Officials Re-Emphasize Caution as Virus Cases Rise

Heading into the weekend, Glendale neared 900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its residents as officials urged people to continue to practice social distancing and wear face coverings in public.
Parks and trails have reopened, and more businesses are allowed to resume operations under limitations, but the City Council also recently renewed its requirements that individuals wear face coverings when outside. Those shopping inside grocery stores and other essential businesses are required to keep their faces covered as well.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, there have been 886 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Glendale residents as of Friday, with 72 deaths. This gives the city a per capita ratio of more than 429 cases per 100,000 residents. More than 43,000 cases have been identified across L.A. County, with 2,049 recorded deaths.
In La Crescenta-Montrose, there have been 26 confirmed cases among residents and one death.
The county also lists skilled nursing facilities and other institutional residential facilities in its daily caseload updates, including cases that have occurred among employees, cases that have occurred among residents and deaths overall.
In Glendale, these include Autumn Hills Heath Care Center (24 employees, 56 residents, 11 deaths); Chandler Convalescent Hospital (eight employees, 26 residents, five deaths); Glendale Adventist Medical Center’s skilled nursing facility (one employee, one resident, no deaths); Glendale Healthcare Center (10 employees, 10 residents, three deaths); Glendale Post Acute Center (23 employees, 48 residents, nine deaths); Glenhaven Healthcare (15 employees, 19 residents, five deaths); Glenoaks Convalescent Hospital (eight employees, 24 residents, eight deaths); Griffith Park Health Care Center (one employee, two residents, no deaths); Leisure Glen Post Acute Care Center (31 employees, 65 residents, four deaths); Leisure Vale Retirement Home (no employees, three residents, no deaths); and Park Paseo Independent Living (no employees, four residents, one death).
In Montrose, 21 employees and 34 residents at the Montrose Healthcare Center have been confirmed to have had the disease, with 11 deaths; and 14 employees and 15 residents at the Verdugo Valley Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre also have been confirmed to have had it, with two deaths.

Council Affirms June as Official Pride Month

June is officially Pride Month for Glendale, and the city will formally promote the virtual event that takes the place of what would have been the city’s first pride festival.
The City Council officially made the proclamation this week after signaling its intent to do so earlier this month in time for the virtual event. Councilman Dan Brotman, who made the initial push for the proclamation, read the item aloud at Tuesday’s meeting. As part of the observance, City Hall will be lit in pride colors to show support to the city’s LGBTQIA-plus community.
“Though Glendale’s first-ever Pride Festival was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, we invite everyone to support the community by coming to see our light display in front of City Hall and by participating in their reimagined e-event, ‘Glendale Pride Because,’” Brotman said.
Participants in the virtual event are invited to use the hashtag #GlendalePrideBecause in their applicable Instagram posts on May 30-31, “whether it’s a performance, drag, music, comedy, spoken word or just a bit of shared thoughts,” according to the Glendale Pride organization. The group also is collecting content using Flipgrid, which can be accessed on its website at glendalepride.org.
The original event, which was to have been at Central Park on May 30, would have provided food, music and other entertainment for guests and would have included a kid-oriented space to complement the rest of the family-friendly celebration. City officials got the ball rolling under direction of then-Mayor Ara Najarian.
Other organizations involved in planning the event include GlendaleOUT, the Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society, Equality Armenia and Revry.
“We have a great group of friends and allies who are helping us out through all of this, including the entire Glendale City Council, and we’re very thankful for that,” Grey James, one of Glendale Pride’s organizers, told the council on Tuesday.
Council members voiced their support at this week’s meeting.
“I’m so sorry that we didn’t get to move forward with your huge festival,” Councilwoman Paula Devine said, “because I know it would have been great and a lot of fun and great education for our community, but we’ll do it for real next year.”
Councilman Ardy Kassakhian quoted Harvey Milk, the gay rights icon who was assassinated 11 months after his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978: “It takes no compromise to give people rights and it takes no money to respect the individual.”
“Ultimately we need to strive for a society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of who they are and who they love,” Kassakhian added Tuesday. “I know that this is a modest gesture by the council, but I hope it will go some ways to assuring our citizens that every single one of them adds value to our city.”

