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Politics & Issues

Don't Sign Petition/Mailer from January 2020

Confusion and controversy over Burbank petition

Voters are facing a lot of confusion and controversy over a Burbank petition. At the center of the controversy is the proposed La Terra North 777 Front Street project, which the Burbank City Council unanimously approved last month. The petition seeks to put the brakes on the mixed-use Downtown Burbank project through a referendum ballot measure for the upcoming November general election. This bold move has raised the ire of city officials and the developer. Burbank Fact Sheet Last week, a “Fact Sheet” about the project appeared on... Read More →

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Councilman Frutos: Holiday greetings

As this year comes to a conclusion, I would like to wish everyone happiness and good health in the new year. This year has been a bumpy year for many close friends, including my family who has been dealing with the reality of my mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Yet, during this holiday season I was reminded how blessed I am to live in a tight-knit community with neighbors and friends who have opened their doors to help one another and have invited others to their home or church for... Read More →

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Police Chief Scott LaChasse photo courtesy City of Burbank

A call for Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse to resign

A call for Burbank Police Chief, Scott LaChasse, to resign. It comes from Burbank Police Commissioner and Attorney, David Diamond. I have met with Diamond after receiving emails from him about his decision.  Diamond is adamant that the Chief should step down for a number reasons. Diamond is serving his first term on the Burbank Police Commission. He was appointed to the commission by the city council in 2015. Diamond was selected as chair twice by his fellow commissioners and now holds the position of vice-chair. On the personal... Read More →

Photo: FLLewis/ Media City G -- Former Pinup Girl Boutique 3606 West Magnolia Blvd. Burbank September 3, 2018

Update on former Pinup Girl Boutique location in Magnolia Park

What’s happening in the former Pinup Girl Boutique at 3606 West Magnolia Blvd? Well, it depends on who you ask. A company called Quanta has moved into the location, after its business license application was approved by the City of Burbank in early summer. Quanta’s owner Eric Rice The license is for office space only, but the owner, Eric Rice, has made it clear to a lot of folks his plan is to sell hemp-based products from this prime retail storefront. In his business license application, Rice, tried... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- City council meeting City Hall Burbank July 31, 2018

Save Magnolia Park supporters speak out at Burbank City Council

Still some chatter in town about what happened when Save Magnolia Park supporters spoke out at the city council last Tuesday, July 31. Most of the talk is about Councilman, Jess Talamantes’, response to their case. The supporters asked for council assistance in preserving the unique flavor of the Magnolia Park Business District. Also, they got council to agree to send staffers to listen and learn at the August 13 town hall meeting at Geeky Teas & Games, 2120 West Magnolia Blvd., 7 pm. The supporters presented their case well,... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G-- Former location of Pinup Girl Boutique 3606 West Magnolia Blvd. Burbank July 2, 2018

Cannabis company is moving into Burbank

A cannabis company is moving into Burbank, specifically, taking over a prime location in Magnolia Park’s business district. That’s right, a firm called Quanta has leased the former Pinup Girl Boutique building at 3606 Magnolia Blvd, on the same block as Porto’s, not far from the retro shops, one-of-a-kind boutiques, off-the-wall emporiums, and trendy stores. The nearby Lakeside Shopping Center on Pass Avenue is getting the miniature burger innovation Burgerim and downtown Burbank will soon have one of the most popular and fastest growing restaurants, Shake Shack.  Both eateries are... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- 3200 block of West Magnolia Blvd. in Magnolia Park Burbank July 2, 2018

City Buzz: Troubled times for Magnolia Park business district

Troubled times for Magnolia Park business district again. The sometimes quirky, sometimes funky, but definitely unique business sector stretches from North Clybourn Avenue to North Victory Boulevard on Magnolia Boulevard and West Chandler Boulevard to Clark Avenue on Hollywood Way. Much of the action is concentrated on Magnolia. The collection of vintage shops, eateries, one-of-a-kind emporiums, and small businesses on the boulevard has a certain appeal and sense of hip cool, which really cannot be explained. It just is. Nevertheless, the evolution from a sleepy boulevard to what it is... Read More →

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Mayor Emily Gabel Luddy, photo courtesy City of Burbank

New mayor, new vacancy on the Burbank City Council

New mayor, new vacancy on the Burbank City Council. No surprise, Vice-Mayor-turned Mayor Pro Tem, Emily Gabel-Luddy, was “appointed” mayor for the next year by council colleagues, Jess Talamantes, Sharon Springer, and Bob Frutos at last Tuesday’s council reorganization meeting. Council member Springer, who is serving her first term, was selected as vice-mayor. Again, no surprise. Council tends to reward members who don’t rock the boat or ask the really hard questions. Case in point, Dr. David Gordon. These council members seem to take pride in how well they... Read More →

