Happy Thanksgiving!

Time to celebrate our Vets!

Speaking of holidays and parades, don’t show this one to the kids:

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No doubt she was raped by Bill Cosby too

This woman will probably get a director’s deal out of the evening.

Here’s why we don’t go to the movies any more. Or go anywhere there’s people under the age of 45. About 90 percent of them are badly behaved narcissists who lack both education and the ability to question anything they’ve ever done.

Man maced at movie theater for asking woman to turn off her phone

LOS ANGELES — A man who asked a woman to turn off her cell phone at a Monday night screening of Mr. Turner was maced in the face following an awkward confrontation, an eyewitness who was sitting nearby tells Mashable.

The American Film Institute screening of the biopic at the TCL Chinese theater in Hollywood had just gotten underway when a man near the back row asked a woman sitting in front of her to turn off her phone, whose screen was visibly glowing.

“He was saying ‘Excuse me sir, could you please turn off your screen'” over and over, the eyewitness tells Mashable (he had apparently mistaken the woman for a man). After repeating himself several times, and without a response, the man then tapped the woman on the shoulder.

The woman reacted angrily to being touched, and “flipped out” on him, the eyewitness said. “She stands up and starts cursing, saying ‘You hit me, you hit me, I’m going to call the police.” She then turned the phone’s flashlight function on and pointed it directly at the man’s face.

Cellphones have turned this world into one badly managed junior high school. And sorry, the younger women are the absolute worst about it. They’ve extended the mean-girl shit to the entire outside world.

The story continues. A Variety commenter adds:

I was at this screening and she was clearly crazy (I was sitting in the same row as the woman but down 10-15 seats). After the guy asked her to put her phone away, she stands up, turns around and starts yelling at him that she’s going to call the police because he assaulted her. She then turned the flashlight app on her phone on and shined it directly in the guys’ face and at other people in the row behind her. Several people repeatedly tell her to turn around and be quiet but she doesn’t. She kept yelling at him and then told him she had mace in her purse and she would use it. This all happened in the back row and by now it was clearly disturbing a large portion of the theater. I saw the guy and he was clearly trying to be courteous and wasn’t being belligerent towards her at all. The weird thing was that she wasn’t just yelling at him but at several people next to him (I got the sense she was trying to bait him into grabbing her phone so she had even more of an excuse to claim victimhood).

After about two minutes of shining her phone in his face, she takes out the mace and continues to threaten him loudly, making sure the whole theater heard her. After a moment she does spray him, even though he is sitting calmly in his seat and she is definitely being the aggressor. At this point several other audience members have already left the theater to get security however after she sprayed him, he jumps out of his seat, screaming his eyes are burning, and leaves the theater. A couple minutes later security comes in and physically removes her from the theater.

Going to a theater these days can be really challenging given people’s obnoxious behavior. And while I don’t condone touching other people, the guy here was just trying to enjoy the movie and this woman just didn’t care about the people around her (this became even more evident when she stands up and starts screaming at him). There is no excuse for her behavior because for a good 5-10 minutes, she disrupted the whole audience from enjoying the film (at one point I actually thought they were going to shut the movie off to resolve this issue). And more surprising was that this happened at a film festival in Hollywood, where you would expect attendees would be on their best behavior.

We’re not. Everyone’s a film maker now. And everyone is so, so talented and so, so cool and smart and attractive.

Here’s more:

Yesterday in a Los Angeles screening room, less than a meter away from me, a woman maced a man in the face for tapping her on the shoulder. 

The incident made the news because it happened during an AFI Fest screening of Mike Leigh’s J.M.W. Turner biography “Mr. Turner.” 

Barely 15 minutes into the film, near the back rows of Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theater 1, a man demanded that a woman sitting in the row in front of him turn off her smartphone. When she didn’t respond, he tapped her on the shoulder. She shouted, “You hit me!” and rose to her feet. 

The man said, “I tapped you!” The woman turned her phone’s blaring bright screen toward the man and others in his row, who were all shouting at her, “Sit down! Shut up!” 

Many others joined the chorus. Since she was slowly panning the phone across the row, she appeared to be filming her supposed assailant and his possible accomplices. She shouted, “I’m calling the police! It’s a good thing I carry mace!”

She went into her bag and brought up a satchel or holster, unbuttoning a flap over the spray nozzle. It was fairly dark in this back area of the theater, but I saw the details because I was sitting two seats to the woman’s right. 

My friend Jennifer, who was sitting next to the woman, was trapped between me and the madness. Slumped in her seat, she made a shield of the jacket she’d been using as a shawl against the movie theater air conditioning. She knew what was coming.

Unbelievably, this author then goes on to defend the woman:

The woman at this screening seemed to think there was nothing wrong with leaving her lighted phone on during a movie. The man who confronted her felt otherwise. Things spiraled out of control from there. I’m sure that the maced man thought he was being reasonable when he first shouted at the woman, “Turn off your phone!” It’s likely that she believed that when he touched her, she had been “hit”: some people draw a hard line at touching when it comes to strangers. Maybe his tap felt like a jab to her. 

In any case, neither was willing to back down. I suspect we’ll see more such incidents in the future.

Like we said, director’s deal. Bad asses are quite in style. The culture loves them.

They’re so smart and so talented and so, so attractive.


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Screenshot 2014-11-26 at 5.41.00 AM

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November 26, 2014 · 3:57 pm

Too bad they didn’t happen to mention that this “rink” is costing the city over $200,000

(click to enlarge)

FireShot Screen Capture #117 - 'showdocument' - www_burbankca_gov_home_showdocument_id=24835


Apparently Dr. Gordon last year tried to find out how much money this phony “Holiday!” ice skating rink downtown was bringing in at the gate. It’s run by some outside concern which specializes in these things, and the news is that they get to keep — from what we can discover — all of the gate receipts and skate rental fees collected.

Gordon was told that this information was not available to him because apparently it’s no one’s business but the company’s. So from what we can figure out — strictly by the # of stated admissions — this itinerant traveling ice ink outfit made over $250,000 minimum last year just from downtown Burbank alone. They have similar operations elsewhere.

It’s not a cheap place to go for local “fun,” either, no matter how many free tickets they give away to the schools as PR. Not everyone can afford it.

But … and here’s the kicker … the City of Burbank last year paid well over $200,000 just to support and subsidize this stupid venue. They’re doing the same thing this year too. And $95,000 of last year’s budgeted amount was specifically designated to pay the company an inducement fee just to come in here and set up (see table above). We also paid most of the other expenses for this damned rink of theirs as well — including the water — but the same company arranges to keep all of the gross income from the operation (!)

Naturally, the latest dipshit article in the Burbank Leader fails to mention this crazy fact. Let’s not sully our little world with politics and negativity, right? Only jerks do that, and it’s so immature we know. So as always in Burbank, what we get around here on these deals is socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor. They get the subsidies and the freebies while the rest of us get to pay the freight.

Remember, this is the city’s money that was collected from the downtown merchants through their PBID taxing authority. That’s why this ridiculous expense was approved by four out of five of our city council members last summer, on a specific agenda item. They had to approve it first.

Pull those Christmas sweaters out of the closet — and some leg warmers, while you’re at it. A temporary skating rink will return to downtown Burbank on Friday with a schedule of special events that includes Ugly Sweater Mondays and ’80s Night Wednesdays.

Thursday Night Fever rounds out the slate of themed skate sessions that will run from 8 to 10 p.m. three nights a week during the rink’s eight-week season.

The rink is located in the parking lot behind Burbank City Hall, on the corner of Third Street and Orange Grove Avenue. It will be open daily through Jan. 19, a full two weeks longer than last year’s inaugural season.

The rink is part of an effort by the Business Improvement District, also known as the Downtown Burbank Partnership, to draw shoppers and diners to the area. Partnership officials hope an extra two weeks will ward off the chill that usually puts post-holiday shopping on ice.

 Nice deal, eh? Snuggle in, Burbank.


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A Teen to Remember

If only we had local news stories like this one. They’d probably be a lot more accurate than the cant-filled sob stories we always end up getting. Anything to trash the current sentiments that surround us.

When in doubt, laugh:

 Dead Teenager Remembered For Great Hand Jobs




GOLDSBORO, NC—Friends, classmates, and loved ones gathered last night at a memorial service in the Westside High School gymnasium to celebrate the life of 17-year-old Brooke Belzer, who, before she died tragically in a car accident last week, was beloved for her bright personality and for giving easily the best hand jobs in the school.

The untimely passing of Belzer, whom mourners remembered as a smart, accommodating teen who loved to laugh, watch movies with friends, and bring male friends to sexual climax with her hand, has left many in the Goldsboro community in a state of shock.

