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Letters

03/06/2013

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Improve mental health services
Up until the 1920s, mental illness was treated with really nonsensical therapies based on such things as the musings of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Then a new “scientific” movement emerged that developed such truly barbaric procedures as forced sterilization, electro-convulsive shock treatment and lobotomies.  
  
By the late 1960s, a new understanding and treatment approach emerged. It joined conservatives, who wanted to shut down government facilities, with liberals, who wanted much more humane treatment.
 
As a result, a voluntary treatment model was written into law. Forced treatment could only be initiated when individuals exhibited immediate threats to the health and safety of themselves or others.
 
That was 40 years ago! Science and society have both moved in those 40 years. Health insurance now provides full equivalence between mental health and physical health. We now know reasonably normal people can suffer severe breaks due to some form of traumatic stress such as the loss of a loved one or suffering through a harrowing war experience. Such things as depression and PTSD fall into this category. 
 
We also know there are significant numbers of people who suffer from physiological conditions that manifest themselves as mental aberrations. These include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism. The present voluntary model may be appropriate for the first class, but a more proactive model should be used for the latter. For these, a criteria like “severely disturbed,” which is much looser than a threat to health or safety, should be considered. This would allow treatment to be given during crises that do not rise to the level of immediate threat, but are so severe the individual is unable to function in society.
 
In nearly all of the physiological conditions, detection and identification occur long before adulthood. Even schizophrenia usually manifests itself as a 24- to 72-hour dissociative event in the mid-teens. We should look to a more proactive public health model in the treatment of the mentally ill.

 ~ NORM RODEWALD,  MOORPARK
(Editor’s Note: For more on this and related topics, please see Patti Carmalt-Vener’s column in our Life Section.)
 
Heaven help us
Is this the best that we can do?  
 
I have lived in Northwest Pasadena for more than 50 years and am absolutely appalled and disgusted by what is happening in the District 3 City Council race.
 
Are we living in the 21st century or is this the Wild West of the 1800s? Is this what we can expect from future elections in Pasadena? 
 
It seems to have started with the pathetic negative campaigns of Steve Madison and Carolyn Nabor a couple of years ago, then the Sean Baggett arrest problems, and now the John Kennedy car shooting, the Rev. Benson loss of memory and the Trone airport problem. This is the future of our City Council? Wild West shootings and gunslingers? Mudslingers like Madison and Nabor? Doesn’t anyone give a damn about the problems in this city and have a plan to deal with them? 
 
It is said that Madison wants to be the next mayor, possibly running against Terry Tornek? Didn’t these two wannabes duke it out in your paper because Tornek endorsed Nabor over Madison, saying he was unfit for another term?
 
Madison’s response was to get Tornek’s wife fired from the local TV position that she held for years. Tit for tat as a payback? Is this the Pasadena Way that we all seem to endorse in varying degrees? Where is our leadership in this city? Where is our beloved (Mayor) Bill Bogaard in condemning these despicable campaigns?
 
Bogaard ran on a platform of bringing civility back to the City Council, and he did. As he has one foot out the door, we are going back to the probable dysfunction and disarray that plagued the council in the days of Isaac Richard. We are on a fast track to it. Maybe Bill should consider another term to straighten this sad mess out.
 
Are we going to have another Rick Cole riding down Colorado Boulevard in front of millions of people wearing an embarrassing T-shirt saying, “Pasadena, City of Racists?” Is this the Pasadena Way? 
 
I would expect Tornek and Madison to wage an epic negative battle, because it’s all about them and not Pasadena. That is what we are dealing with in District 3.
 
Who is running this city and who is pulling the strings? Where are the good candidates that our grandkids can look up to and emulate? Where are the bridge builders when all we seem to recruit are candidates that tear apart the communities that they come from?
 
Where is there another Bill Bogaard type who can appeal to almost everyone?
 
If you know of someone, I hope that you beg and recruit them to seek the privilege of serving through public office, because heaven help our dear city of Pasadena if we don’t produce better candidates for our future elections.

~ DAVE SMITH, PASADENA
(Editor’s Note: For more on Tuesday’s elections, please visit our News Section.)

FROM THE WEB:
Re: “Making the grade,” Feb. 14
Typical social fascism from the P Weekly. Besides, I thought Caucasians were about to become the minority in this state. Doesn't that make denying Caucasians a form of racism? Racist pig Weekly! 

~ ERWIN CHUSID

Re: “Trouble unleashed,” Feb. 17, 2011
What exactly do they mean by "off-leash"? Does that mean the dogs are allowed to be off their leashes, or is there an anti off-leash law that needs to be enforced there?  

~ NOZOMI311

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Send your letters to kevinu@pasadenaweekly.com. Just remember, it usually takes two to three weeks for a letter to appear in print.
To all those who have contributed letters over the years, and added valuable information to the ongoing community dialogue, thank you so much. And thanks for picking up the Weekly, the Pasadena paper people have to read. 
~ Kevin Uhrich 

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