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Business is booming at one little shop in Burbank

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Customers waiting in line at Yogurtland in Downtown Burbank

While many local businesses are struggling in this tough economy, Yogurtland is packing in the customers and making serious money!  “Business is very good.” Jamileth Mendoza, a shift leader, told me with a broad smile as she worked behind the counter last Saturday, June 26. I was out in Downtown Burbank when I noticed this crowded little pink shop near North San Fernando Boulevard and East Palm Avenue.

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Yogurtland employee, Jamileth Mendoza, counts change for a customer

Mendoza, a mother of three and writer, has been employed at this Yogurtland since it opened 10 months ago. She says she really gets a kick out of watching the kids and the adults pump their own frozen yogurt into hefty cups and then load on toppings like fruit, nuts, cookies, cereal, candy, …etc  You pay according to the weight of your cup. Basic price: 30 cents per ounce.

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Part of the Yogurtland experience is pumping your own frozen yogurt from a series of dispensers — offering an assortment of flavors including pistachio, Irish mint creme, Butterfinger, and pumpkin pie

I had to give Yogurtland my personal taste test. I grabbed a yogurt cup, pumped in Dutch chocolate, chocolate coconut truffle, and pecan praline, then topped it off with blueberries, nuts, cookies, candies, and, well, a lot of stuff. While the Pussycat Dolls played on the sound system, I sat down at a corner table and dug into my creation. After a while, Mendoza looked over at me, grinned, and said: “Delicious?” My mouth was so full, I could only nod. Mendoza laughed and went back to ringing up orders. Apparently my non-verbal response is quite common in this little yummy shop.

For more on Yogurtland, check out the company website.

Burbank City Council makes a controversial decision

A public hearing on a redevelopment project drew a crowd at last night’s Burbank City Council meeting. Actually, the public hearing began last April, but was postponed to allow more time for input from local businesses. The project centers on a proposal by Westwind Properties to create a “campus-like environment” in a Burbank industrial area by closing off parts of Spazier Avenue and Varney Street — between Flower Street and Elm Court. As part of the deal, Westwind gets to purchase the vacated city property for $67,000.

Many of Westwind’s neighbors, small business owners, fought the deal bitterly, but lost. Last night, the council voted 4-to-1 to approve the project with the dissenting vote coming from City Councilman Dave Golonski. This time around, the city council just didn’t rubber stamp the staff’s recommendation of approval.  For that, the council members should be applauded.

Mayor Anja Reinke insisted and got support from other council members to add a condition, which would require Westwind to open the proposed gate at Spazier Street should there be a need for large trucks to use that exit. It was a compromise. A way to move forward on the development of an area city officials consider “blighted” and to give some concession to nearby businesses.

Burbank Leader reporter heading south

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Reporter Christopher Cadelago outside the Burbank City Council chambers where he covered many issues, debates, and controversies over the past 16 months

Reporter Christopher Cadelago has handed in his resignation at The Burbank Leader and is going to work for the San Diego Union-Tribune starting July 12. Cadelago began his newspaper career as an intern at the San Francisco Chronicle in 2007. The U-C Berkeley graduate arrived at the Leader in March of 2009 and quickly made his mark as a talented hard working journalist.

Cadelago, 25, has covered all sorts of stories for the Leader as well as the nearby Glendale News-Press: from the Burbank Police scandal, to city hall politics, the crime beat, and an occasional feature like that cute story, back in May, about a family of ducks delighting visitors and staff at Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Oh, and I gotta mention that really good report a few weeks ago Cadelago did on the 500-plus Burbank city employees who are earning six-figure salaries. Folks are still talking about that article.

“I really enjoyed my time here. Burbank politics –public safety –never boring. I think we were able to get a lot of people, through both the Leader and your blog, talking about the issues.” Cadelago told me last week, when I congratulated him on his new gig as a beat reporter on the Union-Tribune’s metro desk. Definitely a plus for the Union-Tribune and, sadly, another minus for the Burbank Leader/News-Press. Happy Trails, Chris!

Kicking off the long July 4th holiday weekend with a warning

Go ahead, wave the flag, fire-up the BBQ grill, but don’t include fireworks in your personal celebration for the 4th of July holiday weekend. It’s illegal to manufacture, sell, possess, or shoot-off fireworks in B-Town and the cops will be out to enforce the law.

Here’s the word from a Burbank PD press release:

“Beginning Friday, July 2nd, 2010, and through the weekend, the police department will have active patrols specifically assigned to the enforcement of firework violations.  The police department’s number one priority is to protect the safety of our citizens.

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) estimates that fireworks are responsible for 30,000 fires totaling over $34,000,000 damage.  At this time of year nationwide, fireworks are causing 7000 injuries and 7 deaths.  The injuries sustained are fairly evenly divided between “safe and sane” (legal in certain municipalities) and illegal fireworks (illegal statewide).

The police department is asking the public to report any violations by calling the police desk at 818-238-3000.”

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2 Responses to City Buzz

  1. BCR Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Sorry to see the reporter for the Leader moving on. Have enjoyed his honest reporting the past year, something that the paper lack for years. Best of luck to Mr. Cadelago, Burbank’s loss, San Diego’s gain.

  2. Jim C. Friday, July 2, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    I like Cadelago– he’ll be missed. That’s a nice upgrade for him.

    He did come here during an interesting time, didn’t he?

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