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

Archive | April, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama makes People’s 2009 Most Beautiful List

Photo: Marc Hom from People website   Some fresh new faces in People’s 2009 Most Beautiful issue. There’s a sneak peek of some of the celebrities and famous folks selected on People’s website, among them First Lady Michelle Obama. Along with the photos, some candid comments as well. In the past 100 days, President Obama has been making his mark with policy and diplomacy. The first lady has been in the spotlight, too. Her uncommon style, taste, personality, and passion for a number of issues have won over fans here and... Read More →

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Swine flu outbreak is spreading

  That new strain of swine flu is spreading rapidly in the U.S. and internationally. Today the U.N. World Health Organization’s Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, took action: “I have decided to raise the level of pandemic alert from phase 4 to 5…” the second highest level. This means the world is at imminent risk of a pandemic–global outbreak of the illness, therefore, governments, agencies, businesses, and the pharmaceutical industry should ramp up their precautions and preparations for the worst. Confirmed cases of this swine flu virus is being reported in 11 countries. In Mexico,... Read More →

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Baskin-Robbins 31 Cent Scoop Night honors firefighters

FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove – Burbank (31 Cent Scoop Night 2007) Most folks love a bargain, especially when it comes to treats like ice cream. In these cost conscious times, Baskin-Robbins’ third annual 31 Cent Scoop Night on April 29, 2009 is even more enticing. Nationwide, the chain’s ice cream shops will be dishing up or handing out cones topped with small scoops for a reduced price of 31 cents each, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. This is a Baskin-Robbins promotion as well as a fundraiser for firefighter charities. Baskin-Robbins reportedly will donate... Read More →

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Swine flu strikes more victims including superhero Wolverine

 More bad news about that new strain of swine flu. Health officials today say there are now confirmed cases in New Zealand and Israel. So far the only deaths have occurred in Mexico where 149 have died from this type of flu and several hundred people suspected of having it are being treated at hospitals.   As a result of the swine flu outbreak, places where crowds gather like restaurants, bars, stadiums, and movie theaters have been shut down in Mexico, especially Mexico City. That prompted Twentieth Century Fox to announce... Read More →

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Major Hollywood Deal: William Morris and Endeavor agencies to merge

After months of negotiations, two powerful entertainment agencies, William Morris and Endeavor, announced they will merge into one company today. The new agency will be known as William Morris Endeavor (WME) Entertainment. The announcement came shortly after the leadership at both talent agencies approved the historic deal, which requires government approval. The Hollywood Reporter says this is “the largest combination of two existing agencies in Hollywood history.” Variety described WME Entertainment as a powerhouse, that “… promises to change the landscape for the talent rep biz.” WME Entertainment is expected to pull in annual revenues in the $300 million range, according... Read More →

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Health Alert: Swine flu outbreak

The swine flu outbreak is continuing to spread both internationally and here in the U.S. Not only has the number of cases of this type of flu increased in the U.S. and Mexico, but there are now reports of confirmed cases in Canada and Europe. The swine flu is tough to detect because it produces common flu symptoms like high fever, cough, and sore throat. In terms of prevention, experts are encouraging people to wash their hands and do so often. Also, if you are sick, stay at home. Today the number... Read More →

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Beyonce’s “Obsessed” beats the competition at the Box Office

The multi-talented Beyonce has a movie hit to add to her string of accomplishments. The new stalker thriller, “Obsessed,” ran over the competition to land in the number one spot at the Box Office this weekend. “Obsessed” debuted with a hefty $28.5 million. In this psycho-drama a sexy office temp, played by Ali Larter, becomes obsessed with Beyonce’s Los Angeles investment broker husband, Idris Elba. Some critics slammed the film pretty hard. Movie fans apparently aren’t reading those reviews or don’t care, because they’re packing theaters to see “Obsessed.” The film reportedly was made... Read More →

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Stage and TV actress Bea Arthur dies at 86

Photo: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times (2001) Veteran actress of stage and TV, Bea Arthur, died today in Los Angeles. Arthur was truly one of a kind. She carried her tall frame proudly and with a deep voice and sharp wit, could deliver some of the best comedy one-liners ever.   Arthur acted on stage in local theater as well as on Broadway. She won a Tony for her supporting role in the original Broadway production of “Mame” in 1966. I was not lucky enough to see Arthur work her magic on... Read More →

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First Lady Michelle Obama and the Queen of Jordan

  Photo: Samantha Appleton/White House   First Lady Michelle Obama had another chat with a queen a few days ago. Mrs. Obama held a get together with Jordan’s Queen Rania in the White House Yellow Oval Room on Thursday, April 23, 2009.  Also this week, Jordan’s King Abdullah met with President Obama.   Earlier this month, the first lady and the president had a meet and greet with Great Britian’s Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace in London.  