City Plots Course to Help Residents, Businesses Recover

When the Glendale City Council starts to truly grind out its 2020-21 budget next month, it will draw out what could be a wide-reaching recovery program for residents and businesses whose livelihoods have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The body decided at its final budget study session on Tuesday morning to use $6.25 million as a starting point for renter and homeowner assistance and $3.65 million for commercial recovery when it meets on June 2 for formal budget talks. From there, the council will determine how much will be allocated where, and how the funds will be administered.
“That’ll be a longer discussion,” Councilman Ara Najarian said at the study session. “’Do we combine it all [into one program]? Do we split it all into categories?’ As long as we’ve got the chunk of money reserved for budget purposes this coming month, we can work on the details later.”
Philip Lanzafame, director of community development, outlined the proposed programs as part of the discussion of the upcoming fiscal year’s Measure S projects, so named for the voter-approved tax to fund essential services and quality of life improvements for residents. It is projected to generate around $20 million for the year.
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Glendale Woman Walking For Zoo Animals

Photo courtesy Dr. Monica Metzdorf
Glendale resident Dr. Monica Metzdorf, shown here at Aquarium of the Pacific, is walking from the Los Angeles Zoo to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to raise money to help feed zoo and aquarium animals during the pandemic.

Much like Forrest Gump was just compelled to run ceaselessly in his eponymous film, Dr. Monica Metzdorf said she simply decided a few weeks ago she would walk.
Now, the key difference between the fictitious Gump and the very real pediatric urologist is that Metzdorf started last Saturday at the Los Angeles Zoo and by tomorrow — or hopefully today — will have reached the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The Glendale resident also has inspired folks from all over to donate money to her clear cause: feeding the animals at these local institutions.
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Council Dictates 12-Month Rent Repayment Policy

The City Council voted narrowly Tuesday to extend the residential eviction moratorium to June 30, and established a baseline 12-month period requiring residential tenants to pay a quarter of their back rent every three months.
The extension, which evoked a largely divisive debate Tuesday, also allows tenants and landlords to strike an alternative agreement for rent repayment. Either way, the clock would start ticking on July 1, barring any further extension by the City Council.
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‘Slow Streets’ Modifications, Social Distancing Discussed By City Council

Councilmen Ara Najarian (left) and Dan Brotman debated the merits of “slow streets” enhancements on Tuesday night.

In the immediate future, the city will explore implementing what are called “slow streets” modifications in a variety of neighborhoods, which will be aimed at giving pedestrians and cyclists extra cushion as they cross into roadways to keep distance from those on sidewalks.
Longer term, officials will target other areas for demonstration projects, which would essentially be a temporary test run to see if it’s worth the fuller investment in installing pedestrian- and bike-friendly enhancements throughout the city. The City Council agreed to both items on Tuesday as part of a broader discussion on how to continue responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and what it means for residents.
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City to Consider Pride Support in Lieu of Festival

In the absence of what would have been Glendale’s first-ever pride fest, the City Council may vote in the future to designate June as the city’s pride month and emblazon City Hall with rainbow lighting in observance of it.
Councilman Dan Brotman brought forth the motion to consider the designation at this week’s meeting, and Councilwoman Paula Devine joined him by seconding it. Brotman said he had previously spoken with the organizations — including glendaleOUT, Equality Armenia and the Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society — which were planning the pride fest.
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Council Considers Bike Path, Traffic Study for Capital Projects

A special budget workshop for the City Council this week included a look at potential capital projects as well as uses for the city’s Measure S sales tax revenue.
In this particular instance, the city will be able to consider whether to merge the two, as both of the capital projects that got a preliminary approval on Tuesday might fall under the umbrella of Measure S, which was marketed as a quality of life and essential services tax when voters approved it in 2018.
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