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Tag Archives | schools

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- John Burroughs High School 1920 West Clark Avenue Burbank June 6, 2015

Ex-Burbank school employee arraigned on sex charges

The bail for former Burbank school employee, Jose Antonio Banuelos Jr., has been raised to $1 million. It happened yesterday in a Burbank court where Banuelos was arraigned. Last Tuesday, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office filed six sex felonies against 28 year-old Banuelos, including two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Banuelos was arrested last Friday after a 17 year-old John Burroughs female student reportedly told Burbank Police about their sexual relationship. The ex-assistant boys baseball coach at Burroughs allegedly began the relationship with the victim... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Suzanne Weerts (l-r) Weerts, State PTA's Vice President for Education, Celia Jaffe. Tina McDermott at conference in Sacramento May 2, 2015

Shout-out to two Burbank parents — homework crusaders

It’s perfectly normal for kids to complain about homework. However, homework assignments have become a pain for many parents as well. A  survey sent out by the John Burroughs High School PTA got a lot of complaints from parents about the stress and disruption to family life caused by  heavy loads of homework. Here are some quotes from parents collected in the survey: Parents react to homework load: “Weekends have become so unpleasant because a HUGE chunk of it is used to catch up or get slightly ahead on homework.”... Read More →

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candidates forum red white and blue graphic

Burbank school board candidates at Woodbury U. forum tonight

  The six candidates vying for three seats on the Burbank Board of Education will be front and center this evening at a forum on the Woodbury University campus in Burbank. That forum begins at 7 p.m. in the Woody Cafeteria.  The candidates are Steve Ferguson, Dr. Armond Aghakhanian, Roberta Reynolds, Jesse “Tangk” Tangkhpanya, Greg Sousa, and Vahe Hovanessian. Last month, on January 20, the candidates were quizzed at the League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank forum held at Burbank City Hall.  Some of the ideas and... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Vahe Hovanessian

Attorney Vahe Hovanessian hopes to be elected to the Burbank School Board

Vahe Hovanessian wears a lot of hats. Community activist, volunteer, parent, and practicing attorney are some of them. Still, Hovanessian is out campaigning to convince the voters his experience and ideas are what are needed on the Burbank School Board. Hovanessian says he has a strong commitment to Burbank Unified School District. He attended Burbank schools and has a child in 1st grade. Hovanessian’s answers to the questions I emailed out to most of the school board candidates are below. 1.  What are the biggest problems facing the Burbank School District? And what... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/ Media City G -- Former OSH site at 641 North Victory Boulevard in Burbank new home of a Hobby Lobby store

Controversial Hobby Lobby is opening a Burbank store

Controversial Hobby Lobby is opening a Burbank store in a few weeks. The giant retailer is renovating the site of the recently closed Orchard Supply Hardware at 641 North Victory Boulevard. The family owner company has more than 500 stores nationwide and claims to offer more than 60-thousand crafting and  home decor products. Also, Hobby Lobby admits to mingling the religious beliefs of the co-founders, David and Barbara Green, with its business practices A decision that has resulted in the company bringing a case before the U.S. Supreme... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/ Media City G -- Burbank City Council meeting March 5, 2013

Talk of the Town: Measure “S” victory and Burbank primary fallout

Victory for Measure “S” Supporters of Measure “S” in Burbank are celebrating victory. The numbers for Tuesday’s election are out and the improve Burbank schools measure won easily with 4, 053 “Yes” votes — which amounted to 61.45% of the tally. They needed 55% for approval. The $110 million bond will be funded by a property tax of $55 annually per $100,000 assessed value. I cast my ballot in the election at John Burroughs High School over in the 1900 block of Clark Avenue.  I voted... Read More →

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yes on measure s sign in Burbank

Election Day: The fate of Measure “S” to be decided

Measure “S” is on the ballot in Burbank today. The measure would give the Burbank Unified School District Board of Education the go-ahead to issue $110 million in bonds for school upgrades and improvements. Independent citizens oversight and annual audits are part of the provisions.  Measure “S” requires a 55% vote for passage.

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Target logo

Target teams up with “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to give away millions

The giant retailer, Target, has a deal with “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and it could mean thousands for some lucky schools. Target has earmarked $5 million in grants for a slew of elementary and secondary schools recommended by the viewers of  the weekly talk/variety show. Viewers will be required to submit their recommendations through the “Ellen” website and give a “compelling” reason why their school deserves one of the grants to improve its learning environment. Two of the winning schools will appear on the “Ellen” show.... Read More →

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Photo: Megan's Law/Media City Groove -- New photo of Amy Victoria Beck March 2011

