Why them?

Think about it. Why just them?

About 200 people filled a room in the Adult Recreation Center Thursday night to learn more about Glendale’s proposal to overhaul Central Park in order to make room for the planned Armenian American Museum and reconfigure the open space.

In 2016, city officials agreed to carve out an area in the Central Park block for the museum and also used the opportunity to reimagine the space so it could integrate nearby facilities as well as create new public and recreational spaces.

The proposed redesign by Sausalito-based architectural design firm SWA Group places the museum in the southwest quadrant of Central Park at roughly 61,000 square feet.

We have a sneaky feeling that none of this was about “reimagining” anything.

And what does that word mean anyway? It’s just an attempt to deposit a false loftiness onto the clearly mundane and bureaucratic. It’s ridiculous.

Hey. Maybe if we reimagine Burbank we can then find a neat reason to turn it into a mixed-use paradise full of walking and biking commuters. 

There you go. Imagination’s a good thing!


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One of Burbank’s wackiest ideas was something called “Released Time”

News of Jerry Jones’ passing had us going to the archives on this one.

We well remember how personally uncomfortable this made us after we moved back into the Burbank schools in 1966. It was almost as weird as that “Bank Day” they’d tried to foist on us a few years earlier.

Jesus. You mean it lasted this long?

June 10, 2000

By Joyce Rudolph

Amid a heavy sadness at the final dinner, supporters of Released Time congratulated coordinators for 56 years of teaching Christian values to thousands of youngsters and asked them to have faith something else would replace the program, which closed in April.

Representatives from the 12 participating churches, clergy, board members and teachers — more than 80 people altogether– gathered at the First Christian Church Monday for the annual dinner meeting.

A lack of enrollment and donations from churches led to the demise of the program, which organizers say has taught 40,000 children about the Old and New Testaments through the years.

What would happen is that the intermediate kids at most of the Burbank elementary schools would be dismissed at two o’clock in the afternoon on Wednesdays so that they could all traipse down the street to some woman’s home for a proscribed course in Bible study and other religious doctrine.

At Emerson at least the subdivisions were Catholic, Christian, and LDS. Each group of kids would thus venture off alone to their whatever it was religious destination.

The teachers all hated the disruption, naturally, and not every church participated. The local rabbis objected to this Released Time deal on philosophical and legal grounds, and so the Jewish kids didn’t go. Participation was not mandatory, and thus the leftover bunch who stayed behind would usually be forced to futz around the classroom for that entire wasted hour. Washing erasers was especially big with Miss Anderson.

There was always a problem too in getting back all of the kids by quitting time. Some of course never ended up where they were supposed to.

Just like Bert Haag’s equally weird “Noon Games,” where unlucky Emerson kids were forced to act like some kind of athletic wunderkinder straight out of 1936 Hitler’s Germany, the BUSD’s Released Time practice was as bizarro as shit.

Burbank Community Church Pastor Jerry Jones, representing the Burbank Ministerial Assn., reminded coordinators their efforts will go on and on.

“It’s not the end, but at a turn in the road,” he said. “You will go on in other ministries to help touch the lives of boys and girls.”


Vice Mayor Bob Kramer, a former participant of Released Time School of Christian Education, thanked the members for their heartfelt dedication over the years.

“Your work is never going to end because of the many lives you’ve touched,” he said. Kramer coaxed Pastor Walter Wentworth, retired minister of Toluca Lake Trinity Foursquare Church, to the podium. Putting an arm around Wentworth, Kramer thanked him for his guidance while Kramer was growing up in Burbank.

No wonder Ted went nuts.


Board President Josephine Orcutt said a lack of money to cover costs of bus transportation and teacher salaries caused the board to close the program in April.

She said the program is still in the red by between $2,000 and $3,000, and asked churches attending for donations so the program could end with all outstanding bills paid.

Co-directors Louise Byers and Marguerite Derderian thanked Orcutt for her guidance through the years and recognized fellow teachers for their service. They are Linda Anderson, 21 years; Natalie Lennon, nine years; and Joyce Smith, five years. Orcutt has been a teacher in the program for 20 years while Byers has served three years and Derderian 11 years.

The meeting was interspersed with Christian music selections featuring vocal soloists Karen Pickett of Toluca Lake Trinity Foursquare Church, Kathy Hitt of First United Methodist Church, and the trio of Jack and Miriam Schoengarth of Trinity Foursquare Church (strings) and Gigi Koratgif (piano) of First Christian Church.