“I can’t believe she’s gone,” said Brian Jennings, a longtime classmate and neighbor. “It’s just so shocking to think that someone as vibrant and full of life as Brooke is gone, and I’ll never see her again. How can that be?”

Added Jennings, “She just rubbed me off in the Hardee’s parking lot last week.”

Belzer, a passenger in the single-car accident, was killed when driver Keith Foley, who survived the wreck with only minor injuries, became distracted and lost control of the vehicle. Belzer was not wearing a seat belt at the time.

Classmates said the field hockey team member was very well-liked by her fellow students, who greatly enjoyed Belzer’s goofy sense of humor, her habit of keeping moisturizer in her purse, and her carefree attitude.

One of Belzer’s oldest and dearest friends, Peter Destasio, delivered a poignant eulogy at Belzer’s memorial service in which he sought to pay tribute to a young woman who was needlessly cut down in the prime of her jerking years.

“She was more than just a girl who gave awesome hand jobs,” said Destasio, who has known Belzer since before she started using both hands. “She was someone who was really eager to learn new things. And she wouldn’t even get mad if you accidently ruined her sweater. In fact, she actually thought that was kind of funny, and looking back on it, I guess it was.”

“But it was her care and attention to detail I’ll miss most,” Destasio continued. “She really took her time and didn’t seem to simply want to get it over with like most girls. Fantastic wrist action. Not too fast, not too rough. Just right.”

Destasio then became overcome with emotion and was unable to continue.

“She just had a smile for everyone,” said junior Douglas Keck, who added that his most cherished memory of Belzer was probably the time they shared behind the bleachers right after last year’s powder-puff game. “And to think how much more she had left to give.”

Continued Keck, “In another six months she would have probably started to use her mouth.”

Those who had known Belzer since she first began giving tug jobs in eighth grade said they will miss watching her grow into a mature young woman with an increasingly impressive repertoire of stroking techniques.

Counselors have been brought in to the school to aid any students who are having trouble coping with the unexpected death of a figure popular in the halls and senior parking lot of Westside High.

“There is a real sense of loss here,” said Sharon Hyerblick, a former English teacher of Belzer’s. “A lot of these kids wish they had spent more time with Brooke while she was alive. I would say the timid freshmen who never even had the chance to receive a handie from Brooke are taking this especially hard.”

As he seeks to soothe the wounded hearts of his school’s students and faculty, Principal Franklin Jones told reporters this week that he hopes the entire Westside High community keeps a memory in their hearts of the talented young girl who seemed to light up the faces of all the boys in the room wherever she would go.

“In her brief time on this earth Brooke touched so many,” Jones said. “She gave so freely of herself and her skills and I’m sure she will be remembered fondly for the rest of our lives. It’s just a shame that this tragedy happened so close to prom.”



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That Wall of Memories

Speaking of which, this also came from Burbank:


Someone needs to write a book about how Van Dyke Parks was ever able get WB to do all he wanted. Talk about a gift for gab.

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So we’re urged now to halve our individual water consumption?

Apparently a number of our single-family homes in Burbank will be having an electronic device of some sort placed on their water lines.

We weren’t aware of any so far having this ability to report back their daily and hourly consumption, but one of those proposed and invasive funtime notifications that they want the BWP to soon send out indicates such an ability:

BWP, through an agreement with WaterSmart Software, will provide mailed Home Water Reports to up to 15,000 residential single family water customers, also known as the test group. The Home Water Reports will contain information on bimonthly water use, a comparison with similarly sized homes, and program promotional information and tips to
reduce water use and monthly bills. A group of 3,600 single family customers that do not receive the reports would comprise the control group against which UCD would measure the success of the program.

The program would also provide online access for the test group customers. The online component includes hourly, daily and weekly water use so that customers can work to reduce their usage before receiving their next bill. In addition, the online component will contain a leak detection module so that customers will know within one to two days when a leak is occurring and can take immediate steps to fix it.

Sounds a little too much like Big Brother time for us. Conservation’s one thing, but this online reporting-back ability can be easily misused. Right now it’s “hi folks!” informational, but when will we be end up being stuck with spot billing, or worse?

