I read recently that Glendale has been awarded a $354,500 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.
I was riding my motorcycle north on Brand Boulevard on Wednesday afternoon. I was stopped at a red light next to a beautiful black BMW. All the windows were tinted so dark I could see my reflection in them except the driver's side window. It was down and the young man driving was smoking and talking on his cellphone.
The light turned green and the car accelerated to well in excess of the speed limit with its altered exhaust heralding the acceleration. He made it to the next red light and he was still on his cellphone.
It made me wonder: What amount of education would change this young man's behavior? The answer I arrived at was "none." I think the only thing that would alter the young man's outlook on life was to get a ticket with enough draconian consequences that he would actually think twice about his behavior. Big dollar fines. Maybe impounding the car.
My suggestion is move the education money in the grant to enforcement and move on.
I am responding to Daniel Platt's Oct. 14 letter about moving out of Glendale, after 12 years of living here, because of the bad drivers.
We all have our own personal stories, but I guess this one encapsulates it for me: I was stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk (the horrors!) and, as the elderly lady with shopping cart was at the edge of my front bumper, the man driving the car behind me started to honk. I'm sorry, I did have the option of hitting her, but in my opinion that wasn't the right decision.
So, I'm putting a bumper sticker on my car to warn the people behind me: "I brake for pedestrians."
What a concept!
Re: "Residents demand more study of renewable-energy alternatives to Grayson Power Plant renovation," Oct. 18. Thank you to reporter Jeff Landa for his recent article highlighting the many voices of concern in our community regarding the plan to renovate — and in the process expand the capacity of — the gas-powered Grayson Power plant.
My family lives — and my child attends school — a little over a mile from the plant. Asthma once almost cost my son his life. Living with such pollution, with freeways and a fossil fuel plant down the street, really matters to us. Here at our home, thanks in part to incentives from the city, we have gone solar and invested in battery storage. We are doing everything we can to make our home and our community cleaner and greener. We want Glendale to invest in this vision too!
We have a chance now to do something visionary. Let's look at ways to power our city for the next 100 years that rely much more heavily on a mix of renewable energy and battery storage solutions. We want our City Council to take a moment to pause — not to jump on an inevitable fossil-fueled train that is easily laid out for us by folks at Stantec, but to commission an independent study of clean-energy alternatives to gas-fire power. Let's use the incredible new technology at our fingertips, talk to mayors of cities like Lancaster and consult with smart people in our own city who are experts in this field to bring forward a new way of doing things here that puts us on the map of innovation. If our little house in the Rancho can do it, Glendale can too.
Last Monday, I watched Stantec present the environmental impact report for the Grayson Power Plant project to the GWP Commission. A Stantec employee presented their analysis of the project for two hours. The finished building's aesthetics and the noise of construction was given the same time as the large increase in emissions of greenhouse gases and toxins.
The phrase "the banality of evil" by political theorist Hannah Arendt came to mind. This was her impression of seeing a worker from WWII Germany on trial. His job was but one part in a long series of steps that led to the extermination of millions of people. As he described it, his job was to send trains to their destination as efficiently as possible. He wasn't doing the killing. By distancing people from the consequences of their actions, great evil can be done by the most ordinary of people.
Likewise, the employees at GWP and the consultants at Stantec are fulfilling the requirements of the city of Glendale. But the world is heating up quickly, we are on the 14th straight year of the hottest year on record, Northern California is on fire, we just had one of the worst hurricane seasons in history, the great barrier reef is bleaching, and these people want to build a new oversized fossil fuel plant that fails renewables standards. These people are designing a power plant and they are doing it as efficiently as possible. They don't see that they are complicit in the outcome. Unfortunately, the outcome in this case is the extermination of life on earth.
Stopping climate change is possible, and it starts right here with you and me.
I am a Glendale resident living less than a mile from the Grayson Power Plant. My wife and I just bought a home here to raise our daughter (less than 2 years old). There's a school nearby for her, and I frequently work at Disney down the street, so the Grayson Power Plant project is a nightmare for us. We would be breathing in the added toxins all day — at home, work and school. How could our city be so backwards and reckless in 2017?