The Rev. Galen Goben performed the invocation and Pastor Phil Hyde of Burbank First Foursquare Church gave the closing prayer.

Appropriately the meeting culminated with everyone singing “Onward, Christian Soldiers.”

Boy, they must have been really upset.

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Whose Burbank?

Only the puerile version.

For those who haven’t lived in Burbank most of their lives, the city’s rich history may be lost on them. Burbank was founded in 1887 and has since gone through many transformations, many of which have been lost on the generations that follow. This, however, is not the case when it comes to Growing Up in Burbank: Boomer Memories from The Akron to Zody’s.

This book provides a first hand account of what it was like growing up in Burbank during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Written by, Wesley H. Clark and Michael B. McDaniel, both of who grew up in Burbank, shed light on Burbank’s personality during what they deem “the wonder years.” This collection of short stories, information, and classic tales solidifies an identity for a city we all have grown to love.

Or, like most of their contemporaries, chosen to have deliberately moved away from.

While these stories and first hand accounts cater to the baby boomers found throughout Burbank, I found a refreshing sense of adoration for a city that is home to so many with a wide array of backgrounds. That’s what’s special about this book. No matter what kind of upbringing you’ve had, you will find pockets of shared sense of enthusiasm between the lines.

Whether you grew up in Burbank during the 60s and 70s, or you’re interested in how the generation before you lived in your city, Growing Up in Burbankis a must-have on your book shelf.

Hey. We grew up in Burbank at the same time, and we can assure anyone who cares that it was nothing like “The Wonder Years,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. For one thing, the parents weren’t as stupid.

Some of the stuff those two guys do is fun and interesting, but it resembles the real story of Burbank and its charms about as much as that childish TV show which happened to be filmed on one of its streets.

Here’s a tipoff about the incomplete nature of their city and world view. Do those two ever write about anyone that they ever talked to back then?

Not now, with picturebooks. Then.


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And all’s right with the world


Apparently because the residents of Country Club Drive were “warned” by the city of Burbank that something bad might happen to their street with a flood, that makes it their fault.

Right? Is that how it works, Burbank? And Burbank Leader?


Before the storm, city officials warned residents in the hillside community to not park their cars on the street, lest they become carried away in a potential flash flood or mudslide. Peters had parked her black Scion on an easement several feet away from the road and thought it was safe.

When she checked to see how her car fared during the storm, it was nowhere to be found.

“It was quite shocking … the car was just gone,” she said…

When she saw what happened to the Scion, Peters found that all four wheels had been bent outward, several windows had shattered, both ends were smashed and the interior was filled with mud.

“It’s famous now. It’s a mascot for this disaster,” Peters said.

 She took the damage in stride and called it a humbling reminder of nature’s power.

How about malfeasance on the part of whatever agency(ies) are responsible for maintaining that street and check dams in proper order?

So would the Burbank of today have tried to get away with this same inanity in the Aimee Miller death of 1964?

“Hey guys, we warned you earlier about all that water and mud…”



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Hey scolds. He’s also the voice of the New York Philharmonic

Wanna go after him there? (As if they even know this.)

Of course they will.

After actors Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Hall pledged to donate their salaries from their work on Woody Allen films to charity in light of the re-emergence of sexual abuse claims against Allen by adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, Alec Baldwin took to Twitter to say that he finds the public disapproval of Allen “unfair and sad.”

In a series of tweets posted Tuesday, Baldwin praised the director, stating that any charges made against Allen by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, were never filed. “Woody Allen was investigated forensically by two states (NY and CT) and no charges were filed. The renunciation of him and his work, no doubt, has some purpose. But it’s unfair and sad to me. I worked with WA 3 times and it was one of the privileges of my career,” Baldwin wrote.



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Sign this guy up


In this weekend’s Washington Post:


Richard Morgan’s essay on Woody Allen obviously was trading on the sensitivity of the moment to men’s abuse of underage women. He mentioned Allen’s alleged abuse of Dylan Farrow, and the reverberations from that note are meant to wash over every other instance of Allen filming or writing about women. No other real case of abuse is mentioned, though he came up with one imagined scenario of sexual harassment (against Nati Abascal).

