City Seeks State Aid to Bolster Local Housing

Burbank expects to receive about $477,000 from the state for housing programs, the city’s staff announced recently.
The funds for which the city is applying come from the California Department of Housing and Community Development and would pay for the costs of new initiatives supporting low-income families and those at risk of homelessness.
For example, the city’s Community Development Department is proposing a pilot program that would give matching contributions to homeowners who convert a garage into or build a new accessory dwelling unit. The unit would need to be rented out to a very low- or low-income household. Funding for the program is estimated at $127,182, enough for an estimated six ADUs.
Another $350,000 is also proposed for a rapid rehousing rent program that would give rental assistance and guidance to households at risk of homelessness. The program would be able to help about 60 households struggling financially.
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Council Hopeful, a Renters’ Advocate, Wins Suit Against Burbank

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Konstantine Anthony, who plans to run for Burbank City Council, speaks at a June protest, announcing his lawsuit against the city for denying his petition to put rent regulation measures on the ballot. More than a month later, a judge ruled in his favor.

After successfully suing the city clerk for denying his petition, a tenants’ advocate planning a run for City Council is one step closer to putting a rent regulation measure on the ballot in November.
Konstantine Anthony and his campaign manager Margo Rowder, co-founders of the nonprofit Burbank Tenants’ Right Committee, sued City Clerk Zizette Mullins and the council in June. Mullins rejected the plaintiffs’ petition, which included more than 7,700 valid signatures from voters, in May, saying it had not included a “statement of reasons” explaining the necessity of the proposed ordinance.
However, Anthony’s attorney, Fredric Woocher, argued that Mullins and the city attorney had misinterpreted the Elections Code, relying on a version of the law that was changed in 1987 to remove the requirement the clerk cited.
The judge agreed, approving the plaintiffs’ request to require Mullins to approve the petition on Thursday.
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Police Identify Two Who Died at Scene of Shooting

Photos by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Burbank police officers who responded to the report of a shooting early Tuesday found two men dead and a woman who was critically injured. Three children were also found and taken to family members.

Burbank police have identified two men who were shot and killed early Tuesday, but the reasons for the incident remain unclear.
After receiving a report of a shooting at about 1:25 a.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a residence in the 900 block of Cambridge Drive and found in the driveway a man who had at least one gunshot wound, according to a Burbank Police Department news release. The man, 34-year old Los Angeles resident Edward Lopez, was pronounced dead at the scene.
While trying to give aid to Lopez, officers heard yelling from inside the home about someone being shot, the department said. They entered the house and found 41-year-old Burbank resident Armen Sahakyan shot in his upstairs bedroom. He, too, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sahakyan’s wife, whom police have not identified by name, was taken from the house to a hospital in critical condition with gunshot wounds. The couple’s three children, ages 7, 13 and 17, were also found in the house and taken to family members.
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High School Sports Delayed Until December in CIF’s New Calendar

Photo courtesy Doug Brown
The CIF State office’s revised calendar has a two-season format — fall and spring — that would give each sport at least 90% of a normal season. There will not be any athletic competition until December at the earliest. The first week of football is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 8.

The California Interscholastic Federation released its much-anticipated revised high school athletics calendar for the 2020-21 year, announcing a two-season format scheduled to begin in December.
CIF State, the governing body for prep sports in California, announced its schedule for section playoffs and state tournaments on Monday morning. Soon after, the Southern Section, the largest section in the state with 566 member schools, released a calendar that gives student-athletes an opportunity to play “90% to 100%” of a normal season, according to CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod.
“The reason for [the two-season format] was to help with the overlap of sports and trying to have some separation between two seasons to allow for dual-sport athletes, for coaches that coach more than one sport and for maximizing the utilization of school facilities,” Wigod said in a press conference on Monday.
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Flag Store Was Legendary, Its Late Owner Steadfast

Photo courtesy Alison Bryan
Roz Cannon, longtime president of James E. Perry Co. Flag Headquarters, worked ceaselessly at her desk — even on her 90th birthday.

