Americana not to blame for crime

I have been reading the Glendale News-Press for a long time, and I like the community forum section when readers post their opinions. Once in a while I come across a letter (“Americana has brought more crime,” Monday) that I have to respond back. I don’t understand how Patrick Dean connected the crime rate increases to Americana at Brand. If I remember correctly, many of our dear resident complaints at the opening night of Americana were over things such as noise, loud music and fireworks.

Ever since this beautiful shopping mall opened, many people can’t stand that. The crime rate has gone up because of an increase in population, not the Americana. Now we are a city of 200,000-plus people, with different races and ethnic groups. This increase in population of course will raise the crime rate, which is not due to Americana.

If you are to blame the crime rate increase on the Americana because it generates crowds, then we should not have any events take place in Glendale. Every year we have the Love Ride, which brings thousands of motorcyclists to Glendale. After that we have the classic car show on Brand Boulevard, then the Montrose art show and music festival.

These events gather more crowds to our city; increasing crime could be attributed to that too. So does this mean that we stop doing all of these events? Don’t forget these events generate revenue. Another comment was made by this dear writer regarding the Police Department — “Officers need to let officers do their job alone.” When an officer is responding to a call, he or she has no idea what is going to happen. When they pull over a car, they can search the car; it’s called “probable cause.”

Now the reason why they’re calling in a backup unit has to do with training and procedure. It is not up to us to tell them how to respond to a call. Dealing with the public is not an easy task.

Please stop bad-mouthing our beautiful Americana. I said it before, and I say it again: It’s nice, it’s beautiful, and it’s amazing.

This is the best thing that ever happened to Glendale. I enjoy the pleasant atmosphere whenever I go there. Perhaps you should do the same every once in a while.



Gas tax should be considered

The lead story in the Tuesday edition of the Glendale News-Press showed Glendale residents protesting a proposal to eliminate funding for Adult Day Health Care centers (“Protesters plead for care”). It illustrates the type of agitation we may expect to see repeated in cities and towns throughout California as a consequence of the failure of the governor and the Legislature to solve the state’s fiscal crises.

Obviously, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s statewide special election wasn’t the solution. The ballot measures were too complicated and seemingly too devious to get traction with voters. Most voters had trouble understanding them, and they suspected that half the state legislators didn’t understand them either.

More to the point, the scheme was entirely inadequate for the task. Surely the governor and the Legislature can do better than trying to jazz up the state lottery while asking the voters to take funds from the preschool and mental health programs they had so recently approved in general elections.

The governor and state legislators are already almost totally discredited. So they have little to lose should they finally decide to do the right thing and choose what is clearly the only plausible solution to the state’s huge deficit — raise taxes!

Raising taxes is never popular, and it is particularly painful during a recession, but curtailing government spending is even more detrimental to recovery, especially when doing so would affect our most vulnerable citizens.

The tax that would make the most sense is an additional gas tax, at least 25 cents a gallon. Such a tax would have the added benefit of encouraging transportation alternatives that would result in less petroleum consumption, thereby reducing the ill effects of greenhouse gases and lowering our dependence on foreign oil.



Columnist should embrace ‘spirit’

Dan Kimber’s June 5 column, “Shining stars of altruism,” is more of a spotlight on the columnist’s duplicity. Not only does he bury his reply to the criticism he has received concerning his remarks about the Armenian National Committee and Armenian Youth Federation, he suddenly changes his tone regarding dissenting opinions!

I speak from personal experience, as president of the Glendale Teachers Assn. I wrote a community commentary this past February titled “Board member’s absence is inexcusable.” In it, I criticized a school board member’s efforts in recent years. After that commentary was published, Kimber and others criticized my opinion in the Glendale News-Press, but he never initiated contact with me “in the spirit of direct dialogue” to confront me directly before publishing his criticisms.

In fact, just the opposite occurred. He continued to attack me in the Glendale News-Press repeatedly, without ever sitting down to discuss our differences in open and honest dialogue. That is fine; so be it. That’s his right as a columnist.

But when I did cross paths with Kimber at a sending-off party for then-Glendale News-Press Editor Danette Goulet a few weeks later, I made it clear to him that I felt he should have approached me first and tried to understand my opinion before going on the attack in his column. Rather than agreeing to a one-on-one discussion — his current position on dissent — he declined the offer.

His question, “Would it be too much to ask that I be confronted directly?” is the epitome of hypocrisy.

Kimber should practice what he preaches. It would simply be the right thing to do. As a columnist, he has openly attacked others, myself included, time and time again without ever following “the spirit of dialogue” he suddenly embraces.

For his own integrity, I hope he chooses to follow his own advice the next time he has an issue with an individual or organization. I am sure those attacked would appreciate the opportunity to have that open dialogue he is suddenly in favor of before reading about themselves in one of his one-sided, inaccurate, negative articles.



EDITOR’S NOTE: Freemon is president of the Glendale Teachers Assn.

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