The author said Allen’s private notes show an “obsession” with young women but offered only a couple of mentions of women ages 16 to 18, a meager harvest from those 56 boxes of Allen’s sketches reaching across 57 years of his life. That’s not obsession. The author says Allen writes “Freudian” scripts, but the big word just sits there reverberating darkly.

And perhaps the cheapest of shots: The objectifying of a woman by a man, “in [Allen’s] view, is the pinnacle of art, its truest calling and highest purpose.” No example discussed.

Morgan worked with snarky comments, innuendo and distortion. A short list of Oscar-nominated female roles became “a nesting-doll joke . . . Allen used [Diane] Keaton and the others . . . [as] an Oscar lure shiny enough to blind aspiring acolytes to his darkness.” Desperate for wit, he aimed this cheap shot at one of Allen’s real accomplishments: the creation of complex female characters with a range of interesting personalities and destinies that appealed to and, in some cases, made great actresses.

Morgan’s judgments were crude, his wit shallow (“garden of earthly deletes”). He has reduced a filmmaker of depth and wit to a misogynistic fetishist. His article was neither film criticism nor journalism, just opportunistic.

Stephen Jaeger, Burbank, Calif.





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Surprise, surprise, surprise!



Fascinating isn’t it that this didn’t crop up in force until after the big vote for the new terminal? Remember? The “Change is inevitable” one?

From that **WeLoveBurbank** Facebook page, the first proof now that these voters were all duped. Like what did Burbank think was going to happen…



Yeah, that’ll do it. After 40 years of lawsuits, write a letter.


Now you’re stuck with it, “people.”


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So does he think Woody is guilty? If so, then he should be challenged to admit that

And then why he thinks so.

These people are all such grandstanding, self-serious little phonies:



The glorious thing about all of this is that — because Allen only pays scale for most of these roles — the very few days that these unctuous ones worked with him will only amount to a very tiny sum.

Of course you won’t be hearing about any of this in the press, but it’s no financial loss. They’re not giving up anything.

Now unlike the recent “revelation” from that guy who supposedly went through Allen’s files at Princeton — and then tried to falsely play off a couple of his rough drafts as deeply troubling personal diaries (and by also ignoring the jokes) — there’s an actual film scholar who’s been working on Woody for years. And he has quite a different take on the story.



His pieces are definitely worth reading. (Notwithstanding that this same insane phony/revisionist age also praises those who named names in the 50s. It was a good thing, really!)





Interesting story there too about Dory Previn.




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They never send us their best





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Available right down the street



Rest assured that those new residents we have coming in can all walk to work in safety.

Right after they get through shopping at Whole Foods.


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Those rugged, rustic Verdugos

Well, they’re certainly not for everyone. Here’s what the Ninth Circuit Court had to say the last time anyone tried to put on a decent concert up at Starlight Bowl…

We hold that the City of Burbank violated Cinevision’s first amendment rights in denying access to the Starlight Bowl on the basis of the content of the performers’ expression and other arbitrary factors.

The City Council also considered arbitrary and unlawful factors in disapproving the proposed concerts. Discussion at the City Council meeting indicated that Todd Rundgren and Patti Smith were rejected–at least in part–because members of the Council thought that their performances would attract homosexual crowds. Councilman Richman explicitly stated that Rundgren and Smith attracted homosexual crowds and “that’s not what we want.”20  The only “evidence” supporting that assertion was a Burbank police report indicating that a police department in another city where Rundgren and Smith had performed apparently stated that a large number of homosexuals had attended the concerts.

Other arbitrary factors were considered by the Council in rejecting some of the proposed concerts. For example, Richman in the past had indicated opposition to performers who attracted “black audiences.” See infra note 25. The vice-mayor objected to Patti Smith’s proposed concert because she often said “off-the-wall things.” Finally, the discussion at the City Council meeting strongly suggests that the proposed Jackson Browne concert was rejected solely because of Browne’s views, and the views of the crowd that he would attract, on nuclear power.

The record before us leaves little room for any argument by the City of Burbank that the City Council rejected the proposed groups on constitutionally permissible grounds. Excluding a performer because of his political views, or those of the crowd that he might attract, or because the performer might say unorthodox things, as well as considering such arbitrary factors as the lifestyle or race of the crowd that a performer would attract, is not constitutionally permissible.

