Letters to the Editor

Dear Community,
My family and I would like to truly say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Words are not enough and can hardly express our gratitude for everything you have done for us. Some of you may know our family, however most of you do not. It is not easy to reach out and help a complete stranger and unknown faces but every one of you in the community have taken up that task and made it a blessing for our family. It deeply touched our hearts to know that the community banded together to help us, to know that we are loved and cared for. We were lost and had no hope in our future, but you have helped us regain our footing and begin the climb upward. I wish it were possible to meet everyone and thank each person individually and personally because these words printed here just cannot express our thanks enough.
My family and I would also like to thank the Glendale Police Department and Chamber of Commerce for continuing to work countless days and nights on the search [for the hit and run driver]; the Crescenta Valley Water Department for allowing the car wash to take place [on March 13] with the organic chemicals, which I am sure was not easy to gain access to; Crescenta Valley senior high school staff, ASB, and clubs for showing us support and coming together to help plan the car wash and for funding donations; CA-882 Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and Lieutenant Colonel David Worley for being there to encourage me to keep my chin up and being my family; Rosemont Middle School and the local elementary schools, and most of all, Ms. Mary O’Keefe for organizing the donation drive and memorial and for giving us the utmost support. A special thank you to Peter Lee for all his effort and amazing dedication.
Once again, thank you all so very much, we appreciate the whole community for helping us through this difficult time.  Thank you and God bless you!
The Lee Family
La Crescenta
Editor’s note: Joo Lee was the victim of a hit and run driver on Montrose Avenue on Jan. 1, 2010. He died from his injuries leaving his wife, and high school and college-aged daughters. Continued financial support is welcome. Checks can be made out to Joo Lee Memorial and mailed or dropped off to the Crescenta Valley Weekly office at 3800 La Crescenta Ave. #101, La Crescenta, CA 91214.

I am all for equality in the workforce. Years ago as I started my career, I sold manufacturing software to companies dominated by gentlemen like my old school father. What could a young blonde female know about my business?
At the company I worked for, I was the first non Scientologist out of 100 hired. I had to work that much harder to be successful and it has taught me very valuable lessons. Many times I was in situations with employers that today are unheard of. I chose not to make an issue of any of these events. Why not learn from the lessons, utilize that knowledge to make myself that much better and move on in a productive fashion? That approach has had an extremely positive benefit to me as a person and in my career. Never once did I consider this discrimination but rather looked upon it as a challenge to overcome. While reading the very long article about the accusations brought against the GPD [“Police sue, city responds,” March 11], I thought about this and recalled an article I read several years ago about the difficult time Glendale was having hiring people of Armenian ethnicity into public service positions. I remember it stated that the positions were not respected positions by the Armenian culture. I seem to remember there was something about a public education and outreach program geared toward attracting more Armenian applicants. Perhaps someone should pull an archive of this article. Admittedly, I don’t know all the facts. I do know that using “discrimination” as an umbrella to get something faster or easier than others is wrong and in fact can create in itself negativity and discrimination. I know I would never be proud of myself if I had gained a promotion, raise etc. by claiming discrimination.
I encourage those entering this lawsuit to try and first seek to understand what is needed and expected for a promotion, take a serious approach to self-evaluation and ask others for their truthful evaluations. Don’t defend the feedback you hear but internalize and find ways to improve. You just might learn something.
Donna Armstrong
La Crescent

Jim Chase’s “Down for the Count” [Viewpoints, My Thoughts Exactly, March 18] is a good example of the mole hills made into mountains as fodder for this column. But as the late Everett Dirksen, Republican Congressional budget master, never said about the federal budget, but also didn’t deny because it “sounded so good,” “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.”
The $15 billion total cost of the entire 2010 U.S. Census is an amount spent in about two weeks on Iraq and Afghanistan, and these pointless wars have gone on now for seven and 10 years respectively. You can do the math.
Iraq alone, taking into account the actual war plus all future losses to the economy of the U.S. casualties, dead and wounded, will cost over $3 trillion. That’s 12 zeros, times three, and without even considering the human costs in both countries, like that we pretty much destroyed their country and killed, wounded or displaced millions of Iraqis.
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke also explained that the heads-up letter which so bothered Chase will increase census form returns by about 8%, and that each 1% increase saves $85 million in the cost of tracking down respondents. And Chases’s comparing the cost of counting the tiny 1790 U.S. to the 2010 task – LOL!
Fifteen billion dollars is a modest amount of money for a vast collection of data, which will be productively mined by future academic and commercial researchers, by journalists, by genealogists, and even by (fact-based) columnists.
Roberta Medford

As a parent I fully understand the concerns of the parents of the children who were approached by the man who has autism to take their pictures [“Family calms concerns,” March 18]. Parents’ response to notify police was correct and smart. That being said, I truly hope that, understanding that this young man has autism and meant no ill will, they will come alongside him and his family to become friends and supporters of them rather than vilifying him. People with developmental disabilities typically have few friends outside of other people with disabilities and people paid to support them. This is a tragedy and the neighbors of this family have an opportunity to assist this young man to learn socially acceptable ways of interacting with others by being friends with him.
Julie Eby-McKenzie
La Crescenta

On Wednesday, March 17, the Chamber was saddened by the death of William M. Bates who had served as our treasurer for over eight years. However, he was much more than our treasurer; he was a great friend to the Chamber and the community.  Bill always had a kind word for everyone.
Bill joined the Chamber in May of 1997, became our treasurer in 2001. He was a prominent part of our community. Bill, who lived and worked in the Montrose area (his offices were on Honolulu Avenue), was a successful CPA, but his passion was his artwork. He was an accomplished watercolorist.  Many of his weekends were spent painting in the mountains and on the beaches. I have one of his paintings of Rock Creek in the Sierra Nevadas where Bill told me he and his family used to go up on vacation which was the same area that my husband and I go to camp.
Bill was the person that started the Chamber’s successful Watercolor and Collage Workshops with such famous artists as Gerald Brommer and he was instrumental in spreading the word about our popular  Art Walks. Whenever the Chamber asked for a raffle prize for its events, the answer was always the same: “Come and pick out what you want.” Bill was a very successful painter as well as an accountant. Many of the people in the community can look on their walls and see a beautiful watercolor that Bill painted with such feeling.
One of his favorite jobs for the chamber was to be “Head Go-For” for the Oktoberfest. He was always driving around in the golf carts, visiting everyone and having a great time, doing nothing.  He even had his own folder for the job, but there was nothing in it. He was a Goodwill Ambassador for the chamber and enjoyed it.
In 2006, Bill won the distinguished Frank Roberts Award. He was very proud and happy to receive this award.
Despite work and artistic endeavors, Bill also had time for his number one priority – his family.  I can remember when his daughter Holly had her first baby, how proud he was, bringing the picture for Liz Church and myself to see at the Chamber office. He was a very proud father and grandfather.
Bill has three children: Jim, Holly, Rob and three grandchildren.    His wife Susan is a wonderful person and the Chamber sends its sincere condolences to her and the family.
Please call the chamber office, (818) 249-7171, for information regarding services for Bill.
In our hearts, this man will live forever as Mr. Artist of Montrose and he will be in good company with our Mr. Montrose, Frank Roberts.  God bless you, Bill; you will live on in the hearts of the community.
Rose Gamble
Administrative Assistant
Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce