Speaking of official mascots, what ever happened to this guy?

 

The recent news that our Burbank library had to create a mascot for themselves got us to thinking. What ever happened to this Community Development mascot from a few years ago? Has he finally escaped to the hills or something? If so, watch out.

Even this guy’s special Facebook page is dead. He had a name but we don’t remember what it was. So let’s hope that Chester or Benny or whoever it is now down at the Buena Vista branch doesn’t suffer from the same fate.

Maybe there’s a reason why these local institutions never had a mascot before. Like, people didn’t think we needed them?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Why is the city being asked to pay for the school district’s dishonest business practices?

This is an easy one– although the solution seems to be beyond the reach of those who are most concerned about the problem.

Tonight a local organization that for years has been renting space from the BUSD for their many after-school programs is now asking the city council to help pay for the increased rent.

That’s questionable enough. But here’s the problem: our local school district is breaking the law by demanding such inflated fees.

The California Education Code clearly requires that all school districts have to supply any needed facilities at cost only to bona fide nonprofit organizations. This means no “market rental costs,” no featherbedding, and no overcharging for non-essential personnel.

So what is our BUSD doing?

In order to make extra money, they have given our local nonprofits these huge rent increases to the point of even double-charging for custodial personnel who are already at the job site doing other school-related work!

Now instead of objecting to this illegal practice– or hiring an outside attorney to draft a stiff warning letter on their behalf about the law — these organizations would rather play patty-cake with the schools and then come to the rest of us for a bailout.

The clear answer to them should be “no.” If they want to let the BUSD rip them off so blatantly then that’s their business, and if they’re foolish enough to allow it then they deserve what they get. But we shouldn’t be asked to pay the difference.

Apparently now this one group has cut a special deal with the district to do their own cleanup.

That’s great. But it means the district’s costs to host this outfit during after-school hours are now negligible to nothing. So why isn’t this being reflected in their bill?

We’ve mentioned before that the BUSD has a long history of perfidy here. Between the mid-1970s to mid-1990s the law actually required California school districts to subsidize these nonprofits completely. If they had custodial needs then the schools had to eat it. Too bad. (Woe to those district employees though who ever saw the bills or the phony custodial “assignments” that never were, and then started asking uncomfortable questions…)

But except for a few favored Boy Scout Troops (like from the well-connected Latter Day Saints ward), the BUSD never followed the law here. They ALWAYS charged our nonprofits to use OUR school facilities despite the law being what it was. We also pointed out a while back that this dishonest practice actually resulted in the bankruptcy of our old Burbank Civic Light Opera group. They had been reamed so badly for phony rehearsal charges at Burroughs that they were forced to disband.

18 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Push poll results mean nothing

Right now the Airport director is trying to refute Dr. Gordon’s longtime claim that boosters are cooking the books when it comes to the public’s desire to overdevelop these properties.

One of the director’s contentions is that even though the overwhelming majority of Burbankers don’t want to relocate the terminal at first– nor build a new one– their opinions apparently change quite “dramatically” once they have been “informed” that:

a) The present terminal is over 80 years old,

b) It is not earthquake safe, and

c) The FAA says the runways are unsafe.

Apparently his claim revolves around the public not being aware of these supposedly insoluble problems, but once they are — as if by magic it seems, or perhaps their helpful effort at mass education through polling– then everything changes.

But it’s bogus. For one thing, people may be in favor of a new terminal without it being moved, a possibility that’s not being offered. Instead it’s either this or that.

But the bigger problem is that the Airport paid for a blatantly artificial “push poll” that was designed to promote the very message they’ve been flogging for years– relocation and (let’s face it),eventual expansion –and they use it to contort public opinion.

These questions were not objectively framed. Push polls with follow-up educational messages never are, because their whole aim is to direct public opinion into a specific channel. This use of “but then, did you know…?” type leading questions are always suspicious.

Opinions will always change when you give the questioner a second bite of the apple by allowing them to explain and reframe their questions. It means nothing.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The dumbing down is now official. Glendale has changed the name of its “arts” library

Apparently no one else has noticed this lately. Or cares.

We’ve written extensively about how the City of Glendale has gone out of its way to play down the old “classical music” aspect of their once fine Brand Library.

We’ll try to stay focused here, but they’ve been deliberately ruining it for ideological reasons, and also because they don’t know any better. One librarian was recently quoted in the local newspaper as almost giggling in delight at the idea of bringing in “children’s books” to the site– this despite the existence of a large kids’ library right down the street at Justin and Fifth.

As such, the new name for this shell of a building is now the “Brand Library and Art Center. The old name was different. For years it was known as the “Brand Art and Music Library.”

