Regarding the Oct. 14 stories "FBI raid nets 15 accused in $100M Medicare case" and "Developer accused of financial fraud":
It was reported on the same day these breaking stories were published in the Glendale News-Press that Mexican authorities had turned over suspected Valley Village bride-to-be killer Omar Armando Loera to Los Angeles Police Department detectives.
That's worthy of special note because, despite Armenia's recently reported offer to help U.S. authorities investigate the Medicare scam, if Loera had been detained in Russia and/or Armenia he might not have been so similarly handed over. That's because the U.S. does not have an extradition or rendition treaty with either of those two countries.
How long must this bilateral lack of a formal extradition treaty, between the U.S. and Armenia in particular, go on this way? In contrast, we currently do have an extradition treaty with Mexico, as well as with India and many other nations.
Accordingly, there should be no problem with getting ADI's former president, Salim Karimi, whose lawyer reportedly told the L.A. Times is in India.
We need smart managers, not meters
I read Zanku Armenian's Oct. 20 column, "Think Again: Visions for our business future," and I'm afraid he has been sucked into the "smart grid" fiasco also.
I have worked in the utility business for more than 50 years in every part of the operation. Because of the economy downturn, we should not have obligated our resources to buying smart meters. The stimulus money does not pay for any portions of the water side. This was a cost that our ratepayers could not afford at this time.
I do know that if this came to the City Council and public today, it would probably not get approved, and a lot of utilities that applied for this are very happy today that they were not selected.
I will agree that Glendale Water & Power will be able to redesign their rates and thereby be able to hit the ratepayer at various times of the day. The utility is going to find out that this is going to backfire.
The biggest cost to any utility is cost of fuel. Glendale Water & Power is running an old, inefficient power plant, and now, after wasting money on smart meters, there won't be the money to spend where it's needed.
If you want to help business in Glendale, you have to get back to the basics of providing reliable low-cost energy, and after that you can buy all of the luxuries that we don't need.
Zanku, let me give you small, really good advice if you plan to stay on the Glendale Water & Power Commission: We don't need smart meters; we need smart managers.
Emphasize crtical thinking in classrooms
Dan Kimber has it exactly right ("Education Matters: Efficiency is only skin deep," Oct. 22), and the public needs to be very, very worried about the current rush toward standardized testing, standardized teaching, and standardized teacher evaluation.
Kimber is right that mostly everyone can remember a very poor teacher, but he's also right that these teachers are few and far between. Most of us can also remember several outstanding teachers — some who caused us to make profound, permanent changes in our lives by instilling the motivation to face life's challenges with knowledge, creativity, critical problem solving and love of learning.
Standardized tests fail in so many ways to give a complete picture of teacher effectiveness. They don't measure student enthusiasm, creativity, critical thinking, citizenship skills, perseverance or ethical judgment — but these are still crucial elements of effective teaching and outstanding education.
The danger of our current approach became chillingly clear to me about a year ago when my wife and I were taking a small group of Chinese educators on a tour of some Glendale schools. The leader of the group was a deputy minister of education for a province in China with a student population the size of California.
After listening to a presentation on our approach to standardized learning and testing, the minister commented to me that he had come to America to learn how to teach creativity and critical thinking, but instead had found us trying to create an education model that China was trying hard to leave behind.
Carl Kim Allender
Editor's note: Allender is a retired teacher and former co-president of the Burbank Teachers Assn.