Homeless People Have New Space to Store Belongings

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

As of Friday, Burbank and the Salvation Army are offering a storage center where up to 60 people experiencing homelessness can put their belongings.
The Burbank Safe Storage and Help Center, referred to by city officials as the Safe, is located at 401 S. Front St., a city-owned lot. Run by the Salvation Army, the Safe is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and hosts dozens of locked, 60-gallon containers.
Homeless adults can ask a Salvation Army worker to retrieve their assigned containers during operational hours, allowing them to access their items. City spokeswoman Simone McFarland said the Safe could also be the second location where belongings collected by Burbank employees taking down homeless encampments are stored. The city currently holds such items at another facility.
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City Attorney Albano to Retire in November

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Amy Albano

Amy Albano, the city of Burbank’s lead attorney for the past decade and the first woman to hold that position, confirmed this week that she will retire in November.
Albano told the Leader in an interview that her last day as Burbank’s city attorney is Nov. 10. Since being hired to the role in October 2011, Albano has served as the top legal adviser to the City Council and, along with her staff, represented the municipality in court. The city has not made an announcement regarding Albano’s successor, who will be selected by the council (city attorney and city manager are the only two positions that the group appoints directly).
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Council Rejects Parcel Tax Idea After Fierce Debate

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Following an intense discussion, the Burbank City Council voted this week not to pursue a ballot measure that would tax the city’s biggest parcels to fund the school district and municipal services.
Little information regarding the potential tax was available at the council’s Tuesday meeting, as city staff members had brought only a first-step agenda item to gather input from the group about how — and whether — to craft it. If approved by both the council and more than two-thirds of Burbank voters, it would likely have taken aim at the parcels on which Burbank’s major corporations, such as Amazon and Warner Bros., are located.
Continue reading “Council Rejects Parcel Tax Idea After Fierce Debate”

Mixed-Use Development Approved for Former Fry’s Site

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank Planning Board this week approved a project that is expected to bring offices, restaurants and hundreds of residential units to the site of the now-defunct Fry’s Electronics.
The mixed-use project at 2311 N. Hollywood Way, dubbed Burbank Aero Crossings, will feature two seven-story buildings with a total of 862 apartments ranging from studio rooms to three-bedroom spaces, with 80 units designated for very low-income tenants. A restaurant will be located on the ground floor of one of the residential buildings, while another will stand on its own. A five-story office building is also planned for the space.
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Bears Sweep Bulldogs in Rivalry Matchup

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

It was once again a battle for city bragging rights when Burbank High went on the road to face John Burroughs in girls’ volleyball. It turned out to be a one-sided contest.
Burroughs stayed in control throughout, with the host Bears’ service game as the catalyst, and swept Burbank 25-19, 25-13, 25-9 on Sept. 17 in Pacific League play.
“I think our serving was good throughout the whole match,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “That always helps keep [our opponent] out of system. Our defense is easier when we serve tough.”
It was a two-way street, as the Bears had their service game on point and Burbank (5-5 overall record) struggled with serve receive, leading to a bevy of quick points for Burroughs (10-4 overall), which remains undefeated in Pacific League play. Continue reading “Bears Sweep Bulldogs in Rivalry Matchup”

Highly-Ranked Bulldogs Win Rivalry Match Against Bears

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Photo by Nathan Cambridge / Burbank Leader
Sydney Lin and Brianna Khobramasihi swept their doubles opponents and helped Burbank come away with a 13-5 win over rival Burroughs on Thursday.

Burroughs and Burbank High share a city, and it was time to share the court as the Bulldogs traveled across town for a matchup in girls’ tennis.
It was Burbank High that came away with city bragging rights, dispatching the host Bears 13-5 in Pacific League play on the hard courts at Burroughs on Thursday afternoon.
Burbank (5-1 overall record, 4-1 in league) had two sweeps in singles play and one in doubles to lead the way for the Bulldogs, who entered the match ranked No. 2 in the CIF-SS Division III poll.
“I think our singles played well; I think our doubles played well,” Burbank coach Loi Phan said. “Overall, it was good.” Continue reading “Highly-Ranked Bulldogs Win Rivalry Match Against Bears”

Drop in Local, County Unemployment Rates Reported

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank’s unemployment last month registered the lowest rate this year, according to recently released data, reflecting a sharper decrease than has been seen in the city, state and county in recent months.
The local rate dropped to 10.8% in August from 12% in July, preliminary California Employment Development Department data shows, the biggest one-month decline reported for the city since February. The drop reflected a decrease in the estimated number of unemployed Burbank residents to 6,300 in August from 7,100 a month earlier. However, the local labor force — representing residents who are employed or unemployed but searching for a job — fell by 1,300 people. The number of employed citizens dropped by 500. Continue reading “Drop in Local, County Unemployment Rates Reported”

Police, Fire Unions Open to Vaccine Policies

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Local police and fire labor groups say they will abide by vaccine and testing requirements affecting their respective personnel, including a rule the city recently passed for municipal workers.
The Burbank policy, which the City Council approved on Sept. 14, requires all city staff members to be tested for COVID-19 weekly unless they are fully vaccinated. The testing mandate is tentatively expected to go into effect on or around Oct. 11. New hires must be vaccinated unless they have a valid medical or religious exemption. Continue reading “Police, Fire Unions Open to Vaccine Policies”

Dome-Shaped Studio Coming to Burbank

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank community members who’ve driven down Hollywood Way recently may have spotted an unfamiliar sight — a large dome being built near the thoroughfare’s intersection with Empire Avenue.
It’s not a half-hearted replication of Walt Disney World Resort’s Spaceship Earth, nor is it a new indoor soccer field. The dome, which will be about 186 feet in diameter and 95 feet high, according to planning documents submitted to the city, will instead serve as a Madison Square Garden Entertainment production facility which will develop media for an even larger, hemispherical auditorium in Las Vegas. Continue reading “Dome-Shaped Studio Coming to Burbank”

BPD Reviewing Officers’ Actions in Domestic Incident

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank Police Department said it is evaluating an incident, partially captured on video, in which officers did not arrest a man whose wife said he violated a restraining order she had obtained.
The video, posted to TikTok last week by user mybertie430, appears to show portions of a woman’s conversation with two Burbank officers regarding what she said was her husband’s appearance at her home. In the video, which was edited — it is occasionally interrupted by text and images of a protective order form — the woman questions them from behind the camera on why they haven’t arrested the man. Continue reading “BPD Reviewing Officers’ Actions in Domestic Incident”