No, sorry. It’s a big difference. One name consciously denotes an art and music library. The other one does not.

This is their pathway to the future. And just to show that we’re not blowing smoke about our claim of a name change here (we also weren’t the ones who completely ignored talking about the facility’s book and music collection during their recent $9 million restoration gig), here’s part of an old GNP feature article from 12 years ago:

Brand Art and Music Library

TODAY GLENDALE
July 20, 2002

Brand Art and Music Library will hold its annual book sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1601 W. Mountain St. The sale will include art/music books, magazines, records, cassettes, compact discs, slides, prints, books and magazines. Artists and craftspeople will sell their original works in the Recital Hall. All proceeds will…

Yeah.  It was a different name. We don’t make this stuff up. We’re trying to peg exactly when this change occurred, because Google entries not too old still cite the old name. So it wasn’t that long ago.

Check it out.

Now why is this important? It’s because the powers-that-be are clearly watering down the classical music slant up at Brand. And you know why this is? It’s because the people who are running these things have no class any more. They know nothing and they don’t care.

Welcome to this wonderful new century of ours. These are becoming really shitty, lamebrain towns.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Grow up

Who does this stuff appeal to? Nobody ever goes to it.

Some participants in this Saturday’s Burbank On Parade pay homage to films and TV shows of the past in their depictions of the theme “Burbank — City of the Future.”

The parade will kick off at 11 a.m. and travel east along Olive Avenue from Keystone to Lomita streets…

Volunteers with the Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn. have taken the locomotive from this year’s Rose Float and created a smaller design and mounted it onto an all-terrain vehicle, said Robert Symons, chairman of the association’s entry titled “Back to the Future.”

Ah, exactly what does this have to do with Burbank?

Volunteers have tried to mimic the train engine that was used in the movie “Back to the Future, Part III”, Symons said. At the end of the film, the Doc and Marty McFly rev up a locomotive to it top speed to hurl themselves back to the present.

Who knew there was a III? And again, what the hell does it have to do with Burbank?

Oh and it’s her again. She’s back.

This year’s parade features grand marshal Rebecca Mieliwocki, along with government officials, bands, equestrian units, classic vehicles and the Star Cars that have entered two DeLoreans from the “Back to the Future” film series.

Isn’t this painful Establishment kiss-ass old news? Like, from two or three years ago? The glamour’s faded by now we think.

Jeez. Is this the best you’ve got Burbank?

The goal of the parade, said Carey Briggs, president of Burbank on Parade, is to showcase what makes Burbank a great community.

Back to the Future Pt 3. Got it. For us it’s almost cognitive dissonance time in it’s obtuseness, but for these people it’s completely meaningful.

You know, this is just like last week’s failed Hoof and Woof event from those Protectorates (sic) who like to use our local police department as their PR cover. There’s no calling for it– instead, these mickey mouse non-events are all about propping up the sad fetishisms (or lack of a life) of a small group of people.

It’s them doing things for themselves– and then acting like they’re doing the rest of us a big favor. Grow up and get a life you adults, and then keep the rest of us out of it.

BTW, since no one else can or will, we’ll try to create some “Burbank” sense here — a nexus of sorts– the attempt of which seems to be beyond those involved in the parade itself. How can they be comfortable with things when they don’t make sense?

Didn’t anyone sit down beforehand and say, “What the hell does this mean, this movie connection?”

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Why are we bailing out this Texas company? (updated)

Concerned residents who are into rooting out the kind gladhanding business practices that abound in our local government might want to take a good look at an obscure item on tomorrow night’s agenda.

Ostensibly an attempt to re-negotiate an old contract on something they call “biomethane” gas for the BWP power plant (that alone should ring some warning bells), what it really looks like is a blatant effort to preserve a lucrative sales deal for a Texas supplier that got kicked in the behind last year when the California Legislature went out of its way to ban these kind of interstate shipments of “greener” energy on safety grounds.

It’s a complicated issue being made more so by staff’s ridiculously inadequate report. Not only do they gloss over the need for preserving this contract on behalf of the supplier, they don’t even begin to define just what the “replacement” product consists of, or where it’s coming from.

In August of 2011, BWP, as part of its initiative to provide up to 33% of its retail electric load with renewable energy, signed a ten-year agreement with EMRE to buy 1,000 Million British Thermal Units (MMBtu), per day, of biomethane gas. The biomethane gas supplied under the original ten-year agreement was (and continues) to be sourced from existing contracts EMRE has with landfill owners and operators, and from landfill projects in various stages of development at the time. Biomethane gas, as supplied by EMRE, qualifies as a “Compliance Category One” (also referred to as “Bucket One”) product, under the Compliance Plan, adopted by the City of Burbank in connection with the California Renewable Energy Resources Act of 2011.

