Leave It to Beaver marathon starts tonight

A must.

Only to be interrupted of course by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, where we can bet how quickly the news media will try to whip the entire population of New York into a total panic.

Try as they might, they won’t succeed. New Yorkers aren’t worried.




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Happy Thanksgiving

Here’s to celebrating a great American tradition.

18 May 1927 --- 1920s 1930s Mother Grandmother Boy Girl Cooking Turkey In Kitchen --- Image by © H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Corbis




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Still wondering why the Burbank Police don’t want to be watched by surveillance cameras?

With the full approval of our city council, btw.

Notice how the cop in the dash-cam car deliberately pulls to the right after the shooting begins in order to keep his own camera off the scene? He didn’t quite succeed.

They all like to hide things whenever necessary or useful.

You see that a lot even when there are body cams — they suddenly get turned off, or are said to be “not working.”




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Have a great holiday weekend!

Or try to.
FireShot Capture - Caroline Cusumano (@carolinecast1) I Twitter - https___twitter.com_carolinecast1


FireShot Capture - @sirnobu Nobu Cusumano instagrammer photos videos_ - http___gramlove.com_user.php

Meanwhile, Fronnie’s got the news.


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But they said it was so wonderful!

FireShot Capture - J.B. Bauersfeld on _ - https___twitter.com_JBBauersfeld_status_655535067654057984


Like maybe they might want to start by not taking more than a month to respond.

Wonder who in the city made them cut back the event? Sounds like typical Burbank — we want an active downtown entertainment district just like the big boys, as long as it isn’t active.

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Unconditional positive regard

Whatever that is.

And who’s he to be lecturing the council about achieving this quality? That’s not in his job description.

As Ellen would say, I hope you each find a way to earn and grant unconditional positive regard, and do your best to restore dignity to our sometimes dysfunctional community dialogue. There are tough decisions in this city’s future. I know you all want the best for Burbank. Thank you for stepping up to lead.






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Leader keeps downplaying the extent of the proposed handover of power

Besides Rogers’ absurd comment that a new airport terminal’s shops and restaurants won’t increase our existing street traffic and congestion — as if everyone flying through there today is positively clamoring for that showy crap while they’re waiting in line now — today’s Leader article contains this little white lie:

Of course, the airport is not offering that proposed amendment without getting something in return. Namely,: eventual permission to construct on land it owns, but which the city has an easement over. It also wants the city to contract out building inspections on the $400-million project to Glendale or Pasadena.

Handing over the building inspections is the least of it. The proposed Agreement also completely gives away to these outsiders all of the planning decisions, architectural design, CUP and AUP granting authority, and anything else that could possibly be considered discretionary within the normal workings of the City of Burbank.

So why the continual whitewashing of the truth? Who cares about building inspections?

A quick note:

A much bigger concern now is that Glendale and Pasadena will be able to issue any conditional use permits they want. And there won’t be a thing Burbank can do about it.

The council has bargained away all of its discretionary power. And for what? That the Authority agrees to a nighttime curfew it won’t ever get, or won’t build a bigger terminal they know the Burbank voters would never go for anyway?

Such hollow compromises we wrung from them. They are giving up nothing attainable, but we’re giving away what few building and use protections we had.





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For real?



It’s her livelihood, and no computer? The Media Maven?

Nowadays we post about 2/3 of this stuff via a $39 Digiland tablet we got at a Best Buy in the Bronx.

Come on. They’re just terminal devices now.



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The council shouldn’t fall for Scott’s obvious set-up tactic

Be forewarned, the city council can’t do a thing until Mark Scott picks a formal retirement date. Until that time they have to treat his words as mere speculation about the future.

If any of the members do or say anything to prematurely initiate his departure then he can legally (and easily) go after the city for a settlement offer. Right now he can’t, and so they’d all best keep their mouths shut. We mention this because he’s obviously baiting the council with his retirement email by indicating that’s it’s somehow up to them to proceed. It’s not.

They shouldn’t trust Albano’s advice on this matter either. She’s in like Flint with the guy, and they all think alike anyway when it comes to personal employment tactics. The council should seek outside counsel to make sure that our city’s financial interests are protected, especially after being blackmailed by him this week. Scott surely has by now.

