Mailbag: Better yet, get rid of the car ads

I would like to join the conversation that Robert Morrison (“Prostitutes could be profitable for city,” Nov. 30) and an anonymous writer (Web Threads, Dec. 1) are having on gun shows and car shows.

I know Morrison is serious about his condemnation of gun shows at the Glendale Civic Auditorium. With tongue in cheek, I’ll give the anonymous writer the benefit of doubt and assume he is serious about closing down Cruise Night as representing glorification of that lethal instrument we have come to depend on — the automobile.

I see no reason to add anything to Morrison’s critique of gun shows. He has eloquently laid out the argument against them. As for the anonymous writer, I can understand his frustration with automobiles — that is, with the way they are driven these days — but I think he missed the mark in his suggestion to ban Cruise Night.

I have a better idea. Let’s ban TV ads for cars — the ones that show cars accelerating to 120 mph in six seconds or careening around town with the driver gasping for air in a fit of excited exaltation. A lot of impressionable drivers, nowadays, seem to be emulating the driving style displayed in these advertisements.

On second thought, we might not be able to ban these ads outright because of that annoying institution, the American Civil Liberties Union. It probably wouldn’t let us prohibit ads based on the “free speech” provision of the Bill of Rights.

Tort lawsuits seem to work better than regulation in our society. The best strategy goes like this: Once someone is clobbered by a speeding vehicle, a model that has been highly advertised on TV, the next of kin files colossal tort claims against the automaker and the advertiser.

There ought to be lawyers who would take this case. Why not? This kind of strategy has brought us relatively smooth, hole-free sidewalks, not to mention SUVs that (hopefully) no longer roll over.

Eventually it will bring us Toyotas that don’t accelerate on their own accord.

So now we have taken care of two of the most dangerous innovations in our world — guns and cars. Morrison, the anonymous contributor, and me — three minds working together to solve society’s problems.



Keep anonymous comments out

It was always your policy to require the full name, address and telephone number of those wishing to have their letters published in the Glendale News-Press. That was a good policy.

But now you have created a Web Threads column that contains input from anonymous online commentators (such as robroy, frholman, DPL53 and one canoli) and occupies a great deal of space on the Forum page.

In my opinion, this is unacceptable in a community newspaper. Leave the opinions of those who are ashamed to identify themselves to Internet blogs and replace Web Threads with signed letters from your readers.



What are the origins of ‘Black Friday’?

When did the day after Thanksgiving become “Black Friday” (“Hoping more shoppers are in store,” Dec. 1)?

The term appeared not only in newspaper articles, but in ads as well. Who came up with that name?


La Crescenta

Parks bump up property values

The lesson in economics given to us by Robert Buniatyan in the Glendale News-Press (“More city parks lead to higher rents,” Dec. 1) proposes that maybe we should do without additional city parks so as to make land available for more apartment buildings and perhaps have reduced rents. It is fragmented logic at best sprinkled with a few accurate observations.

Those who know about rents and property values in Glendale know that the further north you reside, the higher the rents and property values are. You can trace that gradual increase from San Fernando Road on the south to the upper borders of Verdugo Woodlands. These values also coincide with a significant increase in parkland and a reduction in congestion.

Well-maintained and adequate parkland add to property values.

Open green space with smart landscaping improve the quality of life of neighborhoods and become attractive to more potential residents.

The values people seek when they choose where to live are found in the quality of life indicators: neighborhoods safe from crime, well-funded and successful schools, tree-lined streets that are well-maintained, reliable and affordable electricity and water, well-funded programs and facilities for seniors and youth, effective emergency services, good transportation options, reduced traffic congestion.

But, there is more. People also want to live with like-minded residents and where their language is spoken. Glendale, especially the southern areas, attract newcomers who are willing to accept higher rents to get those benefits.

The approach a couple of council members have about promoting mini-parks provide some relief to residents living in areas with very high densities, but ignore the needs of residents from the ages of 10 to 60. Mini-parks often replace two or three parcels of land where single-family homes once stood, so they don’t decrease or increase in any significant way the availability of apartment buildings.

The tug-of-war in Glendale is between developers and real estate interests who wish to build in every open space imaginable versus the local residents insisting on a better quality of life. Add to this volatile mix other special interests — the city unions who would probably love to see more construction and new sources of tax revenue to augment their pay and benefits.

It is my opinion that the residents are losing and the Quality of Life indicators back me up. Buniatyan is in good company. His view of economics is probably supported by at least three councilmen and his views on parkland are validated by a few thousand plump teenagers.


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