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

Archive | June, 2009

Photo Gallery: Special visitors drop by the White House

Photo: Pete Souza/the White House Last Friday, President Obama met with a very special  group of visitors at the White House. The guests and their canine companions were from the Helen Keller National Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The center offers intensive rehabilitation training for deaf-blind youngsters and adults. The five students, two staffers, and three volunteers from the center were on tour in Washington, DC. Last week was Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness week. The Helen Keller National Center was established in the late 1960s by Congress. Helen Keller, a deaf and blind... Read More →

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Bernard Madoff sentenced to 150 years in prison

Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Today a New York Judge sentenced 71-year-old Madoff to the maximum term, 150 years. Many of Madoff’s victims, who were in court, broke out in applause when the sentence was announced. Earlier in the proceedings, Madoff apologized to his victims for what is estimated to be at least a $50 billion fraud. Madoff was convicted of running the largest Ponzi scheme ever. In court today, some of his victims spoke bitterly of how the scheme had wiped... Read More →

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“Transformers 2” rockets to the top of the Box Office

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” seriously cleaned up during its first five days of domestic release. Since opening on Wednesday, the sci-fi action sequel has earned an estimated $201 million, the biggest five day opener behind, “The Dark Knight.” For the weekend, “Transformers 2” raked in around $112 million. So without a doubt, “Transformers 2” is the new number one movie in America. The “Transformers” series is based on a group of novels, toys, and cartoons dating back to 1984.  In “Transformers 2” alien robot-type creatures that can morph... Read More →

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Autopsy on Michael Jackson finished, but questions remain

  Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times — Fans line up to view Michael Jackson’s star and pay their last respects.   Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times — a fan reaches under a barricade to touch the star of Michael Jackson in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.   Photo: Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times — Fans celebrate the life and music of Michael Jackson in the Leimert Park area of L.A.    Funeral arrangements are underway for Pop Idol, Michael Jackson.... Read More →

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King of Pop Michael Jackson dies at 50

Photo: Reuters/stringer —Michael Jackson performing in Latin America in 1993 The end of an era. Pop Superstar Michael Jackson died today after suffering what may have been a heart attack. There are reports that the singer was not breathing and without a pulse when paramedics arrived at his West Los Angeles home at 12:30 p.m. The 50-year-old music legend was rushed to UCLA Medical Center where efforts to revive him failed. Some of Jackson’s family members, along with the media, converged on the hospital. Also, a large crowd of onlookers and... Read More →

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Actress Farrah Fawcett loses fight with cancer

Los Angeles Times/1978 Publicity Photo After a courageous battle with cancer, 1970s icon Farrah Fawcett died this morning at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. The actress was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, a year later it spread to her liver. A few weeks ago, a documentary of Fawcett’s personal battle with the disease called “Farrah’s Story” was broadcast on television.  Fawcett was born in Corpus Christi, Texas on February 2, 1947. She began modeling as a college student. A 1970s pin-up poster of Fawcett in a... Read More →

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Burbank City Council and those lingering controversies

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank City Hall In the course of business as usual at last night’s meeting, the Burbank City Council made some decisions involving issues which are continuing to generate debate and controversy. During public comments, Jose Sandoval, a volunteer coach for the Burbank Parks & Recreation Department for 16 years, returned to speak to the council members again. Sandoval coaches five teams and about 80 kids, mostly from low income and single parent homes. Some of the baseball players are physically challenged as well. On May 18, 2009,... Read More →

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“Tonight Show” sidekick Ed McMahon dies at 86

Photo: Wikipedia — Ed McMahon in November of 2005 “Heeeere’s Johnny!” The booming voice that made this introduction for “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson thousands of times has been silenced. Famous announcer/talk show sidekick Ed McMahon  died today, reportedly after a battle with cancer. He was 86. He was born Edward Leo Peter McMahon in Detroit on March 6, 1923. McMahon and Johnny Carson first worked together on the TV game show “Who Do You Trust?” (1957-1962). After Jack Paar retired, Carson and McMahon moved onto the “Tonight Show” in... Read More →

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Singer Chris Brown gets a plea deal in domestic violence case

File Photo: TV Guide/Frank Micelotta/Getty Image–Rihanna & Chris Brown Shortly before a preliminary hearing was set to get underway in a Downtown Los Angeles courtroom this afternoon, singer Chris Brown accepted a plea deal in his domestic violence case. Brown is accused of beating up long time girlfriend/singer/model, Rihanna, in a sports car on a Los Angeles street, following a pre-Grammy Awards party February 8, 2009. Today Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault likely to cause great bodily injury. The plea agreement calls for the 20-year-old entertainer to be sentenced to 180 days of community labor, which means it has to... Read More →

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“The Proposal” wins the Box Office derby

                                         Movie audiences were in the mood for a little romance over the weekend. The new romantic comedy “The Proposal ” dished it up with humor and a bit of drama. “The Proposal” easily debuted as the number one movie in the country with a haul of $33.6 million.  “The Proposal” stars Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Bullock plays a ruthless publishing executive who convinces her hunky assistant to accept her marriage proposal so she can avoid being deported to Canada. In exchange, the Reynolds’ character gets promoted to editor. Of course, all kinds... Read More →

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Special Father’s Day event at Dodger Stadium

The Dodgers are hosting their Sixth Annual Father’s Day Catch at Dodger Stadium tomorrow. Families are invited to come out and spend some of the Father’s Day holiday out on the playing field.  As part of the free event, Dodger legends Tommy Davis, “Sweet Lou” Johnson, Ken Landreaux, Rudy Law, Al Downing, Bobby Castillo, and Jimmy Campanis will be there to “… offer Father’s Day wishes, pose for photographs, and sign autographs,”according to a press release sent out by the ball club. By the way, the Dodgers are playing the Los Angeles... Read More →

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Bummed by rising gas prices at the pumps!

