Posted by on Jul 4th, 2013 and filed under Viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Is the City Going a Little Overboard?
Is there any length that anti-smoking soldiers will not go to in order to stomp out the big, bad nicotine boogeyman from every remote corner of modern society? The May 16 issue of CV Weekly detailed the push by the Glendale City Council to empower citizens to sue other citizens and collect damages (for themselves and their attorney, not in that order) if they spy…er, I mean catch them not being obedient to the latest batch of anti-smoking thunderbolts thrown down from On High [“Residential Smoking Gets the Squeeze”]. Yea, let’s involve the lawyers. Everything they touch turns to gold.

Even if you don’t think that courts aren’t clogged up enough, or that police aren’t busy enough now, is neighbors turning neighbors into authorities because they caught them sneaking a smoke by the laundry room in their condo complex going to make Glendale better? Pasadena’s nickname is “The Rose City.” Glendale’s could be “Where Everybody is a Potential Plaintiff in an Illegal Smoking Court Case.”

As a part of this law, you wouldn’t ever be able to smoke on rooftop terraces. You can’t even light up on the roof? Why? What group is being harmed by the second-hand smoke that’s created by rooftop smoking, where no one is above where the smoke goes? The birds? People in airplanes? I always thought smoke went up, hence all the previous addicts against smoking in residences and enclosed spaces where the cigarette smoke wafted up and into people’s living areas. Now though, where cigarette smoke floats up into the sky that needs to go, too. Or are we dealing with “smart smoke” (in the era of smart phones and smart cars) that travels down once it is in the air? The City of Glendale and its “smart” City Council need you to believe that if this law is to go through.

City Manager Scott Ochoa’s quote on this in the article is telling: “You’re not going to get 100% of everyone to do everything that you want” was his answer to what should be done when police can’t catch “the targeted offender in the act of [cue the scary music] smoking…” That doesn’t mean that Glendale isn’t going to try. Hey, Glendale smokers, I’ve got three words for you: “medicinal cigarette smoking.” Just a thought.
Shaun Flanagan

Chastises “Selfish” Attitude
Having lived in Glendale from 1933 to 2007 and having been a hillside subdivider, I concur generally with the historical accuracy of Mike Lawler’s column, “Development History in the Western Verdugo Mountains” (Treasures of the Valley, June 6), but I can’t help but comment on the tone of it and the attitude it reflects.

He indicates an elite attitude and selfishness in his statement that because of the stopping of development that “we are privileged to have the mountains on both sides of our valley largely undeveloped.” True, he is privileged, but at the expense of so many others that have been effectively denied the same good life that he enjoys. It is like the no-growth restrictions in Marin County where they say: “Marin, Marin, sweet Marin, now that I’m here let no one else in.”

Instead of these hills being developed with homes where people could live close to the Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena employment centers, these same unfortunate people now have to commute long distances from Canyon Country, Simi Valley, Antelope Valley, etc. Such long commutes jam our freeways, pollute our air and greatly reduce the quality of life for these people that the selfishness has forced to waste those hours in their car and are denied the good life that Mike Lawler enjoys.

The environmental impact of the selfishness and elitism are great. Instead of unproductive sagebrush covered hills being converted into housing, this urban sprawl caused much productive agricultural land to be destroyed with adverse economic consequences. The long commutes cause much more fuel to be burned, necessitating the drilling of more oil wells, fracking and making us more dependent upon the Arabs for our oil. In addition, this has an adverse effect on our balance of payments in a world of finite resources, existing infra-structure has gone unused and wasted and new infra-structure consuming resources had to be built.

Glendale’s far-sighted former leaders had provided the sewer capacity for all that planned hill development Lawler mentioned. The far-sighted Glendale school board had provided the money and resources to construct the schools that such development would have needed. Four complete and functional schools that would have served these people have been closed or sold off. These consisted of one middle school, Clark, and the elementary schools Field, Lowell and Montrose.

Mike Lawler is correct – all of those development plans were brought to a standstill by several grassroots community groups that selfishly wanted to not let others enjoy the good life that they enjoyed.

The next time you have to take a freeway jammed with people commuting to work from Canyon Country, Simi Valley, Antelope Valley, etc., think of the quality of life they have to endure daily so that you can have your “privileged” life.
John L. Gregg
Newport Beach

Ride With Caution
After reading in the June 6 issue of the CV Weekly about two new trails opening near the Glendale Sports Complex [“Glendale Unveils Two New Trails”], I took my mountain bike there on [a recent] Friday morning to try them out.

The Mountain Do trail is rather short and flat so I started riding on the Catalina Verdugo trail at the north end and circled round the sports complex where the trail ends at the south. The Mountain Do trail is suitable for anyone and I think the Catalina Verdugo trail would be fine for hikers, dog walkers, etc. but I would say to mountain bikers to take it easy the first time you ride it. The trail is very narrow in several places and zigzags back and forth with lots of 180-degree turns. It’s always hilly so you’re constantly going uphill and then down. Since you like to gain momentum going down hill to get ready for an uphill climb and then you have to make a sharp turn going fairly fast you could easily slide off the side of the trail if you can’t turn sharply enough at the speed you’re going.

