Mailbag: Union made a huge error in judgment

Glendale News Press

What the Glendale Teachers Assn. did to Greg Krikorian's five children was unforgivable, and unthinkable.

I am the aunt of these children, sister of Krikorian. When I found out that the union was going to protest at my brother's house, I thought it was a joke — a really bad joke. With schoolchildren at this private residence, no one would stoop that low.

Immediately after work I went to my brother's house to make sure my nieces and nephews were all right and give support.

If you only saw what I did, heard what I did, felt what I did from all five of these children, your heart would have been broken.

Three of my nieces and nephews are active students in the Glendale Unified system. Two other children are recent graduates, and all five were home and in such fear.

One was upset at the prospect of attending school the next day, telling me how they were trying to peek to make sure if any of the teachers were from their school. Regardless if they were or were not, what this did to them was damaging.

Pick on people your own age! Go after the legislators who decide the overall fate of the funding allocated to the schools.

Go after Paul Krekorian, whom the teachers unions gave thousands to elect to the state Assembly and then who left you in the dust for L.A. City Council.

The Glendale school board consists of four, since the Glendale Teachers Assn. has bought Nayiri Nahabedian's seat.

Out of the "four," three are active parents in the Glendale Unified system. Do you think for one minute any would as parents enjoy overcrowded classrooms for their own children? They themselves are directly feeling the impact of the decisions that they make.

Front cover of the News-Press had a picture with teachers protesting — I assure you the picture inside my brother's house would have shown a different story, a sad one.

DIANE KRIKORIAN SERAFINO

Glendale

Some questions for Assembly hopefuls The Glendale Education/Social Justice Advocates sent the following questions to the candidates in 43rd Assembly District a few weeks before the special election. We received no responses.

I'd like to hear from any local candidates for state office before the June 8 primary on the following:

How would you increase state financing for education?

What is your position on the parcel tax for the Glendale Unified School District?

What is your position on legalization and taxation of marijuana for use by adults, controlled in a similar manner as alcohol?

What is your position on legislation allowing physical education credit for Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps?

What is your position on the 710 Freeway extension project?

What is your opinion on truth in advertising legislation for so-called crisis pregnancy clinics, those that do not offer medical services?

What is your position on the proposed privatization of the L.A. County Health Clinic in Glendale?

What is your position on the construction project for a new courthouse in Glendale after hundreds of court workers have been laid off and possible closure of courtrooms are looming?

SHARON WEISMAN

Glendale

Commission will miss Larry Zarian Gov. Schwarzenegger's decision to remove Larry Zarian from the California Transportation Commission is a loss to our community, the Los Angeles region and the people of California.

I've had the pleasure of serving with Zarian on the California Transportation Commission for the past two years. Few in the transportation arena can boast his 25 years of experience as a member and chairman of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and on the state commission. Larry is a tireless advocate for our region and for Glendale.

Larry and I are the only commissioners from Los Angeles on the 11-member commission. At times, we've had to fight hard for L.A.'s interests. This month, we worked to secure $46 million for positive train control on the Metrolink system. Zarian was critical to the success of that effort.

Zarian is a person of integrity who does what he thinks is right for the taxpayers. On May 19, he voted against a controversial proposal to privatize construction of a section of freeway in San Francisco. Like most members of the commission, Zarian supports use of so called public-private partnerships. However, on this project, he had concerns about legal opinions issued by the attorney general's office and the state Legislative Counsel that the commission lacked the authority to approve the proposed financing structure.

Moreover, despite the fact that the state had already secured the funds necessary to build the $466-million project, the governor's office was pushing a privatization proposal that would cost taxpayers $1.4 billion. The proposal passed, 6 to 5.

Zarian voted his conscience, citing the legal issues that had been raised. His experience told him that the proposal as envisioned was not ready to go to bid.

I think most California taxpayers want public officials to exercise exactly the kind of independent judgment that Zarian did in this case. It's a shame that he is being singled out for doing what is in the best interests of the taxpayers.

DARIO J. FROMMER

Glendale

Editor's note: Frommer is the former representative for the 43rd Assembly District and currently serves on the California Transportation Commission.

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