Falling for the propaganda



A disappointing and rather lamebrain editorial at the Burbank Viewpoints website:

The most important thing to remember about the proposed replacement terminal is that it is going to happen whether you want it or not. Period. Burbankers who have railed against the airport for years must resign themselves to this new normal. And there will be an increase of the number of flights after the FAA implements NextGen over the next few decades whether a new terminal is built of not.

Voters will be asked to approve the Airport Authority’s preferred plan for the new terminal as early as the November 8th national election. The authority wants as many voters as possible to weigh in on this and see the expected high turnout as a plus. So you’re not going to vote on whether there will be a replacement terminal but WHICH replacement terminal. So let’s take a look at the 4 different proposals and why they exist..

Not so.

Measure B requires an up or down yes/no vote. There’s no room in the ordinance for phony failsafe alternatives such as, “So which one do you guys happen to want…?” They can pick their whatever versions of this “replacement” terminal after the first citizen vote if they happen to win, but such a perverse obfuscation of the actual language of Measure B would be immediately violative.

The City of Burbank can’t try to obviously water down a “no” vote either by setting up three other “pro” choices in order to do so. It’s yes/no for Measure B, and yes/no only. So case closed on that flaky idea — there’s no place in Measure B for the airport boosters to get three extra bites of the apple just to get the thing through in any way possible.

In the end, the boosters all have to make up their joint minds on just WHICH terminal plan they want to put on the ballot. There’s no compound referendum available under Measure B. And if they don’t even know which terminal plan they want, then why should WE? Offering alternate “options” to the voters is a phony pro-terminal tactic designed to weight the scales in favor of passage, and it’s not allowed under Measure B.

We’re not convinced either that the people of Burbank are actually stupid enough to vote “yes” for this completely unnecessary airport terminal anyway, wherever it is (oh, sorry, airfield). If they do then they deserve everything they’re going to get.

Of course, they’re probably going to vote for Donald Trump as well during the same election if they’re of that sick of mind, so fuck ’em if they do. Let their nightmare begin right down the street.

4. The Do Nothing Option – Not sure if the authority even accepts this as a possible outcome. I would assume this would mean more lawyers and a renewed drain on the cities’ resources as the legal battles between the Authority and the City would get a reset.

We’re not aware of anything in the Measure B ordinance that requires the Authority to “accept” the outcome of the Burbank vote. That’s a new one. Oh, you mean they might cause trouble if they don’t get what they want? Say it ain’t so!

They’ve always been so friendly. The perfect neighbors.

Don’t fall either for this phony argument from the airfield boosters:

3The SWQ Same-Size  Alternative Terminal – This one’s important to pay attention to. If voters do not approve Measure B in November this is the terminal that could very well go through. Once the Measure B vote occurs, all bets seem to be off and the Authority can go ahead and build this version of the terminal, expand the number of gates, buy land, end the voluntary curfew etc.  It’s roughly the same size as the existing terminal but as above, would be located a bit west of Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park and entrances would remain on Empire Ave and Thornton Ave as they are now.

If this was such a great idea the Authority would have done it already. It’s the last thing they want to do. Financially they’d be much better off remodeling the current terminal– there’d be diminishing returns for any new project on the same basic property.

Think about it. A new terminal would have been long built and over with by now. The Authority isn’t playing nice by offering up another new “option” for 2016. So don’t be stupid and credulous.

Remember: small is beautiful, no new airport. Nobody wants one except the boosters and the outside businessmen.





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Real World Virtual Reality

FireShot Capture 197 - zSpace Product - http___zspace.com_product


By definition the real world is not virtual reality and virtual reality is not the real world. That’s why it’s virtual reality and not real reality. It’s either one or the other.

