Our Readers Write

Letters to the Editor

What happened to oleander bushes?

One of the sheriff’s department’s favorite places to hide in order to catch speeders racing down Angeles Crest Highway (especially on the weekends) has been destroyed!

As a Realtor I travel up and down the highway almost on a daily basis and have seen the hardworking deputies there under the oleanders often. The deputies being there was a good thing. Every weekend, from my office on Angeles Crest I watch the parade of fire department trucks and ambulances rushing up the ’Crest to respond to accidents.

Who could have done this act of retaliatory landscaping? Perhaps a disgruntled speeding ticket recipient? The only thing I can suggest for the time being is a smaller sheriff’s patrol car and some Miracle Grow, or the deputies are welcome to use my parking lot. — Sam Buchanan, La Cañada Flintridge

On being neighbors and Town Center's new tenant

I found the Aug. 23 issue of the Valley Sun very interesting; I connected with two articles, and would love to comment on them.

First, your editorial concerning “self examination/being a good neighbor” hit the nail on the head for me. M. Wilson gave several concrete examples of daily decisions we make that affect not only our lives, but the lives of those around us. When I read it, “treating others the way we want to be treated” came to mind. I realize this is an old adage commonly referred to as “the golden rule,” but regardless of your religion or lack thereof, doesn’t it still apply?

When I start talking like this to people around me, the first question asked is, “Oh, you grew up in. . . ” You fill in the blank. It doesn’t really matter. Whether it was the corn fields of Illinois, the suburbs of Boise, or Seoul, South Korea, the real issue is about how we have chosen to treat other people — not that we now reside in California.

I hope the readers will connect with the real message behind the concrete examples and choose to take a little extra time next time they get hot under the collar about a daily mishap. Choose compassion. Take the time. Next time it may be you (or me) that needs it in return.

The second article that was a total surprise is about Home Goods coming to town [“Center’s key tenant named”]! I am not sure how many people here are familiar with this chain, but it is fabulous!

Although I have no professional credentials, I have redecorated several homes; and Home Goods has been an absolute must for me when I tackle a project. I personally have an Italian hand-made book case that is gorgeous that would have retailed for over $3,000 in another store, but I found it for $800 at Home Goods. I am not sure where their buyers do their shopping, but I have found things in their store that I also see in Horchow (an upscale home goods store owned by Neiman Marcus).

Of course they also have much smaller finds (such as Italian glass, designer towels, small appliances, candles, beautiful dishes, cookware) but I almost always find things I can use to really beautify a home for a great price. I am a bargain shopper with taste — and a huge fan. The closest store to our town is out at the intersection of I-57 and I-210. It’s a half hour one way in good traffic. I had just visited a huge new store they opened in Tustin, so I was thrilled when I read about it coming our way.

One other concern I had regarding the potential Borders opening was the little bookstore that just opened its doors on Foothill. I can’t imagine what they must have done when they thought a Borders was coming to town! I have high hopes of our little village of families supporting the new businesses in town. It’s really nice to see positive beautification happening. — Robin Renfro, La Cañada

Disappointed in Town Center tenant choice

We were amused, but more disappointed to read about the “key” tenant in our new Town Center [“Center’s key tenant named,” page 1, Aug. 23].

It’s an interesting spin that describes Home Goods (whose parent also owns TJ Maxx) as “. . . although prices are discounted, they are of high quality; off-price home fashion store; merchandise at discounted prices.” And further, “. . . it’s not a discount store in the traditional sense.”

Then, if it’s not a discount store, what is it? What are we missing?

It will be sad that after all the years of planning, debate and negotiations over our city’s crown jewel that it will be just like all the other malls and centers — a format that is less than unique.

Let us hear soon who the other tenants are — so we can again be underwhelmed.

Welcome to La Canada Flintridge, discount capital of the foothills. — Carol and Dick Cupp, La Cañada

Possible school board candidate holds off

When I retired from La Cañada Unified School District in June, I was approached and asked to run for the Governing Board. After talking to many parents, residents, teachers, staff, administrators, students and current Governing Board members, I made the decision not to run at this time around.

The overwhelming reason for this decision was that I truly felt that it would be best to wait until the next election when more seats are available. One new voice on the Governing Board would not succeed in bringing the more neutral, widely accepted and team building atmosphere that needs to present in our school district.

When the Governing Board works with District administrators and teachers, with input from parents and students as necessary, any policies or guidelines written should be more palatable to all involved. When District administrators and the Governing Board are interested and in tuned to the concerns of their staff, it becomes easier to hear and possibly adjust some of the policies and guidelines if needed. When the Governing Board and administrators are willing to hear complaints from all sides, and when necessary, say to the staff and parents, “wait a minute, this is way off track,” the fighting and side taking will diminish.

I agree with the fact that several of our current Governing Board members have singular agendas. I do not disagree with some of their ideas but unfortunately, have to disagree with the way that the teachers are being treated and dictated to about the day-to-day running of their classrooms.

If I do decide to become a candidate in the future, I do have one agenda — students’ success first! Parents, teachers, staff, administrators, students and the community need to stand together to make sure that our children succeed to the best of their ability. — Donna Shepherd, La Cañada

'Baseless assertions' require rebuttal

There is, alas, some truth to the notion that if you repeat a lie often enough people will start believing it. Accordingly, David Wilcox’s bald and baseless assertions require rebuttal [“Bush and Dreier are the real heroes,” Our Readers Write, Aug. 23].

Wilcox accuses [former U.S. ambassador] Joe Wilson of duplicity because he “cites. . . documents that were not available at the time he made his charge.” In other words, we should disbelieve Wilson because additional evidence came to light that supported his position. Surely the absurdity is self- evident.

Wilcox claims that exonerating evidence was excluded from Scooter Libby’s trial. But George Bush never challenged the legitimacy of Libby’s conviction, only the severity of his sentence. So either Bush is a hypocrite for commuting Libby’s sentence and not the sentences of all the other people convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, or he is a coward for allowing an innocent man to stand convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Which is it?

Wilcox claims that “the tide has turned. . . in the war on terror.”

Someone should inform Dick Cheney, who will no doubt want to add that to his memorable collection of optimistic assessments of how the war is going. “Greeted as liberators.” “Last throes.” How many times can people fall for this?

But the most egregious of Wilcox’s distortions is that “America prevailing in Iraq is a problem for Democrats.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t our goal in Iraq to establish a stable democracy there? If we actually succeed in that goal (which is looking pretty unlikely at the moment) then it is the Iraqis who will have prevailed, not America. If our goal is to promote democracy, then we can’t “prevail” in Iraq any more than we can “prevail” in Canada. Wilcox accuses Democrats of being out of touch with reality. But in Wilcox’s “reality,” supporting evidence indicates duplicity, allowing a miscarriage of justice to stand is honorable, failed prophecies are forgotten, and we are “prevailing” in an effort where the very concept makes no sense at all.

It would be funny if not for all the dead people. — Ron Garret, La Cañada

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