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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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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters at Third Street and Orange Grove Avenue in Downtown Burbank

City Buzz: Issues in Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters

There are growing concerns about some simmering issues in the Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters. This time around they do not involve the police mess — which still hangs over the BPD.  Instead, one of the issues deals with the building itself and the other, tension between the two city departments which share the building: police and fire. Roaches in the building: First, the trouble-plagued headquarters. It was supposed to be a $30 million state-of-the-art facility when it opened in 1998. However, it soon became clear... Read More →

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campaign candidate clip art

City Buzz: First official Burbank City Council candidate for 2015

Burbank has been buzzing for some time about the two city council seats on next year’s election ballot. Several potential candidates have been talking about launching campaigns in 2015 for city council, however, none had officially announced until today. Burbank Planning Board member/small business owner, Chris Rizzotti, officially announced his candidacy for the city council on MyBurbank today. In his announcement, Rizzotti who’s a life long resident of the city and the owner of Rizzotti Real Estate, says he’s a good fit for the city council: “Nobody... Read More →

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News rack for The Burbank Leader

City Buzz: Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press controversy

It didn’t take long for readers of the Burbank Leader to react to the ludicrous plan to remove all the paper’s outside news racks from city streets. Glendale News Press readers, who are victims of the same screwball  decision, responded as well.  The uproar prompted a newspaper editorial/weak apology. Here’s the first paragraph. “Some changes went into effect this week relating to the delivery of the Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press that have caused a stir. Some of our loyal readers can’t find their... Read More →

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City Buzz: L.A. takes action to stop runaway production. What about Burbank?

Los Angeles has taken an important step in putting the brakes on runaway production. Will Burbank be next? Yesterday, Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, signed a city ordinance to waive fees for pilot productions in L.A. In a way, this is a no brainer, but it has been a long time in coming for the City of Angels. Garcetti wrote the legislation back when he was a city council member. Garcetti recognized then, the importance of keeping entertainment jobs in the Southland. Here’s what the L.A. mayor says about... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Two students on North Screenland Drive head home from Luther Burbank Middle School Burbank winter 2011

City Buzz: Burbank sidewalk controversy – what’s the solution?

The 1900 block of North Screenland Drive sidewalk controversy has been festering, brewing, and churning for several years. Finding a solution is not going to be easy. Tonight, the Burbank City Council is scheduled to decide whether or not to go forward with the installation of sidewalks on this residential street near Luther Burbank Middle School. The sidewalk project is funded by a Safe Routes to School Grant program, which according to a memo from Burbank Public Works Director, Bonnie Teaford, dated December 7, 2010 is “… designed to improve and... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Street sign Olive Avenue at Lomita Street in Burbank July 29, 2013

City Buzz: Olive Avenue the deadliest street in Burbank?

There’s always some danger when you cross a busy street, however, Olive Avenue may be the deadliest street for pedestrians in Burbank. Last night, a man was hit and killed at Olive Avenue near Naomi Street. The fatal accident reportedly happened around 10:15 p.m. The victim was in one of the eastbound lanes when he was struck by a car, according to myburbank. An investigation is still underway into another serious traffic accident on the same busy street last Thursday, July 25. Two women were seriously injured when... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- The new reusable bag from Smart & Final Extra at 1855 West Glenoaks Boulevard, Glendale

City Buzz: Plastic carryout bags banned in Glendale. Is Burbank next?

Forget your reusable grocery bag and you’re going to pay extra to get a carryout sack for your purchases at some retailers in nearby Glendale now. It’s part of a strict plastic bag ban ordinance, which is being rolled out in two stages. The new ordinance is listed on the City of Glendale website. Here’s the first phase: “Beginning July 1, 2013 plastic carryout bags will no longer be available at farmer’s markets, larger grocers and food marts with gross annual sales of $2,000,000 or more... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Wheelchair bound Burbank resident, Penny Proctor, gave a passion speech to the city council about the hardships facing some citizens due to the failure of Measure "S" in the recent General Election April 16, 2013

City Buzz: New Burbank City Council, traffic commission, and controversy over Measure “S”

