Mailbag: Richmond fuels the fire

For more than 30 years I have looked forward to reading the Forum page of the Burbank Leader and avidly followed columnists with delight.

To quote Ray Richmond, "I never thought I'd have to write that." I don't even want to open that page since he is writing for the Leader. He fuels the fires of despair and division every week and he just gets more depressing every time!

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Dr. Joe Puglia had a much more balanced perspective on our country's issues and saved the day with a column titled "Traveling through a divided nation."

I've always felt Burbank was a haven from the madness of Hollywood until Ray Richmond invaded our Leader. Please put someone else in his place.

Helene Cob
Burbank

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Ray's rhetoric is appropriate

Ray Richmond's observations on Trump's presidency are expressed with appropriately harsh rhetoric. The situation has gone from "this has to be some kind of joke" to "we are all in grave danger." I agree that illegal immigration is a problem.

But by shutting down immigration and antagonizing leaders of countries who are allies in the war against terror, Trump is burning bridges and extinguishing the goodwill of other nations that it has taken legitimate and skilled statesmen and women decades to build. By fomenting hatred of our country there will be more incentive for extremists to conduct terrorist acts.

Do you remember an episode of "The Twilight Zone" with Billy Mumy playing a bad seed child who had the ability to "wish into the cornfield" anyone who didn't offer effusive praise for everything he did? Our "bad seed" president is attempting to strong-arm or black out any organization such as NPR, our scientific organizations and journalists who could provide evidence that could disprove his "alternate facts" or suggest that he is not the perfect leader.

Those who voted for Trump should be reminded that at this very moment, Russia has missiles armed with nuclear warheads set to the coordinates of every major city in America, ready to be fired at the touch of a button. They are not our friends! In the '60s my parents used to worry about such things as nuclear winter and mutually assured destruction. Now these incomprehensible scenarios are part of our consciousness again.

If Burbank becomes a puddle of molten glass due to the incompetency of Trump, will anyone even care? But then his supporters will find a way to blame Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Jennifer Rabuchin
Burbank

Galvanized by the Women's March

Joined together in common purpose, millions marched in cities around the world to express alarm at the new Trump administration agenda. Dubbed the Women's March, protests erupted on all seven continents, drawing attention to the rights and dignity of women.

We were lucky to be in the massive throng that descended on Washington, D.C. Due to the snaking lines at the metro stops, we walked three miles into the city. We marveled at people marching down all streets as far as we could see to the National Mall.

Speakers articulated a variety of themes; however, the overarching one was a loud repudiation of racism, sexism and discrimination. Many also discussed concerns about women's healthcare policies and the importance of adhering to the rule of law. Others celebrated the diversity that creates the fabric of our nation.

The crowd greeted speakers with cheers and chants; we were crammed together peacefully exercising our cherished rights as Americans. Chants of "this is what democracy looks like" reverberated through the streets. The noted feminist Gloria Steinem said, "This is an outpouring of energy and true democracy like I have never seen in my very long life. It is wide in age. It is deep in diversity."

The women's marches are only the beginning. Many participants feel empowered to act, galvanized by an insistence that women's rights are human rights. If you want to get involved, go to https://www.womensmarch.com/100/.

We left D.C. with a renewed belief in our great American experiment in democracy and with a determination to make our voices heard.

Diana Abasta, Burbank Teachers Assn. president
Sue Conway, Luther Middle School
Alice Holmes, BTA office manager

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Women marched in Burbank too

Unless I missed it, the Burbank Leader completely ignored the roughly 500 people who supported the Women’s March in D.C. by marching on Jan. 21 down the Chandler Bikeway. Burbank Police provided traffic assistance at key intersections as families with children peacefully marched, holding signs and chanting, in resistance to the hate spewed by the new president and his administration. The Women’s March was the biggest protest in U.S. history, with millions of Americans and people worldwide taking to the streets. Shame on the Leader for not covering this historic event in our own backyard, while other local media, such as myburbank.com, covered it extensively. One wonders if the media blackout at the Leader was politically motivated.

Angela Machala
Burbank

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Golonski to join BCC meeting

The next Burbank Coordinating Council meeting is on Monday, Feb. 6, from noon to 1:30 p.m., at Little White Chapel 1711 N. Avon St. We meet every first Monday of the month at the same time and place between October and May.

The featured speaker next week will be Dave Golonksi, past chairman of LOSSAN Rail Corridor Authority.

There will be lots of information about the council's Camperships and the Coins for Campers contest. Anyone wishing to learn more about our program is invited to visit our website, www.burbankcoordinatingcouncil.org or call (818) 842-6361.

Lunch is only $10 and everyone is welcome. Bring a friend or two!

Janet Diel
Burbank
The writer is president of the Burbank Coordinating Council.

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A graduate thanks a teacher

My name is Ismael Lopez, I'm 47 years old and I'm writing to thank a very special Burbank teacher who has made a meaningful impact on my life, her students and our entire community. In 2012 Rebecca Mieliwocki won the prestigious National Teacher of the Year honor. She was introduced by President Obama and shined the national spotlight on BUSD.

Rebecca was given the opportunity of "Teaching It Forward" by the University of Phoenix. This program offers nominees the opportunity to award qualifying individuals with a full scholarship. Rebecca offered the scholarship to all BUSD employees, and she simply asked candidates to submit a letter describing why they deserved the prize.

I jumped on the opportunity to win this honor. I submitted my letter describing my propensity for hard work, commitment and eagerness to continue my education. I knew this opportunity would improve my life and the lives of my family. My entry resonated with Rebecca, and she selected me as the scholarship recipient.

In July of 2012 I began my classes to earn a bachelor of science degree in information technology. I'm proud to say that as of Jan.16, 2017, I have completed my program and accomplished something I thought was completely out of reach. This was possible with the support of my wife Alyson, my family, friends, and the generosity of Rebecca.

I want to praise and thank her 1,000 times over. I feel all of this was possible because of the remarkable accomplishments and generosity of one amazing woman. Thank you Rebecca, I am grateful for the opportunity and proud of both or our accomplishments.

Ismael Lopez
Burbank

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