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Digging on Burbank

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Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove —Burbank

This week, a lot of talk, angry words, debate, and even some ranting, tripping, spewing, and spinning about what’s wrong in Burbank. On this fine example of a sunny, fall day, with temperatures to top out in the upper 60s or mid-70’s, one is reminded of some of the oh-so positive groovy reasons for living in Burbank.  


Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank

While other parts of the country deal with the snow and “brrr” of autumn, here we can walk, jog, bicycle, garden, or just sit out on the porch and watch the world go by in November. I love this time of year; with our mild climate many flowers and plants are now in fabulous bloom, one of my favorites, bougainvillea. This wonderful vine flowers year round and thrives in Southern California. In Burbank, bougainvillea is on display in variety of shapes and colors like bright pink, magenta, orange, purple, yellow, and white.


Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank

Yeah, there are some serious problems in Burbank right now. Nothing that can’t be fixed, in my opinion, making Burbank an even better place to live. 

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45 Responses to Digging on Burbank

  1. the Duck Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    Question is can the people we have leading this city fix the problems ? They are responsible for them, so we may need some new leadership to sweep up their mess.

  2. Masked Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    Problem nobody in the last two elections were qualified to be dog catcher let along fix this mess. We only get wannabes cheer leaders and people that have the same mind set as the current council. Ever watch Bric or Ramos try and get through a council meeting without making a basic mistake when there is a script of what to do in front of them. You can’t get really talented candidates to run because their busy earning a living or raising a family it’s going to be tough. Maybe a full time council is in order for the City we spend all kinds of money on pet projects and redevelopment maybe we can find more talented people to run if it was a real job not a part time pastime.

  3. Fronnie Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 1:16 am #

    the Duck & Masked,

    I hear what you’re saying about the city hall crew. I’m hoping that with the departure of Police Chief Tim Stehr, some folks at city hall will become nervous about their own high-paying jobs and will get to work cleaning up some of the mess the city is in.

    In terms of council members, I think the crop of candidates will be more talented and sharper the next time around. Also, I think the public will scrutinize the candidates more carefully the next election as well.

    Hmm, paying council members a full time salary is something to consider.

  4. Danny Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    Miss Fronnie,

    Here is the sad thing. Burbank is beautiful and Burbank people are great. It’s the government that’s the problem.

    I don’t think the high payring people will get any better we already see who and what they are as well as what they made and that’s a big mess.

    We really do have to get rid of most of them because they can’t even be trusted. I think they just can’t help themselves they are who and what they are and that’s the real problem.

    I definately think we should elect our own mayor. Who needs more mayors that are picked by their friends anyway.

  5. Fronnie Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm #


    I’m afraid you are right on a number of points.Trust as well as confidence in some of our city officials has been severely damaged — perhaps beyond repair.

    I agree, the mayor needs to be elected by the citizens of Burbank specifically for that job. It should no longer be a position that gets passed around among city council members.

  6. Masked Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    It time to put that idea on the ballot. But in the last 16 years the way this idiot town has voted we would have been stuck with Dave Golonski as mayor the whole time.

  7. Going Nuts Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    I don’t think it can get any worse. Golonski tells Brick what to do anyway. Independant election sounds good to me.

    I think a recall on Golonski for everything he has done so far is fair. If the people vote for him to stay, so be it…I doubt they will.

  8. Masked Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 8:12 pm #

    Maybe if the same 5 people weren’t the only ones calling for his head on Tuesday it might make a difference. Get down there and speak up. Yes most of the Burbank click still think Dave is being picked on go down and support Dr Gordon Tuesday give Gary some Sh… and tell Anja to wake up and pay attention.

  9. John Brady Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    About two years ago I pulled into the ancient port of Cebu. I had been on the island of Leyte for about three weeks. I was the only “Joe” there and would be the only “Joe” I would have contact with in Cebu. As I saw the hills rising above the port that had been in use for thousands of years I noticed how they looked just like the Verdugo Hills.

