It’s just more proof that local people are easy to please

Can you imagine.

Porto’s Bakery and Cafe in Burbank topped Yelp’s list of the Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S., based on an analysis of “which places were the all-time most popular and well reviewed” on the user-review website, according to the company, which published the list online Wednesday.

The Glendale and Downey locations would also have ranked in the top 100, Yelp added in a footnote, though they are not listed separately. A company spokeswoman said they felt it would be best to list only the highest-ranked location in the chain.

Best for what? The truth? Because the other ones would bring it all down?

Sounds like Portos logic. That food’s not good for you anyway.

Don’t even try to make things better around here people. It ain’t worth it, and it’s too late anyway.



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The library as entertainment mall



Just as we figured. Subliteracy will indeed continue to reign supreme in Burbank.

The search for the head of the library department drew many strong candidates, outgoing City Manager Mark Scott said in a statement announcing Goldman’s selection last week.

“Elizabeth Goldman was the most impressive candidate among an outstanding field,” Scott said. “She is committed to the Burbank Public Library’s strong brand and will lead the team capably into the future.”

Goldman will oversee the Burbank system’s three branches and a $6.4 million budget.

She said the system is “just the right size for me,” and a place where she will be able to have a more hands-on approach than in a larger library. She sees Burbank as a community that supports its library, which was an important consideration for her, and as a distinct city with “a lot of potential.”

One area of potential that attracted her, she said, was the opportunity to look at how libraries will need to evolve to continue to meet the public’s need for information and civic engagement.

What stupid, reckless, technocratic agenda has she already been given? And who decided upon it?

In particular, the opportunity to guide plans for a new Burbank central library to serve the community’s changing needs for the next 50 years as the “library of the future.”

Most libraries, including Burbank’s, are designed around a model of storing books and providing quiet reading environments, she said, but modern libraries serve more diverse purposes, such as places for meetings and collaboration, access to technology and community-building.

Says who? You can go to Starbucks for that. What you can’t go to Starbucks for are books.

It’s been a “lifelong dream to rebuild a central library,” she said. Burbank officials have discussed the need for a new central library, but they face challenges such as finding an appropriate property and funding.

During a City Council discussion of its priorities in August, a few council members identified the new central library as an important project. However, Councilman David Gordon said, “even in our best wishes and dreams … it would be a while” before the project could be undertaken.

He’s right.

It’s even better than that — we don’t need a new central branch in Burbank. The old one has plenty of potential, and there’s also plenty of room in the front for expansion.

The property’s already there.

The quotations above also contain plenty of the kind of words that you should always watch out for. Here’s a short list:

civic engagement

Put ’em together in a sentence and you can get one of those six-figure bureaucratic jobs too.

Obviously we’re not impressed. Did we ever tell you how good the Burbank Library used to be? It was back when it made a specialty of keeping books around.





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Attention, Burbank Leader: she won the case


Burbank Unified School District is criticized by former employee for sending wrong message to women

A former Burbank Unified School District employee, who alleged in a lawsuit that she was sexually harassed and retaliated against by a manager, publicly criticized the district’s handling of the decade-long case at last week’s school board meeting.

“Whether or not you believe me,” Danielle Baez told the board members, “the message that’s being sent to women in our community, to young women that are joining the work place for the very first time, is that if you are sexually harassed while working in a hostile work environment, the message you send while dragging somebody through a 10-year legal battle, is to shut up and go away.”

In 2007, Baez, who worked as a secretary, claimed in a legal filing that the then-facilities director, Craig Jellison, repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances, propositioned her, sent her suggestive emails and made physical advances toward her in his office.

She won the case.  Her “claims” were affirmed by a jury.

Who else is sending a wrong message?


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Brown Act? What’s that?

We don’t do Facebook around here, but if these council members are getting together with themselves  (and others) on Rogers’ FB page to discuss city issues or garner a consensus about anything that’s half-way city related, they’re in serious violation of the Brown Act.

Remember all those concerns they had in the old days about more than two of them sitting together in the audience at community meetings and other issue oriented get-togethers, no matter what or where?

It applies to their little Facebook symposiums as well. Especially so.


Dave Golonski
7 hrs
Another suggestion on combating increasing crime in Burbank – while this is a regional problem, restoring the airship’s schedule (reduced due to budget cuts) might help. The helicopter use to be up more often during daytime hours – provides a very visible law enforcement presence citywide… Also would be good to get as much press as possible if/when the old schedule could be restored – City Council would need to find some additional funding. Let’s see what they have to say – Will Rogers Jess Talamantes Emily Gabel-Luddy Bob Frutos – some please forward to David Gordon – apparently not a member of this group?