But this doesn’t stop the educational marketeers from trying to get our local school districts to buy lots of 21st-century! stuff from them, and which is exactly what the BUSD agreed to do last week:

The Burbank Unified School District (BUSD) recently received $1,115,750 for the Career Technical Education Incentive Grant (CTEIG). The grant is to maintain and expand Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways with the goal of providing high quality CTE programs to all students. The BUSD plans to expand the CTE pathways by adding two new strands: Engineering and Design; and, Health Science. The Engineering pathway will begin in the fall with Introduction to Engineering. In order to support the new engineering and health science pathways the District plans to purchase five zSpace computer labs for John Burroughs High School, Burbank High School, Jordan Middle School, Luther Burbank Middle School, and John Muir Middle School. The zSpace computers have virtual programs that allow students to experience lesson in a 3-D environment. For example, it allows students to look inside a beating heart and pull apart the different pieces to see how they function and put them back together again. It also comes with curriculum to support all of the technology. In addition, the zSpace computers have small engines and robotics modules.

Interesting idea, but when will this purchase prove to be obsolete? Not doubt too soon. And the District is planning on spending over $300,000 on these “collaborative” beating heart/pull apart labs.

Our suspicion of how gimmicky this can be isn’t at all relieved by the hype:

Works the way people work

The zSpace system integrates into your normal life with desktop virtual reality that allows you to seamlessly move in and out of zSpace back to the real world. This experience is enabled by a unique combination of high definition stereopsis, integrated head tracking with full motion parallax and a precision interactive stylus.

Although our critics might disagree, we don’t normally move in and out between the real world and virtual reality.  We don’t even know what that means. But it must have sold someone.

The BUSD is also farming out the development of some of their new STEM curriculum to an outside concern. It’s only costing about $40,000, and (sadly) this is the way of the future everywhere. No more will a Bert Hagg or a Bob Allen (or a Miss Smiley for that matter) be designing their own Burbank schools STEM-like curriculum or lesson plans.

Remember Hagg’s “Math Logic,” anyone, that old BHS summer school class based upon the simplified Polish Notation developed for the game “Wff ‘N Proof? Allen’s brother came up with the game when he was teaching at Yale Law School, and Hagg later ingeniously ported it over into our Burbank schools.

Those days are long gone. Everything’s uniform and automated now. And of course, overwhelmingly collaborative.

Creating “A-Ha!” moments around the room is the obvious goal. Er, lab.





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Imagine being proud of this

Hardly a progressive visionary, no.

A mentor to hundreds, one of Andy’s [Lazzaretto’s] proudest accomplishments was that at least 15 of his Assistants became City Managers (including one of his sons).

More here about his legacy.  Besides being a proud institutionalist, he was also a big fan of large scale redevelopment, which Burbank had no real use for or need.

Burbank still doesn’t. So it never made any internal sense to pursue.

Those were exciting years for Burbank politics. The community actually cared about things, and the local newspaper agreeably carried the news. There was engagement everywhere.




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Yes, but does it do any good?



The council’s being asked tomorrow night to re-approve their hotel/motel T-BID that guarantees a couple of city staff members continued good employment for years to come. Much is made in the official report about how the local tourist-industry people all love this T-BID organization and everything it stands for, which of course would be the case because it’s a win-win they never have to pay for (the tourists do) and at worst it does no harm.

But here’s the question of the night. Can anyone say for sure if this outfit does any good? Does it even work to promote local “tourism” and hotel attendance as they say? Are tourists now seen eagerly clutching T-BID brochures in their hands as they check into the latest Burbank garden resort?

Exactly what does this T-BID do but print those 4-color brochures? That’s not much more effort than those old alligator and trout farms used to put into their own self-promotions, and probably with a lot better results. At least us kids kept those brochures and postcards around.

In other words, is this Burbank T-BID an actual success? And how do they know?

One funny thing contained in the report is the news that six or seven of the local motels won’t even respond to the T-BID outreach effort, or the vote.




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Corn Flakes and bananas






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What emails? The bad ones have already been deleted!

