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Pagan objects to council prayers

I am responding to your article and the question, “To pray or not to

pray” (Dec. 1).

I do strongly believe in prayer and I am a very religious person. My


religion is in the minority as faiths go. I am a neo-Pagan.

Most Judeo-Christian-Islamic people think of us as evil witches, devil

worshipers or something equally awful. It even says outrightly in the

Bible that “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” -- Ex. 22:18.


There are many other slanders promising to “wipe us off the face of

the earth,” in all the good books of those mainstream religious groups.

As is plainly seen, we are quite the underdogs still. We are used to

(sadly) being slandered on a regular basis and not acknowledged fairly in

public. I’m sure most reading now are scared just hearing that we even

exist. Please know that we are a very conscientious, socially moral and

environmentally-aware people.

We follow a very ancient path (30,000 years or more) that was the way


of worship before the Bible was ever thought of. End of lecture. But now

you have a gist of where I’m coming from.

I think Burbank’s city council should not pray before city council

meetings. Church and state do not mix. Not any better than oil and water.

Trying to combine the two always brings a tension and a one-sidedness to

any public or community council or meeting.

If a Jewish person was offended, how do you think other faithed people

feel? Like myself, a neo-Pagan, or how about a Buddhist, Hinduist,


Afrikaner, neo-Aztec or an atheist?

This is a big city, a big country and a big world. No one group should

be allowed to have dominion or rule over the “government” of any free

city, in any fashion. Especially in this “free” country. That was the

initial intent for new people coming and making these lovely United

States, freedom, wasn’t it?

Please read your Constitution and Bill of Rights.



$35 is too much for a parking ticket

While I recognize this letter as an exercise in futility, I have to

express my outrage.

As a resident of Burbank for 30 years, and semi-retired, I wish to ask

who and how it was decided that $35 is an appropriate fine for a parking


And, for street cleaning?

To add insult to injury, the street wasn’t cleaned, either.

My wish for the next millennium -- more intelligent and more sensitive




Fruitful negotiations depend on what’s on the table

Mr. Wesley Greene faults knowledgeable people on airport issues for

negativity in “Can’t we all just get along” (Dec. 22).

To paraphrase, he also asks what is wrong with negotiating?

There was considerable negotiation about noise before the airport was

purchased in 1978. We were told flights would not increase and noise

would be controlled if the three cities purchased the property. Neither


More to the point, what are our objectives now? The airport claims

there has been significant reduction of noise, but the informed know they

haven’t met the 1985 state-imposed standards.

History is more reliable than studies about the future. Earlier, when

the airport was to be acquired, we were told it would not be expanded.

This time they want a new terminal that is double the size of the old

one. Again, there is a campaign to convince the public that no new noise

will emanate from the facility.

Are we gullible enough to think negotiation this time will be more

effective than last time? It will be more successful when the right

subjects are addressed. Nobody is talking about a mandatory curfew, at

least not in the first phase of construction. It will be years before the

subject comes up again. There is no cap on flights or a noise budget. The

latter was shot down in negotiation.

Negative dialogue is productive if it focuses on what has to be

improved. The true test of successful negotiation will be to see that

past mistakes are not repeated.



Airport deal means lower property values

As a Burbank homeowner and resident for more than 13 years, I am

gravely concerned about the proposed Framework Agreement.

Are we expected to believe that an expanded Burbank Airport, with

19-plus gates, 100 more flights per day and an unenforceable curfew won’t

hurt property values?

Homeowners “on the hill” of Burbank naively think airport expansion

won’t affect them. On the contrary, a city the size of Burbank will be

profoundly affected by a 52% increase in auto traffic, and 100-plus more

flights per day. I’m sure 20 years ago residents of Playa del Ray and

Inglewood weren’t concerned with their property values either.

At a minimum, residents of Burbank will not enjoy the same increasing

property values of other non-affected areas of the Valley. Most likely,

however, Burbank “flat landers” will experience a decline in property

values due to the noise and congestion of more auto traffic, more flights

per day and the related pollution and soot/jet fuel residue.

Declining property values in Burbank? Am I crazy?

Stop for just a second and really think about it. Who would want to

buy in a city overrun with half-again as much traffic as we currently

have, and with loud house-rattling jets taking off all day and all night?

Anyone who takes the time ti really investigate this matter will soon

learn that analogies to LAX are not as crazy as they first seem.

Let’s talk about the noise for a moment. The city has its sound

insulation program whereas residents can sign their rights away, then

have the city pay for soundproofing their home. This, however, is

Southern California, not Minnesota. We spend a lot of time outdoors.

What is the city council going to do about soundproofing our


The real-estate disclosure form the Realtors provide new Burbank home

buyers is “iffy” at best. It informs new home buyers that there is an

airport in the area. It then goes on to disclose that if the new home

buyer has any questions, to call the Burbank Airport Authority!

These are the people that got us into this mess in the first place!

Giving a new home buyer the phone number to the Burbank Airport Authority

for questions is the equivalent of putting the bulldog in charge of the

butcher shop, or putting a 7 year old in charge of the cookies and candy.

This is a class action lawsuit waiting to happen.



Kramer’s columns appreciated

I really enjoy Bob Kramer’s articles.

Instead of murder and mayhem, he keeps us up to date on new businesses

in Burbank, or “just what is going on in our fair city.”

I particularly enjoy his personal columns. He is the Erma Bombeck of


Keep it up! It’s a very refreshing change from most of the news.