YMCA’s Pioneering Effort: New LGBTQ Center

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Burbank YMCA officials Bryan Snodgrass, Rob Rodriguez and Fernanda Tenorio sit on beanbag chairs in the nonprofit’s new Social Impact Center. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the LGBTQ resource facility is scheduled for next Friday.

Next week will hold two “firsts” for the Burbank LGBTQ community.

On Tuesday, Mayor Bob Frutos is expected to proclaim June as Pride Month for the first time in the city’s history. And on Friday at 6 p.m., the local YMCA will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony presenting its new Social Impact Center — which representatives believe is the first LGBTQ resource center for both Burbank and the nonprofit’s United States locations.

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Bears Defeat Rival to Clinch 3rd in League

File photo by Eric Danielson
Isabella Scozzola drove in a run and helped Burroughs defeat intracity rival Burbank, 2-1, in a Pacific League showdown on Wednesday. The Bears clinched third place in league standings.

By Austin Green

Burbank Leader

Kelsey Acosta of John Burroughs threw a complete game four-hitter and the Bears’ defense made several clutch plays behind her to help complete a season sweep over archrival Burbank with a 2-1 win on Wednesday.

“She was incredible,” Burroughs head coach Doug Nichols said of his ace. “It took a few innings to find her rhythm, but once she did, it was over.”

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Burroughs Advances After 1st Round Win

Photo by Eric Danielson / Burbank Leader
Noor Fahs (pictured above in a game earlier this season) scored 11 points and helped the Bears defeat La Habra Whittier Christian, 55-45, on Thursday.

By Austin Green

Burbank Leader

The world has changed dramatically since when the John Burroughs High School girls’ basketball team faced Whittier Christian in the CIF Southern Section Division 2A quarterfinals in February 2020, and when the two teams squared off in the first round of the 2021 Division 2AA playoffs on Thursday. 

Everything from the ubiquitous mask-wearing in Burroughs’ Hurst Gym, to the host school’s abrupt mascot name change from Indians to Bears earlier this spring, to the game’s 3:30 p.m. start time to accommodate Burroughs’ senior graduation ceremony that night because the game was being played in late May, would have seemed strange early last year. 

But history still repeated itself as Burroughs eliminated Whittier Christian from sectional playoffs the second straight year, pulling away late for a 55-45 victory.

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Bears Eliminated in CIF Quarterfinals

Photo by Austin Green / Burbank Leader
The Burroughs boys’ volleyball team takes one final picture together after their season-ending loss to Huntington Beach in the CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinals. Pictured are (front row, from left) Christian Lim, Kalani Coquia, Trent Cantrell, Michael Cutone, Cole Kvarda and Christian Solano. Back: Nigel Pope, Mark Hopkins, Chauncey Paz, Kyle Truett, Justin Burras, Chris Johnson, Vinny Harris, Carter Cottrell, Kade McGovern and Jeremy Lapeze.

By Austin Green

Burbank Leader

John Burroughs boys’ volleyball was a juggernaut throughout the regular season, steamrolling through league and nonleague opponents alike, with the only exception a five-set loss to La Canada St. Francis, another area volleyball powerhouse. 

But Burroughs’ season came to a screeching halt in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 quarterfinals on Wednesday as the Bears were dominated by Huntington Beach in straight sets, 25-16, 26-24, 25-16. It was the first and only time Joel Brinton’s squad was swept this season.

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BTAC Drive-Thru Event Helps Those In Need

Photo by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Volunteers filled the trunks of 59 cars with food during BTAC’s drive-thru event.

For the first time in its 47-year history, the Burbank Temporary Aid Center staged a drive-thru food distribution event open to anyone in need this past Saturday morning.

“Having never done anything like this, we really didn’t know what to expect,” said Barbara Howell, who serves as the nonprofit organization’s chief executive officer. “But we were fully prepared for whatever needed to be done.”

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Little Change Reported in Local Unemployment

Data Source: California Employment Development Department

Though Los Angeles County reduced coronavirus restrictions last month, Burbank’s unemployment rate moved little, increasing slightly to 11.9%.

About 7,000 city residents remained unemployed in April, according to preliminary data from the California Employment Development Department, up from about 6,800 in March. The local joblessness rate also rose from 11.5% in March. Burbank’s estimated labor force and number of working residents also remained relatively steady in the two months, increasing from 58,900 to 59,200 and 52,100 to 52,200, respectively.

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Judge Rebuffs Eatery Over Preliminary Injunction

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Representatives of Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill (above) attempted to persuade a judge to dissolve a court order that prevents the eatery from operating. The judge refused on Friday, pointing out the restaurant still doesn’t have the required permits.

A judge on Friday rejected Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill’s request to end the court order prohibiting it from operating and to fine the city of Burbank for fencing in the restaurant.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff’s ruling retained the preliminary injunction against the controversial eatery, which for months has faced lawsuits from Burbank and L.A County in connection with its refusal to abide by former health orders prohibiting in-person dining.

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City Council Approves 2021-22 Budget

The City Council unanimously approved the municipal budget for fiscal year 2021-22 on Tuesday, projecting optimism that Burbank’s finances are beginning to recover from the pandemic.

With businesses reopening and the number of total vaccinations increasing across the county, city officials said they expect tax revenue to recover next fiscal year, which begins in July. Despite that, General Fund recurring revenues are still projected to be nearly $9 million below pre-pandemic expectations.

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Students’ Stress Rose in 2020, Survey Finds

Burbank high schoolers and district employees felt more stress and anxiety in 2020 than in previous years, according to a survey presented during a Board of Education meeting last week.

John Paramo, Burbank Unified School District assistant superintendent of education services, unveiled the findings of a survey of 1,323 staff and students from Burbank and Burroughs high schools that was administered by Hanover Research between September and November. The number of participants was less than half compared to the previous year. 

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Local Gun-Related Crimes Increase as Pandemic Subsides

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Burbank police responded to an incident in which a man was shot and killed in his apartment in late January. A significant rise in the number of recent gun-related crimes appears to be partly due to the easing of pandemic restrictions, a police spokesman said.

Burbank has experienced a striking increase in the number of gun-related crimes so far this year compared with the same period last year, according to local police.

There were three crimes involving a firearm from the beginning of 2020 through May 18 that year, Sgt. Emil Brimway of the Burbank Police Department told the Leader. In the same period this year, there were 15 such incidents. Nine of those were related to a robbery, attempted robbery or carjacking.

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