Ex-Wife of Tinhorn Flats Owner Seeks Eatery’s Eviction

The tinhorn flats truck is parked in front of the restaurant
Isabelle Lepejian, former wife of Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill owner Baret Lepejian, is trying to have the restaurant evicted from the property she owns. Tinhorn Flats recently took to using a food truck after the city built a fence around its brick-and-mortar location. Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader

Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill is facing yet another layer of opposition, as the controversial restaurant owner’s ex-wife — the owner of the property — is working to have the eatery evicted.

Tinhorn Flats owner Baret Lepejian confirmed to the Leader this week that his former wife is trying to have his business evicted from her property, located at West Magnolia Boulevard and North Naomi Street. The saloon has been inaccessible for more than a month after the city placed a fence around the property.

Isabelle Lepejian also confirmed that she is seeking to evict Tinhorn Flats, though she declined to comment further. Court documents did not appear to be publicly available this week.

Baret Lepejian, who has been in Thailand since 2019, said the dispute arose because he has been paying only part of the rent he owes. Isabelle agreed to the arrangement previously, he claimed, but has since changed her mind.

“It’s hard to pay [full] rent when there’s a fence around your business,” he said. “So throw that into the legal mess.”

Burbank has an eviction moratorium for businesses unable to pay rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic or the commercial restrictions governments issued in response to it. Tinhorn Flats has been entrenched in a long and bitter feud with the city and county over its refusal to obey some of those restrictions, particularly previous health orders prohibiting in-person dining. It is facing lawsuits from both levels of government.

More recently, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge approved a preliminary injunction prohibiting Tinhorn Flats from operating. The city has also “red-tagged” the facility, declaring it unsafe after the restaurant’s supporters brought generators when the city switched off the saloon’s electricity.

Isabelle Lepejian was named as a defendant in the city’s lawsuit against Tinhorn Flats, but according to court documents has denied being involved in the restaurant’s operations.

Lucas Lepejian, Baret and Isabelle’s son who was arrested three times for attempting to enter Tinhorn Flats despite the judge’s orders, has been intermittently operating a Tinhorn Flats food truck to sell burgers while the restaurant remains inaccessible.

He told the Leader that the truck, which is rented, passed the necessary inspections, and the county public health department confirmed it had the required permit. But Simone McFarland, a city spokeswoman, said the truck’s owner had yet to obtain a local business permit.

However, McFarland added, the truck has not been operating in the city since Monday; Baret Lepejian said the truck had mechanical issues that needed to be addressed.

And though Lucas Lepejian suggested in an interview that the truck could continue operating for the foreseeable future, Baret said the truck owner has been “freaking out” due to pressure from the city.

A county public health spokeswoman also told the Leader that the department attempted to conduct an inspection of the food truck on May 6, but that the inspector was refused access. The spokeswoman added that a compliance review would be scheduled with the holder of the health permit.

Baret Lepejian’s attorney, Mark Geragos, is also attempting to persuade the judge to dissolve the preliminary injunction and fines issued against the restaurant for violating the court order prohibiting it from serving patrons. That hearing is scheduled for May 28, after Geragos urged the judge to move it up from its original July date.

Tinhorn Flats’ defiance of the city and county governments has attracted ire from many in the local community concerned about the owner’s attitude toward officials and dismissiveness toward the coronavirus pandemic. Others, both within and outside of Burbank, have viewed the restaurant as a rallying point against what they see as tyranny in the name of public safety.

The eatery’s supporters have protested in front of the restaurant weekly, with a smaller group also demonstrating in front of the residences of Burbank Councilman Konstantine Anthony and Mayor Bob Frutos.

Baffert’s Kentucky Derby Win Could Be in Jeopardy

Photo courtesy Chris Aplin
Bob Baffert has been defending his Kentucky Derby victory after his winning horse Medina Spirit failed a postrace drug test. The horse, pictured with Baffert and jockey John Velazquez, has been permitted to race in the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, this Saturday.

Bob Baffert’s historic Kentucky Derby victory earlier this month is in jeopardy after winning horse Medina Spirit failed a drug test.
Churchill Downs issued a statement on Sunday saying a postrace blood sample indicated a violation of Kentucky’s equine medication protocols and results of a split sample test are pending. A second positive test would disqualify Medina Spirit from the Derby and make runner-up Mandaloun the official winner.
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Tornadoes Beat Nitros For First Time in 13 Years

Photo by Nathan Cambridge / Glendale News-Press
The Hoover High School girls’ softball team celebrated a 19-7 victory over Glendale High on Thursday. The squad, guided by head coach Rich Henning and assistant coach Marlena Ramirez, includes Samantha Coromac, Alexis Figueroa, Laura Giron, Desiree Guzman, Janet Jong, Sophia Lozano, Eden Maldonado, Kiahana Montano, Sona Ovasapyan, Makayla Ramirez, Amy Ramos, Sydney Sanvictores, Aaliyah Serna and Celeste Torres.

