Cheers to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. I had the unfortunate experience of visiting the emergency room late on a Friday night. My wife drove me there. I spent the next six days there and after surgery, was sent home, again, via my wife.
I have nothing but praise for the doctors, nurses, orderlies, cooks and everyone else I came in contact with (except for the guy who took me back to the wrong room after a procedure). I didn’t sleep well so I was awake when the night nurse was checking on me throughout the night.
I could mention names, but I would be forgetting half of the great people taking care of me. One of those was my wife taking care of things at home, feeding the cat and visiting me everyday. Providence St. Joseph is well deserving of being a top-rated hospital in our state. By the way, that’s the same hospital I was born in 73 years ago.
In June, the City Council created a nightmare scenario about the loss of police and fire services in order to frighten the voters into supporting Measure T. The City Council is repeating that doomsday tactic for the November election, when a special sales tax will be voted on. The flier titled “Securing Burbank’s Future” and the wording of the ballot measure itself are intended to intimidate the voters into believing that vital city services will be curtailed unless they vote for the sales tax.
In truth, the people do not know how the city spends money because there is no transparency in communications from the City Council. The Council has not outlined how such a new tax would be used or why it is even clearly necessary. We do not know what portion of the city’s budget is paid to outside consultants or to finance pay raises and other perks for city employees.
The City Council is supposed to serve the people in a truthful and conscientious manner, not rely on them to be rescued from its own lack of competence in handling the financial affairs of the city. Don’t we all have to forego paying for certain expenses in order to pay for what is truly important? As it stands, the proposed sales tax measure sets a dangerous precedent by permitting more wasteful spending by the City Council. It clearly deserves a “No” vote in November.
Last December I was issued a citation by Griffith Park rangers for riding my bicycle along the Los Angeles River between the Mariposa Bridge and the Victory Boulevard overpass. The rangers informed me they had been posted on that deserted asphalt road because their bosses had received hundreds of emails and phone calls from angry horseback riders complaining about bike riders daring to enter what they consider their private riding fiefdom. Thus the rangers’ orders were to let us cyclists know we were not welcome on that public space.
Finally this week, on Aug. 21, I was given an administrative hearing in a private conference room at the L.A. District Attorney’s office in front of a judge and some city staff lawyers. I was eager to appear in order to have an official taped record of my seven-year history fighting for bicycle public access rights. I was told I would be informed of the results of my hearing in a couple of weeks. Win or lose, I was very glad to at least have my day in court with a judge, which I never got in Burbank over having safely walked my bike across the Mariposa Bridge and given two misdemeanor charges by the police.
After five court appearances, and a sixth scheduled in a Pasadena Court, I decided to accept the judge’s offer of having all charges against me dropped in exchange for my promise to stay off of the Mariposa Bridge with my bike for one year.
The main disappointment for me now is that regardless of whether I win my case in L.A. it won’t change the sad fact that the horse bullies of Burbank have successfully expropriated a large area of a public park for their own private use, with all of the maintenance costs paid for by Burbank and L.A. taxpayers.