Of work, generosity, participation

La Cañada Flintridge is truly a great place. Deep down we all realize this, but we often take it for granted or maybe we’re embarrassed by our riches — great schools, beautiful mountains, seclusion within a big city, friendly neighbors. I’m glad we seized upon an artificial excuse, the coincidence of our unique ZIP code with a square on the calendar, to celebrate our greatest attribute, a very real sense of community.

When the 9.10.11 Organizing Committee first met, we quickly agreed the occasion warranted more than a party in the park. We wanted to get everyone into the community in an unprecedented way and reached out to the various organizations and institutions that transform a populace into a community. Without exception, every group we approached engaged with the idea, added their flair and rallied their members and employees.

The efforts of the committee and participating organizations and the generosity of our sponsors and merchants were rewarded by the level of interest and involvement among our townspeople. It was very affirming to see more than 50 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and others working the trails in our hills, children mesmerized by the exhibits at JPL, the long lines at the 9.10.11 Celebration postal station and strangers conversing like old-time friends at community tables. The 9/11 observance that completed the weekend was a reminder of the importance of nurturing the human spirit and sense of community.

Thank you to everyone who contributed the 9.10.11 weekend through their ideas, hard work, generosity and participation.

Todd Andrews

La Cañada Flintridge

Editor’s note: The writer was chairman of the 9.10.11 Organizing Committee



The good news and the bad news

Wonder how many of you have ever heard of the California Dream Act, aka AB 131. It was passed on the Friday afternoon just before Labor Day weekend. That is the Sacramento way, to slip controversial bills by the public without being noticed.

Of course there was no mention in the newspapers. AB 131 passed along party lines, with the Democrats approving and the Republicans opposing. Your Assemblyman Anthony Portantino approved AB 131, which permits illegal alien children to attend the California state colleges and University of California campuses, pay in-state tuition and apply for state grants.

Forty million dollars in grants were allegedly put aside for the illegals. These illegal alien children take the place of your American son or daughter and then apply for grants paid for by your tax money.

When I contacted Portantino’s office regarding his support of AB 131 his office responded: “…he believes in greater access to higher education for all California residents. His sentiments are shared with former Secretary of Defense Colin Powell and former Governor of Arkansas and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.”

Anthony Portantino, these are not California residents, they are illegal aliens who broke our laws when they invaded our country. Colin Powell and Mike Huckabee? Who cares about their opinion? Furthermore, they do not live in California. By the way, Colin Powell was secretary of State, not Defense.

The good news is that Anthony Portantino will be termed out in 2012. There is also bad news: Anthony Portantino is making plans to run for the U.S. Congress.

Fritz Riel

La Cañada Flintridge

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