MAILBAG: Spending records offer little hope

Lynn McGinnis (“Schiff never got around to the tab,” Aug. 15) is concerned how Congress expects to pay an approximately $1-trillion cost for the first 10 years for a health plan covering Americans; this topic related to meeting of Rep. Adam Schiff on health care for Americans.

I’m also concerned on how we’ve financed a more than $1-trillion war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. And, also lost about 4,500 American soldiers.

Don’t forget billions to Wall Street and banks.



Better ways to spend funds than on looks

My sincerest thanks to Robert Phipps for his astutely written letter to the editor (“Just leave Olive Avenue alone,” Aug. 19). I completely agree with him. No money should be spent for the purposes of “beautification” at a time when that money could be used for other, more important purposes.

Does the city have excess money to burn? If so, perhaps we should resurface a few streets that are in desperate need of repair, or trim a few trees with dead branches just waiting for the right wind gust to damage a vehicle or kill a pedestrian.

I know this might sound crazy, but why don’t we give the Burbank Temporary Aid Center more money to help feed the increasing number of hungry and homeless people?

Why not provide a year-round shelter for the many, many homeless people I see in the Burbank area?

The homeless man I see each morning sitting on a bench on the Chandler Bikeway would be better served by the compassionate channeling of funds to the charity that assists him with his basic human needs than by the unnecessary “beautification” of Olive Avenue.

I would prefer to see our city funds used more wisely, and not for the purpose of garnering contributions to future campaign war chests.



Protesters leave little room for discussion

I attended Adam Schiff’s Town Hall meeting in Alhambra (“Crowds riled on health care,” Aug. 12) and though I was impressed with the number of people getting involved in their government, it was a shame the crowd never allowed the congressman and his invited panelists to speak at length.

It was obvious the protesters were there not to promote dialogue, but to shout down any chance of a free exchange of information. I found it curious that at the town hall, most of the protesters I saw were homogeneously white and from out of the area.

Even a woman who is an active member of the community said that she had never seen any of the protesters anywhere around in the greater neighborhoods. So were these protesters really representative of the area, or just transported in to disrupt the town hall? Also, before the first hour of the town hall was over, the majority of anti-reform demonstrators had left and Schiff was met more consistently with cheers and applause.

I wondered that if the anti-reformists truly believed in their cause, many more would have stayed for the entire town hall meeting, like the supporters who seriously believe health care is a critical issue these days and must be fixed, ASAP!



No reason to knock city’s safety staff

In response to Don Larsen’s concern about the smoke and noise created by the use of diesel in vehicles in the “village” of Burbank (“Never mind smoke: Stop the diesel, noise,” Aug. 15) I have a couple of things to say.

Yes, diesel vehicles can be noisy and foul smelling. The laughable statement in his letter on this issue is his suggestion that the city “give us a break” by making the Fire Department paramedic and ladder trucks stay out of the “village,” if not permanently, at least on the weekends.

First of all, and this is getting to be redundant, but Burbank is not a village. Burbank is a city of more than 100,000 people. You don’t have villages inside of major cities. The Fire and Police departments are the two most important mainstays for a city to protect its safety and property.

Does Larsen want the Fire Department to just work part time, or maybe just during his work week? He says it’s all about the smoke and noise from these vehicles, but I have a feeling that he feels that Burbank is a quaint little village that the 21st century is swallowing up. I have a great idea, Larsen, you can go to the next City Council meeting and suggest that the village of Burbank should start using a volunteer fire brigade with horse-drawn fire pumps.



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