News, entertainment, opinion, and whatever sparks interest in Burbank the Media City
Fronnie Lewis - Editor
Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Production shoot at Tony's Bella Vista on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank March 6, 2014

Film production up in the Media City

Film production is up in the Media City. It’s been very busy over at the Burbank Police film permit office. Norma Brolsma has been running the operation for years. “Drowning in work,” Brolsma said last Thursday in an email. She wasn’t complaining, just describing how robust the permit business is in Burbank . So far this year, 500 Burbank permits have been issued and the demand is very strong this summer. Brolsma says”… requests are mostly (for) TV, Cable Shows, Commercial(s) and 1/3 of the totals are for students.” By this... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Councilman Dr. David Gordon selected as mayor during Burbank City Council reorganization meeting May 1, 2014

Talk of the Town: Burbank mayor selection

Some issues, like the debate over the selection of Burbank’s mayor, never seem to die. It frequently comes up in the spring when a new mayor is picked by the city council members. In the past, there have been some ugly episodes with certain council members being shut out of the rotation for mayor. Dr. David Gordon has been passed over several times for the position, which is mostly ceremonial. Last May, following outrage and pressure from the public and media, Gordon was voted in... Read More →

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Twitter shares soar on news of a surge in growth and profits

There’s a lot of tweeting going on these days. Twitter’s stock reportedly jumped  at least 30 percent today after it revealed better than expected second-quarter earnings. The chatty social network reported $312 million in revenue beating a forecast of $283 million in revenue. Also, Twitter delivered more good news about a surge in users. In the second-quarter, the micro-blogging site added 16 million users for a total of 271 million who tweet at least once a month. The news prompted Twitter stock to leap more... Read More →

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Judge rules against Donald Sterling, Clippers deal to move forward

The NBA is high-fiving a ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas clearing the way for that $2 billion dollar Clippers deal to move forward. Judge Levanas decision yesterday gives a huge victory to Shelly Sterling. In the probate trial, Donald Sterling claimed his estranged wife had defrauded him by taking control of the Sterling Trust and negotiating that multi-billion dollar agreement with former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer. Will the litigious embattled owner of the Clippers step aside gracefully now? Probably not, but... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/ Media City G -- Vehicle emissions are checked by BAR crew on West Olive Avenue in Burbank July 28, 2014

State agency conducts vehicle inspections in Burbank

The Bureau of Automotive Repair conducted several hours of vehicle inspections or an emission survey, on West Olive Avenue between South Virginia Avenue and North Lomita Street in Burbank today. BAR performs the surveys “…in the areas of the state with the poorest air quality,” according to the agency’s website. Mike Piercy, part of the BAR team in Burbank today, says the purpose is to check “… the effectiveness of the state smog program.” A California Highway Patrol officer was on site  for traffic... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/ Media City G -- Car slammed into traffic signal light pole in front of Porto's in Burbank July 28, 2014

Car crashes in front of Porto’s in Burbank

Some scary moments in front of Porto’s Bakery and Cafe in Burbank this morning. A light tan sedan slammed into a traffic signal light pole a few feet from the entrance of the very busy establishment. The investigating Burbank Police officer says the driver was “coming from some medical appointment” and “apparently passed out .” It happened just as the unidentified female motorist was going east on Magnolia Boulevard and attempted to make a right turn onto Hollywood Way. The driver was shaken up a bit, but “looks fine,” according... Read More →

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Photo: Greg Reyna/ Freelancer / Media City G --(l-r) Demonstrators Tina McDermott and Chris Kelley held up protest signs in front of Hobby Lobby in Burbank July 26, 2014

Demonstrators continue the protest against Hobby Lobby

Demonstrators returned to Hobby Lobby in Burbank yesterday in small but determined numbers.They are protesting the  recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which allows the giant crafts and home decor retailer to refuse to cover certain forms of  female birth control in its employee health insurance plan because of the religious beliefs of the owners. The controversial high court decision allows Hobby Lobby to opt out of a mandate to provide all types of contraceptives in the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. For several hours... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- A green lawn gets watered on South Keystone Street in Burbank July 24, 2014

