News, entertainment, opinion, and whatever sparks interest in Burbank the Media City
Fronnie Lewis - Editor

Archive | August, 2008

BBQ on Labor Day weekend

Handy Market cooks grilling to the max at a recent July BBQ. The grill team will be smoking in the parking lot of the Handy Market on West Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank today. The market has been open for business more than 35 years. Also, Handy Market has won the Burbank Leader Readers’ Choice Award for the best grocery store 12 years straight. Every Saturday, the market’s custom grill is fired up and laid out with turkey drumsticks, chicken sections, ribs, corn, sausages, and of course, the store specialty tri-tip. This is a major BBQ... Read More →

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John McCain’s surprise choice

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain made a bold move that demonstrated the changing times. Today, Senator McCain announced the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential pick. At a rally in Dayton, Ohio, McCain introduced Palin, a relatively unknown politician, as the running mate who will “… help me shake up Washington.”   Before becoming governor of Alaska in 2006, Palin served as a mayor and council member of a small town in that state. She is 44, married, the mother of five children... Read More →

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Barack Obama makes history

Google Image Barack Obama’s eloquent and powerful speech of change still reverberates on the political scene, the day after the junior senator from Illinois stepped onto a stage in Denver and into the pages of history. Obama became the first African American to be nominated for president by one of the country’s two major political parties.  A huge crowd of around 80,000 witnessed Obama’s acceptance speech at Invesco field in a Denver football stadium. Millions more watched as part of a huge television audience. I was among the masses glued to the tube listening to Obama state his case... Read More →

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Aaron Sorkin goes from politics to Facebook

Prolific writer/producer Aaron Sorkin is apparently trying to get some real-life experience for his new screenplay. According to Variety, Sorkin has set up a personal page on the popular Internet social network, Facebook. Sorkin is working on a script about the evolution of Facebook, from its humble beginnings in 2004 as an idea by Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg to more than 60 million members, a few years later.  Also, the script will show how the sudden wealth changed the lives of Zuckerberg and his pals who helped get Facebook... Read More →

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Movie & TV Deals

Coco Chanel 1883-1971 From book to movie The life and times of legendary fashion designer Coco Chanel are headed to the big screen. The film “Coco Avant Chanel” is set to start filming in Paris in mid-September and scheduled for release next year. Chanel is known for a classic style that has staying power. She introduced the perfume Chanel No.5 in 1922, her signature cardigan jacket in 1925, and the  “little black dress” in 1926 — a few of her fashion achievements that are still popular today. Also, Coco Chanel... Read More →

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Part Two: Is The Burbank Town Center Mall Safe?

Photos: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove The Burbank Town Center mall has become a tense place to work for some tenants and their employees.  Business owner Diana Daoud says she’s “scared” to carry merchandise to and from her car in the mall parking lot. Also, Daoud is worried about another burglary at her second level AT&T Wireless kiosk. The business has been hit four times in less than a year-and-a-half – twice in the last few weeks. In just merchandise, the burglaries have cost Daoud more than $20,000.... Read More →

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Security Problems At The Burbank Town Center Mall

Photos: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove A rash of burglaries and robberies have some business owners and their employees on edge at the Burbank Town Center mall in Downtown Burbank.  Business owner Diana Daoud brought her complaints and frustrations to the Burbank City Council on Tuesday, August 12. During her few minutes at the podium, Daoud presented details about the recent burglaries at one of her businesses and then hammered home her bottom line point; the inadequate security at the Burbank Town Center has made the mall unsafe and an... Read More →

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Writing Tips

What are the rules for granting an agent an exclusive read?  San Francisco literary agent Nathan Bransford gives his take on the subject in a post yesterday on his popular and in-the-know blog. Bransford breaks down his advice into categories and starts with a definition of exclusive as it pertains to the submission of literary works. This is a very good post and well worth clicking over to Bransford’s blog to check out.

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Political drama from Denver to Beverly Hills

Thousands of Democrats are in Denver today for the opening of their four day convention at the downtown Pepsi Center. Closer to home, another political drama is set to play out in Beverly Hills this evening.  The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain and his wife Cindy will be special guests at a star-studded fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard.  According to  The Washington Times and Variety, show biz conservatives like Angie Harmon, David Zucker, Jon Cryer, Craig T. Nelson, Jon Voight, and Robert Duvall are among those planning to... Read More →

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Local basketball star wins fourth gold medal

  Hoop star Lisa Leslie went out in style at the Olympics in Beijing. Leslie helped the U.S. women’s basketball team crush Australia 92-to-65 to win the gold medal, yesterday. Team USA has taken the gold in four straight Olympics — beating the Aussies in the last three for it. Leslie scored 14 points before fouling out with 6:33 left in the game, but no matter, her teammates finished the job.  Leslie reportedly has played her last Olympics. She is bowing out of international play. Leslie and former teammate Teresa Edwards are... Read More →

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Another visitation at Grand View cemetery

  Visitors spent time at gravesites during the August 10 opening at Grand View. For the second time this month, Grand View Memorial Park cemetery will be open to the public today from noon until 4 p.m.  I dropped by during the Sunday, August 10 opening and was surprised by the small turnout and the bleak appearance of the Glendale cemetery. I have heard some relatives say it is too depressing, too sad a place to visit now. Some of the visitors I met at the August 10 visitation wished for better days.  “It was... Read More →

