Thefts, Other Crime Fell in February

Reports for major crimes in Burbank dropped about 22.4% from January to February, according to recently released data from the Burbank Police Department.
The overall drop in Part 1 “index crimes” — which include an aggregate of incident types tracked to gauge a city’s crime statistics — from 277 in January to 215 in February reflected a less dramatic decrease in theft reports between the two months, from 189 to 164. The number of reports for auto thefts, burglaries and violent crimes also fell.
February’s report total was the lowest for the month since February 2018, when there were 198 incident reports.
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Local Unemployment Rose in January

Burbank’s representative in the California State Legislature said issues with the Employment Development Department continue, with the agency grappling with hundreds of thousands of claims.
More than 900,000 claimants waited more than 21 days to receive their first payment or disqualification notice during the week of March 18, according to the most recent EDD data, a figure that has remained fairly steady since late January. The vast majority of those claims were stalled because a claimant needed to submit evidence of their eligibility.
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Tinhorn Flats Removes City’s Padlocks from Doors

Locks on Tinhorn Flats’ doors placed by city workers on Wednesday morning were later removed. Photo courtesy Jarrod Moore

Just hours after the city of Burbank padlocked Tinhorn Flats’ doors this morning, the restaurant announced it had removed the devices.

Baret Lepejian, the owner of Tinhorn Flats, told the Leader on Monday that he was “pretty sure” he was going to open the locks, though he acknowledged the city could push against him harder for defying a temporary restraining order.

But by around 11 a.m. today, the restaurant posted a picture on its social media page showing a metal tab that had attached the lock to the door had been broken and announced it would open as usual.

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City Officials Hold First Equity Subcommittee Meeting

A Burbank City Council subcommittee on racial equity and diversity had its first meeting last week, with members discussing potentially providing training to city employees.
The subcommittee, which met virtually on Feb. 24, was formed late last year following renewed outcry for racial justice and equity. The group, which includes Mayor Bob Frutos, Councilwoman Sharon Springer, Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse, Assistant City Manager Judie Wilke and other municipal staff, will meet “as needed” to discuss potential initiatives for promoting equity and diversity.
Frutos emphasized that the early meetings of the subcommittee would be “flexible and fluid,” allowing the members to develop ideas to present to the full City Council.
“We are committed as a city and as a council to discuss the tough painful issues to make sure our city is working toward [being] inclusive of everybody,” he said.
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David Starr Jordan Middle School To Be Renamed Dolores Huerta

Photo by Charles Hirsch / Burbank Leader
The Burbank board of education unanimously approved the renaming of David Starr Jordan Middle School after civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, who advocated for rights of women, immigrants and workers.

The nearly two-year-long process of renaming David Starr Jordan Middle School finally came to an end during a Burbank Unified School District meeting on Thursday.
The board of education unanimously approved to name the school after civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the National Farmworkers Association along with Cesar Chavez and advocated for rights of women, immigrants and workers and is known for coining the motto, “Sí se puede,” which translates to, “Yes we can.” The phrase became a rally cry for the NFA and many other activist groups.
The School Facility Naming Committee received more than 900 responses from the community and narrowed it down to five names: Mariposa, Amelia Earheart, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Barbara Jordan and Huerta.
Board members favored Jordan and Huerta and ultimately chose the latter because of the impact she made in California.

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Residents Remember Fry’s Following Closure

Fry’s Electronics closed its stores nationwide on Wednesday, prompting Burbank residents to lament the loss of a local location famed for its elaborate sci-fi decorations.
The business announced it was stopping regular operations this week after nearly 36 years in business, citing “changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a statement on its website.
On social media, many community members shared photos of the Burbank store on North Hollywood Way, whose decorations were themed after an alien invasion — taking some inspiration from the classic sci-fi film “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” Fry’s was known for styling its stores after various subjects, such as “Alice in Wonderland” or a Mayan temple.
Though several residents noted, as media outlets have in the past, that customer service was sometimes poor and bare shelves seemed to indicate the store would soon go out of business, many also spoke fondly of their memories of the business.

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Amazon Confirms Burbank Delivery Station

Several Amazon trucks are pictured at a delivery station in a stock image.
Photo courtesy Amazon
An Amazon spokesperson said the new delivery station, such as the one pictured here, will allow for faster order fulfillment. Residents are concerned it will also increase traffic.

After much speculation, Amazon has confirmed that it is leasing a facility near the Hollywood Burbank Airport to open a new delivery station, expected to open this spring.

Amazon spokesman Justin Grayson told the Burbank Leader that the station would be within the 61-acre Avion site, though he explained information was not available regarding the square footage of the facility.

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Gun Sales Soar After Capitol Siege

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
A man waits to enter the Guns Direct store, where customers lined up earlier in the week to purchase firearms following the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In the wake of the assault last week on the U.S. Capitol, some local gun store owners are saying that customers are flocking to their shops.
Jonathan Solomon, owner of Redstone Firearms, said he has seen an increase in gun sales of about 30% to 40%, with a substantial number of customers being first-time firearm buyers. Many of the customers, he added, mentioned the attack on the Capitol building by supporters of President Donald Trump on Jan. 6 as their reason to purchase a gun.
The riot, aimed at overturning Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election, left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer and a man who suffered a heart attack.
“Anytime there’s any kind of civil unrest, gun sales do spike,” said James Janya, co-owner of Guns Direct, “because people are a little bit concerned about what’s going on in this country.”

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City Resolution Apologizes for Past Discrimination

The City Council voted this week to approve a resolution apologizing for racist “sundown town” policies in Burbank’s history and pledging to pursue local, state and federal measures that promote equity.
A sundown town is defined as a city whose practices discriminate against non-white ethnic groups, particularly Black people, such as by requiring them to exit city boundaries by sundown.
The resolution itself contained no concrete policies aimed at combating racism, and there was little discussion from the council on the item during its Tuesday meeting, but city officials have hailed it as a critical first step that could later lead to action.
“It’s OK to go wrong, but it’s not OK to stay wrong,” said Councilman Jess Talamantes. “And this is one thing that we can change, this council and future councils can definitely change, moving forward.”

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