Intracity Rivalry League Matchup Postponed

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

Burbank High School’s varsity boys’ basketball team’s highly anticipated matchup with intracity rival Burroughs High on Friday, Jan. 7, was postponed due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The game was rescheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20.
The Bulldogs own a 3-7 overall record (1-3 in league) and will continue league action next week.

Continue reading “Intracity Rivalry League Matchup Postponed”

Burroughs Hosts Holiday Tournament

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

John Burroughs High School’s varsity girls’ basketball started the new year right by logging a 66-62 nonleague victory at Los Angeles Yeshiva on Tuesday.
Junior Izzy Roderick recorded a double-double with 22 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and five assists, while junior Rachel Little posted 15 points, five rebounds and two steals.
Continue reading “Burroughs Hosts Holiday Tournament”

Burbank, Burroughs League Matches Delayed

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

John Burroughs High School’s varsity girls’ soccer team was initially scheduled to compete in two Pacific League contests this week by hosting Pasadena High School on Tuesday and then traveling to Burbank on Friday. However, both matches were canceled due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols and were not rescheduled by the Leader’s press deadline.
The Bears (3-5 overall record, 3-1 in league) sit third in the league standings.

Continue reading “Burbank, Burroughs League Matches Delayed”

Glendale Dominates Muir; Crescenta Valley Edges Hoover

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale High School’s varsity boys’ soccer team took the field after being idle for nearly two weeks and dominated visiting Pasadena Muir, 7-1, in a Pacific League game on Tuesday, Jan. 4
Senior Jonathan Bermudez led the Nitros with two goals, while seniors Bryant Santos Mejia, Monte Almasi and Harutyun Mnatsakanyan scored once. Sophomore Victor Santos Mejia and freshman Emir Ponciano recorded one goal and one assist.
Continue reading “Glendale Dominates Muir; Crescenta Valley Edges Hoover”

Local Teams Hope to Resume League Play

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale High School’s varsity girls’ basketball team recently competed in the La Cañada New Year’s Ball Tournament and finished with two losses before the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
In the second round, the Nitros (4-9 overall record, 0-4 in league) lost to Arleta in overtime, 39-38, on Tuesday, Dec. 28. No individual statistics were reported to the News-Press.
Continue reading “Local Teams Hope to Resume League Play”

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.

Floats Bring Rose Parade Back to Life

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

One week ago today, in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, as final preparations were being made for the 133rd Rose Parade’s journey down Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard, Tournament of Roses President Bob Miller stood on the front steps of Tournament House.
Looking out to where the 43 floral-covered floats were staged and waiting to make their worldwide television appearance, Miller announced the 24 floats that would be bestowed with awards of excellence. That announcement included the city of Burbank’s entry, “An Unlikely Tale,” which took the Mayor Award for the most outstanding float from a participating city.
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Nitros Fall to Muir; Falcons, Tornados Postponed

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale High School’s varsity boys’ basketball team returned to Pacific League action and fell to visiting Pasadena Muir, 53-45, on Tuesday, Jan. 4.
This week, the seventh-place Nitros’ league game with Hoover High was postponed due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Glendale (7-9 overall record, 1-4 in league) is expected to visit Pasadena for a league matchup on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 6:30 p.m. Continue reading “Nitros Fall to Muir; Falcons, Tornados Postponed”

COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket as Omicron Dominates

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

County data appears to show that more Burbank residents are testing positive for the coronavirus, on average, than during any previous surge.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported that more than 370 Burbank residents tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, by far the most the city had ever seen in one day. The seven-day average for cases was also record high of about 243 per day on Wednesday, the county’s most recent reporting day as of the Leader’s press deadline. Officials recorded similarly record-breaking numbers for L.A. County as a whole.
Continue reading “COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket as Omicron Dominates”

COVID Surge Tightens Restrictions for Athletes

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

With coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County surging to levels higher than last winter, high school athletics have once more been hamstrung.
The County Department of Public Health updated its guidelines and tightened restrictions for youth sports on Jan. 3, which includes high school teams.
Continue reading “COVID Surge Tightens Restrictions for Athletes”

Spartans, FSHA, Flintridge Prep Return to Action

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

La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ water polo team has been idle since snapping its three-game losing streak with a 17-10 nonleague victory at Glendale on Friday, Dec. 17, at 3:30 p.m. The Spartans (2-4 overall record) will travel to South Pasadena for their second Rio Hondo League game on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

Continue reading “Spartans, FSHA, Flintridge Prep Return to Action”

Schiff Recalls Jan. 6 Assault on Capitol

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff stood on the floor of the House of Representatives Thursday, the same spot where, one year prior, the congressman observed a surreal insurrection occur on the Capitol.
Schiff, a Burbank Democrat who represents Glendale, said in an interview with the Leader that he still remembers the sound of glass shattering. He recalls shouts from Capitol police and his fellow representatives as a mob tried to force its way into the chambers, aiming to overturn the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Continue reading “Schiff Recalls Jan. 6 Assault on Capitol”

Taking the Reins Steers Young Women on Right Path

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Nestled along the L.A. River and just minutes from Glendale and downtown Los Angeles, area-nonprofit organization Taking the Reins is charging ahead in the New Year to empower more girls and young women through equine-based education.
Heading into its 24th year, Taking the Reins was founded at the Paddock Riding Club in Atwater Village by two horsewomen, Judith Hopkins and Debra Avery. The two women recognized the potential power of a downtown equestrian facility and the ability to serve nearby and under-served, urban girls. With the mission of “advancing girl power through horsepower,” the nonprofit later expanded to open a 2-acre facility next door along the L.A. River.
Continue reading “Taking the Reins Steers Young Women on Right Path”

Schiff Recalls Jan. 6 Assault on Capitol

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

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff stood on the floor of the House of Representatives Thursday, the same spot where, one year prior, the congressman observed a surreal insurrection occur on the Capitol.
Schiff, a Democrat from Burbank, said in an interview with the Leader that he still remembers the sound of glass shattering. He recalls shouts from Capitol police and his fellow representatives as a mob tried to force its way into the chambers, aiming to overturn the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Continue reading “Schiff Recalls Jan. 6 Assault on Capitol”

LCHS Defeats Maranatha, Set to Open League Play

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

La Cañada High School’s boys’ varsity soccer team ended the calendar year with a 3-1 nonleague victory over visiting Maranatha High of Pasadena last Thursday, Dec. 30.
Previously, the Spartans (3-6-3 overall record) hosted a tournament and finished 0-1-1 over two days.
Continue reading “LCHS Defeats Maranatha, Set to Open League Play”

County Modifies COVID Protocols for Schools Amid Surge

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revised its health order for schools last weekend in an effort to combat a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across Southern California since Christmas.
All school employees are now required to wear medical grade masks — such as surgical or KN95 masks — while working and the county suggests that students also wear them. Students and staff also must wear their masks outdoors in crowded outdoor settings on campus, except when they’re eating, “where [social] distancing cannot be easily or reliably maintained.”
Continue reading “County Modifies COVID Protocols for Schools Amid Surge”

LCHS, Wolves Compete in COVID-Shortened Tournament

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

La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ basketball team defeated Covina Northview, 32-30, in the second round of the 14th annual La Cañada New Year’s Ball Tournament last Tuesday, Dec. 28.
Unfortunately, the remaining two days of the tournament were canceled due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, according to La Cañada head coach Jonathan Saavedra. No individual statistics were reported to the Outlook Valley Sun.
Continue reading “LCHS, Wolves Compete in COVID-Shortened Tournament”

Council OKs Greater Oversight on Housing

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

The Burbank City Council adopted a policy that gives itself a supervisory role over residential projects that are potentially eligible for a streamlined process.
The council’s 3-2 decision Tuesday comes after months of discussions regarding the body’s potential review authority over housing proposals submitted through California Senate Bill 35. The law prevents cities and other jurisdictions from denying certain residential applications as long as they comply with objective municipal development standards, such as density limits.
Continue reading “Council OKs Greater Oversight on Housing”

Spartans Win 3 of 4 in Post-Christmas Tournament

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

La Cañada High School’s varsity boys’ basketball team recently competed in the Battle for the Ball Christmas Tournament at Hacienda Heights Wilson from Dec. 27-30, winning three of its four games.
Senior forward Brady Ransom notched a double-double with a team-high 21 points and 11 rebounds in a 58-54 victory against host Wilson last Thursday, Dec. 30. Senior guard Ty Reynolds collected 16 points and four rebounds while senior forward Jacob Lee added seven points, two rebounds and two assists for the Spartans, who improved their overall record to 10-5.
Continue reading “Spartans Win 3 of 4 in Post-Christmas Tournament”

BUSD Returns to School Amid COVID Spike

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

Schools throughout the state grappled with returning from the winter break for in-person instruction amid a concerning COVID-19 surge due to holiday gatherings and a more transmissible Omicron variant.
The majority of districts in Los Angeles County had scheduled reopening for business this week, including the Burbank Unified School District, which held an emergency meeting on Sunday, Jan. 3, to explore the possibility of extending the break by one week to give stakeholders and employees an opportunity to test before returning to campuses and get accustomed to the new health and safety protocols implemented by the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
Continue reading “BUSD Returns to School Amid COVID Spike”

Motorist Arrested in Alleged Drunken Chase

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

A New Jersey man appeared in court this week after being arrested in Glendale for allegedly driving drunk, colliding with several vehicles and leading police on a chase that ended when he flipped his car.
The 51-year-old man, from Westfield, New Jersey, was arrested on Tuesday, Jan. 4, and booked for evading, driving under the influence and numerous hit-and-runs. After posting a $75,000 bond on Wednesday, he appeared in Glendale Municipal Court on Thursday morning. A representative with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office did not have any information on the dispensation of that appearance by the News-Press’ deadline.
Continue reading “Motorist Arrested in Alleged Drunken Chase”

COVID Surge Tightens Restrictions for Athletes

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

With coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County surging to levels higher than last winter, high school athletics have once more been hamstrung.
The County Department of Public Health updated its guidelines and tightened restrictions for youth sports on Jan. 3, which includes high school teams.
Continue reading “COVID Surge Tightens Restrictions for Athletes”

Omicron Variant Sidelines Athletic Competitions

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

The omicron variant has crippled the state of high school athletics as the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health recently updated its guidelines on youth sports to combat the surge in cases.
The most notable guideline is a seven-day suspension of all team activities if an outbreak of four or more epidemiologically linked positive cases occurs within 14 days.
“There’s nothing we can do. We just have to keep on going and be optimistic, but we have to prepare for the worst,” LCHS head basketball coach Tom Hofman said. “It’s going to be hard to continue to season the way this thing is spreading right now. What’s intriguing to me is how long CIF will keep going.”
Continue reading “Omicron Variant Sidelines Athletic Competitions”

Rose Queen Shares Hope, Gratitude for New Year

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

Special to the Outlook Valley Sun

At 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 1 — while our neighbors were fast asleep in the homes all around us — the Royal Court and I were excitedly waking up for the day.
I heard the Pasadena Tournament of Roses’ van pull up to my house and jumped in, joining Princesses Ava Feldman and Jaeda Walden. In our matching Christmas pajamas, we immediately huddled up together and laughed through the cold of the morning.
Continue reading “Rose Queen Shares Hope, Gratitude for New Year”

La Cañada Thursday Club’s Les Fleurettes Debutantes

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

Sarah Elizabeth Camp

Sarah Elizabeth Camp

Sarah Elizabeth Camp is the daughter of James and Delia.
Her escort is her brother, William.
Camp is a senior at La Cañada High School. She is a member of the LCHS Green Club, which focuses on environmental issues, and the Casa Esperanza Club, which collects donations and delivers supplies to help at a battered women’s shelter in Mexico.
Camp has played lacrosse for almost seven years and is a starting offensive player for the LCHS girls’ lacrosse team. Camp is also the lead lacrosse coach for the All-Stars Sports Camp and the head coach of the La Cañada Community Center’s lacrosse program.
Camp plans to attend college next year to study ways to improve the state of climate change and environmental conservation. She hopes to become a marine biologist and make a positive impact on the world. Continue reading “La Cañada Thursday Club’s Les Fleurettes Debutantes”

Float’s Smooth Skating Wins the Day

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

Two turbulent pandemic years came to fruition last week for the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association as it won the Crown City Innovator Award for its 43rd float entry in the Jan. 1 Rose Parade, called “Who Says We Can’t?”
Since its formation in 1978, the LCFTRA has now won 32 awards: 10 of them for humor, six for animation and eight Founder’s Trophies. This year is the first time it has won the Innovator Award, having the “most outstanding” use of imagination, innovation and technology.
Continue reading “Float’s Smooth Skating Wins the Day”

County Issues Stricter COVID Rules for Schools

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

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revised its health order for schools last weekend in an effort to combat a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across Southern California since Christmas.
All school employees are now required to wear medical grade masks — such as surgical or KN95 masks — while working and the county suggests that students also wear them.
Continue reading “County Issues Stricter COVID Rules for Schools”

Power Surge Possibly Caused by Squirrel Bite

First published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Crews from Burbank Water and Power work on utility poles along Orchard Drive on Tuesday, after receiving reports of a power surge at about 8:50 a.m. Burbank Fire Department officials said the surge sparked a few small fires in home dryers, though no injuries were reported. Workers shut off the power to surrounding homes but fixed the issue with a few hours, saying it appeared that a squirrel had chewed on some wires, leading to an unbalance in the electrical system.

Christmas Eve Sermon Sparks Hope, Love

First published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

It was late in the afternoon of Christmas Eve as parishioners of Burbank’s Westminster Presbyterian gathered at the Buena Vista Street church known for its longstanding tradition of posting wit-laden aphorisms and adages on its outside marquee sign.
With only hours to go until Christmas, and the sands rapidly disappearing from the top bulb of the 2021 hourglass, the church’s associate pastor, the Rev. Adam Noel Jones, offered up a prayer of entreaty that served as a prelude for the sermon from the church’s senior pastor, the Rev. Paul Clairville.
Continue reading “Christmas Eve Sermon Sparks Hope, Love”

Burbank, Burroughs Fall in Final December Contests

First published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank High School’s varsity girls’ soccer team has been idle since falling to visiting Crescenta Valley, 6-1, in a Pacific League match on Dec. 16.
The Bulldogs (1-5 overall record, 1-3 in league) will look to snap their two-game losing streak at Arcadia in a league contest on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 3:30 p.m.

BURROUGHS
The Bears have been idle since hosting the JBHS tournament and losing their first game to Lake Balboa Birmingham, 3-2, on Dec. 18.
Burroughs (3-5 overall, 3-1 in league) are in third place in the Pacific League standings and will host Pasadena in a league contest on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 3:30 p.m.

Bulldogs, Bears to Resume League Play

First published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank High School’s varsity boys’ basketball team wrapped up December on a three-game losing streak, most recently falling to visiting Granada Hills Kennedy, 57-55, in a nonleague matchup on Thursday, Dec. 23. No individual statistics were reported to the Leader.
The Bulldogs (3-7 overall record, 1-3 in league) have an opportunity to climb the Pacific League standings by hosting fourth-place Arcadia on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m.

BURROUGHS
Burroughs has been idle since snapping its four-game losing streak with a 61-57 victory over La Verne Bonita in a nonleague contest on Dec. 17.
The seventh-place Bears (4-4 overall, 1-3 in league) will resume Pacific League play at Pasadena on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 6:30 p.m.

Local Squads Prepare for Intracity Rivalry Match

First published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank High School’s varsity boys’ soccer team has been idle since its 3-0 Pacific League loss to unbeaten Crescenta Valley High on Dec. 16.
It’s been a string of bad luck for the Bulldogs (4-2 overall, 2-2 in league), who opened the season on a four-game win streak but have dropped their two most recent matches.
Burbank has an intracity rivalry match with John Burroughs on Friday, Jan. 7, at 3:15 p.m., as both teams are currently tied for fourth in the league standings.

BURROUGHS
The Bears have been idle since falling in tournament play to Lake Balboa Birmingham, 4-1, on Dec. 22.
Burroughs (3-3-1 overall, 2-2 in league) will resume league play by traveling to Pasadena on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 3:30 p.m.