Gordon’s smart not to get involved. The above topic clearly falls within their “subject matter jurisdiction,” and so why the hell are they chatting about anything online?

Do we still have a city attorney in this town? Rogers’ use of social media accounts to muse about city affairs has always hit us as more than a bit problematical. When the others start to muse along with him, it’s a no-no.

Albano goes positively ape about them just talking together during response to orals about non-agendized items. She allows this?

Or is she inept enough to think that serial meetings are only illegal if they happen at the same time?




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In crankiness begins civilization

The new monasteries.



After Trump gets elected we’re going to need them.

By the way, is anyone else concerned about why that lame-duck city manager of ours was allowed to — as one of his last acts — hire the new city librarian? That renowned technocrat he was boasting about to MyBurbank, the one with a personal booklist on Goodreads that looks like it came out of the Young Adult section?

Like, did the Library Commission interview any of the job applicants, as they do in other cities? Were they allowed to be a part of the selection process?

Did the Council?

How about the Friends of the Library?




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FireShot Capture 59 - Donald Trump is not happy about this f_ - http___www.usatoday.com_story_news


Yes, they love him in New York.


daily news





February 10, 2016 · 1:03 pm

Hillside protection ordinance is anything but

Interesting piece today in the Leader about the Joaquin Drive mansionization project that was approved by the Planning Board and then sent back by the Council. The one that looks like Uday and Qusay had a hand in the design.

The appellant finally had someone take his complaint seriously enough to do something about it, although if his petition had been made 20 years ago it would have cost the guy almost nothing. Council rule changes made in 1999-2000 sent the cost of these appeals from about 0 dollars to several hundred or more. Wonder why.**

The reason we didn’t write about this case is because it’s always the same old story up there. Most people don’t realize that projects above Sunset Canyon or Bel Aire or Kenneth Road or Scott Road (depending upon where you’re sitting) are not bound by the normal R-1 zoning protections. Instead, they fall under what used to be called the Hillside Protection Ordinance, now known as the Hillside Development Permit process.

Basically — and this boils it down a bit too excessively we know — any project in this geographical area is treated like a mini Planned Development. The normal R-1 rules don’t apply. There are rules of course, but most can be flexed and fitted as appropriate. And that’s where the disputes always lie.

In theory — and on some lots, in reality — you can even build a three-story house within this “protected” zone, something not allowed throughout the rest of Burbank. Try doing that on University or Grinnell and watch what happens. Where you’d think the zoning rules in a protected area would be more stringent than everywhere else, they’re not. That might have been why they eventually dropped the fancier name from most city usage.

Locked gates in Burbank? Guess where’s the only place you’ll find them.

By the way … anyone else ever noticed the two-lot house that sits over on Roselli between Kenneth and Sixth? It’s about half way up the block on the south side of the street.

How did that ever happen? Talk about being out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood.

(click to enlarge)


FireShot Capture 58 - 718 Roselli St - Google Maps_ -


Look at that lonely little painted address. Two small 5,000 sq.ft. lots were bundled together into one.



** We’re being sarcastic of course. It was to make it an expensive pain in the ass to appeal the city development department cum developer.




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You know what else is going to be disappearing from Burbank? No-fee apartments



If you want an apartment in New York City these days you just don’t go out and find one. It doesn’t work that way any more.

Instead, you need to find an apartment broker to help find one for you. It’s gotten to the point that if these brokers (or the agencies they’re working for) don’t hold the rental listings themselves — or you just try to go out and find one on your own — the apartment owners will refuse to deal with anyone but these same neighborhood professionals. On any available rentals. In fact, you won’t even know vacancies exist.

But these rental brokers aren’t cheap. In addition to paying your first and last month’s rent, you also then have to pay the rental broker a 15 percent fee just for their services. That’s 15 percent of your total yearly rent…

Standard. Oftentimes the landlord gets a cut of it, too.

Which means that this broker’s fee is going to cost you an additional $2,000 minimum. Add it all up and it’s no surprise that some one-bedroom place in Washington Heights can easily cost you nine or 10 thousand dollars just to move in. (If you know NYC then you also know that this is the only neighborhood where you’ll be able to afford an apartment. Unless you like the Bronx.)

This has become so normalized back East that even if you could find an apartment on your own without a broker, the landlord will still charge you the same $2,000 just to pocket it for themselves as their own rental fee.

Now guess what? This practice of paid rental brokers is coming to Southern California.

