Summer nights

Dear Editor: I’m writing about two things. First, we’re enjoying the concerts in Furman Park. The oldies music by the Smokin’ Cobras was lots of fun – not so old to me – seems just like yesterday!

We always enjoy the concert by our own Downey Symphony with its contagiously enthusiastic conductor and dedicated musicians. Love the familiar songs from musicals and the patriotic songs honoring our military branches. We’re looking forward to the Big Band concert, especially my husband, who played clarinet and saxophone at West, Warren High and Cerritos College.

We’re glad to see former and current city council members attending. Jokes aside, Mario Guerra, thanks for caring so much about our city.

This truly is a family-friendly event. I do have one concern. The grass is very uneven and I’m afraid some older person may fall, especially at the end of the concerts when it is dark. Maybe the city will have a solution.

About a not so family-friendly part of Downey. I am so glad to hear Mayor Fernando Vasquez express concerns about having go-go dancers at the billiard parlor on Firestone. When my children were young, we often  went  downtown to see family movies. This area is not very family-oriented now, with sports bars and smoke lounges, and a billiard parlor which now wants go-go dancers. This is not the Downey in which we raised our children, or lived in for half a century plus.

I don’t object to adults having some place to go in the evening, but we need to take heed to the negative changes in other cities where downtown areas focus on “adult” entertainment. Case in point, Huntington Beach, filled with bars, where drunken patrons have recently spilled their idiocy into the streets. We missed the riot this year by minutes, as we noticed the crowds were openly smoking pot on the main street, and the atmosphere felt edgy. We left, and soon heard the sirens racing downtown.

When you invite rowdy outside elements in, you are asking for trouble.

Recently, my husband and son went downtown to a late night movie and saw a rowdy crowd making trouble outside a bar/grill. Another night they went to the Downey Gateway for a late night snack and encountered intoxicated young women staggering all over the back parking lot. What does this imply to the rest of us about peacefully using our downtown establishments in the evening and the potential for criminal activities when too many drunk people get together?

I hope our city council will address these concerns. After all, they are elected by us, unlike the planning commission.

Glory Derryberry




Published: Aug. 14, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 18