About Rogers…

Our question from yesterday is this. In his private life, has Will Rogers ever worked for any outside agency (or attorney) in any Burbank Airport-related capacity or job position, such as helping with PR, writing proposals, fact gathering, or even opposition research?

Ever? If he has then he needs to disclose it to the Burbank public.


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MyBurbank scoops Leader






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Leader news article on council action turns into an extended apologia for the terminal boosters

No surprise on that one, really.

There’s so much utter nonsense in today’s Leader article about the council airport vote that we hardly know where to begin. But we will.

Nearly two-dozen residents spoke Monday night during a Burbank City Council meeting, where elected officials voted to endorse a set of proposed terms that would apply to the development of a gate-for-gate replacement terminal at Bob Hope Airport. The current terminal has 14 gates.

“Fourteen gates means 14 gates,” said Frank Quintero, president of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority board, promising the council and the public that airfield officials would not seek to expand the airport any further.

The airport authority had endorsed the terms earlier this month, along with a measure to initiate an environmental study considering multiple alternatives for the new terminal building — including not to construct it at all.

How swell of them. And when they’re going to build it anyway if it passes.

The only purpose behind a non-build survey option of course is so that they can then say right before the election: “See! Traffic and environment will be just as bad if we do nothing! So a new terminal won’t make much difference, Burbank!”

Just watch. That’s how it will be filtered and pimped by the local media.

The mutual endorsement of the terms, which are nonbinding and lay out the foundation for legal documents and other staff work in the coming months, is a sign of progress for the two governmental bodies, which have been at odds over the proposed terminal project for years and had reached a stalemate in negotiations earlier this year.

They are binding. That’s the whole point. They are supposed to be binding, and will enter into the final “Agreement.” We’re being told differently now?

Despite the fact that there have been multiple public meetings on the matter during the past two years — including three prior meetings in the past month where the outlined terms were made public and at least two where public comment on the items was received — the Burbank residents who showed up Monday complained that the council had sought no public input.

Meetings which meant nothing, and in at least one case was officially noticed over a damned weekend– and still did nothing to solicit “input.” Council minds were already made up by then … because of all the secret meetings they’d been having previously! These were only informational get-togethers at best.

Several of the speakers expressed confusion over items on the term sheet, an eight-page outline of conditions for any terminal-project development agreement, which would not only need the agreement of the city and airport, but would require a public vote under Measure B, which was passed by Burbank voters in 2000.

For example, the term sheet states that the terminal will not have more than 14 gates, and the authority will continue to enforce noise rules as it does now, while also supporting a mandatory nighttime curfew.

Another section states that a “super-majority” of the airport authority board could change any of those positions.

“This is how you get to that,” said Councilman Will Rogers, explaining that the authority board can change those positions now with a simple majority of any five of nine commissioners, but the super-majority requirement would mean that if two Burbank commissioners voted against such changes, they could block them.

Like we could never get a pro-airport council in the future that’s bent on expansion, could we? So these “protections” are as ultimately meaningless as the “14-gates only” promise. Yeah, 14 gates with twice the customers 10 years from now!

Naturally, the best protection in the world is “No new terminal.” Remember that.

Some speakers complained that one proposed condition would allow the cities of Glendale or Pasadena to conduct building inspections of the new terminal in place of Burbank inspectors, which city officials said is not an uncommon practice. The inspections would be conducted according to Burbank’s building code, City Manager Mark Scott said.

The airport authority sought the condition for fear that Burbank could hold up the construction process by “nickel and diming” the authority with petty concerns, Rogers said.

Whose side is Rogers on? Scott’s also being disingenuous again too, because the Building Code’s the least of it. No, Burbank wants to give away ALL of its discretionary say as well, including design standards and architectural decisions. Planning board and council review would be minimal at best.

Notice how the Leader leaves that part out? It doesn’t seem to bother Will, either.

Members of the public also complained of anticipated impacts, such as increased traffic, aircraft noise and the loss of the existing terminal, which is expected to be razed when the replacement terminal is built.

