Armenian-American Museum Garners More State Funding

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino announced this week that $1.8 million for the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center was approved by lawmakers in Sacramento, fulfilling his latest budgetary request to the legislature.
The much-ballyhooed project, which broke ground in July on the former Central Park site, has now garnered nearly $10 million in state funding. It has additionally garnered millions more from local government, corporate and individual donations.
Portantino, a La Cañada Flintridge Democrat who represents Glendale, had previously worked to secure state funding for the project. Continue reading “Armenian-American Museum Garners More State Funding”

Portantino Visits Luther Burbank Middle School

Photo courtesy office of Sen. Anthony Portantino
Sen. Anthony Portantino (right) recently visited Luther Burbank Middle School with Principal Oscar Macias to tour the campus and learn more about how the district will manage in-person instruction and COVID-19 safety measures.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino recently visited three schools across the 25th District to learn more about how in-person instruction is operating and the COVID-19 safety measures that schools are implementing.
“It was exciting to see our schools welcoming students onto campus once again,” Portantino said in a statement. “Bringing students back to the classroom in the safest way possible has been a priority for all of us. We have to continue to support our school districts and educators and provide them the resources necessary to implement appropriate safety precautions as we navigate our way out of this pandemic. I’m grateful to the dedicated administrators and staff in school districts across the 25th Senate District for their hard work on creating safe learning environments for our students.”
Continue reading “Portantino Visits Luther Burbank Middle School”

Local Politicians at Vaccination Site

Photo courtesy County Supervisor Office
Two local politicians who serve local residents — L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger (center) and state Sen. Anthony Portantino (right) — view hundreds of cars whose occupants received COVID-19 vaccines last week at Magic Mountain, which is one of Southern California’s largest vaccination sites.

Representatives Talk Economy, COVID at Town Hall

Federal and state officials said at a virtual town hall this week that economic recovery was at the forefront of their minds, but they often cautioned that they were dependent on federal dollars that may not be coming.
The live-streamed meeting, moderated by former Burbank Mayor Marsha Ramos and which featured Congressman Adam Schiff, state Sen. Anthony Portantino and California Labor Secretary Julie Su, allowed residents to float questions to the representatives on topics ranging from testing to Azerbaijani aggression in Artsakh.
A subject that dominated much of the conversation on Monday, however, was a recession caused by the deadly coronavirus. The California unemployment rate fell to an estimated 10.8% in September, the second consecutive month since March that the rate was lower than the 12.3% height of the Great Recession, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.
There were more than 2 million workers in California who remained unemployed last month.

Continue reading “Representatives Talk Economy, COVID at Town Hall”

Representatives Talk Economy, COVID at Town Hall

Federal and state officials said at a recent virtual town hall that economic recovery was at the forefront of their minds, but also cautioned that federal dollars were needed for the task.
The livestreamed forum, which featured Congressman Adam Schiff, state Sen. Anthony Portantino and California Labor Secretary Julie Su, allowed residents to float questions to the officials on topics ranging from COVID-19 testing to Azerbaijani aggression.
A subject that dominated much of the conversation on Monday, however, was the recession caused by a deadly coronavirus. The California unemployment rate fell to an estimated 10.8% in September, the second consecutive month since March that the rate was lower than the Great Recession peak of 12.3%, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

Continue reading “Representatives Talk Economy, COVID at Town Hall”

Representatives Talk Economy, COVID at Town Hall

Federal and state officials said at a recent virtual town hall that economic recovery was at the forefront of their minds, but also cautioned that federal dollars were needed for the task.
The livestreamed forum, which featured Congressman Adam Schiff, state Sen. Anthony Portantino and California Labor Secretary Julie Su, allowed residents to float questions to the officials on topics ranging from COVID-19 testing to Azerbaijani aggression.
Continue reading “Representatives Talk Economy, COVID at Town Hall”

Kiwanis Looks to Draw Its Next Generation Into Service

Photos by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Newly sworn-in Kiwanis Club of Burbank President Kelly Peña (center) with First Vice President Douglas Chadwick (left) and Second Vice President Bryan Snodgrass at last week’s reorganization ceremony, which fellow club members saw via Zoom.

This past week, for the 99th time, members and supporters of the Kiwanis Club of Burbank gathered to swear in the organization’s new president and board of directors.
While the event included all of the traditional components of a Kiwanian reorganization, it was also very different from the previous 98 ceremonies. Instead of a gathering at a local restaurant or event facility, the service club’s 2020-21 reorganization was physically attended only by the group’s board members, who wore masks and maintained a social distance while convening at the Magnolia Park home of incoming President Kelly Peña.
As preparations were finalized by the evening’s hostess, Charissa Wheeler, to “go live” via Zoom and bring in a screen-ful of fellow Kiwanians and local dignitaries, Peña shared some insight on what the organization will look like under her leadership.
“My theme will be ‘Creating the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow,’ and we will be making that happen by what I am calling the ‘Three M’s’ — membership, marketing and mentoring,” Peña revealed.

Continue reading “Kiwanis Looks to Draw Its Next Generation Into Service”

USC-VHH Holds Suicide Prevention Conference

State Sen. Anthony Portantino

The numerous unexpected challenges, uncertainty and tension brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest and wildfires have been difficult for many to handle, causing monumental shifts in people’s lives while limiting access to healthy coping mechanisms.
For example, it is more difficult for people to connect with their social networks, unwind at the spa or gym or even take a leisurely walk around the block.
For people who struggle with mental health issues, these are especially trying times. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged that the pandemic may worsen existing mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. Suicide hotlines in Los Angeles County are reporting several thousand more calls than in previous months.
Continue reading “USC-VHH Holds Suicide Prevention Conference”

Virtual Cocktail Class, Party Raise Funds for Hathaway-Sycamores

Photos courtesy Hathaway-Sycamores
Hathaway-Sycamores President and CEO Debra Manners and board chair Michael Galper handed out cocktail and charcuterie packages to guests at the Raymond 1886 before the event.

Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services recently hosted the second virtual “Dinners From the Heart” event of the summer. The agency partnered with the Raymond 1886, the celebrated Pasadena restaurant and cocktail bar for a virtual cocktail class and party.
The event kicked off with a warm welcome from state Sen. Anthony Portantino, who joined the party from Sacramento to show his support and thank the agency for all the work it does.
Continue reading “Virtual Cocktail Class, Party Raise Funds for Hathaway-Sycamores”

Portantino’s Workforce Housing Bill Clears Assembly Housing Committee

Anthony Portantino

State Sen. Anthony Portantino’s SB 1299 passed the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee last week with bipartisan support. The bill previously passed the Senate unanimously.
Portantino has long supported incentive-based legislation and SB 1299 is consistent with that approach, according to a spokesman. The Los Angeles County Business Federation suggested the bill idea to the senator earlier in the year to help address L.A. County’s housing shortage.
According to a Portantino spokesman, SB 1299 will create a program for cities to convert abandoned big-box retail sites into affordable and workforce housing. Under Portantino’s bill, local governments will be able to use these incentives to replace sales tax revenues previously generated from big-box retail stores.

Continue reading “Portantino’s Workforce Housing Bill Clears Assembly Housing Committee”