There’s also going to be an individualized “Home Water Report” attached to your bill if you’re in the lucky “test group,” which at 15,000 sounds like most of the homes in Burbank. But when you look at the sample they cite, right here, as attached in the council packet for tomorrow night, notice the idealized consumption figure they use. It congratulates the fictional homeowner for consuming only 50 percent of what their thrifty neighbors use.

Why such a wacky amount? Unless you live next door to Ron Davis filling up his pool again, who’s going to be saving this much, at 50 percent? Why the extreme, idealized consumption figure? The other counterexample is even more ridiculous. It’s almost 1/3 of what the “average” resident uses.

So what is this Report “sample” all about? Is it a joke, are they being sarcastic, or is this new savings figure considered to be a reasonable goal?

It obviously comes from some outside company — this sample, and probably the whole online mechanism setup — but why? Just like the house-to-house monitoring ability, the staff report to the council leaves out the big details about their proposed new program.


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How about the actions of the patrol officer in chasing a suspect at high speed for just a traffic violation?

This from the official PR statement about that recent motorcycle accident, as cited in MyBurbank.

This is the same accident btw where we’re supposed to believe that the cop didn’t keep chasing the guy down Riverside Drive, from Buena Vista:

The investigation into this collision is ongoing, so determinations relative to the cause are still pending. Anyone who witnessed the collision, or the driving of the involved motorcycle leading up to the collision, is asked to contact the Burbank Police Department Traffic Bureau at (818) 238-3100.

How about the driving of the involved police officer? What would happen if some witness came forward to talk about how they saw the cop actually chasing the cyclist?

Wonder why they’re not asking if anyone just saw what happened in general? And we wonder again what would happen if someone told a different story about the accident– like there was no pull-off as claimed. That the cop was still chasing the guy and that the guy then ran into a hydrant.

The fact that the BPD is only soliciting certain details about the accident and not others is quite telling. And for heaven’s sake, why does the BPD need witnesses if they already know what happened?

If we were one, and the cop was still chasing the guy as suspected … we certainly wouldn’t let them know!

For what purpose? To be convinced into thinking that we must have been wrong? You’d have to be a fool to come forward with a story that conflicts with the official line. Especially one that suggests police culpability or the possible violation of revised departmental policy on high-speed pursuits.

Look, the guy might have been going fast down Alameda (with the cop NOT behind him to verify it, remember). But he still stopped at the intersection according to the story. So the BPD then proceeds to chase him at high speed in a non-critical situation? For a simple TRAFFIC VIOLATION?

Is this BPD policy now?

No wonder they’re not playing straight about the story. When do they ever on these sketchy things? Does anyone honestly believe that a cop who starts chasing a guy down the street just gives it up after a block or two? That he WOULDN’T keep chasing him down Riverside? With the guy possibly heading for the freeway or out of town?

Grow up, Burbank.

According to the official newspaper PR the BPD does no wrong. And as we said before, about 90 percent of the Burbank population just snuggles into it.




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What’s wrong with this story?

Any Einsteins out there?

A 40-year-old man was killed early Saturday morning after crashing his motorcycle into a hydrant and lightpole in Burbank, officials said.

Around 2:40 a.m., a Burbank police officer patrolling the area of Alameda Avenue and Buena Vista Street noticed a motorcyclist traveling eastbound on Alameda Avenue at a high rate of speed, according to Officer Joshua Kendrick…

The officer turned on his overhead lights, but the motorcyclist took off, heading southbound on Buena Vista Street and turning west onto Riverside Drive while crossing into oncoming traffic lanes.

The officer did not pursue the vehicle due to the high rate of speed, according to Kendrick. When he caught up, he saw that the motorcyclist had struck a hydrant and lightpole on the northwest corner of Riverside Drive and Bob Hope Drive.

Of course he pursued him. He didn’t just happen to later stumble upon the cyclist on his way to some place else at 35 mph. That’s why he “caught up” with him.

In other words, he chased him. How else can you have a “caught up” without a pursuit? The officer did not then, as they call it in the law, abandon pursuit.  The BPD is making up the story that he did so in order to avoid legal liability, but the specific language they use screws it up. They shouldn’t have said on record that he caught up with anybody because you clearly can’t have it both ways.

We wouldn’t be surprised either if what really happened is that the cyclist only sped up after the cop got behind him for a possible stop. In other words, that the Burbank police initiated the pursuit. Happens all the time.

