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And it’s not costing the taxpayers a dime





Ah, something you’re not hearing about in all of the ridicule:


Google to invest $1 billion in new campus in New York City


Google will invest $1 billion in a new campus in New York City, the company announced on Monday.

The new 1.7 million square foot “Google Hudson Square” campus will include two buildings located at 315 and 345 Hudson Street and an office space situated at nearby 550 Washington Street in Manhattan, Google said in a blog post on Monday.

The move will expand Google’s presence near the Hudson River in New York City. Earlier this year, the search giant announced it had purchased shopping and office complex Chelsea Market for $2.4 billion.

Google said the Hudson Square campus will be the main location for its New York-based global business organization. It said the investments in Chelsea and Hudson Square will create capacity to more than double headcount in New York over the next decade. Google currently houses more than 7,000 employees in New York City in a range of teams including Search, Ads, Maps, YouTube and Cloud.


A few years ago they bought — on their own — the old Port Authority Building, which at one time was the largest office building in the world.

So how is Google able to bring over 10,000 more jobs into NYC without a government subsidy, but Amazon asks for tons of money and then immediately pulls out when they start getting flak about “corporate welfare”?

You’re not hearing this comparison being made by any of the TV pundits. Instead, it’s all the dumb Democrats’ fault, especially those crazy “progressives.” No discussion anywhere about why this was such a bad deal for New York.

As we mentioned last month, for New York to offer $3 billion in subsidies for Amazon to locate in Long Island City would be like Los Angeles giving some big company the same amount of money to move into Hollywood or DTLA.

Like Long Island City, those areas are already booming and don’t need the help. They’re an instant attraction. Thirty years ago maybe they did. But nowadays it’s an insult, a bribe.

So how come Google can do it for free? It’s a good question.

This guy btw is a total moron. Naturally, the corporate news media just loves him:


Starbucks’ former CEO Howard Schultz is bashing “far-left activists” for “forcing” Amazon’s decision to ditch New York City as the site of its second headquarters.

On Tuesday, Schultz released a letter stating that he plans to continue to explore running for president as a centrist independent. In the letter, he says that “the far right and the far left are holding our government hostage by engaging in revenge politics and preventing sensible solutions to big challenges.”

Schultz writes that the last week has brought “two more stark examples” of this phenomenon. On the right, he says President Donald Trump “recklessly declared a national emergency so he can raid the budget for our military to start construction on his foolish and unnecessary border wall.” 

“Meanwhile, far-left activists succeeded in forcing Amazon to abandon plans to create a second headquarters in the New York City area, which would have brought 25,000 jobs and injected billions of dollars into the local economy,” Schultz continued. “Where has common sense gone?” 


Again, Google’s doing a better job in NYC for free. Why?

As long as the news media is this stupid and dishonest, so will the country be.









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By contracting out an expensive summer school enrichment program, the Burbank school district has no incentive to offer a free one of its own


Year after year the BUSD has been doing this, and year after year it’s only the affluent kids who get the advantage.

High school in California is supposed to be free. Summer sessions as well. But because Burbank contracts out their summer school program, the contract institution itself can legally charge the students money for tuition. It’s one big giant loophole.


The Burbank Unified School District has offered summer school to K-12 students, with limited State funding for remedial classes. The District has looked for ways to increase the number of initial credit, enrichment, and non-remedial classes to offer to students. During the summers of 2006, 2009 and 2010, an agreement was entered between the Burbank Unified School District and Marymount College, Palos Verdes.

In the summer of 2006, Marymount offered fee-based enrichment programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. In 2009 and 2010, Marymount offered a fee-based program at the high school level so that students had an opportunity to enroll in initial credit classes. Marymount College did not have an interest to conduct a summer program in Burbank in 2011.

In 2011, Woodbury University offered a high school summer program offering initial credit. The program was aligned to the same summer program offered to high school students through Marymount College in past years. With a reduction in State summer school funds, the District will not be able to offer initial credit courses as part of a free summer school program this year.


Ah, it hasn’t for years.

Here’s how it works now. Up for approval again this week by the Board:


For the seventh year, Woodbury will provide a summer school program for high school students. High school students will have the opportunity to take courses for initial credit and be able to fulfill some of their high school graduation requirements during the summer session.

