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Year in Review: Glendale experienced highs and lows in 2013

Year included the City Council welcoming a new member, and GCC bringing aboard a new leader.

December 28, 2013|By News-Press Staff | By News-Press Staff
  • What might be the last Glendale Gun Show attracted a large crowd to the Glendale Civic Auditorium on Saturday, March 2, 2013. Besides guns and ammunition, a wide variety of accessories were being purchased by customers. The Glendale City Council will vote whether to ban these types of shows on city property soon.
What might be the last Glendale Gun Show attracted a large… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

The year was filled with ups and downs, good news and bad. Some things changed. The City Council welcomed a new member, Glendale Community College ushered in a new leader, and the city and college tightened smoking rules. A long-simmering dispute about whether residents in the Sagebrush area properly belonged to Glendale or La Cañada public schools reignited.

The year saw tragedy as well. Pedestrian deaths continued despite efforts by police officials, the city saw its first homicide since 2009, and one of Glendale’s more famous natives — actor Paul Walker — died in a car crash with friend and Hoover High alum Roger Rodas.

Bans

The City Council in March banned gun shows from city property, effectively ending a long-running event at the Civic Auditorium. A ban on the show had been attempted before, but it did not gain traction in years past. The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut partially prompted former Councilman Rafi Manoukian to suggest the prohibition.

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Proponents of the ban said it’s an important symbol that shows Glendale does not support activities that can endanger public safety. Opponents, including the National Rifle Assn., said the show has operated for two decades without incident and the ban is a knee-jerk, emotional reaction to a rash of gun violence and mass shootings across the nation.

In May, the council banned smoking in new apartment and condominium units and ruled that individuals could sue a violator of the city’s smoking rules, rather than waiting for the city to enforce its own rules.

Since 2008, Glendale has implemented a variety of smoking bans in common areas, private balconies and patios in multi-unit buildings. Many wide-sweeping prohibitions have taken effect, but there have also been tweaks to the rules, making smoking restrictions a recurring topic of discussion at City Hall.

In April, the Glendale Community College trustees voted to ban smoking on the college campus. About two years prior to their vote, the board had established a handful of designated smoking areas on campus.

College trustee Tony Tartaglia said the designated areas were merely a “compromise” that didn't serve the college and that campus enforcement officials were spread too thin to continue cleaning up cigarette butts.

The full ban did not go into effect until the start of the fall semester. In the span of the fall semester, the campus police issued 15 citations in which students must pay a $100 fine.

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