Tinhorn Flats Evicted from Property

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

Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill has been evicted from its site by the property owner — the restaurant owner’s former wife — according to Burbank officials. 

The city said in a news release that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department turned over possession of the building to the property owner, Isabelle Lepejian, today. The ex-wife of Tinhorn Flats owner Baret Lepejian, Isabelle filed an eviction notice against the controversial eatery in mid-May.

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Memorial Pays Tribute to Burbank COVID-19 Victims

Photo courtesy Marcos Lutyens
Burbank Tournament of Roses Association members Robin Hanna and Judith Miller attach felt roses to a fish net for a Rose River Memorial exhibit, which honors those killed by COVID-19. A local memorial with more than 240 such roses will come to City Hall for a week starting on Monday.

When Marcos Lutyens started making felt roses in honor of the Americans who had died from COVID-19, the death toll was at about 180,000 people. He thought — he hoped — that he’d have to make about 200,000. He was wrong.

As of this month, the coronavirus has killed about 600,000 people in the United States — including more than 240 Burbank residents.

“It just got worse and worse,” Lutyens said. “But at the same time, as it got worse, the community response got stronger and stronger.”

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At Last, Community Gardens Project Takes Root Today

After more than a decade of discussion and false starts, two empty sites in Burbank are showing early signs of blooming into community gardens, with a nonprofit holding a public planning meeting this morning.

The Los Angeles Community Garden Council is hosting the kickoff event from 9-11 a.m. at 3705 W. Clark Ave. There, council representatives will explain plans for cultivating that site, as well as one at 1141 N. Pass Ave., into community spaces at which residents will be able to rent plots to grow crops, flowers and other plants.

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YMCA’s Pioneering Effort: New LGBTQ Center

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Burbank YMCA officials Bryan Snodgrass, Rob Rodriguez and Fernanda Tenorio sit on beanbag chairs in the nonprofit’s new Social Impact Center. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the LGBTQ resource facility is scheduled for next Friday.

Next week will hold two “firsts” for the Burbank LGBTQ community.

On Tuesday, Mayor Bob Frutos is expected to proclaim June as Pride Month for the first time in the city’s history. And on Friday at 6 p.m., the local YMCA will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony presenting its new Social Impact Center — which representatives believe is the first LGBTQ resource center for both Burbank and the nonprofit’s United States locations.

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Little Change Reported in Local Unemployment

Data Source: California Employment Development Department

Though Los Angeles County reduced coronavirus restrictions last month, Burbank’s unemployment rate moved little, increasing slightly to 11.9%.

About 7,000 city residents remained unemployed in April, according to preliminary data from the California Employment Development Department, up from about 6,800 in March. The local joblessness rate also rose from 11.5% in March. Burbank’s estimated labor force and number of working residents also remained relatively steady in the two months, increasing from 58,900 to 59,200 and 52,100 to 52,200, respectively.

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Judge Rebuffs Eatery Over Preliminary Injunction

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Representatives of Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill (above) attempted to persuade a judge to dissolve a court order that prevents the eatery from operating. The judge refused on Friday, pointing out the restaurant still doesn’t have the required permits.

A judge on Friday rejected Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill’s request to end the court order prohibiting it from operating and to fine the city of Burbank for fencing in the restaurant.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff’s ruling retained the preliminary injunction against the controversial eatery, which for months has faced lawsuits from Burbank and L.A County in connection with its refusal to abide by former health orders prohibiting in-person dining.

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City Council Approves 2021-22 Budget

The City Council unanimously approved the municipal budget for fiscal year 2021-22 on Tuesday, projecting optimism that Burbank’s finances are beginning to recover from the pandemic.

With businesses reopening and the number of total vaccinations increasing across the county, city officials said they expect tax revenue to recover next fiscal year, which begins in July. Despite that, General Fund recurring revenues are still projected to be nearly $9 million below pre-pandemic expectations.

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Local Gun-Related Crimes Increase as Pandemic Subsides

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Burbank police responded to an incident in which a man was shot and killed in his apartment in late January. A significant rise in the number of recent gun-related crimes appears to be partly due to the easing of pandemic restrictions, a police spokesman said.

Burbank has experienced a striking increase in the number of gun-related crimes so far this year compared with the same period last year, according to local police.

There were three crimes involving a firearm from the beginning of 2020 through May 18 that year, Sgt. Emil Brimway of the Burbank Police Department told the Leader. In the same period this year, there were 15 such incidents. Nine of those were related to a robbery, attempted robbery or carjacking.

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City OKs Ordinance Raising Some Store Workers’ Pay

Following weeks of intense disagreement among City Council members, the group approved an ordinance increasing pay for Burbank grocery and drugstore workers on Tuesday.

The hazard pay ordinance, sometimes referred to as “hero pay,” directs affected stores to increase employees’ wages by $5 an hour starting June 18 and will last for 60 days unless terminated early or extended. It will affect workers of large businesses, defined as stores that have more than 10 employees and are either publicly traded or report having more than 300 employees nationwide.

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Utility Rate Hikes Receive Council’s Backing

Despite concerns from residents and its own members regarding the timing, the Burbank City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to move toward increasing utility rates.

The water rate is set to increase by 1.96% in October, as well as in January and April next year. The electricity rate will increase by 1.24% in October 2021 and April 2022, while the refuse rate will increase by 2% in July 2021.

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