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Tag Archives | controversies

Oscar Sunday: Awards, Chris Rock, and diversity controversy

The curtain will go up in a few hours on the 88th Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Host Chris Rock is expected to, ah, rock the house — and he will have plenty of material with the controversy about the lack of diversity in Hollywood hanging over the glam event. Here’s more on the controversy  from ABC News and why it matters on Hollywood’s biggest night. The list of nominees here. More on the Oscars on the Hollywood Reporter. Plenty of Oscar... 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 -- The Great Indoors site 1301 North Victory Place Burbank February 10, 2015

Burbank Walmart case headed back to court next week

Walmart is making good on its plans to continue the legal fight to open one of its mega-stores in Burbank. Oral arguments for the case are set for next Thursday, February 26, in the Second District Court of Appeals in Downtown Los Angeles. The retail giant is appealing a decision by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge, Allan J. Goodman, back in September of 2013, which ordered the city of Burbank to rescind building permits issued to Walmart for the site of the old Great Indoors at 1301... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Council candidate Chris Rizzotti defended himself against anti-gay accusations at the Burbank City Council meeting February 3, 2015

The Burbank primary, Chris Rizzotti, and that anti-gay controversy

It seems to happen like clockwork. Just as the ballots go out and shortly before Election Day, out of nowhere ugly charges are dumped on a candidate. As we head into the final days of the 2015 campaign for the Burbank Primary Election on February 24, 2015, city council candidate/Burbank Planning Board vice-chair, Chris Rizzotti, is battling anti-gay accusations. At the Burbank City Council meeting last night, a number of Rizzotti supporters spoke up for his character and what they described as his lack of bias against anyone for their race,... 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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Joan Rivers publicity photo

Web Buzz: Update on Joan Rivers’ death controversy

The web has been buzzing for days with wild reports about circumstances surrounding the shocking death of legendary comic, Joan Rivers, last month. Now some of the big media players have followed up on those reports, one of them is CNN.  Not only is CNN reporting that Rivers’ personal physician was there during the comedienne’s scheduled endoscopy for a throat ailment, but it has identified that doctor as Manhattan’s Dr. Gwen Korovin — considered the nose, ear, and throat doctor to the stars. Also,... 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

Talk of the Town: Burbank mayor selection

Some issues, like the debate over the selection of Burbank’s mayor, never seem to die. It frequently comes up in the spring when a new mayor is picked by the city council members. In the past, there have been some ugly episodes with certain council members being shut out of the rotation for mayor. Dr. David Gordon has been passed over several times for the position, which is mostly ceremonial. Last May, following outrage and pressure from the public and media, Gordon was voted in Read More →

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Los Angeles Clippers logo

Updated:Several sponsors drop the L.A. Clippers in light of Sterling debacle

  UPDATED: By the end of the day, the list of major advertisers cutting ties with the Los Angeles Clippers had grown to more than a dozen — including heavyweights like Sprint, Burger King and Samsung. The L.A. Clippers should be focused on tomorrow’s crucial NBA play-off game against the San Francisco Warriors, but the Sterling controversy is a major distraction. Fallout and outrage are growing over audio recordings on two websites allegedly of Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, making racist comments. Today, several sponsors dropped the... 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: 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 -- Site of proposed Walmart 1301 North Victory Place at the Empire Center in Burbank

Judge slams the brakes on controversial Walmart project in Burbank

In a move that has angered some while prompting others to cheer, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction halting Walmart’s efforts to develop the old site of The Great Indoors on North Victory Place at the Empire Center in Burbank. Judge Robert O’Brien’s order, handed down Thursday August 23, stops the retail giant’s renovation of the site and puts on hold the city’s building permits issued to Walmart. Judge O’Brien reportedly ruled that during a recent hearing the city did not show  the project would... Read More →

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Talk of the Town: School board appointment controversy

A lot of chatter  in B-town and on the Internet about the appointment of Burbank Police Lieutenant, John Dilibert, as an interim school board member — to complete the term of Debbie Kukta — who recently stepped down to take the interim position of city treasurer. Lt. Dilibert narrowly won out over former Park, Recreation, Community Services board member/chair and political strategist, Steve Ferguson. Lt. Dilibert, 48, has served on a number of community and private boards and committees– including an interim term on the Burbank Unified School District Board... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Site of proposed Walmart 1301 North Victory Place at the Empire Center in Burbank

Burbank City Council vote on Walmart — was it fixed?

