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District should keep driver’s ed

Back in the late 1970s at Burroughs High School, one of the best

classes to take was driver’s education in 10th-grade summer school.

What made it even better was that Mr. Grimes was our teacher. It makes


me chuckle when I think of what he must have put up with in the local

recreation parking lot.

Starting, stopping, slamming on the brakes, trying to parallel park

and laughing when it was someone else’s turn. I remember the sweat on my


palms when I had to sit in the driver’s seat, while my patient teacher

sat in the passenger seat. I was probably pretty lucky because my mom

would take my girlfriends and I to the recreation parking lot at night

and teach us to drive in a VW van with a stick shift that popped out of

second gear. So we had a bit of training before our driver’s education


I hope there will be more teachers that get their credential to teach

the class. It was a great experience and helped us all as we approached


our license age. I feel that ninth grade is too young. The 10th grade

isn’t any better, but the law allows teenagers to drive at 16, which I

now believe is too young. So, if we can help them to prepare for a very

serious privilege, let’s do it. Not only that, it was fun and saved my

parents money.


Oklahoma City, Okla.

Burbank owes much to Chamber of Commerce


I read with interest Burbank Leader columnist Will Rogers’ strange

take on the Burbank Chamber of Commerce in his Dec. 11 column (“Not

another chamber of horrors”).

Rogers, with a tendency to rewrite history, much prefers a Burbank

Chamber of Commerce neutral on the airport modernization issue and

involved in simple city sign ordinances and other similar nuts-and-bolts

business concerns.

Relative to history, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce has played a

major role in the development of our city. With businesses contributing

almost two thirds of the yearly city revenues, they are a major reason

why city services like police, fire, parks and recreation, and library

are so terrific.

The Burbank Chamber of Commerce played major roles in two of the most

important periods in our city’s history. In 1951, business leaders joined

together to end organized crime’s reign of corruption in Burbank. Raymond

Stansbury, Buick dealer; John Canaday, Lockheed executive; Earl White,

real estate developer; and Edmund DePatie, Warner Bros. executive, led to

the fight to oust Mickey Cohen and his gang from the city.

In the early 1990s the Burbank Chamber of Commerce played a major role

in the development of the AMC Theatres, the Media City Center mall, IKEA

and the Burbank Village. They were heavily involved in the master

planning of the downtown, but more importantly, played a major role in

the election of City Council members Bowne, Battey, Hastings and Flavin,

who ultimately became the most successful city council in the history of

the city. One need only look at the vibrancy of our downtown area to

realize how thankful we are for their efforts.

Over the past few years, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce has lowered

its voice regarding the advocacy of business and became known more as a

social club. Apparently, some of the board members have tired of this and

appear ready to hire one of two candidates to be the new executive


According to Rogers, one is known for his ego and the other for having

a new job every year. Both are known locals and either one would be an

excellent choice to the lead the chamber into the new millennium.

I look forward to the new century and know that business leaders in

Burbank will lead the way. With a solid history of accomplishments the

Burbank Chamber of Commerce must play a vital role in the further

development of our city.