The Woodbury University high school summer school program will run on the same calendar as the Burbank USD summer program. High school students will have the opportunity to receive high school credit. This summer program will be housed at Woodbury University. Woodbury will:

1. Use District textbooks, teach District curriculum, and pay a textbook rental fee.

2. Hire Burbank USD staff to administer the summer program and teach the classes.

3. Have an enrollment average of fifteen (15) students per class and reserves the right not to offer a class (or classes) if the average falls below fifteen (15) students.


What incentive does Burbank have now to ever again offer a free summer school session of its own? Seven years means it’s become permanent.

Wow. What an advantage this gives to the students who can one-up everyone else by taking cxpensive credit classes during summer. The ones who can’t do so look worse on the transcripts.

(Note: the last we heard, the BUSD still offers summer sessions for remedial work. Which — to be fair — is more than some school districts do.

Note No.2: keep in mind that throughout the 60s, 70s, and most of the 1980s, the BUSD never offered regular credit classes during summer school. You couldn’t take for example 11th-grade English to get ahead of the pack. Or Western Civ.

What they offered were prep classes not on the regular schedule, like “Pre-Algebra,” or enrichment classes like “Math Logic” and art, or “Health and Safety.” That was a big one. There were also some remedial opportunities, but not many.

But, they were all free! )






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Almost no one takes photos of Burbank


A few years ago.

Geotagged Flickr photos of Manhattan show this:


Locals and Tourists #2 (GTWA #1): New York


The blue points are tourists, the red points natives.

Notice how tourists don’t venture into the interior of Central Park or uptown into Harlem. They hug the Upper West Side. Nobody apparently photographs and tags for Flickr the Bronx. A little around the zoo and Fordham maybe.



Locals and Tourists #45 (GTWA #133): Los Angeles and Pasadena


At about the same time period, here’s the Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena area. Downtown LA is in the bottom left corner. But for a small portion of Pasadena, nobody tags or documents anything!

So much for that Tourism-BID in Burbank. They are though good for illegal campaign contributions to local ballot measures. Remember that one?

There might btw be an FPPC decision coming this week as to how much of a monetary fine they owe. Burbank (airport boosters) lost the case and were found guilty of violating the law.



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Happy Presidents Day!


Proud to be an American.





Jail, and retribution.





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It’s because they don’t want a sunset clause


Just as with all these district voter measures over the years, they want carte blanche.


“We need a parcel tax to pass,” board member Steve Frintner said. “We’re going to run another one. There is no doubt about that, and we need buy-in.”

Armond Aghakhanian, board vice president, added, “We need to start tomorrow.”

Before developing a new parcel tax, however, there was still a matter of dissecting Measure QS and why it didn’t pass.

Residents pointed out several perceived flaws, including no sunset clause, the tax being based on square footage rather than a flat fee, a lack of adequate communication, low voter knowledge, a late start in campaigning and opposition from some residents.

Board member Charlene Tabet countered by saying the board utilized polling that didn’t indicate issues with the lack of a sunset clause or using square footage. She added that she didn’t think the measure failed because of a lack of effort.

“It can’t just be that we didn’t send enough postcards out,” Tabet said. “It can’t be that we didn’t knock on enough doors; it can’t be because we did all those things.”


Put a sunset clause in it and we might reconsider our opposition.

But considering the longtime mis-expenditure of these voter monies — such as that horrid Burbank High remodeling project that everyone now admits was a complete disaster aesthetically, and the costly “me-too” Burroughs expansion/redecoration that was never a part of the original plan — can this district really be trusted?




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Why are so many of these high school and college teachers now such lazy sacks of shit?


We first started hearing about this from some of the older teachers, and they were right. The big problem with modern educational institutions now has nothing to do with “liberal bias” or “the Left.”

No, it’s a completely screwed up pedagogy we’re operating under, and it comes from somewhere else. It’s starting to affect your Burbank schools, too.

But the kids are starting to fight back.


Some students say having to speak in front of the class is an unreasonable burden for those with anxiety and are demanding alternative options.

For many middle- and high-school students, giving an in-class presentation was a rite of passage. Teachers would call up students, one by one, to present their work in front of the class and, though it was often nerve-racking, many people claim it helped turn them into more confident public speakers.


We’ll note in a minute that what’s been happening in these schools has no 20th-century precedent. If you haven’t been in one for a while you’d be shocked as hell at what’s going on.


“Coming from somebody with severe anxiety, having somebody force me to do a public presentation was the best idea to happen in my life,” one woman recently tweeted. According to a recent survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, oral communication is one of the most sought-after skills in the workplace, with over 90 percent of hiring managers saying it’s important. Some educators also credit in-class presentations with building essential leadership skills and increasing students’ confidence and understanding of material.