New photo of sex offender/ex-Burbank teacher, Amy Beck

As first reported on this blog, convicted sex offender and former Burbank sixth grade teacher, Amy Victoria Beck, is no longer behind bars. Beck was released from state prison on March 20, 2011 after serving “…approximately 8 months…”according to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation official, James W. Symington, III. Back in March of 2010, the former David Starr Jordan Middle School teacher turned herself in to Burbank Police and admitted to having a sexual affair with a 14-year-old male student. Some sort of “special hold” was placed on Beck’s booking... Read More →

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Photo: Pete Souza/White House -- President Obama delivered the State of the Union Address to the nation January 25, 2011

Burbank parents “on cloud nine” after daughter is mentioned in President Obama’s speech

I got an early morning e-mail from my Burbank neighbor, Sam Engel, gushing about last night’s State of the Union Address by President Obama. The economy and jobs were big topics in the president’s speech, but what thrilled Sam and his wife Millie the most  is when Obama pointed to a Denver middle school as an example of innovation and educational reform. The reason, Sam and Millie’s daughter, Kristin Waters, is the former principal of  Bruce Randolph school. Here’s what President Obama had to say about that school’s success story:  “You see, we... Read More →

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Photo: Samantha Appleton/White House -- First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia paint on a cafeteria wall as part of a service project at Stuart Hobson Middle School in DC January 17, 2011

MLK Day: Celebrate by serving others

Today President Obama honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by picking up a brush and helping paint artsy and inspiring characters in the cafeteria of Stuart Hobson Middle School in Washington, DC. Also,  First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, took part in this mentoring project as well.    THE PRESIDENT:  Dr. King obviously had a dream of justice and equality in our society, but he also had a dream of service, that you could be a drum major for service, that you could lead by giving back to our communities.  And... Read More →

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A Burbank parent shares her experience with the system

The new school year is only about a week old , but it already has been an ordeal for some Burbank middle school students and their parents. As I first reported on this blog about a week ago, A Burbank city funded, long-running,  and very successful after school program was axed at David Starr Jordan Middle School, leaving some parents scrambling to find a safe alternative for their children. One parent, I’m keeping her name confidential,  alerted me to the situation in an e-mail and has continued to give me her impressions... Read More →

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City Buzz

A full house at the public forum After all the hoopla, debates, agenda re-writes, and months of delays, the first public forum held by the Burbank Police Commission in recent memory went off with only a few minor glitches. First, additional chairs had to be brought out to accommodate the crowd that showed up last Wednesday night, August 18, in the Community Room of the Community Services Building on Third Street, across from the Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters. More than 100 people were packed into the Community Room. A large number... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G-- David Starr Jordan Middle School, 420 South Mariposa Street in Burbank

City Buzz

City budget cuts terminate after school program Monday, August 16, is back to school day for the Burbank Unified School District. For some David Starr Jordan Middle School students and their parents, there might be more than the usual degree of anxiety that goes along with the first week of school. Recently, I got an e-mail from a very upset parent who felt blindsided, earlier this month, when notified about the dumping of an after school program at Jordan: “I only found out when we picked up the back to school packet.... Read More →

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Burbank City Buzz

Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank Controversial court ruling involving one of the lawsuits swirling around the Burbank PD A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge dismissed Burbank Police Officer Jamal Childs as a plaintiff from that explosive discrimination lawsuit filed against the Burbank PD last May by five of its minority officers. On Thursday, March 18, Judge Joanne O’Donnell ruled the statute of limitations had expired on Childs’ claim. Hmm, Childs has been a Burbank Police officer for five years. It’s not like his complaints date back 20 years or so. Well no... Read More →

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$5 million gift arrives in the mail

  Cal State Northridge got a gift recently that probably had officials dancing with glee. An anonymous donor sent the state university a cashier’s check for $5 million in the regular mail! The only request: that the funds be used for scholarships and student assistance. University President Dr. Jolene Koester said, “… we pledge to be good stewards of these funds.” The multi-million dollar gift will create the Scottsdale Endowment and will target high-achieving incoming freshmen. The endowment got its name from the location of the bank that issued the check, Scottsdale, Arizona.... Read More →

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Caltech scores high on list of best American colleges

Caltech founded in 1891 The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena is small but mighty.  Caltech, a major research institution, has a student body of about three thousand. U.S. News & World Report has come out with its 25th annual best American colleges lists for 2009 and Caltech rated very high. In the rankings of best national colleges for undergraduate studies Harvard topped the list at number one, followed by Princeton in second and Yale in third. MIT and Stanford tied for fourth, while Caltech and the University of Pennsylvania tied... Read More →

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UCLA gets millions for study of costume design

Newspaper publisher and philanthropist David C. Copley has donated $6 million to endow a chair and center for costume design at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. The center will be the first of its kind anywhere. Its goal will be to become the world leader in the academic study of costume design, preparing graduates for a career and artistic success, through a curriculum that balances theory, practical experience, and mentorship. From Philanthropy News Digest

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