Parks and Rec Hosting ‘A Virtual Race’ Through Oct. 4

Burbank Parks and Recreation Department Sports Office is hosting “Burbank Parks Are Essential — A Virtual Race” along with Fleet Feet Burbank. Residents can run (or walk) at their own pace, their own route, their own time through Sunday, Oct. 4. At the end of the race, a random drawing will pick two runners to receive a special prize from Fleet Feet Burbank.
To beat COVID-19, be sure to practice social distancing when participating.
All race participants will receive a $15 off coupon for in-store Fleet Feet Burbank purchases.
Runners will need a fitness app such as FitBit, Apple Watch, Map My Run, Nike Run, etc. Submit a screenshot of the total run time and distance to Sportsoffice@Burbankca.gov to be considered in the final tally.
Be sure to post pictures of your journey using #ParksareESSENTIAL and tag us. Instagram burbank_parksandrec and Facebook @Burbankparksandrecreation
• Steps to register: Go to Burbankparks.com
• Create a login
• Select “Register’
• Select “Sports Leagues, Camps & Programs”
• Select “Sports Special Events”
• Choose a 3k, 5k or 10k race. You may also sign up for multiple races.
For more information, call (818) 238-5330 or email sportsoffice@burbankca.gov.

OurBurbank Announces First Mural Scavenger Hunt

OurBurbank, in partnership with the city of Burbank’s Public Information Office, invites residents to participate in the first OurBurbank Mural Scavenger Hunt. The unique event is ongoing.
As the Media Capital of the World, Burbank has a rich history of art and innovation — and the scavenger hunt offers residents an opportunity to engage with the city’s creative and unique character. Throughout the family-friendly event, Burbank residents can access the mural list on the city’s website, then visit the iconic wall art on their own schedules, take selfies with the work, and post the photos on Instagram and Facebook, @BurbankCA with the hashtag #OurBurbankMurals.
The first participant to take selfies with all 18 of the murals and submit their photos to Mary Movsesyan at MMovsesyan@burbankca.gov, will be recognized at a future City Council meeting.
OurBurbank is a volunteer group dedicated to celebrating Burbank’s uniqueness and promoting civic engagement throughout the city. To learn more about the event, visit burbankca.gov/residents/ourburbank.

Obituary | Vincent Stefano, Jr.

Vincent Stefano, Jr.

Vincent Stefano, Jr. (81), husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, friend, and lifelong Burbank, California, resident and former mayor (Burbank), passed away on Aug. 24, 2020.
Born on Dec. 21, 1938, in Burbank, the only child to Vincent Sr. and Mary Stefano, descedants of Italian immigrant families. He graduated in the last winter class at John Burroughs High School in 1957. He attended the University of Southern California, led the student body, became an active member of the Theta Xi fraternity, president of the Trojan Knights, Trojan Squires and an avid Trojan football fan. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in public administration, Vince attended Loyola Law School. He was president of the Loyola Bar Association from 1963-1964 and earned his law degree. He went on to practice law for over 40 years.
Before starting his private law practice, where he counseled and supported countless local clients in matters of family, real estate and corporate law, Vince was a deputy city attorney for the City of Los Angeles, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, and city prosecutor for the City of Burbank. Vince was a firm believer in civic duty. It was his passion for local politics and debate that ultimately lead him to run for Burbank City Council, serving from 1973 through 1977, and as mayor from 1974 to 1975. Vince was largely responsible for the city’s paramedic program, the CHP, and the CalPERS pension plan. He also served on several other boards and commissions for Burbank and was an active member of the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and Providence High School communities.

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Possible Mask Enforcement to Return to Council Agenda

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Whether to have police issue citations to those who fail to observe face covering requirements — unlike the men pictured above — is scheduled for discussion at a City Council meeting on Sept. 15.

After hearing from some residents who voiced frustration that the topic hadn’t been discussed, the Burbank City Council will review the possibility of fining people who don’t adhere to face covering requirements.
Council members Emily Gabel-Luddy and Timothy Murphy led the push during the panel’s Tuesday meeting to return a report on the subject to the agenda. The matter is scheduled to be discussed when the council next meets on Sept. 15.
The report, drafted by the Burbank Police Department, had been placed on the agenda before the council’s Aug. 11 meeting after Councilman Jess Talamantes requested it. But when the meeting began, Talamantes abruptly pulled the item, later saying he “didn’t feel it was the right time to discuss it.”

