Long before Portos

Magnolia and Hollywood Way, 1928.


Betty Garry at Magnolia Park, Burbank, California, 1928

(click 2x to enlarge)

This picture of local lovely Betty Garry was taken by Earl White. Earl ran a local newspaper called The Burbank Tribune, and was also the famous “Earl” of Camp Earl-Anna. White was a major promoter — the major promoter — of Magnolia Park.

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So what happened to this story in their archives?

The claim from the editor of the Leader that they have a policy of never removing news stories from their online archive got us to thinking.

Remember this one from a few years ago? We’ll leave it to Fronnie to tell the story because she does a better job. We won’t repeat the details here either by name because we’re not going to be like Evans and try to revive them.

So where’s the Leader’s version? They must have covered it, but where’s the evidence in their archive? Can anyone find it, because we can’t.




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So why is Evans taking pot shots at this guy? Ah, but there’s more going on here

Wow. Dan Evans’ column this weekend is just un-fucking-believable. Talk about adding insult to injury. Does his work ever get reviewed by lawyers?

Now here’s a little backstory to it that Evans is not talking about right now, and probably won’t. A couple of months ago we heard from an attorney back East in a completely unconnected complaint that he was trying like hell to get the Times to remove a false and potentially libelous (and obviously harmful) story that the News Press had insisted on keeping online. He named Evans specifically as a major impediment.

We heard the attorney’s side of the story and compared it to the original version as printed, and felt that the guy was correct. The GPD had obviously acted improperly in this old Montrose bar incident, and had in fact been shown to be lying about what transpired. It was an alcohol related arrest that went nowhere, legally, and so it was baffling that Evans was keeping it around. The story made the guy look bad and there was no good reason for it being kept online for so long.

The attorney told us that he was also considering suing the Times for this obvious and irrational bad faith, not just because of the basic unfairness, but because the Times policy about covering such stories was uneven. Some simple arrests get written up while others don’t? And there’s never any proper follow up when the charges end up going nowhere?

We informed this attorney that Evans and the Times did indeed have a history of removing stories when and if they happen to embarrass or annoy other parties, particularly those who are well-connected in town. Like how many existing Leader stories are there right now about the Cusumano’s $100 property sale on Olive?

At one time there were several. Somebody though later on took them down and it certainly wasn’t us. In fact, several years ago someone who also wasn’t us went through and completely vetted the Leader’s archive of a number of old stories of major notoriety.

For instance, they left old Will Rogers columns online, but got rid of the contemporaneous news pieces about constitutional issues and the Burbank police department? Just why was that? Remember all those stories about how the cops were accused of targeting the Iraq war protesters and their supporters over on Burbank Blvd and SF? Try to find them now.

So today Evans is going after this new guy for complaining about other old and misleading news articles being stored online. And notice how he makes things worse for him!

For the last two years, I have taught a journalism class at USC. Most of my students are undergraduate sophomores, too young to drink, but not too young to seriously damage their reputation online.

Why? Because, as I tell them, the Internet is written in ink.

Here’s a case example: In January 2013, Glendale police arrested Robert DeBrino, a retired New York City cop, on suspicion of driving under the influence. When officers found the movie producer in his motionless Corvette, his head was slumped to the side and his pants unzipped.

A witness, according to police reports and court records, said the then 61-year-old had been stumbling around his vehicle before getting inside and falling asleep.

DeBrino told the officers he had driven from nearby Glendale Studios, and admitted hitting a pole with the car as well as taking medication. The methadone and Adderall were properly prescribed, he said, taken for pain after being shot in the stomach and knee while on duty with the NYPD.

Though DeBrino tested negative for alcohol, Glendale police arrested him after he failed a field sobriety test, citing and releasing him a few hours later. About a day later, we wrote a story about the incident, complete with a Nick Nolte-esque mug shot.

Most of the time, that’s the end for us. We have neither the time, the resources, nor the inclination to follow up on DUI cases. Frankly, we don’t care, and we don’t believe our readers do either.

Is that the criteria for Evans? Whether or not he nor anyone else cares? That’s a new one — what an asshole. Welcome to modern commercial journalism folks. Whatever happened to journalistic integrity, or — heaven forbid — a sense of accuracy? Don’t accuse us of the same– because we don’t use the big guns to go after the little guy, and we have removed items when shown to be misleading. We also go out of our way to defend the police-accused all the time; unlike the Leader/New Press, which we have shown will many times print the departmental PR intact and unexamined.

