characterized by, “Don’t get involved” or “Look the other way” behavior, I am proud to live in a community in which from a random group came so many people both capable and willing to help. I am told that among them were a fireman, a Search and Rescue Team member and a doctor. While I sat in a state of dazed shock as the events unfolded, a kind, comforting lady sat beside me and assured me that everything would be O.K.
I regret to say that under the circumstances all of these caring people, to me, became nameless and faceless. I can only extend my heartfelt thanks to these people, the sheriff’s deputy, the paramedics and the restaurant staff for their part in saving the life of my previous wife of 56 years.