    I thought: “Home”.

    At one café my SO and I were served outdoors with the instructions “Foreign man/woman”. I laughed because I come from Los Angeles County the most diverse place on the planet. I never thought I looked like a foreigner even though everyone else looked Asian. I’m used to it.

    However it was then that I knew that I wanted to go home. Back to Burbank. Where everyone looks different. Upon my return I went directly to the Mall to see different looking people. Mind you it’s not like when I grew up. It’s better.

    I am amazed at when people answer the question “What do you love about America?” Very few people mention any connection to the land. That it is our home. The first Americans know this connection well and value it.

    I noticed something about my parent’s gravestone this last anniversary of my mother’s passing. It is a gravestone unlike any other around. It is bordered in granite like the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These two people came from different parts of the country and world. They met, married and became Californians. They made their home here in Burbank.

    My mother died in her twenty-sixth year in service to this city. Her home. My home. Her goal is my goal: To make my home better.

    “I was born by the river…but I know a change gonna come.”
    =Sam Cooke
    “…oh yes it will”

  10. Al in SoCal Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 10:58 pm #

    Let me hand out the cheese with all that “wine”. We HAD elections – we even had an election specifically FOR the city charter which manages elections, how they work, etc – did any of you vote? The ideas on this board – elected mayor vs. appointed via council members, and every other aspect of the city were all debated during the charter review – which very FEW people came to give their opinions on. Now – how many of you who are armchair quarterbacking these decisions actually got UP out of their armchairs to actually go speak and provide their opinion – or actually go vote?

    We also NIXED the idea of paying the council or mayor anything over 1K a month – the reason being what would be worse than people complaining (as they are) about a mayor making 1K a month would be a mayor making 12K a month.

    ps: we got exactly ZERO comments on that aspect of the review. Also the city charter passed by a pretty large margin meaning that apparently some (actually MOST) of Burbank voters seem to be rather happy with how things are. You’ll also note that Dave Golonski won with a larger margin that Dr. Gordon – who was about 250 votes from being booted off the council.

    Prediction: Dave Golonski / Talamantes / Bric / Reinke all win new terms – Gordon slides by with a even narrower margin than this past election – leaving the council intact for another 2 election cycles.

  11. Al in SoCal Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 11:00 pm #

    Though it was nice to see a “some things” are nice in Burbank post anyway. It appears to be the first – but hopefully not the last one on this blog.

  12. Fronnie Monday, November 16, 2009 at 12:53 am #

    Al, Al,

    My blog has a collection of positive stories about the land, the great weather, businesses, and people in Burbank. Go ahead search my archives you will find plenty of these stories and photos, too!

    Yes, some of the issues being discussed on this blog have come up before. However, the recent events of the past few months have prompted many in this city to start discussing those issues again. Some times it’s about timing. Now is the time for change.

    “Now is the time to act boldly and wisely…”
    President Barack Obama 02/24/09

  13. Masked Monday, November 16, 2009 at 4:07 am #


    I predict Gordon by a landslide in the next election. Because he doesn’t run in the next election DA. Dave and Jess are by by, Anja she’ll turn over soon distance herself from Dave and Jess and sneak by with the non profit crowd.

  14. Outflank Monday, November 16, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    Al, why is it that you start jumping up and down only on certain events?

    Yes, unfortunately not everybody goes out to votes (I did, just for the record) and again unfortunately, the pickings were extremely slim, but I voted.

    The same could be said about the BPOA vote that was just handed down “NO Confidence”, but a few like yourself, started arguing about majority? Hey the majority that chose to be present cast their ballot, so they should be heard.

    Don’t think for one second that the community is not watching, all the stupidity that is going on at the council with all of them. D. Gordon always gets the abuse from the other 4, but especially from AR & DG, DG who thinks someone gave him the title of judge, jury and executioner!