Regardless of who was responsible for the deadly pursuit, a pursuit there was. So unless you’re a mindless BPD and City of Burbank supporter — like about 90 percent of the local population —  there’s no denying this.

Remember the days when real journalism would have ferreted out the true story of a cop chasing a guy into a lightpole late at night? Now it’s just public stenography time with these papers.

Disgustingly irresponsible.



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Film vs. Video

Three cheers for art!

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Congratulations. The Leader just published its single most stupid piece in 25 years

We don’t think we’ve ever read or seen as much stupidity as we have during this last week or two about Bill Cosby.

Regardless of how you feel about the guy (and remember folks, he’s almost 80 years old), it’s hilarious as hell to watch all of these self-righteous types twist themselves into knots trying to explain why it’s ok to immediately convict him in the court of TV opinion … while at the same time also paying lip service to the idea of necessary “evidence.”

Which somehow is a legal fiction only, according to most of these pundits, and has nothing to do with logic and a sense of certainty. It’s a technicality for conviction’s sake only, this idea of facts and evidence.

But this piece here goes One Step Beyond. It’s as mangled, confused and stupid as can be. No wonder modern day journalism is so awful. Just look at the practitioners:

Cosby’s reaction has been to hide behind his lawyers, who dismiss this mass of evidence as mere long-discredited charges. I would ask this: What other 77-year-old man has so many women telling an identical ugly, sordid, traumatic story?

Were Cosby indeed not guilty of such horrifying charges, one has to believe he would be out spending his every waking moment proving his innocence and preparing slander counter-charges to rescue his life and reputation.

Instead, he is going to great lengths to explain why he won’t dignify any of this with a response, clamming up and having his counsel lob threats at the media for potential libel.

Really? Now it’s the media’s fault? If so, come slap the cuffs on me, Mr. Cosby. Take me to court for speaking out about what you will not. But I didn’t have intercourse with any women without their consent. This is what is known as rape, in case the concept is a bit sketchy for you.

No, we’re a bit sketchy about the idea that you don’t need any evidence to make a serious charge like this, only a mass perception of its rightness. It’s a new way of crowdsourcing your brain.

Yes, it’s unimaginable that this is Bill Cosby we’re talking about, long venerated as a pillar of morality. That perception was long his best defense. How could he be a sexual predator when he was such a wholesome husband and father? We were all told to believe the image rather than the reality. And if he got a little nookie on the side, well so what?

But the jig is up. The overwhelming conclusion is that Cosby had an M.O. that he may well have pulled on dozens, if not hundreds, of women. If he did, he should be rotting in prison, not performing his next stand-up gig.

Yes, even if they waited 30, 40 and almost 50 years to make these claims.

Cosby deserves his day in court. However, in order for that day to ever come, he first has to acknowledge the issue. And there is no evidence that he plans to speak out in his own defense any time soon, sowing the seeds of his own destruction.

What court? What could Cosby possibly say that would appease these blustery, irrational scolds? Nothing in the world.

Nobody could. If Jesus suddenly came down and said he was innocent they’d just start going after Jesus. Someone would wire Mary Magdalene for the cops and it’d be all over for the Savior. The Grand Jury would get their own TV show.

Who knows if these things happened? We heard stories for years about Cosby’s on-set trailer, but we never heard that the activities were in any way non-consensual. You’d think that would have come out with all the rumors, no?

And these victims obviously had no agency of their own? Even the one who showed up to his hotel room in her pajamas. Imagine a rich and famous comedian being able to attract women. It’s unheard of! 

And who the hell cares anyway? The guy’s almost 80. Does everyone else think that they have some kind of skin in the game here? People crying themselves to sleep over these stories?

Aside from the allegations surrounding Cosby, what we’ve seen in general over the years is that something crazy happens to many of these sexual accusers as they age. Regret, self-abnegation, religion, morbidity, we don’t know what it is. But the one thing they have in common is that they all turn their fun early selves into objects of shame and repudiation. That explains why they never said anything earlier about these ancient claims — they never would have, because they didn’t feel as bad about it at the time.

What always colors these complaints is that you can easily tell that so many of these older accusers have more hangups now about sexuality than they ever had when they were young. Why is that? They often even regret the great sex that they had! Who’s responsible for this change over the years, and even better, who’s been cultivating it?

