Mailbag: Home Depot lot is out of control

Glendale News Press

I'm sure most Glendale residents have been to or driven by the Home Depot on San Fernando Road and seen all the day laborers hanging around at "all entrances and exits," and even on the property (which is trespassing and loitering, which I think Glendale police enforce?).

I witnessed one day a rental truck enter the main entrance, as I was waiting at the Harvard Street and San Fernando Road stoplight right before the Catholic Charities day labor center. It looked like a woman driving, and as she turned into the lot she was bombarded by an un-countable number of laborers all waving their hands and crowding the vehicle to the point that she had to stop to keep from running them over! I would have been terrified!

I personally have not been to that store since Burbank opened a Home Depot. No day laborers at all at both entrances, just in their little center at the far end of the parking lot if anybody needs them. Good job, city of Burbank!



Stop fighting and start negotiating My kindergarten teacher at Mark Keppel Elementary, Mrs. Marshall, taught us little tykes to play nice in the sandbox, keep our hands to ourselves, not to eat paste and respect our classmates.

Ah, the life lessons of kindergarten! It's unfortunate that as adults we seem to lose sight of these simple principles.

The latest round in the years-long bout between our Glendale school district and the teachers union is another sad example of adults refusing to get along. Instead of seeking solutions, there seems to be a "meet me after school in front of Mrs. So-and-so's house" attitude. And with any good ol' after-school fight, some in the community are picking sides ("Rallying for no school cuts," June 11).

Granted, this is an emotionally charged issue for us parents, and it's easy to get riled up. But we have to decide on the appropriate response. We can chant "Fight, fight, fight!" or we can encourage cooler heads to prevail. Which approach is going to achieve the best outcome as it relates to our children's education?

It's no secret that California's financial crisis is devastating businesses, families and schools. Policy decisions by irresponsible and short-sighted politicians in Sacramento are wreaking havoc throughout the state.

In light of this, I believe the school board has taken a reasoned and responsible fiscal approach in an attempt to ensure the long-term solvency of our school district. Losing millions in revenues from the state over the past couple of years, and uncertainty about what the future holds, has necessitated making some tough decisions.

But in doing so, I believe they have sought what is ultimately best for our children and teachers: a solvent, locally governed school district. Like us, these folks aren't perfect, but I believe they are sincerely trying to do the right thing, and I commend them for their efforts.

On the other hand, I'm disappointed that the leadership of the Glendale teachers union has chosen to pick a fight. Rather than trying to work with the school district to ratify a new agreement and save their colleagues' jobs, they have instead chosen to organize protests that have divided our community — pitting parents against parents, teachers against teachers, parents and teachers against the district administration. They are playing on the emotions of parents and held a controversial candlelight vigil in front of school board President Greg Krikorian's house.

These schoolyard bully tactics have not achieved anything except get a lot of people confused and upset. Even the Glendale News-Press is questioning the wisdom of these tactics and the accountability of the union leadership, stating that "the Glendale union is coming off more and more like an out-of-touch entity operating in a fiscal fantasy land" ("Editorial: Union strategy tough to endorse," May 29).

Teachers unions in Burbank and Pasadena recently came to agreements. Negotiations with the classified union have been completed. The school district offered to continue negotiations — what is keeping the union from coming to the table?

Wasn't a tentative deal was struck in April? Why can't both sides make a last-ditch effort to go back to the table and compromise on the few remaining items? With some creative thinking, isn't it possible to adjust class sizes back down for some of the grade levels? Isn't it possible to save more teacher jobs?

Therefore, I call on both parties to reopen negotiations and ratify a new agreement. It sounds like incoming Supt. Dick Sheehan is willing. What you about Glendale Teachers Assn. President Tami Carlson?

You say you support our children. Let your actions match your rhetoric and get a deal worked out. We need an agreement as school ends in June, not a strike as school begins in September.

Regardless of the outcome, there will be no real winners in this schoolyard fight; however, if this conflict continues to drag on, there will certainly be a loser — our children.



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