Boys & Girls Club Building Is Dedicated to Liz, Al Shapiro

First published in the Jan. 22 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

One score and seven years ago a small group of Burbankers brought forth, upon this community, a new Boys & Girls Club conceived in love and dedicated to the proposition that all young people should be inspired and enabled to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
This past Sunday, close to 200 supporters of the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and the Greater East Valley gathered to officially dedicate the downtown structure the club calls home as the Al & Liz Shapiro Building.
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Redistricting Reshapes Glendale’s Political Representation

First published in the Jan. 15 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

A recently finalized political map splits Glendale in half, a change that has angered some members of the Armenian community concerned that the shift will weaken its political voice.
South Glendale has been absorbed into a different state Assembly district than north Glendale, Burbank and La Crescenta-Montrose, while the entirety of Glendale was redistricted away from Burbank in the state Senate, though it remains connected with La Crescenta-Montrose and La Cañada Flintridge. Because of the new representation maps, which an independent California commission draws following each U.S. Census, this year’s elections will bring south Glendale a new state assemblymember.
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Redistricting Reshapes Burbank’s Representation

First published in the Jan. 15 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Recently finalized political maps separate Burbank from some of its traditional neighbors, a change that could boost Hispanic representation but has angered some members of the Armenian community.
Burbank will also find itself in a different state Assembly district from south Glendale and Pasadena, and a different congressional district than Pasadena and La Crescenta-Montrose. The new maps of the districts, which an independent California commission draws following each U.S. Census, also indicate that this year’s elections will bring Burbank a new state senator.
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Portantino Bill Links Extra School Funding to Enrollment

First published in the Jan. 6 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino announced a bill this week that would provide supplemental funding to K-12 schools based on student enrollment numbers.
California is one of only six states that does not consider student enrollment figures for determining state aid to school districts. Districts plan their budgets and expend funds based on the number of students enrolled but only receive funds based on their average daily attendance. For example, if a school district enrolls 100 students but its attendance rate is 95%, the district will only receive funding for 95 students.
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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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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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Coordinating Council Honors Members at Gala Fundraiser

First published in the Nov. 13 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

We have now entered into the season in which the spirit of giving, gratitude and thankfulness is, perhaps, stronger than it is at any other time of the year.
In honor of this special time, the Burbank Coordinating Council recently recognized two women — Janet Diel and Doris Palmer — for their longtime commitment to caring for others at a gala fundraiser held this Saturday evening at the UMe Federal Credit Union.
Diel, who has been a member of the organization for nearly three decades, served as the group’s president longer than anyone in its 88-year history and headed-up the Holiday Basket program, and stepped down from her presidential role this past year. She turned the reins over to Mary Anne Been, who chaired and hosted last week’s event. Diel was lauded by both Been and local dignitaries for her years of service to the all-volunteer organization.
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Council Wants Final Say on SB 35 Housing

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank City Council appears poised to give itself final review authority over housing applications that, through state law, must be approved if they meet city standards.
Council members voted, 4-1, on Tuesday to introduce an ordinance that would give itself final review authority over residential project applications submitted under Senate Bill 35 provisions. The California law, enacted in 2017, allows multifamily housing developments to pursue a review process that effectively bars cities from denying the project unless it conflicts with existing municipal regulations.
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Mental Health Bills Focus on Students’ Needs

First published in the Nov. 4 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

More than a year of distance learning took a toll on students and educators after schools shut down in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and California is committed to helping them rebound mentally and emotionally.
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a $123.9 billion, 22-bill package to develop mental and behavioral health support as well as expand broadband access — a lack of which proved problematic for students during distance learning. The package represents the highest per-pupil funding in history, according to the governor’s office.
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