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Fronnie Lewis - Editor

Tag Archives | City Buzz

Staples at the Rancho Marketplace Shopping Center in Burbank

City Buzz: Major Burbank retailer to shutdown and new hotel in the works

As the long Labor Day weekend approaches, employees at a major retailer in Burbank are facing an uncertain future.  Staples at 1060 West Alameda Avenue is shutting down in a few weeks. Apparently, the customer volume has dropped off significantly at the office supply store in the Rancho Marketplace Shopping Center. Earlier this year, Staples announced it would be shuttering at least of 70 of its underperforming stores in North America. Another factor in the closure may be the recent reported acquisition of Staples, for $6.9 billion, by... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- City Hall 275 East Olive Avenue Burbank June 24, 2017

City Buzz: Changes at Burbank City Hall and around town

Some changes and developments in the Media City as we head into the last week of June 2017. Burbank City Hall — After five years as Burbank’s Public Information Officer, Drew Sugars, is moving on. Sugars’ departure was officially announced late last Friday in a news release from City Hall. The veteran broadcast journalist will become the Director of Communications and Community Relations for Glendale Community College. In the release, Sugars said: “… I’m sad to leave so many colleagues and friends in this fantastic City, but I’m excited... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Grocery Outlet to open at 1615 West Verdugo Avenue in Burbank November 25, 2016

City Buzz: New grocery store, update on tragic accident

A new grocery store will soon open in Burbank. Banners for Grocery Outlet are plastered on the old site of the Fresh & Easy store at 1625 West Verdugo Avenue. Grocery Outlet calls itself a bargain market and in its company statement claims:”We offer brand-name, quality products at up to 40-70% off conventional retail prices.” There are reportedly more than 260 independently owned Grocery Outlets in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and California. Fresh & Easy shut down this store and a second Burbank location, at 2484 West Victory... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/ Media City G -- A Burbank resident stepped to the mike to ask a question at a community meeting at Worshipwalk Church 3310 West Magnolia Blvd. Burbank February 17, 2016

City Buzz: Crime and quality of life worries in Burbank

Crime and quality of life worries in Burbank prompted a face-off between residents and some city officials last week at the Worshipwalk Church, 3310 West Magnolia Blvd. No, Burbank hasn’t dropped into a pit of total despair, but it has taken some hits lately and that has spiked the concerns of many residents. Burbank Mayor, Bob Frutos, admitted at the February 9 city council meeting he had received numerous phone calls and emails about crime, especially gang violence, being on the rise in the Media City. Several recent incidents fueled... Read More →

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Email clip art tan

City Buzz — Mark Scott, emails, and the city council

Outgoing City Manager, Mark Scott, has B-town buzzing for a number of reasons. First of course, his ultimatum to city council members to approve a reclassification/promotion for an employee under the threat that he would resign if they refused to capitulate. Three council members faced down that threat and voted against the change. At that infamous November 16 city council meeting Mayor Bob Frutos, gave the city manager the opportunity to withdraw his threat or change his position. Scott refused the offer. Since then, Scott has been... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Burbank City Manager threatens to resign over failed vote at city council meeting November 16, 2015

City Buzz: Burbank city manager threatens to resign

Last night’s city council meeting produced a bombshell and it had nothing to do with the council’s approval or so-called endorsement of the controversial Bob Hope Airport Replacement Terminal Conceptual Term Sheet. The Burbank Airport Authority overwhelmingly gave this framework for an airport replacement terminal agreement a thumbs up two weeks ago. At the council meeting Monday night, Mayor Bob Frutos provided some exceedingly, long-winded explanations of the document. In the past, many council members claimed they had not made up their minds about it.... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Mayor Bob Frutos at a special city council meeting Monday July 6, 2015

City Buzz: Burbank Mayor Bob Frutos on the mend

A lot of chatter around B-town about the sudden illness and disappearance from public view of Burbank Mayor Bob Frutos. It was because of Frutos’ absence at last Tuesday’s city council meeting that the controversial discussion, and approval, ah, endorsement of the Bob Hope Airport Replacement Terminal Conceptual Term Sheet by council members had to be delayed. (that item was rescheduled to the November 16, 2015 council meeting) Last night, I got an email statement from the mayor’s wife, Laura Frutos, about her husband’s condition: “Bob was admitted to the hospital... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Michael Gennaco spoke before city council about oversight review of the Burbank Police Department July 21, 2015

