There's nothing wrong with renting

While reading the article about Habitat for Humanity (“Nonprofit builds homes for 5 families,” June 5), I couldn’t believe what I read.

First of all, to build 6,250 square feet with mostly donated labor for $1.1 million is out of line, and what’s even worse is that the city would pay $2.5 million for a lot.

I happen to have a 6,800-square-foot building on about an 8,000-square-foot lot and the value is about $1 million.

With all the vacant apartments and buildings for sale, wouldn’t it be more feasible to buy an existing building for a lot less?

When it comes to government spending, economy doesn’t seem to apply. After all, it’s not their money, but the poor taxpayers’.

I do not feel that homeownership is essential for a happy home. Many people rent and are just as happy.

Let these “poor folks” rent. There are plenty of apartments, and rents have really dropped.

Judith Vidor


Don’t eliminate red-light cameras

I’ve been reading in the Los Angeles Times about an angry backlash against red-light cameras installed at busy intersections in Los Angeles and about the Police Commission’s determination that the program should be terminated.

I hope Glendale city authorities aren’t thinking about following suit and pulling the plug on our fledgling red-light-camera program. Most of the serious traffic violations I witness in Glendale have to do with failure to stop for a red light.

A few years ago, my teacher wife asked her adult students, “What should you do when you see the signal turn yellow?” “Step on it!” they answered. And they weren’t kidding.

So now we have an enforcement program that has proven to be highly effective at detecting traffic violations. I suppose it’s only natural that people would react with fear and loathing to a program that threatens to be effective in catching their driving excesses.

Nobody likes getting a traffic ticket. It’s an insult — a questioning of our prowess as a driver of motorcars. After all, now that we don’t ride horses for transportation, what other skill more universally measures our competency as a man or a woman?

Time and time again we wish a police officer had been present when another driver pulls stuff that richly deserves a traffic ticket.

However, the tickets we receive seem outrageous miscarriages of justice. We were simply moving with the flow of traffic, we recollect, driving competently, safely. If any violation occurred, it was merely technical in nature, something any reasonable police officer would have let go.

I suppose the guy clocked at 110 mph on the Ventura (134) Freeway would think the same thing. He had everything under control, and besides which he was probably only doing 95 mph.

According to the Los Angeles Times, people have complained that many of the traffic citations issued through the red-light-camera program have been on the “trivial” violations, such as a “rolling stop” while turning right at a red light, the kind of violation an experienced police officer might ignore.

Another complaint was that the fines generated by the program frequently were not collected; thus the program was arbitrary in nature and had not paid for itself. Surely, Glendale is smart enough to figure out how to solve these two problems and the few others being reported.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Driving in Glendale has become more hazardous in recent years. It’s time to get serious about enforcing traffic laws.

Gerry Rankin


Artful activities abound in Glendale

The Alex Theatre was rockin’, the audience was cheering, and the Glendale Pops Orchestra was fantastic. Kenny Loggins, David Benoit and Monica Mancini were magic.

If you missed it back in May, you missed the beginnings of another jewel in Glendale’s crown. I believe the Glendale Pops Orchestra, under the direction of Conductor Matt Catingub (“A new name, a new leader,” March 22), has found a wonderful home in our city.

I’m joining Kenny to “Celebrate Me Home,” this new orchestra and all that it brings to us.

You have a chance to join the excitement on June 30 when the beautiful, Grammy-winning Patti Austin joins the Pops on the green at the Americana at Brand for “Summer Night Swing.”

If the premiere in May is any indication of the fun to come, then Patti’s appearance will be a highlight of your summer!

Come early, have dinner at one of Glendale’s fine restaurants, do some shopping at the Americana or the Glendale Galleria, and make it a great afternoon and evening.

Did I mention that the concert is free?

Great cities have great arts programs, and now, thanks to Glendale Arts, this city is no exception.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Harry Hull


Editor’s note: Hull is a member of the Board of Directors for Glendale Arts.

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