On The Contrary:

Now that I've become a renowned journalist (insert smiley face here) people keep coming up to me with ideas for my column.

Bill really thinks I should look into the horrible state of repair many of our streets are falling into, especially Buena Vista Street between Riverside Drive and Alameda Avenue. He's heard from a city worker that they have a backlog to keep them busy for many decades. Sort of makes you wonder where the heck all our tax money is going, doesn't it?

Lisa and Mary both asked me what I thought about the new configuration of Verdugo Avenue. Lisa mentioned that she was shocked to actually see a bicyclist using the bike lane there one day, but Mary has yet to see any at all. And of course with four lanes of traffic now crammed into two, it's all but impossible to pull out from the side streets. Who comes up with these idiotic ideas?

Mary also thinks I should find out exactly what happened to the bench over near Alameda and Glenoaks Boulevard where the old lady who tidies up the sidewalk with a broom spends her time. Did the city take it away just to chase her off, or is there more involved here than meets the eye? Luckily it appears as though some good neighbor has provided a lawn chair for her until the mess can be worked out.

My friend Laban has become a bit concerned lately about the trench he saw the city digging across Magnolia Boulevard by Shelton Street. It seems he asked the crew what they were up to and was told it was some sort of traffic management system. This can't be good.

About the same time, Debbie, a business neighbor, told me about the new 1.6-gallons-per-flush toilet the city insisted on installing in her restaurant to help conserve water.

“It's junk, clogs all the time and needs to be flushed over and over. As soon as I get a chance, I'm going to have the old one put back in,” she said.

And Daniel caught me while I was out for a walk one Saturday morning and asked what I thought about the mess the Police Department was in. I said things were not looking particularly good to my eyes, and he began telling me a few unpleasant stories that have happened to him over the years.

Daniel's of Mexican descent, and having grown up in Burbank said he has encountered more than a little prejudice in his lifetime from the Burbank Police Department. Even though he's as much an American as you or I, his appearance has caused incidents in the past. Now, today, it really hurts him to see his 20-something son subjected to the very same “profiling” he had to live with. Yes, things are better now, but they're far from perfect, far from what they should be, he said.

Oh yeah, and I must not forget to mention all the people who think I should shut up altogether — thanks for spelling my name right.

Get in touch RICHARD J. TAFILAW is a Burbank resident, small business owner and freelance writer. He can be reached at tafilaw@hyjacks.net.

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