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Another vote for prayer

Yes, I believe in a prayer or invocation before City Council meetings.

Rather than do away with this good practice, it could be expanded to

include other faiths or, for some few, a moment of reflection on the


seriousness of council actions. PAT McCUGH Burbank

Schiff is no friend of business

I read James Garrison’s column in your opinion section with great

amusement(“A sharp focus on 27th District,” Dec. 1). Now I know that


not only will Adam Schiff say anything just to get elected, but his

supporters will as well. Garrison’s comparison of Schiff and Rogan on

business issues truly comes from the pen of someone very misinformed.

Come on, saying Adam Schiff is good for business is like saying

Congressman Rogan and Bill Clinton pal around on the weekends together.

As you can see, both statements sound equally ridiculous. Schiff is

good for business like water is good for a fire. His campaign is funded

by trial lawyers - the sworn enemy of small business - and he has voted


to expand the amount of frivolous lawsuits numerous times, and I read

that he received one of the lowest ranking of any state legislator by a

San Fernando Valley Business group. When it comes to who is best for

business and the consumer I believe there is no comparison - Congressman

Jim Rogan clearly stands above Adam Schiff. ANNE SHEDD Burbank

Let’s take the animosity out of football debate

The kids are watching.

What are they seeing and hearing? In recent issues of the Burbank


Leader, Joe Hooven (“Burbank teams should get a chance,” Oct. 20), a

Burroughs parent, Keith Knoop (“Coaching football is about more than

winning games on the field,” Oct. 30), Burroughs’ head football coach,

and Mr. Laws (“Perspective is lacking in criticizing local team,” Oct.

30) have written an informal debate about the football programs at

Burroughs and Burbank high schools. But, it was sad that our kids saw

Knoop’s misguided attempt to smear Hooven with Knoop’s predecessor’s

unethical behavior. Likewise, Mr. Laws’ would-be defensive remarks about

other area schools’ athletic programs, inadvertently, I’m sure, do a

double injustice; first, to those other area schools, and, second, by

their insinuations that denigrate the achievements of the hard-working

students on those local teams. At least Mr. Laws admitted the obvious: “I

admire Mr. Hooven’s enthusiasm and promotion of football at Burbank high


There is room for constructive dialogue. All three of these men have

important things to say. None of them would have taken the time to write

unless he had the childrens’ good close to his heart. Please, let’s

refrain from further invidious remarks which set such a poor example for

our kids. What else is sportsmanship about if not to refrain from

gratuitous personal attacks?

Can only Joe Hooven be outraged by Tom Crowther’s Oct. 2 sports

article (“Nonleague schedule change could help Burbank program”)? It

quoted Burbank High School’s own administrative officers and coaches who

suggested that Burbank’s football team should schedule more games against

weak, easy-to-beat teams like the team which, Knoop told us, had only 16

players. Why would school officials and coaches even discuss such

defeatist ideas with half the football season left to play and team

confidence on the line?

Coach Knoop put an arrow through the heart of their defeatist

attitudes when he wrote: “I would find it in appropriate to schedule

[weak teams] to prepare my players for the Foothill League.” He agreed,

in essence, with Joe Hooven’s Oct. 20 closing line: “To travel down the

road of lowered expectations is to travel down a road leading to


Laws also echoed a theme in Mr. Hooven’s article that successful

athletic programs do not exist in a vacuum. Laws wrote: “To bring success

to any program, whether it is on a playing field or in a classroom, you

have to provide an environment that will allow the program to succeed.”

Any parent, relative, school administrator or spectator who has ever

said or shouted a derogatory comment to or about a boy on the field, a

coach or about another area school, has to look deep inside him/herself

and realize that such conduct breeds failure.

Neither Joe Hooven nor Keith Knoop blames the boys for lost football

games. These kids are wonderful, conscientious people. Coach Knoop

pointed out the essence of a good football program: “This game is bigger

than victories or titles.” He emphasized that: “Building fine men [and

women] is much more important to a program.”

