Arts funding in schools could be higher
With regard to the Leader's question Wednesday, "Do Burbank
schools give adequate arts education?": As the mom of a 10th-grader
at Burbank High School who is a member of the choir "Impressions," I
can tell you that there is no funding of any kind for choir. The
parents pay a direct assessment (between $650 and $850 a year) and
raise money with advertising and a silent auction yearly to fund the
Burbank High's choirs are very well-thought-of in the show/choir
community. They are very professional, competing choirs that win
trophy after trophy every year. The school district does pay the
choirmaster (but probably not enough for all the extra time he puts
My opinion is that the arts are an integral part of what every
person should experience in life (and learn about in school) in order
to have a complete view of what our world is about. Most of the choir
kids are B+ and better students who not only get their homework done,
but do hundreds of hours of rehearsals and performances outside of
school hours. What could motivate teenagers to a commitment like
that? The joy of expressing themselves through art.
In conclusion (and in answer to your original question), Burbank
schools do not have adequate arts education, and the funding for what
exists is totally inadequate.
Requesting a less bumpy drive
I trust a top priority for street-maintenance funds, once we are
past the rainy season, is pothole fixing along all major streets that
seem to have taken a beating during these rains. Our Burbank streets
are now as bad as the North Hollywood portions of the boulevard I try
Candidate makes comments clearer
I appreciate the Burbank Leader's coverage of the school board
election. Unfortunately, the required editing can change the tone of
I wish I had been clearer in my interview regarding the
expectation that hard work will pay off, so no one is surprised when
it does. I stressed that in an election one can never be sure, but
evidently I didn't make that point clearly. I was also sorry that
there wasn't sufficient space to print my comment about the other
high- percentage candidate, Debbie Kukta.
I pointed out in the interview that there were very few votes
separating Kukta and myself, and that I was pleased that she had done
well also. I served as a director with Kukta for four years on the
Workforce Investment Board, so I know that we work together well, and
that she is an extremely capable person.
One of the most gratifying aspects of this campaign has been the
dedication of all the candidates. Everyone who entered this race did
so because they truly care about the education of our children. The
responsibility is sobering in a time of great expectations and
inadequate funding. Only people who truly care would sign up for such
I appreciate all the people who have supported me, and it has been
so gratifying to hear from teachers, administrators, students,
district employees and parents. I promise to keep the dialogue going.
I know what my concerns are as a parent, and I appreciate hearing
from other parents about their concerns. Some have said to me, "If
you are elected, please don't forget our school." I could never do
that. Every school matters, and every child matters! I can be reached
by phone at (818) 569-5144 or e-mail at votesusan@forschool
Did I put my "whole heart" into the primary campaign? Absolutely.
Will I put my "whole heart" into the work of the school board?
EDITOR'S NOTE: Susan Bowers is running for school board.
Boxer's history was misrepresented
We're extremely disappointed in the Then and Now column
"Heavyweight champ made Burbank his home," (Feb. 23) in which Craig
Bullock states that Jim Jeffries won the heavyweight title in 1899,
and "Jack Johnson defeated Jeffries for the title and became the
first African American heavyweight champion."
This is inaccurate. Johnson was the champion when he fought
Jeffries. Jeffries had retired in 1905 as undefeated champion.
Johnson became the first African American heavyweight champion by
defeating Tommy Burns in 1908. Jeffries was lured out of retirement.
It was the racially charged era of the Great White Hope -- to fight
Johnson on July 4, 1910, in what was then the "Fight of the Century."
Johnson defeated Jeffries easily and Jeffries, despite the endemic
racism of the era, admitted that "I could not have beaten Jack on my
As stated in "Unforgivable Blackness," Ken Burns' recent film on
Jack Johnson, "Blacks celebrated the victory, and whites responded
with violence. In the riots that followed the fight, as many as 26
people were killed and hundreds were injured -- most of them black.
The violence quickly triggered a nationwide movement to prevent films
of the fight from being exhibited. The crusade, organized by the
United Society of Christian Endeavor, succeeded in many cities and
even entire states, especially in the South."
While the article is on Jim Jeffries, not Jack Johnson, it is a
substantial failure to omit these facts about the pivotal moment in
Jeffries' fight career. A Google search before writing the article
would have enabled Bullock to educate himself about a former Burbank
resident who was, in his time, one of the most admired men in the
United States. While it was amusing to learn that our favorite
doughnut shop is on land once owned by the champ, it is inexcusable
for both Bullock and the Leader to ignore the bigger story --
especially in February -- Black History Month.
DAVE AND DEBBRA
Murphy's win no surprise to this reader
It is no surprise that Stacey Murphy won her seat on the City
Council with no runoff. She is the only one who could see the Platt
Project was not right for Burbank. Overdevelopment is strangling this
city and she seems to know it.