Biden’s Recognition of Armenian Genocide Praised in Burbank

Photo Courtesy Romik Yaghoobimasihi
Mayor Bob Frutos addresses attendees of last Saturday’s event recognizing the Armenian Genocide and memorializing the estimated 1.5 million Armenians killed. Behind him are City Councilmember Nick Schultz, Rep. Adam Schiff, City Councilmember Konstantine Anthony and Reps. Judy Chu, Tony Cárdenas and Jimmy Gomez.

Burbank representatives and a local Armenian community group are commending President Joe Biden’s recent recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Biden’s announcement was the first made by a United States president recognizing the Ottoman Empire’s killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians in present-day Turkey. Last Saturday, April 24, 106 years after the genocide began, his statement was echoed by several local leaders during an event in front of Burbank City Hall.
The chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America in Burbank, which is home to a significant Armenian population, placed a genocide memorial outside the building, at which attendees could leave flowers. City hall was also lit that weekend with the red, blue and orange colors of the Armenian flag.
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City Nixes More La Crescenta Fireworks Funds; Sparks Venue Search

In lieu of further assisting the traditional Crescenta Valley Fireworks show, the City Council asked for city staff to explore partnering with another organization to try producing an Independence Day fireworks show that would be in or near downtown Glendale.
Whether the city can make it happen is another story, as a specific location remained undetermined, as did the ability for it to even locate a vendor who isn’t booked for the national holiday. Still, they will try to make it work, likely with help from the Downtown Glendale Association or another unnamed organization suggested by Councilman Ara Najarian.
“I would much rather see that to be done in an area where people from around the city can get there, maybe by walking or looking outside their window,” he said Tuesday. “As you know, the downtown area is very highly populated.”

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‘Hero Pay’ To Be Addressed By City Council

The City Council plans to consider Tuesday whether to impose a “hero pay” requirement to food and medication retailers in Glendale, a trend that is taking off throughout Los Angeles County as the coronavirus pandemic has passed its anniversary this month.
A number of cities in Southern California have enacted a hero pay ordinance in recent months, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Irvine and Costa Mesa. Additionally, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors enacted a hero pay ordinance on national grocery retailers that are in the unincorporated parts of the county.
Councilwoman Paula Devine asked last week for a report on possibly implementing hero pay in Glendale, with Councilman Dan Brotman offering the endorsement necessary to make it happen.

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Glendale Library’s Art Recognizes COVID Victims

Photo courtesy Glendale Library, Arts and Culture Department
The art exhibit “15,000 & More: A Plethora of Light & Darkness” was unveiled at the Central Library last week. Artist Connie D.K. Lane uses gold and silver paper ingots to signify each casualty of the coronavirus in Los Angeles County.

The glinting reflection of thousands upon thousands of paper ingots will shine through the windows of Glendale’s Central Library for the next several months, each in memoriam of a Los Angeles County resident who succumbed to the coronavirus this past year.
The gold and silver decorations — each hand-folded into almost a tube shape from square pieces of joss paper — are ordered on long cuts of rope, each of which are now festooned from the ceiling in the library. The dreamy sight will remain through at least June, and whether doors open at the library in the meantime, they are quite viewable from outside. (In fact, officials suggest a night viewing might be ideal.)

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Local Restaurants Struggle With Dining Ban

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Michel LeChasseur, who owns Ma’s Italian Kitchen in Burbank, said he feels restaurants are being unfairly singled out by Los Angeles County officials for a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Michel LeChasseur, owner of Ma’s Italian Kitchen in Burbank, said his business is on its last legs. He also said his restaurant is one of the lucky ones.
LeChasseur said the eatery, which made much of its revenue from its catering services to production studios, is bringing in less than a third of what it did before the COVID-19 pandemic. He had to slash employees’ hours and lay off 14 of his 22 workers. He added that he even chose to forgo his own salary so he could keep paying his workers; his husband’s job is keeping them both afloat.
Still, LeChasseur learned to adjust, though he watched eight friends lose their restaurants during the pandemic. He spread out tables on his restaurant’s patio and bought Plexiglas shields to protect customers. His servers wore gloves and two layers of masks. As the colder months approached, he purchased heaters.