It’s way too late for most of this to do any good:

The Office of Independent Review Group — hired in 2012 to provide ongoing oversight to the Burbank agency, which was reeling from allegations of police brutality, racism and sexual harassment — will likely present its findings to the Burbank City Council this summer, according to the group’s chief attorney Mike Gennaco.

Gennaco will also review and suggest ways to improve the agency’s employee email audits, which in recent years excluded supervisors, including sergeants, lieutenants, captains, the deputy chief and police chief.

How about not allowing them to pre-delete the things they think might cause trouble?

This is what’s totally useless now:

An audit scheduled for this year is slated to include all ranks, with city officials eyeing Gennaco to review the emails of captains, the deputy chief and police chief.

“I need independence so that people believe it, because there’s a lot of mistrust at this point,” interim City Manager Ron Davis said Friday.

He’ll find nothing in the upper ranks now. Who’s crazy enough to keep them around for the audit?

The one good thing here is that Commissioner Diamond is now threatening to demand the names and addresses of the supposedly “outside” recipients of these Angel emails. Since no doubt they weren’t all sent beyond city hall, this is probably going to cause some minor to major wailing and lamentation down at the CA’s office. Especially if it turns out that Albano is lying about just who received these things in their inbox or who sent anything back.

And again, the Leader article (and the main subjects, apparently) made no reference to what we think are the most seriously damaging of these emails: the non-joke anti-Muslim screeds. That a high-level police exec would even think to hold such a ridiculously bigoted and lamebrain opinion about “devout” Muslims is scary.




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Leader refused to interview or even mention any opponents of this “replacement” airport terminal

There was another puff piece in the Leader today about how the Airport Authority is trying to push this new terminal idea on people.

When it came to the community’s response to the latest outreach “workshop,” here’s all they wrote:

Resident Emilia Platas attended the workshop to better inform herself and her family who live near the airport about the proposed project. She said she favors the new terminal in the northeast section, but was concerned about how the project would be paid for, what the environmental impacts would be and how it would affect traffic.

Platas said that she probably will not read the entire 3,700-page report and appreciated the workshop for keeping her informed.

Resident Doug Isbell also liked the new terminal in the northeast quadrant, saying that he likes that airport officials are adamant about having only 14 gates.

Talk about marginalizing dissent. The LA Times made a deliberate effort to avoid mentioning any anti-airport position.

This is not journalism. It’s bought-and-paid-for hackwork. Just listen to all of the fake flattery being thrown at the Authority for how great they are in helping to keep people supposedly “informed.” They’re using workshop attendees as stand-ins and stooges for the Man. In the old days (such as the David Silva era of 15-20 years ago) this same paper would have gone out of its way to at least mention an alternate opinion about the proposed project.

This is going to be a very sleazy and dishonest campaign season. Expect lots more blatant one-sidedness.





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No mutts, please



Remember TAPS, our local so-called “Animal Protectorates”?

TAPS is the always self-congratulatory (but terrifically misnamed) animal rescue group in Burbank that always looks like it’s spending a lot more time promoting their own lofty moral position in life than getting those dogs and cats they say they care about off the streets.

Someone tipped us off the other day about how hard it is to pick up a dog now down at the local Pound as compared to the way it used to be back in the good old days. A quick check of the “Protectorates” and what they’re up to gives a good indication of just why this might be.

Btw, we put the word “protectorates” in quotes for the simple reason that this crowd is completely misusing it. What they’re really saying is that they are our Animal Protectors, but someone obviously thought the word protectorates was much more lofty and important. Just like they are.

A hint as to what might be going on here with the Burbank Animal Shelter and our recent reader query can be found in the group’s mission statement about why they insist on doing home inspections before they’ll even consider an “adoption”; another troublesome term for them that was apparently subject to lots of consternation and debate before they decided that nothing else would fit. We’re surprised they didn’t make up their own word, really.

