Federal, State Representatives Laud Infrastructure Bill

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

Congressman Adam Schiff, in a recent press conference, highlighted the “historic investments” of the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in Congress — including for roads, bridges, highways, public transit and passenger rail — and how they will improve the lives of Los Angeles County residents.
Schiff, a Burbank Democrat, hosted the Glendale conference with state Sen. Anthony Portantino, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, Glendale Mayor Paula Devine, Glendale Councilman Ardy Kassakhian and L.A. Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins.
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Chamber Mingles With Community at Holiday Mixer

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

While the celebration was very much in the present, with best wishes being exchanged for the future, it was clearly the past that was highlighted as the Burbank Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Road Kings of Burbank to present last week’s holiday mixer at the Gordon R. Howard Museum complex.
Festively decked out, and most definitely in the mood for yuletide partying, a gathering of close to 200 mixed and mingled amongst the displays of items chronicling the city’s history, from the eras of Native Americans and Spanish Rancheros pioneers, to those of agricultural development, aviation, aerospace, the California car culture and the entertainment and media industry.
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Officials Laud Infrastructure Bill

First published in the Dec. 25 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Congressman Adam Schiff, in a Glendale press conference, recently highlighted the “historic investments” of the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in Congress — including for roads, bridges, highways, public transit and passenger rail — and how they will improve the lives of Los Angeles County residents.
Schiff, a Burbank Democrat, hosted the conference with Mayor Paula Devine, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, Councilman Ardy Kassakhian and L.A. Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. They met at the Larry Zarian Transportation Center in Glendale.
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Remembering 7 Lives Lost to Homelessness

First published in the Dec. 25 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

In life, Geoffrey Warwick was known for his love of Guns N’ Roses, Pearl Jam and Nirvana.
In death, Warwick was remembered for his happy moments, many of which were spent singing those bands’ songs in a car with Raymond Cole, his case manager with Ascencia. Cole and another colleague were tasked this week with eulogizing the seven men and women who died this year as Ascencia worked to extract them from homelessness.
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Glendale Realtors Celebrate at Centennial Gala

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Glendale News Press. First Photos by Erin Rodick / Glendale News-Press.

The Glendale Association of Realtors (GAOR) hosted its Centennial Gala on Thursday evening, celebrating its 100th anniversary of service to the community, according to CEO David Kissinger.
Approximately 175 people attended the dinner at the Chevy Chase Country Club, which included a cocktail reception and DJ dancing. Among the attendees were Glendale Mayor Paula Devine and City Councilmen Vrej Agajanian, Dan Brotman and Ara Najarian. Also present were representatives of Congressman Adam Schiff, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
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Leaders Praise Funding Boost for Hiking, Biking Paths

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

A snowy egret practically joined a news conference this week at the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk, as if to underscore the picturesque sights that await the pedestrians and cyclists who will eventually use the Garden River Bridge project that elected officials were discussing.
The project received a major boost this week, as Assemblywoman Laura Friedman announced that she’d helped secure an additional $10 million in state funding for the bridge, on top of the $20 million allocation she’d previously helped arrange. Additionally, Sacramento has committed an extra $5 million for the Colorado Street undercrossing.
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A Time of Pandemic, Protest, Change

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
A large crowd marches down Central Avenue en route to Artsakh Avenue in support of Armenia and the Artsakh Republic in their conflict with Azerbaijan. The local Armenian diaspora’s efforts have included activism and donation drives.

For many, Friday, Jan. 1, represented a long-overdue turn of the page from a year that lived up to no one’s expectations.
From the beginning of 2020, news trickled into American airwaves and newsprint that a mysterious virus had secretly wreaked havoc throughout much of China and had begun spreading at uncontrolled levels through South Korea, Iran, Italy and Spain. Reports of overwhelmed hospitals, mass graves and widespread lockdowns also spread.
And then the accounts started coming out of New York City. And Seattle. And a well-known pork processing plant in South Dakota.
By March 11, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was declared to be a global pandemic. Locally, by March 13 — auspicious, indeed, as a Friday the 13th — school districts were closing, cities were declaring states of emergency and officials were openly discussing what would become the Safer at Home orders. Restaurants were limited to takeout or delivery. Personal care services, entertainment venues and bars closed. Nonessential retailers had to close. The NBA suspended its season.

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Challengers Lead in Council, School Board Races

Anthony Surges, Second City Seat Contested

Days after the election, Konstantine Anthony and Nick Schultz continued late this week to be the front-runners for two seats on the Burbank City Council, though Tamala Takahashi added suspense to the race by hovering in third place.
Anthony’s expected presence on the council would be only the latest development in his complicated relationship with the city: If he clinches victory, the disability services provider will have gone from suing Burbank this year to joining its lead panel in December.
As of the most recent update from Los Angeles County on Thursday evening, Anthony had 15,222 votes, or 20.7% of the total of votes counted, while Schultz had 11,328 votes, or 15.4%. If their leads hold, the two will sit on the council for the next four years.
Takahashi was not far behind, however, nabbing 10,862 votes, or 14.77%, in the Tuesday election in which eight candidates vied.

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Kiwanis Looks to Draw Its Next Generation Into Service

Photos by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Newly sworn-in Kiwanis Club of Burbank President Kelly Peña (center) with First Vice President Douglas Chadwick (left) and Second Vice President Bryan Snodgrass at last week’s reorganization ceremony, which fellow club members saw via Zoom.

This past week, for the 99th time, members and supporters of the Kiwanis Club of Burbank gathered to swear in the organization’s new president and board of directors.
While the event included all of the traditional components of a Kiwanian reorganization, it was also very different from the previous 98 ceremonies. Instead of a gathering at a local restaurant or event facility, the service club’s 2020-21 reorganization was physically attended only by the group’s board members, who wore masks and maintained a social distance while convening at the Magnolia Park home of incoming President Kelly Peña.
As preparations were finalized by the evening’s hostess, Charissa Wheeler, to “go live” via Zoom and bring in a screen-ful of fellow Kiwanians and local dignitaries, Peña shared some insight on what the organization will look like under her leadership.
“My theme will be ‘Creating the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow,’ and we will be making that happen by what I am calling the ‘Three M’s’ — membership, marketing and mentoring,” Peña revealed.

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