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Writer takes heat for gun remarks The...

Writer takes heat for gun remarks

The world that William A. Tracy portrays of parents needing

cheaper, less safe handguns to keep sexual predators from their

children is the kind of malarkey nobody buys anymore.


If Mr. Tracy is concerned about protecting children, he should

consider the number of kids who are killed by guns in this country

every year. The last count was around 3,300, including more than

2,000 who were murdered. More than 1,000 killed themselves, and 214


were shot by accident. That’s almost 10 kids killed by guns in

America every day.

If you want to include the number of kids who are wounded each

year, the numbers rises to as high as 20,000.

Anything that Sen. Jack Scott can do to further gun safety is fine

by me.




Guns don’t make good neighbors

Thank goodness Jack Scott is our state senator instead of fear

mongers like William A. Tracy. Mr. Tracy is upset that Scott

championed legislation to put safety features on guns. Mr. Tracy says

this will double the price of guns and thereby hurt the people who

need guns the most -- single mothers and senior citizens like

himself. Sen. Scott has done his research and knows where the true

danger lies.


The thought of senior citizens holed up in their homes with guns,

afraid of “home invasion, rape, kidnapping, robbery and personal

injury” just makes my heart ache. Mr. Tracy, stop and think if you

could truly use a gun in an emergency situation? Owning a gun is a

false sense of security. Statistics show that a gun in the home is

much more likely to be used against the home’s occupants than against

an intruder. A gun in the home will most likely be fired by a child,

a depressed person or during a domestic disagreement, bringing only

tragic results.

Mr. Tracy, you live in Burbank. What will keep you safe here is

getting to know your neighbors and becoming active in the community.

Neighbors watching out for each other and an observant police force

are what keep criminals far away. It is much more likely that one day

you will need help from a neighbor who knows your medical history

rather than needing help from a gun.



Get your citation book ready

I would like to suggest to the police officer who thinks there is

too much noise in this town, and who gave a citation to Elaine Ahmad

for excessive use of horn, to bring a full citation book and a

decibel meter to the village on San Fernando Boulevard and the side


On Palm Avenue, he could cite the drivers picking up people at the

gym or picking up people at the dance studio, and even picking up

people from the theaters. He could use the decibel meter to cite the

loud cars and motorcycles that should be on a raceway and not city


The sad part of all this is there is no residential next to Von’s

on San Fernando Boulevard or across from it. Her horn probably

blended in with the freeway noise and the Metrolink horns, or the

Amtrak horns.

Lee Brandt


Zones would protect historic homes

Recently, there have been very strong moves among neighboring

communities to create historical overlay zones in residential

sections of those cities to protect the integrity of older

neighborhoods. Those communities range from large, palatial homes

found in Hancock Park, Pasadena, and some portions of Glendale, to

more modest but historically significant sections such as Mar Vista.

I think that Burbank should consider such a zone in the Hillside

District that would protect not only our Craftsman treasures from

demolition for apartments and condominiums, but also neighborhoods

like mine that are made up of single-family structures.

With the exception of a few lovely older Spanish Revival, English

Tudor, and those Craftsman bungalows, most of the homes in this

district were built between the late 1940s through the early 1960s.

Houses here are primarily variations of California stuccoes that

evolved during that 20-year period, with a smattering of wonderful

examples of mid-century modern. Whatever the architectural style, all

of these homes were built with high standards and with a great

respect for their surrounding houses, as well as for the size of the

lot on which they were built.

As I walk through my neighborhood, every time I see one of these

beauties demolished by a new buyer, I shudder. I know what’s coming.

Soon there will be a mini-mansionette, oversized for its lot,

overwhelming all of its neighbors, in architectural “styles” that

range from faux everything to something that was built in a

subdivision in Valencia and got lost.

One of the privileges we enjoy in an open residential area that

isn’t monitored by a community association is freedom of expression.

Unfortunately, the owners of these examples of “personal expression”

appear to consider only their own desires, with no consideration for

their neighbors. Not only does their “personal expression” affect the

aesthetics of a neighborhood, but the property values and salability

of surrounding houses as well.

As someone who has spent most of my career in the art world, I am

the first to support freedom of design expression. However, I know

from personal experience it’s quite possible to build a new home, or

remodel an existing one, giving full vent to one’s creativity, and

still have a home that is proportioned for the size of the lot and

that fits in perfectly with the houses around it.

If Burbank does have an architectural review board, it is

apparently inactive, so perhaps it’s time for the residents of

Burbank to follow our neighboring cities, and actively seek

historical overlay zones to maintain the beauty and charm that draws

people to our neighborhoods in the first place.



Cat gone but

not forgotten

On Oct. 25, our cat, Mickey, went missing. We want to thank our

kind and thoughtful Rancho neighbors for the many phone calls we

received on the orange cat sightings.

Unfortunately, we never found Mickey, but are again reminded that

we live in a wonderful and very special neighborhood.

Kate and Harry McWatters


Let’s concentrate on important matters

The police officer who gave Elaine Ahmad a ticket for honking her

horn in sympathy with the supermarket strikers should get a reprimand

for being too serious. His comment that Burbank has enough noise

leads me to believe he has a rock band for a neighbor. Giving tickets

for infractions by citizens should be well deserved. It’s not true in

this case. The price of tickets is going up faster than the rate of

inflation, so it’s no small matter if you get one.

Another subject of great importance is the regulation of signs

that advertise open houses for sale. The different sizes and designs

catch one’s eye. As a matter of interest, I like to go to open

houses, and the signs give a quick and clear indication of where they


Let’s not get too burdened by trivia. Concentrating on minor

offenses of no import can take manpower resources away from the more

important problems of law enforcement.

Wesley Greene