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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: ANCA-Glendale supports council members in homeowners group controversy

Photo Gallery: Vartan Gharpetian early lead in Glendale City Council election
Glendale City Councilman Vartan Gharpetian, pictured above, has accused some members of a local homeowner’s association of asking him to leave an event because he’s of Armenian heritage. The association’s president said it was a misunderstanding on both sides. Letters on both sides fill the GNP Mailbag this week.
(Tim Berger / Staff Photographer)

The Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale Chapter (ANCA-Glendale) is gravely concerned about an incident that occurred at a Royal Canyon Property Owners Assn. (RCPOA) event on Sept. 8, where city of Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian and City Councilman Vartan Gharpetian were asked to leave RCPOA’s Summer Social event citing it was a “nonpolitical” and “members-only” event.

The overall poor treatment of two council members of Armenian descent appears to be disrespectful at best and perhaps discriminatory at its worst. This type of treatment of any Glendale resident, much less elected representatives of our city, should be a matter of concern to all residents of our city. Implicit or explicit acts of discrimination are unacceptable and must always be strongly confronted.

At a juncture when it is critical for all segments of the community to come together to work for the betterment of our city as a whole, we look to city officials and community leaders alike to demonstrate the city’s fundamental commitment to embracing diversity and inclusion, starting with its immigrant community. Given this expectation of our community leaders, it is imperative for RCPOA representatives to clarify their actions and bring this matter to a constructive conclusion.

While the deplorable parts of Glendale’s history can never be forgotten — when the city was a haven for white nationalism — we believe the present Glendale is one that embraces its diversity, multiculturalism and champions inclusivity.

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ANCA-Glendale is committed to a proactive approach to these issues and has reached out to the RCPOA leadership requesting a meeting. ANCA-Glendale representatives look forward to a direct, open and honest dialogue with RCPOA board members to further address concerns raised by community members.

Lucy Petrossian
Glendale
Co-Chair ANCA-Glendale Chapter

***

I watched the entire exchange between Gharpetian, Najarian and Beth Volpe and never once did I hear the words “because they are of Armenian descent.”

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Yet once the story percolated and basically takes up the entire Saturday edition of the News-Press suddenly it is an ethnic issue.

Gharpetian and Najarian were asked to leave a private by-invitation-only private party. Simple. They should be ashamed to even remotely imply they were asked to leave because they are Armenian.

How arrogant to think you are so important that you can just show up and be welcome. Ridiculous.

Where does it say that members of the Glendale City Council are invited to every gathering in Glendale by virtue of their council seat anyway? And how much staff time is spent scouring Glendale to make sure every event taking place is on the five council members’ calendars?

If someone is having an event and want council members to know about or attend it, let them send an invitation.

After listening to Beth Volpe I am sure I would have been asked to leave as well. I wasn’t invited, and I don’t live in the neighborhood.

Jim Kussman
Glendale

***

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For over 40 years I have lived, worked, attended the public schools, gotten married, and now I’m raising my own family in Glendale.

I was disgusted to hear how Councilman Gharpetian, who is an elected official, was treated by some members of a homeowners association. Every time I think of the progress our community has made I am quickly reminded how much further we need to go. Just think about this: in the year 2019, someone telling an elected official of this community “You are not one of us and are not welcomed here.” Astonishing!

I have seen it all. However, as a proud American/Armenian I thought if you get involved in the community, volunteer and give back, you become a part of the community and make it a better place for our kids. Without hesitation I would give up my life to protect our country and community, but I guess that is not enough for some people.

For all the individuals who pretend to be our friends but show their true colors by praying every day that these guys with the funny names ending with IAN or YAN would just go away, I have some bad news. We are not going anywhere. I suggest you put away that hate, get some education and come over and have some kabob or baklava, because we love our fellow Americans and don’t kick out our guests!

Sam S. Manoukian
Glendale

***

In engineering, when a failure happens, we do what is known as “root cause analysis” in order to determine how to fix things so they don’t fail again. Many cities have electrical systems that operate reliably in 110-degree weather. Transformer failures due to 100-degree weather are not root causes, they are symptoms of a root cause.

All GWP blackouts in recent years have been due to electric loads, transformers and wires, but GWP proposed to spend $500 million to upgrade the Grayson power plant instead of solutions that reduce the loads on the transformers and wires like distributed generation (e.g. rooftop solar systems and batteries). On Thursday we had a blackout in Adams Hill, outside the area that GWP said was at risk. It appears that incompetence is the root cause of the blackouts.

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We should not be surprised. When the head of GWP cannot figure out climate change, that’s a worrisome condition. Physics is a prerequisite for electrical engineering, and climate change is high school-level physics. A high school student would not produce accurate projections for the number of degrees of temperature change occurring each year, but would certainly know that it’s not an experiment we should run. That’s why there is a School Strike for Climate movement.

It’s not clear if GWP is unwilling or unable to understand science, but the difference makes little difference to the outcome for our city. GWP remains the largest polluter in the city and is disinterested in reducing its carbon footprint. Its officials mocked scientists by bringing into City Council an industry hack (Stantech employee Michael Weber). They do not understand basic physics, and therefore cannot understand electrical engineering, and therefore cannot be expected to be able to operate a complicated electrical system competently.

Scott Peer
Glendale

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