Prior to this companion getting to this point, there is much emotional and financial involvement. The companions find themselves at the shelter in a stressful environment either because they were deemed a “stray” or their owners “relinquished them.” We evaluate and select the animals we think we can place in homes – it is a difficult process as not all animals make it out of that environment. After an animal comes under TAPS guardianship, there are trips to the vets, foster care, exercise, nurturing – each step, treating the companion as if they are our own. SO, when it is time for them to be with their new people, we are emotionally invested and care deeply for each one.

We try to make the Home Check as fair as possible. If we do not feel that your home is the right fit for one companion, we hope you will respect our judgment and allow us to help you find a companion that will thrive with you.

Last year we suggested that this Protectorates group is given carte blanche pick of the best of the Burbank Animal Shelter, and then afterwards they turn around and surcharge three or four times the amount that you would have normally paid at the BAS for the same animal.

Their above statement concerning the need for home checks and these “companions … at the shelter in a stressful environment” appears to confirm our suspicion about where they in fact get their animals. A quick look at their web site also adds fuel to this selectivity fire. All of the dogs they list are single breed varietals. Most of the cats are nondescript, but the dogs are all (at least right now) the kind that you’d have to pay big money for in the real world. There are no mutts.

So much for the spirit of rescuing. As in the rest of life, what you look like and where you come from will always put you at the top of the list. And for a price.

If TAPS has a separate channel for obtaining animals for rescue then more power to them. They’d be doing a good thing. But if their business model involves plucking the best or most desirable animals out of the local shelters (at first pick?) so that they can then re-brand them into something else, that’s not doing anything for the surplus animal population.

It’s not animal rescue; it’s fetishization and self-aggrandizement. If so — and we suspect that this is clearly what’s going on with TAPS now, especially with the dogs — then the Burbank City Council needs to direct staff to stop playing favorites when they hand over their Shelter animals to this group. It’s not fair to everyone else and it’s certainly not useful to the cause. It’s rather stupid in fact.




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Look, the fjord!


The Seattle Film Festival it’s not.


FireShot Capture 195 - Burbank International Film F_ - https___www.facebook.com_BurbankFilmFestival_


But then, why isn’t it?

Straight from the description:

A geologists warning of an imminent disaster go unheeded. Although predicted, no one is prepared when sudden seismic activity causes a Norwegian mountain to collapse, creating a violent 278 foot Tsunami that threatens to destroy everything in it’s path. This disaster film is based upon true events and is presented courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Is this the best they can do? Or do they not know any better?

Film festivals don’t have to be this way. There are other things out there.


Believe it or not, this was made in America.


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Burbank Police Commission just decided to refuse to deal with the email agenda item?


Apparently they won’t even talk about the subject, even though it was agendized (item H.8.)

This just in:

Sorry, off topic. I just watched the Burbank Police Commission meeting for the first time because I was hoping the old guy would talk about his camper problems and BPD. No such luck. However, a general discussion about the police email issue was agendized and a Burbank PD representative came up to speak on it. The commission wouldn’t hear what he had to say, therefore, neither did the viewing public. They might all be aspiring to future “real’ political careers in Burbank and wouldn’t stray from their instructions from the police union. I’ve never seen a bigger bunch of idiots. They are a total embarrassment to any Burbank resident. They should be disbanded for incompetence and hopefully that would come out when they seek election for City council in the future. I give no credit to the two that had other ideas, since they were totally lacking of passion and made no effort to gain support for their point of view. As I said, fire the whole lot. It’s offensive to put on a charade of public representation, which is what they were doing. Also, they claimed they had a four page memo from the police union. I would have liked to have heard what was in that as well as BPD’s presentation.

If an item has been placed on the official Police Commission agenda then it MUST be addressed and discussed in full. And any written communication referenced by the Commission and used by them in any kind of deliberation or discussion must be made public.

What’s going on here? No board or commission (or council) can legally refuse to deal with an agenda item, even if they don’t like the topic or what staff might have to say about it. They can postpone or continue it, but they can’t ignore it. If staff has provided a spokesperson then they must be listened to.

Why would this oversight group not want to hear what their people have to say?