By Nathan Cambridge
Glendale News-Press

It was time to renew the girls’ softball rivalry between Glendale and Hoover, and this time the spoils of victory would be twofold: city bragging rights and the elusive first victory of the season.
In the end, it was Hoover that seized the day as the host Tornadoes used a big inning to come out on top against Glendale, 19-7, in a Pacific League contest Thursday afternoon that was shortened to five innings via the mercy rule.
“They are our rival school and we want to beat them every year,” Tornado Desiree Guzman said. “[This year] we did and we’re so excited.”
The Hoover win, along with being the first of the season, ended a long drought against its crosstown opponent.
“I think it was amazing because we haven’t beat [Glendale] since 2008,” said Guzman, whose team has a 1-6 record (with all of its games being league competition).
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Clark Magnet, CVHS Lead GUSD in Ranking

Glendale Unified School District’s four high schools were each ranked among the nation’s top high schools in the annual U.S. News and World Report evaluations.
Leading the way was Clark Magnet High School, which was named as the No. 510 high school nationally, followed by Crescenta Valley High School (No. 1,097 nationwide), Hoover High School (No. 3,949) and Glendale High School (No. 4,840). U.S. News evaluated GUSD’s schools alongside 17,857 in total this year, placing all of GUSD’s primary high schools within the 72nd percentile of the nation.
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GUSD Expands Summer Offerings to Combat Learning Loss

The Glendale Unified School District will offer a variety of free, in-person programming this summer in an effort to help fill the educational and social gaps created this school year by circumstances resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout June, July and August, the district will host programs for all levels of education and expand the offerings from prior programs, which were typically run through third parties outside of the district. In an effort to promote equity throughout the diverse school district, GUSD has taken over operation of those programs, including accelerated programs.
“These are the courses that have typically been offered through the Glendale Educational Foundation,” explained Chris Coulter, director of teaching and learning, at this week’s school board meeting, “which provides additional opportunities for students to take health for free. Health, math, science and history are the most common of the acceleration courses.”
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Glendale’s Vaccination Rate Climbs To 49%

Nearly half of Glendale’s residents ages 16 and older had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine as of this past Sunday, according to data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
As of May 2, there were 87,516 residents in Glendale who had received at least one dose of a vaccination, representing 49% of the eligible population. This includes 24,718 residents age 65 or older, representing 66% of that population within Glendale. Meanwhile, in unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose, 10,942 residents had gotten one vaccination dose as of Sunday, representing 64% of its population; of the 65-and-older group, 2,696 — 86% of that population — had received at least one shot.
As of the News-Press’ publication deadline this week, L.A. County has administered more than 8 million doses of the vaccine and 39% of its residents are fully inoculated.
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Sparks Make Glendale a 2nd Home

Photo courtesy Los Angeles Sparks
Forward Seimone Augustus and other players for the Los Angeles Sparks were happy to return to a relatively normal training camp in April. Coach Derek Fisher described their new practice arrangement at Glendale’s Academy USA as a facility his players deserve to have as their own.

The road to a championship may just now run through the Jewel City.
When the Los Angeles Sparks kicked off training camp for what will hopefully be a return to normalcy, they did so right here in Glendale, at Academy USA. The team will spend the current season training and practicing at the sports club tucked in between San Fernando Road and the railroad tracks separating the city from Atwater Village.
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Saint Finbar Church’s ‘Fiesta’ Aided by Firefighters’ Support

Former Mayor Michael Hastings and volunteer Alyssa Ziegler flank Erik Johnson, Paul Konzen and Jen Hoffman of the Burbank Fire Department, who came out for a barbecue lunch to benefit Saint Finbar Parish School.

As traditional as the celebrations of Cinco de Mayo and the honoring of our moms, the month of May in Burbank has also been the time the Catholic community of Saint Finbar Church has staged their annual fiesta.
In what has become a local harbinger that summer is just around the corner, the Saint Finbar Fiesta is a three-day event which raises funds for the parish’s school by offering an array of games, entertainment, dancing, American barbecue, street tacos, sausage and pepper sandwiches, specialty dishes from the church’s Vietnamese community, and treats of all kinds to satisfy those with a sweet tooth.
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BUSD High Schools Ranked Among Top 500 in State

Matt Hill
BUSD Superintendent

The U.S. News and World Report published its annual best high schools rankings on Tuesday and the Burbank Unified School District made the grade with both of its high schools among the top 500 in the state.
Out of 2,598 qualifying California high schools rated by the publication, John Burroughs High ranked No. 320 with a scorecard of 87.69. Burbank High was No. 417 with a score of 84.9.
“Our students, our teachers and our employees are doing amazing work in each of our schools,” BUSD Superintendent Matt Hill told the Leader on Thursday. “It is great to get that recognition, but we don’t focus on the awards. We focus on delivering amazing instruction, and awards come from that.”
Burroughs, which was ranked No. 142 out of 659 qualifying schools in Los Angeles, boasts a high graduation rate of 97% and the students’ performances on state-required exams are well above the state average. Sixty-seven percent of students were proficient in reading but only 44% showed competency in math. The state average for proficiency in math is 30% and 50% in reading.
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Burbank Arts & Education Foundation Announces Funding, Scholarship Recipients

The Burbank Arts & Education Foundation co-chairs Ana Connell and Bob Mohler announced full funding for all submitted applications during its first cycle of grant giving with investments made in mathematics, music, literacy and art to Burbank Unified Schools at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday. Funding supported a variety of programs with a direct impact on thousands of students in grades TK-12.
In alignment with the Burbank Unified School District, the Foundation said it a statement that it has made diversity, equity and inclusion a part of its core mission. They encouraged teachers to think about classroom grants through a diversity and equity lens.
“We are proud to fund several grants this year that foster inclusivity in the classroom,” Foundation co-chairs Connell and Mohler said in a joint statement. “From reading about different cultures and religions to playing with diverse toys, the projects we’ve funded will allow all children to see themselves in their learning.”
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