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Mailbag: Help extend summer weeks

Last year 2,500 people petitioned the school board to put August and more weeks back into our summers. Teachers and parents were encouraged to vote in subsequent surveys and community meetings. Their opinions reflected this same community request. But the GUSD board has chosen to ignore these pleas and recently adopted a 2017-18 calendar that eliminated only three holidays. We went from nine full weeks of summer to nine full weeks and a partial week. Now, the board is discussing 2018-19, and we want to eliminate enough holidays to return to the 11 full weeks of summer that we enjoyed before all the extra holidays were added.

Please do the following: Immediately log on to the GUSD Board of Education and from there email any or all board members individually. Ask them to honor the votes from the survey and community meetings and return to 11 full weeks of summer recess. Show your support by attending the next school board meeting on Tuesday, Dec.13 at 6:30 p.m., 223 N. Jackson St., Glendale.

Join the conversation on Facebook >>

Top priorities: Start two Mondays before Labor Day to give the AP students more instruction before the May AP test, and never start earlier than the second Monday before Labor Day, thus keeping most of August in the summer recess.


GUSD will honor the following holidays and breaks: Labor Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving (two), Winter Break (10), Armenian Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day (one), Spring Recess (five), recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Memorial Day and, possibly, one more holiday if needed.

GUSD should eliminate seven to eight of the extra student holidays and avoid adding new holidays in the future so that we can maintain 11 full weeks of summer recess every year. The district should provide 85 instructional days before Winter Break so that we can end first semester at Winter Break.

Please email and come to the board meeting. More information is available on the GUSDPARENTS Facebook page.

Marilyn Bayles
La Crescenta



Not too worried about Richmond

Ray Richmond’s petulant column (Nov. 18) against Donald Trump’s victory made my day. It reflects the perfect word in the German language: “schadenfreude” — pleasure found in the misery of others. Even better, he describes himself as “the sorest loser ever” and “crushingly depressed.”

Does Obamacare cover prescriptions for antidepressants?

In the half-century of my political involvement I’ve been disappointed when presidential candidates of my choosing lost — Barry Goldwater, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney. What I did not do was block freeways, throw Molotov cocktails at police, attack motorists in their cars or set fires to trash bins.

Far more troubling is Richmond’s callous comment as to cleansing the U.S. of “imaginary Muslim terrorists.” Perhaps he was out of town when 2,996 Americans were murdered on 9/11 or the 14 people murdered by Muslim terrorists just a year ago in San Bernardino. Imaginary? No — nightmarish.

He doesn’t have to worry by warning the rest of us, “Don’t ask me to heal, accept, embrace, reassess or chill.” We won’t — any more than his tips on horse racing or heart surgery.

While liberals know little about American history (and care less) they might find succor and comfort in the words of one of George Washington’s most valued and trusted advisers in the American Revolution, Gen. Nathanael Greene: “We fight, get beat, rise and fight again.”


Better luck and don’t despair: The next eight years will fly by — just in time for the 2024 presidential candidacy of Chelsea Clinton.

Allen E. Brandstater


Film displays love’s endurance

I saw the movie “The Last Inhabitant” before its release date. The film has been submitted for consideration at the 74th annual Golden Globe awards.

The panoramic view shows the beautiful natural scenery of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and the cinematographic bluish-grayish tone brings forth a nostalgic feeling toward the ruins of one’s ancestral homeland, which makes the viewer admire the character and natural beauty of his lost paradise.

Despite being the last inhabitant of Gyurjevan and surrounded in the enemy ring, the movie effectively shows the father’s love toward his daughter. Director Jivan Avetisyan paints a story and involves us with his main characters to show us that there is still love in all of us. Regardless of all atrocities, one can still survive, still admire the natural beauty of his homeland, and still continue his friendship. Avetisyan does not portray the last inhabitant’s encounter as one with an enemy, but as an encounter with a friend who is there to help him.

The film, based on a true story with historical insights, sets the time period during the 1988 conflict in the region and the massacres against Armenians, as the area was on the verge of collapse with the Soviet Union, during which Artsakh was struggling to rejoin Armenia.


“The Last Inhabitant” builds on the human passion of love and makes viewers identify with the struggle of the conflict with the political implications behind the world actors. The protagonist is able to protect his daughter within the enemy ring, but he is unable to defend his homeland. Watching the movie certainly makes viewers aware of international politics, apathy and the struggle for power.

Rachel Melikian


Elevated tracks, elevated concerns

Re: “Proposed high-speed rail station would travel from Burbank to L.A. Union Station,” Dec 5. Imagine a futuristic high-speed train on elevated tracks 30 feet above a busy street traveling 100 mph derailing and then crashing downward toward a crowded street below. A scene from a Superman movie? No, this might someday be my own Pelanconi neighborhood if the California High-Speed Rail Authority plans move forward. The map I saw at the CHSRA meeting on Dec. 1 showed that tracks passing through Glendale would be at the surface, not underground or elevated. However, when I pressed the engineers for details, they told me that current plans are for tracks to be elevated from 15 to 30 feet directly above street level along the half-mile stretch of San Fernando Road going through our neighborhood. The safety risk is compounded by the fact that this elevated railroad would serve not only high-speed rail, but also Metro Rail, Amtrak and Union Pacific freight trains.

Besides obvious safety issues, this design would have a devastating quality-of-life impact on our neighborhood. This elevated railroad would be visible from most of the residential streets here, and because it is elevated, the noise from all the trains would project further into the neighborhood than it already does now.

There are better alternatives than an elevated railroad that would not have such a huge impact on the quality of life in our neighborhood. I am not a NIMBY, but I do want to see this system designed with our neighborhood’s quality of life as its first priority. My fear is that with the budget constraints that CHSRA is under, reducing cost may instead be their highest priority. Superman will not come to our rescue.

Steve Mills


AT&T should reach out elsewhere

I strongly oppose the proposed placement of a new cell tower/maintenance building at Dunsmore Park.

We have been homeowners in La Crescenta since 2009. Our children attend Dunsmore Elementary and spend hours at the park with friends on our weekly short day. My 8-, 10-, and 12-year-olds play all over the park, not just on the play structures. The southeast corner (the proposed site) is a favorite location for Nerf battles and rolling down hills.

Dunsmore Elementary, like many Glendale schools, has limited green space and uses the park for special school events. Dunsmore park is used regularly after morning drop-offs and afternoon pickups.

I am surprised that AT&T cannot identify a more appropriate location for their use. Approving this proposal in a well-established popular park makes no sense at all when Glendale is increasingly becoming overbuilt and congested.

I strongly urge the Glendale City Council to deny AT&T’s appeal on Dec. 13.

Mana Holman
La Crescenta