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New comedy club opening in Burbank

The Burbank City Council has cleared the way for the city’s first comedy club. You would think it was a no-brainer with entertainment being the number one industry in B-town, but it wasn’t. Last night, the city council approved a business assistance loan of $190,000 for The Flappers Comedy Club and Restaurant by a 4-to-1 vote. Dr. David Gordon was the lone dissenter.

The loan will be used to remodel the old Macaroni Grill site at the corner of East Magnolia Boulevard and North 1st Street, in the downtown area. Even though co-owner Barbara Holliday will secure the loan by putting up her Burbank home and other assets, Gordon was concerned about repayment should the business go under. On the flip side, the other council members saw the potential as being well worth the risk.

Councilman Dave Golonski admitted the site had certain challenges, but liked the passion and enthusiasm he heard and saw in Holliday and her partner Dave Reinitz, and their supporters, including a number of comedians who spoke at the meeting. Golonski said it was a “great use” for the site, the business plan “made sense,” and the project had the “right chemistry, ” so he voted “yes”.

While critics point to the city’s support of failed restaurants like Bombay Bicycle Club, Golonski cited successes like Fry’s Electronics and the hugely popular, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe. Holliday and Reinitz together have more than 20 years experience in comedy production and event planning. I think they have a good chance of making “Flappers” ah, fly.

During his time in front of the council, showing support for the club, comic Michael Rayner pulled off a very funny trick; spinning a cheeseburger on an umbrella. After the vote, I asked Rayner where else had he performed that trick? He said all over the place, from the “Late Show with David Letterman” to the Burbank library. I’m looking forward to seeing Rayner do that trick again when The Flappers Comedy Club and Restaurant opens in late summer.

Also, the revised and much debated plan for a 24 Hour Fitness gym near the Burbank Empire Center won approval from the city council, too. The vote was 3-to-2, with Gordon and Mayor Anja Reinke opposing.

Councilman David Gordon’s bio up on Burbank city website

BTW, Burbank Councilman David Gordon’s bio is now up on the city website. Now you can read about the backgrounds, interests, and achievements of the entire Burbank City Council. Click here for Gordon’s bio. On the left side of that page, there are buttons to click on for the bios of the other four members as well.

 

Baseball coach Jose Sandoval speaks out

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove –Coach Jose Sandoval outside the Burbank courts building, on November 5, 2009

A lot of chatter about the dismissal of the criminal case, on Monday, against long-time Burbank baseball coach, Jose Sandoval. Yesterday, I e-mailed the volunteer coach for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department and got his reaction. Below are Sandoval’s answers to my questions.

1.  How do you feel about the dismissal of the case against you?

I feel relieved that this case is finally over and it was dismissed. I know for a fact if it was any other coach this would have never of gone this far. I used all of my vacation days in court and ran out of time last year so it was all on my time.

 2. Your court appearances on this matter started last July?  How many times have you had to go to court?

I went to court 12 or 13 times before yesterday (Monday) I believe I went twice in a couple of months.

3. After that controversial altercation at the baseball game, you were suspended for a year, right?  When did that end? 

I was able to start coaching in mid April.

4. Are you coaching the same kids or a new team?

Because of  the incident I lost 1 whole team. My Teeball team, so this year I’m only coaching 4 teams, this is the first time in my 17 years as a coach that I dont have a teeball team. And this Saddens me .

Some final words.

I want to thank all that stood with me and by my side through all of this. THANK YOU from the bottom of my HEART.  I want to thank you and your bloggers for all of the kind words and support. if you guys get a chance come check out some of our games we play every day of the week.

 

Bob Kramer on the prowl

Photo:  FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank Community Assistance Coordinator Bob Kramer’s get-around-town vehicle promotes the city’s water conservation campaign

Have you seen Bob?  Bob Kramer, the Burbank Community Assistance Coordinator. For the past six months, Kramer has been cruising the city, looking for problems to solve, in the Burbank Water and Power “conserve water” promotion van. Last month, I saw Kramer zipping up the hill on Olive Avenue above Bel Aire Drive, one Monday and a week later, spotted him driving through another hillside neighborhood.

Despite the “conserve water” message on his vehicle, Kramer is not the water police. Kramer says “every week” he checks all the alleys for junk like dumped couches and graffiti. He reports his findings to city departments for action.

Kramer is considered the “go-to-guy” for all sorts of problems residents might have with trash, parking, sidewalks, trees, or even the well being of a neighbor. Go here for information on how to contact Kramer.

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97 Responses to City Buzz

  1. Betty Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    Reading this all I can say is what a sad time we live in.

    We are focused on commedy while incidents like what has happened to this coach are occurring ?

    I would love a loan from the city because apparently I am also a successfull person who does not qualify for a loan now in this economy. Mine is apparently not as important to the city because I am only about to lose my home and yes I called to check there is no assiatance for loans to lowly homeowners apparently we are taxed to provide monies to comedy clubs. Do I at least get free drinks if I go there for my money ?

  2. Melba Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    A new comedy club is a great idea but I am confused why the city would pay for it. I saw the council meeting and at one point they said something about charging us a dollar to use oparks to pay for park police and then later they have money to pay for a comedy club to come to town ? What is wrong with these people?

  3. Fronnie Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Betty,

    I understand well how you feel about the economy and how homeowners are struggling to get loans and keep their homes.

    The comedy club is more than entertainment — people are going get jobs from this project — on stage and in the restaurant.

    Also, note in my post — Barbara Holliday had to put up her home as well as other assets to get that loan. It doesn’t sound like a free ride to me.

    Melba,

    The city offers business assistance loans to businesses in the city … not just the comedy club. That restaurant spot has been empty for 18 months — now it will soon be a place not only for entertainment but folks will get jobs working there.

    Oh, I’m against whatever that proposal was for the public to pay to use our parks.

  4. Joyce Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    New Comedy Club:
    “During his time in front of the council, showing support for the club, comic Michael Rayner pulled off a very funny trick; spinning a cheeseburger on an umbrella.”
    That sounds like this belongs on the boardwalk at Venice.

    24 HOUR FITNESS:
    “Also, the revised and much debated plan for a 24 Hour Fitness gym near the Burbank Empire Center won approval from the city council, too. The vote was 3-to-2, with Gordon and Mayor Anja Reinke opposing”
    At least two of them had some sense and said NO. Just what we need is another gym in Burbank. Who will have money for membership after they pay their elctric and water bills.

    COACH SANDOVAL:
    What do you expect from a place that hands us commedy when people are losing their homes ?

    BOB KRAMER ON THE PROWEL:
    ” Kramer has been cruising the city, looking for problems to solve, in the Burbank Water and Power “conserve water” promotion van.”
    If he isn’t water and power why is he using an auto we pay for with our utility bills ? Get rid of him and the vehicle and reduce the bills.

  5. Stan Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    Good Lord the Flappers Comedy Club did not purchase the building and the building is not old and since they are leasing why would the owner’landlord’ not make the improvements to lease the building ?

    The owner didn’t make the improvements because they don’t have to with suckers in city government. Just let the taxpayers do it and charge your rent, make a profit and laugh all the way to the bank.