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Supervisor Barger Chalks 2020 Up as the Year That COVID Challenged

Photo courtesy Kathryn Barger
After planning to spend 2020 focusing on youth programming, Kathryn Barger had to begin grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic shortly after beginning her first stint as chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

It’s safe to say that 2020 was not how Kathryn Barger envisioned her first round of chairing the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Representing the county’s Fifth Supervisorial District, Barger, a longtime area resident, took the gavel as she entered her reelection campaign this year planning an agenda that focused on broadening youth programming as well as her trademark homeless outreach and mental health-care expansion. A surreal March cleanly derailed much of that.

“It’s not how I thought it was going to play out,” Barger deadpanned in a phone interview last week, “but in life, you have to make the best of what’s in front of you.”

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County Officials Affirm Suspension of Outdoor Dining

Los Angeles County this week delivered yet another blow to the restaurant industry by announcing the suspension of in-person dining outdoors, and officials later rebuffed an effort to reverse the move, while more restrictions were likely on the way as the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continues to climb.
Outdoor dining, which had been permitted since July, has been suspended for restaurants, breweries and wineries after an alarming surge of coronavirus cases throughout the county; indoor dining at eateries has long been banned. Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed a curfew for all nonessential businesses and gatherings between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. late last week.

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Young & Healthy’s Oktoberfest Gala Is Oct. 2

Photo by Keira Wight / OUTLOOK
Young & Healthy Board President Sandy Roberts, Executive Director Mary Donnelly-Crocker, 2020 honoree Allison Dietrick and Carrie Walker are pictured at last year’s Young & Healthy gala. This year’s annual fundraiser, a virtual event, will be livestreamed on Friday, Oct. 2.

Young & Healthy, the Pasadena-area nonprofit, is putting a German twist on its gala. The annual fundraiser on Friday evening, Oct. 2, will have an Oktoberfest theme.
“We have reimagined our event, which will consist of contact-free delivery of a delicious German dinner and a virtual family-friendly, livestreamed fundraising program to enjoy in the comfort of your home,” an event spokesperson said.
Young & Healthy’s mission is to provide access to high-quality health care for uninsured and underserved children and families, and to improve the quality of life for all children in the Greater Pasadena area through prevention, education and enhanced health care services. Since the organization’s founding in 1989, Young & Healthy has provided $22,087,680 in volunteer medical services, cared for 27,702 patients, and currently boasts 330 volunteer medical professionals.
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Crime Statistics Down in LCF, Altadena Station to Remain Open

Los Angeles County’s “Safer at Home” response to the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be true for La Cañada Flintridge residents with a decline in crime, and most notably, a decrease in residential burglaries.
“I think obviously the ‘Stay at Home’ order has helped reduce overall crime,” Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Todd Deeds said in a phone interview. “As you know, residential burglaries have been a problem [in LCF] over the past years, and the numbers we’ve had have been positive.”
Deeds reported there was only one residential burglary in La Cañada during the month of April and one so far in May in which the suspect was caught. According to the Crescenta Valley Station’s crime report last week, there was an arrest made after a woman, who was home, reported a man trying to open her back sliding-door window. Officers later found the suspect walking nearby.
No residential burglaries have been reported in La Crescenta in April or May, he added.
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As Local Shops Reopen, Curbside, COVID-19 Cases Monitored

As local businesses attempt a partial reopening after nearly two months of shuttered operations due to the pandemic measures, city officials said this week they continue to look to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for direction on how to safely — and slowly — encourage businesses back to usual.
After the state and L.A. County released succinct updates last week as to how they will begin relaxing the “Safer at Home” order over the next few months — with certain types of businesses permitted to resume operations strictly for curbside pickup — a statement on Tuesday from Public Health briefly threw those plans in doubt after it was mistakenly reported the order will be extended through the summer.
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