This outfit in particular is only one of several that are starting to spread throughout the more desirable parts of town. It won’t be the last. Because this practice of rental brokers/finders-fees will be too big a bonanza for both property people and apartment owners to resist, expect it to quickly become universal, especially considering the extreme lack of vacancies around here and a local landlord class that thinks it can now act just like your employer.

And this will be happening sooner rather than later. Such things are inevitable. Even worse, in rent-stabilized New York City you can’t be charged more than two months rent just to move in. In Burbank you can be charged three months rent. That’ll be in addition to your new broker’s fee…

So say goodbye to the good old days. Rental brokers are catching on. And remember, you heard it here first.

This could of course be regulated in Burbank via specific city ordinances or even the city charter. But it won’t be. Because guess who runs this town.

Here’s what we have to look forward to.


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Is it actual repaving, or just slurrying?

Big difference.

More than 40 streets rated poor and below in two Burbank neighborhoods — one in the hillside and one in the flatlands — are slated for repairs set to run from mid-February through May.

The areas include a section generally north of Glenoaks Boulevard and west of Irving Drive, surrounding Bryce Canyon Park, and a section on either side of the Golden State (5) Freeway between Magnolia Boulevard and the border with Glendale, from San Fernando Boulevard to Victory Boulevard.

The project is part of a 10-year cycle of street improvements that began in 2011 with plans to fix the worst streets in at least two neighborhoods a year. So far, the city is “a little ahead,” according to City Engineer Sean Corrigan, with roughly 70% of the neighborhoods completed in five years, thanks to additional funding allocated by the City Council…

Of seven bidders, Toro submitted the lowest proposal, with the highest bid at more than $3.5 million, not including the 10% contingency. The latest project, phase seven of the 10-year program, will resurface 104 blocks of 42 streets. A full list of the streets is available on the city’s website at

Back in the 90s the city willingly admitted that this new “slurry” tactic of theirs was only going to provide a minimal and quite temporary resurfacing. It’s like coating your driveway with that black stuff they had at Builder’s Emporium, along with a little gravel mixed in. They promised paving later on.

Now except for the bigger streets, we’ve yet to see any actual repaving efforts going on in Burbank. It’s been slurrying all the way, and for decades.

Remember the days when they were always repaving the streets?

And what about the cement streets like Grinnell? Anyone have a list of them? For years those residents were able to keep their old vintage cement look. Will they still? They used to go nuts at the idea of asphalt.




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Why is NBC releasing exit-poll predictions before the N.H polling places have closed?

Jesus Christ, is there no integrity left to the democratic process in this country?

It has always been an unwritten rule among the corporate media that no one releases any prognostication about the result of an election until after the last voter has had a chance to cast their ballot.

NBC is now jumping the gun by doing so. They’re not “calling” the election just yet they say, they’re only “releasing” the data for the supposed interest of the viewer.

More proof that this country has been totally hijacked by the corporate business interests. Who — by the way — have the audacity to claim that big business candidates like Donald Trump are “anti-establishment” — just like Bernie Sanders (!)

By the way, who in their right mind would use the term “cold cocked” to describe what the Bernie Sanders campaign is doing to Hillary Clinton? Who the last we heard was a woman.

Brian Williams just did right now on MSNBC.


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No, it’s not OK for a city commission member to weigh in on a matter that involves their own employer

conflict of interest


Again, just to emphasize the absurdity of Albano’s legal clearance to the council that it’s perfectly OK for a city board or commission member to be in an actual voting position on an agenda item that their own employer has already issued a position statement about — and could possibly be impacted by economically — we’re going to repeat our point from yesterday.

It’s not OK.

In fact, at the very least, it constitutes what is called a “common law” conflict of interest. There could also very easily be a personal economic effect from their official decision as well. After all, they’re working for the guy!

And still want to be, most likely.

The fact that the board or commission member doesn’t have a “real property” interest in the matter makes no difference. Albano’s theory about this being the basis for a legal conflict of interest is clearly stupid and uninformed.

Think of it this way. If what Albano is saying is true, then so long as they didn’t own part of the company’s real property, any Burbank board or commission member would be allowed to weigh in on their own employer’s specific business with the city which ended up being placed in front of them. And in an approve/disapprove capacity.

How is that sane?

From tonight’s agenda, the issue at hand is renaming First Street to the melodiously charming “IKEA Way.”


FireShot Capture 13 - - http___burbank.granicus.com_MetaViewer






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Why is the BPD still hashtagging “AllLivesMatter” on their official Twitter page?


They’re still insisting on making an anti- BlackLivesMatter political statement on one of the city’s official social media accounts, eh?

These BPD guys just don’t give a fuck, do they.