In March 2012, the California Energy Commission (CEC) suspended the approval of the use of biomethane from new or unfinished projects beyond those already in place, despite the that fact that the CEC had previously approved the use of biomethane as a fuel to create renewable energy. Projects on the books were cancelled for lack of financing. These cancellations created a shortfall in EMRE’s supply portfolio and risked putting EMRE in default under the original agreement.

Who cares if they default? This so called “shortfall” was made necessary by the new law! Apparently these sources of energy have been banned by the state, which would make the contract itself unenforceable. You can no longer bring in what you contracted for. If this out-of-state biomethane has been banned from the pipes then the City of Burbank cannot enforce the old contract. Too bad.

The council needs to look very closely at this strangely explained deal.  Why are we so concerned with propping up a 10-year-long contract like this in order to remedy the legal problems facing an energy supplier from way out of state?

And if the energy supplier is trying to get “locally sourced” biomethane instead as a replacement, why aren’t we being told this by staff? [UPDATE: they're not. Some distant facilities are approved for California shipment, but not many. See below] Apparently Mike Gatto has just recently gotten the PUC to withdraw their ban on most biomethane from the pipes in favor of homegrown — the idea being to help out our own incipient “green” energy producers by not banning all new biomethane completely.

But this brings up another question. Couldn’t we be getting a better deal on homegrown California biomethane from a more local company? Why do we now have to buy our “locally sourced” energy from a Texas middleman?

(We’ve probably just explained staff’s unwillingness to discuss this issue in depth. Or tell us any of the suggestive details. Just think of all the rude follow-up questions that could result! By taking advantage of the new “Gatto” allowances vis a vis the PUC’s relaxation of the rules, for some reason the BWP wants to keep THIS contract going with THIS supplier and ignore all other possible in-state sources.)

**UPDATE**

The revised contract shows that this Texas company will be brokering our bio-energy not from in-state California producers, but from six identified and state-approved sources in Texas, Kansas and Pennsylvania. Most of them are landfills.

Why are we going for this? The original contract had them actually producing the energy from their own facilities. But it turns out that these were never approved of in time for shipment, and so now they’re still being allowed to act as a middleman in a lucrative tradeoff? For non-California energy?

More info here, on page 18..

31 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

God says it’s OK to pray for ourselves

Who writes this stuff?

Let’s end this farce. No more “prayer breakfasts.”

18 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A salute to the Chosen People

 

Some times there can never be enough gratitude. Happy Passover!

 

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Mike Hastings, porn warrior

 

michael-r-hastings

 

Betcha didn’t know that our still-around-town former mayor is a complete crank, did you? Keep this in mind every time you see his name pop up.

(For the record, there were never any “expletives” broadcast here…)

NEWS RELEASE from MORALITY IN MEDIA, Inc.
NEW YORK (February 27, 2004) – Michael R. Hastings, former Mayor of Burbank, Calif., and a [then] member of Morality in Media’s Board of Directors, has some questions seeking personal and corporate clarity from Viacom executive Mel Karmazin:

“Mr. Karmazin: In your testimony before Congress on February 11th, you stated that if ‘certain expletives’ were broadcast on Viacom stations—including the Infinity Broadcasting stations Viacom owns—this would result in ‘appropriate action, up to and including termination … against any Viacom employee who violates this policy.’

“And yet, despite your very public warning, on February 24th a very offensive discussion of sexual activities and organs was aired during the Howard Stern radio program. Infinity radio stations broadcast this sexual content during morning drive time.

“Will you be taking ‘appropriate action’ against Howard Stern – and, if not, why?

“Do you believe that the program content that prompted Clear Channel to pull the plug on Howard Stern was suitable for Viacom owned stations?

“In your testimony, Mr. Karmazin, you apologized for the Justin Timberlake / Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime incident. You called that ‘unacceptable conduct’ – but you haven’t fired Howard Stern? Does that mean that the sexual content on the February 24th Howard Stern program was acceptable under community standards?

“Howard Stern is still on Viacom owned radio stations. Please help me understand: Does this mean that you and Viacom’s shareholders consider the Howard Stern program acceptable for the broadcast media—24 hours a day? I’d really like to know.” Author: MIM 02/27/2004

Hastings was so upset about Janet Jackson’s nipple slip at the Super Bowl that he tried to use it to get Howard Stern (of all people) fired from the public airwaves.

“Hand him ‘dem smelling salts quick, Mizz Fanny. He may not make it tills we’s gets home.”

This folks is a great example of the kind of community nutcases who have driven our Burbank into the ground — over the years they’ve turned this town into more of a laughingstock than it ever was in Laugh-In’s most silly sketches.