The scary part is that for the entire length of the trail there’s rocky cliff on one side and a sheer drop off on the other. Since the trail is so narrow, sometimes my wheels were about a foot from the edge. While I’m not an expert rider, I’ve been riding mountain bikes for years and I came within inches of the edge several times while making a sharp turn; and if you met another bike coming the other direction in the narrow areas, the trail isn’t wide enough for two bikes to pass. One would have to back up to a wider spot to allow the opposing person to get by.

I don’t want to discourage bikers riding there, I would just say be very careful.  There’s a great view in several directions when you get to the higher points of the trail. I was the only person there on [that] Friday morning; the only other living creature I saw was a snake that was sunning itself stretched directly across the trail, about two and a half feet long. It wasn’t a rattlesnake, so I nudged it gently with a stick and it reluctantly and slowly moved to the side of the trail.

Many thanks to Glendale for opening these trails.
Tom Ireland
La Crescenta

Thinks We’re Pretty Inclusive
I’ve seen a lot of articles and letters asking that the new principal at Crescenta Valley High find a way to make each and every child feel welcome and a part of the school.

First, I wonder if these people have never seen a John Hughes film. People fall into groups with others they feel comfortable with. Everyone has a group. And we can all feel like outcasts even when we’re a part of the “in group.”

But I looked carefully at the photos of the CVHS prom and saw a prom court princess in a suit … with a girl for a date. This to me looks to be very inclusive, progressive and tolerant.

Way to go, class of 2013! Way to CV.
Joanna Linkchorst
La Crescenta

Parents Make All the Difference
Having said farewell to another school year, I cannot help but look back at all the activities my family was involved in. From homework to sports to field trips, when you have young kids school is probably the most important activity surrounding your family.

While we parents are most grateful to our kids’ teachers and the incredible school staff who go the extra mile ensuring a positive and successful learning experience, there’s another element often overlooked: the parent volunteers. It’s amazing to learn how much this group participates in the daily activities of our children.

I was fortunate enough to join the PTO board at Our Lady of Lourdes School for the past two years. I’ve done my share of volunteering and enjoyed it, but it was my time with the PTO when I realized just how much these parents do. Organizing activities is a big focus. Supporting the school in providing a quality Catholic education, promoting open communications, and fundraising is another part.

When you sit in PTO meetings, it becomes obvious how dedicated and truly driven they are to make this a better experience for the children. There are countless nights of organizing carnivals, the Christmas Store or crafting for the eighth grade fundraiser. Lugging juice boxes and brownies to games or being room parent … it’s all part of “participating” in your child’s education.

But there’s more than a desire of “helping out” to joining the PTO. Studies have shown that children whose parents are involved have higher grades, better attendance, more motivation, and higher self-esteem than those whose parents aren’t involved. When it comes to academic achievement, parent involvement can be more critical than income, education level, or cultural background. You become more aware of what’s happening at school and in the classroom. You have a greater rapport with administration and teachers. I believe all this adds to being an involved parent.

So my hat goes out to you, the parent volunteer. I cannot stress enough how much your time and efforts are greatly appreciated. Thanks for all you do, for being the crossing guard, cupcake baker, lunch server, yard duty patrol, painter, builder and oh so much more. Thank you for caring for my children and others. You step up to the plate and we are grateful.

Sonya Marquez

Who Does Mayor Weaver Think He Is?
I am thoroughly embarrassed and disgusted to witness the condescending and insulting manner in which the mayor of this grand city of Glendale treats our neighbors, especially Messrs. Mohill, Zavos and Molano and Mrs. Hammond, who have the courage to speak at city council meetings.

Nowhere in our U.S. Constitution, state, or city laws does it allow the degradation, insults and name calling spewed out by this mayor. It is also a poor reflection on the city council members when they silently support this kind of behavior from the mayor.

A mayor is sworn into his or her position to serve the people. Our mayor has repeatedly taken a stubborn attitude of “My way or no way.” He adjusts time limits for comments from the people to suit his whims and in a discriminatory manner.

Remember, it was Councilman Weaver who submitted on the agendas most of the recommendations for city workers salary and pension increases to make sure he received their votes. – “the public be damned.” Now we are stuck far into the foreseeable future of automatic pension increases, with the bills and deficits, resulting in reduced city services.

Mayor Weaver, may we respectfully remind you that the people in Glendale cast their votes for other candidates also? Those voters should be respected even though their candidate did not win. They heard other opinions and agreed with that voice. Mayor Weaver, we hope you respect that fact and know that Americans do not appreciate a dictator at any level of our government. The appearance of a belittling attitude towards the people is disrespectful and will constitute a part of one’s legacy.

Perhaps our mayor should pay attention with an open mind to some of the comments presented at city council by our people. He and the rest of us might learn something constructive and beneficial to Glendale. After all, we all want the best for Glendale, don’t we?

Dolores Francis

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