Bears, Bulldogs Compete in Tournaments

First published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

John Burroughs High School’s varsity girls’ basketball team extended its season-best win streak to five games with a 57-33 rout over Santa Paula in the West Coast Holiday Tournament on Tuesday.
Junior Izzy Roderick registered a double-double with 22 points (10 for 12 from the field) and 12 rebounds, both team highs, while adding four steals and three blocks. Sophomore Karly Geris recorded six points and five steals, while junior Rachel Little added six points and three steals. Freshmen Mariam Fahs and Skylar Cafferty each scored five points while sophomores Ashley Martin and Natalie Sanchez had four points apiece. Junior Kylie Indefenzo tallied three points and four rebounds while senior Haley Dowthwaite scored two free throws.
Continue reading “Bears, Bulldogs Compete in Tournaments”

After Delays, Raising Cane’s Plans March Opening

First published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Despite being a source of some controversy in a nearby neighborhood, a Raising Cane’s location is slated to open in Burbank sometime in March, a representative confirmed.
The fast food restaurant, known for its chicken fingers and Texas toast, will begin operating at 1750 W. Olive Ave, in mid- to late-March, Raising Cane’s community liaison Marice Pesquale told the Leader. Burbank officials said in June that the eatery was scheduled to open in September 2021.
Continue reading “After Delays, Raising Cane’s Plans March Opening”

Nonprofit Seeks to Elevate Community

First published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The first time Elevate Burbank attended Magnolia Park Night Out, the organization came with goats.
It was an effective strategy, the nonprofit’s board President Linda Bessin said in a recent interview. Though Elevate Burbank was officially founded in March 2021, the group’s first outing was in October, when members set up a tent during the monthly event that draws crowds looking for live entertainment and small businesses to the neighborhood. It seemed like a good venue to introduce Elevate Burbank, which Bessin said aims to promote diversity and foster closer connections between community members.
Continue reading “Nonprofit Seeks to Elevate Community”

Pandemic’s Second Year Drafts the New Normal

First published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The coronavirus pandemic induced a wave of changes — some small, others major — across the United States, California and Burbank in 2021.
COVID-19, which has killed more than 800,000 U.S. residents, still leered over the resumption of public events, face-to-face classes and crowd-thronged sports games. And with the rise of the virus’ Delta variant, as well as the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, officials announced additional restrictions and requirements, often influenced by the coronavirus vaccines.
Continue reading “Pandemic’s Second Year Drafts the New Normal”

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.
Continue reading “Chamber Mingles With Community at Holiday Mixer”

Crescenta Valley 4-0 in League; Nitros, Tornadoes Lose

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

Crescenta Valley High School’s varsity girls’ soccer team was shut out for the first time this season, losing to Canyon High of Canyon Country, 1-0, in the Costa Mesa Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 18. It was the Falcons’ first loss of the year; however, they remain unbeaten in Pacific League play and are tied with Arcadia for first place in the standings.
Crescenta Valley demolished host Burbank High, 6-1, last Thursday, Dec. 16, as senior Rachel Park and junior Allison Park scored two goals each. Seniors Teleya Blunt and Lindsey Furstenberg each scored once. Continue reading “Crescenta Valley 4-0 in League; Nitros, Tornadoes Lose”

Bears, Bulldogs Try to Bounce Back

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

John Burroughs High School’s varsity girls’ basketball team improved to 3-1 in Pacific League play after routing visiting Pasadena Muir, 44-14, on Thursday, Dec. 16. No individual statistics were provided to the Leader.
The Bears (9-3 overall), currently tied for second in the league standings with Burbank and Arcadia, will host the John Burroughs West Coast Holiday Tournament. The Bears will host Yeshiva of Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 27, at 7:30 p.m. on the first day of tournament play.

Continue reading “Bears, Bulldogs Try to Bounce Back”

CVHS Remains Perfect in Pacific League

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

Hoover High School’s varsity boys’ basketball team lost a league game at Pasadena, 78-45, on Wednesday, Dec. 15, falling to last place in the Pacific league standings with an 0-4 record (3-8 overall). No individual statistics were provided to the News-Press.
The Tornados’ first opponent in the San Gabriel Water Classic Tournament will be Burbank on Monday, Dec. 27, at 3 p.m.

GLENDALE HIGH

Glendale broke even the past week, winning a nonleague game on the road and dropping a Pacific league game at home.
The Nitros lost to Arcadia, 67-46, on Dec. 16, which sent Glendale into a three-way tie for fifth place in the league standings with Burbank High and John Burroughs High of Burbank (1-3 league records).
Earlier in the week, the Nitros won 53-44 at Temple City in a nonleague game on Dec. 14. No individual statistics were provided to the News-Press.
The Nitros (6-7 overall record) will compete in the San Gabriel Winter Classic and play host San Gabriel (2-8 overall) on Monday, Dec. 27, at 1:30 p.m.

CRESCENTA VALLEY
Crescenta Valley (4-0 in league, 11-2 overall) has been idle since its Pacific League victory over visiting Burbank High, 53-47, last week. The first-place Falcons will resume league action on a six-game winning streak at Hoover on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 6:30 p.m.

Local Teams Competing in Holiday Tournaments

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

Glendale High School’s varsity girls’ basketball team lost to second-place Arcadia, 67-33, last Thursday, Dec. 16. Senior point guards Cherilyn Legaspi and Sarine Kaloghlian scored 14 and seven points, respectively, for the host Nitros (4-7 overall record, 0-4 in league). Freshman point guard Carmen Avedian and sophomore shooting guard Natalie Keshishyan scored four points each, while junior strong forward Jane Bassil and junior point guard Toni Gesmundo each had two points.
Continue reading “Local Teams Competing in Holiday Tournaments”

Bears Tie Kennedy, Bulldogs Lose

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

John Burroughs High School’s varsity boys’ soccer team opened its Ralph Brandt Tournament with a 2-2 tie against visiting Granada Hills Kennedy on Monday.
The previous week, the Bears shut out visiting Muir High of Pasadena, 3-0, in a Pacific League match on Dec. 16. No individual statistics were provided to the Leader.
Continue reading “Bears Tie Kennedy, Bulldogs Lose”

Burbank, Burroughs Regroup for New Year

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

John Burroughs High School’s varsity girls’ soccer team recently lost to visiting Lake Balboa Birmingham, 3-2, in a nonleague match last Saturday. Previously, the Bears dominated host Pasadena Muir, 5-0, in a league contest on Thursday, Dec. 16. No individual statistics were provided to the Leader for either match.
Continue reading “Burbank, Burroughs Regroup for New Year”

Nitros Win 3rd Straight; Tornados, Falcons in Action

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

Glendale High School’s varsity boys’ soccer team improved to an 8-2-1 overall record (3-0-1 in league) after extending its winning streak to three games and outscoring its opponents 18-1 during that span.
The Nitros edged visiting Ventura, 2-1, last Saturday as senior midfielder Monte Almasi and junior striker Andrey Simonyan each recorded a goal in the first half. Senior goalie Fernando Hipolito spent 78 minutes in goal while senior teammate Cristian Kassa covered the final two minutes.
Continue reading “Nitros Win 3rd Straight; Tornados, Falcons in Action”

Burbank’s Agazaryan, Gezalyan, Baboudjian Earn All-CIF Honors

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

Burbank High School’s varsity boys’ water polo team is coming off one of its most significant seasons in school history after finishing as runners-up in the CIF-SS Division V championship game. And it gets better for the Bulldogs as senior Johnny Agazaryan was the CIF Division V Player of the Year.
Junior Zack Gezalyan and senior Hovannes “Hovo” Baboudjian also earned All-CIF first-team honors.
Continue reading “Burbank’s Agazaryan, Gezalyan, Baboudjian Earn All-CIF Honors”

Burbank Police Department to Start Gathering Stop Data

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

Burbank police will begin collecting demographic data on the people officers stop on Jan. 1, in compliance with a state law aiming to increase departments’ transparency.
The California Legislature passed the Racial and Identity Profiling Act in 2015, requiring peace officers to collect the demographic information of pedestrians and drivers they detain or search. The bill’s effects have rolled out since 2018, starting with the state’s largest law enforcement agencies. The final “wave” of applicability begins next year; agencies with between one and 333 officers — including Burbank — must begin collecting data by Jan. 1 and report that data by April 2023.
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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.
Continue reading “Remembering 7 Lives Lost to Homelessness”

Montrose Shopping Park Flourishes During the Holidays

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

By Jonathan Williams
Glendale News-Press

For virtually all merchants in and near the Montrose Shopping Park, the year 2020 brought many challenges.
Some businesses closed for months; others struggled to keep their doors open. Now, as 2021 wraps up and vaccinations continue, the holidays have brought shoppers back to those small businesses. Supply chain issues continue to plague major retailers and as a result, more shoppers are flocking to Honolulu Avenue, according to some merchants.
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Council to Review ‘Discriminatory’ Ordinances

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

Following a recent request from a Burbank City Council member, the panel could remove some ordinances advocates say discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
During the Dec. 7 City Council meeting, during which then-Mayor Bob Frutos retroactively declared Nov. 13-19 as Transgender Awareness Week, a few community members raised the issue of the ordinances. At the end of the meeting, Councilman Nick Schultz asked city staff members to look into repealing the provisions from Burbank’s municipal code.
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Christmas Comes Early for Cerritos Students

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

By Jonathan Williams
Glendale News-Press

On an early Friday morning in December, Santa decided to trade his sleigh for a fire truck and a police escort.
Joining Santa were volunteers from Glendale Memorial Hospital, Glendale Unified School District officials, police officers, firefighters and the Los Angeles Galaxy. The festive group donated presents to nearly 500 students from Cerritos Elementary School last week.
Toys of all different types — science kits, soccer balls, games, art supplies — all came from personalized wish lists the students crafted. Continue reading “Christmas Comes Early for Cerritos Students”

Relief Funds Keep BUSD’s Finances Afloat

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

The Burbank Unified School District looks to be in good shape financially for this fiscal year thanks to one-time COVID relief money but declining enrollment numbers and the rising cost of employee pensions paint a dire picture for the next two years.
Debbie Kukta, BUSD assistant superintendent of administrative services, presented the first interim report that projects finances through 2023-24 to the Board of Education on Dec. 16. She started with the good news: the state’s Legislative Analyst Office projects a surplus which could increase funding for public schools.
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Police: Man Killed by Train After Running Onto Tracks

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

Authorities are investigating the death of a man they say ran in front of a train at the intersection of Buena Vista Street and Vanowen Avenue on Thursday.
Sgt. Emil Brimway told reporters that the Burbank Police Department received multiple emergency calls at about 10:10 a.m. Thursday regarding the incident, with officers finding the body of the man at the location. Witness statements and traffic camera footage, Brimway added, indicate that the man ran onto the tracks as the Amtrak train was traveling north.
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Man Arrested for Alleged Crimes Involving a Minor

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

A homeless man remained in custody Thursday for allegedly committing various crimes involving a child.
Simon Lopez, 21, was arrested on Monday and booked on suspicion of kidnapping, domestic violence, “engaging in intercourse with a minor,” and for an outstanding warrant, the Glendale Police Department reported.
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David J. Earle | Obituary

David Jeffrey Earle died peacefully in his home on December 11, 2021, after a short battle with cancer. He was 66 years old. He was born in Boulder, Colorado, on November 19, 1955, to Dr. Alvin M. Earle and Mrs. Adah M. Earle.
David Earle graduated from Westside High School in 1974 in Omaha, Nebraska. He went on to graduate from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, where he made the dean’s list. He studied law at Creighton University School of Law and graduated in 1981 earning a Juris Doctorate. He then moved to Southern California where he took the State Bar, passing on the first attempt.
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‘Two O’Clock Rock’ Burglar Suspected of Targeting Burbank Businesses

First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Authorities say a man dubbed the “Two O’Clock Rock” burglar, who is wanted in dozens of crimes in the San Fernando Valley in the past year, was the one who smashed the windows of four small Burbank businesses.
The unidentified man is suspected of being involved in more than 60 burglaries in several areas including Van Nuys, North Hollywood, San Fernando and Burbank, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Continue reading “‘Two O’Clock Rock’ Burglar Suspected of Targeting Burbank Businesses”

Testing Policy in Place for City Workers

First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

About three months after the City Council approved the policy, Burbank will soon require unvaccinated workers to undergo regular testing for COVID-19.
The requirement is scheduled to begin next week, assistant Community Development Director and city spokeswoman Simone McFarland confirmed to the Leader. A document detailing the policy has remained on the city of Burbank website since September, when City Council members adopted it to limit transmission of the coronavirus.
“I feel like there is some benefit to this, and doing it as quickly as possible,” Councilwoman Sharon Springer said during that meeting.
McFarland said the process of implementing the policy, which was originally slated for October, took longer than city staff members first expected.
The policy states that testing will occur weekly for workers who have not been fully vaccinated, which as of the most recent update — in October — was about 27% of city employees.
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Local Resident Hosts Chocolate Factory-Themed Open House

First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

’Tis the season for holiday parties, and after putting festive gatherings on hold for the better part of two years, Burbankers are as ready as anyone to get out, mix and mingle with those who are near and dear to them.
Among the sweetest of local soirées to take place this season was a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-themed open house hosted by actress and longtime Burbank resident Carolyn Hennesy.
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Burbank Shut Out by Crescenta Valley, 3-0

First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Crescenta Valley High School junior Lukas Elze’s hat trick carried the Falcons over visiting Burbank High, 3-0, in a Pacific League boys’ soccer game on Thursday afternoon.
CVHS improved its record to 5-0-2 overall (2-0-1 in league). Meanwhile, the Bulldogs fell to 2-2 in league play (3-2 overall) while being shut out for the first time on the field. (Burbank previously forfeited a league game against Glendale High on Friday, Dec. 10, officially losing 1-0).
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LCHS, FSHA, Flintridge Prep in Nonleague Play

First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ water polo team has struggled to start the season, falling to 1-4 overall after losing three of four in the Downey High School Tournament.
The Spartans lost both games to Long Beach Poly (14-12) and host Downey (16-8) on Dec. 4. LCHS had opened the tournament with a 14-8 victory over Pico Rivera El Rancho before falling to Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula, 23-19. No individual statistics were provided to the Outlook Valley Sun.
The Spartans will visit Glendale on Friday, Dec. 17, at 3:30 p.m.