This angry, repudiating tendency towards past sexual behavior is also of course driven by the repressive right-wing zeitgeist that surrounds us all, and which is committed to revising the last 100 years in its own image. Among other things, that mid-century free love and easy sex was a big threat to the old order. Being free and easy, it undid the old benefit of possessing money and power. You no longer needed to be rich to get beautiful women, or good sex, and for a few years there (while it lasted!) that was a real pisser to people– especially to those who had missed out on the change. Religion was the least of the problem.

Anyway, since we’re going back in time on Cosby’s supposed antics, why don’t we explore the historical behavior of others?

We can start with the scolds themselves. You know, those holier-than-thou sexual practitioners of yore who are real quick to condemn Bill Cosby. Every fuck you had was wanted?

Are you sure?


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It’s obvious by now that the council improperly discusses regular agenda items in closed session

And then comes to a conclusion about them outside of the public view.

Here’s a good example. Although we agree with the council’s decision this week to allow the Emanu El daycare center to expand off of Glenoaks, there’s no doubt by now that they had already come to a consensus about this issue during an earlier closed session.

How can you tell? It’s easy. Whenever you see them suddenly fall into line 5-0 on a controversial issue that they were once all over the place about — and moreover, completely overturn an earlier decision from elsewhere — you can be damned sure that Albano and staff led them into this agreement in private.

We saw the same thing a few months ago with the Castleman gates. It took the council about 30 seconds to come to a unanimous decision about an issue that had gone back and forth for years. And then so matter-of-fact agreeably, like it was the most obvious thing in the world to allow that group of neighborhood bullies their gates! It doesn’t take a legal scholar to figure out that these quick agreements (and reversals) are the result of much behind-the-scenes lobbying from staff.

No? Then where else are they talking about them? It’s certainly not in front of the rest of us. At least not for very long.

The problem with a secretly garnered consensus is that the Brown Act does not allow every potential legal matter in the city to be shoved into closed session. That’s because the public is entitled to know the thinking process that lies behind their official decisions. The list of such allowable exemptions to this rule is very short. Albano though seems to think that if an agenda item involves any legal advice at all from her — such as, on Bethany, a possible violation of the Temple’s religious rights — then she can always hide the discussion in closed session.

So what goes into these secret debates and advice sessions? What exactly did the council hear from staff that made their Castleman and Bethany decisions so assured? And how often do these secret discussions about regular agenda items occur?

The public deserves to know all about what went into these official council actions of late — especially the Temple’s unhappy neighbors.

One thing we think would be fun about having Will Rogers on the council is that we doubt he’d be so agreeably blind to this kind of secrecy. Not so easily cowed as Gordon, and savvy to these goings-on for years, we suspect he’d take Albano on about these illegal meetings. And in public.

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Cosby show outtakes revealed for first time

Even though it’s just been cancelled, one of our better sources in the studios got a hold of some of the outtakes from that new Cosby show that was being planned by NBC.

Lab security obviously isn’t what it used to be, what with all that release print business suddenly disappearing.

Apparently they were working on it up until the every end…



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Because you certainly don’t want to say bad things about our landlords

Every few months during this upcoming election season we’re going to be reviewing the monthly non-actions of our local “Landlord-Tenant Commission.” So right now — just for fun — we thought we’d repeat this ominous warning from them about how the public speakers during their oral communications time period are not allowed to be “impertinent.”

Clearly, this means that you cannot complain too directly about how your landlord has been screwing you over, or else. Notice the veiled threat in the next sentence too about not being “boisterous” under the law either, whatever that word means. And keep in mind that this is the only Burbank board or commission which carries such a stressed warning to the public about acceptable behavior:

During this portion of the agenda, any person may address the Commission on any matter concerning the Commission’s business or on any matter which is on the agenda. If you wish to speak during this portion of the agenda, please give as much information as necessary to state your concern. The Commission requests that you observe the order and decorum of our meeting location and that you refrain from making personal, impertinent, or slanderous remarks. Boisterous and disruptive behavior while the Commission is in session is a violation of our Municipal Code and any person who engages in such conduct can be ordered to leave by the Chairperson. Your participation in the Landlord-Tenant Commission meeting is welcome and your courtesy will be appreciated.

Guess who this official keep-it-down policy favors? It’s certainly not the angry tenants. Our Burbank landlords can raise your rent all they want, but don’t you dare “slander” them to a governing body.