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Will Rogers (1957-2018 ) Photo courtesy City of Burbank

The death of Burbank mayor prompts changes on city council

The death of Burbank mayor prompts changes on city council. Mayor Will Rogers died last Thursday after a battle with cancer. His passing creates a vacant seat on the council as well as requiring some other changes. Per a news release from Burbank PIO, Simone McFarland, “According to the City Charter, the Vice Mayor shall act as the Mayor Pro Tempe (Tem) through the May 1 reorganization”meeting. So that means Vice Mayor, Emily Gabel-Luddy, moves up into the mayor’s position. Luddy would likely be selected by her colleagues to be... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Mayor Will Rogers discloses liver cancer diagnosis at news conference in front of City Hall in Burbank September 20, 2017

Burbank Mayor Rogers reducing activities due to liver cancer diagnosis

Burbank Mayor, Will Rogers, reducing activities due to liver cancer diagnosis. Mayor Rogers, a city council member since 2015, made the disclosure yesterday in a rare news conference in front of the City Hall entrance on East Olive Avenue.  The announcement did not come as a shock. Rumors, whispers, and innuendos about Rogers’ health have been circulating for months. Rogers acknowledged publicly for the first time: “My cancer is at stage four… like every one of us here today… I don’t know today if I have another week or another... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis /Media City G -- Theresa Hanna owner of Bell Cottage 3322 West Magnolia Blvd Burbank August 3, 2017

Fears and concerns grow after two more shop burglaries in Magnolia Park

Fears and concerns grow after two more burglaries at shops in Magnolia Park. Theresa Hanna’s gift shop, Bell Cottage, is at Magnolia Boulevard and Lima Street. Bell Cottage was burglarized a week ago,  along with Vintage Boutique Antiques, 942 North Lima Street. For the past 10 years, Delmy Hernandez has owned the little vintage shop around the corner from Bell Cottage. Hernandez lives nearby and heard a security alarm go off shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday morning, July 30. The burglaries appear to be what are frequently called “smash and... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- City Hall 275 East Olive Avenue Burbank June 24, 2017

City Buzz: Changes at Burbank City Hall and around town

Some changes and developments in the Media City as we head into the last week of June 2017. Burbank City Hall — After five years as Burbank’s Public Information Officer, Drew Sugars, is moving on. Sugars’ departure was officially announced late last Friday in a news release from City Hall. The veteran broadcast journalist will become the Director of Communications and Community Relations for Glendale Community College. In the release, Sugars said: “… I’m sad to leave so many colleagues and friends in this fantastic City, but I’m excited... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G - (l-r) Council Member,Jess Talamantes, Vice-Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Mayor Will Rogers, Council Members, Sharon Springer and Bob Frutos posed for photos city council chambers in Burbank May 1, 2017

New Burbank City Council and City Hall challenges

The new Burbank City Council is facing some tough challenges with budget decisions, traffic issues, and development/growth concerns. At the Monday, May 1, reorganization meeting, Councilman, Bob Frutos, and new Council Member, Sharon Springer, were sworn in along with a number of other elected officials before a packed crowd in the city council chambers. By far the most anticipated speech of the reorganization meeting was made by outgoing Councilman, Dr. David Gordon.  After 11 years on the council, Gordon was defeated in the general election last month. In his remarks,... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- (l-r) Councilman Will Rogers congratulated by outgoing Mayor Jess Talamantes at Burbank City Hall May first, 2017

Photo Gallery: Will Rogers becomes Burbank mayor

Councilman Will Rogers moved up from vice-mayor to mayor today at the council reorganization meeting. Rogers was selected unanimously by his fellow council members. More coming up on this blog about the meeting at City Hall including comments by outgoing Councilman, Dr. David Gordon, who made it clear he was not going to fade away. Gordon’s comments probably sent chills up the spine of his critics, while giving supporters a reason to cheer. More than likely the selection of Rogers did the same.