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank A sure sign of summer, rising gas prices. Wait a minute. Prices at the pumps have been climbing for a while. In fact, a gas spike has been underway for the past seven weeks with “no end in sight”, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Weekend Gas Watch dated June 18, 2009. Locally, the price of gasoline is hovering around $3 a gallon. Last night, I gassed up at a station in Burbank and paid $2.99 a gallon for self-serve regular. I was... Read More →

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Garden harvest at the White House

Photo: Samantha Appleton/White House It’s harvest time at the White House. Earlier this spring, First Lady Michelle Obama and a team of young gardeners planted tons of fruits, veggies, and flowers in a plot on the White House grounds. This organic kitchen garden is now providing a serious haul of healthy eats. More than 90 pounds of produce has been harvested from this garden so far, according to the White House blog. Some of it has been used in the White House kitchen, but most has gone to nearby... Read More →

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Did the Burbank City Council do the right thing?

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove —Burbank City Council, David Gordon, Dave Golonski,  Anja Reinke, Jess Talamantes, and sitting, Gary Bric  There were speeches. There was debate. Still, it came as no surprise that four members of the Burbank City Council chose to oust newly-appointed Police Commissioner, John Brady, at their meeting last night.  Again, Council member David Gordon tried various tactics to persuade his fellow council members to allow the civil rights activist to serve out his four year term. Nevertheless, the vote was four-to-one in favor of kicking Brady off the police commission and... Read More →

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Burbank City Council to revisit police commission appointments

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank City Hall The controversy surrounding the new Burbank Police Commissioners is about to come up again at tomorrow’s city council meeting. Today the issue is listed as item 13 on the agenda and is described as “Reconsideration of the Police Commission Applicants,” according to the agenda forecast posted on the city of Burbank website. At the center of this stormy drama is newly appointed Police Commissioner and civil rights activist, John Brady. Two weeks ago on June 2, the council voted 4-to-1 to reconsider the appointments of... Read More →

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L.A. Lakers win the 2009 NBA championship

Photo: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times Victory is sweet. I don’t think anyone needs to tell hard charging, hoop shooting, Kobe Bryant that tonight. Bryant led the Lakers to the NBA championship title tonight, beating the Orlando Magic 99-86 in the fifth game of the NBA finals. Bryant scored 30 points, six rebounds, and five assists in the title clincher. Along with the title, Bryant won the MVP trophy for the NBA Finals. This is the 15th NBA championship for the Lakers. The fourth for Bryant and probably best of all, his... Read More →

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“The Hangover” still tops at the Box Office

The R-rated comedy, “The Hangover” hangs tough in the number one spot at the Box Office for the second straight week. “The Hangover” raked in an estimated $33.4 million this weekend to hold on to bragging rights as the most popular movie in the country. The Disney 3D animation “Up” is still floating around in second place with $30.5 million. In third the debut of the remake of the 1974 film, “The Taking of Pelham 123,” with $25 million. This version stars Denzel Washington and John Travolta in an action thriller... Read More →

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Former Burbank Official Marsha Ramos speaks out on hot city issues

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Ex-Burbank City Council Member/Mayor, Marsha Ramos A few weeks ago, Marsha Ramos stepped out of the public spotlight and back into private life after two terms on the Burbank City Council and twice serving as mayor. Also, Ramos has worked on numerous city committees, boards, and panels, including the police commission, over the years. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that Ramos has been watching the dramas and controversies swirling around Burbank with particular interest. Earlier this week, on Tuesday June 9, Ramos answered some questions for me... Read More →

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Burbank Police Commission meeting ends quickly

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove  — Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters The Burbank Police Commission meeting yesterday ended a few minutes after it started. The meeting got underway shortly after 5:30 p.m. in the community room at the Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters. The first act of business was a motion by Commissioner Claudia Bonis to postpone the meeting due to the uncertainty created by the city council’s decision to review appointments to the panel. During the discussion of the motion, newly appointed commissioners John Brady and James Etter were the most enthusiastic about going ahead with the... Read More →

Police commission controversy flares up again at Burbank City Council meeting

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank City Hall More fuel got tossed onto the controversy burning around the Burbank Police Commission at last night’s city council meeting.  First up, Councilman David Gordon made a passionate plea to his fellow council members to release that confidential memo that prompted their decision last week to re-consider at least one appointment to the police commission. Dr. Gordon said it was in the “…interest of fairness and due process…” that the memo be made available “…to the individual and to the public…” ... Read More →

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Screen Actors Guild overwhelmingly approves new contract

It’s been a long time coming, but finally the 100,000 plus members of the Screen Actors Guild have a new contract today. The votes were counted last night on a new two-year deal with the big studio producers, which covers, “…film and digital television programs, motion pictures and new media productions,” according to an announcement on the SAG website. Around 110,000 ballots went out to SAG members — and about 35 percent were returned. In the final tally, an overwhelming 78 percent voted in favor and only 22 percent against. This contract kicks in immediately.... Read More →

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Upset at the Box Office

A flip-flop at the weekend Box Office today. Once the Sunday figures were in, it became clear movie ticket sales were higher for the new R-rated comedy, “The Hangover” than the animated adventure “Up.” So there’s a switch at the top of the Box Office. “The Hangover” is now number one with $45 million. Yesterday, the film’s weekend estimated gross hovered at around $43 million. “The Hangover” had the third best opening ever for an R-rated comedy. “Up” was in the top spot on Sunday. Today, it dropped to second place with... Read More →

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