Drug testing program is important

In April 2009, Crescenta Valley High School implemented a voluntary drug testing program ("Drug testing in schools," April 30). I would like to encourage every Crescenta Valley High family to participate in this program.

Drug use and abuse is in every community and our small corner of the world is no exception. Some parents may believe their kids are not participating, or that a little experimentation is normal. But when is that line crossed, resulting in a tragic event? In fact, over the past several years, our community has experienced some very horrific events from the death of local teenagers, to heroin and meth use and everything in between. The drug testing program is another tool to help families and the community combat this ever growing problem.

Peer pressure is a huge influence and temptation is all around. Your teen may not be participating, but associates and friends may be. What may start as an occasional beer, or smoking a joint at a party, can easily become a chronic problem or lead to stronger drugs. We need to give our teens another option to say no.

If your teen feels you don't trust them, talk with them and let them know this is a safety issue and you feel it is important to support the school. This is a confidential program that Crescenta Valley High facilitates only. The outsourced company provides the testing and communicates directly with the families only. The more families that sign up, the more accepting teens will be and not feel singled out. There is safety in numbers (for teens as well as parents).

Drug awareness and prevention is a shared responsibility between all aspects of the community. Crescenta Valley High School officials recognized there was an emerging problem in our area and looked for an innovative way to make a difference.

In light of budget and program cuts facing cities and school districts everywhere, Glendale Unified showed its concern and commitment to the area by offering this service. It is a gift to the parents and incumbent among us all to show the same level of importance and support this program.

To the families that did not return a form or chose not to participate, please reconsider. It is not too late to participate. Call Crescenta Valley High and ask for another enrollment form.

If you and/or your teen are hesitant to participate, be honest about why and discuss your concerns with a trusted family friend, another parent, church leader, school official or law enforcement officer and see if another perspective can alleviate any concerns.

The problems facing our area are real and this is an important issue that affects all of us in the community directly, or indirectly.

Susan Dubin

La Crescenta

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Council should rethink housing project

Let us do the math: At $3.7 million for five three-bedroom units, that's $740,000 each ("City OKs Habitat project," Oct. 6).

Even at the height of the real estate market, $500,000 per lot was too much. If this is affordable housing, I want in. Has anyone looked at property values for that area recently? We receive a real estate section every Saturday.

Then there's the additional bonus of the units sitting near the freeway serving up plenty of hydro carbons and dust for breakfast, lunch and dinner! And Councilman John Drayman says it's going to be a "terrific asset" to the city? I voted for John, but I think he has lost his compass.

I agree with Mayor Ara Najarian's concerns; however, why did he vote for it? The City Council needs to reconsider this decision and possibly go forward with a different form of affordable housing or another park.

Frank Marino

Glendale

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