MAILBAG

Short stops on Brand aren’t free

There’s been talk both pro and con regarding the new meters on Brand Boulevard (“Meters are not a problem for everyone,” Mailbag, Jan. 23; “New parking meters are for city’s gain,” Mailbag, Thursday).

I agree they were necessary because many people abused the free parking; you could never find a parking spot before.

I don’t agree with the different hours imposed, though. They should be the same all up and down the boulevard. 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. is excessive. They don’t even have that in Beverly Hills.

But I think the real reason this system was chosen by the city hides an ill intent that no one has mentioned before.

With regular meters, if you just wanted to make a quick stop to make a photocopy at Kinko’s, for example, you could take advantage of someone just pulling out of a space with 10 minutes left on the meter. Now, even if you pull into a space that was just emptied, you have no idea how much time is left prepaid by the previous car. So you pay again, even though there may be sufficient time left for your errand.

Isn’t the city charging twice for the same allotment of time this way?

CARLOS UBRIACO

Glendale

Gaudy letters a sign of the times

As a longtime resident of Glenoaks Canyon, it has recently come to my attention (and I suspect, many others) that there have been two instances of the erection of very large, white “Hollywood sign”-type letters on the hillside above Glenoaks Elementary School. It appears that these letters are at least 8 to 10 feet high because they can be seen from quite a distance.

The first set — spelling out “V JONES” — was promptly removed by Neighborhood Services about eight weeks ago because it was on city property. The latest letters to “grace” the pristine hillside — “V J” — appeared a couple of weeks ago. However, these letters were downhill slightly from the original site. Many of us here in the canyon have been waiting for the second letters to be removed. As of last Tuesday, they were still in place, which prompted me to pay a visit to Neighborhood Services to file a formal complaint to have the letters removed. They were very cordial and promised to have an inspector visit the homeowner and discuss the problem.

The following day, I received an e-mail from one of my neighbors who talked to the Neighborhood Services on the phone about the letters. He was informed that they were trying to determine if the offending letters were on the homeowner’s property or that of the school. If the letters are on school property or that owned by the city, they would be removed.

It’s also my understanding that Neighborhood Services was further looking into whether, if the letters were indeed on private property, the sign ordinance has been violated. It seems that if the materials are considered “non-commercial” and on a private citizen’s property, the ordinance may not require removal.

Aside from the huge ego boost that this homeowner obviously needs, does this mean that any citizen in Glendale can erect his or her name or initials — in any size he or she wants — on private property (front or backyard, hillside or flatland) without any interference from the city of Glendale? If so, what are we waiting for? Let’s all stroke our egos to giant proportions by writing our family names in front of our homes. How about 8 feet high and illuminated, flashing pink and green?

If there does exist this gaping hole in the sign ordinance, then I guess we’ll be stuck staring at “V J” every time we traverse Glenoaks Boulevard. Too bad for us.

PAUL CHAMBERLAIN

Glendale

Traffic plan a ticket for reelection

Ara Najarian is the gift that keeps on giving. He wants us to think he’s been giving the dangerous driving on our streets long and thoughtful consideration. His six-point plan is the last refuge of a clueless politician, deferring our problem to experts, blue ribbon panels and so-called free consultants.

As I said in my Glendale News-Press letter of Jan. 23 (“Don’t be slow to combat speeding,” Mailbag), the city of Glendale will have to rely on consultants to tell us what to do.

Recent letters to the News-Press have praised Najarian for working “behind the scenes” on his extensive traffic plan (“Citizens can aid in safety effort,” Mailbag, Feb. 4; “Najarian out for city’s best interests,” Mailbag, Friday). Seems the talking points have been distributed to Najarian supporters.

If he had truly been working behind the scenes, he would not have made that remark at the City Council meeting, reported in the News-Press, that the Allstate “2008 America’s Best Drivers” report ranking Glendale next to last should be taken with a “grain of salt” (“Report: Locals drive unsafely,” Jan. 22). He would have talked about, or at least mentioned, his behind-the-scenes plan then.

Show us anywhere during his years as a member of the Transportation and Parking Commission or as a City Council member that he was an advocate of serious traffic and/or reckless driving control.

Instead, he advocated not installing “traffic calming” devices or any other considerations.

Please spare us the electioneering.

PHRONIE SANDERS

Glendale


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