Judge Rules Against City on Proposed Rent Measure

Photo courtesy Miki Jackson
Konstantine Anthony, who hopes to win a Burbank City Council seat in November, speaks at a rally near a Los Angeles courthouse. For months, Anthony has been embroiled in a legal battle against the city over a potential rent regulation ordinance for which he petitioned.

After a lengthy legal process between Burbank and a City Council hopeful, a judge has ruled against the city, likely placing rent control on the ballot in November.
In a decision announced a day before the official hearing on Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel said the city failed to make a “clear showing” that a proposed rent regulation ordinance would require the rewriting of its charter, a move that would need more voter signatures than were collected in the petition for the potential ordinance.
The Burbank City Council met Friday afternoon to decide whether to adopt the proposed ordinance or place it on the ballot, but had made no decision by The Leader’s deadline. The council, however, did not appear likely to adopt the measure.
“Although [the] City asserts reasonable arguments in support of its position, Petitioners also assert reasonable counterarguments,” Strobel wrote. “For the reasons discussed above, City’s substantive challenges to the Initiative should not be resolved prior to the election.”

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BUSD Adopts Fall Online Learning Plan

After much discourse and explanation from Burbank Unified School District staff members, the Board of Education approved — with some apprehension — the memorandum of understanding between teachers and BUSD during Thursday’s virtual meeting.
The motion to adopt the 15-page document passed, 4-1. The lone dissenting vote came from Charlene Tabet, who echoed parents’ concerns regarding the schedule that includes four days of mixed live classroom instruction and independent learning — Monday through Thursday — and a “pupil-free” workday on Friday.
Community members expressed worry that children would not get enough interaction with teachers, especially on a Friday that does not require students to check in. Tabet said she wasn’t so sure students would take advantage of that time with their instructors, and also expressed concern for those in special education and English-language learning.

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Pandemic Helps Artist Find Inspiration All Around Her

Photo by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
During the pandemic, Mina Ho Ferrante has been finding creative inspiration in her neighborhood and children.

As we approach the five-month mark of living with a virus that has changed lives in every corner of the globe, people are beginning to adapt to what has been called the “new normal.” Some are handling it better than others and, it seems, those who are handling it best are using this time to discover or rediscover some of the things we lost a bit of focus on back during the “old normal.”
In the early afternoon, when the sun is in the west, the tree-lined streets of Burbank’s Rancho District are the embodiment of residential tranquility. With the exception of the periodic whirring sound that indicates a gardener is plying his trade or the occasional clopping of horse hoofs, this time of day in the city’s equestrian neighborhood is so quiet that artist Mina Ho Ferrante can actually hear the sound of her paint brush sweeping across the canvas.
“I’ve always loved painting scenes of Burbank, and my goal was to someday do paintings of different areas of the city for a show,” said Ferrante. “Not iconic scenes, just sleepy residential streets and corners. The pandemic has given me the time to start doing this. At 4 p.m., when the sun is perfect, I go out, set up my easel and just paint what I see. The scenes I capture are very peaceful ― a dog sleeping in a driveway, a person walking by with their horse. That is the Burbank I love ― my Burbank ― and I love preserving those moments.”

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Multi-City Board Outlines New Vision on Transportation

The Governing Board for the Arroyo Verdugo Communities Joint Powers Authority, whose members include officials from Burbank, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena and South Pasadena, discussed a new strategic plan at a Thursday meeting.

A board made up of officials from Burbank and nearby cities is crafting a new strategic plan, potentially expanding its role in coordinating transportation initiatives in the area.
Members of the Governing Board for the Arroyo Verdugo Communities Joint Powers Authority expressed interest Thursday in moving beyond traffic and infrastructure concerns to consider other modes of transportation, such as light rail and bicycle paths, for local development, as well as environment-related projects.
The joint powers authority was formed in 2017 and includes officials from Burbank, La Cañada Flintridge, Glendale, Pasadena, South Pasadena and the Los Angeles County Fifth Supervisorial District, which takes in La Crescenta and Montrose.

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Permit Parking Appears to Help Starlight Estates

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
After the Burbank City Council started requiring vehicles parked in the Starlight Estates area between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. to be permitted, some signs have suggested loitering and noise issues have decreased.