Moreover, there were no consistent content-neutral standards used to evaluate the proposed entertainers; rather, the City Council rejected groups with both favorable and unfavorable police reports. The only standard consistently applied is that performers who played what the members of the Burbank City Council thought to be “hard rock” music or who were perceived by the officials to be unorthodox in the least were disapproved.

In retribution for this defeat, they’ve made sure it’s been junk ever since. It wasn’t the cops fault, either. They said Todd Rundgren was OK.

For some reason we were reminded of this today. For Burbank, it was the last straw.


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Woody should start hiring her instead

He definitely needs to stop using these nothing Millennials.

They don’t want to work with him? Good riddance.

Eat your hearts out, you 40-year-old ingénues.


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It must sound better with distance

Hilarious. Look how the Guardian describes part of Burbank:

Jeanette Abney owns a big, fancy house and Elizabeth Terry rents a room in a boarding house. But this week they both ended up sleeping on cots in the same American Red Cross evacuation centre, sipping the same instant coffee, nibbling the same pastries and huddling under the same blankets. A rain-sodden poster at the entrance declared “disaster services”.

Both women were in need. A storm had drenched the Verdugo mountains, a rugged, rustic outpost of Los Angeles, and unleashed a massive mudslide, forcing them to flee to an improvised evacuation centre in the San Fernando valley.

Rustic? Outpost?


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The Central branch is still not open on Sundays

But Buena Vista is. And has been for years.

Inferior public services and a ho-hum “What’s the issue there?” attitude about shoving 1100 apartments into area side streets and boulevards.  And with many more on the way — you should see that pipeline.

So why is the Burbank Hillside putting up with this?


Sunday: CLOSED


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She worked for one day (!)

How valiant. What a gesture:

Rebecca Hall is giving back the salary she earned for appearing in an upcoming Woody Allen movie.

The London-born actress, 35, said in an Instagram post Friday that she’s donating the money she earned from A Rainy Day in New York to the newly-formed Time’s Up coalition, formed by entertainers in the wake of dozens of high-powered men in show business facing accusations of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct.

Hall’s move comes in response to criticisms of Hollywood hypocrisy from Dylan Farrow, who alleges that ‘the director sexually molested her when she was seven-years-old and his adopted daughter.

Hall said that her work in A Rainy Day in New York was ‘easy,’ constituting ‘one day in [her] hometown.


Jesus. These people are all such grandstanding, sanctimonious little phonies. She’s spent more time boasting and taking bows for her gallantry than she did on the set.

But you know what’s worse about them? They have no sense, and are positively shameless about it.


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This is not what’s supposed to happen at all


Having once lived at the foot of Country Club Drive, we know for a fact that this as told to the Leader today is misleading b.s.


Despite the damage that the rain did to the hillside community, the Los Angeles County’s system for dealing with storms worked as intended.

Atop Country Club Drive sits a pair of debris basins built around 1929, according to Mark Pestrella, L.A. County’s public works director.

When the upper and lower Sunset Debris Basins reach capacity during heavy rain, the overflow would then be channeled into a storm drain.

However, if the water and mud doesn’t make its way into the drain, Pestrella said the runoff would then flow down the street and into catch basins along the road.


Storm drains aren’t for mud. Mud and debris is for the check dams. The two dams are supposed to be able to handle the material runoff.

Unless of course — like 1964 — they weren’t cleaned out enough. The same thing also happened in the early 70s, back when the lower check dam hadn’t been emptied of all of its earlier debris. Olive was a mess, and so was part of the LDS ward.

Clearly, catapulted cars tumbling down the street are not supposed to be part of the deal. So why are they saying that it is?

It all worked “as intended”?


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And people wonder why crime is up in Burbank, but way down in Glendale and Pasadena

It’s a class issue.

Because face it. Burbank’s just not that nice any more…

On Wednesday, video-game company Blizzard Entertainment launched the inaugural season of its competitive Overwatch League, the first major test of its dedicated esports broadcast facility in Burbank since it opened last year.

Blizzard Arena Los Angeles is a roughly 450-seat, 50,000-square-foot, three-studio facility housed in the Burbank Studios, former home of “The Tonight Show.”

Some replacement. But it gets worse…

Like every OWL team, the Gladiators and Valiant depend on skilled players from different parts of the world, recruiting from as far away as France and South Korea. Valiant’s Christopher “GrimReality” Schaefer, 18, a Chico resident, is the sole California native on either team.

