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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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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Burbank Police Department Gets Traffic Safety Grant

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

The Burbank Police Department will receive a $100,000 grant for overtime costs associated with enforcing traffic laws.
The reimbursement grant, from the California Office of Traffic Safety’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, will allow an increase in patrols and checkpoints for DUIs, according to a staff report submitted to the Burbank City Council. Some of the funds will also go toward purchasing four radar devices that will allow officers to track vehicle speed.
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Former Mayor Stamper Dies at 86

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

The Rev. Larry Stamper, who served as Burbank’s mayor in the ‘80s and was a longtime pastor of a local church, died this week at the age of 86.
Stamper was on the Burbank City Council between 1981 and 1985, holding the seat of mayor from 1983 to 1984. He was the pastor of Burbank First United Methodist Church for more than 30 years, retiring in 2004, the Leader reported at the time. Stamper was also regularly involved in various local charitable events, such as collecting donations for the Burbank Temporary Aid Center.
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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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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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BPD: Local Crime Continued to Drop in August

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

Crime reports in Burbank fell from July to August, according to recently released police data, continuing a downward trend.
The Burbank Police Department recorded 212 Part 1 Index Crime reports in August, down from 224 in July and 236 in June. So far this year, the BPD has received an average of 223 such reports a month.
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Tinhorn Flats Property Owner Launches Fundraiser to Pay Bills

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

The owner of the Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill site is asking Burbank residents to help her pay for the costs of evicting the restaurant’s operator and overdue property taxes.
Isabelle Lepejian, who is also the former wife of Tinhorn Flats restaurateur Baret Lepejian, launched the online fundraiser recently on a GoFundMe page titled “Tin Horn Flats Left a Big Mess Behind!” On the page, Isabelle Lepejian said she aims to raise $35,000 for expenses associated with the controversial restaurant, which she evicted in June after a months-long feud between her ex-husband and government agencies.
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