City council reorganization meeting Important meeting at Burbank City Hall tomorrow morning. Officially, it is called the reorganization of the city council. To many voters, activists, and concerned citizens it is considered a changing of the guard and the ushering in of a new era in local government. The leader of the old guard, 20-year veteran City Councilman/Mayor, Dave Golonski, will be stepping down and after being voted out in the General Election, earlier this month. Newly-elected City Councilman, Bob Frutos, will be sworn in along with re-elected members, Dr.... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G-- Burbank City Clerk Zizette Mullins at city hall on Election Night April 9, 2013

City Buzz: Voters have spoken, change comes to Burbank

2013 election results 2013 will be remembered as the year Burbank residents got fed up with the status quo, opened up those mail-in ballot packets from the City Clerk’s Office, and voted by the thousands for change in the Media City. Historic. Decisive. Profound. The meaning of the voters’ decision in both the primary and general elections will be felt throughout B-town for a long, long time. In case anyone thought the election of newcomer Bob Frutos in last February’s primary, with more than 50% of the vote, over three... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank Public Information Officer, Drew Sugars, answered questions about the primary election ballot count process at the city council meeting, March 12, 2013

City Buzz: Spring Egg-Stravaganza gets a reprieve and the Burbank election revamp

Spring Egg-Stravaganza back on!   It’s not too often this Burbank City Council ignores the advice of a city department head — but it happened at last night’s council meeting during the discussion of the Spring Egg-Stravaganza. The event has been hotly debated since it got scrapped last year by the heartless staffers in the Park, Recreation and Community Services Department — allegedly due to a shortfall in funds and some dribble about too many out-of-towners, under the age of 10,  showing up to hobnob with... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis MediaCity G -- Sorting and verifying of ballots took place in a back room of the city clerk's office on Election Night Burbank February 26, 2013

City Buzz: Frutos wins big in primary, run-off surprises, and ballot count debacle

Burbank voters have spoken loud and clear. What did they demand? Change on the Burbank City Council, where an entrenched council majority, led by 20-year- incumbent, Dave Golonski, is now on shaky ground. The reason, the election of Bob Frutos, who was the only candidate to win a seat on the council in Tuesday’s Primary Nominating Election. A candidate must receive 50 percent plus one of the votes in order to win the election. The three incumbents, Mayor Dave Golonski, and Councilmen Jess Talamantes and David... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G - Char Tabet Burbank School Board candidate sign on West Olive Avenue Burbank January 14, 2013

City Buzz: Wholesale Giant fire, campaign 2013, and the Burbank Leader

Mystery surrounding Burbank fire So what’s up with the Wholesale Giant fire investigation? You might remember, a big blaze destroyed Wholesale Giant Inc, a tobacco and cigarette business, at 4410 West Victory Boulevard. The structure was packed with merchandise. The fire raged for hours on the morning of November 9, 2012. The day after, I took the photo (above) of a Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent on scene. Burbank Fire Captain Peter Hendrickson told me the fire was “suspicious” and that’s why the Feds had been... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank town hall meeting sign at David Starr Jordan Middle School at 420 South Mariposa Street in Burbank November 27, 2012

City Buzz: Town hall meetings in Burbank

A short series of Burbank town hall meetings got off to a slow start last night with the first one taking place at David Starr Jordan Middle School over on South Mariposa Street. I arrived at around 6:30 p.m. and found a small gathering of city officials and a few residents chatting out front near a couple of food trucks. The town hall meeting got underway around 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. A group of city hall staffers and  other B-town employees sat in one side section. In the... Read More →

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red car graphic 2

City Buzz: Holiday tips, burglaries, and arrests in Burbank

  The Thanksgiving feast is just getting underway, but holiday shopping is on the minds of many. As the stores, shops, and malls prepare for the kick-off of the Christmas shopping season — and some bargain hunters get ready to head out hunting for those Black Friday specials — the Burbank Police Department has some holiday safety tips: like do not wear expensive jewelry, or carry large sums of cash, and remember, do not leave packages and valuables in plain sight in your vehicle — put them in... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Payment drop off box in the parking lot of Burbank Water and Power 164 West Magnolia Boulevard Burbank

