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Burbank City Buzz

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Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank

Controversial court ruling involving one of the lawsuits swirling around the Burbank PD

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge dismissed Burbank Police Officer Jamal Childs as a plaintiff from that explosive discrimination lawsuit filed against the Burbank PD last May by five of its minority officers. On Thursday, March 18, Judge Joanne O’Donnell ruled the statute of limitations had expired on Childs’ claim. Hmm, Childs has been a Burbank Police officer for five years. It’s not like his complaints date back 20 years or so.

Well no surprise the attorney for the officers, Solomon Gresen, plans to appeal. Here’s the Leader story about it. Also, plenty of chatter and information about the ruling, Judge O’Donnell, what constitutes a hostile workplace, and similar discrimination cases over on Jim Carlile’s blog.

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse

LaChasse’s plan of action

While the city attorneys are busy fighting the allegations of misconduct and civil rights violations in the police department, the new Burbank Police Chief, Scott LaChasse, is making changes. On the job since January, LaChasse is wasting no time in shaking up the department.

At last Wednesday’s Burbank Police Commission meeting, LaChasse introduced two new key members of his team, cop psychologist Dr. Larry Blum and Deputy Police Chief Tom Angel, who comes with 30 years of experience at the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

LaChasse mentioned improvements were being made in the BPD with the “Department of Justice” in mind. Gee, it sure sounds like LaChasse has discovered there is merit to some of those allegations and complaints against the Burbank Police. I doubt the chief would be trying to fix what wasn’t broken.

What about those town hall meetings?

Vice-Mayor Anja Reinke is a lousy tap dancer from what I can tell. At Wednesday’s meeting, Police Commissioner Jim Etter asked Reinke about the timetable for setting up town hall meetings with the public. Reinke babbled on and on about the problems arranging the meetings and how city officials wanted to have their excuses, ah, responses worked out first, before taking public questions about the police mess.

Perhaps it was more of a bad case of moonwalking by Reinke. Nevertheless, Etter, the main advocate of the town hall meetings on the commission, listened to her explanation patiently this time. It will be interesting to see if Reinke has the nerve to try to pull the same stunt at next month’s police commission meeting.

State Assembly candidates forum at Burbank City Hall next Wednesday

A televised forum for candidates vying for that vacant seat in the 43rd State Assembly District is set to get underway at the Burbank City Council Chambers next Wednesday, March 24, starting at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend. The League of Women Voters Glendale/Burbank is sponsoring the event. (Maybe the Vice-Mayor should get some pointers from them on how to put together such an event)

By the way, the League is asking the public to submit questions for the candidates via e-mail or by phone. Details here. The primary special election is April 13, 2010.

Ex-Mayor Marsha Ramos still on the hot seat

More grief for Former Burbank Mayor/Council Member Marsha Ramos. At that most informative Burbank Police Commission meeting, during oral communications, Activist Mike Nolan indicated Ramos’ deposition about the police mess had prompted threats to subpoena her phone records. According to Nolan, Ramos has hired a lawyer to protect her rights.

A strange accident involving a Burbank city bus filled with school kids

A lot of talk and concern in B-City about a traffic accident involving a school bus — that really wasn’t a school bus. Confused?  Well, wait it gets more complicated and weird.

Sources tell me a Burbank City blue bus, with 21 kids on board (ages 11-14), got into a traffic mishap with another vehicle at Olive Avenue and Orchard Drive around 3:20 p.m. on Friday, January 15, 2010. The accident was minor — no injuries, but it raises a number of questions about why the city blue bus was being used as a school bus.

The California Highway Patrol handles all school bus accidents, but the agency refused to deal with this accident because the bus was not a state certified school bus. Even the bus driver was not certified to drive a school bus.

What’s going on here?  Is the city trying to save a few bucks by using regular city transit buses as school buses, violating state mandates and putting children’s lives at risk? How many of these not-really school buses are transporting children around town? Do parents know about the situation?  More on this later.