To the thousands of teens who support the effort to do away with in-class presentations (at least enough to like a tweet about it), anxiety is no small issue. Students said they understood why older people might tell them to “suck it up,” but that doing so was unproductive. Some responses to the most recent viral tweet, though, noted that giving a presentation in spite of anxiety might reduce a student’s fear of public speaking.


Notice the emphasis on “workplace” and “leadership skills”? That’s what the new pedagogy is all about. Anxiety is the least of the problems here — it’s a cheap and inferior learning process to begin with.

These “older people” are also rank hypocrites. It’s no longer just a couple of “oral reports” here and there throughout the year like it used to be when they (and we) were in school. These kids are now being forced to each do two or three oral “presentations” a semester in every class.

And what are the teachers doing in their place? Instead of lecturing to the class like they used to, they now sit back on their ass and spend 70 percent of their time watching the students lecture to each other. Then they grade them on their performance and “collaborative” ability.

It’s all a fucking racket, and the situation is even worse in college. Imagine spending 15k a year on tuition just to hear your fellow students teaching you your subject matter. But that’s what they’re doing in college now, and in most academic departments if they can figure out a way to do so with the subject matter.

Ever seen too how these kids work out the curriculum? It’s all programmed learning. Bite-sized bits of pre-digested information are presented through workbooks and schematized lecture notes. English composition is now taught through templates and cheatsheets instead of usage or reading and imitative modeling, which means that so many of these young adults leaving school have not a clue in the world about how to structure a piece of writing on their own if the subject matter happens to diverge from the formulas they’ve been taught. They don’t even know how and where to make paragraph breaks!

We’re not exaggerating here; it really is this bad. And anyone who thinks that “More Chromebooks!” is going to remedy the problem is completely clueless. Those same people probably think everything’s great.

So how did our schools get so fucked up during these last 20 or  30 years?

We don’t blame liberals. Instead, we blame business and the Right. These are their idealized models of academic performance and achievement.






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It’s been there longer than that


We used to buy our Punch magazines there at their store in the late 60s. They sold bridies and bangers at a little tearoom set up on the other side.





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This differs from a Bishopric, right?


The beat goes on. Isn’t it time now to start going after the fundamentalist Protestants?


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been found guilty by the Vatican of sex abuse and defrocked, as calls rose Saturday for Pope Francis to reveal what he knew about the once-powerful American prelate’s apparently decades-long predatory sexual behavior.

The announcement Saturday, delivered in uncharacteristically blunt language for the Vatican, meant that the 88-year-old McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., becomes the highest-ranking churchman and the first cardinal to be punished by dismissal from the clerical state, or laicization.

He was notified Friday of the decision, which was upheld upon his appeal and approved by Pope Francis.

McCarrick, who in his prestigious red cardinal robes hobnobbed with presidents, other VIP politicians and pontiffs, is now barred from celebrating Mass or other sacraments including confession and from wearing clerical garb. He is to be referred to as Mr. McCarrick.






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Bantam book No.1


Betty and Ian Ballantine’s first Bantam paperback title. Summer 1945.


Bantam Books 1 - Mark Twain - Life on the Mississippi (with back)








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Too bad Burbank won’t take chances and risk a lawsuit for the kids


Burbank’s public institutions never fail to take a fight to court when the only thing at stake is their own arrogance and collective ego. Remember the City’s foolish legal fight a few years ago about holding back detailed info on those summer bonuses they always handed out to their employees? That they’ll fight for!

Interesting article in Calmatters today about how the state’s high court is sending confusing messages about exactly what percentage of the vote is required to pass parcel tax measures.


Cities like San Francisco are taking a broad interpretation and claiming that (with fingers crossed) the old 2/3 vote requirement doesn’t apply to some tax or funding-increase measures. They’re also getting sued of course by folks like the tiresome Howard Jarvis crowd, but who knows where this will end up.

Would that the BUSD could be so aggressive. They’ll uselessly fight in court forever in order to screw some hapless employees they don’t like, but to possibly get more money for the kids?

Then it becomes the Fearsome Fivesome up there. We can’t take a chance!






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Baja Burbank


Hey, just think how much nicer it will be to bike to work.




We don’t need to worry about Mexico coming to us. We’re going to Mexico.






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Jesus H. Christ








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Extra! Glendale landlords seen fleeing en masse to safe-haven Burbank!



