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Burbank City Councilman Bob Frutos city council meeting June 6, 2017

Letter: Happy Thanksgiving wishes from Bob Frutos

“Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays.” It is time to reflect on all of the blessings for which I am thankful. I am thankful for another good year of health for myself and my family.  I am continually honored and blessed to serve as your council member of our great city.   I am also thankful for so many residents who care for our community and get involved in our local government.  It is because of your love and dedication that makes this a great community. I am thankful for the dedicated employees that work hard, especially our Police and Fire Departments... Read More →

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large vote button graphic

It’s now up to you go vote!

It’s now up to you go vote!  November 8 is Election Day. The polls are open. The ballots and booths are ready. Election 2016 has been a real headache for many voters. The debates, the insults, the lies, the threats — from the ugly, contentious presidential campaign to the boiling controversy over Measure “B”– the replacement terminal proposal for the Bob Hope Airport or as it has been rebranded the Hollywood Burbank Airport. Voting. It’s a part of  the foundation of our democracy and a responsibility all... Read More →

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Photo courtesy BPD Twitter -- Deputy Chief Tom Angel and Chief Scott LaChasse at Angel

Ex-BPD official resigns LASD job over email controversy

The heat from a controversy over email jokes has become too much for Ex-Burbank Deputy Police Chief, Tom Angel. Today Angel reportedly resigned his job as Chief of Staff for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Angel moved into that job after leaving the Burbank PD last June. Los Angeles County Sheriff, Jim McDonnell, announced Angel’s resignation in a statement today, according to the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper put the heat on McDonnell and Angel last Wednesday with a report on email jokes sent by the former... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Contenders waiting for the start of the city council candidates' forum at Burbank City Hall January 20, 2015

Burbank candidates face off over the hot issue of development

Development is the hot political issue in Burbank these days. It came up during the city council forum last Tuesday and most likely will be debated at the next council candidates’ forum at Woodbury University tomorrow. Citizen gripes about overdevelopment have been percolating in the Media City for some time, but the debacle with the Whole Foods/Talaria project last October got tempers fired up and tongues a wagging. We’re heading into the thick of the 2015 campaign season with the ballots for the Burbank primary set... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- One-hour parking sign in 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank October 11, 2014

City Buzz: Peace returns to Magnolia Park after parking dispute resolved

Peace has returned to Magnolia Park after a bitter parking dispute rocked the trendy shopping and eating section of Burbank.  Last summer the parking problems along the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard blew-up into a major conflict. The majority of the merchants on the block complained their businesses were being hurt by the clients of coffee shop/cafe, Romancing the Bean, who were camping out for hours in the parking spaces in front of their stores. The solution they asked for — a... Read More →

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My Take On It column clip art pen

My Take On It: Ray Rice and that knockout in an elevator

When I first saw the new video from inside a New Jersey casino/hotel elevator of former Baltimore Ravens’ star, Ray Rice, punching out his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, my reaction was the same as when I saw the damage done to model/pop star Rihanna’s face by singer Chris Brown back in 2009 : “Oh wow, he could have killed her!” It’s heart wrenching to see what a man who claims to love or care for a woman can do to her in a physical assault. Society... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Jackie Waltman

Guest Blogger Jackie Waltman: Burbank mayor position. Is it time for a change?

It may be time to seriously talk about the position of Burbank City Mayor.  For years the position of Burbank mayor has been largely ceremonial. The position has been conferred on a rotational basis to council members by their colleagues.  This practice sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. First off, I would like to say that any citizen who is willing to step up to help guide the City should be applauded.  The city council plays a pivotal role in managing the quality of life in Burbank by ensuring that the... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- A stack of Burbank Leaders at a checkout stand in the Handy Market on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank July 16, 2014

City Buzz: Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press, and Tribune Publishing announcement

Demand for the Burbank Leader and its sister newspaper the Glendale News-Press, is apparently outpacing the supply of single issues of the newspapers available for readers. You have to wonder if this situation is going to get better or worse in light of yesterday’s announcement about the long-awaited spinoff of Tribune Publishing by the media giant Tribune Company. The spinoff is set to occur next month on August 4. Tribune Publishing includes several major newspapers, among them the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Porto

