Letters to the Editor
No fan of Town Center and traffic
Re: “Community Misses out on Town Center Project” (paid advertisement written by Ralph Cimmarusti).
While standing on the sidewalk outside Taylor’s Steak House recently, I overheard the following conversation above my head:
First Traffic Signal: “Do you know what you get when you cross a naked emperor with a white elephant?”
Second Traffic Signal: “No, what do you get when you cross a naked emperor with a white elephant?”
First Traffic Signal: “The Town Center!” — Don Gross, La Cañada
Town Center is a missed opportunity
I want to congratulate Ralph Cimmarusti for his piece in the Jan. 15 issue of your paper on the “community’s missed opportunity” to make the inappropriately named “Town Center” a “meaningful shopping experience.” His points were right on target with the reactions of many La Cañadans: it is a poorly designed and executed project, whose outcome is more like a glorified strip center than a true Town Center for the gathering and communal enjoyment of its citizens.
It’s unfortunate that Mr. Cimmarusti had to offer his valid points in a paid advertisement rather than as an informative article of one person’s (and I’m sure many others’) reaction to the “Town Center” project. The points raised in his ad deserve more discussion and consideration from our citizens and local fathers, and our local papers should take a more active role in encouraging such discussion and seeking feedback from the community.
I for one believe that this “missed opportunity” will be a sad reminder of what could have been, for years to come. — Gary V. Awad, La Cañada
Editor’s note: As a point of clarification, individuals are not required to take out paid advertisements in order to make their points of view known. These Opinion pages are open to letter writers and guest columnists on matters of local interest.
Hopes to correct wrong impression
Recently I was quoted in another local newspaper concerning my displeasure with the new center divider placed in the 1000 block of Foothill Boulevard. This is entirely true. I am not a fan of this new median and I wish some way could be found to return it to its original condition. However, the context in which my statements appeared might lead the typical reader to assume that I believed that our City Council or their staff, acted in callous disregard of the ingress and egress requirements of those of us on the south side of Foothill. This could not be farther from the truth.
Over the last couple of years my neighbors and I have worked closely with the La Cañada Flintridge City Council and the city staff regarding many of the street improvements for the Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest Highway area. One thing I have come to know is that they are a group of ethical and highly professional people. We may not have agreed on everything, but we did all come to understand that there were some unforeseen problems, and steps were taken to mitigate them. Some of you may have noticed an atypical left-hand turn lane on Foothill at Hill Street. This was provided to enhance access to La Cañada Unified School District, Berge’s, Min’s Kitchen, AIA Insurance and Dilbeck Realty, by allowing legal U-turns. Additionally, many other changes were made to the original street improvements plan to accommodate the needs of the local businesses.
While my thanks go out to the mayor, the City Council and the entire city staff, I would like to point out that without the personal involvement of [City Manager] Mark Alexander, [Public Works Director] Edward Hitti and [city traffic engineer] Erik Zandvliet, it is unlikely that anything positive would have been achieved. I would like to express my appreciation for their concern for our community and their continued efforts in enhancing our business environment. — John Yeghiaian, Berge’s Restaurant
He’s bewildered by the Town Center
Before retiring and moving to the Midwest in 1991 I lived in La Crescenta and La Cañada for about 35 years. When I left the area, Norbert Olberz had proposed quite attractive plans for the improvement of La Cañada’s shopping area.
When I returned for a visit this past Christmas I was more than somewhat surprised — or maybe “bewildered” is a better word.
While driving through the obstacles in the center of the boulevard and coping with a most unusual traffic light situation, I could not help noticing the number of businesses that no longer exist and that others are almost inaccessible due to the street configuration.
In place of the early California-oriented plaza surrounded by small businesses I found a little used parking structure surrounded by cold gray walls resembling a prison, complete with a guard tower. Instead of the small business spaces around a plaza as proposed by Mr. Olberz there is now the backside of empty stores. Maybe Mr. Olberz was right in the beginning when he was so violently opposed. It will be interesting to see how the city handles the situation that has been created. — Gene Burrows, La Harpe, Kan.
Seeks support for Y’s programs
Friends and Neighbors,
Imagine a place in our community where the gift of health is offered every day, where the power of team work is witnessed from the very young to the most senior, where kids are given the chance to explore their potential, and where no one is turned away because of an inability to pay. Imagine the YMCA of the Foothills and you will find that and much more.
Last summer Sierra Torres, 11, was able to attend her first sleep away camp. Cristal Sierra, 18, was named Outstanding Delegate at the 2008 State Youth & Government Convention. Neither of these young women would have been able to participate in these life changing programs had it not been for your support. Your donations to the Community Support Campaign gives kids the chance to explore their potential and offers financial assistance and program support to those who need it most.
Thirty percent of children and teens attending camp, enrolled in our child care programs or in our teen leadership offerings need financial assistance in order to participate. Your generosity directly shapes the social service landscape of our community.
Join me this February and give generously when a YMCA volunteer calls. With your gift, children and families will no longer have to imagine the possibility — they can live it. — Chris Waldheim, 2009 Volunteer Campaign Chair, YMCA of the Foothills