Continue reading “LCHS, FSHA, Flintridge Prep in Nonleague Play”

Burbank Defeated by Crescenta Valley, 53-47

First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

After Crescenta Valley High School’s varsity boys’ basketball team opened the first quarter with an 11-2 scoring run, the Falcons never looked back and defeated visiting Burbank High, 53-47, in a Pacific League game Thursday evening.
CVHS senior Quinlin Daly had a career night, scoring a game-high 29 points to lead the Falcons (4-0 in league, 11-2 overall record) to their sixth consecutive victory.
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La Cañada Falls to Hart in Nonleague Game

First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ basketball team had its three-game winning streak snapped by visiting Newhall Hart, 55-22, on Saturday, moving the Spartans’ overall record to 5-2.
“The Hart game was tough,” LCHS head coach Jonathan Saavedra said. “We were outplayed on offensive and defense, and we were outcoached. We have to use that as a learning experience because we are going to play more teams like Hart that are coming out to beat us.”
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City Discusses Increasing Development Fees

First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank City Council this week moved toward raising the fees charged for new development, a change that would boost funding for public improvements.
Burbank has not updated its development impact fees — or DIFs — since 1993, though they rise annually with the cost of inflation. Cities can set DIFs, a Community Development Department official told council members on Tuesday, to compensate for the burden a project has on their systems. For example, Burbank used DIF funds to pay for designs for a new central library, which representatives said is needed to accommodate the city’s projected population and job growth.
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Spartans Defeat Flintridge Prep, 60-42

First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

David Garland registered a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead the La Cañada High School boys’ varsity basketball team over visiting Flintridge Prep, 60-42, in a nonleague game last Thursday.
Brandon Chung added 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals for the Spartans, who improved their overall record to 7-3.
Continue reading “Spartans Defeat Flintridge Prep, 60-42”

Tabet Named as Board of Education President

First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank Unified School District held its annual reorganization of the Board of Education in the final meeting of the year Thursday and named Charlene Tabet as president for the new year.
“It is an honor and a privilege to sit in this seat, to run these meetings [and] to work with my colleagues,” said Tabet, who has served as president once before. “To hear your thoughts and ideas about experiences everyone is having in the district and how we as a district can grow and work together to become … the best school district in the state of California.
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Spartans’ Coach Hopes for Deep CIF Playoff Run

First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Last season the La Cañada High School boys’ soccer team made a run in the CIF-Southern Section Division V playoffs, and the three-time defending Rio Hondo League champion Spartans want to do it again.
“We want to try and go at least as far as we did last season, which is the quarterfinals of CIF,” head coach Bruno Costa said. “Hopefully we can go to the finals or the semifinals, but I think if you go to the quarterfinals it is an accomplishment already. We want to try to do the best we can in playoffs.”
The formula for success will be a familiar one for Costa, who is in his sixth season at the helm.
Continue reading “Spartans’ Coach Hopes for Deep CIF Playoff Run”

Driver Charged With Manslaughter After Fatal Collision

First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Authorities this week charged a driver, whom police allege killed a pedestrian while driving under the influence, with manslaughter and felony hit and run.
The driver, whom the Burbank Police Department identified as 49-year-old Granada Hills resident Jesse Molina, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to three felonies: gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person and driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury. His bail was set at $2 million.
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La Cañada Seeks 2nd Straight League Title

First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Last season, La Cañada High School girls’ soccer won the Rio Hondo League title. That success means this season could be a historic one for the Spartans.
“The No. 1 goal, from the beginning, is trying to win league,” La Cañada coach Kevin Neumeier said. “We won last year, so now we could be the first team to go back-to-back at La Cañada.”
The Spartans believe it will take a collective effort to make that history.
“We like to keep possession. The structure in keeping possession is really important for us. [It’s important] to be a balanced team; that takes all 11 out on the field to be successful, and not one individual is going to get us the championship,” Neumeier said. “It will be a total team effort. When we play, all 11 have to defend and all 11 have to attack and be involved in the play.”
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Talamantes Takes the Reins as Mayor

First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Jess Talamantes, the Burbank City Council’s most veteran member, was unanimously appointed by his peers this week as the city’s mayor for the next year.
Talamantes, who previously served as mayor in 2011-12 and 2016-17, returned to the role during the council’s annual reorganization meeting on Monday. Continue reading “Talamantes Takes the Reins as Mayor”

Accident Killing Pedestrian Under Investigation; GoFundMe Created

First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

An accident that resulted in the death of a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Union Street and Foothill Boulevard on Dec. 7 is still under investigation, according to Crescenta Valley Sherriff’s Station officials.
Officials said the driver of the vehicle, a 70-year-old woman and Sunland/Tujunga resident, stopped at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. The accident occurred at about 5 p.m. As of last week, there had not been a citation or arrest made. It has not yet been determined if speed or unsafe driving was a factor.
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LCF to Receive $3 Million Grant for Flint Canyon Trail

First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

State Sen. Anthony J. Portantino spearheaded an effort leading to a unanimous vote Tuesday of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in favor of a $3 million grant that will be used to restore the Flint Canyon Trail in La Cañada Flintridge.
Several years ago, Portantino secured $300,000 from the conservancy for design and engineering of the trail restoration. This grant gives the city the ability to begin the work on the trail connection to Pasadena.
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Governing Board Appoints Jeffries as President

First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

In the La Cañada Unified School District’s annual organizational meeting Tuesday, the Governing Board unanimously voted to have Dan Jeffries to serve as president in 2022 and appointed Joe Radabaugh and Josh Epstein as vice president and clerk, respectively.
Jeffries commended outgoing Board President Kaitzer Puglia for her leadership during a difficult time.

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Girls’ Team to Debut at LCHS; Boys Likely a CIF Contender

First published in the Dec. 9 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

As a former wrestler and longtime La Cañada High School wrestling coach, Justin Luthey has seen and been through it all, participating in prestigious tournaments and CIF Southern Section team and individual competitions that have established the program as one of the most competitive and consistent in Southern California.
“I just love wrestling so much,” said Luthey, a former LCHS athletic standout who took over the wrestling program in 2013. “I believe in the sport and want to help it grow.”
Continue reading “Girls’ Team to Debut at LCHS; Boys Likely a CIF Contender”

Spartan Pair Wins CIF Doubles Championship

First published in the Dec. 9 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School senior Eliana Hanna and junior Tsehay Driscoll defeated Aliso Niguel High of Aliso Viejo in three sets, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, in the championship match to capture the CIF Individuals Doubles Tournament title at Whittier Narrows Tennis Club last Thursday.
“They were expected to win,” LCHS head coach Will Moravec said. “They were incredibly happy, but they expected to win, so it was more like, ‘We have a job to do and we want to get it done.’ And when they won it, they were like, ‘Job done.’”
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LCF Explores Charter City Status

First published in the Dec. 9 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

After more than a year of numerous mandates from the state and Los Angeles County, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council explored the possibility of becoming a charter city in a meeting on Tuesday.
The council had asked staff to look into the benefits of becoming a charter city, which include adopting its own charter document and having authority on municipal affairs such as elections, compensation for city employees and public contracts.
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WWII Veteran Recalls Pearl Harbor 80 Years On

First published in the Dec. 9 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

As the United States marked 80 years since the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Tuesday, La Cañada Flintridge resident Roy Dill took to social media to remember the “knock-out blow” that forever changed his life.
“I doubt if there are many, if any, of you folks that remember this day 80 years ago as vividly as I do,” the World War II veteran wrote on Nextdoor. “It was a Sunday and my family was having [breakfast] around the dining room table. The radio was on and we were listening to President Franklin D. Roosevelt announcing the attack on Pearl Harbor. I was only in junior high school and the seriousness of the announcement didn’t register. But it did on Dad. He was a WWI U.S. Army veteran and could see WWII was about to happen.”
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Chamber Turns Park Into Winter Wonderland

First published in the Dec. 9 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Children gleefully prancing through snow with reindeer grazing nearby may sound like the dreamy winters of fairytales, but last Friday Memorial Park was transformed into a white wonderland for the chamber of commerce’s 27th annual Festival in Lights celebration.
The beloved event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making this year’s gathering all the more meaningful.
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LCUSD Board, Families Briefed on DEI Practices

First published in the Dec. 9 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Four months into the school year and the La Cañada Unified School District is already taking big steps toward the implementation of its diversity, equity and inclusion initiative.
The Governing Board held a special meeting on Tuesday to be counseled in restorative practices and culturally responsive education by Aaron Bruce, a consultant hired by the district six weeks ago to assist in La Cañada’s three-year DEI plan.
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Tornados’ Record Is 2-4 After Tournament

First published in the Dec. 4 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The varsity boys’ basketball team for Hoover High School split its four games and finished ninth of 12 teams in the San Gabriel Thanksgiving Feast Tournament last week.
The Tornados competed without senior point guard Michael Fernandez-Washington, who was recovering from a bruised knee.
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Area Rivals Hope for Hoop Highs

First published in the Dec. 4 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Boys’ basketball is back at Crescenta Valley, Glendale and Hoover high schools, and this season arrives sooner than usual, but also at the right time.
“It feels like a short break for us, since last season was very recent because we played in the spring [due to the pandemic], but it does feel a little bit more normal to be playing in the winter instead of in the spring with a shortened season,” Glendale coach Ib Belou said. “There is more normalcy.”

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Falcons, Nitros Hope For Playoff Return

First published in the Dec. 4 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Girls’ high school basketball has returned in a more recognizable form than last season, and now simple things that might have been taken for granted have added meaning.
“This is as normal as we are going to get for a while, I believe,” Glendale High School coach Tadeh Mardirosian said. “I’m excited for this season. I think so is everybody else. Everybody walks into the gym with a little bit of an extra smile on their faces.”

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Carjacking Suspect Remains in Custody

First published in the Dec. 4 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

A man arrested in November for an alleged carjacking and robbery remains in custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and awaits his next court appearance on Friday, Dec. 10.
The 27-year-old Los Angeles man, arrested on Nov. 2 for the alleged crimes, is being held in the Men’s Central Jail on $415,000 bond, according to Sheriff’s Department records. The Glendale Police Department has filed charges of robbery, attempted home invasion and carjacking against him.
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Falcons Soar to 7th Place in State Championships

First published in the Dec. 4 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Competing in its fourth consecutive CIF State meet, the Crescenta Valley High School varsity boys’ cross-country team showed it deserved to be named among the top programs in California.
The squad placed seventh in the Division 1 race at Woodward Park in Fresno last week, bolstered by a stellar performance from junior Parker Simmons. The Falcons, who won the Pacific League championship and placed fourth in the CIF Southern Section finals, finished with 231 points and had four runners among the top 100 in one of the most competitive high school cross-country competitions. Combining all five divisions, Crescenta Valley finished 12th overall.
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Glendale Home Prices Keep Climbing

First published in the Dec. 4 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Despite a seasonal market slowdown, Glendale’s home values continue to increase rapidly, having surpassed an estimated $1 million for single-family homes earlier this year.
The midmarket Glendale home value — including single-family houses, condos and co-ops — was roughly $1.09 million in October 2021, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, reflecting a one-year increase of 16.3%. In October 2020, the estimated value was about $939,000. This October’s number also reflects a jump of nearly 48% from 2016, when the typical home value was an estimated $739,000.
Zillow’s index is a seasonally adjusted estimate of home values in the midmarket — 35th to 65th percentile — range.
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Officials Push for Vigilance With Arrival of Omicron Strain

First published in the Dec. 4 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has made its way to Los Angeles County, with officials reporting the first confirmed case on Thursday.
The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 had traveled to South Africa last month, according to the county’s public health department, and is fully vaccinated. The department also said the individual is self-isolating, with symptoms improving without medical care.
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Council OKs Scholl Biogas Facility

First published in the Dec. 4 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

To cap off a six-hour meeting, five of which were spent on the topic, the City Council voted narrowly this week to move forward with the biogas power generation facility proposed at the Scholl Canyon Landfill.
Mayor Paula Devine, along with councilmen Vrej Agajanian and Ara Najarian, voted Tuesday to accept the environmental impact report for the project and grant its conditional use permit. Councilmen Dan Brotman and Ardy Kassakhian opposed. The discussion and vote were borne from an appeal by the city against the permit’s denial by the Planning Commission.
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It Takes a Village: Nonprofit Supports Neighborhood School

First published in the Dec. 2 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

James Madison Elementary School had always piqued the interest of Pat and Kate Amsbry, who lived just two blocks away and often passed the pretty white stucco building.
The couple had always felt passionate about education, and with some extra time on their hands now that their own children had graduated, they reached out to forge a connection with their neighborhood school. As luck would have it, Principal Noemi Orduña was brand-new on the job and also eager to learn more about the surrounding community.
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La Providencia Guild of CHLA Hosts Charity Fashion Show

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Members of the La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles recently gathered for its fall fashion show and luncheon at Chevy Chase Country Club this past week.
The Guild’s President Judy Pierce, the event’s chairwomen DeeDee Rowlands and Donna Salant along with family and friends were updated on the organization’s new funding projects and upcoming events.
Presented under the theme “Fall in Love,” this year’s event included a pre-luncheon boutique that showcased fashions by Diana’s Boutique of Studio City modeled by guild and family members. Working the catwalk under the commentary of Ann O’Donnell-Gardner was Michelle Chavoor-Castro, Diana Irell, Rosemarie Witten, Emily Silah, Lauren Rowlands-Fisher, Leah Warner, Sandra Kelley and Sue Meckley, who serves as the guild’s 2nd vice president.
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Artwork Honors Crash Victims

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The crowd murmured in anticipation as many attendees angled themselves to get a glimpse of the metal box, still covered with a red cloth.
Utility boxes do not ordinarily attract as much attention as this one, located at the intersection of Glenoaks Boulevard and Andover Drive in Burbank. But scores of people stood on the street corner in the hot sun on Nov. 13, greeting friends and family with hugs as they arrived. A few held balloons they planned to release to honor the people they had come to remember.
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City Denies Appeal of Mixed-Use Project

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

A plan to build hundreds of apartment units at the former Fry’s Electronics site will move forward, Burbank officials decided this week, despite opposition to the development.
The Burbank Aero Crossings project, located at 3211 N. Hollywood Way, will feature a total of 862 housing units, two restaurants and office space. Those units include 80 homes that will be designated for very low-income households.
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GUSD OKs New District Map

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Glendale Unified School District approved its redistricting map this week, making a pair of light shifts to help bring its five trustee areas into population and demographic compliance.
To balance populations, school board members agreed to shift around 16 blocks of District C to District B and nine from District E to District D. Prior boundaries otherwise remain in place, and the geometric effect is to make the affected districts more compact.
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Bulldogs Historic Season Ends With Loss in CIF Final

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank High School’s varsity boys’ water polo team, in its most successful season in more than 50 years, lost to top-seeded Carpinteria, 12-9, in the CIF-SS Division V final last Saturday at Irvine’s William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center.
The Bulldogs capped a marvelous year with a 19-3 overall record after winning the Pacific League title for the first time since 1969, according to Burbank Athletic Director Patrick McMenamin. It was also the first CIF finals appearance by any Burbank High team since the varsity boys’ basketball team in 2017.
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Officials Seek to Prevent Winter COVID Surge

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

As California continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic largely resulting from having a majority of its population vaccinated against the disease, people are reverting back to normalcy.
A return to holiday traditions was evident on Halloween with more trick-or-treaters out on the streets and with more gatherings planned during the Thanksgiving holiday. Though COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are lower in California compared with the previous year, health and government officials still worry about the possibility of a winter surge similar to 2020.
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Officials Seek to Prevent Winter COVID Surge

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

As California continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic largely resulting from having a majority of its population vaccinated against the disease, people are reverting back to normalcy.
A return to holiday traditions was evident on Halloween with more trick-or-treaters out on the streets and with more gatherings planned during the Thanksgiving holiday. Though COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are lower in California compared with the previous year, health and government officials still worry about the possibility of a winter surge similar to 2020.
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Police Need Tips in Cash Theft

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale police are asking for public assistance in its investigation into a vehicle burglary that took place after the victim withdrew money from an ATM.
According to the Glendale Police Department, the burglary happened at 9:11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, where the vehicle was parked in the 200 block of Central Avenue. The victim had parked there after withdrawing money from an ATM at a Los Angeles bank, GPD said, and the thief broke into the vehicle by shattering a window shortly after the victim parked and left.
The thief stole a “significant amount of cash,” according to a representative with GPD.
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Rents Continue to Skyrocket, Concerning Tenants


First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

When Kari C. moved into her two-bedroom apartment about eight years ago, she thought she had a great deal.
She was paying just $1,500 a month in rent, and her landlord — an independent owner — had raised the price by just $50 over five years, Kari said.
Then, in 2019, the owner sold the building to a major property management company. Soon after, according to Kari, she received a letter: the company was increasing her monthly rent from $1,550 to $2,150.