    How much is Flappers required to pay in rent each month and who gets that money ? Is this a real loan or one of these standard Burbank give aways to developers who own the properties that gets forgiven because most of these loans get forgiven and the taxpayers just get screwed. What are the exact terms of pay back on this loan, are there any ?

    Loans are fine but Burbank doesn’t make loans we make them, no payments are made and with some requirements we forgive them. The tax dollars are then gone, someone is then richers and the rest of us just get to pay more taxes.

  6. Ted Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    Stan you might want to include that the location has been vacant and the Macaroni Grill has continued to pay the rent to keep it vacant. I suspect you are right for the owner there was no need to do anything and this new venture is leasing from the Macaroni Grill who is seeking to make a profit off the lease and improvements direct from the taxpayers. A very clever scam by Macaroni Grill if you ask me that gets even for the city sticking them in that location to start with.

  7. Fronnie Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Stan,

    The details of the Flappers proposal are on file at the city clerk’s office or you can check out the discussion by watching a re-play of the city council meeting on channel 6. Apparently you didn’t watch the council meeting last night.

    Anyone with questions about the deal — which was discussed extensively last night — can still e-mail city hall. Here’s the link to the city clerk’s page
    http://www.ci.burbank.ca.us/index.aspx?page=48
    on the Burbank city website http://www.ci.burbank.ca.us/index.aspx

  8. Fronnie Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Ted,

    I don’t get this scam you are talking about. From listening to the discussion last night — I got the feeling there are checks and balances to make sure the city gets its money back — including payments like any other loan.

    The Macaroni Grill has never said why it shutdown — plenty of speculation from a lot of people about that reason.

    I see more of a problem with the city shelling out MILLIONS for lawyers –as a result of the Burbank Police mess.

  9. Ted Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    Sure there is a problem with shelling out millions for lawyers but then again weren’t there checks and balances to prevent the police problems ?

    Just how effective have city checks and balances been when as you say we are shelling out millions because they didn’t really have checks and balances.

    Another question from the story. If there is 190,00 in equity on the house why not borrow against the home like everyone else would do to get their brain child off the ground ? Did anyone check on the equity or did we just believe there is equity yet no willingness to borrow on it ?

    So many people could use help right now and they have no equity so why help someone that brags they have equity ?

    Glad you get the feelibng there are checks and balances but where are they ? Didn’t we have a feeling things were ok at police headquarters ?

  10. Fronnie Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Ted,

    Again you should probably look at the video of the city council meeting. The owner did not “brag” about anything. It was a business deal.

    You have all these questions. Then do something about it. e-mail the city clerk’s office get the report on the project and look at yourself. (see my previous post).

    As for the police problems — clearly the checks and balance haven’t work.

    I’ll call out this project with the comedy club IF I see that the check and balances haven’t work.

    I want to encourage businesses to fill up the empty stores in Downtown Burbank — provide services, entertainment, and jobs for the people who live here.

  11. Shocked Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    The problems with many of the deals made with businesses is that the agreements are not enforced and we don’t get what we are told we are getting. This has been going on as long as I can remember. The problem with that whole AMC development is the parking. It was a golden opportunity to replace some of the previously lost parking but they continue to create more and more problems for anyone to go downtown even to a movie because there is not enough convenient parking. You can’t even drop anyone off like the old AMC. Even Kesslers Jewelry is going out of business and they were like an institution in Burbank for generations. Occasionally when more parking is built soon after it gets leased to one of the businesses and the public can’t use it. The Cusamano’s got all that city owned police property for $100 and did not build any parking except a few places at ground level. You would think giving them a couple million dollars worth of property would have entitled us to a new building with parking — but not so.

  12. Fronnie Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    Shocked,

    If folks were upset about the AMC plan or the Cusamano deal they should have taken their complaints to city hall when these projects were under consideration. And yes, a small group of citizen can stop a project: The Whole Foods Market in the Rancho.

    Last night, the council did get several hundred letters/e-mails and around 19 people spoke about the 24 Hour Fitness project. As for the comedy club –only a small number spoke before the council– and almost all were supporters. As I understand it, the loan deal requires a schedule of repayments — and there will be checks made on the club’s financial situation. Gee, if this doesn’t happen folks should make a big deal about in a timely manner.

    As for Kesslers Jewelry — consumers’ buying habits have changed. The owner of another jewelry store in town told me recently that even his regular clients aren’t buying the big expensive rocks like they used to. Our business community will have change in order to keep up with consumer’ demand.

  13. Shocked Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    Fronnie,

    The Whole Foods project became an election issue and that neighborhood lucked out. There were complaints at the time of these other projects I mentioned, especially the $100 land give away. There have been many instances in years past of projects with the chambers overflowing to no avail. Small businesses downtown have tried repeatedly to get more parking but when a few extra spaces show up soon thereafter they get leased to specific businesses so poof they are gone. Many of these business owners have given up or gone out of business. It is pretty hard for small businesses to spend their time during the day out counting parking spaces instead of running their businesses. Some have done that but it didn’t do any good.

    This may be hard to believe, but the downtown mall was not supposed to be a big box — San Fernando Road was not supposed to be blocked off. The mall was supposed to be open and integrate with the downtown instead of what we ended up with. A few years ago the staff actually looked at how much it would cost and how difficult it might be to open up San Fernando to improve the downtown. Too bad they didn’t do what was promised in the first place.

    In years past there have been petitions, even ballot measures regarding airport expansion, but it is coming back again starting with a massive transit center to increase passengers and flights. There have been promises of no airport expansion without a mandatory curfew but don’t be surprised if that promise never sees the light of day either.

    There have also been promises for synchronized signal timing to help traffic flow but it never happens. Instead money that could be spent on streets and signals gets spent or diverted for loans or to developers. Drivers are getting stuck out in intersections, it is unsafe for pedestrians, and very dangerous driving conditions exist at times with police officers having to direct traffic around the studios.

    The news of close to 1/3 of the employees at City Hall making more than $100,000 is also not good news for Burbank taxpayers especially considering the plans to raise utility and water rates again.

    Then you add the millions being spent on the police mess, apparent coverups and this all tells a story of poor management and failed policies for years.

  14. DixieFlyer Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:35 am #

    Shocked, you’re right on target.
    Cusamano not only claimed so “poor” over the project,
    that the City was “demanding” too much,
    that they could only “afford” $100.
    They “squeezed” on the parking,
    claimed the code required “too much” parking,
    then demanded to “lease” parking from the taxpayer
    provided Court House parking structure, AND…..
    Subleased those same spaces to THEIR tenants…..
    at a profit!!!!
    Sorry Fronnie, we’ve been down this road before.

  15. Millie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    What bothers me is from watching the council meeting about this resturant there was nothing to see or hear with regard to their sustainability plan. As they remodel will they dispose of old materials in an environmentally friendly way and ensure that they are recycled ?

    What are there plans to make the resturant environmentally friendly and how will the resturant be a friend to the environment ?

    These are questions the council members should have asked and there should have been a presentation on these plans.

    It is a problem that there was no discussion of a requirement about the environment for this resturant. If they don’t use recyclables and sustainable plans nothing else they do matters because they will harm the planet.

    Perhaps that area could have been used as a green open space with native landscape to create a better environment in the downtown area.

  16. Jimmy Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Downtown Burbank has way to many resturants already gee how many times in one day do they expect people to eat ?

    What downtown Burbank needs is more activity stuff and not more food and drink. I could get a mad drunk on going from place to place doing shots down there but other than shooting pool and seeing a movie what else is there.

    Somebody needs to get a clue the downtown is dead because all it has is resturants already and its not happening at all.

    Try some diversity down there and the crowd will come stick in more resturants and it is just more of the same boredom. Downtown would be a great place for a state of the art skate park that’s for sure.

  17. Marie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    No one wants to see vacant buildings and everyone wants jobs but we the people can not afford to fill buildings and provide jobs. If we do that it is not a recovery it is a smoke and mirrors that makes buildings look occupied but the money comes from taxes and we are already over taxed. We would see a recovery if they cut all taxes down to a reasonable level and allow people to keep their money and spend it. That makes customers.

    The idea that we must tax everyone just to fill up buildings is obscene. I am tired of paying taxes for pet projects like this. I WANT TO KEEP AND SPEND MY OWN MONEY!

  18. Kyle Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Yuppers downtown has too many resturants. It should get a name change and the new name should be resturant row.

    Talamantes says he wants to bring more people into Burbank so the city can make more money. That is what all these things are about, the city making more money. Never did he say he wanted the citizens to make more money.

    So what’s wrong with this picture and why do the people get to pay taxes to bring in some resturant?
    Didn’t we already pay taxes to bring in all the resturants in resturant row ? How long is that empty and abandoned rib place going to sit there right on San Fernando Blvd ? If the demand is so big for more resturants why is that one still vacant ? Or do we need to pay someone to open that up to ? How about Mervyns and Circuit City do we add some new tax to fill that up as well ?

    People who work at resturants barely survive with what they get paid. Maybe those new resturant employees can grab some free taxpayer health care and get some food stamps and watch the owners take any profits that materialize.

  19. GLC Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    The city website contains the staff reports on this club under the redevlopment agenda. It makes for interesting reading.

    What we have here is a situation where the rent begins at about 16,000 per month and will increase in a short time. One could question just how do-able that amount actually is. The moe important question perhaps is why would the Macaroni Grill find that maintaining the rent at 16,000 per month with the locations shuttered was more profitable than operating it ? Rather an astounding aspect to this situation in my view as the losses must have been very high to create such a situation at this location and I am left to wonder why.

    This really looks like more of a bail out for Macaroni Grill than anything else reading these reports. Very troublesome is that the loan is apparently forgiveable and the public funds will actually not be paid back.

    If this is the program used to bring in business and fill space the city of Burbank should impose a business tax. Without such a tax there really is no benifit to the residents and at present the residents are funding the business. A very unusual formula and one that has increased the cost of lving in Burbank to dangersous levels.

  20. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Shocked & Dixie,

    Okay, okay!! I get it. Cusamano pulled one over on the city of Burbank. I’ve heard the same thing said about the NBC lot development deal. Learn from the past — fix the loop holes. Oh, and complaints do work.

    I covered the Whole Foods controversy extensively on my blog at the valleynews.com. The Rancho neighborhood did not just LUCK out. A small dedicated group organized and fought that project until it was killed. I did not like some of their tactics –but I gotta give them their props for doing more than just talking and complaining.

    The business assistance loan program is available to businesses in the city of Burbank? That’s a fact. Don’t like your tax dollars being used that way? Then take your complaints to the city council.

    If they don’t listen — the election of two council members coming up next spring. Get busy — and help elect candidates who support your views.

    Again, you want to cut taxes — talk to your elected officials.

    You know, I remember hearing some of the same complaints from a lot of people when the AMC theaters expanded. True you can’t drive up to the front door anymore — you have to walk a bit– but the AMC theaters are extremely popular with residents and people from outside the area.

    Basic ticket prices are now between $10-12. If you want to see a movie in 3D that’s an extra 5 or 6 dollars or so. As you might have noticed, despite the bad economy people are packing movie theaters. I think there should be local entertain like movie theaters and comedy clubs for residents — even if these aren’t the best of times.

    Also, I agree with Jimmy. Way too many similiar restaurants and eating places in the downtown area. Officials need provide some variety — like entertainment establishments.

  21. Scott Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    How come they say they don’t have the money to run the skate park and the roller park without charging us more but they have money to pay for some comedy place ?

    I think they charge us to use the parks and then give money to people who want resturants and all that. This SUCKS!!!

  22. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    GLC,

    I have to keep repeating myself, but it would be good to look at the video of the city council meeting. The rent was discussed with the comedy club owners — along with a number of aspects of the loan agreement.

    Like I said before, if you don’t see the business assistance program as benefical to the city and its residents — work to get it changed or killed.

    The Macaroni Grill has paid the rent since closing that restaurant. That was 18 months ago. This has been mentioned in council meetings and my understanding is the company plans to continue paying the rent through the end of its contract. No one has said why the Macaroni Grill closed. Nor have I heard of the Macaroni Grill asking for some kind of bailout from the city.

    BTW, H&R Block opens and shuts down offices all the time –sometimes in the same location, sometimes in a different location. H&R Block is a Fortune 500 company.

  23. Truth Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Many people have lost their homes and all of their investments. The truth is that taxation has come to be a way to finance what an elite few want, and to do it at the cost of the poor.

    It really is time to start a tax revolution. To be taxed for the purpose of funding something like a comedy club is an insult to the intelligence of any citizen.

    Wwe have been taxed to send cows on vacation to Europe and we have been taxed to build bridges in Alaska that go nowhere. Now we are taxed for a comedy club. I guess this could be funny if it were not so insulting to the intelligence.

    I am sure that a comedy club will turn the economy around. Now that is a real laugh.

  24. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Scott,

    Different money, different programs. But you have a good point about the skate park. The city council is discussing the budget for next year — now is a good time to try to rally support for the skate park. I think there are residents in Burbank who would enjoy that type of entertainment as well.

  25. Truth Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    H&R BLOCK IS NO COMPARISON TO ANYTHING HERE, THEY DO SEASONAL TAX PREPARATION BUSINESS. TAX TIME, THANK GOD, COMES ONCE A YEAR AND THAT IS PEAK DEMAND. RESTURANTS ARE NOT SEASONAL BUSINESSES. THAT COMPARISON IS CRAZY.

  26. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    Truth,

    I worked for H&R Block. They have permanent year round offices as well. There is a year-round office in Glendale.

    But the company will move an office to a different location for business reasons. Just like a
    restaurant can shutdown and moved to another location for business reasons. My point, Macaroni Grill could have shut down that location for a number of business reasons — we can continue to keep guessing as to what that reason was.

  27. Truth Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Why would we throw money at something when we don’t know all the facts ? Did the council tell us the reasons or did they throw our money at it ? We can ask what we want it is OUR MONEY!

    H&R BLOCK runs a premium business service which has all year round offices, they also maintain some year round regular tax prep offices … gee some people do get into trouble with late filings etc HOWEVER they open EXTRA OFFICES FOR PEAK DEMAND TAX SEASON that are maintained only for that PEAK DEMAND. Once the PEAK DEMAND is gone the offices close.

  28. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    Truth,

    Entertainment is the largest industry in Burbank. Thousands of people who work here, live here, own homes and businesses here –are connected to the entertainment industry.

    If you think cutting taxes is going “turn the economy around” talk to your elected officials.

  29. the Beastly One Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Hello people there are vacancies growing all over Burbank. Don’t you have faith that the answer to our economic woes is comedy clubs and resturants mixed with fitness centers ?

    Trust that all vacancies will fill fast with more resturants and fitness clubs.

    Now that is a real laugh. Can’t speak for the rest of you but I sleep better at night now.

  30. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    the Beastly One,

    I’m not going to knock people who want go to gyms, or to a movie, sporting event, or a comedy club. People should have a choice and not be put down for their choice of entertainment.

    So what are your ideas for improving “…our economic woes”

  31. Tim Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Good point about the entertainment industy and Burbank but how is Burbank the world leader if we did it without a comedy club ?

    Reason I ask that is in the past without all this spending of tax money we grew to be the world leader in media. Now with all the spending even NBC is moving out of Burbank. There is a nexus between what we were and what we are becoming.

    It appears that with tax payer spending we are losing the entertainment industry. We may get a comedy club but why are we losing the nbs show production, some of which is comedy ? Are we not losing the real production and going the direction of being an amusement park ? That concersn me with this stuff.

  32. Amanda Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    I don\’t believe it\’s at all about knocking people who want to go to a club or fitness center. Reading here it\’s about the taxpayers paying for the venues for them to go to.

    I am very into crafts and would love a bead shop here in Burbank. I am not so arogant to demand residents of Burbank pay to bring one to town. I drive miles to go to a good one and consider that my choice and my expense to do that.

    How is it right for me to demand that because I like crafts other people should pay to provide it for me through taxation ? I just do not understand this mentaility people seem to have.

    My daughter works in the entertainment industry and some comments are very correct. The industry is cutting back to improve profit and there are not as many jobs as before.

    One problem is this runaway film production. The production runs everyplace because they get to produce without taxation. Looking at that it seems that we are actually losing the real industry jobs because we insist on taxation while other more progressive countries and states remove taxation to ensure jobs.

    Looking at what is costing the jobs it seems like we need to stop taxing and stop spending so that the real jobs return. Runaway film production is the perfect example of why tax and spend just does not really work.

  33. Amanda Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Good point about the entertainment industy and Burbank but how is Burbank the world leader if we did it without a comedy club ?

    Reason I ask that is in the past without all this spending of tax money we grew to be the world leader in media. Now with all the spending even NBC is moving out of Burbank. There is a nexus between what we were and what we are becoming.

    It appears that with tax payer spending we are losing the entertainment industry. We may get a comedy club but why are we losing the nbs show production, some of which is comedy ? Are we not losing the real production and going the direction of being an amusement park ? That concersn me with this stuff.

  34. Amanda Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    shoot! I tried to use this comment and make my comments so here I go again.

    Good point about the entertainment industy and Burbank but how is Burbank the world leader if we did it without a comedy club ?

    Reason I ask that is in the past without all this spending of tax money we grew to be the world leader in media. Now with all the spending even NBC is moving out of Burbank. There is a nexus between what we were and what we are becoming.

    It appears that with tax payer spending we are losing the entertainment industry. We may get a comedy club but why are we losing the nbs show production, some of which is comedy ? Are we not losing the real production and going the direction of being an amusement park ? That concersn me with this stuff.

    My comments,

    My daughter works in the entertainment Industry. You are so correct they are cutting back jobs and outsourcing to countries and states that don’t charge them taxes because they want the jobs.

    The California practice of tax and spend is costing us the real industry jobs and is the cause of runaway film production. I think this shows the failure of this mentaility.

    I do not understand why people think that taxpayers should provide for things they want. I am an avid arts and crafts person. I drive a long distance to a very good bead shop. I would never be so arogant as to expect that citizens of Burbank pay money to provide a bead shop for me. I drive the distance and consider that to be my own expense. This is how it should be I believe.

  35. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Tim,

    Give me a break. A comedy club is JUST an entertanment choice for people who live, work or visit here. I think it would nice to have a jazz club in Burbank, as well. Another nice entertainment choice –NO– it wouldn’t solve all the economic problems of the city nor the economic problems of every individual who lives here.

    Runaway production is an issue. I don’t know how seriously the city council takes it. Perhaps those council members need to hear from those who see runaway production as a serious concern in Burbank.

  36. Travis Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    Hold the horses, nope don’t mean the ones at the PF Chang Resturant (lol)

    Some years ago now a few hundred members of sag, grips and other trades filled Burbank City Hall to capacity. We spoke for hours about the outsourcing of industry jobs and runaway film production. It all fell on deaf ears and many of those who spoke are now out of work and out of Burbank.

    You must be new to Burbank but I suggest you look back because we tried to save our jobs and we were dismissed.

  37. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Amanda,

    You make some good points.I drive a distance for some things I enjoy as well –frequently, over the hill to Los Angeles.

    However, I like the convenience of going to a movie theater in town. It was determined there would be a lot of interest in a large AMC theater complex and it’s now very popular.

  38. Amanda Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    If I remember correctly Fronnie Lewis we aleady had a rather new and very successfull AMC Theatre in town. If it was so profitable and so popluar, which I believe it was why didn’t AMC build a bigger one all on their own ?

    I am confused why something that is so popluar and so succesfull can only be built if we are taxed to pay for it.

    By the way I no longer go to the AMC because I do not like the feel of that alley they created with that massive building across from the AMC at all. It is a very clostrophobic feeling that I get from this area and it makes me feel trapped and unsafe.

  39. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Travis,

    I’m not new. Lived in Burbank for more than 20 years. Worked at NBC for many years. I know about the runaway production issue and it has come up many times at the city council meetings.

    I’m not an advocate for any cause. But it sure makes sense to me that those organizations (you spoke about) and its members should support candidates that are sensitive to their issues. They do it in other cities and on the state and national level. So why not in Burbank.

  40. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    You know, some critics of this blog say folks just come on here to complain and that’s it.

    Reminder, two seats on the Burbank City Council are up for re-election next spring. It will be interesting to see if some of the folks unhappy with the way things are being run in Burbank — will vote — and vote for change.

  41. Travis Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Fronnie Lewis

    Not a bad question but the answer is so obvious I should not need to answer it. Polictics in Burbank is so corrupt that people in Burbank have all but stopped voting. Proof of that is in the numbers when about 5,000 people vote ane elect council members. Sure endorse a candidate only to find them bought off and paid for as soon as they take office. That’s what you get when money all goes the wrong directions and the money going the wrong directions is being taken from the economy like a thief in the night.

    Simple answer it’s been tried but the corruption of the money and the system in Burbank makes things impossible. To be blunt they buy people off and are throwing everything away doing it. One day we will wake up to more than a few vacant store fronts that’s for sure.

  42. B. Chapman Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    People who are critics of blogs on the basis that people only come on them to complain are also the critis of anyone who speaks to the city council for the very same reason. That tells me they simply will do whatever it takes to keep the majority of people quiet and obedient. Isn’t that a lot like the things being investigated so heavily with the police department ? It appears we have a problem in Burbank with hearing from the residents if you ask me.

  43. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    Amanda,

    Yes, I remember the old AMC. For the answer to that business question you should e-mail the Burbank Community Development Department http://www.ci.burbank.ca.us/index.aspx?page=119 or the AMC for an answer to that.

    As for the AMC complex, I know a lot of people that love it and go to movies there almost weekly. I don’t go to movies often — but sometimes when I do, I like going to a smaller theater in Glendale.

  44. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    B. Chapman,

    That’s why, I believe, it’s important to keep speaking up on the blogs, at city hall, in e-mails, letters, and to vote.

    Talk is good. Talk and action — even better.

  45. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    I will be looking very carefully at the challengers who get into the race for city council. I believe change can come through the ballot box — and I plan to vote my issues and concerns.

  46. Ellen Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    What exactly have we become as a society ?

    Personally what I see is that our Government is just plain failing us.

    We live in a time when communication has never been better yet Government has never chosen to communicate so very poorly. I say chosen because with today’s technology communication is instant but with Government it is real work to find out what the bastards are even doing.

    The bastards have zapped out of the American Spirit it’s sense of pride and handed us pizza kitchens and donut shops as if these are some prize that will feed our spirit and make us a better society.

    We are reduced to debates about whether to spend untold millions on this or that to entertain us while all around us society crumbles to the ground. What has become of my country ?

    Obesity grows and children become diabetic while our so called leaders push us forward to spend on some new way to entertain ourselves, yet our neighbors and friends lose their homes and their livlihood ? What have we become ?

    More and more it seems that the only thing that will end this madness is a complete revolt. The question is will we have any real leaders at this rate for that to even happen or will we revolt because we don’t have a flower shop on the corner where we would like one ? Will we finally revolt simply because our favorite gym is not close enough to our home ? Maybe we can revolt when a product is not energy effecient ?

    How have we become simple children who stamp our feet and throw a tantrum if we are not entertained ? What has happened to our spirit of inventiveness and the American work ethic that suddenly we would drive others into homlessness just to have what we want so that we can be entertained. Spare no tax and no expense I must be entertained has become the mantra.

    Something has really gone wrong with us as a nation. Our leadership has really failed us.

  47. sk8 Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Don’t trust the ballot box and elections because elections are rigged. They determine the winners before we even vote.

  48. James A Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    Well said Ellen.

    I want a pet shop in downtown Burbank so I think the council should build one for me. Why should I be forced to drive to Peggy Woods Pet Shop.

  49. Kara Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    What we need is a really good winery and wine tasting room. Maybe they can rip out a park and plant a vineyard so we can do some local grown wine tasting. McCambridge Park would be a good location the swimming pool is broken there anyway.

  50. the toy Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    These are great wish lists. I would love a winery. How about adding in a fresh water lake for fishing ? Maybe we could stock the lake with bass and trout so I can go fishing close to home. It would be great if we could put that in where the airport is located. I promise the fish will be quiet at night! (ha,ha)

  51. Candy Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    What Burbank really needs is a casino. Casino’s are great recreation, offer a sports venue and bring conventions. Casinos need lots of space so we can take out all the old junk in Magnolia Park and put in a csaino so I can walk to play. Make sure it has video poker because that’s my game.

    A casino would really revitalize Magnolia Park and it would be walkable as a destination for entertainment to all the residents in the area.

  52. Burbank Citizen Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Thinking about this the other day when I went to RosSs, The Salvation Army should use the space that had Mervyns in it for a family thrift store. Now that would be popular and draw Burbank residents to shop. That one on Magnolia is not Salvation Army and the Salvation Army building is very close to where Mervyn’s was anyway. We need some godo thrift stores in Burbank I always see people from Burbank in the ones across the valley.

  53. Plush Pup Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Thinking about this the other day when I went to Ross. The Salvation Army should use the space that had Mervyns in it for a family thrift store. Now that would be popular and draw Burbank residents to shop. That one on Magnolia is not Salvation Army and the Salvation Army building is very close to where Mervyn’s was anyway. We need some godo thrift stores in Burbank I always see people from Burbank in the ones across the valley.

  54. Josh Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    No what Burbank needs is a raceway. That’s what I want and the sooner we build it the sooner people will stop using the streets to race on. Face it people have a need to race, build a raceway or face the speed on the streets. That’s the reality of life. Get busy and build the raceway. It is the need for speed!

  55. Millie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    I am very disappointed with landscape here in Burbank. here should only be native plants allowed to grow so that water waste is cut. Flowers such as roses, panises and petunias are very heavy water users and should be regulated out of existence. We must insist that retail outlets in Burbank no longer supply anything but native, low water using plants for the sake of the environment. The time for this move is now before we allow the roses to consume our entire water supply.

  56. Millie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    I am very disappointed with landscape here in Burbank. There should only be native plants allowed to grow so that water waste is cut. Flowers such as roses, panises and petunias are very heavy water users and should be regulated out of existence. We must insist that retail outlets in Burbank no longer supply anything but native, low water using plants for the sake of the environment. The time for this move is now before we allow the roses to consume our entire water supply. I boycot Burbank retailers who continue to profit off of plants that consume and waste our water supply and encourage all others to do the same.

  57. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Plush Pup,

    I think that’s a good idea.

    Candy & Josh,Kara, James A., the toy,

    The next Planning Board meeting is on Monday, May 24th., p.m., city hall. You can pitch your proposals to the board. Here’s the link to the Planning board page on the city website http://www.ci.burbank.ca.us/index.aspx?page=17&recordid=1933

  58. Fred Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    I run my sprinklers for hours and keep my plants happy. I keep my swiming pool full and I flush my old toilet everytime i take a leak. Leave me alone and go concern yourself with all the new resturants that use more water than I ever will. If you want to boycot or ban something boycot and ban resturants.

  59. Kate Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    It would seem reasonable that if they want to fund some business and it’s location they should put it on the ballot and let everyone determine if that happens. Why should a couple of people get what they want and be able to force the rest of us to pay for it. I will tell you why, they know if they put their water rates or their comedy club or anything else they do on a ballot it would go down, down, down. Jerks.

    Ellen Government is not a failure it is a complete and a total joke. Did you see on the Burbank Leader site what we are paying the idiots ?

  60. Bleu Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Where are the medical Marijuana stores in Burbank anyway ? Why do we need to drive to Los Angeles to get a product that is legally available by a vote of the people.

    In Burbank it’s sold in parks and not in a dispensary why is that ?

    Why do we have a ton of resturants but nothing to meet medical needs ?

  61. Leaving Burbank Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    After 42 years in Burbank I will be leaving the end of May. It is really time to spread my wings and get out of here before things become even worse. My suggestion is everyone do the same.

    Over the years I have been witness to some major changes in our city, some ok and many more for the worse.

    Convinced that there is a concerted effort to drive all of us out of town it appears to be time to make the move while it’s possible to at least cut my losses and leave with something in my pocket.

    Leaving for a state with no state income tax and very low sales tax. The property taxes are a dream come true. Yes I have checked this all out. They are low because they don’t make bad spending a habit in this state and although the economy is a problem everywhere on a recent trip I discovered that it is no where near as it is here in California.

    Leaving my comment is that the insane took control of the assylum and before they prevent me from doing so I leave with fond memories of what was and a serious disappointment at what it all has become. The best part, I will have my very own creek right on my property that runs all year round so at no charge nature will provide.