An environmental study, which was started in 2013 but stalled when the council and airport officials reached an impasse in the summer of 2014, will evaluate those impacts. It will include a review of two alternatives that would leave the existing terminal as-is.

A public informational meeting will kick off work on the study tonight. It is slated for 6 to 8 p.m. in the Burbank Community Services Building, 150 N. Third St.

No more “input,” eh? So what happened to all that input solicitation the paper’s been mocking those critics about?

Paul Dyson, a member of the city’s transportation committee, said the discussion should focus on the building, not the number of flights or passengers or the amount of noise, which could all increase even at the existing terminal, where there is capacity for more planes and a greater number of passengers than the airport handles currently.

The building only? How absurd. Only an airport booster could love an idea like this. We’ll talk about a traffic/environmental study, sure, but we shouldn’t focus on the # of people who’ll be using it down there.

Yeah, right.

This is the same guy btw who wanted to get rid of the Kids Bus a few years ago because he was mad about all the Burbank students who were using it to get home from school. For real.

Many of the residents who came to the council meeting had been apparently motivated by a flier distributed throughout some Burbank neighborhoods, and which Vice Mayor Jess Talamantes said contained “not even half-truths.”

The postcard-like flier, bearing the logo of the community group Save Burbank Neighborhoods, was a scare tactic, some council members said.

It proclaimed a “Flight Path To Deception,” threatened more planes, traffic and noise, and stated, “City Council plans to eliminate legal protections by giving them away to unelected airport bureaucrats.” It called on residents to urge council members not to support the proposed terms for the terminal project.

That’s totally true. In exchange for temporary limits on growth, and a possible hope and prayed for “nighttime curfew” which will never, ever happen.

The flier also claimed that the document “was drafted without any public input,” despite the fact that members of the group had been at meetings where earlier drafts of the terms were made public and discussed, such as a special Sunday council meeting on Feb. 8.

Bullshit! Not only had the council already made up its mind by then during their many closed sessions, but they were responding to the airport’s ultimatum proposal involving B-6.

Folks, at NO TIME did the council or authority seek the public’s opinion on the specifics. At best they just threw out their earlier decisions for people to see.

Hell, Burbank decided on its own years ago that we were going to be seeking a new terminal in the first place. Where was the fucking input on that one?

The city released the latest version to the public nearly a month ago, soliciting input.

Bullshit again. It was the final agreement, and would have already been voted on THREE WEEKS AGO but for Frutos’ illness. “Here it is Burbank!” was the meaning of that document. They weren’t going to change a thing after that point, and they didn’t. Input, hell.

Rogers, who lives under the airport’s flight path, said he had sought for a year to meet with the group to discuss the airport issue. He said he was “frustrated and a little bit angry to be so impugned by people who are my neighbors and I have literally gone to your doors — literally gone to your doors — to talk to you about this.”

He went to their doors to campaign. And what was Will going to do if they’d ever talked to him during a special visit — completely change his mind about this long sought for “replacement” terminal? Of course not.

Rogers is completely full of shit. His “neighbors” don’t want a new terminal, and he doesn’t want the old one. There was nothing to tweek in this final, council-imposed “term sheet,” and which was long in the making in secret.

Burbank resident Mike Moynihan, who said he was at the council meeting in February and who is active with Save Burbank Neighborhoods, said “obviously we don’t understand [the terms] completely,” but he defended the flier, calling its contents merely “opinions.”

He said he planned to congratulate his friends, the flier designers, for getting so many residents to the meeting.

Good for them.

Moynihan said he had heard from some public commenters that they felt intimidated after council members had chided them over their misinformed critiques. Talamantes, however, said he had lost some respect for the organization as a result of its misrepresentations.

What misrepresentations? Every decision was made in secret until delivered to the public as a done-deal that the council admitted they were all going to vote for!

This is all so incredible. Total lies about the process, and then an underlying premise that public “input” only means an agreeable tweeking of the planning details.  Anything else doesn’t exist.

So hey, you want input? Real input?


Tomorrow we’re going to be asking a personal question about Will Rogers and his post-Leader job history. It could factor into his avowedly pro-terminal point of view.  Some people will know the answer, too.




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The BPD is always involved whenever a dead body’s found in town

Someone just posted this little oddity in the comments section here. We thought it was worth a mention:

Someone asked the other day about a body in a vehicle in the parking garage near Island’s. There’s finally some information to provide: A woman called from out of state with information that a relative in the Burbank area was possibly suicidal. She only knew that he was living in a car, and she had the license plate info. That information was taken by BPD, which was able to locate the car in a parking garage downtown Burbank. The man who was the subject of concern was found dead inside the car.

At that point the case became the purview of the county coroner’s office which immediately took over the case and is now conducting an investigation. Thus no report was generated by the BPD, nor BFD and for that reason, the usual notices that would otherwise go out to the media, council, etc. were not sent.

Nonsense. Not so at all. Any DB would be a police issue in Burbank.

They would certainly call in the coroner if there was something possibly suspicious about the death, or if it was discovered in public. Otherwise they would release the body to the family’s funeral home. Possibly other county agencies like senior protective services could be called in depending upon the circumstances.

The patrol officers would also treat the car as a potential crime scene and call in a lieutenant detective, who would open up an initial investigation. Until the coroner’s report came in the case would remain open.

So whoever reported this news story to the public (Rogers?) is relating misinformation. They should check it out.

If the council truly did not get wind of this from the BPD then they should be royally pissed. They’re being lied to if the BPD is claiming non-involvement to the extent of failing to even record the event.

Most likely something is being hidden from someone here. Wonder who it was, or what wonderful old Burbank family is being protected from the bad PR.

Wonderful Burbank: where family members let their leftover relatives stay homeless and then die in cars. That’s probably what’s going on here, or something similar. Like who got the inheritance, and who didn’t?

Here’s some kudos for the BPD though: unlike every other town around, they don’t harass people who have to sleep in cars.

That’s because:

a) Our city council has sent down a clear message in the past that they don’t want this kind of punishment going on,

b) BTAC is here; they help out the homeless, and thus it would be counterproductive for Burbank to force them onto the streets.

But most importantly,

c) It’s perfectly legal to live and sleep in your car in Burbank. We have no restrictive ordinance here that forbids it. That would probably surprise everyone else in California, because it’s totally unheard of. Most localities like to punish poor people, which is why the courts have held up LA’s most recent rule on this topic. But these anti-homeless laws are omnipresent.

(So shhhh– don’t tell anyone about the right to sleep in your car in Burbank. Somebody’s bound to want to change it!)




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The ultimatum answered

Somebody clipped this out and we thought it was worth highlighting.



Frutos is referring to an ultimatum that Scott had posed to him during an earlier break in the meeting.

Interesting that he didn’t ignore it or just let it be — he forced Scott instead to answer to the threat in public, thus not allowing him to back down or slough it off.



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What a drama queen



This city manager is just so disingenuous about what’s really going on here. That’s because he’d be leaving soon anyway

Children’s Discovery Museum in RM has new CEO

4:39 p.m. PDT May 26, 2015

A new CEO has been named for the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert.

Carol Scott comes to the museum from Greenville, S.C., where she has served as president and CEO of the Children’s Museum of the Upstate.

Scott was instrumental in planning, designing, constructing and operating the new 78,000-square-foot museum, Children’s Discovery Museum Interim Executive Director Kate Spates announced Tuesday in a news release…

Scott also has served as the executive director of the Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena, where she had the lead role in executing design and construction of the $30 million museum, including overseeing fundraising efforts, Spates said.

She has also been a consultant to a number of museums and nonprofit groups, such as the children’s museums in Wilmington, N.C., and San Antonio, Texas, and she was a board member of the Association of Children’s Museums.

“To have someone come to our museum with the caliber of experience like Carol is such a gift,” said Spates. “She is nationally recognized for her work in the field of children’s museums.”

Scott’s background also includes positions in several school districts and universities where she taught deaf education. She holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in communicative disorders/education of the deaf from California State University, Fresno.

He’s so full of it. What a grandstander.

The council has obviously been aware of this possibility inevitability since last spring. So wasn’t it great to see Frutos try to push him out the door last night?

One question though. Exactly when did Scott give the mayor his ultimatum? We can’t find it on the tape … only his assurance at the end that he knows where he stands now with the three.

This was interesting too, about when he left Fresno:

Mark Scott mentioned he was more comfortable as a traditional city manager. In Burbank he will be the city’s chief administrative officer. On the other hand, Fresno has a “strong mayor” government with Mayor Swearengin the top executive.

He obviously doesn’t like power-sharing arrangements.


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Two versions of reality

An article today in MyBurbank might shed some light on the by now obvious Frutos/Scott split. Which appears to be terminal at this point, if we take the city manager at his word.

Here’s Frutos discussing how the council will be approaching the Measure B vote:

The Council met in closed sessions, looking at the authority’s points and then the Council gave Frutos a parameter to revisit the latest proposal and he and Council member Jess Talamantes met with the authority so they could ask members questions. The Council met again in a closed session and the majority was willing to address the latest proposal.

“This is not a guarantee that we are still building a new terminal or 100 percent accepting the latest proposal,” Frutos said. “This is a proposal to give us a snapshot of what the footprint will be and what certain conditions that we have come to agreement mutually between the two government bodies in deciding should we move this forward to begin the environmental impact process to see exactly what locations they can build this terminal and also talk about the no-build option. This way everybody in Burbank can follow along, can get engaged, be involved and make that educated decision vote hopefully sometime in the very near future.”

Frutos just wants to present the facts to Burbank residents and allow them to make their own independent decision.

Makes sense. The council will be merely expediting the matter along for the voters to decide. They’re not “accepting” anything.

This also comports with what Golonski has been saying about the meaning of Measure B, what Rogers said pre-election, what Gordon said about the need for the council to hold off on any decision, and what we’ve been saying all along.

Note though how City Manager Scott sees the routine. This is straight from last night’s staff report:


FireShot Capture - - http___burbank.granicus.com


According to Scott (and now Albano), the city council members will actually be going ahead to endorse and approve a replacement terminal far ahead of the voters. They’ll be positioning a value judgement on it — i.e., we approve the deal as a formal motion. Afterwards the voters will then, “have the final say…”

There are obviously two alternate realities going on here. If Scott and Albano would just stick to the mayor’s position then all would be right. The council would not at any time be finalizing the deal, nor would they be weighing in about how great it is. They’d merely be passing the package along for the voters to decide.

The council has no discretionary say in the matter, yet somehow they both think it does.

So which process are we using? The council as expediters, or the council as terminal decision-makers? It can’t be both, and the latter move seriously violates the intent, meaning, and express language of Measure B. It’s also totally unnecessary as a pre-B move.

In other words, who’s in charge here? The mayor, and (obviously now) some kind of council majority? Or staff? What Frutos is saying about the process is the way it’s supposed to be. Scott’s is off-the-wall officious and illegal.

It’s also very bad PR. Just pushy as hell.




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Big meeting tonight … and lots of explaining to do

Rogers says the council has no business voting on the terminal project ahead of the public, which accords with what former Councilman Golonski said last month. And he helped write Measure B.

In light of the legal issues the city has been involved in, including the water transfer suit, is City Attorney Amy Albano providing the council sound legal advice? Why or why not?

I’m deeply concerned about Ms. Albano’s understanding of the voter-approved ballot initiative (Measure B) that clearly says the council can’t vote on a new terminal before the citizens have approved it. She also seems to have difficulty articulating legal views in open meetings. I would like to work with her to improve her communication with the public. But I can’t render a fair judgment on the soundness of her legal advice without access to that given in closed sessions on myriad topics/cases.

For the council to vote first — or at all — makes a complete mockery of the whole idea behind Measure B. It also requires the public to undo a previous council action if they should decide against the terminal plan, something that was not foreseen by anyone back when the ordinance was drafted.

To what purpose is this being done — this council “approval”–  and why is it even being allowed?

We suggested an answer — that it’s a legal trick to help jeopardize a possible negative vote, in that Measure B cannot properly address the overturning of a previous council action, and would thus be ruled an illegal application in the event of a simple “no” decision — but we’re open to alternative explanations.