Trust them not. Not now, not then, not ever. Keep them away from the reins of power.

Hastings also has a thing up his ass about what he calls pornography, which is almost anything that has to do with sex in action. For years he was on the national board of a legendary crank outfit called (hilariously, and without any sense of irony), “Morality in Media.”

In case you don’t remember them, they got famous in the late 1970s for trying to pull stunts like this:

Morality in Media had petitioned the FCC to deny renewal of WGBH for broadcasting a number of programs including an “unidentified installment of the Masterpiece Theatre series,” which contained all seven of Carlin’s filthy words; several episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which included “vulgarity, nudity, and sacrilege”; and a program entitled Rock Follies, which contained “obscenities” such as “shit” and
“bullshit.”

Public TV and Monty Python? Imagine that (nudge nudge, wink wink). And love how Masterpiece Theatre actually had all seven of George’s Carlin’s FCC words.

Who’d have thought?

Wonder if he’s keeping up on things like he used to…

The US porn industry has come to a standstill after two star performers tested HIV positive. Tyler Faith (Porn Actress); Sharon Mitchell (Adult Industry Healthcare Foundation); Michael Hastings (Morality in Media).

Oh, Hastings also used to help run Sebastian Hair Care products. Of this you can write your own joke, here _________________.

We’ve got better things to do … like patrolling the Internet! Somebody has to. Right Mike?

SharonMitchellMP4

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

There’s no such thing as the “Burbank Police Foundation”

 

slide4

 

Oh, they say there is, that’s for sure.

But there isn’t. This self-interested group of the usual suspects are using a misleadingly named (and ridiculously logo-ed) two-year-old organization to gain personal credibility in a community where they have none to spare. Just look who’s in the picture. It’s a single-purpose sham organization.

Now there’s nothing wrong with having a booster organization for the local police department. Communities do it all the time. But if you’re going to do so then you don’t try to make it sound like it’s part of the department.

You don’t call it anything like a Police Foundation. That’s for the department itself, such as with an employee group or an internal beneficent society. No, you call it “friends” of the police or a “support group” or whatever else you want to instead.

The Burbank Police Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organized and supported by Burbank residents, the local business community and members of the Burbank Police Department independent of The City of Burbank.

Oh, is that so? These are the same people btw who said that they weren’t protesting Peggy Woods right after they said they were on the street — when they clogged the sidewalks and blocked the traffic all screaming and yelling — and so we know what their issue is with the proper and honest use of the English language.

Like, if this organization is indeed independent of the City of Burbank, then why is our chief of police involved?

The composition of the Board of Directors of the BPF consists of active members of the Burbank Police Department appointed by the Burbank Chief of Police and the Burbank Police Officers’ Association along with members of Burbank’s residential and business communities.

And in those two years they’ve done exactly what?

Oh, we see. It’s always the same old same old for these people. It’s a literal hobby-horse.

It was such a success last year that the Burbank Police Foundation has organized the second annual Hoof and Woof walking event from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 19 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the walk and guided trail horseback ride start at 9 a.m.

Funds raised go to the Burbank Police Department K-9 and equestrian units, said Michael Hastings, president of the Burbank Police Foundation.

Like we said, the old disgraced booster class here in town are trying to get back into power, and they’re using the PD as their instrument of choice in order to do so.

Those serving on the equestrian unit are all volunteers, so funds raised help cover the costs of equipment, such as saddles and other gear.

“Any time the K-9 Unit needs anything over and above what the police department pays for, we like to be the ones who facilitate that and in time when it’s time for a new dog we started a fund that will fund that,” Hastings said.

How puerile. There’s no such thing either as a BPD equestrian unit. What happens is that a couple of cops on their own time ride around during various ceremonies on horses that they borrowed from somewhere. It’s a total crock.

Yeah, it’s just like they’re patrolling Central Park when they’re not keeping the schvartzes in line during all those race riots (actually, we probably could have used a horse patrol down at Peggy Woods with that crowd…)

Some of the money goes to the foundation’s general fund that pays for an annual luncheon to honor all the police department volunteers.

Volunteers organizing the Hoof and Woof are chair Andrea Cunningham assisted by Chris Rizzotti. Members from the K-9 and equestrian units will conduct demonstrations and safety talks. Pet organizations will share information on spaying and neutering animals, low-cost microchipping and canine CPR. Pet rescue groups will also participate.

This is not about the police department. It’s about these horrible people feathering their own nests by promoting their personal interests in the name of something bigger.

Check out their police badge-ish logo. It looks like a shield! That’s the emotional and ethical level they’re at.

bpflogo5

39 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized