Strong turnout, poor showing

It was really encouraging on Tuesday morning when I walked into work and one of the younger members of our team asked me, prior to me even taking off my coat, “Hey, did you vote yet?”

As I lamented last week, I was ready for the election to be over. However, whether you ended up being on the up or down side of candidates or propositions, there was an excitement on Tuesday as people listened to the results come in or discussed (hopefully in a civil manner) the way they voted and why. The time for arguing and swaying was pretty much over as political choices had already been made.

On my way to and from work, tireless supporters of both sides of Prop 8 stood on local street corners, waving their anti or pro 8 signs. Some friends who had to vote early or late in the day and anticipated seeing a line at their polling place planned to bring a makeshift breakfast or dinner to wait patiently for their turn in the booth. Pretty incredible when you consider how apathetic voter turnout has been in recent elections.

At the end of it all, we have the excitement and anticipation of welcoming in a new president, whether or not he’s the guy you voted for. With this in mind, imagine how shocked I was to learn of a Confederate flag hung on Wednesday morning outside a local home, apparently in anger over the victory by Barack Obama. Are you kidding me? Thankfully, almost as soon as it was put up it was taken down.

Then I received an e-mail from a friend who had a Prop 8 lawn sign in his front yard. Apparently, a couple of teenage girls thought it would be funny to steal his sign. Unfortunately for them, he’s a pretty fast runner and caught the juvenile thieves with the lawn sign in hand. He notified the sheriff’s because, darn it, this is America and we’re allowed to have lawn signs in our yard.

A day or two later a crazed elderly woman came to my friend’s house, indignant because he had the nerve to detain her granddaughter. She then called him a very derogatory name and stormed off.

Needless to say, this was one contentious election.

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Our children seem to be under attack.

On the front page of the CV Sun this week is the news that a 10-year-old Montrose girl was approached by a man trying to entice her into his vehicle. This attempted kidnapping has put parents on red alert and hopefully many of them are warning their children of this possible predator.

In the last 10 days, two children have been involved with car-versus-pedestrian incidents. The worst of the two, at Toll Middle School in Glendale, resulted in the death of the little sixth-grader. The other involved a third grade student at Palm Crest Elementary in La Cañada who, at school drop-off time, hopped out of his mother’s car about a block from his school, into traffic and, basically, into a slow-moving auto traveling the opposite direction along Fairmount Avenue. Thankfully, he sustained only minor injuries.

Even grown-ups are not immune to this rash of pedestrian pitfalls. An elderly woman was with her dog and middle-aged son when they were hit crossing near Memorial Park in La Cañada. The son wasn’t injured, but the mother broke her ankle and cracked her head, necessitating a transport to the hospital.

These incidents should remind us to be diligent as drivers and as pedestrians. We certainly don’t want anyone in our community making the news this way. As they used to say on TV’s “Hill Street Blues”: Let’s be careful out there.

ROBIN GOLDSWORTHY is the city editor of the CV Sun. She can be reached at (818) 790-8774 or Robin.Goldsworthy@latimes.com.

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