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Hoover Falls in Back-to-Back Games

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Hoover High School’s varsity boys’ basketball team traveled to City of Industry Workman High and lost in overtime, 68-56, on Wednesday.
Senior point guard Michael Fernandez-Washington poured in a team-high 32 points and five 3-pointers, both of which were team-highs, and also had 10 rebounds for the Tornados (0-2 record).
Senior center Daniel Simon had nine points and a team-leading 14 rebounds while senior power forward David Khourdadjian had seven points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Allen Akopyan added six points, six rebounds and three assists, and senior shooting guard Anthony Van Patten registered two points and five rebounds. Zack Van Patten and Jenghiz Van Patten combined for four rebounds and two steals.
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Doctor Works to Allay Fear of COVID Vaccines for Children

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Dr. Christine Mirzaian wanted to set an example for other parents.
So as soon as COVID-19 vaccines were authorized for children, the pediatrician brought her 5-year-old daughter to work, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, to get round one of the shot.
After bearing witness to how the coronavirus has devastated Southern California for 19 months, the Glendale native and resident said she didn’t have to think twice about it.
Continue reading “Doctor Works to Allay Fear of COVID Vaccines for Children”

LCHS Edged By Rival San Marino in CIF Championship Match

First published in the Nov. 18 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

After three full decades in the business, La Cañada High School tennis coach Will Moravec is not a fan of fancy catchphrases. But even Moravec could have deserved a total pardon if “the third time’s a charm” was bouncing around in his mind the past couple weeks.
Because after two hotly contested losses to Rio Hondo League rival San Marino during the regular season and a torrid 10 days of postseason play, the Spartans and Titans had negotiated their ways through opposite sides of the CIF-SS Division I tournament bracket and found themselves facing off for the championship last Friday afternoon at the Claremont Club. (Outlook Valley Sun sports department research shows it was perhaps the first time in school history that any Spartan athletic team had played a Rio Hondo League opponent in a CIF title-deciding matchup; LCHS opened in 1963.)
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Holidays Spark Concerns of Possible COVID Surge

First published in the Nov. 18 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

As California continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic largely resulting from having a majority of its population vaccinated against the disease, people are reverting back to normalcy.
A return to holiday traditions was evident on Halloween with more trick-or-treaters out on the streets, and with more gatherings being planned for the Thanksgiving holiday. Though COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are lower in California compared to last year, health and government officials still worry about the possibility of a winter surge similar to 2020.
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Council Gives Thumbs Down to Foothill Project

First published in the Nov. 18 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The controversial proposal for a three-story, mixed-use structure at 600 Foothill Blvd. finally came before the La Cañada Flintridge City Council and the panel’s stance was in consensus with the majority of stakeholders present for Tuesday’s in-person meeting: the project doesn’t fit the municipal zoning code.
After nearly four hours of presentations, deliberation and statements from city staff and dozens of community members, the council ultimately denied the resolutions that would have amended the city’s Downtown Village Specific Plan and zoning needed for the proposed project — which included 47 senior housing units, 12 hotel units, underground parking and 7,600 square feet for office use — to move forward.
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Day of the Dead Embraces Souls of the Past

First published in the Nov. 13 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The spirits of the departed recently returned to their loved ones for Dia de los Muertos, some visiting Glendale Central Library on their journey to reconnect with the living.
With special offerings galore, the library’s community altar was filled last weekend with sentimental and decorative items brought in love to welcome those from the afterlife, some of which included photos, flowers, sage, a ball of yarn with knitting needles, sugar skulls and a pair of skeleton figures sitting back to back.
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Burbank Coordinating Council’s Annual Gala Is a Success

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

The Burbank Coordinating Council’s annual gala, hosted by UMe Credit Union, kicked off its Holiday Basket Program with a two-hour outdoor event at UMe’s Burbank branch.
The event opened with food and beverage service at 7 p.m., shortly followed by opening announcements at 7:30 p.m.
Continue reading “Burbank Coordinating Council’s Annual Gala Is a Success”

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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Bulldogs Edged by Whitney in Quarterfinals, 10-8

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

Burbank High School’s varsity girls’ tennis team narrowly fell to visiting Whitney High of Cerritos, 10-8, in the CIF-SS Division 3 tennis quarterfinals on Monday afternoon.
The Bulldogs’ doubles teams carried the load, recording six of nine set wins. However, Burbank dropped seven of nine singles sets.
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GHS Crowns Homecoming Royalty

First published in the Nov. 13 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Photo by Jonathan Williams / Glendale News-Press

The Glendale High School homecoming court this year included (front, from left) Jeta Cooper, Daniel Armstrong, Jacob Barash, Theo Palmiery and N’kiya Freeman. Back row: Alexis Riate, Destiny Givrad, Tabitha Bobias, Ylenna Sera and Aleek Tekehyan.

Spartans Finish 4th in Rio Hondo League

First published in the Nov. 11 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School varsity boys’ water polo team’s season recently came to an end, with the Spartans narrowly missing the CIF playoffs.
Under fifth-year head coach Gil Millanes, LCHS finished fourth in the Rio Hondo League with a 3-5 record (9-11 overall).
Despite missing the postseason, La Cañada ended its season on a high note by defeating visiting San Marino 13-12 in a league game on Oct. 27. It was a nice bounce-back performance after LCHS dropped its match at South Pasadena, 18-11, on Oct. 26.
South Pasadena and Temple City each finished with 7-1 league records and shared the league championship.

City Attorney Reflects on 10-Year Tenure

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

The airport’s replacement terminal. Police department lawsuits. Coronavirus pandemic policies.
After spending a decade as Burbank’s city attorney, Amy Albano has seen it all. But after a year in which, she said, she worked the hardest she has ever worked, city hall’s top lawyer retired Friday. The first woman to serve as city attorney in Burbank, Albano’s departure capped a legal career spanning more than 30 years. Joe McDougall, until recently the chief assistant city attorney, succeeded Albano following last week’s unanimous City Council vote.
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Veterans Honored at City Ceremony

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

Partway through her rendition of the national anthem, performing in front of a Veterans Day crowd, singer Heidi-Marie Ferren suddenly found herself struggling to keep up the melody. Her heart, she later explained, overcame her voice.
But while her words dwindled, the crowd pressed on. Dozens of Burbank officials, veterans and other community members gathered at McCambridge Park for Thursday’s event, kept singing. Ferren quickly recovered, joining the rest in the anthem.
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La Cañada Girls Claim League Crown, Boys Place 2nd

First published in the Nov. 11 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School girls’ cross-country team won the Rio Hondo League championship in dominating fashion at last Thursday’s league finals, held at San Marino’s Lacy Park.
The Spartans scored 22 points to runner-up South Pasadena’s 47 (in cross-country, low score wins), while the Spartan boys totaled 51 points, which was good enough for second place.
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Burbank Bridge Scheduled to Reopen

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

More than a year and a half after work crews demolished it, a reconstructed Burbank Boulevard bridge is projected to reopen on Nov. 24.
Michael Comeaux, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation, said that the date might change depending on weather or operational hiccups. Caltrans demolished the bridge in April 2020 as part of a project to widen the 5 Freeway with carpool lanes between Magnolia Boulevard and Buena Vista Street.
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Political Rally Targets Leaders in Armenia

First published in the Nov. 13 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

A year ago this week, a large crowd formed spontaneously outside of the Armenian Consulate, where members of the local Armenian diaspora expressed their shock, sorrow and anger that the 44-day war between their homeland and Azerbaijan had suddenly ended.
On Tuesday, a crowd again formed. This time, it was with a more organized and pointed message of disdain toward the Armenian political leadership viewed by some members of the diaspora as botching the defense effort and jumping at the chance to sign a ceasefire that heavily favored the Azerbaijan government in Baku’s objectives.
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Bulldogs Win Semifinal; to Play for First CIF Title

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

After the Burbank High School varsity boys’ water polo team’s narrow 9-8 victory over visiting Ventura Buena in the CIF-SS Division 5 semifinals on Wednesday, head coach David Arakelyan said that it was the Bulldogs “toughest game by far.”
Two clutch goals by Robert Kharazyan in the final minutes of the fourth quarter secured the victory to propel the Pacific League champion Bulldogs to the CIF final.
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St. Francis Wins Playoff Opener; Flintridge Prep Falls

First published in the Nov. 11 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

St. Francis High School’s varsity football team advanced to the CIF-SS Division 4 quarterfinals in dominating fashion with a 47-20 blowout victory — its highest scoring outing of the season — against visiting Irvine last Friday.
Senior Max Garrison carried 13 times for team-highs in rushing yards (227) and touchdowns (four). He also had two receptions for 23 yards.
“[Garrison] had an injury midseason and it never kept him out of the games, but he wasn’t himself,” head coach Dean Herrington said. “He’s back to 100% and he’s looking fantastic right now.”
Continue reading “St. Francis Wins Playoff Opener; Flintridge Prep Falls”

CVHS Sweeps League Finals, Advances to CIF

First published in the Nov. 13 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Coming off a dominant performance in the Pacific League finals, the Crescenta Valley High School cross-country boys’ and girls’ teams are looking to ride that momentum in the CIF Southern Section Division I preliminaries at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut on Saturday.
The Falcons claimed the league championship at every level last week, and the varsity boys — ranked No. 4 in Division I — enter the postseason as contenders for the CIF title.
Continue reading “CVHS Sweeps League Finals, Advances to CIF”

Town Hall Answers Concerns About Pediatric Vaccine

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

About a week after U.S. health officials authorized a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 for children 5 to 11, the Burbank Unified School District organized a virtual town hall to inform parents about inoculating the younger population.
Superintendent Matt Hill and district staff welcomed Dr. Janina Morrison — a physician who works with Los Angeles County — to answer questions and alleviate concerns parents may have about vaccinating their children.
As a mother of a 5- and 9-year-old, Morrison admitted she too is “considering the evidence in making the decision about vaccinating kids in this age group” but ultimately recommended the pediatric vaccine because the benefits outweigh the risks.
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GUSD Faces Declining Numbers

First published in the Nov. 13 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale Unified School District officials are mulling over how to stymie a declining enrollment rate that, during the coronavirus pandemic, has brought the large system to less than 25,000 students.
Although the district is adding new students each year, those numbers have not been enough to replace its losses — generally through graduation, but more recently also through transfers. After enrolling 26,119 students in the 2015-16 school year, officials report there are currently 24,233 students at GUSD schools.
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Resident Appeals Major Mixed-Use Project

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

The Burbank City Council will consider a resident’s appeal against a large development project planned for the former site of Fry’s Electronics on Tuesday.
The Burbank Aero Crossings project would build 862 apartments units — including 80 allocated for very low-income households — two restaurants and a five-story office structure at 2311 N. Hollywood Way. The defunct Fry’s, which closed in February, sits empty on the roughly 450,000-square-foot lot. The Burbank Planning Board unanimously approved the project in late September.
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Spartans Beat Mater Dei, Advance to Semifinals

First published in the Nov. 11 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ tennis team continued its CIF-SS Division 1 postseason run by defeating visiting Mater Dei High of Santa Ana, 10-8, in the quarterfinal round on Monday afternoon.
The narrow win lifted the Spartans (11-3 overall record) into the CIF semifinals, where they traveled to Laguna Beach (12-4 overall) Wednesday. With the victory over Laguna Beach, the Spartans advanced to the CIF championship match on Friday, Nov. 12, to play the Rio Hondo League champion San Marino at the Claremont Club.
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COVID Vaccine for Children Scarce in LCF

First published in the Nov. 11 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun. By Oscar Areliz and
Camila Castellanos

Parents have long waited for the federal government to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine against COVID-19 for children ages 5 to 11 but may remain on standby despite the state allocating more than 1.2 million doses last week.
The pediatric vaccine — which is a third of the dose given to those 12 and older — is in high demand but scarce in La Cañada Flintridge.
Parents and their children flocked to Flintridge Pharmacy as soon as the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 was given the green light by U.S. health officials and news broke on social media that the pharmacy in LCF had the vaccine in stock, said longtime owner Michael Stemfel.
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Two Crashes Occur at Same Intersection Saturday

First published in the Nov. 11 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

History repeated itself not once, but twice, in La Cañada Flintridge with two different vehicles crashing into businesses at the intersection of Angeles Crest Highway and Foothill Boulevard last Saturday.
A car collided into Hill Street Café early Saturday morning, and hours later, another vehicle speeding down the highway crashed into neighboring businesses Veruca Salt and Compass Real Estate.
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Methodist Church to Preach Message of Christ’s Love

First published in the Nov. 11 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Pastor Karin Ellis will give a sermon at Methodist Church this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. about how the love of Christ provokes people to care for one another, meet together and perform acts of kindness and mercy (Hebrews 10:19-25).
For those who choose to participate virtually, a recording of the sermon will be available on Sunday afternoon at lcumc.com and on the church’s Facebook page.
LCUMC’s services include singing and reciting prayers. Face masks are required for worship.
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St. Francis Shares League Crown

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

A stellar performance from Max Garrison propelled the St. Francis football team to a 44-32 victory over host Encino Crespi on Friday and a share of the Angelus League championship.
The senior running back rushed for 262 yards and four touchdowns on four carries to help St. Francis win its final regular season game and finish 2-1 in league play (7-2 overall). Loyola High of Los Angeles also finished 2-1.
The Golden Knights trailed Crespi 19-14 in the first quarter but settled down in the second and went into the half with a 21-19 lead.
Continue reading “St. Francis Shares League Crown”

Family Promise Supports the Homeless With Fundraiser

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

Family Promise of the Verdugos, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance, shelter and meals to homeless families with children, staged their annual Empty Bowl fundraiser this past week.
Welcomed by the organization’s board President Jessa Freemyer, event chairman Steven Mozo, and Executive Director Albert Hernandez, more than 250 supporters gathered in the community room of Burbank’s St. Francis Xavier Church for a lunch of various soups donated by local eateries.
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Shooting Victim Expected to Make Full Recovery

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

A man who was wounded in a Burbank shooting last week is expected to make a full recovery, according to the Burbank Police Department.
The BPD has made two arrests since the incident.
The shooting victim, whom police have not identified, was in stable condition this week after being shot in the arm, according to BPD Sgt. Emil Brimway. Police said the man was shot the night of Oct. 28 near Frederic Street and Chandler Boulevard. The BPD announced the following day that they had arrested 37-year-old Burbank resident Richard Dick V on suspicion of shooting the other man.
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Falcons, Nitros Fall in Playoff Openers

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Crescenta Valley High School’s varsity girls’ tennis team was eliminated from the CIF playoffs with a 13-5 loss at Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos in a Division 1 first-round match on Wednesday.
Falcons’ No. 1 singles player Teleya Blunt earned CV’s only sweep by defeating her opponents 6-2, 6-2, 6-0.
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Spartans’ Memorable Rally Brings End to Season

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

The words came forth from the mouth of La Cañada head football coach Dave Avramovich, as if he was reciting a mantra.
“I can’t believe we won that game,” Avramovich said.
He was walking away from San Marino High School’s Titan Stadium toward La Cañada’s boisterous bus following last Friday night’s thrilling, season-ending, topsy-turvy 46-43 Spartan victory.
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Burroughs Defeats Rival Burbank in ‘Big Game’

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

When Burroughs and Burbank High play football, it is always a big game.
The contest is literally called “The Big Game” and has been played since 1949, but this season’s matchup was doubly intense with a CIF-playoff berth on the line.
Burroughs played a physical brand of football en route to a 30-20 Pacific League victory over the hosting Bulldogs last Friday night at Memorial Field in the regular season finale for both squads.
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Nitros Edged by Fullerton, 12-9, in Playoffs

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Glendale High School varsity boys’ water polo team’s postseason ended in the second round of CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs when the Nitros were defeated by host Fullerton, 12-9, on Thursday.
Freshmen Tigran Megroyan and Rudolf Hovhannisyan combined for six goals while senior Arthur Lazaryan, junior Gregory Carrillo and freshman Gevorg Choginyan each scored once.
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Wolves Fall to Chadwick, 37-31

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

After a hard-fought battle which ended with Flintridge Prep’s varsity 8-man football team losing to Palos Verdes Chadwick, 37-31, the seniors hugged and cried with their families and friends on the gridiron they have called home for the past four years.
The Wolves ended the regular season with a 4-3 overall record and 1-2 in the 8-man Prep League. Despite the loss, they earned a berth in the CIF-SS Division 1 8-man playoffs at unbeaten Thacher School (7-0) in Ojai.
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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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School Board Looks at District Remapping

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

At its next meeting, the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education hopes to commit to a handful of tweaks to its political district maps ahead of its December deadline.
In the meantime, the district’s consultant for the redistricting is expected to prepare charts to compare various demographic information such as literacy, income status and other socioeconomic factors.
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City Still Pushes Against Metro Bus Lane

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

Burbank officials reiterated their opposition this week to a portion of a potential bus corridor that would remove either street parking or travel lanes on Olive Avenue.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority project would connect North Hollywood to Pasadena with a bus route weaving through cities along the 134 Freeway. Metro officials have said that a dedicated bus lane would allow for quicker and more reliable service than a traditional route.
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Nitros Reclaim Storied Bell With Football Win

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

By Jonathan Williams, Glendale News-Press

One of California’s oldest high school sports rivalries was back in action Friday night as Glendale High School’s football team blew out Hoover 39-8 on their joint homecoming night, marking the return of the so-called “Battle of the Bell.”
The anticipated intracity contest between the Nitros and Tornados concluded both squads’ seasons and brought a wave of emotion to the stadium — not least of which was because this was the first Battle of the Bell since 2017. Hoover had defeated Glendale in that game.
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Flintridge Prep Girls Capture League Championship

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

The Flintridge Prep varsity girls’ cross-country team narrowly defeated Palos Verdes Chadwick to win the Prep League finals at Pierce College on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Flintridge Prep and Poly’s varsity boys’ cross-country teams placed third and fourth, respectively.