Speaking of which, look how long ago this old discussion was:

Council considers rent control

March 02, 2002

Laura Sturza

CIVIC CENTER — City Council members are voicing objections to rent control as a way to rein in Burbank’s housing prices. “I’ve heard horror stories about rent control,” Councilwoman Stacey Murphy said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“There’s always ways for landlords to go in a back door, to say they’re doing capital improvements and get it back that way. And there’s just too much of a tendency for slumlords.”

Burbank’s biggest housing challenge is a lack of affordable, large units for low-income renters, Redevelopment and Housing Manager Susan Evans said.

Alternatives to rent control will be considered in the coming months. One option would be the formation of a Housing Task Force made up of community members and housing professionals. The group would review issues pertaining to affordable housing and act as a planning arm.

A second possibility would be to expand the city’s five-member Landlord/Tenant Commission, which acts as a mediator between renters and owners.

In addition, the city will be looking at Glendale’s housing model, at just-cause evictions, and at the prospect of setting annual limits on rent increases.

A report on the possible formation of a task force will be brought back to the council by April 2.

Which of course never happened. Where do you think we’re living?

We’re still wondering too about all those rent control “slumlords” that Murphy was talking about. Beverly Hills, Palm Springs, West Hollywood, Tarzana, Pacific Palisades, Woodland Hills? Maybe Berkeley and San Francisco?

Horrible places, yes.

Murphy was also contradicting herself, because if any local landlord can get around rent control through “capital improvements,” then why in the world should they need to neglect their properties because rent control will turn them into unprofitable slums? The “no great brain” that Ted McConkey used to call her is only uttering the standard landlord propaganda about the dangers of rent control.

But Burbank clearly needs rent control and rent stabilization laws because we simply can’t keep going on this way. Fifty and 60 percent of your total monthly income just for housing? When will it end? What’s left over for Whole Foods?

That’s bad enough, this hit on discretionary income, but the rent situation itself is also as artificial as hell. Most of our local landlords are now predators who combine together to gauge their rent increases on a set percentage or dollar amount. It’s become an annual thing for them as well, almost universally without exception, and when they do it all in the same way now (as they all do) then that’s not “the market” talking any more.

None of these new rents are based upon competition between providers, either. If so, why then are they all mostly the same now? They’ve become regular set amounts which have nothing to do with the landlord’s own expenses or investments, which is what kind of used to happen in the pre-1980 days. It’s no longer “Let’s just factor in a reasonable return” time in the landlording industry.

Only chumps do that. If you still have one of these rare old-fashioned types you’re lucky. Nowadays most of our local landlords all look to each other for guidance on their self-mandated increases, if not fix the market directly through mutual agreement on tactics, timing, vacancy disclosures (or lack of), and general policies on increases. Nowadays your rent is based upon whatever is the most that your landlord can get, not what’s reasonable or fair. What other industry does this?

If their mortgages are long paid off, so what? The rent’s still $1800 a month. And with captive consumers who need a place to live — which describes all of Southern California — this puts every possible consideration into their court.

Like what are you going to do if you don’t like it? Move?


Think of it this way. If rent increases were truly based upon this so-called “marketplace” myth that landlords love to throw around whenever they’re challenged, then how come they never go down for the tenant?

When have your landlords ever lowered the rent on you? Even in times of increased vacancies and lowered economic expectations your rents either stay the same or they go up slightly. Even if the unit next door is lowered in price because it’s been on the market for more than a month, which is rare, why didn’t yours with the same configuration go down too?

That’s some “market,” eh? This never-goes-down behavior just proves that modern landlording is a rigged game propped up by lies and manipulation, and abetted by the elected officials who we insist on putting into power all the time. But you know, things can change.

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It’s been nice


A hundred year run isn’t so bad. There’s no point to it any more though.

Kodak sales of motion picture film have declined by 96 percent over the last 10 years, due to the conversion of digital film.

Hollywood studios stepped up to keep motion film in production. In July, several studios agreed to buy enough movie film from Kodak to keep the plant open. Conboy said that wasn’t enough to help the ailing industry.

“Kodak has sold only 10 percent of the motion picture film that it hoped to sell for calendar year 2014, way behind plan. Here’s a case of a company looking to cut costs. From my understanding, only one of those studios has actually signed on to that deal,” Conboy said.

Studios? They still have those?

Oh yeah. Like Hasbro and stuff.


Yeah, those are gone too.


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