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Leader fluffs ridiculously high rent figures that benefit the local landlord class


Following up on our piece about the need for local rent control to help address the crushing life expenses that people face these days…


FireShot Capture - INFOGRAPHIC_ August rental price report_ - http___www.latimes.com_socal_glendal


Where in the world do they get these inflated amounts? Naturally, they cite no source.

By claiming that our local rents are so high — when they are certainly not on average — all this newspaper ends up doing is justifying the figures. Most of our Burbank units are not as expensive as this.

But — thanks to the Leader — they soon will be. These amounts are nothing but landlord wet dreams, pure and simple. It’s what some of them are now trying to ask for.

They are not the norm. And certainly not existing rents.





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This is at least the fifth time they’ve repeated this lie about Cusumano property

Part One of our rebuttal to the Leader’s two-part series on big property owners in town revolves around the following bit of repeated propaganda.

It was used then — and is still being used now, apparently — to justify that latest Cusumano property giveaway:

A few opponents of a more recent Cusumano project invoked the $100 land deal in criticizing what they said was more special treatment, when the City Council last year approved the “Talaria at Burbank” project, a proposed 241-unit luxury apartment complex on top of a 43,000-square-foot Whole Foods in the city’s Media District.

A four-member majority agreed to sell several remnant parcels of city-owned land at the site for $1.2 million. An appraiser had valued the parcels at between just under $1 million and $3.7 million.

Not so. Even the staff report never said this, although they tried desperately to imply the same, especially after Gordon successfully cross-examined them about this anomaly.

The appraiser came up with a $3.7 million figure for the properties. The Cusumanos came up with their own estimate of around $800,000, Staff then applied a “discount” to the appraiser’s higher value in order to come up with a compromise amount.

A compromise that wasn’t necessary. The point is that the city’s appraiser did not come up with varying figures. Staff did. And when Gordon asked to see the appraisal paperwork before the vote, they evaded the issue. He never got the formal written information, just a lot of hemming and hawing.






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Free bus tokens? How about rent control?

The reason why most of these families are homeless is because the rents are so damned high.

Landlords know they ‘re operating under a fixed market, and so they get to exploit the situation by boosting rents to all-time record highs per average household income.

More than 200 students enrolled in Burbank and Glendale schools during the last school year were homeless.

While more than half of them doubled up with other families, almost 40% lived in temporary shelters or motels, while a handful in each city were living in cars or on the street, according to data released by the Glendale and Burbank Unified school districts…

What shelters and motels?

There’s one SRO left in Glendale, and not for long. The city wants them to upgrade to a level that matches their elitist vision for a new downtown Glendale. Bye bye too to the old YMCA.

Jose Armas was homeless. His mom had just moved to Miami, but he wanted to stay, even if that meant crashing at his longtime church for a few days.

He had moved to Glendale in 2011 from the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles because he wanted to attend Glendale High School.

Eventually, his uncle found him a place to live alone in downtown Los Angeles for $500 a month.

Though he had a roof over his head, his struggles continued. He missed the first day of school, and considered dropping out completely.

Working three jobs, without a car, as a high school student, he said it was tough to feel motivated to show up for school, let alone find the time to do homework.

Commuting from downtown Los Angeles to Glendale High School, then to a pet store in Monterey Park where he worked weekday afternoons before taking a bus to his security guard job in Koreatown, he wouldn’t finish his shifts until 1 a.m. On Saturdays, he took a bus and two trains to get to another job as a security guard in Compton.

He earned enough to pay his rent and bus fare, he said.

For three weeks in October of last year, he just didn’t show up for school.

A school counselor intervened and introduced him to Ilin Magran, a school psychologist and coordinator in the school district’s Healthy Start office, who let him know about some of the services — like free bus tokens — the district offered to students in his shoes.

“Because of her, I graduated,” he said, later adding that he is now pursuing his dream of becoming a police officer.

The kid was lucky. He wasn’t homeless. He had a $500 a month place.  Something impossible to get around here.

Let’s get real. Housing is a necessity, and needs to be regulated like a utility. Landlords exploit this need every day — this locked-in expense — which is why they get into the business in the first place.

The Cusumanos make hundreds of millions of dollars off of Burbank residents, and yet the city is always thanking them for being so wonderful. How perverse is that?


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