When longtime customers visited Roz Cannon’s flag store after her death, they came to mourn.
The depth of their sorrow was surprising, according to her daughter Mona — but then again, the 94-year-old woman knew how to develop relationships with people, including her clientele.
Roz Cannon was the president of James E. Perry Co. Flag Headquarters, a flag manufacturing and distributing business in Burbank whose banners have appeared in the film “Independence Day” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, and above many municipal and county buildings.
She was also the daughter of Russian immigrants, grew up burdened with responsibilities at an early age during the Great Depression, and was simultaneously generous and — in the way moms can sometimes be — critical, Mona Cannon explained. But her legacy also was one of kindness and tenderness.
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Home Improvements Amid COVID Put Houses in Order

My cousin Ed serves as a magisterial district judge in Pennsylvania. Back in March, when the pandemic closed down the courts in Ed’s district, he used the time to do something he has needed to do since his mother passed away in 2005: Deal with a room full of boxes she inherited from our grandmother.
Meticulously going through old letters, photos and other items of yellowed ephemera, he separated things into piles he believed would have meaning to each of his 17 cousins, packed them up, and mailed them to us.
When my package arrived, I found a treasure trove I never knew existed that included photos of my mother when she was in her teens, letters she wrote to her parents during her 20s when she lived in Europe, and photos of me as a baby.
When I called to thank Ed for sending those things, he said it had been a laborious task that took him the better part of two months. “I’ve been needing to take control of this for 15 years,” he said.
While Ed’s work may not have the lasting impact of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” or “Macbeth,” which the Bard reportedly wrote while quarantined during a plague, to me, my cousin’s accomplishment is one that impresses me as time well spent.
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Burbank, Burroughs Football Schedules Finalized

Photo courtesy Doug Brown
Burroughs and Burbank high schools’ football programs have finished scheduling for the fall season, which is set to begin in January.

After the CIF Southern Section unveiled its revised high school athletics calendar for the 2020-21 academic year, athletic directors and football coaches scrambled to contact their counterparts in other programs to finalize a schedule.
Fortunately for local coaches, the process was relatively seamless as both Burbank High School and John Burroughs High School locked in their opponents for the upcoming season, which is scheduled to begin Friday, Jan. 8. The COVID-19 pandemic led to the radical departure from traditional sports schedules.
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Salons, Churches, Restaurants Close Indoor Operations

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
A statewide health order led to the re-closure of Stacy Godwin’s Burbank salon. She says she is considering selling her home to save the business.

On Wednesday, Stacy Godwin was supposed to celebrate the fourth anniversary of her Burbank hair salon.
Instead, Vanity by Stacy Godwin and many other businesses across California were told two days earlier to close.
“For salons, this is pretty devastating, because the majority of our licensing is sanitation and health,” Godwin said in a phone interview. “You learn more about keeping your client safe and healthy … than you actually learn about doing hair.”
Soon after California’s 7,000th COVID-19 death was reported, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that indoor services for restaurants, movie theaters, zoos, museums and wineries would have to close once again. Bars also were ordered to close all operations.
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PPP Funds Reach Burbank, Federal Data Questioned

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, roughly 3,370 Burbank businesses received potentially forgivable federal loans during a pandemic that sank the economy into a recession — though the source of that information is being called into question.
Those businesses, including sole proprietorships and self-employed individuals, received approval for Paycheck Protection Program loans from lenders. Altogether, the Burbank businesses that were approved for loans said the money would allow them to save more than 34,000 jobs
However, there have been reports of businesses and officials across the nation saying that the data from the SBA, released July 6, contains many errors, including inflated loan amounts.
As a result, the reliability of some of the SBA’s data set — released after congressional calls for the $699-billion program to publish it — has been thrown into doubt.
“I think there is a real issue with transparency,” Congressman Adam Schiff, whose district includes Burbank, said in a phone interview. “There were a lot of bad numbers coming out of that disclosure.”
SBA spokeswoman Shannon Giles said in an email that the department reported only approved — not disbursed — PPP loans: “Lenders report their PPP disbursements monthly, so there is a data lag between approval and disbursal reports.”
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Audit Praises BPD, But Disagrees on Body Cams

Lt. J.J. Puglisi, president of the local police union, explains his stance in favor of allowing officers to view police camera footage before being interviewed at a recent joint City Council-Police Commission meeting.

An external audit of the Burbank Police Department commends many of the force’s policies and reforms, though it also suggests improvements to some of its administrative practices.
One of those suggestions, recommending that the department not allow officers to review body camera footage before being interviewed in use-of-force investigations, was already declined by the department — a point of concern to several residents who called during the Tuesday joint meeting of the City Council and Police Commission.
The Office of Independent Review Group analysis of incidents in 2018 praised the BPD’s reforms over the past several years, highlighting the department’s commitment to investigating whenever racial bias is alleged against its personnel, even if the allegation is not at the root of the complaint.
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