    You need to ask yourself, if they are doing what is right for our community why? is M. Flad & D. Golonski, having private meetings in a park on a Saturday morning? Do they honestly think that No one is paying attention or are they just so ARROGANT that they think they can continue to get away with this crap?

    I love this community and know why I move here over 20 + years ago. What I don’t like is a selective few who think they are above the law and do what they want at will without regard for others.

    Thank you Fronnie, for keeping it fresh, entertaining, but most importantly informative.

  15. Al in SoCal Monday, November 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    It’s just so outrageous that with all the moaning about kicking people out of office – we JUST had an election. Just within the last few years voted on a City Charter – which had very lackluster public comments. With all the praise of Dr. Gordon you would have though he was the ordained Bishop of Burbank’s oppressed masses, but looking at his election results that is hardly the case.

    I personally don’t like Dr. Gordon’s politics – and while I don’t simply nod in agreement with what Dave Golonski or the others say – Dr. Gordon is all about grandstanding. His childish sighs, he can BARELY keep his seat during debates – he never communicates his plans and asks questions he knows staff can’t answer on the spot simply to decry conspiracies (like secret meetings in the park).

    Almost as bad as the cheering and LAME booing at city council meetings. I always though that should be prohibited as it makes for an intimidating scene if you should (gasp) have an opposing opinion than the permanent booing crew on Tuesday nights.

    Talk of cover-ups, secret meeting, etc – come on – it’s really getting deep. Dr. Gordon is a reactionary politician – not someone who plans things out. He finds the latest ‘fear’ his supporters have – and runs with it. Whether it’s the airport (expansion expansion – sky is falling) or the labor center (“they’re” taking over) or now the police drama being played out. It’s just one fear tactic after another – and it’s TIRED.

    In all this talk about police commissions, who said what, etc – who is talking about everyday items?

    I don’t doubt many of you vote, but then Dr. Gordon, the Berlins, etc got votes from somewhere – so I’ve found the place.

    Outflank – if it were a “private” meeting – why did they meet in a park? If they wanted privacy a park would be the last place I would look.

    >>Al, why is it that you start jumping up and down only on certain events?

  16. Shocked Monday, November 16, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    Al ISC,

    All the problems were kept secret prior to the election so it is entirely possible the people who voted would have voted differently had all the investigations under Golonski been revealed.

    How is it reactionary to call for the Chief to be placed on administrative leave after months of so many investigations by the FBI, the Sheriffs, etc., that were kept secret and the prior week a valued police veteran ended his life? If it seemed reactionary to you then all I can say is that perhaps you are part of the cover up.

    Until lawsuits began to be filed the community knew nothing about all the problems in the police and city attorney departments. It sounds very much like you belong to the camp of “hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil.” This is the same camp that has been in charge for years at City Hall.

  17. Danny Monday, November 16, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    Hey Al we just had an election you are right. Yes Al I did vote but did I know anything about all the stuff I know about now NO ?

    Was it my fault I didn’t know about everything that has ben going down ? I don’t think so because now we even hear the mayor talk about investigations about what has been going on for TWO years Al. So how come nobody told us over the last two years so we would have known when we just had an election ? Sure you will disagree but I’m convinced we didn’t know because the city council people were hiding it all.

    You’re we just had an election doesn’t fly because we had it without any information.

  18. Tim Monday, November 16, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    Your information is old and stale Al in So Cal. Everything you cite to make your case is before all the investigations etc hit the news and people discovered that things are not perfect here in paradise.

  19. Fronnie Monday, November 16, 2009 at 7:18 pm #


    I have to agree with the other commenters, your defense is based mostly on outdated events. I mean who really mentions the Berlins anymore except, folks who want to live in the past.

    Like I said the events of the recent few months, or even past few weeks have drawn attention to the fact that things aren’t running as they should in city government. That’s why the public is on the alert and asking a lot of questions and talking about change.

