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Spot The Difference

Not only should some communities be cleaner and have better maintenance, but they should all be clean and well kept.

Dear Future President,

I never really noticed it when I was younger, how different it looked. All I knew was it was where home was and where home had always been. Sun Valley, California is where I have lived my whole life, but recently I've observed it closer and given it a hard look realizing it's not the same as other communities.

When I was about 10-years-old, every Sunday my parents would drag me to church. This church we went to was located in Burbank, California. After church my dad would take us all to eat at some fine restaurant and to take a stroll threw the Burbank Town Center or Glendale Galleria. Either way, each day ended the same: we drove back home from these other communities.

Looking out the window I could see the gradual change between Sun Valley and cities such as Burbank or Studio City. The roads got bumpier, grass seemed to fade into a dry bamboo yellow, the stores weren't the same, the sidewalks looked dirty and wrappers always seemed to be laying on them. Even my dad would notice these things, stating things like, "Looks like there's no drought here."  Why is it that some communities, not just Sun Valley, have to look so shabby? It may not be the richest, but I think the city should make an effort to keep it looking nice and clean as other communities I've visited.

A Spanish teacher helped open my eyes about our community. She pointed out these things I had already noticed and explained it. How, yes, we obviously don't have the same stores you'll find driving around Glendale, Burbank, or Beverly Hills. Around those places you might find a Vons supermarket or Trader Joe's, not a Food 4 Less or First Bargain. The parks will gush with green grass and you'll rarely spot a homeless man hanging around there, taking a nap on a bench. It is rare to see graffiti on any of the playground equipment, unlike in Sun Valley, where you can even find some graffiti on tress.

One classmate in my Spanish class found out that people come to our community to purposefully dump trash. He didn't like that Sun Valley had that image, especially because he is planning to live here in the future. It will be hard for him to overcome the reputation of this community. Therefore, he actually made a plan to go out there, into our streets, and help pick up trash to make our community look better. In addition, he informed us about an app we can use to report violations such as illegal trash dumps.

Overall, I think communities that aren't as clean as others should start these types of projects. Although people start helping out, the city should also provide more attention to these more rundown communities to help them reinvent themselves and improve their reputations.

John Henry Francis Polytechnic High School

Honors English 10 B / Period 3

Sophomore English class in the magnet program of John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, California.

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