FireShot Capture 57 - BurbankPD (@BurbankPD) I Twitter_ - https___twitter.com_BurbankPD


Almost all of their Tweets are being tagged with it.

This Department’s learned nothing the last five years, have they? They’re still as smugly clueless and arrogant as hell. Talk about insensitivity.

So what would happen if the City of Burbank suddenly saw a huge influx of Black residents coming to town? Socially it’d be great, but you know damn well that this police force would go positively apeshit in response. The proof can be seen above. They go kneejerk about just the idea of dissent.

Along with about 70 percent of the population.





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And exactly what “brand” is that?




Thirty years ago Burbank had one of the finest public library collections of Western Americana and California fiction in the entire country. Along with about twenty- or thirty-thousand volumes of art books and other valuable research material that we inherited from a major movie studio.

Starting about 20 years ago they got rid of it.

They also had a wonderful and almost-complete collection of D.H Lawrence and H.L. Mencken, all lovingly shepherded over the years by two or three quite unique individuals who were also apparently able to slip the first one in under the radar.

So what in the world is this guy talking about?


The City of Burbank has completed a seven month search for a new Library Services Director with the announcement that Elizabeth Goldman will lead the City’s more than 102-year old library system.

Goldman, who earned her Master of Science in Information (MSI) from the University of Michigan, has more than a decade of library experience. She currently works for the Pasadena Public Library as the Library Services Manager. Prior to that, she served as the CEO and Chief Librarian of the Perth and District Union Public Library in Ontario, Canada.

“We conducted a nationwide search and were gratified by the strong draw of Burbank’s highly regarded public library,” said Burbank City Manager Mark Scott. “Elizabeth Goldman was the most impressive candidate among an outstanding field. She is committed to the Burbank Public Library’s strong brand and will lead the team capably into the future.”


What’s that brand again?

Oh, so she’s another technocrat. Figures that’s what he’d hire.


The Burbank Library is dedicated to providing access to information, recreation and education through a variety of media. In recent years, the Library has expanded its digital capabilities to complement its wide array of services and extensive collection of materials at the Central Library, Buena Vista Branch and Northwest Branch.

“Free public libraries are the most egalitarian of service we provide to the community. As times and technology changes, so do our public institutions. Elizabeth has vision and facilitation skills to guide what I am sure will be a very exciting adaptation of the public library to tomorrow’s community needs and opportunities,” added Mr. Scott.


One of her big projects at an earlier job back East was digitizing 30,000 community obituaries.

No, really. We can’t make this stuff up. Dickens would have a field day with such imagery — it’s almost corny in its literary possibilities.

Speaking of which, so what does this new librarian think of books? Remember those things?


Looking at her GoodReads page, we’re not too impressed. It’s either super-obvious or super-easy stuff. Not very sophisticated at all.

But then, that’s not why she’s being hired into Burbank.

(click to enlarge)


FireShot Capture 56 - Elizabeth Goldman's bookshelf_ read (s_ - http___www.goodreads.com_review_li


You know btw what “egalitarian” means these days in the library world? It means that we’re not elitist any more, and so we’re dumbing down the collection. Now we’re a community center with plugs.






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Albano’s wrong on what constitutes a legal COI; and what’s going on with the Colony?

From tomorrow night’s agenda.

Sorry, it’s not this easy:


FireShot Capture 13 - - http___burbank.granicus.com_MetaViewer


Under California law, you don’t have to have a “financial interest in any of the real property affected” in order to have an improper conflict of interest on an agenda item. Just having your job possibly dependent upon the outcome of the decision (or your influence therein) would be COI enough. In both economic and common-law terms.

Where did this woman go to law school?

And what was the decision of these members about “IKEA Way” vis a vis that of their own employer? Did they correspond?

Burbank: where you can work for your employer and do their bidding while being on an official city board or commission. That’s exactly what Albano is saying is OK. As long as you don’t own their property then there’s no conflict (!)

What a stupid name change anyway.  It is perfectly Burbank though.

And speaking of state law, where has the Brown Act been on this item?


FireShot Capture 12 - City Council_ - http___burbank.granicus.com_GeneratedAgendaViewer.php


Exactly what’s going on there, and why wasn’t this decision ever made subject to an official noticing within the council minutes? They obviously already made a decision about the lease. That’s why the negotiations have begun.

Or is it a hidden subsidy to the Colony  instead?




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Between the SB and the Republican debate, we’re still clearing our heads.



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Super Bowl Sunday!

So let’s get as far away as possible.





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We want vital business districts in Burbank! So let’s make it lots easier to ban parking!


Media City!

