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

Archive | May, 2009

“Up” floats to the top of the Box Office

The new Disney 3D movie “Up” soared to the top of the Box Office this weekend, raking in an estimated $68.2 million. This animated adventure features the voices of Ed Asner and Christopher Plummer and it easily won the ranking as the number one movie in the U.S. “Up” left its rivals far, far behind.  In second place, another family-friendly film, “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” with $25.5 million. Last week, this sequel was perched in the number one spot. “Night at the Museum II” lost a little steam, but had enough gusto to clear... Read More →

Tags: , ,

Explosive allegations against the Burbank Police Department surface in a lawsuit

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank police vehicle Like a ticking time bomb, folks in the know have been waiting for an explosion of bad news and legal trouble to hit the city of Burbank. It happened on Thursday, May 28, but the bomb, in the form of a lawsuit, came from a surprising source — several members of the city’s own police force. Late Thursday, Burbank’s top city officials were shaken up over the filing of the suit by Lieutenant Omar Rodriguez, along with officers Jamal Childs, Cindy Guillen-Gomez,... Read More →

Tags: , , ,

Jay Leno says good-bye to the “Tonight Show”

Photo: NBC After 17 years, Jay Leno hosted his last official “Tonight Show” taping this evening with laughs, gags, memories, and some favorite guests. Some of the entertainer’s fans in the audience had spent hours in line to make sure they got a chance to watch the taping of Leno’s finale. Leno is not heading off into the sunset for retirement, at least not yet anyway. Actually, Leno and his crew are moving into new digs on the NBC lot in Burbank and will soon be gearing... Read More →

Tags: , ,

Phil Spector sentenced to 19 years-to-life

A Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge threw the book at convicted murderer and music legend, Phil Spector, today. Judge Larry Paul Fidler sentenced the 69-year-old Spector to 19 years-to-life, the maximum term. Last month, a jury convicted the eccentric music producer of second-degree murder in the death of 40-year-old Lana Clarkson. The B-Movie actress of such films as “Barbarian Queen” (1985) was found shot to death in the foyer of Spector’s Alhambra mansion in 2003. Spector’s first trial ended in a mistrial when the jurors were not able... Read More →

Tags: , , , ,

Barack Obama: Then and Now

Photo (1980): Lisa Jack — from the Los Angeles Times In 1980, Occidental College student Lisa Jack got very, very lucky. A bright handsome freshman named Barry Obama agreed to a photo session for one of Jack’s class assignments. The session produced 36 shots of a cool, youthful Obama. The photo above shows Obama wearing a bomber-style jacket with swirls of smoke from his cigarette floating around him. Years later, President Barack Obama apparently has dumped the smoking thing; ah, no matter, he’s still pretty cool without it. Obama spent his first two... Read More →

Tags: , ,

California Supreme Court rules on anti-gay marriage Proposition 8

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank The battle over same-sex marriage has been long and contentious in California. Today the state supreme court ruled the ban on gay marriage, Proposition 8, is constitutional, but that doesn’t appear to settle the debate. That’s because the high court’s ruling allows 18,000 gay marriages, that occurred before the proposition was approved by the voters, to stand. It’s a partial victory for both sides, but not a clear cut ruling on the issue. Last November, the controversial ban on gay marriage passed on a 52... Read More →

Tags: , , , ,

Two sequels battle for the top spot at the holiday Box Office

  “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” had to slug it out with another new film, “Terminator Salvation,” for the top spot at the Memorial Day holiday weekend Box Office. “Terminator Salvation” got off to a fast start with screenings on Thursday, while the second “Night at the Museum” movie opened on Friday.  Still, the family-friendly fantasy clobbered the high-tech futuristic sci-fi drama. “Night at the Museum” raked in an estimated four-day total of $70 million, to become the number one movie in the nation. “Terminator Salvation” had to settle... Read More →

Tags: , ,

Welcome home Atlantis!

   Photo: Carla Thomas/NASA Bad weather in Florida continued today, so the space shuttle Atlantis dropped out of the sky and landed at Edwards Air Force Base here in California at 8:39 a.m. Pacific Time. The crew of Atlantis carried out an extensive and complex upgrade of the Hubble Space Telescope during a 13-day journey. Later, Commander Scott Altman spoke for his six-member crew: “We’re all thrilled to have the mission complete and it was a testament to the teamwork and cooperation of folks all across the country.” Meanwhile, NASA is gearing up for the next mission... Read More →

Tags: , , ,

Mixed blessings on this Memorial Day holiday weekend

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank The economy is still struggling. Job layoffs by the thousands continue. Gasoline prices at the pumps are up. On Thursday, May 21, I paid $2.60 a gallon at a gas station in Burbank. A month ago at the same station, I paid $2.30 a gallon.  And food prices are still outrageously high; why is that the case? On the plus side, President Obama signed sweeping credit card reform into law yesterday. You can still catch a flick for around 10 bucks or so.  Some... Read More →

Tags: , , , , , ,

President Obama speaks at the U.S. Naval Academy graduation

   Photo: Lawrence Jackson/White House — President Obama shares a fistbump with a proud young graduating Midshipman at the U.S. Navy Academy commencement today. President Obama kicked off the long Memorial Day holiday weekend today with a speech to the graduating class of 2009 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland: “After an era when so many institutions and individuals acted with such greed and recklessness, it’s no wonder that our military remains the most trusted institution in our nation. (Applause) And in a world when so many forces and... Read More →