We need incentives to add solar panels to homes to reduce consumption to counter the need for outdated and obsolete fossil-fuel-burning turbines. This would certainly be cheaper than this $500-million plan that generates far more energy than we currently need. Consumption rates are predicted to go down, not up. Please help us shed light on this disturbing and reckless proposal and help us transform it into something forward thinking, clean and sustainable.
Disney chief executive Bob Iger laid off workers in 2016 and is expected to lay off more in 2017. I offer three things Iger should consider that if followed could possibly prevent layoffs and create Disney expansion:
1. There is a Nazi-like religious defamation show airing that may be alienating many of Disney's viewers. Perhaps Iger should consider pulling the show off the air. Whistle blowers can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. The media, some celebrities, and Hollywood in general these days tend to be bigoted, biased and bullying. Iger should discourage and take a stand against such behavior and refuse to air it. Any school system will confirm that bullying is a major problem. And yet, these bad lessons are being taught to our children by supporting such behavior. Is supporting this possibly alienating any of Disney's viewers?
3. The last thing Iger should want to do is to lay off workers who get the job done. Crashing stats in any area is the responsibility of the executive, not the workers. Find those executives whose stats are down and lay them off. If Iger wants to cut costs 10%, then to both save the staff and accomplish cost reductions, he should consider having the executives take a 15% cut in pay and have the workers take a 5% cut in pay until the dangerous condition is over, rather than laying off more workers. With a $44-million-plus annual compensation package, Iger shouldn't be too badly hurt, and it would set a great example.
The city of Glendale once again disappoints its residents with its retrograde actions. The city continues to defy the 1978 California Solar Rights Act, even after the state Attorney General's office notified it of noncompliance in 2010 (GNP article published March 1, 2010). Then, to prove that it can be wrong on solar policies every time, it plans on building more fossil fuel-burning capacity regardless of environmental impact, earthquake safety or economics.
And the city's retrograde actions are matched by inactions. For example, almost a year after the passage of Proposition 64, Glendale has yet to take action to enable cannabis businesses in the city. The city could set up the rules to allow these businesses to operate legally and produce substantial tax revenues beginning Jan. 1. But instead it prefers for the industry to remain in other cities and underground, with Glendale having no effect on how it is conducted and receiving no benefit from it.
It is time for the city of Glendale to ditch fossil fuels and look to new revenue sources such as taxes on cannabis, carbon and sugary beverages.
The Glendale City Council passed a law this year that holds residents who own a secondary dwelling unit, or are planning on building a secondary dwelling unit, to stricter standards than what is allowed by the state. Residents in Glendale are now restricted to keep the size of their unit limited to 500 square feet compared to the state's limit of 1,200 square feet. The only ones being affected by this law are the people who already owned granny flats larger than the new limit. It is hurting the residents of our city more than it is doing good.
My family has owned a 521-square-foot secondary dwelling unit for years now with the same tenants. Now, we are being threatened that we'll have to reconstruct the unit just because of the extra 21 square feet. Not only do we have to pay a lot of money to get it fixed, we are being forced to kick out our elderly tenants until it is fixed. I strongly feel this law is silly and unfair and that Glendale should follow the state's size limit for secondary dwelling units instead.
The Northwest Glendale Homeowners Assn.'s annual meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 25, will highlight different aspects within our city. Got a question or concern regarding Glendale? Councilman Vrej Agajanian is guest speaker, and this would be an opportunity to ask.
Since Glendale is in the process of developing its first Public Art Master Plan, Community Arts Resources Vice President Tamara O'Connor will give a brief presentation about its future in our city. Public Art has many facets and therefore public input is vital. It can enhance a city if done properly.
We are also planning to have a crime report from the Glendale Police Department.
The new school districting process will be addressed by Greg Krikorian, GUSD board member.
This all takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Brand Library Auditorium, 1601 W. Mountain St. It is a community meeting open to all Glendale residents. To sweeten it up, refreshments will be served afterward.