Such evasive, hamfisted behavior makes a mockery of the Brown Act and open government.

Egads. Burbank always looks so bad, doesn’t it?




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In 2012 the BPD encouraged officers to delete “no longer needed” emails. But what was Burbank’s official records retention policy?

Those Tom Angel emails might not have been the only questionable material floating around the place. But we’ll probably never know.

This is from the BPD’s June 28, 2012 Daily Bulletin, as linked to on Fronnie’s blog:


FireShot Capture 194 - - http___www.mediacitygroove.com_wp-content_uploads_2016_05_Electronic-Ma


There’s a legal question in California about how quickly cities can toss their emails, but the AG is recommending that they keep them for at least two years.

Apparently that’s because CalAware and other watchdog groups are threatening to sue various agencies over their unfortunate habit of throwing out emails whenever they want, especially if they’re not directly related to records that must be kept under current law. CalAware is very concerned about keeping this material around, and the courts could decide in their favor.

So because deleting emails can also end up deleting evidence, why was/is the BPD encouraging its officers to get rid of their internal communications? We can’t find the council’s decision on a City of Burbank records retention policy about emails — which is up to them to decide, and not anyone else — but if the current rules allow employee discretion on the retention or destruction of these departmental emails then they must be changed.

Do City of Burbank emails all stay archived somewhere? Or are they gone for good as soon as the employee hits that key?

Bottom line? Because BPD employees are regularly informed in writing of the existence of departmental email audits, and because they have also been urged in writing to delete anything they deem to be old and unnecessary, how much else was running through there that might not have been kosher?

We’ll never know, because the BPD has instructed their people to make a personal decision to get rid of stuff. Directive No. 2 above all but links this to the existence of the inspection/audit. It’s like they’re telling the officers to delete things ahead of time to avoid future problems.


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The communal table as metaphor for, well, just about everything now

The irony of this is almost beyond comprehension:




(click to enlarge)





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Remember the days when we couldn’t do our classwork or hear our teachers talking to us?



Thank god they found the money!

Within a matter of a few weeks, sweeping technology upgrades totaling more than $2.3 million approved by the Burbank school board will give students improved access to wireless Internet and allow them to hear their teachers better through use of new voice-amplification systems and complete classwork on new computers.

The upgrades are part of a key promise school board members made to local voters after they passed a facilities bond called Measure S in 2013.

Actually, the promise they made is that they would NOT spend any of the Measure S bond money on technology or curriculum enhancements.

It was intended for FACILITY upgrades only — supposedly because after a dozen years or so the remodeling crap that those earlier school boards had approved was already falling apart.

So leave it to the local media and the Burbank booster class to turn what is now a bald-faced lie into a prime example of community inspiration and triumph.

What insanity. Most of this new technology stuff is also totally useless if not ridiculously counterproductive. At best it’s the 21st-century’s version of the old language lab con-job, at worst it’s a conscious degrading of the role of both teacher and individual. The supposed communal and “collaborative” nature of this modern 21st-century! pedagogical approach is creepy as hell.

Remember language labs in Burbank? Their biggest contribution was the spreading of lice among the student body because of those big headphones. Nobody ever learned anything in them. If only this current mania for student “problem solving!” and “creating original works!” (tangible products) was as benign.


Notice there’s not much room in there for, say, Thoreau? That’s the whole idea. The concept of collaborating for an “audience” though is very important.

How sick.




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Frustration? Or is it the appeal of left-wing values instead?


Why won’t the corporate commercial media ever admit the possibility that the real reason why Bernie Sanders is so popular is that many, many people actually share his progressive ideals?

That they believe in what he says? And that they’re not just angry at “The Establishment”?

Does this question really need answering?



The corporate media’s at it again today as well. Trump presented some absurd list of Supreme Court nominees this morning, and all they’re talking about this afternoon on the cable channels is how one them is the ex-wife of a conservative radio host who doesn’t happen to like the candidate.