Tags: , , ,

More controversy in Burbank

  Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank City Council  (from left to right) Dr. David Gordon, Dave Golonski, Anja Reinke, Jess Talamantes and seated, council member/Mayor Gary Bric Suspicions are growing that something troubling is brewing behind the scenes in Burbank that involves the police department and legal matters. Officials are trying to keep it hush-hush, but all that has done is fuel rumors and concerns among residents as well as city employees. Last Tuesday, May 19, at the city council meeting, long-time resident Mike Nolan encouraged council members to address a number of issues... Read More →

Tags: , , ,

President Obama does a phone chat with space shuttle crew

Photo: Pete Souza/White House Talking about a long distance call. President Obama chatted with the crew on board the space shuttle Atlantis late yesterday. The crew got Wednesday off to rest and relax, after completing five spacewalks and numerous repairs and upgrades on the Hubble Space Telescope. This is the fifth and final tune-up for Hubble. The president spoke with Atlantis Commander Scott Altman, while the rest of the crew listened in. President Obama: “I wanted to personally tell you how proud I am of all of... Read More →

Tags: ,

California voters turn thumbs down on five budget propositions

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank Polling Place/Joaquin Miller Elementary School California voters didn’t just reject five of the propositions championed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other legislators as fixes for the financially-strapped state budget, they slammed them to the mat in yesterday’s special election. Propositions 1A through 1E were soundly defeated by huge margins. STATEWIDE RESULTS Proposition 1A  “Rainy Day” Budget Stabilization Fund          34.1% Yes   65.9% No Proposition 1B   Education Funding Payment Plan                37.4% Yes    62.6% No    Proposition 1C   Lottery Modernization Act                           35.4% Yes    64.6% No Proposition 1D   Children’s Services... Read More →

Tags: , , ,

Actor Tony Curtis gets a new tell-all book deal

Even decades later, the movie comedy “Some Like It Hot” (1959), directed by the legendary Billy Wilder, is still very funny. It’s a true classic that stands up against the changing times and culture. The film stars Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as two musicians on the run from gangsters who disguise themselves as women and join an all female band. Both fall for the band’s sexy lead singer, Sugar Kane, played by Marilyn Monroe.  Now 83-years-old, Curtis has hooked up a book deal for a behind-the-scenes memoir about what went... Read More →

Tags: , , , ,

Earthquake shakes up Southern California

Some folks in Southern California are still recovering from last night’s reminder that we live in earthquake country. That reminder came in the form of a 4.7 quake which rocked, rolled, shimmied, or shifted the ground from side to side for up to 15 seconds, according to those who felt it. Experts say the shaker shook up a large section of the Southland at 8:39 p.m. and was followed by an aftershock of 3.1 a few minutes later. The quake was centered near Lennox in the South Bay. I experienced the shaking... Read More →

Tags: , ,

“Angels & Demons” flies to the top of the Box Office

   “Angels & Demons” did not pack the appeal and Box Office numbers of its predecessor, “The Da Vinci Code.” Nonetheless, the new thriller about a deadly plot against the Vatican grabbed the attention of movie fans and debuted with an estimated $48 million this weekend to become the number one movie in the country. “Angels & Demons” is based on another Dan Brown novel.  Brown’s mega-bestseller, “The Da Vinci Code” became a blockbuster movie in 2006. “The Da Vinic Code” earned $77 million on its opening weekend in the U.S. The film... Read More →

Tags: , , ,

Fantastic filly makes history at the Preakness

Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters A speedy filly named Rachel Alexandra thundered past a pack of males to win the Preakness yesterday in Baltimore, Maryland. Rachel was the favorite and she did not disappoint. She’s the first filly to cross the finish line first at the Preakness since 1924!  You go girl!  Photo: Tim Shaffer/Reuters Rachel got high praise from her jockey, Calvin Borel: “She’s the greatest horse I have ever been on (in) my life.” Two weeks ago, Borel rode Mine That Bird to victory in the Kentucky Derby. This... Read More →

Tags: ,

Frank Sinatra: A new film and book

  Photo: William P. Gottlieb (1947) Legendary crooner Frank Sinatra died 11 years ago on May 14, 1998, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack. Sinatra was 82. Now the entertainer, known as “Ol’ Blue Eyes” or “The Voice,” is about to live again on the big screen and in the pages of a new book. Francis Albert Sinatra was born December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey and grew up to become one of the best known and most accomplished American singers ever. Also, Sinatra achieved recognition as... Read More →

Tags: , , ,

Jay Leno gearing up for “Tonight Show” finale

Photo: NBC Time is running out, if you plan to attend a “Tonight Show” taping hosted by Jay Leno. In two weeks, after 17 years,  the veteran comic will host his last “Tonight Show,” on Friday, May 29. Leno told CNN he’s planning some surprises for his finale and he revealed the guests will include singer James Taylor and new “Tonight Show” host Conan O’Brien. Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove —Winter 2009, folks wait outside NBC Studios for a taping of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Long... Read More →

Tags: , , ,

President Obama greets a crowd as he rallies support for credit card reform

Photo: Chuck Kennedy/White House Spectators at a town hall meeting in Rancho Rio, New Mexico yesterday eagerly reach out to shake President Obama’s hand or to snap a photo of the Commander-in-Chief.  At the meeting, inside a packed high school gym, the president recounted some horror stories of abuse by credit card companies who have been jacking up rates and raising fees on struggling Americans during these tough economic times. Obama said, “Enough is enough.  It’s time for strong, reliable protections for our consumers. It’s time for reform... Read More →

Tags: , ,