COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:

I have lived in Glendale more then 75 years and arrived here, with my parents, in 1929. We lived for a while on East Wilson Avenue, near the Doctors’ House, in a house with a large stained-glass butterfly window, and I went all the way through the Glendale school system: Columbus Elementary School, Toll Middle School and Hoover High School.

Now to the subject: The Toonerville gang is nothing new and has never been “wanted,” and here’s where I get cynical (“Court upholds injunction,” March 19). Do you really think a permanent injunction will keep our parks nice, or will it just egg them on?

We don’t have enough police now — we can’t even get parking and traffic right. I’m not sure whether Carmen Merino believes her own words. They are similar to words said for years. Do you believe her words will be able to stop the “nuisance” activities that have gone on for years?

In 1947, I married a young man from Los Angeles, and we worked hard to first rent and then buy our first house in Glendale. I found out later that part of my attraction was that I was a Glendale girl. He never wanted me to know most of his neighbors and friends and repeatedly warned me about his old neighborhoods. Although he had grown up alongside Riverside Drive (southeast of Atwater), he warned me, from the beginning, about Toonerville gangs and to never take the Chevy Chase shortcut to Griffith Park. That was 60 years ago.

You would think, since we began with such a perfect (relatively) small village, that it would be almost perfect now. And it was mellowing so well, for a while. Again, we hardly have enough police to take care of us (or do their job), and we are adding to a burden they already have. The traffic is horrible. The bravado is rampant, since many drivers seem to screech around corners and run stops almost within sight of the police station.

An employee there said she says her prayers every night when she makes a left to get out on Wilson. Also, if anyone would like to really know about our real traffic problems, they should spend some time on my fourth-floor balcony. I remember some years back when friends and I would be entertained for hours watching traffic in Europe. Rome was funny (all tangled up) in the daytime, but unbearable at night (like New York’s theater district), while London was slow, polite and ridiculous.

Sorry — I wander. The most dangerous decisions our city is making are encouraging the “fighting” crowd back again (“Boxers get back in ring,” March 11) and thinking our little police department can handle the new threats from the “bad guys.” Also, to all those naive, well-meaning people who think basketball courts make better citizens: Grow up and look around. If you have never experienced who these courts really bring to pretty little parks, find out, please. Read the whole newspaper some time. Look it up on the Internet.

But please don’t check them out alone, not even driving slowly by. Maybe you should converse with the Los Angeles cops. Parks for children, unfortunately, if they cannot be properly policed, should be closed and fenced at night. Basketballs do not make good citizens. I’m sorry.


 PATRICIA MAE HERRIOTT- VOEGE is a Glendale resident.

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