Keep in mind though that this is the same Editor Dan Evans who got pissed at us last fall when we nailed him on an item or two, and then immediately made several false and slanderous statements about all of us around here being bigoted racists, or something like that.

And, how we laughed at teenagers dying in car accidents when we accused the media and the adults of being completely irresponsible in their treatment of the event. Then he thought he’d rub it in by naming names. So he’s got an agenda here:

Six months later, DeBrino’s attorney gave me a call asking that the piece be taken down. Why? Because prosecutors had rejected the case — a fact we were able to confirm. The whole affair hadn’t resulted even in a traffic citation, the lawyer pleaded, but the negative publicity falling on DeBrino had caused him shame and loss of work.

We updated the story to note no charges had been filed. However, under our long-standing policy, the story was not removed. We only put in additional information or note a correction. Again, we moved on.

Just like that? Don’t you love his arrogant, fuck-you attitude here? It gets worse:

Earlier this month, DeBrino’s attorney sent a letter to the Los Angeles Times’ big boss, Eddy Hartenstein, asking again the piece be taken down. This filtered down to me, as the publisher really has better things to do.

Again, a falsehood. Any time an outside attorney makes a demand threat to your boss it’s a BIG deal. Nothing get’s filtered down. So Evans is clearly lying here about what really happened with this letter internally. He’s also idiotically treating it like a joke — in a published opinion column no less! — which won’t go well for him personally if this same demand letter ever finds it way to court.

And what a phony sense of personal integrity he’s trying to posit:

Trying to figure out what had changed, I reached out to DeBrino via his various legal advisers and assistants. It’s a weird story.

DeBrino, in a phone conversation this week, says he wasn’t guilty that night of anything except being tired. He had been up for more than 24 hours, something that explained his disheveled appearance. The case felt like a set up, he said, providing professional pain to match his physical ailments.

It’s hard to say what causes what, but a check of IMDb shows the only movie on DeBrino’s plate is a flick in preproduction called “Run Like the Devil,” which is supposed to come out sometime this year. The prior listings, both in 2006, were for “Shut Up and Shoot” and a Vin Diesel vehicle called “Find Me Guilty.”

Why the gratuitous slam here? What does this guy’s IMDB page have to do with anything?

Evans is just trying to embarrass him in retaliation for complaining and it’s totally fucked up. We’re not too impressed with Evans’ LinkedIn page either– because for one thing, everyone in New York City knows that going to Columbia J-School is a total waste of money. It’s become a joke. Film school makes more sense.

As we reported when we updated the article a year ago, prosecutors declined the case. But on Jan. 21 of this year, one day prior to when the case would have expired due to the statute of limitations, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office decided to move on the charge.

Why? Because the initial blood test DeBrino submitted in 2013 had not been run for methadone, something he, in both court records and in our interview, acknowledged he took. Results of a second test, called a DRE Scan, were not received by Glendale police until Jan. 9 of this year, according to court records. After confirming the presence of methadone, prosecutors moved to file.

But on July 7, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Phillip Argento dismissed the case, stating that prosecutors and police had simply waited too long. The memories of a defense witness, the only one with first-hand knowledge of DeBrino’s driving faculties that night besides DeBrino, had faded due to the passage of time, Argento ruled, prejudicing the case.

Since the delays were completely the fault of the government, he said, meaning the case could not move forward.

Again, why even bring this up? To make the guy look guiltier still? The claim also makes no sense: if the guy had the authority to take methadone, which he says he did, then why didn’t the cops test him at the time? This whole later-on thing makes no sense, which we suspect is also why the judge dismissed the charges.

What’s the lesson in all this? Well, don’t get arrested. Also, if you’re unjustly accused, you have to fight like hell to deal with the fallout from any publicity or public record attached to the incident.

From reading all the documents I could get my hands on, it looks like the Glendale police acted reasonably. DeBrino looked pretty messed up, admitting taking narcotics, and hit a pole with his car.

However, DeBrino never got the chance to defend himself, and as such, the case was properly dumped.

Will we ever know the full story? Probably not. But since the Internet is forever, the only thing to do is to try and provide more context. Hopefully I’ve done that, because I’m really ready to move on from this one.