GIRLS’ MEET
Flintridge Prep’s top five runners matched Chadwick’s to tie the race at 50 points apiece, setting up senior Veronica Habashy (21st place, 21:55) — Prep’s sixth-place finisher — to beat Chadwick’s Marielle Alden by 10 seconds and bring home the championship for the Wolves.
“I would always choose a competition like [Saturday’s] where it’s a nail-bitter and every moment counts and every runner needs to be engaged and focused,” said Jill Henry, Flintridge Prep’s girls’ head coach. “This is what you live for as an athlete, to be a part of competitions like this and we’re glad it shook out in our direction but it was just fun to be in a contest that was that close.”
The Wolves had three top 10 placements — senior Nicole Mirzaian (fifth place, 20:12), junior Anya Rose (seventh, 20:28) and sophomore Hailey Wilson (eighth, 20:30).
“For the first mile and a half, [Rose] was running behind two Chadwick runners who were shoulder to shoulder,” Henry said. “Not only did she get in front of them, but she broke up their pack. Really by making the move to pass them on a downhill, she broke them up and then more of our runners got in front of them. Her move … really set our team up to break up their five runners much more efficiently than we could have otherwise.”
It is critical to break up packs in cross-country to spread the point values across the board instead of one team clustering together to score.
Sophomore Julia Bonk (13th place, 21:08), senior Rosalinda Chen (17th, 21:27) and Audrey Jung (32nd, 23:34) rounded out Prep’s seven total finishers.

BOYS’ MEET
Flintridge Prep and Polytechnic finished third and fourth, respectively, in the boys’ meet behind first-place Providence Burbank and second-place Chadwick.
Flintridge Prep accumulated 64 points and combined for a 1:27:29 time between its top five runners, while Poly scored 80 points with a combined 1:28:25 time.
The Wolves ended the race with two top 10 finishers — senior Dominick Schraeder (sixth place, 16:38) and junior Bryan Taniguchi (10th, 17:25). Meanwhile, Kevin Martinez (11th, 17:29) averaged 5:50 per mile.
Rounding out Prep’s runners were sophomores Evan Guyer (17th, 17:50), Nicolas Stanton (20th, 18:05), Ryan Ginn (24th, 18:27) and Max Goodman (27th, 19:20).

Bulldogs Pummel Cathedral, Advance to CIF Quarterfinals

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

After winning the Pacific League for the first time since 1969, Burbank High School’s varsity boys’ water polo team advanced to the CIF-SS Division 5 quarterfinals with an 18-6 victory over visiting Cathedral High of Los Angeles on Thursday.
The Pacific League champion Bulldogs dominated early and built a 10-2 lead in the first half, from which Cathedral could never recover.
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Hit-and-Run Suspect in Custody

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

A 19-year-old Elk Grove man remained in custody on Friday after being arrested last weekend for allegedly striking and killing a pedestrian in Glendale.
The suspect was being held in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility downtown Los Angeles on $150,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He awaits his next court appearance in Burbank Municipal Court, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9. He faces charges of felony hit-and-run and driving under the influence, according to the Glendale Police Department.
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City’s Jobless Rate Lowest Since Pandemic’s Start

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

Burbank’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.7% in August to 9% in September, according to preliminary state data, the lowest mark for the statistic since March 2020.
The decline in the city’s unemployment rate from August to September, according to data from the California Employment Development Department, also seems to be the first time the measure has dropped below double digits since the beginning of the pandemic.
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LCHS Softball Coach Resigns

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

In what is considered a surprise to some, La Cañada High School’s varsity softball head coach, Chuck Gunter, resigned on Tuesday, Nov. 2, after five years at the helm. The report was confirmed by Carrie Saks, La Cañada’s athletic director.
Gunter did not respond to the Outlook Valley Sun’s request for comment by its press deadline.
Under Gunter’s guidance from 2016-21, the Spartans’ posted a 53-8 league record (94-20-3 overall). La Cañada earned five CIF playoff appearances, including one quarterfinal showing, and won the Rio Hondo League championship four times.
Per Saks, LCHS is actively looking for a new head coach and will begin the interview process in the next few weeks.

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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Vaccine Cleared for Use in Children

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

A pediatric vaccine to combat COVID-19 was cleared by U.S. health officials on Tuesday and is now available for children ages 5 to 11 throughout California.
The Food and Drug Administration signed off on emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proceeded with its recommendation hours after the FDA’s announcement.
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City Discusses Rockhaven Redo

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale officials are once again mulling what to do with the Rockhaven Sanitarium property, more than a dozen years after the city acquired the historic site and tried thrice to develop it.
This time around, they have $8 million in state funding to help grease the wheel, a grant secured in June by state Sen. Anthony Portantino during Sacramento’s budgeting process. Though there is a catch that whatever happens on the property must include a museum, the city is otherwise free to explore other uses for the site’s buildings and park-like space.
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Spartans Finish 2nd in League; Open Postseason Play

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

La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ tennis team concluded its regular season by finishing second in the Rio Hondo League with a 6-2 record (8-3 overall) behind perennial powerhouse San Marino.
The Spartans earned a favorable seeding in the CIF-SS Division 1 bracket, according to head coach Will Moravec, and visited Temecula Great Oak High on Wednesday, Nov. 3, winning 12-6. With the victory, the Spartans advanced to the CIF second round on Friday, Nov. 5, and played Riverside Martin Luther King.
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Foothill Blvd. Project Elicits More Debate on Scope, Scale

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

Four former La Cañada Flintridge mayors have weighed in on the development proposed at 600 Foothill Blvd. with a formal letter submitted to the City Council that echoes similar concerns previously raised by local stakeholders.
Donald Voss called in during the public comments portion of a virtual City Council meeting on Tuesday urging the panel to deny the proposed three-story structure — which would include 47 senior housing units, 12 hotel units, underground parking and 7,600 square feet for office use — when it comes before the council. The letter Voss submitted to council members was co-signed by former city leaders Gregory Brown, Stephen Del Guercio and Laura Olhasso.
Voss told the council that the plan “undermines the [Downtown Village Specific Plan’s] concept” with its size, density and traffic.
Continue reading “Foothill Blvd. Project Elicits More Debate on Scope, Scale”

Council Extends Pickleball Pilot

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

With an overwhelming number of supporters, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council voted in favor of continuing a pilot pickleball program that was implemented at Glenhaven Park Place during the summer.
About 40 community members emailed city staff supporting the program, which will now run an additional four months. The council, which voted 5-0 in favor of allowing pickleball players to continue using the tennis court at Glenhaven Park, advised staff to work on finding possible alternative locations, such as Mayor’s Discovery Park. The council also asked staff to continue studying the program and measure the use of the facilities during the winter season.
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Local Moms Run for Breast Cancer Research

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Local organization Moms of Burbank hosted a 5K run on the Chandler Bikeway on Oct. 30 to raise awareness about breast cancer.
Participants in the run paid a donation to enter with all of the proceeds going to METAvivor, a national nonprofit that helps fund stage 4 metastatic breast cancer research. The diagnosis is usually considered terminal, according to METAvivor, but the organization estimates that only about 2%-5% of the funds raised for breast cancer research is invested in studying the condition.
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Burroughs on Broadway Returns for 16th Season

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

As a foreshadowing of Halloween, this past week saw the quad of John Burroughs High School canopied with moonlit clouds, chilled with the harbinger of rain and transformed into the city’s largest outdoor cabaret as the school’s Vocal Music Association presented its 16th season of Burroughs On Broadway, or “BOB” as it is colloquially known.
Surrounded by blood-red draped tables on which supporters enjoyed dinner provided by VIP Catering, the spirit of Halloween was alive and well during the VMA’s three performances of the show emceed by actor Mick Torres. Along with numbers from a wide array of Broadway musicals were spooky selections from “The Addams Family,” a time-warping tune from “The Rocky Horror Show” and well-known hits from the hedonistic nightlife of the seedy Kit Kat Klub of “Cabaret.”
Continue reading “Burroughs on Broadway Returns for 16th Season”

Bears Pulverize Pasadena High School, 22-9

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burroughs High School varsity boys’ water polo team dominated Pasadena, 22-9, on Tuesday to clinch fifth place in the Pacific League.
Xavier Turla scored a team-high nine goals in the blowout victory, helping the Bears end their season on a high note.
“[Xavier] is the best player on our team. He’s been playing for a long time, very passionate about the game,” said Jacob Cook, Burroughs’ head coach. “He takes over during the game and he always does really well, so it wasn’t a surprise to see that performance.”
Continue reading “Bears Pulverize Pasadena High School, 22-9”

Tornados Defeat L.A. Contreras, 18-7

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Hoover High School’s varsity football team rebounded and snapped its three-game losing streak with a comeback victory against visiting Los Angeles Contreras, 18-7, last Friday.
Two fourth-quarter touchdowns helped the Tornados secure their sixth victory, the first time they have had that many wins since 1987, according to L.A. area sportswriter Jim Riggio. Since two of the 1987 games were won via forfeit, the last time Hoover won six games on the gridiron was in 1983.
Continue reading “Tornados Defeat L.A. Contreras, 18-7”

Spartans’ Memorable Game Ends in Defeat

First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

As part of a high school football pilot program, Pasadena Poly cultivated an opportunity for the Panthers to host La Cañada High in the hallowed grounds of the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which has been in operation since June 1923.
“It’s once in a lifetime,” Spartan Corey Cheung said of the game. “Most people dream of just playing in the Coliseum at USC, so it’s a real blessing to be able to do that because so many legends are made there and it’s such a unique experience.”
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City Council Considers Joe McDougall for Next Top Attorney

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank City Council will consider appointing Joseph McDougall as the next city attorney during its next meeting on Tuesday. McDougall currently serves as Burbank’s chief assistant city attorney.
Upon approval, he would replace the current city attorney, Amy Albano, who is retiring from the city on Nov. 13. She has held her position for just over 10 years.
Continue reading “City Council Considers Joe McDougall for Next Top Attorney”

Nitros Beat Arcadia in Pacific League Third-Place Game

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Glendale High School varsity boys’ water polo team secured third place in the Pacific League Tournament with a narrow 16-14 victory over host Arcadia High on Thursday.
The Nitros finished with a 7-2 league record and are 8-7 overall heading into the CIF playoffs, which begin next week.
Continue reading “Nitros Beat Arcadia in Pacific League Third-Place Game”

Robinson Helps Bulldogs Pummel Crescenta Valley, 48-25

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank High School’s varsity football team defeated host Crescenta Valley High, 48-25, in a Pacific League game at Glendale’s Moyse Field on Friday, Oct. 22.
The Bulldogs’ second consecutive victory pushed them to third place in the Pacific League with a 2-2 record (3-6 overall) while dropping the Falcons to fourth with a 1-3 league record (2-6 overall).
Continue reading “Robinson Helps Bulldogs Pummel Crescenta Valley, 48-25”

Local Teacher Honored as One of County’s Best

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

A Burbank educator was recently named one of the Los Angeles County teachers of the year along with only 15 other colleagues in the sprawling area.
Amelia Cheatum, who teaches history to 7th- and 8th-graders at John Muir Middle School, was recognized after being named the Burbank Unified School District teacher of the year in July.
She was selected from a field of 56 educators representing 52 school districts.
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Clark’s Special Celebration: Its First Homecoming

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Homecoming, the beloved high school tradition, often is considered a rite of passage for many teenagers and usually entails a sports event, parade and semiformal dance. But what if a school is without a sports team?
For Clark Magnet High School, homecoming was a convention admired only from afar until activities director Shari Scott-Sawyer suggested bringing the essence of the tradition to campus, even though it’s a no-sport school.
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Mental Health Legislation Responds to Pandemic

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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 some Californians during distance learning. The historic package represents the highest per-pupil funding in history, according to the governor’s office.
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Falcons Finish as League’s Runner-Up

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Crescenta Valley High School varsity boys’ water polo team was defeated by Burbank High, 12-5, at Arcadia’s Aquatic Center in the Pacific League championship on Thursday.
The Falcons finished with a 5-3 league record (11-15 overall) and secured a CIF playoff berth. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs finished a perfect 8-0 in league and improved to 19-2 overall.
Continue reading “Falcons Finish as League’s Runner-Up”

Bulldogs Win First Water Polo Title in 52 Years

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank High School’s varsity boys’ water polo team defeated Crescenta Valley High, 12-5, at Arcadia’s aquatic center in the Pacific League finals to capture the school’s first league championship in the sport since 1969.
The Bulldogs finished with a perfect 8-0 league record (19-2 overall) and secured a CIF berth behind solid offensive performances by Zack Gezalyan and Johnny Agazaryan, who scored four and three goals, respectively.
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La Cañada Falls in CIF Playoff Opener

First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ volleyball team’s season came to an end as it was defeated by visiting Temecula Chaparral, 25-15, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20, in the CIF-SS Division 2 first-round playoff match last Thursday.
The Rio Hondo League champion Spartans ended the season with a 28-5 overall record (8-0 in league) and earned the school’s second-best win streak under third-year head coach Laura Browder.
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BWP Can Issue Bonds to Boost Infrastructure

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank Water and Power received permission this week to issue up to $31 million in bonds to pay for upgrades and maintenance to its water infrastructure.
The Burbank City Council’s unanimous vote on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to the municipal utility, whose officials said they will also use the funds to pay off the remaining $5.5 million in loans received from the State Water Resources Control Board. Another $24 million will go toward replacing old pipes, repairing a leaky city reservoir and accomplishing other local projects. The rest will pay for the legal consultations associated with the issuance and serve as a contingency fund.
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GPD Says Man Tried to Steal Police Vehicle

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

A Los Angeles man was in custody Friday afternoon after allegedly trying to steal a police vehicle while the officer who’d been using it was directing traffic nearby.
The 25-year-old man was booked on suspicion of attempted carjacking after being arrested at 10:58 a.m. Friday near Glorietta Avenue and Verdugo Road, according to Glendale Police Department Sgt. Christian Hauptmann. The suspect was placed in a GPD holding cell while waiting for Los Angeles County sheriff’s personnel to take him to jail, Hauptmann said, adding that the man has a $100,000 bail.
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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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City’s Pet Project: Seeking Potential Dog Park Site

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

More Glendale residents may get the treat of a dog park within city limits, now that the City Council this week has given the go-ahead for the Community Services and Parks Department to consider where to install such an amenity.
Officials will investigate a variety of possible locations, though council members’ preference for the moment seems to be South Glendale, which is the most densely populated part of the city and is far away from the county-managed Crescenta Valley Dog Park. That space is located within city limits in the Crescenta Highlands neighborhood.
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John Muir Dedicates Lending Library in Memory of Student

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The dedication ceremony began with the ring of the 9 a.m. bell at John Muir Middle School.
School administrators, teachers, parents and students gathered in front of John Muir’s outdoor classroom Thursday, but not for a lecture. Instead, they huddled around a small wooden box near the entrance of the classroom. Painstakingly painted, the box — a “lending library” of free books for students — was filled with popular reads: “Wonder,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “Magic Tree House” and more.
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LCUSD Goal: Helping Students Catch Up After Distance Learning

First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The coronavirus pandemic has posed numerous challenges to students and educators throughout the nation since March 2020, and now the La Cañada Unified School District has made it a priority to begin the recovery process.
The district Governing Board this week unanimously approved Superintendent Wendy Sinnette’s goals for the 2021-22 academic year, two of which focus on helping students continue to make the transition from remote and hybrid learning to regular in-person instruction.
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A Model Teammate, She’s Kickin’ It With the Boys

First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

This season, one of La Cañada High School’s varsity football players not only has put points on the scoreboard but also made a deep run into the selection process for acceptance to the Tournament of Roses Royal Court.
That player is the Spartans’ top placekicker, Shaina Clorfeine.
“I just thought what she was doing was so unique that it might be kind of fun to be the first girl who actually played football who’s also on the Rose Court,” her mother Sabina Clorfeine said. “I was super proud of her for going as far as she did.”
Continue reading “A Model Teammate, She’s Kickin’ It With the Boys”

Queen Nadia Ascends to Tournament of Roses Throne

First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

In a coup for La Cañada Flintridge, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses this week crowned Nadia Chung as the 103rd Rose Queen, leaving the local resident astonished and grateful.
In fact, LCF is flush with members of the 2022 Royal Court, being represented not only by La Cañada High School senior Chung but also by LCHS classmate Jaeda Walden, who is serving as a princess. Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy senior McKenzie Street, who lives in Pasadena, has also been named to the royal court.
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In Reignited Rivalry Matchup, Nitros Post 39-8 Victory Over Tornados

By Jonathan Williams 

After a four-year hiatus, the Glendale and Hoover varsity high school football teams jousted in the highly anticipated “Battle of the Bell” game on Friday night, with the Nitros emerging victorious in the longstanding rivalry.

On homecoming night for each of the schools, Glendale blasted Hoover 39-8 and brought the bell back home for its first win in the matchup since 2014. It was the first time since 2017 that the schools played each other in varsity football, following a program rebuild for Hoover after the 2018 game was canceled.