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Here’s Who Is Running for Local Office

The names are in: Eight candidates will battle over two City Council seats in November, with four other people vying for one of three positions on the Burbank Unified School District Board of Education.
Additionally, three people are running for city treasurer, with the local election coinciding with state and national elections on Nov. 3.
One candidate listed as running for the BUSD board, Larry Applebaum, recently informed The Leader that he was withdrawing from the race.
Information regarding candidates’ campaign donations and other disclosures are available on the city’s website at burbankca.gov/departments/city-clerk-s-office/elections. Contact information for candidates is provided on that site and also is listed below.
Voters will also decide the fate of several state propositions, as well as a municipal rent regulation measure.
The Leader will publish statements from school board candidates on Sept. 5 and city council candidates in its Sept. 12 issue.
Here are the candidates looking to be elected as council members, city treasurer or school board members, presented in the order they are expected to appear on the ballot:

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Workshop Addresses Plan for More Housing East of Airport

Consultants for a project aimed at reimagining a district east of the Hollywood Burbank Airport held a workshop this week to share their ideas with residents, several of whom expressed support for more housing in the area.
Current plans for the area include converting industrial properties, which much of the district currently consists of, to residential use in “walkable” surroundings. At the same time, consultants and city staff members pressed during Wednesday’s workshop the importance of maintaining media, aerospace and motion picture jobs in the district.
The Golden State District is considered a major industrial center of Burbank and has been described as the city’s “front door” for visitors. Home to a somewhat eclectic mix of properties, the roughly 600-acre area features three of the city’s 10 largest businesses by number of employees — Entertainment Partners, Senior Aerospace SSP and Crane Aerospace & Electronics.
Currently, nearly 60% of the district is designated for commercial and industrial use, while less than 10% is assigned to residential use. In 2017, the area was home to about 15,000 jobs and 3,500 residents, city staff members said in a July report.

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Virus Stats Improve, but Quick Return to Campus Unlikely

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County have declined since last month, a trend that has made local school district officials optimistic about being able to offer in-class instruction at the elementary school level relatively soon, but any hopes for reopening campuses in the near future were dashed Wednesday by county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
“At this point, [the Department of] Public Health will not be opening up our waiver process for schools,” Ferrer said in a statement. “We will be closely reviewing the guidance from the state and will be reviewing all options with [county supervisors] to ensure that schools are able to open as safely as possible for all children and staff.
“We do need to continue taking all of the steps that we were taking these past few weeks so that our community transmission rates remain low enough for us to continue our recovery journey,” she added in the county’s update, “and a very important piece of that recovery journey is getting our children back to schools.”

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Colleagues Remember Former Mayor Stefano

Vince Stefano

Vincent “Vince” Stefano Jr., a former Burbank city councilman and former mayor, died Monday, with those who knew him remembering him as a “bigger-than-life guy.” He was 81.
Stefano served on the City Council from 1973-77, holding the office of mayor from 1974-75. During the mid-’70s, he and the rest of the council worked to transfer control of what is now the Hollywood Burbank Airport from Lockheed Corp. to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.
Former Mayor Michael Hastings, who served with Stefano on a Providence High School board, said in a phone interview that Stefano was a “very dynamic guy, fun to do business with. … He was one of those guys who, when we set our minds to doing something, we got it done — but we had fun doing it.”
Hastings credits Stefano’s hard work with the flourishing of the airport, an important transportation facility that serves several million passengers a year, according to the it’s website.

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Grateful for 25 Years of Telling Burbank’s Stories

There’s nothing that makes an old newspaper columnist like me feel even older than to go into someone’s home and see a column I wrote decades earlier attached to the side of their refrigerator by rusting magnets.
That has actually happened to me more than once.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it is rather heartwarming to experience such a thing. However, it is also a bit disconcerting to see your younger self faded and sun-wrinkled on what looks like a yellowed parchment you would find at the National Archives.
In recent years, along with refrigerator sides, I have also found myself face to face with columns I have written for The Leader that have been tucked away in people’s scrapbooks, file folders and various other repositories.
As we plod through this pandemic summer, I, like so many others, have gone through a lot of old stuff in hopes of coming through this period of quarantine being able to say I wisely used my time to do some decluttering.

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L.A. Zoo Visitors Can Marvel at Menagerie Again

Photo by Christian Leonard / Glendale News-Press
Visitors to the Los Angeles Zoo were able to see baby ape Angela and her mother, N’djia, once again as the facility reopened Wednesday. The coronavirus pandemic had prompted the zoo to close for more than five months.

For the first time in months, visitors to the Los Angeles Zoo are entering through its towering doors to coo over meerkat pups and baby gorillas, ending the zoo’s longest closure in its history.
But after being shuttered for 166 consecutive days while the COVID-19 pandemic raged, the zoo reopened with some major changes Wednesday. Perhaps most noticeably, far fewer guests are wandering the 133-acre zoo; the facility is accepting only 1,200 daily visitors, compared to its usual 4,000-13,000.
About 400 are expected to be at the zoo at any time. Guests, including members, must pre-purchase timed-entry tickets to enter. Those tickets are offered in two-week blocks, a policy that Denise Verret, the zoo’s director and CEO, said will allow administrators to adapt to the fluid nature of the pandemic.

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