Updated: FBI and U.S. Justice Dept. decline to file charges in BPD probe

After extensive investigations into the now infamous 2007 Porto’s Bakery robbery in Burbank, the FBI and the U.S. Department have declined to file charges against any police personnel. In 2009, The Feds began looking into allegations of excessive force and civil rights violation by Burbank police involved in the investigation of that robbery. Late yesterday, Burbank Police Chief, Scott LaChasse, sent out a letter about the Feds’ decisions to his department. The letter is posted on the Burbank Police website . During public comments at last night’s... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Councilman Dr. David Gordon selected as mayor during Burbank City Council reorganization meeting May 1, 2014

Updated:City Buzz: Burbank City Council selects new mayor

Finally, after eight years of being on the Burbank City Council, Dr. David Gordon, was selected as mayor during the council reorganization meeting this morning. Even though the mayoral position is pretty much a ceremonial one, there are perks that go along with the job. Maybe that explains why certain council members fight like heck to keep the position among a few of their favorite colleagues. When you think of the backroom shenanigans, sniping, conniving, whining, petty allegations, and so on that have gone on over the years... Read More →

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News rack for The Burbank Leader

City Buzz: Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press controversy

It didn’t take long for readers of the Burbank Leader to react to the ludicrous plan to remove all the paper’s outside news racks from city streets. Glendale News Press readers, who are victims of the same screwball  decision, responded as well.  The uproar prompted a newspaper editorial/weak apology. Here’s the first paragraph. “Some changes went into effect this week relating to the delivery of the Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press that have caused a stir. Some of our loyal readers can’t find their... Read More →

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News rack for The Burbank Leader

Call-out: The Burbank Leader to remove all city news racks

Outside news racks for The Burbank Leader have been disappearing from the city streets for some time. I have been critical of that fact in the past. Now the word from the editor, Dan Evans, is that all the Burbank Leader news racks will be history soon. Bad news. Terrible idea. The reason, Evans says, it’s “theft.” In a recent column about changes to the Leader and the Glendale News-Press, editor, Dan Evans, explained it this way: “Have you wondered why you were unable to... Read More →

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Jay Leno’s tearful farewell wraps final “Tonight Show” as host

It was the second time he has had to bow out from the primo job as host of the “Tonight Show,” but Jay Leno’s good-bye was still emotional. and quite touching. Leno handled the hosting duties on the talk show for the last time, last night, and scored huge ratings. That is no surprise really. Leno beat his competition in the ratings before his first, ah, departure in May of 2009 and continued to lead the pack of late night talkers after he returned to the show... Read More →

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56th Grammy Awards

Grammys: Daft Punk, high ratings, and bloated commercial breaks

The French helmet-wearing duo, Daft Punk, are probably feeling pretty lucky today and for good reason. They walked away with some the biggest awards at the Grammys last night, including, Record of the Year for “Get Lucky,” Album of the Year for “Random Access Memories,” and for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. I have not heard their entire album, but  the song “Get Lucky” has been playing on local radio stations for months. The electronic pop beat of “Get Lucky” is catchy, but the lyrics are so... Read More →

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white clouds and blue skies

My Take: The unfriendly skies

After my scary flight on American Airlines last week, the friendly skies do not look so, ah, friendly. Turns out passengers on another commercial jetliner, a Southwest Airlines flight from Tampa, Florida to Raleigh, North Carolina, got an even worse fright from their pilot. Last Tuesday evening,  the Southwest pilot announced over the PA system: “We’re going down.” And the plane reportedly dropped about 20,000 feet in 11 minutes.  Later, the 737 made a safe emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Many of the passengers... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Two students on North Screenland Drive head home from Luther Burbank Middle School Burbank winter 2011

City Buzz: Burbank sidewalk controversy – what’s the solution?

