Taking a closer look

I write to comment on two items in the Dec. 16 issue, related only in that both concern what is there, and not there.

Re: “MSPA to assume full control of the Montrose War Memorial,” except for two temporary-looking signs which recently appeared in the flower-beds, nowhere on the actual memorial does the word “war” appear.

Indeed, despite over 58,000 U.S. deaths and millions of Vietnamese and other Southeast Asians killed, war was never declared in this sad episode in our country’s history. Thus “Vietnam Conflict Memorial” would be more accurate. But why not refer to the memorial as the “Vietnam Peace Memorial” if history is to be rewritten at this point? After all, our two countries have already been peaceful trading partners now for many years, and the future, even though longer than the past, surely will not include any repetition of U.S. military intervention in the affairs of these amazingly forgiving and pragmatic people.

Several pages on, glimpsing “ACLU” in Jim Chase’s column of course piqued my interest, so I reviewed all the media reports about the Southlake, Texas Christmas tree flap that I could find. Nowhere is there any mention of involvement of the ACLU or any other “liberal/progressives” which Chase refers to in the removal of the Christmas tree from the branch bank.

I agree that the anti-tree animus is ridiculous, and it appears to have come solely from the corporate temple of finance with which Mr. Chase, I assume coincidentally, shares a name. The ACLU cares not about Christmas trees, which are not Christian symbols at all but remnants of our pagan, nature-worshipping, ancient past.

Roberta Medford


[On Tuesday evening], the Crescenta Valley Armenian Community and Youth Center in collaboration with local agencies, CV Town Council and Red Cross, prepared our center to become a shelter for evacuees and displaced local residents due to heavy rains and mud slides. Hot beverages and snacks were available for anyone in need of shelter. Volunteers, members and AYF youth prepared the center and assisted [the] Red Cross in putting up cots and necessary equipment.

[On Wednesday], with Red Cross’s request, the CV Armenian Center and CV Outreach Task Force donated 20 lunches to volunteers and senior evacuees at Holly Redeemer Catholic Church in Montrose.

The center will contact volunteers in coming days for sandbagging and other essential aid as deem necessary by local agencies, sheriff, police, first responders and officials.

Thank you.

Arick Gevorkian, Chairman

Crescenta Valley Armenian Community and Youth Center

Perfect for holiday season

May I commend you on the excellent article on Pastor Roberts’ congregation (“Filling the Pews – Part 2: Reaching the young,” Dec. 2). Such reviews are heart-lifting, and most appropriate for this Season. Kudos to Brandon & Mary!

Rev. Ken Grissom


And they eat their young

As the public reads everyday of very well paid city, county and state employees being laid off or furloughed, the message is, “Poor me, why did I get a pink slip or furloughed?”

Public employees are asking themselves, “Will I be next?” I recall speaking to a young police officer asking what he thought of the current situation where some union employees were asking for pay raises and others were just wondering [if] they would be next to lose their jobs.

Speaking frankly, this police officer said, “We eat our young” to which I replied, “What do you mean?” Yes, laughingly, the officer said, “Last hired is first fired.”

In other words, I said to the young police officer, would a young, sharp and ambitious police officer, fireman, teacher, clerk, etc. be the first to be let go if money were not available to meet payroll and pension obligations? Would highly paid senior employees, some just coasting till retirement, keep their secure jobs with great benefits?  With a smirk, the police officer replied, “Yes!”

What the union should embrace, in my opinion, are equitable salary cuts and pensions throughout the ranks so government entities can afford to have full employment and expected government services for the taxpayers. Furthermore, elected officials should refuse taking campaign monies from the unions so they can remain independent when negotiating with them. For better transparency and accountability, contractual obligations with the unions should be made open for the public to view.   Nevertheless, to correct the present broken system of government pensions, social security should be the replacement vehicle, as it is in the rest of society.

Unless government unions change their seniority system so the young are not the first fired or furloughed, accept Social Security as their pension, and have open contractual negotiations, “poor me” will continue to be heard till the last union employee  receives his or her pink slip […] and cities, counties or states are forced to file for bankruptcy.

Everyone loses when bankruptcy is the court of last resort.

Mike Mohill


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