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Mailbag: Rallies, vaccines and rent control on readers’ minds this week

I wish to applaud the city of Burbank for demonstrating its commitment to community-building by allowing its citizens to voice their concerns through peaceful rallies and gatherings.

At this moment in our history, we are witness to an almost unprecedented abuse of power. Substantiated proof of corruption and manipulation of the truth at the highest level has been revealed, and has injected anxiety and confusion into our national dialog. Spoken and unspoken permission has been given to use violence against people that one doesn’t like or disagrees with, and we are seeing its effect almost weekly.

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People of good conscience (fortunately the majority) can no longer sit on the sidelines as previous standards of decency and diplomatic propriety in government are obliterated.

By recognizing the urgency we feel to be able to gather with like-minded individuals in a show of solidarity, Burbank has done an invaluable service to those of us who can’t afford to travel to large protests in other parts of the country but still need to exercise our right to say “No more!”

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Jennifer Rabuchin

Burbank

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I am writing to ask your support in raising awareness about vaccine-preventable diseases. Public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide a recommended set of vaccines for every child by the age of 6. These vaccines minimize the risk of spreading virus infections and help kids develop immunity against the vaccinated type of diseases. This form of immunity protects society from the risk of outbreaks, because the virus cannot be spread by vaccinated people.

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Still activists of the anti-vaccination movement decide not to vaccinate their children. Consequently, this places the health of their children at risk, especially in adult years when they travel and change locations. This vaccine decision affects not only mothers and their children but also the community. Such is the case with the most recent outbreak of measles in the states of California, Oregon and New York. The CDC reports 127 cases of measles accounted for this year as of Feb.14, 2019. In 2018, the United States experienced 17 outbreaks. These outbreaks were associated with travelers who brought measles back from other countries where a large outbreak was occurring. It is the greatest number of imported cases since measles was eliminated from the U.S. in 2000.

At the point where individual decisions harm the community, the government and public health professionals should be involved. The government should have the right to compel vaccinations, because the decision not to vaccinate puts the public at risk. We have criminal laws and driving rules to protect the general public. The same approach should apply to vaccines. It is a necessary choice to protect others.

Liz Martinez

Burbank

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While a subject that only gets lip service because the chances of passing a rent control ordinance are slim, it may be time to consider it.

After 25 years in my Burbank apartment with rent increases every few years, my landlady seeks excessive and frequent rent increases. Last year my rent was raised $100 per month, this year, the rent was raised $150 per month with an announcement that rent increases will be every year.

These increases are from a person who pays nothing for maintenance, makes demands for free labor and only repaired a dangerous water heater when I, after numerous requests, stated I would repair the danger and deduct the cost from my rent.

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Does anyone else have horror stories about rent increase excesses?

Norwood Price

Burbank

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