MAILBAG

Remember, not all have health care

I am happy to hear that Robert Gregg (“Marching to the same health tune,” July 30) has good health care, but thousands of U.S. citizens don't, and that is why there must be a change in our system.

Gregg may not see anyone going to other countries, but if he were to listen to the news, he would certainly hear about hundreds of Americans who are forced to go elsewhere for medical and dental treatment that they can afford.

BARBARA BLAINE

Glendale

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Can't rush judgment on vinyl

As a resident of Glendale for 21 years, I very much value the Design Review Boards' interest in preserving the design of the old Spanish- and Craftsman-style houses in Glendale, but we have to have the common sense to know that not all residents of Glendale are rich enough to be able to afford changing the appearance of a property with expensive vinyl windows, tempered glass or the updated windows that will suit the restoration of their old homes.

Most of us want only a livable and presentable house we can call home.

In reference to the letter of Susan Stephenson on July 23, “Windows a glimpse into problems,” she wrote that homeowners are inordinately policed and over-regulated, and if the city intends to impose costly overblown standards for windows, retroactive enforcement is going to be a big-ticket expense item for the city, as well as for the homeowners.

I very much agree with Stephenson. We are in a deep recession at present, the city has a reduced budget and residents want to tighten their spending too. We have other important matters to worry about other than persecuting and penalizing homeowners who are trying to make their homes livable and presentable.

We should limit the costs of home improvement for new residents of Glendale who want to live in Glendale because of what our city has to offer.

Some of them bought foreclosed properties. The city should be thankful to them that we have fewer foreclosed properties for sale.

As you all know, foreclosed properties are not maintained, the lawns and landscaping are unkempt, and some have even been vandalized.

Foreclosed properties being bought by new residents are saddled with existing vinyl windows. Are we going to penalize new residents for buying foreclosed homes with vinyl windows already in existence and in place before they occupied the home?

New residents need all the help they can get from the city. We do not want to drive them out of the city by prosecuting them.

Or what about older residents who've lived in Glendale for years with vinyl windows to make their homes insulated? We want to help older people, too. Do you agree?

Most Glendale residents have vinyl windows. The Design Review Boards have to be fair and wise in enforcing regulations, requirements and whatever fee or permit is required for those planning to install new vinyl windows for their homes.

Now, whether it is good vinyl windows or the most affordable vinyl windows that most middle-class residents can afford, should be left to the owner's discretion.

We have enough laws and regulations in this city. What is important is common sense in enforcing laws and regulations for everyone.

EVELYN TAN

Glendale

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Water district could use new leaders

The late comedian Mitch Hedberg once said, “My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.” Lately, I've been feeling that way about my lawn.

You've likely heard that we're in a severe drought, and because of that, the Crescenta Valley Water District has instituted stringent restrictions on water usage, particularly when it comes to outdoor irrigation. District customers may now water their yards only on Tuesday and Saturday, between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 a.m., for no more than 15 minutes.

Water district officials talk a lot about conservation by current residents, yet will say nothing about the effect that increasing development has on the demand for water. I have attended numerous district board meetings in the past and asked the board directly to make a statement saying that increased multifamily housing development causes increased water usage. The district's attorney told me on several occasions that the law prohibited the district from making such a statement, yet he never could point to such a law when asked.

It was interesting to see a Los Angeles Times article in which Crescenta Valley Water District Director Richard Atwater, who is also chief executive of the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, advocated using storm runoff to recharge their local aquifer, lessening their dependence on costly imported water (“Utility reverts to the long ago and not-so-far-away,” July 20). Ironically, capturing storm runoff is a key component of Glendale-Crescenta Volunteers Organized in Conserving the Environment's Save the Golf Course Committee's alternative plan for the proposed development on the Verdugo Hills Golf Course site.

So why isn't Atwater, and the rest of the board, championing this plan to increase our local water supply?

Something you may not know is that the water district is run by a five-member, locally elected board of directors, and not the county of Los Angeles, the city of Glendale, the city of Los Angeles, or any other large governmental body. Decisions made by the board directly impact the daily lives of all the residents of the Crescenta Valley. Board members are elected for staggered four-year terms, with elections every two years. Three seats are up for reelection Nov. 3, and anyone choosing to run must turn in the declaration of candidacy forms to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office by Aug. 7.

I encourage everyone to attend the Crescenta Valley Water District board meetings and to consider running for the board. Their next meeting is at 7 p.m. Aug. 18 at the water district offices on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Raymond Avenue. Remember, these five people hold the keys to your tap.

Furthermore, I challenge the current board to make the statement about the connection between increased development and increased water usage, or give a valid reason why they can not. I also ask that they step up and send a letter to the city of Los Angeles advocating the alternative plan for the Verdugo Hills Golf Course.

SHARON RAGAVACHARY

La Crescenta


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