    By the way, very few people I’ve spoken to who were at that city council meeting or watch it on the tube, thought Councilman Gordon was grandstanding. Most felt Gordon was right on mark and the other council members showed themselves to be out of touch.

    Also, nothing stops the other council members from reading their e-mails and the staff reports like Gordon. I’m not going to fault Councilman Gordon for being informed and speaking out when he has an opinion — no matter how much the other council members want to remain silent and uninvolved.

  20. Outflank Monday, November 16, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    Al, the park that they went to is apparently drug and gang infested, do you really think that anyone would be looking for them there?

    Regardless, we go back to my original question. What are they doing having private meetings and than 2 days later, duh! the chief announces his retirement? I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but please! the writing is on the wall.

    I agree with the commentator’s had I known prior to election, what I have been learning since June of this year, you bet your sweet bibby, that I would have given each candidate the 3rd degree during the coffee/ meet your council meetings. I attended, more than my fair share and my vote’s would have been extremely different.

    Moving forward, don’t fault someone who does his due diligence to read and answer emails. I know that they were all notified 3 hours before that ALL hell was going to brake loose that night and they commented to a few that were getting recognitions, that it would be short lived, that things were going to happen.

    May be Dr. Gordon, did not go about it as diplomatic, as he is suppose to, but he sure had the attention of all present and those at home watching and he sure as crap, did a hell of a lot more than the others who wanted to continue to put their heads in the sand Again! Com ‘on, you have to be asking questions or wondering what the Heck is going on through the corridors of the higher powers? I can tell you they have my undivided attention and I will NOT stop till we get to the bottom of the truth. Remember, we unfortunately don’t have a winning side, everyone has something to lose, but for sure, we can NOT afford to lose another life.

  21. Fronnie Monday, November 16, 2009 at 8:55 pm #


    Good points. And definitely, we do not want another person caught up in the Burbank mess to become so frustrated that he or she decides to check out permanently. No we cannot afford to lose another valuable life.

  22. Dirty Mary Monday, November 16, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    Burbank Police LT Omar Rodriguez made a reference to Mr. Piroli as being a champion and being respected. He is a video for your consideration.

  23. Dirty Mary Monday, November 16, 2009 at 9:43 pm #


  24. Fronnie Monday, November 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    Dirty Mary,

    Warning. Your personal vendetta against Mr.Piroli is not welcome here.

    Take it somewhere else or maybe you should have the courage to face off with Mr. Piroli personally about your gripes with him.

    By the way, I will remove future comments of yours that continue this attack.

  25. Dirty Mary Monday, November 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm #

    Since when is showing background information regarding one of your posters an offending action? You want dialogue or Censorship? He was embraced by Lt Rodriguez and I think it it important to understand.

  26. Fronnie Monday, November 16, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    Dirty Mary,

    You’re an outsider who apparently doesn’t know this blog very well. I moderate and determine what appears on this blog. I’ve told you what you are doing is not acceptable.

    Take your lightweight ramblings about censorship somewhere else. Free speech has never been absolute.

    End of discussion.

  27. DixieFlyer Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 1:52 am #

    Word has it that Captain Pat”the enforcer” Lynch has announced his pending retirement.
    However, like his chief, the date in 2010 is to be announced.
    Another Captain-Craig Varner — also has reportedly planned to hang them up in 2010, date to be announced.
    That’s two Captains that may have heard the voices of BPOA members, even if EVANS at the LEADER couldn’t hear them over in Glendale.

  28. Fronnie Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 2:10 am #


    These Burbank Captain retirements are a good way to continue to clear out “the old guard” in the BPD.

    Now, what the City Manager needs to do is to firm up those retirement dates, like January 1, 2010, so the BPD can get a fresh start in the new year.

    Hopefully, these Captain will not try to use their retirement decisions as a way to take the heat off and to hang around for another six months or so.

