The Young Get It
On Friday night, a man robbed the Rite Aid at the Ralphs market plaza at the corner of Rosemont Avenue and Foothill Boulevard. There were some intense moments as the gunman had barricaded himself in the [nearby] Verizon store and for a time it was not known his state of mind or if he had anyone in the store with him.

I have covered several police incidents and know that the first few minutes of any situation are crucial. Law enforcement needs to concentrate on the incident at hand while keeping the public safe. To do this they sometimes may do things that often the public, and I include the media, may not understand, but it is important to remember they train for these types of situations.

As I stood at Rosemont Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, with flares, cones and CHP cars blocking the way, people still drove right through the barricade. One woman turned west onto Foothill Boulevard, through the cones and right up against a patrol car. Then she got angry with the officers for stopping her. Car after car drove through or attempted to drive through the flares and cones. They did not seem to understand the concept of the barricade.

A teen, walking on Foothill, came to the corner and asked if he could walk through. The officer said no, he said “okay” and found another way. He figured it out and, without complaint, obeyed the officer’s request.

I am often surprised at the arrogance of some adults, but never surprised at the wisdom of youth.

Mary O’Keefe
La Crescenta
Editor’s note: Mary is the crime reporter for the Crescenta Valley Weekly.

Conversation with Santa
At the end of the Montrose Christmas Parade I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Santa Claus!

My wife Nancy and I were walking by the rear of Glendale City Fire Station 29
When around the corner we heard quite a clatter,
So we rushed behind the fire station to see what was the matter.
We happened to see Santa climbing down from the truck with the ladder.
We said:
“Santa, thank you so much for visiting our quaint little town!
How was the view from on top of the fire truck?
What did you see when you looked around?”

Here’s what he said:
“I saw a community,
A community of people who love life and family.
I saw a group of people who celebrate the spirit of Christmas happily!”

“I saw children who had braved near-freezing cold,
Just to yell ‘Hi, Santa!’
Strong and bold!”

“What was most amazing was what I didn’t hear.
I didn’t hear a single child yell out the name of a toy they wanted,
Not even when I put a hand to my ear.”

“The crescendo of applause and appreciation was like none I’ve ever been shown!
It started out slow,
Then it started to grow.”

“It was obvious to me, much like it was with The Grinch,
That these children realize Christmas doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe, just maybe, Christmas means something more.”

Then we asked about the parents and adults who were watching the parade. He said:
“I saw adults who believe
In something larger than themselves.
Why, some were even dressed as elves!”

“They believe that people are born with a good heart,
Even though some choose
To learn evil and depart.”

“The adults I saw celebrated, not necessarily in me,
But in the spirit of Christmas they celebrated
Right along with the children, and just as animated!”

“Do tell,
This was truly a group of adults
Who still hear the Christmas bell!”

We asked what his favorite memory of the Montrose Parade was for 2013.  He said this:
“I will never forget the end of this parade
When we turned onto Verdugo Road
And were at the end of the cavalcade.”

“Just then I saw a little girl being carried on the shoulders of her father.  There was no one else around, and since it was no bother,
I bellowed a hearty, ‘Merry Christmas, I’ll see you Christmas Eve!’”

‘Then the little girl said with reprieve, ‘I don’t think so Santa, you see We’re moving before Christmas so I won’t be at the same place I was last year.’
Obviously the thought of me missing her house was her greatest fear.”

“My response was immediate, when I said,
‘Well of course I know where you’re moving to,
You’ll see me as I come down your chimney flue!”

“Her sheer joy was matched only by the appreciative look
Her father expressed
Knowing how much his daughter had been in distress.”

The next thing we knew,
Santa spun around the back of that fire truck like a light,
And then he disappeared out of sight!

With amazed and wondering eyes we looked at each other and realized that Santa was gone! Those few moments with him were definitely the highlight of the night.

Mike Leum
La Crescenta

Loves the Area, Loves the Y
[I] was blown away by the Foothill YMCA’s recent prayer breakfast featuring Father Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries. It’s far and away another reason the Foothill YMCA is the very best Y I’ve ever belonged to.

The event was executive produced by YMCA CEO Tyler Wright, co-produced by his chaplain and staff. [It] brought out the very best in the North Glendale area.

I’m ever grateful to have moved here four years back – and the Foothill YMCA reminds me of this on a daily basis.

Joe Kelly
La Crescenta

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