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TV talk show host Jay Leno out of the hospital and headed back to work

Photo: NBC Funny guy Jay Leno will be back cracking jokes and talking to guests at “The Tonight Show” desk come Monday. Leno was reportedly released from Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank yesterday. The late-night show host started feeling badly on Thursday and drove himself to the hospital. Leno’s personal representative told the People website: “They had him overnight. It was for observation. It was symptomatic of nothing serious. I think it was a dehydration.” “Tonight Show” tapings were canceled for Thursday and Friday,... Read More →

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Successful screenwriter making his mark as a novelist

        Writer Derek Haas has had great success scripting movies for Hollywood. Haas co-wrote “3:10 to Yuma” (2007,) a remake of the classic western film based on acclaimed author Elmore Leonard’s short story with the same title. Along with his partner, Michael Brandt, Haas wrote the screenplay for “Wanted” and several major scripts in development like “The A-Team,” “Beverly Hills Cop IV,” and “The Thirteenth Hour.” Now Haas is creating a name for himself as a best selling author with the “Silver Bear” novels. The third installment in the series sold to Pegasus Books recently, according to Read More →

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“Tonight Show” taping canceled; Jay Leno goes to the hospital

There will be a rerun in “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” television slot tonight, because the taping this afternoon had to be canceled. The host, Jay Leno, reportedly became ill and drove himself to  Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. KNX 1070 newsradio is reporting Leno may be suffering from a bout of food poisoning. The veteran entertainer is said to be resting in a hospital bed and writing jokes! Still, there’s a good chance Leno will not be back on the “Tonight Show” until Monday.Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove Folks waiting in... Read More →

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Outpouring of public support helps gifted L.A. student go to Oxford

   Photo: Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times   Some stories make you want to cry and stand up and cheer — all at the same time. Crenshaw High School junior Sharron Pearson’s determination to go to a summer program at Oxford University and  the overwhelming financial support she has received from the public is just such a story. To say Pearson is bright is almost an understatement. She has a 4.2 grade-point average and is enrolled in a Los Angeles magnet program for gifted students. As is the case for many families these days, money... Read More →

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President Obama’s Earth Day challenge

Photo: Pete Souza/White House   President Barack Obama spent part of Earth Day in Newton, Iowa touring a wind tower production facility. In his Earth Day speech, the president described a major challenge facing our nation: “Now, the choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy.  The choice we face is between prosperity and decline.  We can remain the world’s leading importer of oil, or we can become the world’s leading exporter of clean energy.  We can allow climate change to wreak unnatural havoc across... Read More →

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Angelina Jolie to star in new movie thriller based on best selling novel series

Best selling author Patricia Cornwell’s popular book sleuth/medical examiner, Dr. Kay Scarpetta ,is headed to the big screen. Angelina Jolie is on board to play the fictional crime solver in a suspense thriller based on the 16-book series, which began with “Postmortem”(1990).  The latest, “Scarpetta,” came out last December.  Cornwell once worked as a newspaper reporter and a computer analyst in a chief medical examiner’s office in Virginia. Cornwell’s novels are know for their complex characters, gripping plots, and grisly details. The movie rights for two of the... Read More →

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Free ice cream scoop day at Ben & Jerry’s

                                                Photos: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove – Burbank A heat wave is still baking Southern California today. By mid-day in Burbank, the temperature had soared past 90.  Again, the weather forecasters are warning we could hit 100 here!  A perfect day to take advance of a yummy offer of a free scoop of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. These Ben & Jerry’s freebies are fantastic, but be prepared for long lines, especially on a scorcher like today.    On Election Tuesday,  November 4, 2008, Ben & Jerry’s honored the democratic process by scooping... Read More →

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Dodgers on a winning streak!

Photo: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers  The Los Angeles Dodgers rolled right over the Colorado Rockies yesterday in a 14-to-2 victory to extend their winning streak to eight straight games. In front of a spectator crowd of around 41,000 at Dodger Stadium, Matt Kemp hit a grand slam in the fifth inning scoring four runs. The center fielder was congratulated by teammates as shown in the photo. That was the first of two homers for Kemp in that game. The homeboys in blue are now in first place in the National League West.

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Preparations underway for SAG membership vote on tentative deal

After months of on again /off again talks and tons of haggling and sniping, the members of the Screen Actors Guild will soon get the opportunity to vote on a contract deal. Yesterday, the Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors approved a tentative agreement with the Big Studio producers by a narrow 53 to 47 vote. SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers jointly announced the tentative deal on Friday, but details were not released until yesterday. The two-year contract expires in June of 2011, keeping SAG in sync with the WGA,... Read More →

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New comedy/fantasy “17 Again” tops Box Office

Teen heartthrob Zac Efron scored big at the Box Office this weekend with his new comedy/fantasy, “17 Again.” The film is about a thirtysomething guy who gets a second shot at his life when he magically becomes 17 again. Young movie fans, especially teenage girls, stormed the theaters propelling the film into the number 1 spot with an estimated $24 million. “17 Again” also stars Matthew Perry. In second place, “State of Play,” starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren, and Rachel McAdams. The new crime drama/thriller is based on a BBC TV series about a group... Read More →

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Photo Gallery: Hot summer-like weather heats up the Southland

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove – Burbank Get out those shorts and tee shirts; we’re getting a preview of summer. Today the temperatures climbed into the mid-80s in Burbank. Tomorrow the high is expected to leap 10 degrees to 95, maybe even into triple digits!  Weather forecasters say this blast of summer could linger for a few days.  So for workout warriors who like to exercise outside in the sunshine, the best advice is to do it early and keep the water bottle handy.

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State Assemblyman Paul Krekorian campaigns for the upcoming special election

The Burbank Democratic Club threw a backyard BBQ bash with great eats and brew in a neighborhood near the Rancho District, last night. I’m a member and I joined 50 or so other folks for a fun club meeting and social gathering. However, there was a serious message about the state’s budget woes presented by local Assemblyman Paul Krekorian (D) 43rd District. Krekorian had the tough job of trying to rally support for the upcoming State Special Election for six controversial initiatives. In these difficult times, even Democrats aren’t in the mood for more taxes or eager to... Read More →

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