Our readers write

Let’s get rid of ‘street schmutz’

As I take my two dogs through our beautiful parks and neighborhood twice daily, I find that I am becoming increasingly disgusted, discouraged and disappointed. I thought that as a society we had become enlightened. I also thought that we were teaching our children to take care of our planet. However, close to home it certainly doesn’t look like it. One sees trash and litter all over the place. One has to be careful where you step or else you’ll bring poop home on your shoes and clothes. I’m not talking about just in the bushes; instead, it is on the sidewalks, driveway, in the street, next to the garbage cans and even near the poop bag dispenser.

I walk around the baseball field and see water bottles, food wrappers and piles of sunflower seed shells (which are not readily biodegradable — even the birds don’t want them). Litter in the streets, beer bottles, cans, paper, boxes and furniture. There are cigarette butts in the gutters and all over the place. Used condoms are found in our parks and streets. I don’t know about you, but I am not terribly keen on picking up anyone else’s used condoms, cigarettes or dog poop.

Please: Will you kindly clean up after yourself, teach your children to do likewise and help keep La Crescenta beautiful.

— Kathy Grau

La Crescenta

He’s sorry to rain on our parade

Crescenta Valley residents trekked to Washington, D.C., to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama (“Taking part in history,” Jan. 30).

“The crowd had a positive attitude,” said CV Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Fillpot, who was assigned to the staging area of the inaugural parade. “There were a few protesters but I would say that about 99% of the people I saw were really happy to be there.”

The exuberance and joy of local revelers might have been tempered by the knowledge that their new president supports “comprehensive immigration reform” (read: amnesty) for an estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the United States.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, DC, California taxpayers spend $10 billion a year for the education, housing and medical care of illegal immigrants — and that’s just one state.

Do you want to know the net costs of illegal immigration in the other 49 states? Look at the map on the website for the Federation for American Immigration Reform www.fairus.org.

California “wins” the illegal immigration sweepstakes at $10.5 billion, followed by New York at $5.1 billion, Texas at $4.7 billion, Illinois at $2.3 billion, New Jersey at $2.1 billion and Florida at $1.7 billion.

Sorry to rain on your parade.

— Les Hammer

Pasadena

Hey, Caltrans: He almost died today

Feb. 4th: I almost died today. I was setup and had things gone badly, I’d probably have been blamed for it, too. That was today.

A year ago, Steve Thompson wrote an opinion piece titled “Questions the value of new meters” (Our Readers Write, Feb. 8, 2008). He described being able to “enter the freeway at a normal speed and easily merge with traffic” to the imposed inefficiency of “waiting in a long line spewing fumes before (he) can enter the freeway at a very slow, and therefore unsafe, speed.” I couldn’t agree with him more. I too am under-whelmed with the local highway projects burning through my tax dollars. Metered on-ramps may be annoying or useless but seldom life threatening. What I discovered today is [life threatening].

[Traveling] northbound Glendale (2) Freeway to westbound Foothill (210) Freeway under the overpass — a blind curve — I drove into the daylight. In front of me a pickup was stopped. Dead stopped, in the middle of the freeway! A collision was narrowly avoided. The connector lights were not yet activated. The morning sun had apparently reflected in the lights lens, causing the confused pickup driver to stop at the light.

Connector lights? They are part of Caltrans’ SWARM (System Wide Adaptive Ramp Metering) fiasco. They are stoplights on freeways. Yes, that’s correct, stoplights on freeways. Not ramps, freeways.

How many [educational] degrees do you need? How educated beyond your capacity to think must you be to think this is a good idea? When I first heard of this, screen doors on submarines came to mind. This is no joke. This is willful negligence. Felonious engineering.

Who’s culpable? Caltrans surely is. Maybe their deputy director, who said, “We have changed the operation from what motorists have been used to for many years.” Ya think?

Or maybe Chief Ruano [who suggests] “…give this change enough time for (drivers) to adjust.” Translation: Get used to it. You’ve got two weeks.

Whoever is responsible, someone is going to get hurt and they will have blood on their hands.

Today it was almost mine.

Robert Leff

La Crescenta

Editor’s note: For online references, go to www.crescentavalleyonline.com and click on Commentary on the toolbar at left.


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