Because …we … want…it…all:

FireShot Capture 55 - Council OK's ordinance to streamline B_ - http___www.latimes.com_socal_burba

Grow up Burbank. You’re never going to be taken seriously by the people who count unless you stop being so self-destructively moronic.



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Transparency means maybe we’ll tell you later




Another school board laugh fest the other night.

We’re obviously not impressed by the incumbents’ sudden humbleness over the Baez case, although it’s worth watching the taped rerun just to see their startled reactions when the plaintiff herself goes up the dais to set things straight. It’s hilarious.

And no, we don’t buy either this current attempt of theirs to hide behind “the JPA” as the main reason for the extended litigation. The Joint Powers bonding agency is not responsible for the BUSD’s 10-year-long decision to play hardball with a female employee. Instead, the district’s entire legal defense was planned, orchestrated, and cheered on by a more than united set of chortling school board a-holes who obviously got together in a number of closed-session meetings over the years. ‘Twas ever thus in this town.

That those three incumbents are now trying to slip out of things after finally losing to Baez is nuts. Who buys their self-serving explanations?

And speaking of closed sessions … exactly when did this current school board meet to discuss how they were going to handle the $3.2 million Appeals Court decision against them?

If they want to file a petition for review then they have to get it in by Tuesday afternoon. That’s the law. So the superintendent’s unctuous comment the other night about how “I will be reviewing the situation” rings more than a bit false to this ear. That’s because he already had to.

So did the rest of this crowd, because they’re the ones who are required by law to make the final decision about whether to either appeal or pay up. And because of the Tuesday deadline, they would have had to have done so immediately after the decision came in last month. Legal prep work like that takes time.

So when did they meet to discuss this big new problem of theirs? And what attorney or attorneys were present at these same meeting or meetings?

They’ve obviously been getting guidance on this from someone. A decision has been made about Baez v Burbank USD, and it was made long before Thursday night.

What was it?

In our world, the idea of “transparency” means following the Brown Act. As Step No. 1.

Look at that old board.  This is what happens when you get too many white people together. They’re mean, you know.




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Burbank ruins everything, doesn’t it

Only in Burbank would crowds, food trucks, street vendors, and general popularity at an advertised street festival be considered terrifically culpable.

Fronnie has a good article here about what a disaster these new rules have been for Magnolia Park get-togethers. She’s too nice to put it this way, but the message comes through.

Apparently we’re still Little Big Town, eh? The place that wants so hard to be just like the big boys.

By trying to have it both ways — like wanting popularity without crowds, and cool entertainment penned in by rules and regulations — it always ends up looking ridiculous.





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Who no one had heard of until the BPD started having those criminal actions against them



By Burbankia Mike On February 5, 2016

Larry L. Maxam

This past Tuesday we Honored one of Burbank’s Own Sons Lost 48 years ago on February 2 1968 in Vietnam.

Larry is the City’s only Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in saving the lives of his Marine unit in Cam Lo Vietnam.

I would ask on this Flashback Friday that you pause and take a moment to learn more about this young man a true Burbank Hero.

In 2010 Burbank re-named Pacific Park in Honor of Larry


Yeah, they did — as a feelgood PR stunt to deflect attention away from the then-ongoing Burbank police mess. Flad & Co. were absolutely desperate for relief.

Look at it this way. If playing this kind of favoritism game with one of our Burbank war dead was such a great idea, then why wasn’t it done at the time?

Like 40 years ago.

You’d think the whole city would have been united in such a wonderful deed back in the late 1960s or early 1970s, wouldn’t you? It’s not like Burbank was some kind of left-wing paradise back then.

Anyone else remember Marine Day?




The reason is that people back then weren’t as hypocritically fetishistic about the military as they are now. And no one would have renamed a park after only one Gold Star Mother’s child.

That’s why such a phony stunt would never have even come up. And it didn’t.

People knew better.

Remember too how they all lied about the family’s subsequent anti-war actions? But the cousin knew.

Saldutti (Larry Maxam’s cousin) plans to reunite with Maxam’s brother and sister, who live in Australia, for the first time in 40 years. Their mother, Alice Maxam, was not about to lose another son to battle in Vietnam, so the family moved as far away from the U.S. as possible, Saldutti said.

Alice Maxam died in 2008.

Give it up you creeps. Go put your old uniforms back in the closet. And leave the rest of us out of it.

Btw, we just re-read this old piece. It brings up some good points about this jerky Burbank mentality that still insists on celebrating itself when convenient. It’s worth looking at:

Gee, it turns out that Larry Maxam’s mother hated the Vietnam War, and disliked the United States intensely over it


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