The 1900 block of North Screenland Drive sidewalk controversy has been festering, brewing, and churning for several years. Finding a solution is not going to be easy. Tonight, the Burbank City Council is scheduled to decide whether or not to go forward with the installation of sidewalks on this residential street near Luther Burbank Middle School. The sidewalk project is funded by a Safe Routes to School Grant program, which according to a memo from Burbank Public Works Director, Bonnie Teaford, dated December 7, 2010 is “… designed to improve and... Read More →

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Photo: FLLLewis/Media City G -- Two Luther Burbank Middle School students walk home from school on North Screenland Drive Burbank March 7, 2011

Burbank sidewalk controversy revisited: An opposing view

Those opposed to installing sidewalks on North Screenland Drive tend to be passionate and tenacious about their position. None more so than long-time resident and North Screenland Drive resident, Janet Strong. She’s a retired motion costume artist turned activist and occasional guest blogger on Media City Groove. Here’s Strong’s opinion post, which appeared  in “Community Views: Sidewalk rift, common decency, and the Burbank City Council” March 30, 2011 .   The City Council used to be the judge and jury of fairness for the Burbank community. The neighbors... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Street sign Olive Avenue at Lomita Street in Burbank July 29, 2013

City Buzz: Olive Avenue the deadliest street in Burbank?

There’s always some danger when you cross a busy street, however, Olive Avenue may be the deadliest street for pedestrians in Burbank. Last night, a man was hit and killed at Olive Avenue near Naomi Street. The fatal accident reportedly happened around 10:15 p.m. The victim was in one of the eastbound lanes when he was struck by a car, according to myburbank. An investigation is still underway into another serious traffic accident on the same busy street last Thursday, July 25. Two women were seriously injured when... Read More →

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mega phone

Shout-outs and Call-outs: Who got noticed

Shout-outs   Some praise is deserved for the extremely popular and apparently very customer service savvy Porto’s Bakery at Magnolia Boulevard and Hollywood Way in Burbank. As I was leaving the bakery/eatery last Thursday night at closing time, I noticed an employee handing out bags of something at the door. I asked the young lady with the bright smile about the bags. She told me her name is Alejandrina and that  she was explaining to the late comers that the bakery was closed and offering each one a... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- The new reusable bag from Smart & Final Extra at 1855 West Glenoaks Boulevard, Glendale

City Buzz: Plastic carryout bags banned in Glendale. Is Burbank next?

Forget your reusable grocery bag and you’re going to pay extra to get a carryout sack for your purchases at some retailers in nearby Glendale now. It’s part of a strict plastic bag ban ordinance, which is being rolled out in two stages. The new ordinance is listed on the City of Glendale website. Here’s the first phase: “Beginning July 1, 2013 plastic carryout bags will no longer be available at farmer’s markets, larger grocers and food marts with gross annual sales of $2,000,000 or more... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/ Media City G -- A humorous remark from author James Ellroy gets a reaction from Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse at Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters June 4, 2013

Scott LaChasse sworn in as Burbank police chief

Finally, it’s a done deal. Under overcast skies and before a large crowd on the steps of Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters, 200 North Third Street, Police Chief Scott LaChasse was sworn in by Los Angeles County District Attorney, Jackie Lacey. The swearing-in ceremony was attended by local residents, city employees, dignitaries, officials and law enforcement personnel from throughout the state. As the MC, author James Ellroy, kept the ceremony upbeat and light with his humorous quips. Ellroy is a successful crime fiction writer of novels like The Black Dahlia... Read More →

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Memorial Day 2013: Fun, sun, and remembering the fallen

The stars and stripes are flying. Some folks had their flags out over the weekend. It’s one simple, but poignant way to remember the fallen — those who died fighting for or in service to our country. As we enjoy the grilling, the shopping, the fun in the sun this Memorial Day in Burbank and elsewhere, Americans should take a moment to give thanks for their sacrifice. Freedom comes at a high price. Ours has been paid for by some brave men and women. Let’s not forget. President Obama: “Every... Read More →

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