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Some Tricks for Treating Yourself to a Healthful Halloween

First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

As the number of coronavirus cases in California continues to decline, families are feeling more comfortable and confident in making plans to celebrate holidays during the fall and beyond.
The first holiday, Halloween, is this Sunday, and the rituals of dressing up and hitting the streets to trick-or-treat are returning this year, as is the popular tradition of local families visiting Indianola Way in La Cañada Flintridge.
After having parts of the street barricaded last year to discourage trick-or-treating, the City Council recently voted to waive permit fees for the road closure that would allow visitors to walk on Indianola to enjoy the decorated homes.
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Former Burroughs Standout Honored

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank native Nick Garcia earned co-Offensive Player of the Week honors from the Southern California Football Association after guiding Glendale Community College to victory against West Los Angeles College last week.
Garcia, a freshman quarterback who graduated from John Burroughs High School, completed 18 of 21 passes for 328 yards and five touchdowns toward a 52-20 drubbing of the West L.A. Wildcats last Saturday. He also rushed for one Vaqueros touchdown.
Continue reading “Former Burroughs Standout Honored”

GCC Players Share SCFA Honor

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Two Glendale Community College football players shared the Offensive Player of the Week title for the Southern California Football Association following the Vaqueros’ drubbing of West Los Angeles College 52-20 last Saturday.
Quarterback Nick Garcia and wideout Nick Johnson, both freshmen, took home the title this week along with their victory.
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Nitros, Tornados to Resume Rivalry After 3-Year Hiatus

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Glendale and Hoover varsity football teams will meet on the gridiron for the first time since 2017 in the highly anticipated rekindling of the intracity rivalry game at Moyse Field this Friday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m.
The Tornados won the most recent game, 35-25, nearly four years ago. The series debuted in 1930, the year after Hoover High School opened. It was uninterrupted for 68 years — even through World War II and the Korean War, according to local sports historian Patrick Lancaster — until a highly publicized Hoover campus brawl reportedly over racial tensions canceled the game against the Nitros in 2018. Hoover did not have a varsity team for the following two years, although both schools’ JV and frosh/soph teams have met in recent years.
Hoover moved to 6-3 overall after defeating Los Angeles Contreras, 18-7, while Glendale is 1-8 overall. This regular-season finale will officially be a nonleague game because Hoover is playing a “freelance” schedule this year.
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Falcons Defeated by Burbank, 14-4

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Crescenta Valley High School’s varsity girls’ team lost to Burbank, 14-4, in Pacific League action on Thursday afternoon.
CV’s No. 3 doubles team — Karis Yun, Teleya Blunt and alternate Ramya Kumarasuriar — earned the Falcons’ only sweep, defeating Burbank’s Arpi Krikorian and Lilyan Hawrylo, Lena and Jenna Jabourian, and Elli Sumera and Ellen Petrosyan.
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After Virtual Year, Local Fundraiser Delight Supporters

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

After far too many months of local fundraising events being canceled, put on hold or presented virtually, the good times are back — so much so, that many had to decide which event to attend this week.
Some supporters even made it a “twofer,” attending both benefits held by the Burbank Arts & Education Foundation and Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and the Greater East Valley, with fun and fundraising for the good causes going all night long.
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Traffic Collisions Trending Downward, Police Say

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Though local outrage over reckless driving has flared in recent months, a Burbank police sergeant said this week that vehicle crashes have become less frequent over the past few years.
The Burbank Police Department recorded 1,473 traffic collisions in 2016, Sgt. Fletcher Stone told the city’s Police Commission on Wednesday, and just 946 in 2019. So far this year, he added, the BPD has counted fewer than 600 crashes in Burbank.
Continue reading “Traffic Collisions Trending Downward, Police Say”

Glendale Beats Hoover for First Time in Seven Years

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

It’s always just that much bigger of a game when rivals Glendale and Hoover clash in the pool for boys’ water polo city bragging rights, and sometimes nerves can play a role.
At times it may not have been a thing of beauty, but the host Nitros did what they needed to do to defeat the Tornados, 11-7, in Pacific League play Thursday afternoon at the Glendale Aquatics Center to cap the regular season for both squads.
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Bears Defeated in CIF Opener

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

After a first-place finish in the Pacific League with a perfect 13-0 league record, Burroughs High School’s varsity girls’ volleyball team was upset by visiting Mission Viejo, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17 in a CIF-SS Division 3 first-round playoff match on Thursday evening.
“We had a good season and unfortunately, the seeding that we got was pretty rough for going undefeated, having a 17-4 [overall] record and then playing a No. 9 team that’s good,” said Edwin Real, Burroughs’ head coach.
Heidi Collins ended her high school career with a team-high 10 kills, seven digs, three aces and one assist.
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City to Align Purchases With Sustainability Goals

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The city plans to beef up its sustainability endeavors by crafting a new policy of environmentally preferable purchasing that will ostensibly set a course for more earth-friendly procurements that also are fiscally prudent.
Building upon policies adopted in the 1990s, the city will shape the enhanced EPP policy and take input from the Sustainability Commission before bringing the document back to the City Council. All five council members agreed to move forward with the update this week.
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BUSD Prepares to Replace Unvaccinated Employees

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The deadline for Burbank Unified School District employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 arrived on Friday, and those who opted not to be inoculated and are without district-authorized religious or medical exemption will be placed on unpaid leave.
As of Friday morning, 43 employees — including 10 teachers — of the 1,812 working for the BUSD had not received the vaccine, according to Superintendent Matt Hill, and the district has already posted job listings for part-time and full-time positions in teaching, accounting, maintenance, technology and food services.
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Cheung, Shepherd Lead Spartans Past Temple City, 48-0

First published in the Oct. 21 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School’s varsity football team bounced back and snapped its two-game losing streak with an impressive, blowout victory against visiting Temple City, 48-0, in a Rio Hondo League game last Friday.
Spartan senior Brandon Shepherd and junior Corey Cheung’s running games helped LCHS move to fourth in Rio Hondo League play with a 1-2 record (5-3 overall).
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Outdoor Dining: Making It Permanent

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

They will be gone, but not for long.
After removing several al fresco dining zones ahead of the Montrose Arts & Crafts Festival this weekend, the city of Glendale aims to replace the popular spaces at the Montrose Shopping Park area with more thoughtfully designed and built parklets. While the prior areas, divided from parking spots by concrete K-rail barriers, were intended as a temporary solution to coronavirus pandemic restrictions, the parklets figure to be a part of the shopping park for the foreseeable future.
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Mayor’s Address Touts Burbank’s Strength, Recovery Efforts

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

A mayor’s speech doesn’t usually feature a video showing the city’s top elected official being covered in green slime. But this week in Burbank, one did.
About 500 business executives, community leaders and city officials roared with laughter in the Marriott Hotel’s convention center Wednesday as they viewed the video during the annual State of the City address. Mayor Bob Frutos — sans slime — watched from the stage while the clip, taken at Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank, continued to play.
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Spartans Clinch League Title, Open CIF Playoffs

First published in the Oct. 21 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ volleyball team was crowned Rio Hondo League champions for the first time since 2017 as it rallied to defeat host South Pasadena in five sets, 25-19, 19-25, 20-25, 25-13 and 15-7.
The Spartans concluded the regular season with a perfect 8-0 league record (28-4 overall).
“We faced adversity tonight, and to see [our team] come out in that fourth set, after going down two sets to one, to come out and push a fifth and use that momentum to win, I couldn’t be prouder,” said Laura Browder, La Cañada’s head coach.
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Donald, Joan Williams Celebrate 70 Years of Marriage

First published in the Oct. 21 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Donald and Joan Williams will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary this Saturday with a backyard family reception for about 30 guests.
The couple are Wabash High School sweethearts, who married Oct. 20, 1951, at an Air Force chapel in Biloxi, Mississippi.
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Dorian Takes USC-VHH Helm as CEO

First published in the Oct. 21 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

After holding the interim role since March, Dr. Armand Dorian was named as the new chief executive officer of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital last week and began — or rather, continued — the role immediately.
He now officially replaces Keith Hobbs, who departed the university’s medical system after five years to take the leading role at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Dorian, who has been USC-VHH’s chief medical officer since 2018, is now the Glendale hospital’s first physician-leader and its first Armenian CEO. In an interview at the time, Hobbs described Dorian as his top choice for his replacement, had he anything to say about it.
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Spartans Lose Late Lead in 23-22 Setback

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School let an eight-point lead in the final quarter slip away as host South Pasadena rallied to score the game’s final nine points for a narrow 23-22 Rio Hondo League victory over the Spartans last Thursday evening.
The win improved the Tigers’ league record to 2-0 (4-3 overall). Meanwhile, the Spartans dipped to 0-2 in league (4-3 overall).
South Pasadena’s Aidan Kinney’s kicked an 18-yard field goal with 1:33 to play in the fourth quarter to provide the margin of victory.
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Smoke House Celebrates 75 Years With Hollywood Stars

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

It was an emotional evening for Smoke House owner Marti Spencer as the venerable restaurant celebrated its 75th anniversary by throwing a gala party last Tuesday night.
Hosted by former KNBC-4 weatherman Fritz Coleman, the evening saw the legendary eatery packed with longtime regulars, notables from the entertainment world and local political dignitaries who came out to celebrate the three-quarters-of-a-century milestone with Spencer and her staff.
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Falcons Defeat Burroughs, 14-7

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Crescenta Valley High School has had Burroughs’ number in football recently, but so far this season the Falcons have struggled. So, when the Bears hosted the Falcons, the time seemed ripe for a change in fortune. However, CVHS did not cooperate.
In a tight game, Crescenta Valley scored early and then held off the host Bears for the 14-7 victory last Friday night at Burbank’s Memorial Field in Pacific League action. It was the fifth straight win in the series for the Falcons.
“Burroughs is always just a hard-nosed, tough football team. They grind it out,” CV coach Hudson Gossard said. “We battled them and we were able to come out with a win.”
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Spartans’ Big Game Tonight Has Dramatic Setting: Coliseum

First published in the Oct. 21 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School varsity football team will take on Polytechnic School of Pasadena in the first Rio Hondo League contest between the two programs today, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m.
With two league losses on the season for LCHS and a CIF Southern Section playoff berth on the line, first-year Spartan coach Dave Avramovich called the showdown with the Panthers a “must-win.”
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Donation to Help Fund School STEM Devices

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank Unified School District was awarded another grant from the Chuck Lorre Foundation, receiving $156,277 to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education for 11 secondary schools
Each school will receive $14,207 that will pay for iPads, carts to charge and safely store the tablets, cases for each device, 3D printers and Osmo kits, which are gaming accessories for iPads that educate children through physical-digital interactions. Approximately 6,000 students will have access to the devices during the school year.
“Thank you to the Chuck Lorre Foundation. They’ve been great partners and great supporters of our district, and we are very grateful to them,” Steve Frintner, Board of Education president, said during a meeting on Oct. 7.
The funds came through the foundation’s Young Sheldon STEM Initiative, which was established in 2018 to support STEM education in public schools throughout the nation.
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Dorian Takes USC-VHH Helm as CEO

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

After holding the interim role since March, Dr. Armand Dorian was named as the new chief executive officer of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital this week and began — or rather, continued — the role immediately.
He now officially replaces Keith Hobbs, who departed the university’s medical system after five years to take the leading role at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Dorian, who has been USC-VHH’s chief medical officer since 2018, is now the Glendale hospital’s first physician-leader and its first Armenian CEO. In an interview at the time, Hobbs described Dorian as his top choice for replacement, had he anything to say about it.
Continue reading “Dorian Takes USC-VHH Helm as CEO”

Burroughs on Broadway: Up Close and in Person Again

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

When an artist is performing in front of a live audience, Jennifer Strattan explained, something tangible arises — an interactivity and energy that are absent during a recorded or online-only show.
The same is true, the Burroughs on Broadway director added, when working with her students. After months of virtual classes, virtual practices and virtual performances, Strattan and her John Burroughs High School choir members returned this year to in-person interaction. She didn’t expect to be so emotional when she reunited with them, she said in an interview, but seeing and feeling their energy as they rehearsed was far more impactful than the myriad Zoom meetings.
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National Coming Out Day Inspires Local Support

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The snacks and rainbow wristbands, face masks and flags were nice, but the good company was most likely better.
A few dozen local residents enjoyed an early evening at Adams Square Mini Park on Monday, where together — young or old, member or ally, out or perhaps not quite — they observed National Coming Out Day, in the glow of the Diversity Tree exhibit from the Gas Station display space. Attendees used the moment to catch up, introduce themselves or simply relax in the company of their community, the LGBTQIA community.
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Falcons’ Stifling Defense Helps Beat Tornados, 8-5

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

With the Pacific League boys’ high school water polo regular season winding down, Crescenta Valley and Hoover matched up, both looking for some momentum to finish strong.
“Our league is super tight. There is a tremendous amount of parity,” CV coach Jan Sakonju said. “This year it’s very, very close, so every game is a must-win.”
Crescenta Valley kept Hoover’s offense suppressed, allowing the Falcons to rise up for an 8-5 victory at the Glendale Aquatics Center on Thursday.
The Falcons held the Tornados scoreless in both the first and third periods to key the win.
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Tornados’ Football Program Storms Back Into the Picture

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Hoover High’s varsity football team may have fallen one victory shy of tying the school record of six wins in a row achieved in 1953, but their 5-2 start this season certainly merited attention.
Especially when one considers that the team played its first game in nearly three years on Aug. 20.
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League-Leading Bulldogs Sink Previously Unbeaten Glendale

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank High School traveled to Glendale for a battle of the last two squads undefeated in Pacific League boys’ water polo play, so the stakes were high and the players amped up.
In a competitive contest, the visiting Bulldogs hung the first league defeat on the Nitros, 16-11, Thursday afternoon at the Glendale Aquatics Center with the league championships on the horizon. It was the Bulldogs’ 12th straight win.
“It was intense. Both teams were going at it. There was back and forth in the water. There were big goal runs, then cutting the lead down,” Burbank coach David Arakelyan said. “I’d say it was one of our toughest games in our league [play].”
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Spartans’ 17-Match Winning Streak Snapped in San Diego

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ volleyball team had a strong showing in the Southern California Invitational Tournament at Alliant University in San Diego on Friday, Oct. 8, and Saturday, Oct. 9, finishing with a 5-2 record last weekend.
While the Spartans’ 17-match win streak came to a halt against San Diego’s Westview High — one shy of the school’s all-time volleyball win streak of 18 set by coach Kevin Boyke’s 1999 team — the strong performance helped move LC’s record to 26-4 overall (6-0 in league).
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Wind Leaves LCF Residents Without Power

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Gusty winds early this week left thousands of Californians temporarily without power, and some of them were La Cañada Flintridge residents.
A wind advisory that went into effect Monday afternoon lasted through Tuesday morning amid gusts surpassing 20 mph in the area, according to the National Weather Service.
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Council Approves Vaccine Mandate for City Employees

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Despite concerns that employees could quit over the policy, the Burbank City Council approved vaccination mandates for municipal workers and some contract laborers.
The mandate that the council approved by a 3-2 vote on Tuesday will eventually require city employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face termination. A separate policy for contractors, which passed with unanimous support, will require businesses to prove that their employees who come onto city property or interact with the public are vaccinated.
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City Settles Discrimination Case With Former BWP Worker

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The city of Burbank has settled a lawsuit in which a former Burbank Water and Power employee alleged he was unlawfully fired after his managers refused to accommodate his disability.
Plaintiff Evan Ayers filed the settlement notice with the Burbank Courthouse on Oct. 6; he had filed the complaint against the city last Dec. 15. In court documents, Ayers claimed his superiors at city-owned BWP fired him after pressuring him to perform jobs that required him to climb or work at “dangerously high heights” despite his severe anxiety, fear of heights and vertigo.
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Driver Evades Law Enforcement in Early Morning Pursuit

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

A driver whom authorities suspect was under the influence ran red lights and sped across local freeways last week as deputies followed, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Ultimately, deputies did not detain the driver of the black Audi, which on Saturday reached speeds of more than 100 mph while on the 2 Freeway, an incident report from the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station said. However, deputies managed to read the vehicle’s temporary license plate and identify the registered owner.
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City Offers Reward as It Seeks Hit-Run Driver