  62. Fronnie Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Everyone,

    FYI, Burbank City Council meeting next Tuesday, May 18.
    A number of items to be discussed — including proposals from various city departments on how to spend YOUR tax dollars for city services and programs.

    Check out the agenda at this link http://www.ci.burbank.ca.us/index.aspx?page=558

    If you can’t be at the meeting you might want to e-mail or send a letter to the city council about some of your ideas and suggestions. E-mail links for city council members on the city website http://www.ci.burbank.ca.us/index.aspx .

    Or you can send an e-mail or letter for the city council to the City Clerk’s Office. Here’s the page link http://www.ci.burbank.ca.us/index.aspx?page=48

  63. Jake Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Hey Bleu

    I guess there are no marijuana dispenseries in Burbank because smoking is ilegal in Burbank ? It is weird though because they have no smoking signs everyplace and then there is one right infront of a smoke shop in downtown. I always thought that was sort of weird. Who knows what is up in Burbank with all the weirdness.

  64. Beth Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    After they made that smoke law we moved our company meetings out of resturants in Burbank and into resturants in No Ho. I buy my cigarettes by the carton in No Ho and I shop in No Ho. I was told by the city we could hold our meetings at Barney’s because they have smoking, however we chose not to do that. You should hear how hard the economic team in Burbank tries to get business back after that law was passed.

    Those were real wizzards that came up with the no smoking law yet they continue to think they can sell cigarettes in Burbank and you are correct they sell them right infront of their silly little signs.
    imo no one should buy their cigarettes in Burbank take the tax revenue away from the wizzards.

  65. Arkangel Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    Interesting question about Marijuana. You are correct it was lgalized for medical use by the voters so where is the dispensary in Burbank ? Could it be they just decided to defy the voters on that one ?

    Beth if you liked the no smoking law we have you will love their new one, it says you can’t smoke on your own patio if you own a condo.

    The idea here is that if you see someone having a cig on their patio you should dial 911 and let the plice cite the offender. Imagine that police tied up chasing an old lady with a smoke in her hand. But hey Beth it is Burbank and we will determine what you can and can not do even in your own home. We know what’s best for you remember that.

  66. Jim C. Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    ‘Leaving Burbank’, you look with pride to the fact that your future home has no property taxes, but are you aware that the reason why Calfornia was so great between 1940 and 1980 was because it had HUGE tax rates?

    Federal taxes were taking up to 90 percent of earned income and 70 percent of capital gains, and much of that money was being funneled into California through the aerospace industry. Property taxes were running over 2 percent of assessed value every year.

    In fact, taxes have never been lower than they are now, and even if they were 0 dollars these runaway businesses would STILL be shipping all of their jobs to India because their salaries are pennies on the dollar.

    As a trade-off for no taxes, these supposedly ideal states also have no services, either. And the bigger their population becomes the more they will have to start taxing.

  67. Arkangel Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    Medical Marijuana is actually legal now under California law however it is absent in Burbank. Where the city funds alcohol sales at many resturants it thumbs it’s nose at permitting any medical marijuana businesses.

    In Burbank lots of alcohol but hidden marijuana is the norm. Burbank is a healthy city so they say, but while they attack cigarettes and force medical marijuana to hide in the dark alleys of Burbank, they fund the proliferation of alcohol sales through resturants and even condone drink minimums.. Why is that ? Why doesn’t the city provide the start up costs for a few medical marijuana businesses ? Could it be they favor alcohol over other sales due to their own adictions ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1BLwPEP8sY

  68. Jonathan Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Jim C

    California claims to have great services but in reality they are not so great at all. What we have is an overpriced over inflated system that overcharges to the point many want to get out of here before the bubble explode.

    Years ago there was the flight from the rural areas into the cities now that trend is reversing as many are in flight from the cities in order to escape over regulation and over taxation just to survive.

    I am working to buy property in New Mexico. Life may be simple but at least it’s life and I can be free to spend my own money.

  69. Mary Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Taxes have never been lower ? Excuse me but taxes are cumulative and placed on every signgle things as well as numerous times on many things.

    Yes I have never seen sales tax lower than it is today.

    Yes I have never seen my vehicle liscense tax lower than it is today.

    Yes I have never seen the gasoline tax lower than today.

    Certainly none of us have seen that tax on plastic bottles and aluminum cans lower than it is today.

    I also have never seen the streets in such disrepair as I do today.

    Taxes have never been lower gave me my chuckle for the day. By the way somehhow while my property value declined last year my property tax actually increased now how is that even possible.

  70. Chad Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    What services don’t other states have that are so all fire important ?

    They have highways and streets and they have police and trash pick up. They have everything that you need.

    The problem with people in California is that they honestly believe they have the right to spend everyones money and can do it better.

    PLEASE give me a friggin break with taxes we are one of the most over taxed states in the entire nation.

    Overtaxed and our streets are not even kept up. Anyone who thinks we are not over taxed needs a wake up call.

  71. Cowboy Friday, May 14, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    The downtown district defo needs a marijuana shop. Didn’t even think about the lack of one but pot is a great alternative med that should be easy access in a central location in town. I support it.

  72. Nancy Friday, May 14, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    It is shocking how much alcohol is available in Burbank. It is as if we are a city of drunks when you think about it. Marijuana is far less harmfull to a person than alcohol is and I believe it’s a good question to ask why the city has not provided access to such a natural and harmless substance as marijuanaI support a few stors to sell it and provide it as a natural herbal treatment for illness.

  73. TKO Friday, May 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    A comedy club is a stupid idea. What is this vaudeville time ? People need to let go of the past and get with the present. Comedy club routines is a thing right out of the past so get over it Burbank. What will you do next try for a jurasic park motiff with your comedy club and rename downtown blast from the past ? How about brining in an old style vaudeville in place of the theaters ?

    Burbank sure can come up with the most out of date ideas. Face it there are not a whole lot of comedy clubs for a really good reason, it’s time is over, past and done.

  74. Jim C. Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    In return for paying California’s income taxes you get California’s lifestyle, with things like cheap college tuition, lots of great highways and a sophisticated infrastructure that works.

    Those other states have nothing similar, but as soon as they fill up with people their own taxes will rise as well. It’s inevitable.

    And our income and property tax rates are the lowest they have ever been. For all that people complain these days they have never experienced the kind of confiscatory tax rates we had in the 40s, 50s, and early 60s.

  75. Rod Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    Taxation has never been lower that is is now ? You will find some of the more recent increases in taxation with more on the way in this list. If they could find a way to tax you each year for laying in your grave they certainly would.

    CALIFORNIA
    Sales Taxes
    State Sales Tax: 8.25% (food and prescription drugs exempt. Tax varies according to locality. Can be as high as 10.50%)
    Gasoline Tax: * 46.6 cents/gallon
    Diesel Fuel Tax: * 46.6 cents/gallon
    Cigarette Tax: 37 cents/pack of 20 plus an additional surcharge of 50 cents per pack, bringing the total to 87 cents.