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Sharon Springer spoke during public comments period at city council meeting in Burbank April 4, 2017

Letter: Sharon Springer expresses gratitude for campaign support

Dear Burbank Community: I would like to thank our Burbank community for electing me to city council. Thank you for opening your doors when we knocked; thank you for talking with us outside grocery stores, and schools. Thank you for tolerating my morning campaign runs.  Thank you for hosting my bright pink signs, your financial contributions and your word of mouth endorsements.  Thanks to my campaign chair person, Elaine Paonessa, and my well-organized, relentless volunteers for their inspiration, support and belief in me.  Thanks to my organizational endorsements,... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- (l-r) Councilman Bob Frutos, guest Lourdes de Garcia, and former Burbank Council Member/Mayor, Marsha Ramos smile for photos at a re-elect Frutos rally in Burbank March 27, 2017

Letter: Burbank Councilman Bob Frutos offers thanks for support

  A heartfelt thank you message to Burbank residents: I am grateful to have received your strong support and your vote in this general election. Many of you were there for me four years ago in 2013 and you have shown your trust in me again today. Heartfelt thank you for your vote to get re-elected to the Burbank City Council. Four years ago, I pledged to you my commitment towards working for you and for our city.  Today, I am more committed and dedicated to continue to work tirelessly... Read More →

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Election results graphic

2017 Burbank General Election final results released today

Burbank City Clerk, Zizette Mullins, announced the final results for the 2017 general election this afternoon. The only race on the ballot, a run-off  among four candidates for two seats on the city council. The election night preliminary numbers showed Councilman Bob Frutos winning with the most votes, followed by challenger Sharon Springer, Councilman Dr. David Gordon and the fourth candidate, Juan Guillen. Today the ballots postmarked on Election Day and received by noon were counted. The final tally shows Councilman Bob Frutos winning re-election. He is... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Election workers at Burbank City Hall April 11, 2017

Frutos and Springer lead in early returns for two Burbank City Council seats

Incumbent Bob Frutos and challenger, Sharon Springer, are holding down the top two spots in the early returns for two seats on the Burbank City Council. It was a busy evening at Burbank City Hall last night for election workers. The only race on the ballot, a run-off for the city council seats. The interest in the run-off has been strong. The final tally for the February 28, 2017 primary, 10, 902 ballots. Last night’s total for the general election 11,142 and there are still more ballots to be counted.... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Burbank General Election 2017 ballot

Burbank General Election 2017 ballots, candidates, and controversies

The candidates are heading into the home stretch for tomorrow’s Burbank General Election. This is a mail-in ballot only election with four city council candidates in a run-off for two seats. The contenders are Juan Guillen, Sharon Springer, and council members Dr. David Gordon and Bob Frutos. As of last Friday April 7,  “… approximately 7, 500 ballots, as compared to the 2015 General Municipal Election, (when) we had approximately 6,600 ballots at this time,” according to City Clerk, Zizette Mullins. By today, Monday, April 10, the number of ballots... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- 2017 Burbank city elections sign in the Rancho District March 10, 2017

Burbank city clerk responds to election questions and concerns

The election taking center stage in Burbank right now is the 2017 General Election. Four candidates are battling it out for two seats on the city council. They are incumbents Dr. David Gordon and Bob Frutos, and challengers Juan Guillen and Sharon Springer. Councilman/Mayor, Jess Talamantes, won re-election in the primary. Nevertheless, there are questions and doubts lingering from the recent primary election on February 28.  City Clerk, Zizette Mullins, was re-elected in the primary. Here is my email Q&A with Mullins about the primary and those mail-in ballots. 1.... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Burbank City Clerk, Zizette Mullins, at City Hall as the ballots were counted on primary election night Tuesday, February 28, 2017

City Clerk releases final results of 2017 Burbank Primary Election

Late today, Burbank City Clerk, Zizette Mullins, released the final results of the 2017 primary election. Per a new Burbank election code, the city clerk’s office could accept mail-in ballots postmarked on or before primary election day, February 28, up until noon on Friday. Mullins says they received  approximately 900 additional ballots, which needed to be processed today. By 10:35 p.m. last Tuesday, 9,903 ballots had been sorted and counted. Just before 5 p.m. this evening, the final results of the primary were announced. In the final tally, veteran Councilman-now-Mayor,... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- (l-r) Councilmen Jess Talamantes and Bob Frutos posed for photos after getting the results of the Burbank Primary Election Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Talamantes, Frutos, on track for re-election in Burbank Primary

It’s not over yet, but two incumbent Burbank City Council members appear to be on track for re-election. In yesterday’s Burbank Primary Election, Mayor /Council member, Jess Talamantes, and Council member, Bob Frutos, were the only two candidates to receive at least 50 percent of the ballots plus one vote, which is the requirement for victory. However mail-in ballots, with a postmark on or before Election Day, will be counted until Friday, March 3. So it is not a done deal. Nevertheless, Talamantes and Frutos have the right to savor... Read More →

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