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Start the Presses: Broken window theories

September 17, 2010|By Dan Evans

It was a mess.

Broken glass from the left-side window of the Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader lay strewn about the inside of our building last week. Someone, for unknown reason or motivation, destroyed one of our panel windows.

I gave my report to a patrol officer, making an unusual weekend commute from my Burbank home to see the damage. It's ugly. A gaping hole was below the papers' logos, and spider-web cracks of green glass crawled up the sides.


I feel violated and angry.

Was it someone, drunk and angry at the world, stumbling out of the nightclub two doors down? Someone upset with our stories? We share the building with North-West College, and perhaps some former student was displeased with the medical assistant training they received.

Or, perhaps, it was something else. Something that has nothing to do with any of us.

Still, odd things have been happening. A few days ago, someone decided to take out his anger on our mailbox, partially tearing it off the wall in our first-floor foyer. Several months ago, someone stole the news rack that formerly sat outside the building. That news rack was replaced, though put inside the building and within the range of our security cameras.

The officer I spoke to said there were etchings on the glass, scratches that looked like gang insignias. Someone from a rival gang, she said, may have seen those marks and decided the best course of action would be to bust the window down. Eliminate the canvas, so to speak.

I don't know. I only know that the glass was intact that Friday when I left via the front door. That itself is unusual. I, and most of the staff, usually leave by the back door, as it's closer to the parking lot. But I exited the front door last night because I was attending an event at the Americana at Brand down the block.

On a strange level, a good part of me hopes that whoever did this was motivated by undirected anger or gang ties. If someone decided to attack the newspaper office because of its stories, columns or editorials, we're all in a lot of trouble. There is violence and hatred in the world. That much is true. But if we can't talk about our issues in this public space, breaking a window instead, that's a sign that our democracy is going off the wheels.

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