Our Readers Write

Fewer days, more training?

With two children who have graduated from LCUSD schools and one remaining, I am deeply frustrated by the district and board’s decision to cut four days from the 2011/2012 school year. ( “District to drop four days of school,” June 2.)

Parents are making record contributions and the community has passed a parcel tax, yet the school district is eliminating four days of school for an unclear and ill-defined teacher training program.

What’s more troubling is the lack of information to parents about the proposed cuts, making an important agreement with the teacher’s union without community discussion. It’s unclear when and if the school district planned to tell parents and students that there would be four less days of school. It gives the impression that they hoped we wouldn't notice until it was too late.

Parents deserve answers. Why is the district cutting four days of school when we already have so many days off during the school year, including a full week at Thanksgiving? When we already have pupil-free days for teachers? What is this new teacher training about, without a written plan for accountability and no budget?

The district claims it is narrowing its gap on San Marino schools. Is San Marino taking four days off for teacher training next year? Are any other school districts in the state cutting four days of school for teacher training?

I fear that cutting school days needlessly will encourage more parents to send their children to private schools rather than to LCUSD. Parents may reduce or stop their donations and the community may not be able to pass a proposed future parcel tax. I am concerned the district and board cut school days with so little parent and community input. We need some answers soon. I cannot see how this will benefit our children.

Rich Asher

La Cañada Flintridge


Guns and a political statement

This is in response to Terry Beyer's June 9 letter to the editor supporting Anthony Portantino's legislation to ban openly carrying empty firearms.

Any empty gun is worthless for self defense, so anyone who chooses to do so is really just making a political statement. I'm clearly less flappable than Terry Beyer, because a gun on some yahoo's hip has no more power to intimidate me than so many of the inane political bumper stickers I see. Neither deserves more than a roll of my eyes.

What concerns me much more than people who are willing to making absurd spectacles of themselves is the profound statement Portantino is making about his very low opinion of his constituents. Portantino and Beyer both believe that with the exception of police officers, everyone is either too stupid, too clumsy, too emotionally unstable or just too criminally inclined to be trusted with a gun, anywhere.

Maybe Anthony Portantino's low opinion of people has occurred since he started making friends in the Assembly, because each of my neighbors, and every friend and acquaintance I've made in La Cañada, is a responsible, emotionally mature, intelligent, sober-minded person. I wouldn't be remotely worried to discover that any of them had a gun while in my presence.

Unlike Portantino and Beyer, I'm not resolutely convinced that all of my fellow La Cañadans are an untrustworthy bunch of imbeciles, nut jobs or criminal miscreants. I don't know how Portantino sleeps at night knowing that his constituents can actually get driver’s licenses, serve on juries and vote.

Dave Culver

La Cañada Flintridge


Keeping the district operational

You have heard how our schools need your financial aid. I am writing to ask you for your intellectual aid, patience and compassion, as well. Even though the state keeps reducing school funds and student enrollment seems to continue to drop, the La Cañada school district is trying to compensate and ensure that our kids get good educations.

If you look at schools around us, we are the envy of many because our schools have been able to maintain programs that [others] have had to cut. Unfortunately, our school district has reached that point where cuts and modifications may be needed to keep our district operational.

When my family moved into LCF almost 20 years ago, schools were impacted with the number of students attending. At that time, we encountered problems that appear minor in light of today’s issues. I remember the superintendent of the time explaining how the trend of enrollment historically worked off a bell curve. Back then, we were at the top of the bell curve and had the luxury of declining out-of-district students.

Today, our student enrollment appears to be at the bottom of the bell curve. Ever hopeful, I see new families moving into the community with school-age kids destined for public schools; and given the new state-mandated policy implementing acceptance of out-of-district students, we should see a boost in school enrollment.

Also, remember that our school ranks second in the state. Colleges know La Cañada’s reputation for providing quality education. This is obvious when you see the number of kids from LCHS getting into good colleges.

My more recent PTA position included attending school board meetings. Rest assured, the school district is still focused on continuing education excellence in our schools. I ask that you read articles from the school district, expect, and be patient with, changes that are coming next year and show compassion to school personnel. The main issue, lack of state funds, is forcing our school district to make changes. Please don’t take your frustrations out on teachers, staff and administration. Instead, be productive and join forces to help our schools.

Our schools are struggling to maintain quality standards and need your support. They do not have the luxuries of 20 years ago. Some programs may need to be modified, or even cut, in order to keep our school district operational. Please show your support to the schools in every way you can.

Faye Therrien

La Cañada


Love letter to people of LCF

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I have just participated in the weekend dreams are made of (Memorial Day Weekend Fiesta Days). I was truly honored and humbled. It wouldn’t have been possible without the people of this community who are volunteer-oriented. You gave me the stage.

I will continue to try and be worthy of the Les Tupper Award.


Joyce Ruygrok


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