    Personal Income Taxes
    Tax Rate Range: Low – 1.25%; High – 10.55%. For 2010 the state has enacted a 0.25 percentage point increase in each of the state’s income tax brackets. A tax credit for dependents was reduced from $309 to $98. For information on taxes for military personnel, click here.
    Income Brackets: ** Lowest – $7,168; Highest – $1,000,000
    Number of Brackets: 6
    Tax Credits: Single – $99; Married – $198; Dependents – $309; 65 years of age or older – $99
    Standard Deduction: Single – $3,637; Married filing jointly – $7,274
    Medical/Dental Deduction: Same as Federal taxes
    Federal Income Tax Deduction: None
    Retirement Income Taxes: Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits are exempt. There is a 2.5% tax on early distributions and qualified pensions. All private, local, state and federal pensions are fully taxed.
    Retired Military Pay: Follows federal tax rules.
    Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before Sept. 24, 1975, and members receiving disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.
    VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: VA benefits are not taxable because they generally are for disabilities and are not subject to federal or state taxes.
    Military SBP/SSBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.

    Property Taxes
    Property is assessed at 100% of full cash value. The maximum amount of tax on real estate is limited to 1% of the full cash value. Under the homestead program, the first $7,000 of the full value of a homeowner’s dwelling is exempt. The Franchise Tax Board’s Homeowner Assistance program, which provided property tax relief to persons who were blind, disabled, or at least 62 years old, and met certain minimum annual income thresholds, has been halted. The state budgets approved for the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 fiscal years deleted funding for this Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program that once provided cash reimbursement of a portion of the property taxes that residents paid on their home. For more information, call the Franchise Tax Board at 1-800-852-5711, or visit http://www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/hra/index.shtml.

    The State Controller’s Property Tax Postponement program, which allowed persons who are blind, disabled, or at least 62 years old, and meet certain minimum annual income thresholds, to postpone their property taxes. However, effective February 20, 2009, the state budget eliminated the Property Tax Postponement Program. For more information call 1-800-962-5661 or 916-327-5587, or visit http://www.sco.ca.gov/col/taxinfo/ptp/index.shtml. For information on property tax exemptions, click here.

    Inheritance and Estate Taxes
    There is no inheritance tax. However, there is a limited California estate tax related to federal estate tax collection.

    For further information, visit the California Franchise Tax Board or the California State Board of Equalization.
    * Does not include 1 cent local option.
    ** For joint returns, the taxes are twice the tax imposed on half the income.

  76. Rod Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Join the tax revolt
    http://www.teapartypatriots.org/

  77. DixieFlyer Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 1:34 am #

    Thank you Miss Fronnie and most of the rest,

    This exchange proves the value of Blogs!!

    After filtering the fal-der-all, we got down to
    exchanging opinions, thoughts and facts.

    Please keep going, there is value for many of us.

    Hopefully.those who wish only to be provocative
    will get bored and go play-elsewhere.

  78. Fronnie Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Dixie,

    Yes, it was a very interesting debate: some of it worthwhile and some of it, well, you know. A couple of points,the co-owner of the comedy club/restaurant Barbara Holliday is a taxpaying homeowner who has lived in Burbank for several years. Holliday has as much right as anyone to take advantage of programs offered by the city. I’m a taxpaying Burbank homeowner who has shopped at a number of businesses like Porto’s that have received assistance from the city. I support the program — if it has flaws– correct them — make it better.

    No single business or service benefits EVERYONE. We all know that– so it’s important, I think, to have variety in our city. If a comedy club is not your thing, don’t go there. Do something else. If you want a bead shop or some other kind of business in Burbank — put up YOUR home, assets, money, apply for a city loan, and open one.

    I’m going to continue to cover the comedy club and other Burbank development projects. If you don’t want to read about this — skip those posts. Or go to another blog. There are other blogs and websites in Burbank that do not publish the stories I cover. You have a choice.

  79. Al in SoCal Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Fronnie,

    You reap what you sow. You’re finding out that you cannot reason with the people on this board, you cannot temper their anger, and you cannot have anything good to say about Burbank – ever.

    The people who most frequently post on this blog would prefer to see shuttered, vacant buildings then having one dime directed at luring business in. They are in a word: Republicans. They hate paying taxes, UNLESS it helps their own pocketbook. Look at the number of comments about hating to spend any $$ unless it’s on runaway production – you can tell who works where.

    It’s the Dr. Gordon mentality of spending $$ only if it helps me and me alone.

    Well – a perfect place for the libertarian minded is beautiful Somalia. There you can relax by the beach and not worry about pesky government interference, taxes, or even laws. Enjoy!

  80. Owner Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    As a proud business owner I did what you propose. I put in my sweat and my gold and I opened a business that has been a success for a number of years. It was a struggle but I appealed to my customer base and made it a success.

    What I did not do was force my customers to fund my business. I did not replace my sweat or gold with theirs and I certainly did not tax other businesses to make my dream come true.

    I call it lazy. I will say people have no choice when they are taxed and forced to support something they may not even want to patronize. That’s the reality here so if you think diversity is good and want to fund it open your purse blog writer and place your funds in supporting it. Don’t tax everyone else for your dreams to come true.

  81. Fronnie Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Owner,

    Again, my tax dollars do support that program. I’m fine with that. Again, you don’t like yours supporting that program to assist businesses — tell that to your Burbank City Council members and the city staff. They are the ones who come up with ways to spend your tax dollars.

    Again, I did not design the program — it’s been in effect for years. Nor do I make decisions about how the program is run or funded. I don’t see why this is so hard to understand — unless of course yo don’t really want to take your gripes to your elected officials where you might get some response or action.

  82. Owner Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    Al I happen to be a ful fledge and life long Democrat. Shows just how much you know it looks like.

    Fronnie Lewis I did not say you don’t pay tax. I said if you want something open your purse and pay for it. Don’t expect all taxpayers to provide for you.

    As for telling the Burbank City Government what I do and do not like little good that does at all. They are people who spend all our money where they themselves can get the best return. Yes I fully believe that they are driven by the perks they get, the payola they get and the gifts they get. Do I honestly believe that a corrupt system complete with a corruot police department would make sure that is not happening NO I do not.

  83. Fronnie Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    Owner,

    Ah, “taxpayers to provide for you.” In case you haven’t noticed I run, own, and pay for this blog. The one you are commenting on.

    You are so off base. I’m not asking to open any business. Just covering the stories and giving my opinion.

    End of discussion.

  84. Al in SoCal Monday, May 17, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    Owner,

    Rather than continuing to complain about what the council did – what would you do about the eyesore on one of the busiest corners in Burbank – Magnolia & First? You don’t need a business degree to know that limited access (no front door), parking, and the mini-patio all led to Romano’s closing. The city council offered a LOAN to help with the above mentioned problems and to get a business going there, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    Now when there is a vacant property for 18 months with a huge sign that says “For Lease”, I want to know someone in the city is doing something to get that occupied. Now they did. See – I call that service.

    >>What I did not do was force my customers to fund my business. I did not replace my sweat or gold with theirs and I certainly did not tax other businesses to make my dream come true.

  85. DixieFlyer Monday, May 17, 2010 at 2:07 am #

    Gee, I thought Miss Fronnie ended this discussion.

    The taxpayers subsidized the AMC THREE separate times.

    AFTER that, we waived the requirement that the agreed upon parking spaces be provided.