Burbank residents face mandatory water restrictions and utility rate hikes

As the summer temperatures soar into the 90s, Burbank residents are being pressured to cutback on water. Last January, Governor Jerry Brown declared a Drought State of Emergency after three extremely dry years. The governor’s order called for “… Californians to reduce their water usage by 20 percent.” Earlier this month, the California State Water Board reportedly adopted emergency regulations requiring water suppliers like the City of Burbank to implement mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use, effective the first of August. Then last Tuesday, the Burbank City Council... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank City Hall 275 East Olive Avenue

Talk of the Town: A stare-down at Burbank City Hall ends

The stare-down between the Burbank City Attorneys Association and the Burbank City Council is over. The association blinked. City Hall sent out a news release yesterday saying: “Representatives of the BCAA advised the City Manager by letter on July 17, 2014, that their group is disbanding effective immediately and is withdrawing a lawsuit and several complaints with the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB)” Also, the release is posted on the Burbank City website. Here’s the back story. Contract negotiations between the city and the BCAA reached an impasse last summer.... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Two guys tearing off a roof on South Mariposa Street in Burbank July 24, 2014

Working in the heat in Burbank

It’s a hot one in Burbank today. By noon, the temperature was in the 90s. While the lucky ones got to work inside air-conditioned buildings, others had to be outside, like the two guys I saw tearing off a roof in the 300 block of South Mariposa Street this morning. Despite the blazing sun, a Burbank Public Works crew repairing a sidewalk on South Parish Place was able to joke about the hot weather. A sense humor and a lot of water is a good way to get through this... Read More →

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Facebook delivers a smackdown on its critics

Naysayers heaped a lot of criticism on the social media giant Facebook when it went public in May of 2012 with an initial public offering of $38 a share. The stock fluctuated and that open the door for critics to slam the decision to go public and doubt the value of the number one social network. Now Facebook has smackdown those critics with glowing  second quarter earnings and a stock that is trading  north of $75 a share... Read More →

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Sun with umbrella graphic

Temperatures starting to sizzle in Burbank

  Temperatures are starting to sizzle in Burbank and throughout the Southland today. By 10 a.m. this morning, it was 81 degrees in the Media City. Since then, the temperature has climbed into the 90s.  At 2 p.m, it’s 87 in West Hollywood, 82 at Venice Beach, and nearing 100 in Lancaster. The hot temperatures are expected to linger through next week. A little slow in coming, but summer has apparently arrived in SoCal.  

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Baskin-Robbins 1201 South Victory Boulevard Burbank June 3, 2014

NAACP makes a deal for more African American franchise owners

NAACP is partnering with the parent company of Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts to increase the number of franchises owned by African Americans. Today the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced an agreement with Dunkin’ Brands Inc. to create the Diversity Franchising Initiative, according to a posting on Dunkin’ Brands website. “Franchising can be a powerful economic tool that further enables the African American community and others to realize the American dream of business ownership,” said Cornell William Brooks, President... Read More →

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News rack for The Burbank Leader

The Burbank Leader and those missing news racks

Back in February news racks for the Burbank Leader could still be seen on the streets, but no more. They have been removed. Despite the controversy and complaints many residents, the news racks don’t appear to be coming back anytime soon or at all. The Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press and several other community newspapers are owned by the Los Angeles Times, which is in transition. On August 4, the L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, and several other major newspapers will spin-off to a new... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Costco store 1051 West Burbank Blvd. Burbank July 21, 2014

Consumers rate Costco top grocery store in the West

Costco is the top go to grocery store in the Western States for most consumers, according to a the results of a Harris Poll EquiTrend study released today. Back in January of this year,  41,806 consumers, 15 an older, reportedly were quizzed on 40 randomly selected grocery brands. The study examined three key factors: Familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration in four regions of the country. In the West, Costco ranked number one. Trader Joe’s came in second, followed by Whole Foods Market, Safeway, and... Read More →

