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Fallout from the 43rd State Assembly Race

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — The Burbank Democratic Club hosted its 5th annual spring picnic on Saturday, May 22, 2010

It may seem like smooth sailing for Democrat Mike Gatto, now that he has been sworn-in as the new Assemblyman for the 43rd District, but some serious drama is still swirling around  him and that race. As of yesterday, for the special election to finish out the term of Ex-Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk website showed Gatto with 21,396 votes or 58.57% and Republican Sunder Ramani with 15,133 votes or 41.43%. Even though the counting of absentee and provisional ballots continues –Ramani has grudgingly conceded the race to Gatto.

Gatto is now the favorite to win a full two-year-term in the November General Election. However, before Gatto gets too comfy in Sacramento he needs to deal with an ugly feud that may cost him some votes. Leading the attack on Gatto, local Guerrilla Journalist/Photog, Peter Musurlian.

I bumped into Musurlian ( I mean that figuratively) at the Burbank City Credit Union last Thursday. With no prompting from me, Musurlian went into a name-calling tirade about Gatto and some members of the Burbank Democratic Club. Musurlian announced he recently filed a police complaint as a result of a confrontation at the club’s May 22 picnic.

The reasons for the police complaint: Musurlian claims he was jostled, attempts were made to stop him from taping, and he was splashed with water.  He told me, the Burbank PD now has a copy of his videotape showing what happened.

I witnessed part of that heated debate. At the time, Musurlian was in full attack mode. I wrote about that  raucous exchange here. In a May 23 e-mail to me, Musurlian defended his conduct by saying “… if some of the Club members had not attacked me, I would not have reacted. I never throw the first punch. Asking questions is not starting a fight.”

Musurlian apparently has been hounding Gatto and peppering him with questions. From what I can gather, Musurlian adamantly believes Gatto has not been truthful with the voters — especially the local Armenian community. The Burbank Democratic Club strongly supports Gatto. Musurlian has some personal gripes against the club and some members as well. In Musurlian’s e-mail on May 23, he also called certain members of the club, “insecure bullies” and “The protectors of Assembly Candidate Mike Gatto.”

Also, Musurlian disclosed to me on Thursday that a few weeks ago,  a member of Gatto’s campaign filed a police report against him. Yeah, maybe this is, tit for tat. Whatever it is, it’s ugly and from what I’ve seen, a re-match could escalate into something real nasty.

Steve Ferguson makes Burbank history

Photo: Courtesy Milton Alvarez-Ramos –Steve Ferguson, Newly Elected Chair of The Park, Recreation and Community Services Board in Burbank

Burbank resident/Community and Political Activist, Steve Ferguson, scored a double victory this past week. On Election Tuesday, Ferguson  was the second highest vote-getter in the race for a two-year-term on the Democratic Party Central Committee. Ferguson is one of 7 lucky candidates elected in the 43rd District. The committee works to get Democrats elected to various positions and offices.

Then last Thursday, Ferguson made Burbank history by becoming the youngest person ever to be elected chair of a city board or commission. Ferguson, 21, was elected Chairman of The Park, Recreation and Community Services Board. The Burbank High School graduate was appointed to that board when he was only 18. His involvement in community service began at 11-years-old!

Recently, Ferguson worked as the Volunteer Phone Bank Coordinator for Paul Krekorian’s bid for the Los Angeles City Council and as the Burbank Political Director for Nayiri Nahabedian’s campaign for the 43rd State Assembly.

During his one-year term as chair of The Park, Recreation and Community Services Board, Ferguson says he wants to raise “the profile of the board,” work with his “…colleagues and with the council to ban free-standing cell phone towers from our parks and city property surrounding our parks,” and “… ensure that the Park Patrol program has continued funding next budget year.” Ferguson admits he has “… a lot of plans, but limited time to accomplish them in so it is going to be a sprint!”

Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance

On Monday, June 14, National Flag Day and National Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance. The American Flag Foundation, which supports patriotic events focused on our flag, is encouraging all citizens and communities across the nation to take time out and join the “pause for the pledge” on Monday.

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank City Council meeting, June 8, 2010

At last Tuesday’s city council meeting, Burbank Kiwanis Club member Sam Engel (in white shirt) led the Pledge of Allegiance. The Burbank Kiwanis Club has put out an open invitation for everyone to gather at the Burbank Tennis Center, McCambridge Park at 3 p.m. on Monday for a celebration.

It kicks off with a concert by the Burbank Community Band and then at 3:30 p.m., cash prizes will be awarded to the talented local school students who won top honors for their patriotic posters and photos. At 4 p.m. sharp, the Pledge of Allegiance — at the same time — all across the nation– people will be honoring our county by reciting that oath.

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank Mayor Anja Reinke helps Sam Engel show-off some of the winners in the Burbank Kiwanis Club’s poster and photo contest, at the June 8, 2010 Burbank City Council meeting.  Also, Engel is holding a proclamation from the city for Flag Day activities.

Jacaranda trees bloom in Burbank

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Jacaranda trees in bloom along Tujunga Avenue near Bel Aire Drive in Burbank

A sure sign of warm spring days — the blooming of the Jacaranda trees in Burbank. The purple blooms are stunning, but the flowers carpet the ground and leave behind a sticky residue.  Messy yes, oh well,  beauty has its price.

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8 Responses to City Buzz

  1. David in Burbank Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    The mess is totally worth it! I have several and just wait till the bloom is done to get a car wash.

  2. Kevin of Burbank Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 8:24 pm #


    Don’t call Mursurlian a journalist. He is no more a journalist than I am a heart surgeon.

    Mursurlian is a propagandist and a provocateur, but no kind of journalist.

  3. Jim C. Monday, June 14, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    Musurlian used to be the official PR guy for the City of Burbank, so he might know some things.

    Be interesting to hear him name names about the Burbank Democratic Club. I have my suspicions, too.

  4. Kevin of Burbank Monday, June 14, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    Jim C.

    Name names about what? Which of us did not like Nayiri?

    Like that was some sort of crime against humanity?

    Bring it on.

  5. Kevin of Burbank Monday, June 14, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    Oh, hey Jim.

    Mursurlian had no knowledge that there even was a Burbank Democratic Club before the ANC put Nayiri on the ballot and she failed to steal our endorsement, which, by the way, she attempted to do.

    And he was never “the official PR guy” for Burbank. He produced spots for the city’s cable channel. Not even remotely the same thing.

  6. Jim C. Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    I believe Musurlian filled in as Public Information Officer before the new guy. He’s been around for years in an official capacity.

    He used to be (still is?) a Republican, but I’m sure he knew about the Burbank Democratic Club. And that outfit has had some pretty sneaky characters over the years– operatives is more like it. I wouldn’t put anything past them, and I’m sure Musurlian knows where a lot of bodies are buried in town.

  7. Fronnie Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    Jim C.,

    As I have stated on this blog, I’m a member of the Burbank Democratic Club. I’m a recent member … no doubt I’ve missed meeting the “…pretty sneaky characters over the years –operatives is more like it” you mentioned in your comment.

  8. Kevin of Burbank Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Jim C.

    You slandering ass.

    I defy you to make one accurate statement of fact regarding the BDC or its members.

    Only a spineless tool like you accuses people in the third person.

    Name names or go to hell.

    All Mursurlian knows is who supported a non-Armenian against an Armenian. He does not even know who has endorsed Armenians in the past.

    So naff off.

Comments are closed.