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
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
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
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
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
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.