Re: “Rent increases are excessive,” March 2. Mailbag contributor Norwood Price understands that excessive rent increases, instituted by greedy landlords taking advantage of a severe housing shortage, would be kept in check if the Burbank City Council had the will to enact rent control. What some property owners are doing to Burbank renters is abhorrent, but their actions pale in comparison to what City Council members are not doing to protect renters.
At a council meeting last month it was noted that Burbank renters comprise 46% of the city’s residents. Yet these council members do nothing to protect almost half of the residents living here. This City Council is, in a word, useless. Even worse, these individual council members are heartless.
I was shocked to see reports of some Orange County high school students going online with video from a party where they gave heil Hitler salutes over several dozen plastic beer cups arranged together in the shape of a swastika. Part of the blame for this needs to go to their education system, which has not done a good enough job teaching these students the history of Nazism and hate.
While I was in Berlin recently I visited the Holocaust Museum near the iconic Brandenburg Gate, which is a darkly lit below-ground building with exhibits of large photos behind glass showing the history of the murder of six million Jews. As I entered the building I saw a group of German high school students exiting who were in tears and sobbing at what they had just seen there. I spoke to the curator of the museum about these young Germans, and she explained to me that they daily bring groups of students there from all over Germany to educate them about their terrible history and that the emotional reaction I witnessed is typical of all of them who visit the facility.
I think American students need a jolt of historical knowledge such as German students receive in order to understand why the Nazi beer party celebration in Orange County was so wrong.