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City should take concerns of deaf community...

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

being shipped.

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.

Ken Kemzura