Piece of Mind: Who are those guys?

Sometimes on weekends when we’re spending time around the homestead, the walls shake and the windows rattle, heralding yet another fly-over by planes or helicopters. Occasionally the noise is so intense that we go outdoors to see if we can figure out the reason behind the clatter.

It is not a new development around here, but it is annoying and can be alarming. On some Sunday mornings, around the brunch hour, we see what look like military planes, in formation, seemingly cruising directly over our backyard before heading up and over the San Gabriels.

I’ve commiserated with a neighbor about this, but don’t recall complaining about it here until today. I’m prompted to do so by a letter to the editor of our sister paper, the Glendale-News Press, that was picked up by our Web editor and placed on the Valley Sun’s website this week. That’s where it caught my eye and reminded me of how much I wish that aircraft would either go elsewhere or could somehow be muted.

In his letter, La Cañada resident Greg Hiscott writes that Glendale Police Dept. helicopters are regularly seen hovering over La Cañada and La Crescenta. Hiscott has a great suggestion:

“As a citizen, I wanted to propose to the Glendale leadership the idea of documenting online the flight logs of their helicopter. I think citizens should be able to read, after the fact, about how and where the Glendale police helicopter is flown so that any questions about how such a valuable resource is allocated can be intelligently discussed.”

The writer goes on to ask if any Glendale residents feel the same way. I don’t know about our neighbors to the south, but I’m here to tell Mr. Hiscott that I think it’s a great idea for us to know what’s been flying overhead and why, whether it’s the Glendale Police or the Los Angeles County Fire or Sheriff’s departments. I seriously doubt the military would be forthcoming with details, though, so Gil and I will have to continue to puzzle out their local presence over our Sunday morning cups of coffee.


It probably would be going too far to say the current school board race is rattling any windows around here, but I do sense a certain electricity in the air that hasn’t been present in recent elections.

If you live within the La Cañada Unified School District boundaries, you should know that you will soon be called upon to choose from a field of four candidates to fill two open seats.

I’m begging LCUSD voters not only to vote when the election comes around, but to first attend the candidates forum this Monday night (at 7 p.m.) in the auditorium at La Cañada High.

In 2009, when the field was larger and there were three seats open, fewer than 100 voters sat in the audience during the candidates forum (we counted about 75 souls when we covered it that night). Really, people? Do you not care about who is seated on our school board at a time when it is battered by funding issues? Don’t you want to learn more about each of the candidates than you can by looking at their websites?

I am hopeful more voters will feel inclined to forgo other interests this Monday evening in order to attend the forum. Based on some of the letters I’ve read, I gather that people seem to be getting agitated and think we can do better by our students. We have one of the top two districts in the entire state, that cannot be denied, but many believe there is room for improvement.

Go Monday, ask some questions, and get a feel for how well one or more of the candidates may best represent your views. Then, don’t forget to vote, either at the polls Nov. 8, or by absentee ballot.

CAROL CORMACI is managing editor of the La Cañada Valley Sun. She can be reached at ccormaci@valleysun.net or carol.cormaci@latimes.com.

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