City Buzz: Burbank Water and Power payment snafus

Have you checked your Burbank Water and Power bill –CAREFULLY – lately? Some folks have done so and made some surprising discoveries. I’m hearing some residents have noticed monthly utility bills are now $100 more since the installation of those so-called and very controversial smart meters. Also last month, a senior citizen, on a fixed income, was hit with a bill from BWP of more than $500!  This feisty senior called up customer service to get an explanation. It turned out an error of more than $200 had been made... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Councilman/Mayor Dave Golonski at city council meeting in Burbank September 18, 2012

City Buzz: Turmoil at Burbank City Hall

  I don’t know a delicate way to put this so I’ll just bottom line it and ask, “… what the blank is going on at Burbank City Hall?” Lately,  a lot of the decisions and actions by city officials have been very confusing or down right weird. Let’s start with City Manager Mike Flad. On his way out the door, Flad slammed the brakes on what appeared to be a hasty decision to search for a permanent police chief. Flad is making the dash to South Gate to fill... Read More →

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Photo: Councilman Dr. David Gordon at Burbank City Council meeting March 20, 2012

City Buzz

Long time activist and political strategist, Steve Ferguson, has kicked off his campaign for a seat on the Burbank School Board. Ferguson first announced his intentions publicly on this blog last month, following his controversial defeat for the appointment by the Burbank Board of Education to fill the remaining term of Debbie Kukta — who stepped down to take the interim position of city treasurer. That appointment went to Burbank Police Lieutenant, John Dilibert. That sparked a lot of chatter in B-town; some felt Ferguson was the best... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank Police Officer Cindy Guillen-Gomez at Fire Service Day/National Police Week celebration in Burbank May 12, 2012

Updated-City Buzz

Lawsuit trial of Burbank police officer in hands of the jury A Downtown Los Angeles jury is expected to continue deliberating today in the lawsuit trial of Burbank Police Officer Cindy Guillen-Gomez. This is the third trial in the past few months  involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the BPD brought by a current or former member of the force. Guillen-Gomez’s trial got underway last week. Judge Joanne O’Donnell trimmed the allegations in the suit, originally filed back in May of 2009, to pregnancy discrimination and retaliation,... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank Recycle Center 500 South Flower Street Burbank

City Buzz

New operator for Burbank Recycle Center After heated debate at its meeting Tuesday, December 6, the Burbank City Council voted to assign the operating agreement for the controversial  Burbank Recycle Center to Burrtec Waste Industries. The vote was 4-1 with Councilman, Dr. David Gordon, strongly opposing the arrangement. The operation of the Burbank Recycle Center has been under scrutiny for some time and most recently when city officials decided to drop private contractor, Burbank  Recycling, Inc (BRI).  BRI is facing allegations from the state for allegedly cashing in out-of-state beverage containers under the California recycling plan. It was BRI... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank Water and Power General Manager Ron Davis took notes during the testimony of residents opposed to the smart meters at the Burbank City Council November 15, 2011

City Buzz

More car thefts and burglaries in Burbank In the latest crime report from Burbank Police Officer Joshua Kendrick, only a handful of residential and business burglaries are listed for the past couple of weeks, the bad news — a lot of vehicle thefts and break-ins. The report, released yesterday, mentioned some 21 vehicle crimes — all happened between November 11 and 21, 2011. During that time, thieves made-off with electronics, work tools, money, 3rd row seats, tailgates, and assorted other items. We’re heading into the holiday season when criminals hit store and shopping center parking... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Camphor trees along Keystone Street near Verdugo Avenue near John Burroughs High chool stadium project Burbank July 15, 2011

City Buzz

Burbank police commissioner resigns The Burbank Police Commission’s most controversial and perhaps its most dedicated member is stepping down at the end of tomorrow’s police commission meeting. Jim Etter sent a letter of resignation late yesterday to Police Commission Chair, Elise Stearns-Niesen, Mayor/City Council member, Jess Talamantes, Burbank Police Chief and Deputy Chief, Scott LaChasse and Tom Angel. No, Etter is not going into hiding or moving out of town as some of his detractors would prefer. At the request of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Etter has accepted an appointment to the... Read More →

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