City Buzz: Burbank Police, oversight, and poopgate

Recently, the Burbank City Council renewed the three-year contract of consultant, Michael Gennaco, of the Office of Independent Review, as an independent monitor of the Burbank Police Department. The cost of Gennaco’s contract, $80,000.  In light of the growing tab for the notorious police cases and the BPD’s handling of that nasty incident involving Magnolia Park merchants last August, monitoring of the department is absolutely necessary. Mistakes by the Burbank Police Department have cost taxpayers plenty. Burbank has paid out millions in a slew of scandalous police cases involving allegations of... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Merchant Ralph Persinger in his shop Burbank Antiques 3423 West Magnolia Blvd. Burbank August 22, 20115

City Buzz:Burbank merchants’ feud escalates in Mag Park

That bitter merchants’ feud in the 3400 block of West Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank, once thought to be dying down,  has escalated with more nasty allegations, a police report, and a mystery videotape. I began covering the dispute back in August of 2014, when it centered on the fight for one-hour parking on the north side of the block. Most of the complaints were directed at Romancing the Bean, 3413 West Magnolia Boulevard. During that battle, allegations of harassment and bullying were leveled against the Bean’s owner,... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank Water and Power 164 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank

City Buzz: Burbank Water and Power letter snafu

Burbank Water and Power is under fire for a warning letter it sent out to thousands of users — a letter threatening further action including fines if water wasting habits are not corrected.  Mayor Bob Frutos and Vice-Mayor Jess Talamantes are among the recipients. However in a major screw-up, some residents who are complying with the city ordinance to save water got that letter, too. Many have bombarded BWP and city officials with emails and phone calls. “The number of calls completely overwhelmed BWP for a couple of... Read More →

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BurbankPolice patch/logo

City Buzz: Second Burbank H.S. shaken by sex charges

For the second time in less than a month, a Burbank high school is in the news in connection with a criminal case involving sex charges and underage students. Last Thursday, June 18, Burbank High School Varsity Girls Volleyball Coach, Kyle Roach, was arrested and booked on felony charges of oral copulation with a minor, annoying or molesting a child, and possession of child pornography. The Burbank Police Department began an investigation after two students on the volleyball team “… came forward when they began to suspect... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard Burbank August 8, 2014

City Buzz: MPMA reacts to controversy and complaints

The embattled Magnolia  Park Merchants Association responded  today to a letter from an irate merchant on Magnolia Boulevard, posted here on Media City Groove, which has drawn more than two dozen comments and fired-up a smoldering controversy in that business area of trendy shops, eateries, and retro stores in Burbank. Last summer, a dispute among merchants over parking on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard blew-up into a major issue. At the center of the controversy Romancing the Bean... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- One hour parking signs are up on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank October 11, 2014

City Buzz: Letter from irate Magnolia Boulevard merchant

Peace in the 3400 block of West Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank has been short-lived. What boiled over last summer as a dispute among the merchants there over parking and The Romancing the Bean restaurant has blown up again. Over the weekend, Ralph Persinger, who owns Burbank Antiques and Collectibles with his wife Kim, sent Media city Groove a letter about the problems on that troubled block. Here’s the letter.   After all the battles with parking on the 3400 block of W. Magnolia Blvd. we... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- One-hour parking sign in 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank October 11, 2014

City Buzz: Peace returns to Magnolia Park after parking dispute resolved

Peace has returned to Magnolia Park after a bitter parking dispute rocked the trendy shopping and eating section of Burbank.  Last summer the parking problems along the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard blew-up into a major conflict. The majority of the merchants on the block complained their businesses were being hurt by the clients of coffee shop/cafe, Romancing the Bean, who were camping out for hours in the parking spaces in front of their stores. The solution they asked for — a... Read More →

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Burbank Leader political cartoon November 15, 2014

City Buzz: Mayor Gordon reacts to Burbank Leader cartoon

A Burbank Leader political cartoon in last weekend’s November 15 edition has sparked some chatter around B-town. The cartoon focused on Burbank Mayor, Dr. David Gordon’s optometry business at 851 North Hollywood Way and the city council’s recent vote to keep in place the plan  to drop outside watering restrictions from three days to one day a week. This plan is part of an ordinance passed by the city council to deal with the severe drought problems. At the November 4 city council meeting, some residents criticized the so-called winter... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- One hour parking signs are up on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank October 11, 2014

