Let's heed TR's words on this issue

Too many seem to be missing, or possibly avoiding, the point that was being made with Dan Kimber's column regarding the Armenian Youth Federation's position on the assimilation of Armenian youth in America (“Greet melting pot with open arms, April 17).

Entering into the fray on this subject, or in any way questioning the motives or merits of anyone or anything Armenian, especially in today's Glendale, is to risk being labeled as racist and uneducated on the topics of Armenian culture, Armenian history and the Armenian Genocide. That said, I hereby offer my 2 cents.

For the record, we Americans, especially those of us in and around Glendale, are acutely aware of the history of Armenians and the Armenian Genocide. We are also acutely aware of the intense sensitivity of many Armenians on the topic of the genocide suffered by their ancestors.

Like most Americans, my ancestors came to America from somewhere else. In my case, my grandparents on my mother's side came here to escape crushing poverty in Scandinavia.

Their emigration followed a process of applying and waiting for permission to come to this country.

In those days of the early 20th century, my grandparents worked menial jobs and saved what they could for their future.

At the same time, they learned to speak, read, and write English and studied to become Americans toward the prized goal of earning American citizenship. It was expected of them, and in return they became Americans in every sense of the word. This did not come at the expense of their love for their culture and native homeland.

I fully recognize that my ancestors did not come to America to escape persecution, and they were not the victims of genocide. That fact does not prevent me from appreciating the plight of those who have been through such an experience.

In 1907, Theodore Roosevelt described becoming an American.

The anti-assimilation position of the Armenian Youth Federation should be judged in contrast with Teddy's words, which should not be forgotten any time soon:

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...there can be no divided allegiance here.

“Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag....We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is a loyalty to the American people.”




Activity is critical to children's health

It is very easy to see that the obesity in our young generation is rising. Almost 13% of children and adolescents in America are overweight or face obesity. It is unfortunate that many children do not engage in physical activities and this is the one of the causes that leads to obesity and other health problems as they get older.

Thirty minutes of physical education twice a week is not enough.

I hope the Glendale Unified School District will take this serious issue into consideration and increase the amount of physical education in schools from part time to full time.

Having daily physical activities in school will help obesity levels decrease and will also decrease the chance of having other diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension or stroke. Physical education will help our young generation to improve physically, as well as emotionally, especially those who have very low self esteem because of their weight.

Daily physical activity will help every child to build healthy bones and muscles, strength and endurance and, most importantly, help children to control their weight.

Also, it will help them find fitness activities that will become lifelong habits or practices. Daily physical education in all schools for all grades is a logical and important step toward improving the health of the next generation.



Don't forget other side to rent control

If I were a Glendale apartment tenant I would love rent control; but then again, maybe not. There have been a number of Forum letters recently pushing for rent control, but the writers forget that they are at the same time pushing for less or delayed maintenance and slower management responses, or no responses, to tenant concerns if rent control is enacted.

However, I'll be happy to help push for rent control if, and only if, tenants and others calling for rent control will help me push for cost control for owners.

The city, therefore, will need to pass in parallel with rent control an ordinance that controls what can be charged by painters, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, tile setters, roofers, gutter installers, gardeners, glaziers, flooring installers, drapery installers, insulation installers, air conditioner repairers, as well as the costs for managers, cleaning service and termite, rodent and other critter control.

And of course costs for appliances and other material. Property taxes, insurance, utilities and city services must all be controlled because owners can't afford the increases in all these costs if rents can't be increased accordingly.

Oh yes, I almost forgot that the city will need to subsidize lost income from vacancies.

All of those who want controls on rent increases seem totally oblivious of the downside for tenants and the community from such control.

They seem equally oblivious that rental properties do not exist in a vacuum and that the costs of operating and maintaining them often rise at a higher rate than rents increase, especially for “mom and pop” owners like my wife and me.

If tenants want subsidized rents, then get that done through government help rather than unfairly having only the property owners providing that subsidy via rent control.



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