On April 30, I was in the third car waiting in a left-turn lane on Verdugo Boulevard at a red light. When the light turned green, the car in front of me jumped in front of oncoming traffic and made a left turn.
On May 13, I encountered a woman headed toward me while she was driving on the wrong side of the road.
In March, I was stopped at a green light waiting to make a left turn when I was struck by a young hit-and-run driver.
The drivers today seem to be fearless, which I am sure makes it even more difficult for law enforcement. However, I am hopeful someone will soon be coming up with a solution before we lose more lives.
Police need more enforcement power against reckless drivers
We at Drive Safe Glendale were glad to see Assemblywoman Laura Friedman's op-ed ("The Fate of the Furious: 30 days at the impound"). We are happy to see that she immediately got to work representing the residents of her district in proposing AB 1393. We look forward to the state senate passing the bill quickly to give local police departments more enforcement power for reckless and dangerous driving.
Next we would like to see legislation that would stiffen penalties for speeding that is not covered by AB 1393, and for illegally modified exhaust systems and tinted windows. Either way, we hope the Glendale Police Department continues to stop and cite the offending drivers at every opportunity and that the traffic court judges impose the maximum penalties so that the residents and homeowners in Glendale can have their quality of life restored.
Drive Safe Glendale
Remembering fallen officer Chuck Lazzaretto
May 27 will mark 20 years since the untimely death of one of our native sons and stalwart police officers, Chuck "Lazz" Lazzaretto, who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our community.
And in so doing, Lazzaretto served in safeguarding our right to raise our children in one of the safest cities in the nation. Tragically, the Lazzaretto family — Chuck's wife and two young sons — were left bereft of their loving father and husband.
I don't think we can truly understand the pain, suffering and sacrifices the Lazzaretto family, and many others from our extended law enforcement family, have endured for the sake of our community. However, the least we can do is salute them and all the men and women of the Glendale Police Department, letting them know that and they will never be forgotten.
Both of Chuck's sons have grown up to be exemplary community members in their own right, with Andrew Lazzaretto following in his father's footsteps as a Glendale police officer.
I recently had the privilege of speaking with Andre while attending an event honoring his father, and I can personally attest to the fact that, despite having to surmount many challenges growing up, he has become a great individual and a proud addition to the GPD.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Sam S. Manoukian
Being an activist has rewards and pitfalls
Re: "Glendale's election system needs fixing," the May 13 op-ed by Mike Van Gorder, a former candidate for Glendale City Council. I admire his interest in wanting to change the system. I know where he is coming from having first run for council as the "spoiler candidate" in 2011. My goal was to unseat John Drayman and Dave Weaver. Drayman lost by 61 votes and four years later, I and many others worked to unseat Weaver.
Being an activist has its rewards and its pitfalls.
Councils in the past have told citizens concerned about rent control to secure a petition with thousands of signatures, have the signatures certified, and then the council will vote to have the petition placed on the ballot for the next election (For example, Measure N, the repeal of the utility users tax). An easier way to place rent control on the ballot is to have three or four council members vote to place rent control on the ballot, such as Charter Amendment C, City Council Compensation.
The council will probably not place rent control on the ballot as it would likely be political suicide. If Van Gorder gathers enough signatures to put rent control on the ballot, he should be ready for the city to spend at least, $50,000 of taxpayers' money to defeat the measure and the elite establishment will likely kick in another $100,000 to defeat rent control.
I would suggest Van Gorder join the Glendale Coalition For A Better Government and learn about how, 17 years ago, fire and police department costs were about 33% of the budget — including retirement pension benefits — and today they are approaching 80%. Through the years, fees and taxes have all gone through the roof to pay for the increases in salary and retirement pension benefits of our CalPERS employees. These costs have been passed on to landlords, renters and homeowners, thus, one of the reasons for the increase of all rents citywide.