No talk at all about these judges’ judicial philosophies and how they’d change the complexion of the Court, or what this would mean in regards to current law and judicial precedent, or even how it might not have been too wise politically for Trump to come out so far in favor of such judicial conservativism given that there’s an entire country out there that he’d have to run.

Instead, just cute gossip. It’s almost like the media is deliberately ignoring what electing a right-wing business conservative would do to this country.

Ya’ think?

Oh, and now it’s the Democrats who are irreparably “split,” but the Republicans have become whole and are getting along. So watch out “Hillary,” and doesn’t she have just as many “negatives” as Donald Trump?




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The most unintentionally hilarious local news paragraph ever written

Get this. Now we know who’s calling the shots around here:

Moving forward, airport staff will refer to the airfield, which will legally remain known as Bob Hope Airport, as Hollywood Burbank Airport and all written correspondence will reflect the change.

First of all, what’s the deal with the “airfield” pretense? What we have in Burbank is not an airfield — but it is fun watching these people try to use two completely different terms for the place in the exact same sentence.

Now here comes the really fun part…

Authority commissioners and Burbank City Council members have also been told to call the airport by its new branding name, said David Freedman, director of business, property and administrative services for the airport.

They “have also been told…”? Just who’s telling whom what life’s about?

Additionally, a new website domain and social medial handles have been created reflecting the new name. Airport officials have also started talking with airlines and flight-booking websites to update them on the new identifier.

In addition, staff will work with the Bob Hope Legacy Foundation to determine how to incorporate the comedian’s name into the branding efforts.

Say what? The only way they can do this is by changing the name again. The branding name they said was “Hollywood Burbank Airport.”


Which as we already pointed out is a logical and grammatical mistake. Hollywood and Burbank together must be hyphenated, because there’s no such thing as a “Hollywood Burbank” or a “Burbank Hollywood.”

How can anyone respect these people? They can’t even get their own damn name straight — still — and then they show how they have no control over the English language. Do they even know what a hyphen is for?

We already know they can’t distinguish the difference between an “airfield” and an “airport.” And they’re in the business!

Even if they think it’s somehow more cool to omit the hypen (which it’s not), it must still remain. The lack of a hyphen makes their new name look stupid and illiterate. Whatever it is.

As well as confusing to people. Where the hell is the place?





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A salute to those “20th-century!” transportation facilities that everyone supposedly wanted as well

The best laid plans, yes…





Remember this one, for downtown LA?



The Metroport!




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Because people stay home during Spring breaks and Easter Week

Makes sense:


FireShot Capture 193 - Easter blamed for a slower than antic_ - http___www.latimes.com_socal_burba


If you’re a total and complete moron.

It’s one thing to try to pull this as a phony excuse, but to actually get us to believe that it explains the situation? Whatever works, eh?

According to the article it turns out that they hate a less-crowded airport because fewer people end up spending less time sitting around their parking lots, which means less money paid out at the parking gates.

This latest news just proves that we don’t need a big new airport terminal. Small is beautiful, no new terminal.








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Keeping it in-house

From tonight’s agenda.

Why would anyone even suggest non-advertisement here?


FireShot Capture 30 - - http___burbank.granicus.com_MetaViewer


To be fair, Albano is advising the city council to go out and advertise for applicants. But why even give them this lackey/crony referral option?

Why even suggest it?

We can think of some good issues for review and placement on the Charter, and to put up for a subsequent public vote after the committee is through with its work:

  1. Rent Control
  2. Rent Control
  3. Rent Control

Afraid to put rent control up to a public yes or no vote Burbank?

Afraid it would win? Here’s a good start for a Charter provision. It’s almost all ready to go.


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So we need to start building lots more apartments and stores and EVERYTHING so that we can balance our budget!!!

Yes Yes Yes!!


FireShot Capture 192 - Burbank Leader - Burbank poli_ - http___www.latimes.com_socal_burbank-leader_


Bla bla bla.

The propaganda machine is warming up.





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