    THEN we allowed the “Collection Mess” instead.

    THEN we allowed the agreed upon RETAIL to be converted
    to RESTAURANT without the required PARKING.

    As was previously pointed out, the landlord was not motivated for 18 months, because the RENT was being paid.

    Where is the TAXPAYER obligation in the mix??

    Rather than calling the City action “Service”–
    some would call that a “disservice” to all the other
    struggling businesses (including landlords) who
    have lowered prices(AMC?) and stretched just to keep their doors open.

    Who’s “Sharing what Pain” with “whom”?

  86. RV Monday, May 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Al,

    There are “eyesores” and “vacancies” all over Burbank. Do you blame the local officials for those vacancies ? Is that why you think they should provide “service” and fill the “vacancies” ?

    Programs for the elderly and the mentally ill are being cut as well as education funding. Why would you think that funding to rent buildings is more important than these programs ? There is only so much money and placing a bunch of it into renting buildings is not what is needed most.

    Dixie Flyer is right there is no reason for anyone to pay taxes so that buildings are rnted. If you favor that type of economy you must long for the days of the Soviet Union.

  87. Harley Monday, May 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Dixie;

    You asked:
    Where is the TAXPAYER obligation in the mix??

    Socialists in our society believe that the avergage citizens should be taxed to fund the things they want. Average citizens = taxpayers = turkeys ready to be sent to the slaughter.

    It\’s ironic that because citizens are taxed many of them can not even afford to pay to get into places like those theaters. Socialists don\’t believe in supply and demand, they believe in tax others to pay for what they want.

    Get ready for some serious new taxes because there are serious vacant buildings all over the place fellow citizens.

  88. Edgar Monday, May 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Ah, I wish I was friends with someone in the government so they could hand me a bag of cool cash!

  89. Al in SoCal Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    We’ll call this educate the populace time.

    Where do you think $$ “programs for the elderly and the mentally ill” come from? It’s not from vacant storefronts – of that I can assure you. It comes from businesses, from customers, from $ales tax. Ugly I know, but it is the truth. While we have the CC’s or chronic complainers whining about everything that Burbank does, has anyone driven by the AMC? Even on weeknights? People are out and about eating at the Barneys Beanery, Buffalo Wings place, and the new 24 / 7 Pho place. Dinner and a movie – and $$ to fund the very good social services that all the CC’s love to have.

    As for those thinking it’s just a giveaway I’ll quote Fronnie’s own blog “the city council approved a business assistance loan”. Nowhere does it say “grab bag of cash” or “your tax dollar giveaway”.

    Sorry – just as most of you were wrong about AMC you’re wrong now.

    One of the few honest people here is Harley who said “Get ready for some serious new taxes because there are serious vacant buildings all over the place fellow citizens”, that is unless the city can do something to prevent that from happening. The $$ has to come from somewhere and if doing SOMETHING to get an 18-month vacancy in the middle of ‘main street’ filled meets with nothing but complaints I’d like to see everyone’s faces when our taxes do go up – or some of the great social programs we have (transit, etc) go belly-up.

    >>Programs for the elderly and the mentally ill are being cut as well as education funding.

  90. Jim C. Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    Gee, for once I agree with Al. The problem with the business subsidies, I think, is that these chosen recipients usually turn out to be marginal and flaky. Remember “MethodFest”? I’m sure Dixie does.

    I think that’s what Dr. Gordon was concerned about, and Gary Bric: you float your own house to finance a business like a comedy club, of all things? That could be very dangerous and risky. Do they ever work out in Burbank…?

    And what’s this about “socialism”? Taxes are your best investment. I find it intriguing that the people who complain the most about taxes these days are the same ones who benefitted greatly from the willingness of their OWN parents and grandparents to pay for the goodies back in the 50s and 60s.

    They had it made back then, but are not willing to extend the same advantages to others on down the line.

  91. Fronnie Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Yes, Al made some very good points. The co-owner who put up her Burbank home, Barbara Holliday, has been managing comedy talent and putting on comedy productions for more than 20 years. Yeah, entertainment is a risky business. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens with the Flappers comedy club.

  92. Edgar Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    If Al is correct about the theaters etc etc then Burbank must be rolling in dough. Since that’s not the case what’s wrong with the picture ??

    Our parents and grandparents paid taxes to build infrastructure not to open clubs and bars. That’s why we have a freeway system etc etc. So how come the money to keep things like the freeways is not fixing the freeways these days ? Because they hand it out to friends as bags of cash.

  93. Dangerfield Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    Great point about Barmey’s Al. It is the busiest resturant in downtown Burbank. The reason is simple it’s the only place where guys can grab a drink with their smoke. It has become the prefered destination of the crowds now because it permits smoking and comes complete with ash trays on the table. If the comedy club is a smoking resturant it will be a smach success.

  94. Fronnie Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Edgar,

    Just because the AMC is successful “Burbank must be rolling in dough.” Come on!

    If you and some others want to continue to be as Al calls it “CCs” aka chronic complainers fine. But it’s time to get away from these tired, worn out arguments.

    You seem to be in the dark on how your own Burbank city government works. Want information about loans to businesses — go to the city website — ask city staff for guidelines on how to qualify.

    Again, ask your elected officials why they make the choices they have made. Send a simple e-mail. Here’s the link to the Burbank city website http://www.ci.burbank.ca.us/index.aspx

    Also, Burbank City Council meeting tonight at 6 p.m.– budget study session at around 5 p.m. Here’s the link to the agenda http://burbank.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=17

    Watch on channel 6 or go to the meeting. Learn about what’s going on in your city, that will help, I hope, generate some fresh informative comments.

  95. Lewis Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Al,

    I am fascinated at some of your comments. You do understand that unlike most cities Burbank has no business tax ?

    The revenue from sales tax does not even cover the cost of emergency services in Burbank. While you pay close to 10% per dollar the city receives a mere penny. This means that $10.00 in sales brings only ten cents to the city treasury.

    While the state does carge taxes to businesses they are finding great shortfalls on the revenue generated from these taxes.

    There is not necesarily a shortage of tax revenue there is an excessive amount of spending. Pograms all too often are not really funded from sources you may think they are. This is why Fronnie is correct in her comment that we all must learn where our government gets the money and how they spend the money. There is little evidence that a vacant retail space has much if any connection to most programs at all. This is simply not the funding source for those programs at all. Looking into this helps in understanding where money can most effectively be spent. I hope this helps somehwhat.

  96. Al in SoCal Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Lewis,

    I agree that we should all know where the $$ comes that runs our city. In my post I said ‘sales tax’ not business tax. Apparently whether it’s enough to run our services or not the city of Burbank lists it as 1 of their major revenue sources (link below):

    The Revenue Division is responsible for managing the revenue operation of the City and monitoring the City’s major revenues, such as Sales Tax and Property Tax.

    http://www.ci.burbank.ca.us/index.aspx?page=130

  97. Al in SoCal Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Santa Cruz lists Sales Tax as their top revenue source:

    http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/index.aspx?page=260

    Here is a story with some statistics:

    Generally, sales tax revenue makes up about 30 percent of municipal budgets. Property tax makes up 20 percent of municipal budgets.

    http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2010/05/03/story4.html?b=1272859200^3283271

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