Gym Decision Angers Some, Encourages Others

The decision last week by the Glendale City Council to allow the construction of a 9,000 plus square foot gym at the Chamlian Armenian School in the 4400 block of Lowell Avenue has resulted in a great big “thank you” from school officials and anything but from nearby residents.

Living up here as long as I have, I remember when the school used to be an elementary school – Lowell Elementary I think – at a time when most kids walked to school. Nowadays, that’s not the case. With many of the kids who attend Chamlian living too far away to walk, a definite increase in traffic has resulted.

I know that some folks feel that because Chamlian caters to the Armenian population and that so many of the kids have to be driven in that the traffic would not have been a problem if the school had continued to serve the “local” foothill community. I beg to differ. More than likely that increase in traffic would have evolved as attitudes toward transporting kids to school have changed over the years.

I have a friend who lived on Prospect Avenue in La Crescenta across the street from La Crescenta Elementary School for years. She and her family finally moved due in part to the pain in the neck traffic that they had to endure every school day.

To alleviate the Chamlian traffic would mean to close down the site altogether as a school – and that’s not going to happen.

And though school officials have said that they are trying to help with the traffic problem, I think what is angering nearby residents especially is the sense that the Glendale City Council has appeared to ignore their pleas for help.

“The residents need help. We have objected to virtually every variance the school has requested and never has the council ruled in our favor. We have exhausted every avenue available to us to no avail,” is what one letter stated from a reader who requested anonymity.

I question why the City Council would overturn a recommendation by the Planning Commission regarding the wisdom of building the gym. Isn’t that the job of the Planning Commission, to gather information from all perspectives then offer an educated recommendation?

And if there are sitting members on the council who have family attending the school, should they not have excused themselves from the vote?

Another question brought up by a caller to the CV Weekly who I spoke with (and who also requested anonymity) was why would the school be allowed a gym when no other elementary school has been allowed one? Perhaps the answer to that is that Chamlian teaches students through the eighth grade and other middle schools – Rosemont for example – have a gym.

For those who wonder why a gym would cause an increase in traffic, the answer lies in the hosting of sporting events. At CV High School, for example, when the school is hosting a sporting event, students from other schools are bussed in to compete and parents drive their own vehicles to watch their kids play. Unless Chamlian is planning to increase its on-campus parking – and I don’t know if they are – this is going to be a problem.

I invite you to read Jason Kurosu’s story on page 6 to learn more about this project.

The news story by the CV Weekly last week that it was the MSPA who raised allegations of embezzlement against former city councilman John Drayman was a difficult one to report. Because of the relationship with both entities, we were granted exclusive interviews with MSPA board members and with Drayman. This level of trust given to us showed that there is an expectation within our community and by newsmakers that we will always report the news in a manner that is unbiased and factual.

Boring? Perhaps. After all, it generally is more entertaining to read salacious stories that have little fact and lots of scandal. For folks looking for those qualities, those stories are available – just not within these pages.

And, ethically speaking, we try to remember that those accused are innocent until proven otherwise.

From the desk of the publisher Robin Goldsworthy

Robin Goldsworthy is the publisher of the Crescenta
Valley Weekly. She can be

reached at

or (818) 248-2740.