MAILBAG

Hoping ‘old town’ doesn’t change

Not being a merchant in Old Town Montrose, I can’t address the financial problems they must be facing during the current downturn.

However, I hope that in addressing those problems they don’t lose the wonderful small-town atmosphere that is — for me — their biggest draw.

SUSAN MILAM

Glendale

Politicians’ words don’t pass smell test

A glass half full is definitely appreciated, at least for the attenuated anti-smoking regulations the Glendale City Council tentatively approved on June 17 (“Council eases up on smoking,” Wednesday).

The half-empty glass is the failed regulations that would have included a ban for all public right-of-ways.

The failed apartment controls is a really tough one to make reasonable. Although I disagree with Councilman Frank Quintero, who said that they “would negatively affect a difficult rental market.”

Personal experience shows that tenant smoking can lead to significant and unpleasant tenant disputes.

Therefore, maybe apartment controls could be developed in a more thoughtful, equitable way for landlords.

OK, City Council, thank you for the limited smoking regulations that you have tentatively approved.

However, statements by Councilmen Bob Yousefian and Ara Najarian do not pass the smell test. They both commented that some of the provisions would be too restrictive, unworkable and would incite a major backlash among the city’s smokers.

Najarian gratuitously added that “going too far, too fast would stoke major opposition . . . there’s a sleeping, smoking giant . . . when cornered, there’s going to be mayhem.”

Methinks that the mayhem and major backlash that they’re both concerned about will be at their next council election, during which their anti-smoking stance will drive away voters among their heavy-smoking ethnic constituents.

And Yousefian once again demonstrates his ineffable insensitivity by stating that, “This ordinance is not going to save one life.”

Unless major backlash and mayhem erupts (and even if it does) before the council considers the revised draft ordinance, I hope that the council will relent and include a ban on smoking in all public right-of-ways.

This just in, restaurateurs say that making smoking illegal outdoors will cripple business (“Eateries weigh in on ban,” Friday). Hogwash.

Have all the bars gone out of business that objected to smoking regulations? No.

Will smokers quit eating out because they can’t smoke? No, except possibly for the most heavily addicted, they’re still going to dine out.

In fact, restaurants might even see an increase in business from majority nonsmokers who would like to dine outdoors but won’t because of the often pervasive smoking stink.

ROBERT MORRISON

Glendale

Newspaper is too politically correct

I am finally convinced that the Glendale News-Press is becoming overly politically correct in its articles (“Heroin on rise in La Crescenta,” Saturday).

You use the words “undocumented immigrants” to describe the four men in the article rather than “illegal aliens.”

A person who comes to this country on a temporary visa and/or documentation and does not leave when the visa and/or documentation expires is an undocumented immigrant.

A person who comes to this country by crossing the borders without a visa and/or documentation is an illegal alien.

VINCE ROBORTELLO

La Crescenta

Local libraries need database access

With all of the changes going on in colleges these days, and the academic demands that are being placed upon young people in general, I am amazed that our local libraries have been negligent in the one area that they could be of great help, and at little cost.

Unlike just a few years ago, all students entering college students are now being expected to write formal research papers that are packed full of notes and bibliographies. It isn’t enough that students be able to write a coherent paragraph. They must also be familiar with modern research methods, which includes being able to deal with academic journals and other serious reference materials.

One of the basic new scholarly resources is an online database called JSTOR.

This nonprofit site provides access to complete serial runs of hundreds of scholarly magazines and publications. Ask any serious four-year college student about JSTOR. They all know what it is.

But unbelievably, even though kids nowadays are expected to be able to hit the ground running with JSTOR-level college work, none of our local libraries provides JSTOR access.

Not even Glendale Community College has JSTOR at their campuses.

There’s absolutely no excuse for this. That’s because JSTOR, as great a resource as it is, is incredibly inexpensive to obtain.

Here’s something worse. The only other local institutions that provide JSTOR access are expensive private schools. That means if your child goes to a public high school, they are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to college preparedness.

That’s not fair. And considering how cheap it would be for our local public libraries to obtain complete JSTOR access, it’s not even rational.

JIM CARLILE

Burbank


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