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

Archive | July, 2009

The Burbank City Council, Falun Gong, and a new lawsuit against the city

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove A human rights issue in China stirred up the Burbank City Council meeting last night. I was there for the first public comments section and heard some passionate supporters of the Chinese health and spiritual movement Falun Gong speak out. They attempted to bear witness to the persecution of the practice by China, which considers Falun Gong a cult. During a 10 year crackdown, thousands of Falun Gong devotees reportedly have been killed, tortured or thrown into jails or labor camps. One of the speakers, Yi-Yuan Chang, claims Falun Gong is practiced in more... Read More →

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Michael Jackson criminal investigation focuses on his personal physician

Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray/Las Vegas Sun Doctor Conrad Murray continues to be the focus of a criminal investigation into the death of the late pop superstar Michael Jackson. Yesterday, a team of Federal DEA Agents, Las Vegas Police, and LAPD Detectives swooped down on Dr. Murray’s Las Vegas medical office and home. During the raids, investigators reportedly carted off boxes of documents, medical records, cellphones, and other materials. Earlier in the week, investigators searched the cardiologist’s Houston office as well. There are reports, authorities are looking for evidence that Murray may... Read More →

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Best selling author E.Lynn Harris dies suddenly at 54

Everette “E” Lynn Harris (June 20, 1955 – July 23, 2009) Over the weekend, a number of tributes and obituaries for the late writer E. Lynn Harris, a pioneer in popular black fiction.  Last week during a book tour for his latest novel, “Basketball Jones,” the bestselling author became ill at a Beverly Hills hotel. Harris died last Thursday night, July 23, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times. Harris self-published his first novel, “Invisible Life” and sold it out of the trunk of car,... Read More →

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“G-Force” conquers the weekend Box Office

               Family films continue on a hot streak at the Box Office. This weekend, the animated 3D “G-Force” debuted as the number one flick in the nation with an estimated take of $32 million. The cast of voices of this guinea pigs comedy include Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz. Last week’s top flick “Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince” dropped to second place with an estimated $30 million. Still,  the two week run by the latest Harry Potter movie has raked in more than $200 million in the U.S. alone.  A new romantic comedy,... Read More →

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Manny slams spectacular home run!

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers Dodger slugger Manny Ramirez heads for home after hitting an amazing grand slam into the Dodger Stadium seats last night. And the home crowd went wild!  Ramirez was not in the line up because of a bruised left hand. He was called in to pinch-hit for pitcher Chad Billingsley. Manny helped power the Dodgers to a 6-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds. This is Ramirez’s 21st grand slam, which ranks him second to the legendary Lou Gehrig who holds the record with 23. Also, Ramirez now... Read More →

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The Burbank City Council & a new legal claim against the city

Photo:FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove At Burbank City Council meetings most of the face time goes to the council members and the staff. They’re the ones who are supposed to be handling city business, therefore, they get to do a lot of the talking. Still, I get a kick out of the public comment segments where we get a chance to hear what’s bugging some of the citizens of Burbank. At last Tuesday’s city council meeting, Mayor Gary Bric called up more than 15 people to the podium to speak for five minutes or less on city business during the... Read More →

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A magical opening for the new Harry Potter movie

Movie audiences can’t seem to get enough of those Harry Potter flicks. The latest, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” debuted at the top of the Box Office this weekend with a spectacular opening estimated to be at least $79 million. Since it hit movie screens on Wednesday, this sixth film in bestselling author J.K. Rowling’s fantasy-adventure series has earned somewhere around $159.7 million nationwide. The cast is led by Daniel Radcliffe who plays the young wizard, Harry Potter. In second place, the animated 3D film, “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” pulled in... Read More →

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Legendary broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite dead at 92

Photo courtesy: Arizona State University The gold standard of broadcast journalism Walter Cronkite died yesterday after a long illness. He was 92. For nearly 20 years, Cronkite was the anchorman of the “CBS Evening News.”  His trusting manner and steady demeanor earned him the respect of his colleagues and the public. Years after retiring, Cronkite was still considered the most trusted man in America.   On the Los Angeles Times website, a nice article about Cronkite’s distinguished career.

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Burbank Police Commission gets down to business

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove The Burbank Police Commission’s July meeting yesterday at the Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters was very difference from the previous month. In June, the commission voted to adjourn before conducting any real business because of a cloud of uncertainty hanging over newly appointed commissioner, John Brady. In a controversial move, the Burbank City Council voted to remove Brady from the police commission citing his probation for  a DUI as the reason. Nevertheless, the human rights activist showed up at yesterday’s commission meeting and sat with a small... Read More →

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Senate hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor

  Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters More hard hitting questions today for U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for the New York federal appeals judge kicked off yesterday.  At the hearing, senators have called upon Sotomayor to express her views on a number of controversial issues, including abortion, gun rights, and race. Today, Sotomayor was quizzed on a statement made in a 2001 speech, in which she said “a wise Latina” might make a better legal decision than a white male. Sotomayor explained she was trying to be... Read More →

