Americana is a gain for downtown

Regarding the letter titled “The wrong kind of winter congestion” (Mailbag, Tuesday) I am so sick and tired of the Americana at Brand being bashed at every opportunity. No one will get any facts straight before opening their mouth or before writing a letter. I frequent the Americana every chance I get and use the valet service, and if you validate, it’s free. I spent $3.50 at a coffee shop in the Americana, was there about an hour and a half, walked to Nordstrom, bought a watch and returned to my car, and it cost me a $2 tip. My friend, on the other hand, self-parked and validated, and again parking was free.

Again, self-proclaimed advocates of the merchants for the Glendale Galleria will claim it’s not fair to the merchants. Has anyone researched? Looked at numbers? I personally know two merchants at the Galleria, and their businesses have seen a significant rise in revenue since the grand opening of the Americana.

Parking at the Galleria always is hectic, but we get by. Furthermore, when I need to buy something at the Galleria, I park at the Galleria, but if I need something from the Americana, do you think I’m going to go back, get my car and re-park there? Be serious. Stop being frivolous. Here is a little exercise — for 20 minutes, stand at Brand Boulevard, where the Galleria meets the Americana, and count the number of people walking back and forth. There is a lot of foot traffic both ways, meaning people parked on either side. Can we stop with this bashing of the Americana? It’s here to stay, like it or not.



Glad to hear of Raffi’s plans

Regarding “Middle Eastern restaurant seeks expansion,” Tuesday: I wish all the best to Raffi’s Place, one of our favorite Armenian restaurants, in its plans to expand.

This will add vibrancy to Glendale’s downtown in a way that the Americana at Brand has failed to do. Having voted for and eagerly awaited the Americana, I have been disappointed that the project has become an insular, enclosed entity contributing little to the surrounding area. On two sides (Central Avenue and Colorado Street), one is confronted with Potemkin Village-style faux frontages. Pedestrian access is slow and inconvenient. Local stores and restaurants languish for lack of business. I was hoping that the Americana would revitalize downtown, not suck the remaining breath out of it.

Is this what the city wanted?

The debate is not over, and there are steps to be taken to improve the relationship between the Americana and the rest of the city center.

In the meantime, go for it, Raffi’s.



My wishes for a happy new year

All I want for Christmas in Glendale:

No cellphone tower in anyone’s frontyard.

A Glendale Water & Power utility bill that isn’t sky-high to pay for outside consultants, donations to Councilman Dave Weaver’s pet projects and be a piggy-bank for wasteful city government spending.

The Glendale Unified School District to take the very generous contract offer from the teachers union.

Someone like Bruce Philpott elected to the City Council to help stem the tide of runaway deficit spending and bigger government.

No Long Beach (710)/ Foothill (210) freeway connector tunnel unless they plan on also burying the freeway as it goes through our Crescenta Valley foothill corridor.

A peek at the expense reports of all Glendale City Council members, department heads and managers just to see how the other half lives large in the Jewel City.

Any new community project that is not based around shopping, shopping and more shopping.

A city manager who is 180 degrees from Jim Starbird and a city attorney who knows when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.

A few less parking meters and youth sports fee hikes and a whole lot more common sense from our elected officials.

And finally, a big voter turnout for the municipal election April 7 that gets rid of some dead wood and brings change to a bloated, moribund city government.


La Crescenta

Union should just take the pay cut

Regarding “Automakers asking for more,” Political Landscape, Dec. 5: I have read that the Democrats would not force the union to accept wages on par with U.S. employees of foreign auto makers by a specific date.

It seems that they will take a layoff instead of accepting wages paid to other U.S. auto workers.

And it will have to be a layoff. A 2009 Toyota Corolla in today’s paper will sell for $13,995. Now you know why the Big Three has a big problem selling expensive vehicles.

Some unions have been necessary, but some are just greedy.



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