Schaefer said it’s a “big deal” to be part of one of the L.A. franchises in OWL, adding that the dedicated arena in Burbank provides a space that better connects players with their fans.

Uh-huh. We also remember when bookies and such ilk used to be frowned upon around here.

Burbank more than ever attracts these kind of downscale, lower-class preoccupations, which (sorry) they indeed are. Over the last 30 years they’ve even been actively encouraged to locate here.

Many of us saw this all coming, too. So what else do you expect?


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November, 1964 (with update )


Exodus Begins From Burbank As Rain Falls

BURBANK (UPI) Residents voluntarily began leaving their mud threatened homes today as a steady rain started eating away soil in the fire-ravaged Burtank Hills. Police said the evacuation was proceeding in an orderly fashion. Citv police, firemen and road crews were standing by, geared for the threat of more massive mud slides which already have caused considerable damage in the Country Club Canvon area and open spaces.

At the same time, police resumed the search for Aimee Miller. 47, the wife of Frank Sinatra’s pianist. She disappeared Monday when a mudslide swept her home and narrowly spared her husband and 17-year-old daughter. “Right now we don’t know what’s going to happen.” said Sgt. Edward Cassidy of the Burbank Police Department. “That whole hillside is just hanging by a thread and a steady rain started about 8:30 p.m.”

Cassidy said city crews, firemen and policemen were stationed at a command post at the top of Olive Avenue near the threatened Country Club Canyon area. Cassidy said that homes located near the top of Country Club Canyon were threatened as well as those in basin-type terrain at the bottom of the canyon. Emil Kurtz, the district U.S. Weather forecaster for Los Angeles, predicted the Burbank area would receive up to one inch of rain from a new storm front which moved into Southern California today.

William Miller, 49, Sinatra’s pianist for many years, was injured seriously Monday while trying to save his wife, Aimee, 47. Their daughter, Meredith, escaped by making a perilous 90-minute climb over the Verdugo Mountains. Friends of Sinatra reported that he helped rescuers look for Mrs. Miller Monday night before the search was temporarily halted about 10:15 p.m., PST.

The Miller home, valued at $35,000, was damaged extensively. Police speculated that Mrs. Miller might have been buried under tons of mud and debris piled 20-30 feet deep about three-fourths of a mile from the home. While being treated for scratches at Community Hospital, Miss Miller—unaware that her mother was missing—told newsmen of her ordeal; “It was like a flash flood. The mud just came down the canyon and filled one side of the house. We shut that off, but then it started breaking the house up.

“I said, ‘we have to get out of here.’ I ran out the back way and up the mountain before the house started falling apart.” Miss Miller said she climbed sleep cliffs by holding onto plants and scrub brush. “When I got halfway up, I looked back,” she continued. “Mud was going in one side of the house and coming out the other. The walls were broken and mud was pouring out, I kept going.”

When she reached high ground Miss Miller flagged a truck driver for help. Miller, who remained with his wife, tried to save her when she was washed out of their home. He later was found by rescuers about three-fourths of a mile from the house, clinging to an automobile. The pianist was taken to Community Hospital, where attendants reported his condition was “serious but not critical.” His daughter went to the home of friends after she was treated at the hospital.

UPI story; November 10, 1964. Sinatra later identified her body.


Bill Miller received a little more than $100,000 in compensation for the death of his wife, but only after a 10-year-long legal battle that eventually reached the California Supreme Court. A jury trial had awarded him $128,000 against the Flood Control District and City of Burbank, of which they both appealed — although Burbank later settled out of court.

Amazingly, the contractor of the house was not held responsible for their building on a notoriously bad curve of Country Club Drive, nor for failing to construct a retaining wall, both of which contributed to the tragedy.





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Deep Doo-Doo


Could it get any worse for this country?

One of President Donald Trump’s most trusted lawyers sent $130,000 in hush money to a porn star just weeks before the 2016 presidential election to keep her silent about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter she had with the then-Republican presidential nominee

The newspaper reported that Michael Cohen, who served as the Trump Organization’s top attorney for about a decade, arranged for the payment to Stephanie Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, in October 2016 after a negotiation between her lawyer and Cohen on a nondisclosure agreement, sources said.

The sexual encounter allegedly happened between Trump and Clifford at a July 2006 celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.

Trump married his third wife, Melania Trump, in 2005.

The answer is “yes.”


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