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The city of Glendale has offered a $25,000 reward for help in identifying the motorist whose vehicle struck a local man this month, leaving him with devastating injuries in the street before speeding off.
Krikor Kassabian, 44, was hit at 12:09 a.m. Friday, Oct. 1, as he crossed East Chevy Chase Drive near Glenoaks Boulevard. Kassabian remains hospitalized after undergoing three surgeries, and his family said there is no timeline for his release.
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Local Sprinter Reflects on Tokyo Olympics Feat

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

It was quite the summer for local runner Hanna Barakat. Despite not participating in the past two track and field seasons at Brown University, the 22-year-old sprinter managed to compete alongside the world’s best athletes on the biggest stage in all of sports.
Barakat, who graduated from Flintridge Preparatory School in 2017 and often trained at Glendale Community College, represented Palestine in the Tokyo Olympics during the summer, fulfilling a dream she’s had since she was a child.
“That was always a goal of mine,” Barakat said. “Growing up, the Olympics was always the bar in my household.”
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City, LCUSD Meet Oct. 14 Over Sports Fields’ Use

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada Flintridge and school district officials were scheduled to meet on Oct. 14 to resume the discussion surrounding the joint use agreement between the community and sports leagues.
The local joint use committee — which includes La Cañada Unified School District leaders and members of the LCF City Council, municipal commissions and staff — will hold an in-person meeting at City Hall at 2:30 p.m. to discuss possible amendments to the agreement, most notably the time when youth sports teams can begin using local facilities.
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Don’t Let Bears Be Bad News — Deny Them Food

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Signs displaying the simple message “Do not feed the animals” are prominent in zoos, aquariums and national parks, and for good reason. First and foremost, feeding wildlife is against the law, and second, following such directions can help keep animals away from urban areas.
With an uptick in bear sightings and encounters in La Cañada Flintridge, city staff members welcomed Rebecca Barbosa — a wildlife biologist who has worked for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for 20 years — and hosted a virtual presentation Tuesday to inform residents about the furry visitors and how to minimize the chances of interacting with them.
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Burbank Actress Makes Her Mark With ‘La Brea’

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

As a young girl, in the bedroom of her parent’s home in the Magnolia Park section of Burbank, Veronica St. Clair would lay on her bed and dream of becoming an actress.
That dream became stronger as each year passed, and during her time at Roosevelt Elementary School, Jordan Middle School (now Huerta Middle School) and John Burroughs High School, she began honing her dramatic skills in variety shows, talent shows and show choir.
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Hoover Falls From Ranks of Unbeaten

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

By winning their first five football games of the season, the Hoover Tornados were off to their best start since 1953.
However, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
In game number six, the Tornados hosted Castaic High and proved no match for the Coyotes, who posted a 48-6 nonleague victory last Friday evening on campus at Herbert Hoover High.
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Collins, Hobson Lead Burroughs Over Burbank

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Traditionally, crosstown rivals Burroughs and Burbank get just two shots at each other in a single volleyball season.
However, this season the scheduling has been tweaked, with the second half separated into two tiers. Both the Bears and the Bulldogs made the top tier, so a third installment of the rivalry came about. Burbank was looking to grab its first win, while Burroughs was looking to complete the trifecta.
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Falcons Pound Burroughs, 14-4

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Both the Crescenta Valley High School and Burbank Burroughs girls’ tennis teams earned a spot in the top tier of the first half of this season’s newly imagined Pacific League schedule, which puts the best against the best and the rest against the rest for the second half of the schedule.
This equaled a rematch on the same courts where they matched up three weeks ago.
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Local Women’s March Draws Dozens

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Chandler Bikeway became a marching ground last weekend as a procession walked in support of women’s rights, participating in a national event largely responding to abortion restrictions.
Dozens of masked demonstrators attended the Oct. 2 event, holding signs and chatting with other protesters as they marched on the bikeway, which also is a pedestrian path. Many had a variety of concerns, with several mentioning anti-abortion laws recently passed in other states, and said they had come to ensure those worries did not go unheard.
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GHS Student Chosen to Advise School Board

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale High School senior Brandon Doronila credited everyone involved in his academic career when he was sworn in as the student representative on the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education last week.
Doronila had to overcome emotion as he accepted his role, which is to represent all 25,000 of GUSD’s students during school board meetings and to keep officials up to date on student issues and responses to policy. Now the Associated Student Body president at GHS, Doronila previously enjoyed roles in student government at John Muir Elementary School and Wilson Middle School.
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GCC’s Role in Sprinter’s Olympic Feat

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

It was quite the summer for Hanna Barakat. Despite not participating in the past two track and field seasons at Brown University, the 22-year-old sprinter managed to compete alongside the world’s best athletes on the biggest stage in all of sports.
Barakat, who graduated from Flintridge Preparatory School in 2017 and often trained at Glendale Community College, represented Palestine in the Tokyo Olympics during the summer, fulfilling a dream she’s had since she was a child.
“That was always a goal of mine,” Barakat said. “Growing up, the Olympics was always the bar in my household.”
Continue reading “GCC’s Role in Sprinter’s Olympic Feat”

Bears Beat Arcadia, 28-19

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burroughs High School’s varsity football team earned its second straight victory to move to 3-2 overall (1-0 in the Pacific League) by defeating host Arcadia, 28-19, last Friday.
Senior quarterback Jon English helped lead the Bears to victory, completing eight of 15 passes for 135 yards in addition to rushing for 101 yards with three touchdowns on 20 carries.
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In Memory of Late Coach, Golden Knights Win in OT, 32-25

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

There was seemingly no better way to honor the winningest coach in St. Francis history, Jim Bonds, who died from complications of multiple myeloma last year, than with a 32-25 overtime victory against visiting Steele Canyon of Spring Valley in a nonleague game last Friday.
St. Francis and its varsity football team honored the Bonds family with a video tribute and pregame prayer. Bonds was celebrated again at halftime, along with the 2021 St. Francis Hall of Fame inductees.
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BUSD Discusses Possible Student Vaccination Mandate

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

After imposing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees last month, the Burbank Unified School District shifted the conversation this week to possibly extending a similar requirement for eligible students.
Any decision by the district, however, appeared to have been rendered moot by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement last week that the state would become the first in the nation to implement a vaccine mandate for all students.
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TV, Film Union’s Members Support Strike Authorization

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Twelve hours a day, six days a week. That’s the usual work schedule for Joe Martinez, a Burbank resident and special effects coordinator.
His fiancee often points out that Martinez can’t plan any leisure activities, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 44 member said. He often doesn’t know how long he’ll be at work when he arrives there. He misses dinners, birthday parties and his son’s football games — frequently having to settle for text updates he receives while on the job.
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If Cupboard’s Bare, You Might Blame the Bear

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun. By Camila Castellanos and Oscar Areliz.

A La Cañada Flintridge resident of the 500 block in Paulette Place experienced a break-in by an unusual visitor on Monday.
After hearing dishes fall in the kitchen, the homeowner went downstairs and discovered a bear there. The resident immediately left the house with a dog and called the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station at approximately 1:17 p.m.
According to Sgt. John Gilbert, the bear entered the home by clawing through a window screen, knocked over some small dishes and accessed the pantry to eat sugar. Deputies who arrived at the scene were able to scare the bear out of the house and it returned to the forest.
The bear sighting (and then some, in this case) is one of several that have occurred in LCF recently. Though the sheriff’s station did not specify how many have occurred, Gilbert told the Outlook Valley Sun that there have been numerous calls recently about bears here and in surrounding cities.
Local residents, meanwhile, have been tracking the active bears and posting photos to social media throughout the year. Particular concern was expressed over the summer when a bear was hit by a car on Haskell Street, leaving it with an injured back leg. Some speculated that the incident was an intentional hit and run.
After calling the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, one resident was told that the agency does not rehabilitate adult bears but that it will come out to euthanize the animal if it is in obvious physical distress.
“Apparently the bear was hit by a truck that people said aimed right for it and never slowed down,” said Mack Dugger, an avid supporter of Big Bear Alpine Zoo, to which he reached out about a potential rescue. “For someone to hit a bear, maybe on purpose … one can only hope they damaged their truck.”
The bear was seen hiding under cars and in bushes, and hobbling on three legs for several weeks: “He can’t do much on three legs, especially if he has to hunt and grouse,” Dugger added. “All the neighbors have called but the Forest Service has said the only thing they will do is come out and put him down. And we don’t want that.”
While the bears are typically frequent visitors to the homes bordering the Los Angeles Forest, the animals have begun frequenting more residential neighborhoods as they widen their search for food and water.
Carrie Smith, who lives on Daleridge Road, had never heard of one in her neighborhood before a large black bear climbed the tall pine outside her balcony. It stayed there the entire day, prompting Smith and a few neighbors to become concerned that it might be stuck.
“That was a weird, interesting day,” Smith laughed. “It kept going higher and higher and made no signs of coming down. There was quite a big response from the fire and police department.”
One bear that has a green tag with the number 162 has been repeatedly witnessed bathing in local pools and fountains, as well as tipping over trash cans, prompting some residents to reflect with concern on the old adage “a fed bear is a dead bear.”
Kathryn Leonard, who lives off of Alta Canyada, has repeatedly seen bear 162, including twice at her screen door.
“I tried to shoo him away, but he didn’t seem too concerned about me. … Next time I’m told to bang some pots and pans,” she said, noting that at least three bears have visited her cul-de-sac since summer.
Most recently, the bears have been stealing pumpkins off porches, including Leonard’s, which she found torn into pieces since they only eat the inside.
“I’m changing my way of life and being more cautious to live with the bears,” she said, explaining that she was keeping her trash containers in her garage and completely closing her door, although she prefers to let in the fresh air through the screen.
Officials have recommended that residents request bear-proof trash containers via their waste collection company.
The city recently announced that Fish and Wildlife will give a presentation on human-bear interactions on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. via Zoom. The presentation will be simulcast by Spectrum on Channel 3 (East) and Channel 16 (West) and will include topics such as how to respond and prevent human-bear conflicts.
For more information about the online event, visit cityoflcf.org or contact Christina Nguyen at cnguyen@lcf.ca.gov.

Spice Shop Keeps Old World Traditions Alive

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press. By Ani Duzdabanyan

One day last week, Anna Abelian, co-owner of Novin Herbs & Spices in Glendale, took a moment to help one of her customers find the right pepper.
She located it in a row of colorful containers filled with bulk spices, arranged by the wall under the shelf that carries symbols of ancient culture — an antique grinder, wooden statues of Indian elephants, a hookah and an old coffee-making machine. Abelian’s husband, Aaron, noted that the store smells like “magic,” with sweet, piquant and piercing aromas wafting from every corner.
“Spices doing magic,” he reiterated. “There are unlimited ways to use spices in cooking and baking!”
The Abelians, modern-day spice merchants, opened their shop in 2017, completely transforming the peculiar corner of Ocean View Boulevard and Verdugo Road with bright orange cafe chairs and a promising journey to a faraway land. The couple immigrated to the United States in 1998 and for many years continued to import saffron from their native Iran.
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Spartans Beat San Marino for 14th Straight Win

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ varsity volleyball team swept visiting San Marino in a Rio Hondo League match, 25-14, 25-22, 25-10, on Tuesday.
The league-leading Spartans (6-0 league record, 21-2 overall) extended their winning streak to 14, matching the length of Coach Brock Turner’s 2011 Spartans. The school’s all-time volleyball win streak is 18 set by Coach Kevin Boyke’s 1999 Spartans. That team was seeded No. 4 in the CIF playoffs and had an 18-0 record before losing to top-seeded Torrance Bishop Montgomery in the CIF semifinals.
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Viar, Praised for College Stewardship, to Retire

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

After spending nearly a decade helping to right the ship at Glendale Community College, David Viar is retiring as president of the institution after the current academic year ends in June.
GCC announced the decision this week, with the college’s Board of Trustees committing to hiring an executive search firm at its Tuesday, Oct. 19 meeting to assist in identifying Viar’s successor. The board anticipates selecting his replacement on May 17.
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City Reverts to Remote Meetings, for Now

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

In response to new legislation that allows municipal officials to continue to convene remotely, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council voted to have all local government meetings held in that manner for the next month.
Council and city staff members spoke at length during Tuesday’s in-person meeting about Assembly Bill 361, an amendment to the Brown Act — a 1953 law that guarantees the public’s right to attend and participate in California local government agencies’ sessions. Signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last month, AB 361 gives cities flexibility in continuing teleconferencing meetings as long as they adhere to a new set of provisions.
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Local Royalty: Tournament of Roses Chooses 2022 Court

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

After a yearlong pandemic hiatus, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses returned to an iconic tradition to announce the seven members of the 2022 Royal Court this week, including two La Cañada Flintridge princesses.
Amid much fanfare from a masked crowd, Stephen Perry, chair of the Tournament’s Queen and Court Committee, welcomed parents and supporters as he called the 29 court finalists to the stage. Noting “what a two years it has been,” Perry gave a nod to the slew of previous cancellations, including those of the 2021 Royal Court, local Rose Bowl Game and Rose Parade, that were caused by the coronavirus and resulting public health measures.
“They will not be the first Royal Court to deal and navigate through interesting times in our history, and they won’t be the last,” he said of the girls. “But having met them, I know they will meet each and every challenge with grace and positive thinking to make their world a better place.”
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National Merit Names 9 GUSD Semifinalists

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

Nine students from the Glendale Unified School District were recently selected as National Merit Semifinalists and will now compete to be finalists for the annual scholarships.
GUSD’s semifinalists include Miriam Awan, Ellena Kim, Nathan Kim, David Yoon Kim and Seon-Jae Yoon from Crescenta Valley High School; Abdullah Ahmed and Matthew Keshishian from Clark Magnet High School; Lilly Armstrong from Glendale High School; and Sarine Maridirosian from Hoover High School. They join approximately 16,000 qualifying students nationwide and represent fewer than 1% of U.S. high school seniors competing for about 7,500 scholarships. Semifinalists qualify by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and earning scores that are among the highest in the state.
Finalists are expected to be announced in the spring.

Local Kiwanis Club, With New President, Celebrates 100 Years

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

Let’s step back in time about 100 years to when President Warren G. Harding made the first presidential radio address, ribbons were cut for the opening seasons of the Rose Bowl and the Hollywood Bowl, and actress and television personality Betty White was born.
In Burbank, a transport from Graysville, Ohio, named James Crawford as the city’s fifth mayor, and a charter was issued for Burbank’s first service club: The Kiwanis Club of Burbank.
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Glendale Memorial Hospital Honored With Community Award

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

Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center is being honored with a Community Service Award from the city of Glendale and the Glendale Police Department for providing COVID-19 vaccines to essential city workers, including police, fire and city personnel.
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Nitros Narrowly Eclipse Burroughs, 12-11

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

Tigran Megroyan scored a game-high four goals and goaltender Hayk Mkrtchyan made two crucial saves in the fourth quarter to lift Glendale High School’s varsity boys’ water polo team to a 12-11 victory over visiting Burroughs High of Burbank in a league match on Thursday.
The Nitros, who improved their Pacific League record to 2-0 (10-8 overall), extended their season-best win streak to three games. Meanwhile, the Bears fell to 0-2 in league (8-10 overall).
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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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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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Spartan Girls, Boys Compete in League Meet

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School girls’ cross-country team swept the varsity and junior varsity races in the first Rio Hondo League meet of the season last week and improved to 5-0.
The varsity team was more than the Rio Hondo League could handle. Sophomore star Arielle McKenzie ran a relaxed first two miles and then outkicked South Pasadena’s Sydney Morrow, who is also one of the top runners in the CIF Southern Section, to take the victory in 18:25. Katelyn Matarese followed in third in 18:32 to be part of the top three pack that gapped fourth place by nearly 30 seconds. McKenzie and Matarese give the Spartans one of the most potent 1-2 combinations in the state. Cat Mispagel continued her breakout season with a time of 19:15 for a seventh-place finish and captain Jenna Milbrodt followed in ninth at 19:24. Caroline Gill ran a solid race to be the team’s final scorer in 19:50, which was good for 10th place. Continue reading “Spartan Girls, Boys Compete in League Meet”

Burroughs Rallies Past Harvard-Westlake, 21-20

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

In Burroughs High School’s last football game before the start of league play, the Bears hosted Harvard-Westlake of Studio City in what became a nail-biter, with twists and turns and a heavy dose of drama.
When the final whistle blew, the Bears had survived the chaos and earned a 21-20 win over the visiting Wolverines at Memorial Stadium Friday night in nonleague play.
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Morikawa Helps U.S. Beat Europe, Win Ryder Cup