  29. Shocked Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 2:30 am #

    This is great news, maybe the City can get them out of the department sooner rather than later. No matter how anyone tries to spin it, BPOA took a vote and the Vote of “no” Confidence was loud and clear!

    Hope you hear some news about retirements from the City Attorney’s office soon.

  30. Al in SoCal Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 4:56 am #

    Well – that would be in true Dr. Gordon fashion.

    Perhaps people don’t talk about the Berlins any longer, but let’s not forget that these folks (Berlins, Gordon, Piroli, Jesse Byers, etc) all are in a class that never really liked the council in general. Dr. Gordon was a classic Tuesday nighter and got elected the first go around by a plurality of the vote – not a majority like every other city council member.

    For all his blustering (you might even say ‘grandstanding’) about Stacy Murphy the vote shows he never would won in a ‘real’ election had she not run afoul of the law.

    ps: I never knew that background on Piroli – while certainly biased – it seems they are real newspaper clippings. I’m pretty shocked…..

    >>May be Dr. Gordon, did not go about it as diplomatic, as he is suppose to, but he sure had the attention of all present

  31. Shocked Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 6:05 am #

    Al ISC,
    Sounds like you have a bad case of “Living in the Past.” I remember former Mayor Stacy Murphy and her boyfriend had some involvement with the gang who murdered young Officer Pavelka. A young life was taken in his first year with the Burbank PD. What a horrible tragedy for his family, the department and community. I remember attending the candlelight vigil for Officer Pavelka six years ago. Now the accused shooter is still sitting in jail and there has been no trial — no justice! It sounds like all this is related to the current FBI investigations, and the mishandling of this case may allow this accused murderer to walk away.

    Is it any wonder the voters of Burbank rejected Bill Wiggins in favor of Dr. Gordon? The voters elected Dr. Gordon in hopes of change the last time there was known criminal activity at City Hall. You presented a good example that if the voters in Burbank had known about all the secret FBI investigations, Sheriffs, police corruption, etc., Golonski probably would have been rejected during this last election. Think about about that for a moment. Bric, Reinke and Telamantes would have no one to tell them what to do and they would be joined by Dr. Gordon and whoever came in 4th. I know this scenario is scary for you, Al, because you seem to be such a big fan of Golonski, and this would mean Dr. Gordon would be the senior councilman! Whether you like it or not, Dr. Gordon was elected. He was even re-elected in the last election, Al.

    So wake up from the the past, it is almost 2010. Burbank voters are shocked that this whole police mess has been covered up by City Hall for at least 2 years, possibly longer.

    It is beginning to sound like you are all in favor of cover ups and someone running the police department who has received a vote of NO confidence by the BPOA. Take a moment and think about what you are suggesting. Seriously. There are multiple lawsuits for all kinds of illegal employment activities in addition to all these investigations. Glendale and Pasadena police departments are helping protect this community because there are so many problems and a department that is completely dysfunctional with such poor leadership there are burglaries within the police department. It is time for accountability and moving this community into 2010 with some assurances that major effort is being made to correct all these problems — not cover them up. Dr. Gordon deserves a huge thank you for bringing forward the request to have a public discussion regarding the department leadership.

  32. DixieFlyer Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 6:35 am #

    Thank you SHOCKED,
    You’ve just covered a lot of ground for all of the rest of us.
    The efforts by BARLOW & Company are still going strong.
    Tuesday nite will tell us all something when they are scheduled to discuss how the phony press releases were approved–you know, the item that was mysteriously dropped from last agenda. Marsha Ramos had even written to the Council to comment–did BARLOW remove it or FLAD?

  33. Fronnie Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 1:07 pm #


    Well said. You covered a lot of ground and your comments are right on target.


    I agree, removing that item about the press release from the last city council agenda was rather strange. I read Marsha Ramos’ very strong letter to the Council about it — hopefully the item will make a comeback.


