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

Archive | August, 2012

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- After a sudden thunderstorm, the sun came out over the Trader Joe's parking lot at East Alameda Avenue and South San Fernando Boulevard in Burbank August 30, 2012

Freaky stormy weather rolls through Burbank

A hot humid day in Burbank turned stormy late this afternoon, when some freaky weather rolled through with dark clouds, gusty winds, and rain! Yes, and it was pretty heavy near the hillside area at South San Fernando Boulevard and East Alameda Avenue. The wet stuff began there with a few raindrops around 5 p.m. and  in a matter of minutes turned into a heavy downpour. Some folks apparently were listening to weather reports of possible showers and thunderstorms, therefore, they were ready with hats, jackets,... Read More →

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clip art of falling money

Mega Millions jackpot leaps to $73 million and unclaimed SoCal tickets worth six figures!

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot is packed with greenbacks! This jackpot has been growing for weeks now. Last Friday, no one got lucky and bought a ticket with all of the winning numbers. Those digits are: 25, 34, 45, 46, 49 and the Mega Ball 34. The next change to score this jackpot is tonight. The draw happens after ticket sales close at 7:45 p.m. By the way, there are a couple of unclaimed Mega Millions money prizes set to expire next month. The two unclaimed... Read More →

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gas pump clip art

Gas prices heading up for Labor Day weekend, consumers blame oil companies

Gasoline prices are on a roll again — upward!  As the long Labor Day weekend approaches, prices at the pumps continue to creep up. Today the national average for a gallon of self-serve regular is $3.75, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. As usual, prices are higher in California.  Today the state and the Los Angeles/Long Beach (including Burbank) area average for a gallon of that grade of gas is $4.13. A month ago, the price was $3.80 a gallon for self-serve regular... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Site of proposed Walmart 1301 North Victory Place at the Empire Center in Burbank

Judge slams the brakes on controversial Walmart project in Burbank

In a move that has angered some while prompting others to cheer, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction halting Walmart’s efforts to develop the old site of The Great Indoors on North Victory Place at the Empire Center in Burbank. Judge Robert O’Brien’s order, handed down Thursday August 23, stops the retail giant’s renovation of the site and puts on hold the city’s building permits issued to Walmart. Judge O’Brien reportedly ruled that during a recent hearing the city did not show  the project would... Read More →

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Mega Millions logo

Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $65 million!

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot is headed into that big money zone. The jackpot took a jump to $65 million, after no one came up with  all six of the winning numbers in last Tuesday’s draw. Those top notch digits: 5, 13, 20, 23, 33 and the Mega ball 30. The next draw for that rich jackpot will be tomorrow, Friday August 24, after ticket sales close at 7:45 p.m.

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Comcast NBC Universal logo

Comcast NBCUniversal hit with “Tonight Show” jokes and class action lawsuit

More bad labor press for Comcast NBCUniversal.  First, a lot of shock and surprise when it came out last week  that about 20 staffers got laid off  from the highly rated, “The Tonight Show.”  Host Jay Leno reportedly was forced to take a pay cut as part of that budget slashing.  For the past couple of nights, Leno and his writers, have hit back at corporate in his monologue, with jokes like: “Welcome to ‘ The Tonight Show,’ or as we call it  ‘Survivor... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank City Council meeting August 14, 2012 from left to right: Councilman Gary Bric, City Attorney Amy Albano, and City Manager Mike Flad

Talk of the Town: Burbank City Attorney on the hot seat

The controversy surrounding the dismissal of the Omar Rodriguez cases has put the Burbank City Attorney, Amy Albano, on the hot seat.  At the city council meeting on August 14,  Albano, was asked to explain how the Omar Rodriguez cases ended. You might remember, Albano took over as city attorney last October. Albano reportedly has nearly twenty years of experience in municipal government and was previously the city attorney for Thousand Oaks. Albano beat out 27 other candidates for the Burbank city attorney job. So one would think... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Guest Blogger Jean Youn

Jean Youn: Finding joy in routine tasks

Everybody has their own routine work to do. At the same time, everyone has their own special things to do. Perhaps, an ordinary person usually has routine work more than special things. What are your routine tasks? What are your special things to do today or this week? As a cleaner, my daily routine is the repetition of almost the same things. What I do daily is more like the continuance of the same work as a wheel goes round and round. However, I have many things so special at the same time. That’s people... Read More →

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nail salon graphic

Alert: Nail salon robberies in Burbank

Nail salons  and their clients have been put on the alert by the Burbank Police Department. The agency sent out a new release on Thursday warning about a series of nail shop robberies in Burbank and nearby Van Nuys. The robberies in B-town took place last month on July 24 and 27th, according to Sergeant Darin Ryburn, Burbank PD media relations. The suspects, two men and a woman, all African American, enter a nail salon ask  about services, then pull a weapon and reportedly demand everyone’s... Read More →

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Photo: Cover of "Michael" the new Michael Jackson album from www.michaeljackson.com

Entertainment Bits: MJ’s will reviewed, Facebook stock down again, WGA-West slams Verizon/cable deals

No surprise that a family feud is underway over the very rich estate of the late pop legend, Michael Jackson. Some of the superstar’s disgruntled siblings have charged his will is a fake. Yes, that’s the will that left the singer’s fortune to various charities, his mother, and his children and nothing to his brothers and sisters.  Forbes investigated MJ’s will and here’s a report on what they discovered. Another bummer of a day for Facebook. The social media giant’s stock has been struggling... Read More →

