Mailbag: Transportation hub is already here

Richard Tafilaw is too late. Burbank is already a transportation hub ("Don't aspire to be a transportation hub," Aug. 18).

We have two rail lines, two freeways and an airport, and they are not going away. The challenge for the Burbank City Council and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, as well as state and regional agencies, is to find ways to mitigate the impacts of these essential facilities.

The proposed transportation center at the airport does that by making it easier for passengers to use public transportation by bringing together rail, bus and airline services and making the transfer between them more convenient. Another benefit is the elimination of automobile trips between the airport and the servicing location for rental cars.

A successful and prosperous city will be reflected in an increase in passenger journeys. Well designed public transportation facilities, combined with well planned, user friendly public transit services, represent the best way of coping with the growth in traffic.

Folks like Tafilaw should be applauding this project instead of opposing it.

Paul Dyson

Burbank

Editor's note: Dyson is president of the Rail Passenger Assn. of California and chairman Burbank Transportation Commission.

Griem's ignorance belongs in the closet

Well, perennial hatemonger Bryan Griem has managed to sink to a new low in his latest homophobic rantings ("In Theory: Reactions to Prop. 8 court ruling," Aug.14).

Griem now is actively arguing that homosexuals should be forced back into the closet and away from "thinking society." This is an insult not just to gays and lesbians and their children, but to the millions of "thinkers" who believe that all Americans should have constitutional rights.

Griem also makes the stunningly ignorant "argument" that gays and lesbians shouldn't have rights because the Constitution doesn't expressly grant those rights. Griem smugly notes that the Constitution "doesn't say that men may marry men or women may marry women."

True, but the Constitution also doesn't say that men may marry women, or that women could marry men. Nor does the Constitution expressly say that ignorance-based homophobia can't be spewed in the pages of an ostensibly respectable newspaper. The Constitution grants rights that may not be identified until centuries later, but that does not mean those rights (including the rights of interracial couples to wed) don't exist.

The irony is that the latest homophobic diatribe by Griem (like that of his partner in intolerance, Jon Barta) provides further evidence that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker's lengthy, thoughtful opinion was correct. Griem's frequent anti-Christian, venomous, hateful screeds are powerful examples of the animus, and self-righteous belief that heterosexuals are inherently "better" than gays and lesbians, that the conservative U.S. Supreme Court has already held cannot justify a discriminatory law.

In the end, though, Griem is only partially to blame. The issues before the court were different from the issues addressed by the Bible. For this newspaper to ask clergy to opine on a 136-page ruling that dealt with important issues of constitutional law and decades of jurisprudence would be like asking someone who speaks only French to opine on a book written in Farsi.

Even if Griem had more than the tenuous grasp on scripture he has displayed in the past, he is not a lawyer, has undoubtedly not bothered to read Walker's decision, and is incapable of offering any insight into the constitutional issues in play.

Griem can believe whatever he wants as a matter of religious faith, but that doesn't mean he gets to abuse the United States Constitution to take rights away from others — regardless of how desperately he apparently wishes he could.

Thank God — literally — for judges like Vaughn Walker, who recognize the extent to which innocent families deserve, and need, protection from people like Bryan Griem.

Brian K. Brookey

La Crescenta

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