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

Collin Morikawa hoisted yet another prestigious trophy in the professional golf world on Sunday. The 24-year-old phenom, a La Cañada High School graduate who often trained at Chevy Chase Country Club, was part of a historic U.S. team that defeated Europe, 19-9, to claim the Ryder Cup in a dominant performance at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Morikawa secured the win when he birdied the 17th hole in singles play against Norwegian Viktor Hovland, the No. 14-ranked golfer in the world, for half of a point. He tied with Hovland and finished unbeaten in his first appearance in the Ryder Cup with a 3-0-1 record, including three victories in doubles competition alongside Dustin Johnson.
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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.
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District Updates COVID-19 Safety Plan

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Unified School District modified its reopening and safety plan for the year in an effort to mitigate any more possible disruptions to in-person instruction due to COVID-19.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recently gave schools the option of adjusting their quarantine policy to allow unvaccinated students in kindergarten through 12th grade who were exposed to an asymptomatic person testing positive with the coronavirus during a school day to remain on campus. Unvaccinated students who are in close contact with a positive case while at school are not required to go home and quarantine as long as both were seen wearing their masks properly. The exposed unvaccinated student is required to wear their mask indoors and outdoors except when eating or drinking. They also must practice social distancing whenever their mask is off.
Continue reading “District Updates COVID-19 Safety Plan”

Spirited Vigil Honors Artsakh Struggle

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

Monday marked one year since Azerbaijan’s military began what would be a 44-day campaign to invade and ultimately reclaim control of most of what had constituted the Armenian-majority breakaway state of Artsakh since 1994.
The invasion would ultimately be revealed as heavily one-sided, with Baku’s well-funded and well-sourced military using sophisticated drones and ballistics to largely overwhelm Artsakh’s defenders, who stood only with Armenia against a force bolstered technologically by Turkey and Israel and, according to some news reports, in manpower by non-state militias. Continue reading “Spirited Vigil Honors Artsakh Struggle”

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.
Continue reading “Mixed-Use Development Approved for Former Fry’s Site”

Toland’s Career-High 37 Kills Propels LCHS to League Lead

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The longtime rivalry league match between La Cañada High School and visiting South Pasadena’s varsity girls’ volleyball teams on Tuesday did not disappoint, as the two powerhouse programs lasted five sets.
And it was the Spartans who established themselves as the team to beat in the Rio Hondo League by narrowly claiming their 12th consecutive victory, 21-25, 30-28, 26-24, 21-25 and 15-10.
Continue reading “Toland’s Career-High 37 Kills Propels LCHS to League Lead”

LCUSD Defends DEI Initiative, Approves Oversight

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board dedicated the majority of its five-hour meeting Tuesday to formally address the elephant in the classroom that has become critical race theory amid efforts to create curriculum including diversity, equity and inclusion.
Some stakeholders have voiced concerns and reignited accusations regarding whether critical race theory — an academic movement developed decades ago that examines the dynamics of how race and racism are expressed throughout American history and its institutions, especially law — is being taught in the classroom. A series of edited videos was leaked online in early August, allegedly showing a private book club meeting among La Cañada Elementary School teachers and administrators discussing “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DeAngelo, a professor who researched whiteness studies and critical discourse analysis.
Continue reading “LCUSD Defends DEI Initiative, Approves Oversight”

Morikawa Helps U.S. Beat Europe, Win Ryder Cup

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Collin Morikawa hoisted yet another prestigious trophy in the professional golf world on Sunday. The 24-year-old phenom, a La Cañada Flintridge native, was part of a historic U.S. team that defeated Europe, 19-9, to claim the Ryder Cup in a dominant performance at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Morikawa secured the win when he birdied the 17th hole in singles play against Norwegian Viktor Hovland, the No. 14-ranked golfer in the world, for half of a point. He tied with Hovland and finished unbeaten in his first appearance in the Ryder Cup with a 3-0-1 record, including three victories in doubles competition alongside Dustin Johnson.
Continue reading “Morikawa Helps U.S. Beat Europe, Win Ryder Cup”

Hoover, Glendale Are Victorious

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

Hoover High School’s varsity football team extended its winning streak to five games — its best since 1953 — with a nonleague victory over host Los Angeles Maya Angelou Community, 14-0, last Friday.
Sophomore quarterback Ethan Davis had another fine performance with nine completions for 195 yards and two passing touchdowns. He also had five carries for 12 yards, earning a team-high 207 total yards. Sophomore backup quarterback Giovanni Vartanyan completed four passes for 16 yards.
Continue reading “Hoover, Glendale Are Victorious”

GUSD, Teachers in Accord on Virus Precautions

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

The Glendale Unified School District and the union representing its teachers agreed this week to a series of policies and protocols codifying COVID-19-related safety measures that will last for the remainder of the school year.
Meanwhile, the district and the Glendale Teachers Association continued to discuss what is expected to be an agreement addressing the effects that quarantining has on classroom instruction.
The understanding reached this week, in short, has the district aligning with applicable guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. It does not address other related issues, such as instructional policy in the event of student quarantines, nor does it impose any new vaccination mandates. Continue reading “GUSD, Teachers in Accord on Virus Precautions”

Drop in Local, County Unemployment Rates Reported

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

Glendale’s unemployment last month appeared to be the lowest rate it has been this year, according to recently released data, after three consecutive months of minor upticks.
The local rate dropped to 10.2% in August from 10.9% 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 Glendale residents to 10,500 from 11,300 a month earlier. However, the labor force — representing residents who are employed or unemployed but searching for a job — fell by 1,600 people. The number of employed residents dropped by 800.
Continue reading “Drop in Local, County Unemployment Rates Reported”

Campaign Raises Funds for Saint Joseph’s New Facility

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

Photos by David Laurell/Burbank Leader Enjoying a beautiful evening of fundraising are Dr. Celina Barba-Simic (from left), Dr. David Sato, and Walter and Bonnie Hill.

Icon Blue Founder Walter Hill and his wife Bonnie, who serves as the president of B. Hill Enterprises, stepped into the spotlight for the Minutes Matter More Than Ever campaign event last week.
Surrounded by more than 100 supporters of the campaign to raise funds to construct Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center’s new state-of-the-art emergency department and urgent care facility, the couple looked out at those who had gathered at the home of Donald and Elizabeth Savant.
“I’m pleased to be here this evening,” Walter said. “I’m actually pleased to be anywhere.” Continue reading “Campaign Raises Funds for Saint Joseph’s New Facility”

Tech Week Taps Into Secrets of Success

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

For A.J. Abdallat, success in tech comes down to hiring the smartest people available, empowering them to do what they do best and developing a culture in which they’ll thrive.
Those steps, he contended, helped Beyond Limits rise from a Glendale startup to a successful artificial intelligence software developer. Abdallat, the firm’s founder and CEO, shared his recipe for achievement and insight into the industry to close out Glendale Tech Week on Wednesday, serving as the keynote speaker for the wrap-up party.

Continue reading “Tech Week Taps Into Secrets of Success”

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”

Hiker Found Dead in Park Was Local Resident

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

Photo courtesy Proffitt family Local resident Nancy Proffitt, who died earlier this month, “was always a laugh or shoulder to cry on to anyone who needed it,” said members of her family.

Police have identified a woman found dead earlier this month near a Stough Canyon Park hiking trail as Nancy Proffitt, a Burbank resident.
Proffitt was reported missing on Sept. 8, the Burbank Police Department said, and her body was found the following day. Sgt. Emil Brimway, a police spokesman, said the department believes the hiker’s death was due to an accident or medical emergency, though detectives are waiting for a report from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Continue reading “Hiker Found Dead in Park Was Local Resident”

La Cañada’s Winning Streak Snapped

First published in the Sept. 23 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School varsity football team was off to a strong start to the season with wins in its first three games. Game four welcomed similarly undefeated North Hollywood Campbell Hall to town.
For most of the way, La Cañada looked headed to another victory…until it didn’t.
Despite leading for a majority of the contest, the Spartans were unable to hold off the visiting Vikings at the end and fell 27-23 in a nonleague game last Friday night.
The loss moved LC’s record to 3-1 and snapped its six-game winning streak, which dated back to the end of last season. Meanwhile, Campbell Hall improved its record to 5-0. Continue reading “La Cañada’s Winning Streak Snapped”

Council Acknowledges Complaint Against One of Its Own

First published in the Sept. 23 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Flintridge City Council on Tuesday issued a statement regarding the formal complaint filed by a resident against Councilman Jonathan Curtis.
Scott Van Dellen filed a complaint to the state Fair Political Practices Commission — a nonpartisan, five-member panel that administers the Political Reform Act — on Sept. 13 alleging that Curtis violated the act by using his position to influence a government decision concerning a proposed three-story development at 600 Foothill Blvd. Continue reading “Council Acknowledges Complaint Against One of Its Own”

Brewyard Beer, Paperback Brewing Win Gold

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale’s two craft breweries brought home a pair of gold medals from the California Craft Brewers Cup in August.
Brewyard Beer won first place among amber hybrids with its signature Jewel City lager, while Paperback Brewing earned top honors for American-style India Pale Ales with Tucked In By Strangers. The competition, held in Sacramento, featured 60 total categories.
This latest award represents the fifth accolade for Jewel City, a California Common lager that blends caramel maltiness and earthy hop flavors and with a deeper amber color that sets it apart from other lagers. The beer ultimately pushed Brewyard to create a full lineup of California Common-based beers, which use lager yeast but are brewed at ale fermentation temperatures and were pioneered during the Gold Rush. Continue reading “Brewyard Beer, Paperback Brewing Win Gold”

Stringing Together Love in Spite of Anti-Asian Hate

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Photos by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Alicia Cho is committed to raising awareness and funds for her cause by creating and selling handmade jewelry.

Some of us have really vivid memories from our kindergarten days.
Alicia Cho, a 17-year-old senior at Burbank High School does and, unfortunately, it is not a good one.
“My first racist encounter happened when I went shopping at the Grove in Los Angeles with my mom,” Cho recalls. “We were getting things for my first day of kindergarten and while we were walking around, two men approached us, stretched back their eyes and began making karate poses.”
Cho also remembers the men using racial slurs, mimicking an Asian dialect and laughing.
“I was confused. I really didn’t comprehend what they were doing or why, but what I did understand was my mother’s hurtful and scared reaction,” Cho said. Continue reading “Stringing Together Love in Spite of Anti-Asian Hate”

A New Jewel: Artsakh Farmers Market Opens

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Artsakh Gardens Farmers Market debuted this week in downtown Glendale, bringing the heart of cultural craftsmanship and artistry to the Jewel City with a first-of-its-kind market that carries the true spirit of Armenia. The weekly event will return Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is located at 222 E. Harvard St.
The result of the deep-rooted love held by local Armenians for their homeland, the market has been a collaboration with 30 vendors, who will offer a percentage of their earnings to directly benefit Armenia through its nonprofit partners — Aid Beyond Borders and Eternal Nation.
Co-founder Lilit Barsegyan said that in her effort to buy from Armenian small businesses in aid of the Artsakh War — a conflict with Azerbaijan over the highly contested territory — she was frequently en route from one vendor to another across town, some operating out of their homes. Continue reading “A New Jewel: Artsakh Farmers Market Opens”

Pasadena Symphony’s Moonlight Sonata Gala Is Sept. 25

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The Pasadena Symphony Association will host its annual Moonlight Sonata Gala in-person at Pasadena City Hall on Saturday evening, Sept. 25.
The festivities will kick off with a courtyard reception, followed by dinner, auction and a music-filled program with dancing under a starry sky in Centennial Square.
Music from the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras will usher guests in with a warm welcome as guests prepare to dine with meals from Parkway Grill.
To top off the event, talented songstress Melissa Manchester will perform an intimate set of standards in an exclusive performance befitting this enchanted night of music and community. Continue reading “Pasadena Symphony’s Moonlight Sonata Gala Is Sept. 25”

Anti-Speeding Advocates Call for Safety Measures

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

As the woman walked down the street where her 19-year-old daughter had died, people watched.
She was accompanied on Tuesday by roughly 60 other demonstrators: family members, friends and sympathetic Burbank residents who knew or had heard of the three people killed last month in a car crash on Glenoaks Boulevard and Andover Drive. Speeding on Glenoaks — on which the procession marched before turning to city hall — has long been an issue the local community has experienced for years, some said, and something needed to be done to prevent further deaths. Continue reading “Anti-Speeding Advocates Call for Safety Measures”

BWP’s Stricter Water Use Rules Approved

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank residents will only be able to water their lawns with sprinklers once a week between November and March, the City Council decided Tuesday, a restriction aimed at conserving water during a statewide drought.
Besides limiting irrigation to 15 minutes on Saturdays, the City Council’s unanimous vote to approve implementation of the second stage in Burbank Water and Power’s water-use ordinance also bars residents from using non-recycled water to refill artificial or ornamental bodies of water. BWP officials said they intend to return to the City Council in about two and a half months with a plan to fine residents who violate the restrictions and a request to add a drought surcharge to water rates. Continue reading “BWP’s Stricter Water Use Rules Approved”

GUSD Teacher of the Year ‘Model for Excellence’

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

For the second time, kindergarten teacher Roxanne O’Rourke has been recognized as teacher of the year for the Glendale Unified School District and will now represent the city in the contest at the county level.
O’Rourke, who teaches at Horace Mann Elementary School, was awarded as teacher of the year in the spring but was formally recognized by the GUSD Board of Education this week as the Los Angeles County Office of Education prepares to designate the county’s teacher of the year. O’Rourke earned the accolade for her leadership in the early spring, when her school received a waiver to open doors for students to re-enter classrooms and kick off hybrid instruction. Continue reading “GUSD Teacher of the Year ‘Model for Excellence’”

City Workers Must Be Vaccinated or Tested, Council Says

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank city employees will soon have to choose between submitting to regular COVID-19 testing or getting the vaccine, with new hires required to be vaccinated.
The City Council voted 3-1 to implement the policy during its Tuesday meeting. When the requirement begins, tentatively on Oct. 11 but potentially later, municipal workers will have to undergo weekly testing for COVID-19. Those tests will be provided free of charge and during work hours, and employees who show proof of vaccination are exempt from the requirement.
The requirement for prospective employees to be vaccinated in order to be hired is a new addition to the policy, which City Council members first discussed about a month ago. The rule allows exemptions for those with valid religious beliefs or medical conditions. Continue reading “City Workers Must Be Vaccinated or Tested, Council Says”

LCF Filled With Remembrance on 20th Year After 9/11

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The local community rallied together last week to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the tragic Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when a series of hijacked airplanes crashed into U.S. targets, and to honor the sacrifices and heroism of emergency responders.
Spectators, including Palm Crest Elementary students and firefighters from Station 82, lined the sidewalk for the Patriot Day Motorcade making its way through La Cañada Flintridge as a sign of respect for the nearly 3,000 lives lost in the four coordinated terrorist attacks on U.S. targets in 2001. Continue reading “LCF Filled With Remembrance on 20th Year After 9/11”

Benatar Hits Starlight Bowl Crowd With ‘Best Shot’

There is a coming-of-age milestone that is hit when, as a young teenager, one attends their first rock concert. It’s a rite of passage, one that Darin Wolf made in 1981 while a 14-year-old kid in junior high school going to see Pat Benatar.
“Going to see her is a memory I’ll never forget,” said Wolf, who today serves as a math teacher and coach at Burbank High School. “It was my first concert, and I’ve been a fan of hers ever since.”
Having had the opportunity of making many more memories by going to see Benatar play live on numerous occasions over the past four decades, Wolf chalked up yet another one this past week, as he attended her performance at Burbank’s Starlight Bowl. Continue reading “Benatar Hits Starlight Bowl Crowd With ‘Best Shot’”

Battling NorCal Blazes, Local Firefighters Expand Skills

First published in the Sept. 11 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

In his 24 years with the Burbank Fire Department, Capt. James Moye has battled all sorts of blazes and relied on proven techniques to put them out. Even when he and a strike team of firefighters were summoned to help combat the Monument and Caldor wildfires last month, he said, the approach was largely the same.
What he wasn’t used to were the trees. In Northern California, where several devastating fires have scorched forests and forced people to evacuate their homes, charred trees presented a unique danger. Moye, who recently returned to Burbank with his team, said he heard them fall to the ground throughout the day and night. Continue reading “Battling NorCal Blazes, Local Firefighters Expand Skills”