This is actually a good article in today’s Leader.

Look at what the Glendale City Council did this week to help their tenants:


Glendale landlords will soon have to offer their tenants a one-year lease and pony up relocation fees if the rent is hiked more than 7% and the tenant opts to leave, punctuating a years-long discussion by city officials about how to prevent rising local rents from displacing residents.

Glendale City Council on Tuesday night voted 3-0 to adopt what’s known as the Right to Lease ordinance, set to take effect March 14, in an attempt to reach a compromise that would keep more residents in their homes without overburdening landlords.


It actually burdens these landlords quite a bit more than anything they’ve ever been used to. They no longer completely run the show in the City of Glendale.

So of course they whine and lie.


Calls for mutual understanding didn’t seem to quell the anxiety of some landlords concerned that their property values might decline. Nor did it convince tenants’ rights advocates that the specter of relocation fees would deter landlords from jacking up rents to the point of triggering displacement.

“The people that get most affected by this are the innocent ones, the [property owners] that kept their rents low,” said Gregory Alexanian, an executive at a local real estate investment firm. “Those are the ones that, when they do go to refinance, when they do go to sell, they will not get the fair market value for their property.”


Such nonsense. Their buildings — and rental income prospects — are still worth a fortune. And the more reasonable L/L’s aren’t suffering any more than the others are in this deal.


Exactly what apartment owners are on the hook for regarding relocation fees is complicated. It depends on how many units they own, how long the tenant has lived in the same unit and how much money the tenant makes.

For properties with four units or fewer, landlords have to pay all tenants a flat three months of the tenant’s current rent.

Owners of properties with five units or more have to pay tenants who have lived in the same unit for three years or fewer three months of the proposed rent the tenant has decided is too high for them to continue living there.

If the tenant has lived in the same unit for four years or fewer, the amount jumps to four months of rent. Five years or fewer gets them five months of rent. Those who have lived in their apartments for more than five years will qualify for six months of rent.


Regardless of tenancy, it’s still an incentive to keep rents lower. Wanna have to then cut that relocation check, L/Ls?

Of course, the more chicken landlords are going to retaliate over this new law by now demanding a whoppingly huge increase, calling the tenant’s bluff in thinking they won’t leave. But when the tenants indeed do end up leaving they’ll be stuck with some nice five-figure relocation payouts.

So go ahead and try this obvious game, Glendale landlords. A lot of Glendale tenants want (or need) new roommates and won’t mind leaving your overpriced rental. They’ll even live in secret somewhere, like most new roommates do these days.


However, if a tenant has an income significantly exceeding Los Angeles County’s median income, they will receive three months of the proposed rent no matter how long they’ve lived in the same unit.

The median family income in the county was $69,300 in April 2018 according to an estimate by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Council members also changed the ordinance to require landlords to offer tenants a new lease 90 days before the old one expires, rolling the requirement back from 120 days.

Much of the nuanced fee scale and other changes were added into the ordinance during a short recess of the meeting at around 11 p.m.

It was an action driven by temporal pressure. Council members have been racing to pass an ordinance before a temporary rent freeze that went into effect at the end of December expires at the end of this month.


Wow. A rent freeze. Can you imagine getting that in Burbank?

Staff would completely torch the place before a rent freeze ever got on a council agenda here in Burbank. The Hill neigborhoods would be the first to go.


Some landlords have already sent out rent increases above that cap set to take effect March 1, City Atty. Michael Garcia said last week.

When the ordinance goes into effect in mid-March, all existing rents will roll back to where they were on Sept. 18, according to Garcia.


Remember, we’re talking about Glendale here. Not the People’s Republic of Berkeley.


Two council members with opposing views on the issue — Ara Najarian and Mayor Zareh Sinanyan — recused themselves from the vote.

Since November, Najarian, who has publicly stated his opposition to rent control, has been barred by a federal agency overseeing conflict-of-interest laws from participating in all rent-control discussions because he owns an interest in several apartment buildings in Glendale.

Last week, he said he has divested from his property interest so he can rejoin discussions. This week, he said he will be cleared by Oct. 1.


Bullshit. He completely got rid of his apartments and financial interests just because he wanted to be a part of the issue…?

Get the investigators on this pronto. He did no such thing. No one’s that crazy.


A small group of people accused Sinanyan, who previously supported rent control, of violating a federal law prohibiting renter discrimination for saying on an Armenian-language TV show that Armenians are disproportionately impacted by rising rents.