The Burbank Walmart controversy just keeps growing. Now there are questions about the fairness of that quickie vote taken by the Burbank City Council at its  February 21 meeting, which cleared the way for Walmart to get the permits it will probably  need to renovate the site of The Great Indoors out at the Empire Center.  Despite  protests and hours of emotional speeches by opponents of the project, the council voted 4-to-1 to accept a staff report that dismissed all those protests and concerns.  The lone “no” vote came from Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy. Last night, anti-Walmart forces returned to... 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 -- The future site of a Walmart 1301 North Victory Place in the Empire Center Burbank

Burbank, Walmart, and Black Friday violence

 Burbank is getting a Walmart with dirt cheap prices, questionable labor practices, and the retailer’s notorious Black Friday culture. Last month at the Empire Center, the future home of Burbank’s Walmart, the giant retailer held a promotional event boasting about the benefits its store will bring to the community. However, Burbank residents must realize that the retailer’s massive advertising campaigns, concerned mainly with profits, are going to attract some of those crazed Black Friday shoppers to the new Walmart in B-town. Violence erupted at several Walmarts across the country yesterday and Thanksgiving night.... 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: -- Folks from the audience stepped to the microphone to ask questions of a guest panel of experts at the So Cal Smart Meter Public Forum in Glendale November 10, 2011

Smart meter controversy returns to the Burbank City Council

Coming off a successful public forum in Glendale, local smart meter opponents are turning their attention to tonight’s Burbank City Council meeting. Last Thursday, the Southern California Smart Meter Public Forum at the Glendale Moose Lodge drew 175-200 people, according to one of the organizers and Burbank resident, Kiku Lani Iwata. Also, Iwata is a member of  Burbank Action,  a group that has been very vocal in its opposition to the smart meters. Burbank Leader column, Ron Kaye, emceed the event which included a panel of guest speakers: health expert... Read More →

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Hollywood clip art

Talk of the Town: Oscar drama

The Oscar telecast is the biggest event in Hollywood. The 84th Academy Awards ceremony is not until next February, but there is already plenty of real life drama surrounding it. The spark in a firestorm of controversy was lit over the weekend by movie director Brett Ratner who made an anti-gay slur and resigned on Monday as the producer of the upcoming Oscar broadcast because of it. The Los Angeles Times website has the back story on that here. Ratner decision to step aside prompted actor/comedian Eddie Murphy to bow... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Stop Walmart in Burbank protesters out front of the site of a planned Walmart at 1301 North victory Place in Burbank October 19, 2011

Walmart event stirs up more controversy

“This is far from over”  — that’s the new battle cry from the Stop Walmart in Burbank group, following last Monday’s controversial community open house by Walmart. Instead of the public forum most folks were anticipating, Walmart offered up a promotional event stocked with tables, charts, PR materials, and smiling Walmart executives. The focus –the new Burbank Walmart and how Walmart REALLY is a good neighbor. The Walmart crew swarmed a ground floor section of the old Great Indoors building delivering the company line to residents, the media, and anyone else who dropped... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- (l-r) Police Commissioner Jim Etter, Chair Bob Frutos, at the Police Commission Community Forum at the Buena Vista Library in Burbank April 20, 2011

City Buzz: BPD lawsuits, investigations, and controversies

BPD cases and lawsuits Where is ex-Burbank Police Chief, Tim Stehr? Some reports say he’s planning to continue on a loooong European vacation for at least three months, perhaps more. On the other hand, a reliable source tells me Stehr is due back in the Southland next weekend. Stehr’s vacation has resulted in an expensive delay in the discrimination and retaliation case of Burbank Police Officer Cindy Guillen-Gomez. The City Attorney’s Office got a stay order one day before Guillen-Gomez’s trial was to start. I’m hearing Stehr’s getaway cost thousands of dollars –maybe as much as $30,000 in... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- President Obama spoke at a town hall meeting in North Carolina April 19, 2011

President Obama releases long form birth certificate

 Today President Obama attempted to put the brakes on the rumor machine pumping out innuendo and cheap shots about his birth certificate. One of the requirements to run for President of the United States is that a candidate has to be a natural born citizen, according to the U.S. Constitution. In 2008, the Obama campaign posted a birth certificate normally sent out by the state of Hawaii. This is the same certificate used to get a driver’s license, is recognized by the Federal Government, and is used in all legal matters. For whatever... Read More →

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Photo: Janet Strong, North Screenland Drive resident, at a city council meeting in Burbank March 8, 2011

Community Views: Sidewalk rift, common decency, and the Burbank City Council

The City Council used to be the judge and jury of fairness for the Burbank community. The neighbors could ask for help with any concern. The council listened and with compassion addressed the issues of everyone fairly. Decisions were made by the council with intelligence. And, careful thought was given to what the people of Burbank needed. People who built this town. It was an honor to live here. Unlike Today’s council — with self righteousness, personal opinions and lacking in professionalism. The March 08, 2011 council meeting shows the... Read More →

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