Don’t get arrested? Spoken just like a White guy. Lucky him. Maybe we should discuss sometime why Dan Evans the Editor really moved out of Burbank– that’d be a fun one.

But Evans the Editor here hasn’t tried to provide more context to this story, and his oh-so-cool concern to say that he’s ‘moving’ on is just cant. No, because the guy is now threatening legal action through his attorney, and apparently has been for a while, Evans is going out of his way to pile things on and keep his online reputation as sullied as possible.

This Dan Evans really ain’t too bright, is he? He comes off like a vindictive dick. It’s not the first time, either.



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We’ll grant that Miss Magnolia has done more for that sad stretch of hopes and dreams than the old P-BID ever did, but isn’t it about time for her to get back in front of the word processor?

Promotion’s one thing, but is it everything?



We do like the red hair though, which exactly matches some of those sparkling waters they sell all down that lane now, the one they used to call “The New Melrose” back when it was under different leadership.

You know, it’s almost not safe for most guys to go south of Glenoaks any more. What vision of Burbank is this? Between the Protectorates on one side of town and the Vamps on the other we haven’t got a chance. It’s clearly turning into fag-hag country around here and the fun’s quickly running low on the deal.

As to Leno showing up tomorrow on SF: unless there’s more cars like that ’47 Triumph they had last year then exactly what’s the point? This exhibition is bound to be to car shows what Star Wars is to science fiction.

Face it, Burbank always gets the crap. So there’ll probably be a Star Wars car there too. Right?

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50 years ago



What a cool town:

And on Friday, Empire’s actual birthday, the top of the tower will light up with thousands of white, sparkling lights to commemorate the night Warhol gave it the star treatment.


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A worthy endeavor? No, it’s the law

If this op-ed by Carol Cormaci had been written before 1972 she might have a point. But the Serrano Decision makes her look ridiculous, as well as pretty spoiled, if not elitist.

And oh yeah, let’s all have a big boo-hoo for the affluent!

Here’s my two cents: I think it’s a worthy endeavor for the state to try to level the playing field by sending more money to the public schools in poorer areas, assuming that it is well spent once it arrives in their coffers and that the educational outcomes improve. (I haven’t seen much evidence that the additional monies are so far working their magic, but perhaps we need to give it more time.) However, I do have an issue with those who throw darts at the private foundations who are gifted at raising dollars from the local citizenry and then put them to use for the children attending public schools served by those foundations. Especially when, as is the case with our foundation, scholarships are offered to students — including those from out-of-district — who cannot afford the cost to attend the fully-accredited foundation-run summer school at La Cañada High that offers needed course work.

Sorry. Serrano ruled that– specifically– lower-income Huntington Park had to have equal resources to affluent Burbank and Palo Alto. And considering that back then the anti-tax (and proudly unincorporated) La Canada right-wingers were glomming onto Glendale and Pasadena for most of their educational needs this is pretty rich.

They were voting down tax-override elections left and right. That was one of the bitter ironies to Serrano: Burbank had just won a hard-fought tax override election for its own uses, but when Serrano came through right afterwards the extra money went to refusenik districts like nascent, asshole-ville La Canada!

Oh, but we feel your pain! Just because the more affluent people can raise money, please don’t take your town down to our level, right? Hey, life’s not fair we know.

BTW … how many out-of-town scholarships is LC granting for its summer school?

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Pigfuckers, all

What a country. What a pack of total and complete assholes.



These are evil, evil people. Can you imagine being proud of this?



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Yes, unions are just so unprofessional

This kind of makes you wonder what they were threatened with:

A union representing Burbank city attorneys, which was formed last year to seek raises and better pension benefits, has disbanded, citing an inability to represent members without potentially damaging professional relationships at City Hall, records show…

A year after forming, the association sued the city, claiming it forced the employees to pay a portion of their employee retirement contributions, which they argued the city had long ago agreed to cover.

In April, the Burbank City Council, in a unanimous vote with no discussion, imposed terms on the group after negotiations were unsuccessful. The terms included a 3% raise for members in exchange for the employees paying their full employee pension contribution, which is 8% of their salaries.

No discussion? Of course there was– it’s just that they violated the Brown Act by voting this way in silence.