    This Dirty Mary, or whatever name he or she is using at the moment, recently posted the same rant/twisted information over on Jim Carlile’s Semichorus blog and got banned from that site.

    Jim gave a quick summary/comment of the facts about Piroli that you should check out on this post

    I know the facts and Jim is correct. This Dirty Mary is purposely and irresponsibly presenting a distorted picture of those facts. The big question is why and if this person is being paid to carry out this vendetta against Piroli. FYI comment #23 was removed because it was a flagrant example of Dirty Mary’s M.O.

  34. Edward Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    Thanks Shocked because you got me thinking.

    Remembering the police officer being shot and the mayor being arrested is like thinking about how nothing got cleaned up when all that happened.

    Whatever happened with the mayor ? Did she go to jail or what ? I just remember she disappeared.

    I guess things have gone from bad to worse.

  35. Jim C. Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    There’s a bit more here about the Piroli situation, and how nasty it is:

    This smear has been a deliberate thing the last few years. Right now there’s an attempted tie-in to Rodriguez, to smear him too. It’s organized, and because David has made himself a public figure with all his council appearances they have no fear of consequences.

  36. Disgusted Resident Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    That’s amazing that the trial of the guy who shot one of our officers is not over yet. What you say about it adds up Shocked but it is real surprising to read.

    Does this mean that this whole thing could go like Rampart did a few years ago ? I think in the Rampart situation people even got out of jail and got to file suits against the city and win. What a mess this is and why they let it all go this far is sooo bad.

  37. Masked Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm #

    Disgusted Resident,

    You bet because some of the investigating officers have been included in ongoing BPD investigations their credibility could be challenged. Nobody wants to start a trial where the cops are being investigated for use of force and then have the convection thrown out. Even with EYE witness, a slam dunk case it all hangs on the investigation.
    Are you mad enough yet to get down the the Council tonight and demand answers?

  38. Zorro Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    The investigators are under investigation. What a mess!

  39. Shocked Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    Thanks, Fronnie, for taking down that slanderous piece on Piroli. What that implied is that City Hall and their latest PR tactics are getting truly desperate. It also suggests there is more shocking news that we may be hearing soon. City Hall’s diversion is to attack and slander people who have spoken out against this horrible mess.

    Tonight’s agenda says they are anticipating 4 more lawsuits. This speaks volumes. It says nothing they are doing is working.

    Is anybody home at City Hall? How much is all this costing? Why don’t they try to resolve the problems instead of acting like bullies and creating more problems. We all know who the biggest bully is down there, and it is time for him to go.

    We now find the City of Burbank is sinking fast into quicksand of their own making.

  40. Incognita IA Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 9:27 pm #


  41. Dirty Mary2 Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 1:29 am #

    Incognita 1A, the A in your new name must stand for as*hole. You are so ignorant not to include the results of the trial — acquittal and the Catholic Church had to pay for their slanderous accusations!

    Since you are PRing for City Hall by attacking people they don’t like to hear from your post confirms the abuse and intimidation tactics of management and Golonski toward employees and the community.

  42. Incognito Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    COMMENT REMOVED. Posted by an impostor.

  43. Danny Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    Fronie Lewis

    Don’t let the imposter get on your nerves. After seeing the mayor go after Mr Nolan last night because he wants boog control it could just be the mayor all running around like an insane man.

  44. Fronnie Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm #


    There is quite a bit of talk about how Mayor Bric went off on Mike Nolan for not pushing his (Bric’s) agenda on the blogs, last night.

    From what I’ve heard, a campaign has been launched to disrupt and distract the blogs from talking about city hall and the mess in Burbank. I don’t think it’s going to work — definitely — it’s not going to work on my blog.

  45. Danny Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

    Fronnie Lewis

    That is good to hear. I do think after the Mayor said what he did last night that he is behind the crazy people all of a sudden on the blogs. I didn’t use to think he was a nut case but now I think He is just a crazy mayor doing crazy things from what I see.

Comments are closed.