City should take concerns
of deaf community to heart
Accolades to Burbank’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services
department for recognizing the need to improve the city’s program to
serve the deaf and hard of hearing community.
As a six-year resident of Burbank who is deaf, I have three deaf
children who participated in parks and recreation classes with
sign-language interpreters. It has not been an easy task in working
with the city parks and recreation staff because they do not have
experience in working with the deaf community.
While its a great idea to hire a staff interpreter, one needs to
be sure such a person is qualified to sign. Burbank provided an
interpreter who was a high school student and turned out to be [a
problem] because she couldn’t follow simple instructions when we
tried teaching her proper interpreting etiquette.
All I ask is for the Burbank Parks, Recreation and Community
Services department to set up a community forum on deaf awareness to
hear what the deaf community has to share.
As it stands, the department doesn’t even have the capability to
determine if a staff interpreters signing skills are satisfactory to
meet their client requests. How will the park handle it when they
have more than one interpreter request scheduled at the same time?
Who gets top priority? Non-Burbank residents do take advantage of the
interpreter services because the Burbank Unified School District
serves deaf students from Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena and La Canada
It’s time for the Burbank Parks, Recreation and Community Services
department, no pun intended, to hear what they can do for the deaf
community to make the program accessible for deaf participants.
Sharon Ann Dror
Historian sets the facts straight on rail line
I enjoyed the article regarding the former Southern Pacific
Burbank branch that appeared in the Burbank Leader Aug. 13.
I would like to point out two errors in fact attributed to city
officials regarding the history of the rail line. The track was built
in 1893, not the 1930s, and ran to Chatsworth Park. Secondly, regular
rail traffic ended on the east end (Burbank to Van Nuys) in or about
October 1992, not in the 1950s.
Prior to World War II, the line shipped out agriculture products.
After the war, lumber and building products were the main commodities
During the 1960s, the local train would originate from Taylor Yard
in Los Angeles and switch the customers all the way up to Chatsworth
and back. By the 1970s, the train originated in Gemco Yard in Van
Nuys, and made a circular trip via Burbank, North Hollywood, Van
Nuys, Tarzana, Canoga Park, Chatsworth and back to Gemco.
On Oct. 12, 1990, SCCRA bought 65 acres at Taylor Yard, Burbank
branch and 46 miles of the Southern Pacific coastline from L.A. Union
Station to Moorpark. The last segment of the branch to be abandoned
was from Tarzana to Chatsworth in 1998.
Personally, I would like to see the Metro Red Line extended and
built along the Southern Pacific right of way. Thanks to the NIMBYs
and the budget crunch, we will instead be “Gustituded” like
California was during the demise of the legendary Red Car system.