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M. Catherine Berg photo courtesy author

A Writer’s View: From TV police drama “Hunter” to mystery author

My first paid writing job fell into my lap when working for a TV syndication company.  My boss needed to hire someone to watch seven seasons (23 shows a season) worth of “Hunter,” the police drama starring Fred Dryer and Stepfanie Kramer, and compose a one page, double spaced synopsis of each show to be faxed (our office didn’t have a computer yet) directly to TV Guide.   Since I happened to be the only one around the office (and probably the only one that would undertake such a chore)... Read More →

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Mega Millions logo

Summer dreams and the Mega Millions jackpot hits $45 million

Feeling lucky? Dreaming of hitting the big one or just getting some extra cash to cruise through the rest of the summer? You might be able to pick up some dough in the Mega Millions lottery. The jackpot is at least $45 million for tomorrow’s draw. For as little as one dollar for a single Mega Millions ticket, you might be able to score a major payday. The next draw is Friday, August 17, after ticket sales close at 7:45 p.m.

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters at Third Street and Orange Grove Avenue in downtown Burbank

Talk of the Town: Omar Rodriguez settlement and discontent in the BPD

A lot of folks want to know the details of the settlement handed to former Burbank Police Lieutenant, Omar Rodriguez, by the city of Burbank. And rightly so. Rodriguez was fired in April 2010, after filing a 2009  lawsuit with several minority Burbank police officers, complaining of illegal activity in the department, including discrimination and retaliation. The lawsuit and the fallout from it is part of what has become known as the scandalous Burbank “police mess.” In a recent Burbank Leader article about the settlement and the decisions to... Read More →

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heat wave graphic

Heat wave continues: Another excessive heat warning

A relentless heat wave continues to bake Burbank and the rest of the Southland. A hot air mass is hovering over the region. An excessive heat warning went into effect this morning through late evening for portions of the valleys and mountains in So Cal. Yesterday the high hit 100 again in B-town and we can expected it to be just as hot today. At 11 a.m., the temperature was already 90! So the heat is very much on in the Media City.

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Jean Youn: Olympic medals and serenity of mind

The London Olympiad, which draws the attention of people around the world, is about to end. Many athletes have won glorious medals, but a lot more athletes will go back to their countries with empty hands. There is one thing that will be equally given to those who won medals, those who didn’t, as well as to all the people who enjoyed the Olympic games. That is the time of tomorrow. Being asked the secret of winning, an archer who won a gold medal responded, “I... Read More →

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Talk of the Town: School board appointment controversy

A lot of chatter  in B-town and on the Internet about the appointment of Burbank Police Lieutenant, John Dilibert, as an interim school board member — to complete the term of Debbie Kukta — who recently stepped down to take the interim position of city treasurer. Lt. Dilibert narrowly won out over former Park, Recreation, Community Services board member/chair and political strategist, Steve Ferguson. Lt. Dilibert, 48, has served on a number of community and private boards and committees– including an interim term on the Burbank Unified School District Board... Read More →

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blazing hot sun clip art

Another scorcher! Cooling center hours extended in Burbank

Another blazing hot day in Burbank. The forecast is for a high of at least 100 today and for a sizzling weekend, too. Meanwhile, the city of Burbank is extending the hours of one of its cooling centers — due to the continued heat wave: “Now that the extreme high temperatures are expected to continue through Sunday, the City is extending the hours of operation at Buena Vista Library, which is centrally located and offers the most efficient cooling system. The Central Library hours will remain... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Burbank Community YMCA -- Burbank Community YMCA has received a $250K Commitment from Cusumano Family. Pictured L-R: Vic Georgino, Capital Campaign Chair, Burbank Community YMCA Michael and Caroline Cusumano J.C. Holt, CEO, Burbank Community YMCA Yvette Herrera, Director of Philanthropy, Burbank Community YMCA Roger Koll, Board President, Burbank Community YMCA

Burbank Community YMCA gets big money donation

The Burbank Community YMCA has received a $250,000 commitment from the Cusumano family — owners of the large commercial and residential property firm, Cusumano Real Estate Group. The Burbank Y made the announcement on Tuesday in a news release. “The Cusumanos’ generous donation will go a long way in supporting the Y’s work—even beyond the needed building improvements,” JC Holt, CEO of the Y, said in the release.  “The significance of a gift like this is that it is an investment in the future. It conveys the Cusumanos’ vote of... Read More →

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Earthquake graphic

UPDATED: Earthquake: Did you feel it?

12:20 p.m. Wednesday More rattling and rolling in So Cal — and again, most of it near Yorba Linda. At around 9:33 a.m. this morning, a 4.5 quake near that city — followed by a 3.4 shaker also not far from Yorba Linda. No reports of damage or injuries, but probably a lot of frayed nerves in that town. Did you feel that earthquake last night?  The shaker rattled the Southland around 11:23 p.m. last night and was centered about two miles north of Yorba Linda... Read More →

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heat graphic sun & thermometer

Heat watch in the Southland: Cooling centers open in Burbank

The temperatures are soaring in the Southland and that has prompted an excessive heat watch for Los Angeles County. Today in Burbank the high reach 100! The weather is expected to remain very hot with an increase in humidity; these factors will create “… a prolonged period of well above normal and possibly dangerous heat beginning Wednesday and continue through Friday,” according to the National Weather Service. Late Tuesday, two designated cooling centers were opened in Burbank. A news release from Burbank Public Information Officer Drew... Read More →

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