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Fronnie Lewis - Editor

Archive | News & General Info

High gas prices continue

Despite high prices millions gas up and hit the roads and highways. Today is get-away day for many folks traveling during the long 4th of July holiday weekend. The price for a gallon of gas is well over $4 in most places. Still, the Automobile Club of Southern California predicts that eighty percent of Southland travelers or 2.4 million will go by car. That’s less than a one percent decrease compared to last year. “Our record gas prices clearly are affecting travel for the second holiday in a... Read More →

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4th of July holiday break in the SAG talks

SAG negotiators met with AMPTP reps today. According to a SAG press release, the Guild asked a series of questions about the producers’ proposed package. Over the next several days, SAG negotiators will reportedly review and analyze the offer and ” prepare a response to management’s proposal.” No word yet, when these negotations will start up again. Meanwhile, on SAG’s website today, a statement from actor Sean Penn backing SAG’s decision to campaign against AFTRA’s tentative contract with the AMPTP. Penn, an AFTRA and SAG member,... Read More →

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Grammy Foundation offering grants of up to $40,000

I spotted this notice in today’s Arts Funding Watch e-newsletter. The grants are being offered to organizations and individuals researching the impact of music on the human condition. Also, these grants are available for projects dealing with archiving and preserving the music and recorded sound heritage of the Americas. For application guidelines go to www.grammyfoundation.com/grants

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SAG contract update

A Screen Actors Guild member gets vocal in support of striking WGA writers while picketing in front of Disney Studios in Burbank, last February. No, SAG members did not hit the bricks when their union contract expired at 12:01 a.m. this morning. Nevertheless, the labor stand-off between SAG negotiators and the AMPTP continues and that has a lot of people worried. According to a June 30 press release posted on SAG’s website, the producers whipped out a 42-page last-minute offer before midnight. The union asked for and got... Read More →

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Drivers beware! Hands off those cell phones

Motorists whizz through the intersection of Main Street and Alameda Avenue in Burbank. Starting today, holding a cell phone to your ear and driving will be against the law. California joins five other states requiring hands-free phones while behind the wheel. If you get caught, the general fine is $20 for the first time and $50 for any repeats. California legislators signed the law in 2006, but gave consumers time to get used to the change and to buy the hands-free phone technology for their vehicles. Another new... Read More →

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SAG contract expires tonight at 12:01 a.m.

The Screen Actors Guild and the Studio reps are really under the gun now, with the SAG union contract set to expire in a matter of hours. After a weekend of bargaining, both sides reportedly returned to the negotiating table for another round this morning at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks. This is the 42nd day of negotiations, which started back in mid-April. On the SAG website today instructions were given to the rank and file. “All members should continue to report to work and to audition for... Read More →

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UCLA gets millions for study of costume design

Newspaper publisher and philanthropist David C. Copley has donated $6 million to endow a chair and center for costume design at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. The center will be the first of its kind anywhere. Its goal will be to become the world leader in the academic study of costume design, preparing graduates for a career and artistic success, through a curriculum that balances theory, practical experience, and mentorship. From Philanthropy News Digest

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SAG contract update

SAG negotiators and the studio reps met at AMPTP headquarters today. This evening, a negotiations update appeared on the SAG website replacing yesterday’s brief statement. The negotiations update thanked SAG members for signing the “Solidarity Statement” over the past four days. “You have pledged your resolve to stand with your national negotiating committee. Thousands of you from all around the country are telling us you voted NO on the AFTRA contract and support our goal to raise the bar for all actors and their families.” AFTRA, American Federation... Read More →

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Screen Actors Guild contract about to expire

It is down to the wire for the Screen Actors Guild negotiations with the studio bosses. SAG leaders met with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reps today, but no word on how those talks are going. Tonight, there was a brief statement on the SAG website. The Screen Actors Guild national negotiating committee met with the employers at the AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks today. We have concluded for the day and will resume on Sunday. We have no further comment. Humm, that’s the same... Read More →

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Oil prices skyrocketing, no relief at the pumps

Our money pains at the gasoline stations are apparently going to get worse. Today, oil prices hit a new record of nearly 143 dollars a barrel. This bad news comes days before the July 4th holiday week when thousands hit the roads and highways. While out and driving in Burbank, I could not help noticing a number of brand new huge SUVs still sporting dealer plates. Those drivers must have received an incredible deal to ignore the cost of keeping an SUV fueled and rolling these days. I... Read More →

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Burbank Democratic Club endorses Barack Obama for President

   I dropped by the backyard cookout of the Burbank Democratic Club this evening. A spirited group of about 20 ate BBQ, sipped beverages of their choice, and discussed the state of the country and the world. And oh yes, talked a lot about politics and the upcoming general election on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.   Club President Janet Reynolds called for a vote and got a unanimous endorsement for the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, Senator Barack Obama. Also, the group threw its support behind a... Read More →

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Grand View cemetery to be open on Sunday, June 29, 2008

Visitors to the beleaguered Glendale cemetery on Sunday, May 25, 2008, line up at a table near the gate to get information and directions. They get assistance from volunteers including plaintiff’s attorney Paul Ayers and blogger Lisa Burks. The Grand View Memorial Park cemetery hours this Sunday are from noon to 4 p.m.. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Anthony Mohr signed an order on Tuesday, June 24, granting the public visitation on June 29, as well as two more on July 13 and July 27. I got... Read More →

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Chocolate secrets – scientists want to know

Government researchers in Miami are working on research to protect the world’s chocolate supply. Right on! According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, fungal diseases cause an estimated $700 million in losses annually to cocoa crops. The scientists are trying to develop disease resistant cocoa trees. Also, researchers will be attempting to unlock all the secrets of the cocoa bean — including keys to its ability to deliver that divine chocolate flavor — which some of us cannot seem to get enough of, sigh. The... Read More →

“Marley & Me” author writes memoir

Author of the bestselling “Marley & Me” John Grogan’s new memoir, “The Longest Trip Home”, has been announced for publication on October 21 by William Morrow. “From his troublemaking childhood to his courtship of a fiery blond named Jenny, Grogan writes about how he came to terms with who he is and what he believes.” It’s called the “story of a son in the making, and of growing up in a loving, but comically old-school Catholic family.” The film version of “Marley & Me” starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson... Read More →

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Big Hollywood Screenplay Money

Big Hollywood Screenplay Money Rogue Pictures reportedly shells out seven figures for writer Ehren Kruger’s script, “The Keep.” The screenplay is an adaptation of the Jennifer Egan novel of the same name. The thriller is about a mysterious prisoner who seduces a local woman with his tale of a supernatural secret that can transform her life. Kruger is in demand. He wrote “The Ring,” “The Ring Two,” and the recent sequel to the mega-hit “Transformers” among other movie scripts. See Variety.com

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