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Barack Obama picks a running mate

The suspense and political intrigue are over!  The presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has picked Delaware Senator Joe Biden for the number two spot on the ticket. Senator Biden is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Biden is an expert on foreign policy and familiar with foreign leaders and diplomats around the world. In 2007, Biden made his own run for the presidency and was quoted as saying Obama was “not yet ready” for the highest office in the land. Apparently, Biden has changed that opinion. ... Read More →

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Another Olympian gets a super book deal

  Photo by Vince Caligiuri King of the gold, swimmer Michael Phelps is cashing in on his Olympic success. In Beijing, Phelps made history by diving into the pool and racing to eight gold medals in a single Olympics. Phelps surpassed the record of seven gold medals set by swimmer Mark Spitz in 1972. Phelps is only 23, but last week Free Press won an auction for his memoir called “Built to Succeed.” The narrative of the book will be built around his eight terrific wins in Beijing, along with... Read More →

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Caltech scores high on list of best American colleges

Caltech founded in 1891 The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena is small but mighty.  Caltech, a major research institution, has a student body of about three thousand. U.S. News & World Report has come out with its 25th annual best American colleges lists for 2009 and Caltech rated very high. In the rankings of best national colleges for undergraduate studies Harvard topped the list at number one, followed by Princeton in second and Yale in third. MIT and Stanford tied for fourth, while Caltech and the University of Pennsylvania tied... Read More →

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F. Scott Fitzgerald & Brad Pitt

          F. Scott Fitzgerald                              Brad Pitt Author F. Scott Fitzgerald made some serious money, but had little real success as a screenwriter during his time in Hollywood. His only screen credit was for the drama “Three Comrades,” in 1938. Decades later, Fitzgerald’s storytelling is very much in demand in Tinseltown. A movie based on Fitzgerald’s 1922 short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” is coming out in December. It stars Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button who is born in his eighties and ages backwards!  Life gets complicated when... Read More →

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Writing Tips

Today, BookEnds literary agent Jessica Faust defines some of the important terms and phrases in the publishing biz.  Faust’s short Publishing Dictionary is listed on her BookEnds agency blog. The dictionary includes definitions for things like advance, mass market, imprint, query, royalities, sell-through, and world rights. All written in a straight forward and easy to understand style. Well worth checking out. Faust’s agency blog is one of my favorites because it has the kind of helpful information a writer can really use.  

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Update on SAG negotiations & location filming in Burbank

     Those long-running Screen Actors Guild negotiations appear to be stalled in a nowhere zone. The most recent press release posted on SAG’s website is dated August 15 and it claims “informal discussions” are happening. Ah, but wait, over on the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers’ website a posted statement denies there are ANY talks underway.  Not a good sign of progress. Nonetheless, the filming must go on. A crew sets up at a hillside home in Burbank to film a commercial spot for VH-1 and... Read More →

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Books take a back seat to movies and TV

Book lovers browse at a bookstore in Burbank. People are going to the movies in huge numbers this summer as well as catching up on favorite TV programs after the script drought created by the WGA writers’ strike, so maybe that’s why some book sales are sagging. Bookstore sales declined in June, according to Publishers Weekly. During the first five months of the year, these sales were strong. Then in June, bookstore sales reportedly slipped 7.1%. Overall, bookstore sales for the first half of 2008 were $7.67 billion. I take some of the blame... Read More →

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Graphic novels & comics hot properties in Hollywood

Graphic novels along with comic books are the favorite go-to-sources for movies in Hollywood these days. There is serious dough to be made, two examples: comic-turned-film “The Dark Knight” has a domestic gross nearing $500 million and “300” the movie based on a graphic novel has raked in more than $450 million worldwide since 2006.     So it is no surprise that Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox are locked in a legal battle over the rights to the classic graphic novel “Watchmen,” and the film based on it, which is set for... Read More →

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Dara Torres goes for the green

Google Image Olympic swimmer Dara Torres won three silver medals, but no gold in Beijing. A great accomplishment for any athlete. Torres is the first U.S. swimmer to compete in five Olympics and the oldest swimmer to win a silver medal in the Games. Still, it’s not all over for the 41-year-old mother of a toddler. Now, Torres is going for the big bucks. Sports agent Evan Morgenstein says the offers are pouring in for the swimmer. Torres had a number of endorsements before she swam a stroke... Read More →

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“Tropic Thunder” rolls by “The Dark Knight”

After four weeks of riding high as the number one film in the country, “The Dark Knight” got bumped down a notch over the weekend. The new adult comedy “Tropic Thunder” debuted in first place with an estimated $26 million. It opened on Wednesday, so those additional screenings lifted the comedy’s total to about $37 million. The Batman sequel rang up around $16.8 million bringing its total to $471.5 million. The new earnings should move “The Dark Knight” into the number two spot on the list of top box office champs, right behind the mighty... Read More →

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Photo Gallery

The San Francisco Collection  Photos by FLLewis This is probably my favorite San Francisco photo from my recent trip. A moody evening scene. Sea lions lounge and occasionally perform for onlookers off the coast of Pier 39 – with Forbes Island and its lighthouse in the background.   Like some of these folks, I treated myself to some divine sweets from Chocolate Heaven at Pier 39. I love this place and could spend days here, ah, eating chocolate.   Near Pier 39 boats galore float... Read More →

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