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”

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’”

BCC Raises Funds for Holiday Basket Program

First published in the Sept. 4 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Over the years, the coordinators, volunteers, supporters and family sponsors of the Burbank Coordinating Council’s Holiday Basket Program have been responsible for filling the spaces under Christmas trees, stockings, stomachs, hearts and souls of so many who have been in need.
This past week, to raise funds for this year’s program, the council, in partnership with Burbank’s Buddy’s All Stars Sporting Goods, also filled many local closets and clothes drawers by making brand new sports apparel of all sizes available for just a dollar apiece. Continue reading “BCC Raises Funds for Holiday Basket Program”

La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital – Making a Difference

Photos by David Laurell / Burbank Leader Last Saturday’s “Come Aboard for a Friendship Sail” summer meeting was chaired by Janice Shafer, who is pictured with Sue Meckley, a key contributor to the thrift shop’s continued success.

For as far back as most Burbankers can remember, if you’re on the lookout for vintage clothing, fashion accessories, jewelry, glassware, art work, memorabilia, collectibles, furnishings or a really unique gift, you have no further to take your search than to Magnolia Park’s antique and specialty shops.

Continue reading “La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital – Making a Difference”

GiniFest Highlights Armenian Wine

Photo by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
During this year’s GiniFest, event founder Stepan Partamian was recognized by Mayor Bob Frutos.

Theoretically, good wine can originate from any place on earth that gets full sunlight, has proper drainage, nutrient-poor soil and vineyards tended by micromanagers who oversee the fruit’s development and know the perfect time for harvesting.
Still, conventional wisdom says that when most people purchase or order wine, they tend to make sections that come from France, Italy, California or, perhaps, Spain.

Continue reading “GiniFest Highlights Armenian Wine”

Leadership Burbank to Select 2021-22 Class

Photo by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Don St. Clair and Konstantine Anthony were among those who met with potential Leadership Burbank participants last week.

Leadership Burbank board members will begin the selection process for its 2021-22 class next week.

While the mission of Leadership Burbank is to identify, educate and motivate current and emerging leaders with the hope that they will go on to develop ideas and solutions to make Burbank a strong, sustainable and vibrant community, the program has proven to do more than that. Since its inception 25 years ago, Leadership Burbank has changed the lives of uncountable residents who may not even be aware that the program exists. It has also given participants far more than a broader knowledge of Burbank and the teaching of leadership skills.

Continue reading “Leadership Burbank to Select 2021-22 Class”

Friday Night Classic Car Show Returns to Bob’s Big Boy

Photo by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Long-time employees Alma Hernandez and Gencer Pedrigala of Bob’s Big Boy are thrilled to be back up and running with their Friday night car shows.

It was a blistering hot Friday afternoon in Burbank as actor Joaquin Garay pulled his 1984 Mazda RX7 into the parking lot of Bob’s Big Boy restaurant on Riverside Drive.

He bounded out of the car with a huge smile on his face, popped open the hood, and expressed his excitement over the official return of the restaurant’s Friday night classic car shows. 

“I’m thrilled,” said Garay, whose father, Joaquin Garay Sr., was a well-known entertainer and radio personality in the 1930s and ’40s and best known for providing the voice of Panchito in the 1944 Disney film “The Three Caballeros.”

Continue reading “Friday Night Classic Car Show Returns to Bob’s Big Boy”

Boys & Girls Club Welcomes Supporters To New Facility

Photo by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
State Sen. Anthony Portantino was welcomed to the Boys & Girls Club’s new home by Shanna Warren and Paul Herman.

Back in the mid-1990s, a small group of residents that included former City Councilmember Tim Murphy, the late Elizabeth “Liz” Shapiro and former Mayor Dave Golonski’s late wife Barbara Sykes began discussing the possibility of bringing a chapter of the Boys & Girls Club to Burbank.
In 1995, by virtue of the dedicated work of this group, the city of Burbank provided a shuttered firehouse to serve as the home for the new club.

Continue reading “Boys & Girls Club Welcomes Supporters To New Facility”

Burbank Chamber of Commerce Mixers Return

Photo by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Kicking off the first post-pandemic business mixer were Burbank Chamber of Commerce CEO Jamie Keyser Thomas and State Sen. Anthony Portantino.

The Burbank Chamber of Commerce mixers have a longstanding tradition for being fertile networking ground for representatives of the local business community.

That, however, was not really the case as the chamber resumed its bi-monthly gatherings during an open house at its Magnolia Boulevard office this past week.

Continue reading “Burbank Chamber of Commerce Mixers Return”