In a letter to City Manager Mark Scott dated July 17, the union’s president, Terry Stevenson, described intentions to dismiss the lawsuit, as well as any complaints with the Public Employees Relations Board, and disband the association.

While the union is proud of the work it’s done for its members, Stevenson wrote, “it has become increasingly clear in the last few months that we can no longer effectively represent the interests of our members without potentially damaging our professional relationships with other members of city management and creating disharmony in the city attorney’s office.”

They didn’t think of this ahead of time, that management might get pissed? But so what if it created disharmony. Too fucking bad.

Labor relations is not a popularity contest. They have what you want, and they ain’t gonna give it to you without a fight.

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So exactly what did the police do here?

Police in riot gear assemble near protestors outside the Republican National Convention in Tampa


Isn’t it funny how the BPD thinks that it’s ok not to tell us anything about this campaign? Or that nobody else even asks?

LAPD And BPD Operation Nets 21 Felony Arrests

Burbank police worked in a cooperative effort with colleagues in the Los Angeles Police Department to focus an operation to combat property crimes in an area of southwestern Burbank and the adjoining city of North Hollywood, directly west of Burbank’s border.

During the evening hours of July 17, Operation Blue Knights II went into motion, with 20 BPD personnel working targets in the southwestern area of Burbank. At the same time, 30 members of the LAPD were focused on areas on their side of the cities’ border, said Burbank Police.

What were they focusing on?

Members of the San Gabriel Valley AB 109 Task Force (Tri-cities Team) also conducted “roll back” checks at additional locations where evidence or stolen property might be located.

“A recent analysis of crime trends in Burbank revealed that property crimes have dominated the crime spectrum for the first half of 2014,” said Sgt. Darin Ryburn of the Burbank Police Department. “Of particular note has been the targeting of unattended motor vehicles for items of value that had been left inside the passenger compartments.”

So did they set up those phony entrapment stings where they leave a key in the ignition, and then pounce on the hapless kid who explores the bait? Apparently they won’t tell us what they did.

Did they suspend all Constitutional rights in that neighborhood?

That kind of sounds more like it. Southwest Burbank is Toluca Lake, btw…

“Crime analysts on Burbank’s border in Los Angeles noticed a similar trend,” he continued. “In an effort to aggressively address this issue, personnel of the Burbank Police Department joined with their Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) colleagues in planning Operation Blue Knights II, the second operation of its kind in the past three months.”

Operation Blue Knights I, conducted in May 2014, resulted in the arrest of 13 felony suspects and the recovery of two firearms.


“The main concept of the operation was to provide heavy deployment of police personnel on each side of the border in their respective cities,” explained Ryburn. “In this way, criminal activity would be suppressed, yet with officers deployed on each side of the border, the criminal element would not be able to merely slip away to the adjoining city.”

So what did they do? Harass everybody? Pull people over without PC?

Featherbed a bunch of overtime?

We love that word “deploy,” too– like they’re a bunch of fucking soldiers out to fight the enemy. How disgusting — but that’s their crazy mentality these days.

Representatives from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Los Angeles County Probation Department assisted the BPD and LAPD.

Operation Blue Knights II netted 21 felony arrests on charges that included narcotics violations, identity theft, violation of restraining orders and included individuals who had been released from custody under the Post-Release Community Supervision program. Four people also were cited for misdemeanors.

What were the misdemeanors? How did they get these people?

Although the multi-agency operation was a “success,” according to police, the BPD reminds Burbank citizens they can help reduce property theft opportunities by locking and securing cars and houses and keeping property out of sight.

What does this have to do with the operation?

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What do you want to bet this guy’s a Republican?

Don’t anyone even try to defend this. You might as well defend those swastikas while you’re at it:

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) – An 80-year-old man who came home to find two burglars said he shot and killed one of them despite her pleas that she was pregnant, but it’s the woman’s alleged accomplice who has been arrested on suspicion of murder, police said.

Police said they would present their case to prosecutors Friday but were still deciding whether to recommend charges against Tom Greer, who told a television station he shot the woman in the back as she fled from his house.

“She says, ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m pregnant – I’m going to have a baby,’ and I shot her anyway,” Greer told KNBC-TV outside his house.

May he rot in hell.

And this is sure a great testimonial to the sanity of our cops these days, isn’t it? They’re deciding what to “recommend”?

This is our fucked-up Republican culture at work. They’ve won.


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