Letters to the editor: sound walls, Spartan, poetry and rattlesnakes

Are sound walls the best solution to freeway noise?

City council members are currently considering spending more money on sound walls ( “Council discusses sound wall,” March 10). Much has been spent on studies in the past, and now $4.5 million has become available from Measure R funds.

Years ago, I suggested to council members that they spend a few thousand dollars having a consulting engineer estimate the effectiveness of sound walls in our community. Before spending big money on sound walls, I again urge this analysis be done.

I believe, as [former City Councilman] Jerry Martin has suggested, that traditional sound walls will have little benefit here (and are certainly not worth the cost). The sound may be reduced close to the wall, but further up the canyons it could be worse. The walls would need to absorb the sound, not merely reflect and scatter it.

A better approach to reducing noise might be to pave the freeway with asphalt, which is much quieter than concrete. How about preventing trucks from the 210 tunnel in Pasadena, which always backs up now? How about enforcing noise regulations on trucks and motorcycles?

Let’s do the fiscally responsible thing and not just spend the $4.5 million. We should have done this with the recent boondoggle project of replacing curbs and repaving areas that did not need it.

Glenn Hauser

La Cañada Flintridge


Praise for the Spartans

Like many members of our community, I’ve been very fortunate to witness and play in some exciting sporting events over the years. Each one was special because one or two particular athletes made, or missed, a key play. Others were fun because of the venue surrounding the game itself.

But I’m not sure I’ve ever had more excitement or fun than watching our La Cañada High School Basketball Spartans defeat Inglewood on Saturday night at the high school gym. There is something special about this team. It has something intangible that is hard to put into words. They play extremely hard, as all good teams do, but there is something else going on. They way the ball flows down the court to the open shooter, the positioning and hustle on defense, the cool calmness and intensity under pressure. The enthusiastic support from the bench. It all works, and it’s magic.

For a $9 ticket, our family had the good fortune to witness this extraordinary game. And as 60-50 winners, we watched as a joyous crowd rushed the court, praising and congratulating the team, coaches, staff and cheer squad. Championships are hard to come by, and this group will have great memories of all they have accomplished through tremendous adversity against extremely tough opponents all season long.

In their years ahead, whether at school, work or home, they will get the opportunity to reflect on their collective toughness and the perseverance that carried them through this season. Our athletes are learning great life lessons from Coach Hoffman, and at the same time they are all teaching us.

If you haven’t watched them yet this season, this Saturday they play at noon on the USC campus at the Galen Center. The tickets are $18 instead of $9. If you want to enjoy sport in its purest form, come and watch the Spartans show all of us exactly how it is supposed to be done.

Craig Levra

La Cañada Flintridge


Welcoming La Canada’s poetry renaissance

How lovely to see Sara Cardine's article, “Poetry lovers find new haven at Flintridge Bookstore” in the March 3 Valley Sun. I've known poet Lois P. Jones for several years now and have watched her own poetry grow and her advocacy for poets mushroom. I've also long admired her partnership with Alice Pero and have even been a recipient of their generous Moonday Poetry Series.

On a slightly different note, I've watched the Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse grow in the past months. I've lived adjacent to the Flintridge area long enough to see the town lose a major bookstore and a smaller effort evolve away from books. Very disappointing!

We seem to be experiencing a renaissance here! Congratulations to all involved! Lois, Alice, Heidi, Gail, Catherine, Sara and the new and much needed bookish cultural center in La Cañada! You are our community treasures!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson



Rattlesnake disposal is cruel and unnecessary

Re: “First snake of the year rattles its way into town,” Feb. 24. As a California licensed veterinary technician and former zoo keeper at the L. A. Zoo who has worked with venomous reptiles, I am shocked at the policy of the [county of Los Angeles] Fire Department to capture, decapitate and then bury the heads of rattlesnakes that wander onto private property, into garages, etc.

Pasadena Humane Society and wildlife rescue organizations, as well as the fire departments in other communities, do not “behead” rattlesnakes they relocate. Ninety percent of snakebites occur when someone tries to kill or harass the snake.

Beheading snakes is inhumane and cruel. Snakes are cold-blooded and remain conscious for a time after their head has been severed.

Southern Pacific rattlesnakes, our local species, are generally very docile and extremely easy to capture and relocate in a suitable habitat. For every snake unnecessarily destroyed, there are hundreds in the surrounding hills that go undetected; remaining unseen when pedestrians walk by or gardeners come close.

Snakes are an essential part of our environment. Rattlesnakes eat mice, rats, gophers and moles. I urge the fire department to educate its firefighters and paramedics to capture and release rattlesnakes. Stop creating a macabre graveyard of snake heads buried in cans. I would be pleased to be involved in changing their outdated policy of killing snakes who find themselves in conflict with residents.

Lori L. Paul, RVT



Davitt offers thanks to supporters

It is with great humility that I thank my fellow La Cañadans for your support during this past City Council election. There are too many wonderful individuals to name each and every one of you. I am truly honored and pledge my commitment to work for you improving our city and way of life.

This election was extremely close in terms of votes. I believe this is a testament to our city’s desire to see change and improvement. I want to acknowledge all the candidates’ efforts. Your willingness to serve the city is notable. I especially want to congratulate Laura Olhasso and Don Voss and I look forward to working with you and the entire council during the next four years.

I want to thank my steering committee for their efforts in running the campaign. Our campaign was a 100% volunteer effort. Thank you to my wife Alison, who has been wonderful during this process as well as our four children who have been so understanding during these last three months.

Mike Davitt

La Cañada Flintridge


Olhasso grateful for support, dialogue

It is with a heart full of gratitude that I write to thank so many of your for your campaign support. Endorsements, contributions, lawns for signs, coffees, and passing wishes for good luck were so greatly appreciated.

Our community is lucky to have an engaged electorate and a plethora of candidates willing to serve. It is part of what makes us such a great place to live. Congratulations to all the candidates for their commitment. We are better for the discussions around the issues.

Thank you all for your support. I will continue to serve to the best of my ability.

Laura Olhasso

La Cañada Flintridge

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