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Dangerous rail crossing must close

July 14, 2011

It is time for the officials to take seriously their responsibility and stop tussling over the rail crossing issue in Glendale (“Officials tussle over rail crossing,” June 3).

It looks like nobody really cares about human life and public safety since officials keep holding meetings yielding no results. I understand that the crossing’s closure has a lot of environmental and legal challenges, but keeping it open will lead to another deadly incident like the 2005 Glendale train crash.

Do officials and local business owners truly understand what would happen if one of the tank trucks from the adjacent gas storage facility got stuck on the rail tracks? A human life is worth more than $6.6 million.

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Therefore, the debate about money is secondary to the real issue and that is public safety. I invite officials and Los Angeles business owners (those who believe the closure of the crossing and the lack of access will hurt their business) to look at this issue from the perspective that each train passenger or each driver commuting though the crossing is one of their family members.

The best solution would be the closure of the crossing altogether. Drivers destined to wreak havoc with trains resulting in disaster are bad enough, but the combination of extenuating circumstances at this particular crossing provide a formula for a disaster affecting hundreds of people and millions in property damage.

Officials who think the Doran Street crossing should be closed must fight for it firmly and seriously before a catastrophe happens once again in Glendale's train crash history. The inconvenience of closing the crossing pales in comparison to the potential disaster as it currently stands.

We must do something today rather than having big regrets tomorrow.

Siroun Pakdaman

Glendale

The flag is more than a piece of cloth

She has no respect for the American flag by calling it “a piece of cloth,” and agrees with a friend that the U.S. flag is “a sort of fetish object, a false idol.”

I am referring to Roberta Medford, a resident of Montrose, who identifies herself as an atheist. She was one of the respondents to the weekly “In Theory” feature appearing in the July 3 edition of the Glendale News-Press, which had as its topic “Does leaving out the words ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance concern you?”

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