Library is heart of the community

I am responding to the proposal to further cut — if not kill — our Chevy Chase Library, a branch that has already hemorrhaged hours, books and services (“Libraries could shoulder brunt of budget cuts,” May 12”).

Glendale public library officials have presented the City Council with a proposal to transfer management of the Chevy Chase branch to Community Services and Parks, to develop it as a community center and rental venue, and continue a “minimal library presence.” Read “minimal” as the library’s death knell.

Our isolated branch admittedly has the lowest circulation in Glendale. While Central Library is open seven days per week, and all other branches are open five days per week, ours is open only 11 hours over two days.

Our branch also is the only one in Glendale without librarian-created programming — hence I am part of a volunteer group filling that gap with popular story times, author talks and cultural events. Our group formed in response to the crisis in 2008, when the city most recently proposed closing the branch.

Libraries provide valuable public services. Like police, fire and roads, libraries are a critical government function. They need to stay open, even in hard times.

Do we ask drivers on a sparsely traveled road to tolerate fewer repairs or eliminate service because fewer travel the road? Do we ask residents in such areas to expect police and fire protection only two days a week?

Staffing the Chevy Chase branch represents most of the $28,000 to $30,000 annual cost of keeping our branch open. Borrowing workers from branches that could scale back their hours slightly would ensure our branch remain viable.

Please don’t allow further hemorrhaging, nor cut out our community’s heart and soul — our library — in the process.

Denise Meyer


Sidewalks are safer than city streets

It’s great that Glendale is trying to become “bike friendly,” but it has a long way to go (Police should cite errant bicyclists,” May 11).

One city law that needs to be changed is “sidewalk riding,” which is illegal. It is legal for someone in a wheelchair to use the sidewalk — why not a bicycle? I think this is a form of discrimination.

Since bicyclists aren’t being protected from reckless/speeding drivers, letting cyclists use sidewalks makes perfect, “safer” sense.

David Lee Williams


Don’t take from us to pay for them

As I contemplate Gov. Jerry Brown's request that we have an election for the voters to decide on increasing taxes so that school teachers and other government employees will not be required to take a pay cut, it came to mind that this would not be a proposition that would benefit me or other taxpayers.

In reality, a tax increase is a pay cut for the taxpayers. In fact, we taxpayers would be voting a pay cut for ourselves, as taxes take more of our paycheck. By ensuring teachers and other government employees do not take a pay cut as a result of a tax increase, we would be guaranteeing that we taxpayers do take a pay cut as a result of higher taxes.

In other words, if we follow Brown's advice, we save the teachers and penalize ourselves. No more taxes.

Bob New


‘New’ Manoukian looks no different

I have been following news items and letters in the Glendale News-Press concerning the “new” Rafi Manoukian with great interest (“Attacks against Manoukian unwarranted,” May 11).

Funny, but the “new” Manoukian seems the same as the “old” Manoukian, whose term on the Glendale City Council was notable for excessive coziness between developers — at the expense of homeowners.

Some of the “new” Manoukian’s appointees reek of conflicts of interest. I was offended by comments by Manoukian and his appointees to members of the City Council.

Vartan Gharpetian claimed that allegations against him are part of a giant conspiracy; Manoukian denounced questions posed to Gharpetian as “unnecessary and unethical.” Greg Astorian, another Manoukian appointee and a prominent real estate developer, said he couldn’t believe how many questions he had to answer for a volunteer job.

Manoukian wrote a letter to the News-Press after he lost his seat on the council. In it, he expressed surprise that many people intensely dislike him. He must be the only person in Glendale who is surprised.

Steve Asimow


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