City Buzz: Progress in Mag Park parking dispute

Progress is being made in that bitter parking dispute among some merchants on Magnolia Boulevard in the Magnolia Park area of Burbank. The two-hour parking signs were replaced by one-hour signs on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia last Friday. When I dropped by the block the day after, Burbank Antiques owner, Ralph Persinger, told me visitors are following the new parking restrictions: “It’s great! We’re getting a lot of turnover.” The one-hour parking signs are controversial. For the past several months, the majority of the merchants on... Read More →

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female candidate clip art

UPDATED:City Buzz: A third candidate jumps into Burbank City Council race

The race for Burbank City Council is heating up. Police Commissioner, Elise Stearns-Niesen, announced her candidacy in a letter posted on the Burbank Leader website yesterday. Stearns-Niesen, the former chair and ex-vice-chair of that commission, promised to take the high road in her quest for a seat on the city council: “I will run a positive campaign, one in which I will display integrity and honesty in all my interactions and treat all that I encounter with the utmost respect.” An educator and long-time resident of Burbank, Stearns-Niesen has... Read More →

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campaign candidate clip art

City Buzz: Another candidate jumps into the 2015 race for Burbank City Council

Several potential candidates are quietly preparing or exploring campaigns for the 2015 race for Burbank City Council. This is the way it has worked in the past. Gear up discreetly behind the scenes in the spring and summer. Then usually, council candidates announce in the fall. Well, this time around not all of the candidates are playing by the old rules. Two have announced that they are already off and running; Burbank Planning Board member/realtor, Chris Rizzotti, last March and freelance writer/journalist, Will... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard Burbank August 8, 2014

City Buzz: Magnolia Park merchants seek solutions to parking problems

Magnolia Boulevard has become a victim of its own success. For years, owners of the quaint shops, antique and collectibles stores, and moderately priced eateries, fought mightily to draw attention to their sleepy street in Burbank’s Magnolia Park. Well, that’s all changed. Magnolia Boulevard is now a hip cool place to shop, mingle, dine, and hang out. The new popularity has aggravated parking problems, which have always dogged the boulevard. Those parking problems have sparked a major conflict among some merchants in the 3400 block of West Magnolia.... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- A stack of Burbank Leaders at a checkout stand in the Handy Market on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank July 16, 2014

City Buzz: Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press, and Tribune Publishing announcement

Demand for the Burbank Leader and its sister newspaper the Glendale News-Press, is apparently outpacing the supply of single issues of the newspapers available for readers. You have to wonder if this situation is going to get better or worse in light of yesterday’s announcement about the long-awaited spinoff of Tribune Publishing by the media giant Tribune Company. The spinoff is set to occur next month on August 4. Tribune Publishing includes several major newspapers, among them the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank City Council meeting June 10, 2014 (l-r) Emily Gabel-Luddy, Vice-Mayor Bob Frutos, Mayor Dr. David Gordon, Jess Talamantes and Gary Bric

City Buzz: Burbank City Council moves to clean-up “police mess”

The Burbank City Council took a dramatic and pivotal step  this week toward cleaning up the infamous “police mess.” On Tuesday during the city council meeting, City Attorney, Amy Albano, reported out on discussions and actions taken during closed session. During the behind-closed-doors meeting before the city council meeting, Albano says the council members reviewed the latest development in the “William Taylor vs the City of Burbank” wrongful termination case. A 25 year veteran of the force and ex-deputy police chief, William “Bill” Taylor was well-respected and  considered to be... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Councilman Dr. David Gordon selected as mayor during Burbank City Council reorganization meeting May 1, 2014

Updated:City Buzz: Burbank City Council selects new mayor

Finally, after eight years of being on the Burbank City Council, Dr. David Gordon, was selected as mayor during the council reorganization meeting this morning. Even though the mayoral position is pretty much a ceremonial one, there are perks that go along with the job. Maybe that explains why certain council members fight like heck to keep the position among a few of their favorite colleagues. When you think of the backroom shenanigans, sniping, conniving, whining, petty allegations, and so on that have gone on over the years... Read More →

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