Maybe there’s a market for choices

I agree with John and Rachele Morales’ disappointment that the theater at the Americana at Brand does not, at the least, reserve one of the smaller screens for art-house-style movies (“New market not in Glendale’s interest,” Mailbag, Wednesday).

Having to leave Glendale for Pasadena or, heaven forbid, westside movie houses is not my preference, but is what I’m forced to do if I want to see an interesting movie. Don’t get me wrong: I like explosions and gratuitous nudity as much as the next man, but sometimes I like to see a movie that makes me think.

Then again, why does the Mann not book foreign and independent movies? That would bring in new blood for their aging screens. When it comes to the dearth of movie choices, there is enough fault to go around. Maybe the Mann is the dinosaur that has to evolve or become extinct.

I, too, am walking distance from the Americana (seven blocks north) and would love to see a Sunday farmers market. I went to the Montrose market once over the years, and decided that if I have to drive 10 miles, I’d rather go to the Pasadena market on Saturday or the Hollywood market on Sunday. Unfortunately, our Thursday market is not even a consideration. Besides, there is no reason that those vendors would not gain by attending another Sunday market.

The two markets, Montrose and Americana, are far enough apart that they would not be real competitors. I see a market at the Americana drawing more people from the south side, from Atwater and Los Feliz, than taking away from Montrose and adjacent communities. If we don’t drive up there, why would they drive down here?

The Americana has proven that competition works. The fears about the Glendale Galleria dying because of the Americana were wrong. Even its management has admitted that foot traffic has increased. I believe that a farmers market at the Americana would not hurt Montrose. It may even benefit the local businesses by bringing people to the area. There are people who are not predisposed to come to the Americana or the Galleria and other surrounding businesses on a sleepy Sunday. A farmers market may just do the trick.



Incumbents not out for personal glory

Our schools once again are faced with serious challenges, and we as the public are given a choice at the ballot box April 7 to elect the majority of our school board.

There are significant differences among the candidates. The choice should be clear. The three incumbents — Chuck Sambar, Joylene Wagner and Greg Krikorian — are seeking reelection. They have earned our support. They fully understand the priorities necessary. To use the current vernacular, “They get it!”

The test of a school board member is to measure each vote by this simple test: “Is this matter in the best interests of our children?” Certainly, teachers are a priority. They are key to a quality education for our children, and that is the point. Our schools are about the education of our children. It is children that come first.

Sambar, Wagner and Krikorian have demonstrated over and over that they understand the real priority and have worked together to achieve what we all want, whether as parents, teachers, staff, administrators or taxpayers — to do what is best for the students. Please support our incumbents. They are there to serve our children; they seek nothing else but to make our schools the best for the students. We need their leadership, understanding and experience in these times. They do “get it.” Vote for the children — our future.



EDITOR’S NOTE: Baker is a former Glendale mayor and school board member.

School board needs new direction

Despite the self-serving scare tactics of the current school board and administration, now is absolutely the best time to “rock the boat” and elect new leaders because the boat is way off course.

The current leadership boasts that it has amassed huge budget reserves while other school districts struggle financially. They boast that the Glendale Unified School District will have no teacher layoffs. I ask, what has been sacrificed to the overzealous cost-cutting? Is this why some Advanced Placement classes have had up to 39 students in them? You don’t have to lay off teachers when you’re understaffed. The school board has made national news and was recently scolded by a Los Angeles Times editorial (“A bite out of teachers,” March 11), calling its ban on electrical appliances in classrooms an example of “penny-wise miserliness toward teachers.” The incumbents dissuaded challengers in the election to save money, at the cost of our democratic principles. The “experience” demonstrated by the incumbents is in hoarding money instead of showing the leadership needed to spend money effectively.

We need new leadership that invites meaningful input from all participants in the educational process. That is why I support Chris Walters for school board. She has been an active volunteer and leader in our schools, has a professional background in finance and, most important of all, is very experienced in bringing parents, teachers and administrators together to hold important conversations about what we want to see in our schools and how to make it happen. This is leadership we need, right now. The status quo has got to go.



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