Glendale and its Armenian smokers

The Pasadena Weekly has run a surprising commentary by editor Kevin Uhrich in response to a controversy over whether a Glendale city official referred to residents of Armenian heritage being opposed to an anti-smoking ordinance. The paper says its reporter got some stuff wrong, and the story mushroomed. The named players are Glendale Mayor John Drayman, Councilman Dave Weaver and PW reporter Carl Kozlowski.

it appears that from the end of June until today we’ve been the only ones to own up to myriad mistakes made in figuring out exactly who said what and why in the ongoing debate over smoking in Glendale: from the overly talkative Weaver to the inattentive reporter to his lazy editor to the apparently always unreachable Drayman to those who claimed to be offended by Weaver’s ethnically insensitive remarks, and all of it finally set in stone by competing newspapers, one of which apparently didn’t know who it was looking at during one council meeting, and another that misspelled the name of at least one person intimately involved in all of this — me.

I say all that not to bust the chops of any of my overworked and underpaid news brethren but to point out that sometimes things we could never imagine happening actually do happen, even to the best of us, including the usually spot-on reporter in this case, Carl Kozlowski.

But back to Weaver’s remarks: Who was he really talking about when referring to “one segment of the population?” Latinos? Women? African Americans? Asians? The Knights of Columbus?

Or could Weaver have been referring to the city’s Armenian community, which amounts to roughly 70,000 people, or 40 percent of Glendale’s population?

“You know who I’m talking about,” Weaver told Carl.

“No, I don’t. Are you talking about Armenians?” Carl pressed.

To that Weaver emitted a noise, what Carl described as a growl, yet he still did not give a straight answer. Not a yes or a no or an in between — just a growl.

Editor and reporter went on a local Glendale TV show to discuss the story, covered today in the Glendale News-Press.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
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