The kids deserve a serious and, yes, difficult discussion about ways

to improve their athletic programs -- all the programs. I suspect that

when communities stop discussing ways of improving their school’s

athletic programs, the kids suffer with a deteriorating experience. As

Joe Hooven pointed out: “Academics in these schools become even stronger

with a successful athletic program.”

Let’s show some old-fashioned, small-town Burbank goodwill toward one

another by seeking common ground instead of seeking disagreement. Let’s

stop attacking each other and, instead, put up a sign that reads “It’s

the program, Stupid!”



Rogan choosing ideology over economy

I agree with columnist James Garrison that even conservative

businessmen are finding James Rogan a disappointment. His lack of

interest in local business issues -- and let’s face it, an airport that

everyone can live with is a major business concern -- is just one of his

grievous faults.

Just as pathetic is the way he is going about the country on

conservative talk shows gathering money by attacking Hollywood liberals,

in particular the Dream Works team of David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and

Jeffrey Katzenberg. Literally every major city within Rogan’s district is

vying like crazy to get them to build their studios here, yet our

Washington representative is bad mouthing them.

This is the same trio that gave us “Saving Private Ryan,” and the life

of Moses in “Prince of Egypt.” These are the same men who invested nearly

$100 million in an animation studio in Glendale, which provides paychecks

for hundreds of Rogan’s constituents.

All liberals should be this dangerous.

Rogan doesn’t really care about business as much as he does ideology,

and he comes off willing to sacrifice significant development in his

district to save his seat in the House.


Burbank Table turners should get facts straight

Regarding the letter from Pat and Melinda Stewart (“Tables turned on

conspiracy theorist,” Dec. 1).

One thing that is clear from the Stewarts’ letter is that they do not

care much for Stan Hyman’s style of humor. To each his own.

Where I really disagree with the Stewarts is their interpretation of

what is said during public comments at Burbank City Council meetings.

Despite what the Stewarts would have you believe, Stan Hyman is very well

prepared when he discusses an issue before the council. I have never

heard him make a personal attack on any member of the council or city

staff. And, as I recall, his assertions on issues are usually proved


One thing that the Stewarts could verify for themselves is that

neither Stan Hyman nor myself applaud those speakers who make outrageous

accusations and routinely invoke the name of the leader of Germany’s

failed Third Reich. Whether the Stewarts wish to accept it or not, there

are some of us who speak regularly at council meetings without trying to

defame or destroy those sitting on the council dais. I would put Stan

Hyman among that category.

In a letter this year the Stewarts claimed that speakers at council

meetings were criticizing the Boys and Girls Club. This did not occur.

What did occur is that the council was criticized for utilizing a “double

standard” in approaching city funds to the aforementioned organization

when, under similar circumstances, another worthwhile organization was

turned down flat for a much lesser sum. The “double standard” was bad

enough, but when council members Stacey Murphy and Dave Golonski turned

it into a political attack one other speaker, and I asked them where the

fairness was. Although the council usually responds to questions, they

chose not to respond to this one.

The Stewarts probably accurately stated what they believed that they

had heard at the council meeting. Yet, it just wasn’t said. This, to me,

is a good example of selective listening based on biases. The Stewarts

are just as entitled to their biases as I am to mine, and I don’t feel

that Stan Hyman, myself or anyone else who speaks out regularly should be

immune from criticism.

Just please get the facts straight before doing so.



Prayer arguments smack of hysteria

I can’t understand why people get contentious about prayers before

official functions. Irv Rubin apparently went into hysterics about a

Christian prayer said before a City Council meeting.

He is head of the Jewish Defense League. City Manager Bud Ovrom said

the denominations of the ministers who deliver the prayers rotate each


That sounds fair enough. I think some perspective has to be brought

into the discussion about the use and type of public prayers. They can

have positive effects on any public proceeding. Some people like to

create a Constitutional argument about anything. It definitely keeps

lawyers busy. WESLEY GREENE Burbank