Roughly a month after the Burbank City Council instituted permit-only parking in Starlight Estates after residents complained about speeding and loitering there, the situation seems to have improved.
According to the Burbank Police Department, the number of citations in the area fell from 48 in June to 38 last month as of July 28 as the parking policy took hold. The total number of police activities in the area also declined. In June there were 191 activities, compared with 132 as of late July.
Calls for service in Starlight Estates also dropped by more than 28% as of July 28.
Sako Semizyan, who has lived in Starlight Estates for roughly 15 years, said there are “not as many [issues]. It did help a lot.”

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Local Resident to Make 24-Hour Run for Nonprofit

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Burbank resident Roy Wiegand is running from Ventura to Pasadena this weekend to raise money for the Navajo Water Project, one of multiple humanitarian initiatives he has supported.

Roy Wiegand knows that when he makes his 24-hour run this weekend, he’ll turn some heads. And that’s partially by design.
“It intrigues people, like why would anybody go run a hundred miles by themselves,” he said. “This is why, because of the Navajo Water Project … It gets the conversation started.”
Wiegand, a Burbank resident and ultramarathon runner, is making the solo trek from Ventura to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena today and Sunday, stopping only for brief periods. Besides loving the challenge of the run, he’s also doing it to raise money for the Navajo Water Project, which provides running water to families living on the tribe’s reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.
More than 30% of Navajo families don’t have a tap or toilet at home, according to DigDeep, a nonprofit that launched the Navajo Water Project. Many families have to haul water from a public source away from their homes.

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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.

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Theodore (Ted) Charles Joneson II – Obituary

Theodore (Ted) Charles Joneson II

Theodore (Ted) Charles Joneson II passed away at his home in Burbank, California, early in the morning on Thursday, July 30, 2020, at the age of 68.
Ted was born May 29, 1952, in Great Lakes, Illinois, the eldest son of five children of Theodore Charles Joneson and Joyce Diane Nielsen. He was raised in the Chicago area and moved to California in 1968 and graduated from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in 1970. He married Cheryl Jo Wahl, on October 24, 1970, they bought a house in Burbank and together they raised one son.
Ted had multiple talents: mechanic, handyman, house builder, pool guy and racing crew. Through the years his interest included fishing, camping, riding his Quad, bike riding with the family, playing golf, racing both participant and watching NASCAR.
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Burbank Teen Captures Another Pageant Title

Kate Platten

When 18-year-old Kate Platten heard that she had been named the victor of the Role Model Teen program for the Royal International Miss pageant, she was so overwhelmed with joy that her mind went blank.
“The moment my name got called, I don’t remember anything,” she said in a phone interview. “It was such a state of shock, and I was so excited that my hard work and determination had culminated into my goal.”
The UC Irvine student and 2019 John Burroughs High School alumna had spent months being interviewed, working on community service projects and, of course, strutting across the stage in lavish dresses. So when her efforts led to her win on July 11 in Orlando, Florida, where the final decision came down to her and one of her close friends, she was understandably somewhat overcome.

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City Fetches Seed Money for Dog Park

The city of Burbank received a $150,000 donation this week from the widow of Dick Clark to help transform the southern portion of the Johnny Carson Park (above) into the Dick Clark Dog Park. The effort to build a dog park has been underway since 1997.
Photo by Charles Hirsch / Burbank Leader

After years of dogged pursuit, the city of Burbank is finally getting a park where pups can run free.
The city recently accepted a $150,000 donation from the Kari and Dick Clark Foundation, which will go toward creating a dog park section at Johnny Carson Park.
The dog park project is estimated to cost between $500,000 and $700,000, according to a staff report submitted to the City Council for its Tuesday meeting, at which it voted to accept the donation.
Parks and Recreation Director Marisa Garcia, who presented the report to council members, said in a phone interview that her department will continue to look for funding sources, including grants and additional donations.
“We’re fortunate, especially during these economic times, that we’ve had a great sponsor who wants to come in and help us meet these goals,” she said. “Especially during this current pandemic, we know that it’s extremely important for individuals to be outdoors and recreate in a really safe manner.”

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