Sinanyan left the dais both this week and last week at the recommendation of city staff, but he said he is seeking clarification from oversight agencies.


There’s no conflict there. He has an opinion, not a financial stake in the outcome. That’s the law, nothing else.


Discussion of a direct rental subsidy also began in earnest on Tuesday, with council members directing staff to look into a program that would primarily benefit disabled senior citizens with very low incomes.

“This may be a good way to ease the pain somewhat,” said Sinanyan, who was permitted to take part in the subsidy discussions.


Sure. Have the taxpayers subsidize the landlords’ rent increase! That sounds like a classic Glendale idea.


A tentative plan emerged that would send $200 to $300 to 1,000 households for one to two years. A more detailed report will most likely come back in a few months, coinciding with the arrival of its likely funding source: revenue from a recent, voter-approved sales tax hike known as Measure S.


Vote “No” on that one for sure. Rent control, not city subsidized rent support for landlord increases.

Of course these Glendale landlords prefer that “direct rental subsidy” option. We’ll raise your rent, and the city will pay for it!

Yeah, that’s the solution.





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Who needs decent story ideas when you’ve got 8K




Hardware love. Boys and their toys.

All Virginia Woolf needed was a typewriter. Dickens a steel pen.


Are you in LA on Thursday Feb 28th? Do you like cutting edge film technology? Want to mix with experts and have them answer your questions? We’re modestly describing our Redshark Connect event as “possibly the best ever”. And that’s before we even mention the free Mexican food and beverages

We’ve been running RedShark Connect events for over a year now and they only downside has been that there aren’t more of them. But there’s good news here: there will be. We’ll announce our plans soon, but, meanwhile, our next event is in Burbank on 28th Feb.


Burbank used to make airplanes. Now it makes special effects that masquerade as movies.


The theme is “High Definition Hollywood: Future technology for filmmakers today”. The idea is to look into the future while keeping a firm grip on what’s available today. What happens in the future matters, and we want to help you figure out how to get there, with a complete, working 8K production workflow, and all the expertise you could possibly want on hand to help you with it.

Still shooting HD? You’re very welcome. Fluent in 4K? We can help you figure out what’s next. Maybe we can answer your questions, like “does shooting in 4K for HD or 8K for 4K really give you better images?


Does it give you better movies? In the wrong hands — which means almost everyone now — digital production makes everything look like Masterpiece TV.


So, our workflow in Burbank will showcase a complete filmmaking workflow, from capturing and recording 4K and 8K video on a live set, to storing and editing your footage, to collaborating with your creative partners.


Not on the scripts we suspect. A creative partner now means the guy manning the toolroom.

It was so much easier back with real film. Just load the camera and shoot. You didn’t have to be continually re-inventing fire. It wasn’t always process over product. Lucidity and concision were the ideal.

It looked better, too.






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Why is it that “modular classrooms” all make these schools look like Santa’s Village?


(That must be the ideal — they’re starting to look like a playland on their own. Burbank has spent $300 million since 1997 for this?)





These modular classrooms are spreading like kudzu. They’re even bigger now than Chromebooks and Ozobot coding.

Modular classrooms are ugly enough to begin with, but don’t they give off a kind of Munchkinland aspect to these school campuses? There’s something way too ornately miniaturized and low-slung about them. The windows give it away. The buildings — if you can call them that– don’t look substantial enough to be taken seriously and they certainly lack the gravitas of those early 20th-century edifices which used to be the cultural ideal of this country.

But, they’re your kids’ future. As long as they have enough plugs, right?

These Burbank schools are just so ugly now. And, it’s by intent. Somebody must like them. Goofy color schemes and a shizoid assortment of design elements plucked from god knows where.





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Rogers’ official statement on his college graduation


For the record, we looked it up.

This is from his formal application for that vacant Burbank city clerk position up for appointment a few years ago.


Having left the school early, I did not earn a degree from The Goodman School, and I have no idea my course status with Normandale. I suspect I was near or had accomplished sufficient credits for a degree in theatre arts or communications, but I know I did not graduate, and have never requested nor had reason to review my transcripts of more than 30 years ago.


His legacy page says he graduated from Goodman. Maybe the council can hang the diploma right next to his picture. That’ll show the critics too!

This explains why we’ve never trusted most Burbank transplants, carpetbaggers, and outsiders. Flaky backgrounds, and who’s to know what’s what?

But they all seem to latch on here real well. They find a place in Burbank.



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