Parking violations at the Downtown Burbank post office

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Downtown Burbank post office

So what’s up with all the folks boldly parking illegally at the Olive Avenue post office after hours? There are only eight spaces, two are for handicapped drivers, on the side of the building. Rarely can you pull into one of those spaces after dark, because they’re filled with the vehicles of people working nearby or shopping or dining or catching a flick at the AMC or whatever.

There are signs posted that clearly state the parking is only for those doing business in the post office. Burbank traffic cops need to crack down on these violators who force others to double park or do some other kind of inventive parking, just to run in to the post office to buy stamps, mail a letter or package, pick up mail from a P.O. Box …etc.

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20 Responses to Burbank City Buzz

  1. ECIO Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Are you sure Gresen is planning to appeal? I don’t believe he is getting paid. He has already lost a case for Dunn. Dunn owes $23,000 for legal fees to the city. I m pretty sure Childs will owe some money too. Eventually the other plantiffs will have to pay legal fees too. Gresen thought this was going to be a cash cow. I would believe he will not roll the dice since a lot of this is coming out of his own pocket. He is already paying half an hourly rate for a discovery referee. How long will it go? It will cost Gresen more money out of his pocket for his appeal. Does he want to do that? I encourage him to do it so there will be no BS talk about the judge being wrong. On the Carlile blog, he is criticizing the judge. You knew that was going to happen.
    Think what you want about the problems at BPD. You will quickly see who the real problems were (within the next 2 weeks). I am sure you will see it as a retalitory. If you knew the whole and complete truthful story, you know you wouldnt want some of these bozos working for your city.
    I am all for the town hall meeting. The only problem is your apparent support for Etter. Etter is a loose cannon. I dont like Reinke either.
    As for Ramos, she is pretty dumb. Mike Nolan doesn’t know everything either. If he gets info, he is getting a lot of his information from Dr. Gordon. Probably a lot of information that is confidential too. Ramos is aligning herself with a bad side (Rodriguez and Taylor). This will hurts any future credibility for her.
    PLEASE dont start with the “more on this later” crap. You will instantly lose credibility by imitating Carlie’s blog. I dont know the who story about the bus accident other than there were no injuries and it was very minor. No one is making these kids take the bus. I believe it is free of service. BUSD has never had any real school bus service for kids. Everybody has an excuse for something. I think the city was attempting to do some sort of service for kids. People like you want to be critical of any thing. So be it.
    The post office issue is somewhat valid. I know it happens at the other post offices too (San Fernando/Grismer). The only thing I suggest is complain to the BPD Traffic Bureau, write Mr. Kramer, and send an email to the council people about the issue. It seems all 3 would and will be receptive to these issues. I think the police will enforce any blantant traffic violations.

  2. Fronnie Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm #


    You make some interesting points. Attorney Gresen plans to appeal (according to the reports I’ve read) the Jamal Childs ruling. I guess, we’ll have to watch the courts and see what happens.

    As for the phrase “more on this later.” Come on. The phrase has been used in the media and elsewhere for eons. It did not originate on Jim Carlile’s blog. So get over it.

    On the bus accident and the Downtown post office, I plan to “follow up”, (another term used in the media).

    Since you have observed parking problems at the other post offices, I suggest you take your own advice about alerting the proper authorities.

  3. ECIO Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    LOL I was just responding to the post office issue to help you. I don’t have an issue. It’s a major inconvenience to me but I dont have to complain about it. I believe if they were to cite people that park there illegally, you would have to have a supervisor also sign the ticket because it is on private property. If I did have a problem, I would absolutely email Kramer and the council members. Believe it or not, they would pass the buck to someone who will look at the problem.

  4. Jim C. Monday, March 22, 2010 at 2:09 am #

    The bus was probably that ‘Got Wheels’ one that travels a fixed route after school. It’s not a school bus, it’s part of the city bus system. But they don’t let adults take it, which does bring up the interesting question of whether or not they are using the city program to skirt the extra laws that kick in with school buses. Probably.

