Burbank Float Wins Mayor Award

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank Tournament of Roses Association brought home the Mayor Award for its Rose Parade float on Jan. 1. The honor, which Burbank also received in 2012, is given to the most outstanding city entry. The float, titled “An Unlikely Tale,” displays a green dragon and a young knight reading a book together. Volunteers celebrated their return to the parade after it was canceled in 2021 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Delta Variant Marches Through City, Nation

The Delta variant, a mutated strain of COVID-19, continues to rage through the country, accounting for an estimated 83% of recent coronavirus cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week. And the variant is having a growing effect on California’s health-care system as well.

According to the state Department of Public Health, 2,880 patients were hospitalized due to the coronavirus and 615 were in intensive care units in California as of Friday. On June 21, the CDPH reported 1,223 COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

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Local Unemployment Dipped in May

a chart compares LA County's unemployment rate to Burbank's over the past year
Data Source: California Employment Development Department

As Los Angeles County moved into the state’s least restrictive tier of coronavirus restrictions, Burbank’s unemployment rate fell in May after a brief bump in April.
The local joblessness rate dipped from 12.3% in April to an estimated 11.2% in May, according to the most recent monthly figures from the California Employment Development Department, with the number of out-of-work residents falling from roughly 7,300 to 6,700. The lowest rate for the city since April 2020 was last November, when about 6,000 locals were unemployed — a rate of 10.5%.

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Burbank Attains Achievement in COVID-19 Vaccination Rate

A graph shows the cumulative percentage of vaccinated Burbank residents 16+ at 70%
Data: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
As of June 25, more than 70% of Burbank residents ages 16 and older have been at least partially vaccinated from COVID-19, though the rate of new vaccinations is dropping greatly.

Burbank passed a milestone in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic last week, with more than 70% of residents ages 16 and older at least partially vaccinated.
As of June 27, just over 63,000 Burbank residents — or 70.4% — in that broad age group have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the most current Los Angeles County data that is publicly available. President Joe Biden had emphasized the need to have 70% of American adults be at least partially vaccinated by July 4, though he recently announced that the nation would not reach that rate by the target date.

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Nonprofit to Offer Rent Relief for Low-Income Families

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently extended the statewide eviction moratorium through the end of September. A Burbank nonprofit hopes the extension will give tenants some extra time to apply for local and state rent assistance.

A local organization plans to help residential tenants in Burbank pay rent starting in the late summer or early fall, not long before the recently extended statewide eviction moratorium is scheduled to end.
Family Promise of the Verdugos, a nonprofit that offers services to low-income families experiencing homelessness or facing the loss of shelter, will offer up to $1,375 a month for upward of half a year to a minimum of 44 local households. Qualifying households must contribute 30% of their monthly income toward rent, with FPV paying the rest.

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Pandemic Fosters Useful Practice: Telehealth

Although medical centers are well into resuming typical operations and activities, the coronavirus pandemic seems to have opened a door that can’t be shut — telehealth.

A practice necessary to maintain the distancing necessitated by the coronavirus, telehealth — or telemedicine — was also lauded as the pandemic raged for its efficiency in getting patients to their doctor visits. Its remote nature means, provided there is a good internet or mobile data connection, that patients can communicate with doctors at appointment time, instead of hurrying up and waiting in the lobby for ages.

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Tinhorn Flats Evicted by Owner’s Ex-Wife

Photo courtesy Jesse Schoem
Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill was evicted from the property by the restaurant owner’s former wife — the property owner — on Tuesday, the city of Burbank said.

Restaurants in Burbank and across California experienced the lifting of capacity limits and social distancing requirements on Tuesday morning. Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill wasn’t one of them.

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Artists, Burbank Officials Honor Local COVID-19 Victims

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Artist Marcos Lutyens spoke at an event in front of Burbank City Hall on Monday introducing a temporary memorial of felt roses honoring the 242 residents who died of COVID-19.

A garden of fabric stands in front of Burbank City Hall in memory of residents who have died from COVID-19.

Two hundred and forty-two roses made of felt are arrayed outside the building on a large model of the first letter of Burbank’s name. Each flower represents a local resident who has died of COVID-19. 

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Local Bars, Restaurants Welcome State’s Reopening

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Blue Room bartender Tony Salvi serves two customers after this week’s statewide reopening. Bar owner John Samarjian said he wasn’t worried the bar would close down permanently, though other business owners said they barely made it.

Lorraine Hart ordered a vodka tonic this week and did what would have been unthinkable several months ago: She sat at the bar.

The Glendale resident sipped her drink as Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played on the jukebox. She had been going to the local Blue Room bar for about 30 years, and with capacity limits for bars and restaurants recently lifted, it appeared she would visit the iconic location for years more.

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