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“Bruno” sashays to the top of the weekend Box Office

Moviegoers were up for outrageous comedy this weekend, and the new film, “Bruno,” delivered.  “Bruno” laughed its way to an estimated $30.4 million opening to capture the title of the number one movie in the nation. “Bruno” is an R-rated comedy about a gay Austrian fashion journalist, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, who comes to America determined to become a superstar.  Once again, “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” held onto second place, this time raking in around $28.5 million. Last week’s number one flick, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” took a fall... Read More →

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Fire department cutbacks in Burbank

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove UPDATE: Daily minimum staffing for Burbank firefighters will be reduced from a high of 38 last year to 36 on Monday, July 13. This will not result in any layoffs.   Times are tough. The city of Burbank is tightening its financial belt. I understand all of that, still it doesn’t seem smart to cutback the fire department in the heat of a dry summer. Yet, that is just what’s happening in Burbank. As part of a city council mandated reduction of 5 percent for every department,... Read More →

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Brush fire forces the evacuation of the Getty Center

Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times Today fire crews have the upper hand on a smoky brush blaze, which broke out near the Getty Center in West Los Angeles yesterday afternoon. The flames swept through the hillsides and canyons in the Sepulveda Pass. More than a thousand people were evacuated from the museum and nearby Mount St. Mary’s College. This morning, the brush fire is 90 percent contained at less than 100 acres. Today, the Getty Center is closed along with some streets and roads in the area.  Meanwhile, fire teams... Read More →

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A fantastic send-off for superstar Michael Jackson !

Photo: Andrew Gombert/Pool This is the cover of the program for the public Michael Jackson memorial service held at Staples Center in Los Angeles yesterday. A ton of photos of the event and the fans are on the Los Angeles Times website . Thousands of lucky ticket holders joined MJ’s friends, celebrities, and family members for the emotional and musically charged memorial inside Staples, while millions of other folks watched or listened to a live broadcast. Performances by Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Brooke Shields, Jennifer Hudson, and Usher made it... Read More →

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Box Office movies make a killing over the Fourth of July holiday weekend

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” won the neck-and-neck battle against newcomer “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” for the top spot at the domestic Box Office this past weekend. In the final numbers, “Transformers 2” grossed a huge $42.3 million to hold onto the title of the number one movie in the nation for the second straight week. “Transformers 2” is making truckloads of money here and abroad. The sci-fi action flick is expected to cross the $300 million mark domestically by mid-week. The sequel has already leaped that barrier internationally. Although... Read More →

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Photo Gallery: White House Independence Day celebration

  Photo: Pete Souza/The White House —President Obama and First Lady Michelle greet White House guests Today the White House blog posted photos of the bang-up Fourth of July celebration at the White House. President Barack Obama and wife Michelle shared their festivities with military personnel and their families. In the above photo, the Obamas greet some of the enthusiastic party guests.   Photo: Pete Souza/The White House —First couple watch the fireworks show over the National Mall. The White House Fourth blow-out was in honor of... Read More →

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Happy Fourth of July!

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank                                “The Star Spangled Banner” Fourth and Final Verse O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation! Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heaven-rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must when our cause it is just And this be our motto: “In God is our Trust.” And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the... Read More →

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Burbank Mayor Gary Bric, his restaurant, & those trash talking e-mails

Photo: from city of Burbank website I don’t know if Burbank Mayor Gary Bric plays any street basketball, but it’s pretty clear he can trash talk. Earlier in the week, I popped over to Jim Carlile’s Burbank blog and discovered a post from last Tuesday, June 30 about some caustic e-mails he got from the mayor. The town is abuzz with chatter about these e-mail zingers. Mayor Bric apparently got steamed under the collar after reading one of Carlile’s letters in the Mailbag section of The Burbank Leader newspaper. Here’s a sampling of... Read More →

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Coach Jose Sandoval enters a plea in a Burbank court

Photo courtesy Jose Sandoval — some of the players and coaching staff Burbank Volunteer Coach Jose Sandoval probably would have preferred to spend this morning out at a sunny park, teaching some local kids how to swing a bat or throw a baseball. Instead, Coach Sandoval was in Burbank Superior Court at 8:30 a.m. today, to face a charge of misdemeanor battery arising from an altercation during a game at McCambridge Park on May 18, 2009. After a heated exchange over a disputed call, Sandoval says he headed for the dugout followed... Read More →

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A private farewell to Farrah Fawcett

Photo: Cover of the funeral service program Family and close friends of Farrah Fawcett gathered yesterday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Downtown Los Angeles to say farewell to the actress. Among the celebrities at the private funeral, former “Charlie’s Angels” co-star Kate Jackson and ex-supermodel Cheryl Tiegs. Photo:  Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times  Fawcett’s long time companion, Ryan O’Neal, was one of the pallbearers. Fawcett’s father was there as well.  A Los Angeles judge gave Fawcett and O’Neal’s son, Redmond, permission to attend the funeral. The... Read More →

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