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Dangerous rail crossing must close

It is time for the officials to take seriously their responsibility and stop tussling over the rail crossing issue in Glendale (“Officials tussle over rail crossing,” June 3).

It looks like nobody really cares about human life and public safety since officials keep holding meetings yielding no results. I understand that the crossing’s closure has a lot of environmental and legal challenges, but keeping it open will lead to another deadly incident like the 2005 Glendale train crash.

Do officials and local business owners truly understand what would happen if one of the tank trucks from the adjacent gas storage facility got stuck on the rail tracks? A human life is worth more than $6.6 million.

Therefore, the debate about money is secondary to the real issue and that is public safety. I invite officials and Los Angeles business owners (those who believe the closure of the crossing and the lack of access will hurt their business) to look at this issue from the perspective that each train passenger or each driver commuting though the crossing is one of their family members.


The best solution would be the closure of the crossing altogether. Drivers destined to wreak havoc with trains resulting in disaster are bad enough, but the combination of extenuating circumstances at this particular crossing provide a formula for a disaster affecting hundreds of people and millions in property damage.

Officials who think the Doran Street crossing should be closed must fight for it firmly and seriously before a catastrophe happens once again in Glendale’s train crash history. The inconvenience of closing the crossing pales in comparison to the potential disaster as it currently stands.

We must do something today rather than having big regrets tomorrow.

Siroun Pakdaman



The flag is more than a piece of cloth

She has no respect for the American flag by calling it “a piece of cloth,” and agrees with a friend that the U.S. flag is “a sort of fetish object, a false idol.”

I am referring to Roberta Medford, a resident of Montrose, who identifies herself as an atheist. She was one of the respondents to the weekly “In Theory” feature appearing in the July 3 edition of the Glendale News-Press, which had as its topic “Does leaving out the words ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance concern you?”

The topic referred to NBC’s recent television broadcast of the U.S. Open Golf Championship where children were reciting the pledge with the words “under God” being omitted.

In her response, Medford wrote: “My feeling about the pledge and flag it salutes is that allegiance to one’s country is better expressed by our lives, not by a ritual recitation in front of a piece of cloth.”

Tell that to the Marines who raised Old Glory on Mt. Suribachi during the fierce Iwo Jima battle in World War II, or to the family members of fallen military sons or daughters in wars, who had their caskets draped with the American flag at their funerals.

Medford called the flag issue a “tempest in a tiny teapot.”


This is her thinking on this matter, and she has a right to express herself as an American. But you don’t degrade the American flag, a national symbol, like she did.

Don Mazen


Courthouse parking is inadequate

The Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse in Glendale on the corner of Isabel Street and Broadway does not have adequate public parking. Every day, many people come to the court, and they must park their cars on the street. Nearly all of the parking spots have a one- or two-hour limits. It’s very hard to find parking, even those with meters.

People who have court appointments must park their cars on the street and come back every hour to put in more quarters. People often go in and out of the courtroom, and it is disturbing. Sometimes the court clerk calls their name, and they are not there. Most of the time, people forget to go back and put more quarters; therefore, they get a parking ticket.

. I recommend people to park their cars in the Glendale Fashion Center. It is near the court, and they can avoid getting a ticket until, and if, the state goes ahead with building a new parking structure to serve a new courthouse (“New courthouse project could absorb Jewel City Bowl site,” June 24).

Henrik Khodaverdian



Some crash victims are not to blame

I am writing in response to the July 6 letter “The Crest as self-cleaning oven.” The author refers to the tragic crashes on Angeles Crest Highway as Darwin’s natural selection at work, dubbing the highway as a “self-cleaning oven.”

While it’s true that sometimes people deserve the consequences of their actions, we often forget about the innocent bystanders that suffer the same fate and the anguish inflicted on their love ones.

Regardless of the cause of these tragedies, a little compassion goes a long way because there may be a gene for stupidity, but there is no gene for karma.

Joe Juan