MAILBAG: Hard-drug use is worse than ever

A recent article (“How to say no to drugs,” Sept. 24) focuses on the proliferation of the possession of hard drugs such as ecstasy, heroin and LSD by students in Glendale, and primarily in La Crescenta. It draws attention to the lack of fear students feel when being confronted with such dangerous substances.

In September, a Rosemont Middle School student was arrested for the ownership of ecstasy, and a Crescenta Valley High School student was caught with two tablets of LSD. Such fearlessness toward experiencing hazardous drugs has never before been apparent in any other generation. The fear and knowledge preventing students from wanting to experiment with these drugs should be returned and enforced by drug classes in schools. School officials and law enforcement should work together to eliminate any such possibility of these illegal substances being brought onto campus.

In previous years, the main problem drugs were tobacco and marijuana. These days, students are going a step further in the world of drug experience. Rather than affecting one’s lungs or heart, hard drugs such as LSD and ecstasy pinpoint regions in the user’s brain and gradually disintegrate those vital connections. Lately, detailed research of present and previous ecstasy and heroin users demonstrates severe memory loss and progressing brain damage.

Users in elementary and middle school are particularly at risk, given that their brains aren’t nearly as developed as they should be to contain the damage and handle the effects of these substances. Banning and preventing possession of these drugs should be one of the main focuses and priorities of school laws and organizations. Frequent and unannounced drug dog and police searches should be made a norm at schools in our area.

It is extremely vital to educate students on how risky it is to even try these high-level drugs, and to minimize greatly the exposure to these substances.

ANI ARSHAKYAN

Glendale

Age is no way to decide funding

I am concerned that some people think one’s age should be the deciding factor for which Glendale Community College campus should receive more or less money for improvements (“Disburse GCC funds more wisely,” Oct. 5).

Measure G was passed in 2002 and increased tax rates for Glendale property owners $23.76 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. The $98-million facilities bond measure was promoted by supporters as being for repairs, upgrades, additional instructional space at Glendale Community College and the Adult Community Training Center.

Glendale property owners, who are generally more advanced in years than the typical college student, are paying for the great improvements on the main campus and also at Garfield.

So, the “older people” who are taking classes at the Garfield campus just might be some of the ones actually paying for it, and certainly just as deserving of improved facilities. Believing that you are more entitled just because of your younger age or campus location is not a reasonable argument.

As Henry L. Doherty said, “Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.”

PATTI RING

Glendale

Reader could have been more specific

Yes, I strongly agree that we must take our country back (“Marching toward taking the country back,” Oct. 3).

Not quite sure how they managed to take it away from us, because I’m still living in the same place I was before — or who we have to take it back from, or why they have it and we don’t, or for that matter, who we are, but the very idea of taking our country back has a ring of truth to it.

Book me on the next flight to Washington, D.C. Nothing like a little us-versus-them action, mindless flag-waving and patriotic cliches to get the juices flowing.

ED FREEMAN

Los Angeles

Focus on youth recreation facilities

This whole Glendale City Hall attitude toward development and social services trumping the importance of parks and youth recreation facilities in South Glendale is exemplified in the council’s recent decision to tentatively change the name of the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department to the Community Services and Parks Department (“Departments consolidated,” Sept. 25).

After all, the Adult Recreation Center’s location has unnecessarily usurped a big hunk of much-needed park space in South Glendale — not to mention, of course, four perfectly good tennis courts.

The council should instead project a more youth-recreation-focused name for that department. How about calling it the “Parks, Recreation and Youth Fitness Department”?

So when a new, say, “Development and Community Services Department” were to go to bat for another park-gobbling development like the new Senior-Adult Recreation Center, the above suggested department could step in and throw a few well-aimed youth advocacy curve balls that just might mean a called strike three on some other such profligate development before it could ever get to first base during its would-be approval process.

By the way, I e-mailed the same suggestions for that inexpensive, outdoor adult and youth-aerobics-intensive “Air Walker” exerciser that I had suggested in a prior letter to George Chapjian, director of the current Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, but got exactly zero response.

Instead, per the City Council’s vote, it looks like city officials think that only “professionals” can come up with any really good ideas in this regard. Yeah, right.

HARVEY PEARSON

Los Feliz


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