City doesn’t have to be a wanna-be

First of all, I would like to say congratulations to our City Council for taking on the most important issue at hand for the city of Glendale: public smoking (“Council appears ready to snuff smoking,” March 27).

With speeders hitting innocent pedestrians, violent offenders roaming our streets and concern for our children’s education and well being taking a back seat, the council made the right decision to tackle cigarettes. Oh, by the way, if you haven’t guessed by know, I am being sarcastic.

For the past two years, I have been a regular supporter of smoker’s rights with a level of concern for non-smokers as well. Why does Glendale have to go off and be the next Burbank or Calabasas? The city of Glendale has nearly quashed the chance for the people to be heard for the most part by assuming what’s best for everyone by jumping right into the thick of it all.

Oh, by the way, are we outlawing the sale of tobacco in Glendale, as well? No, I didn’t think so.

Second, I would like to give a major shame on you to Mayor Ara Najarian. Where does he get off making the comment, “The smoking community is very aggressive, and they’re addicts?” What type of elected official would make such a disgusting comment like this on behalf of the voting community?

Although you may have compassion in regards to the smoking ban, this does not entitle you to label a person based on your own personal belief.

By the way, not all smokers are addicts just as not all drinkers are alcoholics.

The city is going to do as they please regardless of what may be considered constitutional or what the public can agree to in regards to a negotiation.

No one is asking to smoke inside a public building or around children or others who might not enjoy tobacco smoke but why can’t a compromise be addressed?

Heads up America, what rights are they going to take away next? You may be the one affected next time.



  It’s wrong to legislate smoking lifestyle

I would like to offer a logical response that everyone would like to ignore in the smoking debate (“Council appears ready to snuff smoking,” Thursday). Does anyone know a single person who has died from environmental tobacco smoke?

Let me ask another question. How many of you has lost someone to an alcohol-related death?

The answer to the first question is that it’s probably no. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that environmental tobacco smoke may have attributed to as many as 3,000 deaths in 2006. That’s not very many considering that the number for alcohol-related deaths is almost is well over 400,000.

So my question is, why all of the concern over smoking when alcohol affects so many more people? How can we as a society justify banning one and not the other without being hypocritical? Let’s be clear, I truly believe that smoking is a nasty habit, not unlike many others.

The fact that I may find smoking offensive or that I don’t want my children to see or smell smoke is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that you cannot legislate decency to that degree without being a hypocrite. I may find that your appearance or your cologne is offensive; should we as a society legislate where and when those unattractive people can wander out of their houses? Can we legislate what cologne they wear because we don’t care for the odor and find it offensive?

As far as legislating smoking inside buildings like apartments, this should be left to the owners of those buildings. If your clientele prefers a smoking environment, they should be able to provide that environment to those tenants and likewise to the other side of the spectrum. Would burning incense or a fireplace fall under the same legislation? Both of those activities create smoke.

Burning firewood attributes over 30% of the dioxins found in our air today. I personally find the smell of fried fish offensive. Can we legislate what my neighbors can cook because I don’t like the smell? Health advocates and the like want nothing more than to legislate a lifestyle that fits their agenda. If they don’t then there’s really no need for them.

In the interim, it is still legal to sell alcohol and cigarettes almost anywhere to anyone who is of age. What is the message here and who’s the hypocrite?



  It’s time to temper the war of words

To Ara Najarian and City Councilman John Drayman:

Whoever your political consultants are, well, they simply haven’t been doing their job (“No end yet for school board, council fight,” Thursday).

I’ve had a brandy or two myself and hung out in a few smoke-filled back rooms, so let me give you some free advice regarding this war of words you’ve been waging on the Glendale Unified School District board and its president, Greg Krikorian.

First of all, he’s winning. He’s coming off like the good guy. People see him as a public servant protecting the kids.

We look like a bunch of petty, small-town political hacks. Let’s not forget the No. 1 rule of why we’re here: to get reelected. But right now, we’re getting some really bad press. Hey, we already have to answer for that debacle last spring when we fined that nice family $350,000 for trimming a few trees on her property (“Pruning leaves a fine mess,” Oct. 19).

Not good. Didn’t sit well with a lot of homeowners.

And to Najarian, for gosh sakes, how many time do we have to tell him that showing up on YouTube every other week ranting and raving is not the same as appearing on Meet the Press. Remember, people go to YouTube because they want a good laugh.

So, here’s what we have to do. We have to take the high road like this Krikorian fellow has been doing. I know you don’t want to hear this, but we’ve got to offer Krikorian and the school board some type of apology (sorry, I know that word stings). Calm down!

OK, forget the word apology. Let’s say that there’s been a misunderstanding and that we all want what’s best for the kids. Let’s explain that we’ll meet privately with this Krikorian.

Following the meeting, we’ll get a good photo op shaking hands, back slapping, you know, show the public that we’re ready to work together. Oh, and let’s get a kid or two in the picture. The public loves kids.



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