    Glendale will pack some of their Beeline routes full of kids after school, but the adults are still allowed to take it, so that’s different.

    The Got Wheels program has always raised eyebrows because they exclude adults. And it’s the only decent bus route in town– the only one that goes into the actual neighborhoods where people live.

  5. Fronnie Monday, March 22, 2010 at 4:01 am #


    I was told it was not a “Got Wheels” bus, which has “Got Wheels” written on the side of it. Also, I hear the Burbank cops who rolled to the scene of this accident were baffled as to why it was a regular Burbank bus being used to transport kids.

    The Burbank police report states the bus was not a youth bus nor a pupil activity bus as defined by the vehicle code.

  6. Nate Monday, March 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    This is the United States of America. We have free speech. People have the right to use whatever word they want. There is nothing wrong with the N word so get over yourselves. The taxpayers should not spend one dime over people using the N word. People who get their panties in a bunch over what word a person choses to use should be prosecuted.

  7. tweedy Monday, March 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    There should not be parking restrictions at all. It’s first come first served. If you go to the post office and there is no spot to park go home and come back when there is a spot. It’s a friggin post office so it’s federal and belongs to everybody. It’s not private property. Parking is first come first serve.

  8. Sue Monday, March 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    You’re right Tweedy. The worst are those time limit signs for parking. Those things should be ripped down off the poles. The parking signs are worse than graffitti.

  9. Tom Monday, March 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    Has anyone else gotten stuck in that traffic jam down on Verdugo yet ? Great minds came up with changing that street so it can be a traffic jam nighmare.

    I sure won’t shop at Albertsons anymore so hopefully that plaza goes out of business and the people that created the traffic jam can be happy. If it does people who lose their jobs should sue the city for making it happen.

  10. Midnightflyer Monday, March 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    You must be kidding about the town hall meetings. No way is the city council sitting down to listen to people ask questions about what on earth they have been doing about the police department. The vice mayor would be the first to call in sick and not show up.

  11. Midnightflyer Monday, March 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    When you find out why a city bus is being used to transport kids without the proper certification please let us all know. The city of Burbank seems to think it is exempt from most of the laws the rest of us follow these days what is up with that ?

  12. Fronnie Monday, March 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm #


    As soon as I track down some more information about this city bus/school bus confusion I’ll post it here.

  13. Purple Dino Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    We need to seriously limit the power of government to screw everything up. Time for government lay offs!!!

  14. Jim C. Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 1:03 am #

    Has that two lane thing on Verdugo been causing problems already? That’s probably the busiest stretch of the street.

    Was the city bus traveling on the ‘Got Wheels’ route, Fronnie? It would be interesting to find out what the legalities are on bus use that’s exclusively for children. In other words, when do the special school bus laws kick in? It’d be in the Vehicle Code.

  15. Ruth Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Those changes on Verdugo are horrible. What they did was make it more unsafe and impossible to turn off of streets. I am using side residential streets to avoid it now because that is the only safe way to get through the area. They did this for bikes I guess but there are no bikes because it’s not even safe for bikes. This was the worst idea ever and people who came up with this should be run out of Burbank.

  16. Don Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    What they did was make Verdugo an impossible traffic mess. Some really dense people came up with this change.

  17. Betty Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    The only way to fix what they did to Verdugo is to dump a bunch of big boulders into the residential cross streets and stop thos people from turning in and out. Their trying to turn in and out now blocks th traffic for blocks and many of them just shove themselves out into the way of traffic and block everything. That makes people use the bike lanes to pass them. People who live on those streets should be blocked from cutting into the traffic flow and made to go another direction to solve what this did. I want boulders in their streets to block them out of Verdugo because they are the problem now.

  18. Henry Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Any jerk that thought this would make Verdugo better is mentally challenged. Imagine all the smog being generated there now with stop and go traffic. Anybody who has not taken a drive to see and experience how poorly this works really should do so.

    There really could not have been a more inept plan for causing a traffic jam and a danger zone.

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