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Frozen movie poster

Around the Southland: “Frozen” actress selling Studio City home

The actress who sings the popular Oscar-winning song “Let It Go” in the mega animated hit “Frozen” (2013) is parting ways with her Studio City home. Idina Menzel, who won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical, “Wicked,” is selling the home with her ex-husband, actor Taye Diggs. The couple announced their divorce last December and Diggs, star of such TV series as “The Practice” and movies like “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” (1998)  has moved on and reportedly found loveRead More →

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Kim Kardashian video game a huge hit

    After the weddings, personal drama, reality show, and fashion malfunctions, you might think Kim Kardashian would be, um, overexposed. Not hardly. The new Kim Kardashian video game has proven she’s hotter than ever and getting richer off her unique celebrity. “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” debuted three weeks ago and has become a huge hit. Forbes is saying the video game has ” climbed as high as #2 on Apple’s  free game charts” and, “has reportedly brought in $200 million in revenue” for its developer Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- A stack of Burbank Leaders at a checkout stand in the Handy Market on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank July 16, 2014

City Buzz: Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press, and Tribune Publishing announcement

Demand for the Burbank Leader and its sister newspaper the Glendale News-Press, is apparently outpacing the supply of single issues of the newspapers available for readers. You have to wonder if this situation is going to get better or worse in light of yesterday’s announcement about the long-awaited spinoff of Tribune Publishing by the media giant Tribune Company. The spinoff is set to occur next month on August 4. Tribune Publishing includes several major newspapers, among them the Chicago Tribune and... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/ Media City G -- Progress is being made at new parking lot on Magnolia Boulevard between Maple and Kenwood Streets in Burbank July 14, 2014

Progress report: New parking lot in Burbank’s Magnolia Park

Construction is moving right along on that new public parking lot in Magnolia Park. Since my visit last month, the lot on Magnolia Boulevard between Maple and Kenwood Streets has been paved. Still, new light poles need to be installed along with landscaping. The work is almost done. Burbank Public Works Director, Bonnie Teaford, says: “We expect the lot to be completed in August.” The new public lot will provide somewhere between 40-85 spaces.

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Protest organizer Cheryl Holt explained the issue against Hobby Lobby to a Ralph Grocery store employee in Burbank July 12, 2014

Demonstrators spread their anti-Hobby Lobby message in Burbank

Protesters returned to the Hobby Lobby in Burbank yesterday to spread their message.  The protesters are upset because Hobby Lobby won the right to opt out of providing certain female contraceptives in its employee health insurance plan for religious reasons. The decision was handed down last month by the U.S. Supreme Court in a close vote of 5-4.  On Saturday, the protesters held-up signs condemning the ruling. Frequently, they were greeted with cheers and honking of  horns from motorists.  Some of the drivers, as... Read More →

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Photo: Greg Reyna Freelance Photog -- Protesters in front of Burbank Hobby Lobby July 12, 2014

Photo Gallery: Another protest at Burbank Hobby Lobby

Protesters returned to the Burbank Hobby Lobby today.  They waved protest signs showing disdain for the national craft and home decor chain and the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing that family owned corporation to opt out of covering certain female contraceptives in the employee health insurance plan for religious reasons. Here are some pictures of  today’s demonstration from photographer, Greg Reyna. More on this story coming .

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Actress Kate Walsh throws out first pitch at a Dodger game

  Busy actress Kate Walsh got a chance to throw out the first pitch at a Dodger game. Walsh threw out the ceremonial pitch last Thursday at Dodger Stadium, just before the boys in blue took on the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers would go on to beat the Padres  2-1 in that game. Walsh gained fame for her role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on the popular TV medical dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” (2005)  and “Family Practice” (2007-2013). This year she appeared in the FX series “Fargo,”... Read More →

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