Burbank, Burroughs Seniors in Unique Graduation Week

Photos by Erin Rodick / Burbank Leader

Two days ago, as high school seniors from Burbank and John Burroughs prepared for their virtual online graduation ceremonies, parents festooned the fences of the two schools with signs and decorated their cars with balloons, photos, flowers and streamers. They then chauffeured their member of the class of 2020 around the perimeter of their respective schools to the cheers of family, friends, staff and faculty members.
The events were both joyful, but it was not the way things were supposed to be.
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Burbank Film Festival to Honor Works Made From Home

The Burbank International Film Festival has launched a “Films Made From Home” contest, which is running through June 30. The new category will focus on short content (maximum running time of five minutes) to challenge filmmakers from around the world to get inspired and create fresh, original content from the safety of their homes.
Projects can include any genre or medium including short films, music videos, public service announcements, commercials, etc. Other criteria includes that filmmakers follow current health and safety guidelines and restrictions when doing so.
The top semifinalists will be screened as part of the festival with the finalists and winners announced at the Closing Night Gala & Awards Show. The festival is currently scheduled to take place from Sept. 9-13.

Burbank Student Earns National Merit Scholarship

Anna Tong

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation last week announced this year’s National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners, who included a Burbank graduating senior among its 2,500 total recipients.
Anna Tong, who will graduate from Burbank High School, plans to study computer science with help from her scholarship, which is being funded by NMSC.
The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.
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Aid Center Responds to ‘Tsunami’ of Need Amid Crisis

Photos by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Volunteer Bunny Vitale and Congressman Adam Schiff fill bags with food items during his visit to Burbank Temporary Aid Center.

This past Tuesday afternoon, a maroon-colored compact car pulled up in the parking lot behind the Burbank Temporary Aid Center. Adjusting his mask into place, the casually dressed driver got out and opened the back door, revealing bags and boxes of food items.
Moments later, after unloading his haul into a shopping cart, the man pushed it to the donation receiving area where he was greeted by BTAC Executive Director Barbara Howell; Roger Koll, who serves as the president of the nonprofit organization’s board; and Michael Flood, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
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Domenic “Eddie” Saraceno – Obituary

Domenic “Eddie” Saraceno

Domenic “Eddie” Saraceno passed away in Burbank at the age 92 after a brief illness. He was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1928 to Joseph and Rose Saraceno of Sicily.
Dad always recalled his early childhood as exciting, filled with “life’s little lessons.” Along with his pals (“The Brickyard Gang”) they forged lifelong friendships. “Friends to the end!”
Domenic attended Classical High and got his first part-time job working for the Thom McAn shoe company. As his career started to grow, it would soon be interrupted by the Korean conflict.
In 1950, Domenic was drafted into the U.S. Army (17th Infantry). He served with distinction, earning a Bronze Star Medal for valor and heroic achievement. Afterward, he returned to Thom McAn and helped expand the company to California.
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Congressman Discusses Potential New Stimulus With Council

Congressman Adam B. Schiff

More federal funds addressing the economic impact of the coronavirus may be on the way, Congressman Adam Schiff said during the City Council’s virtual meeting Tuesday.
Schiff, D-Burbank, joined the meeting to announce the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, a potential follow-up to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the coronavirus stimulus package known as the CARES Act. The $3 trillion legislation would give about $500 billion to states and $375 billion to cities for their coronavirus responses, with the largest portion of the latter provision awarded to bigger cities like Burbank.
Councilmembers expressed support for the bill, which additionally provides more money for COVID-19 testing. However, Schiff also said that the federal government has been slow to increase its testing capacity.
“Much of the issue in terms of testing is that the administration got such a late start in prioritizing this. The early test that was rolled out by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] was a flawed test, and that cost us precious weeks to get a good test out, and even then I think the response has been very slow to ramp up the capacity,” he said.
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Mayor Addresses COVID-19 Pandemic

By Sharon Springer
City of Burbank Mayor

Mayor Sharon Springer

Hello Fellow Burbankers. L.A. County began reopening golf courses and trails along with some retail businesses that are offering curbside pickup. In Burbank, DeBell Golf Course is now open. Stough Canyon was closed this week for a few days of maintenance. Wildwood Canyon and its parking lot are open and will remain open.
While out on trails, please wear facemasks and follow all posted guidelines. Children older than age 2 are also required to wear facemasks at trailheads, in parking lots and destination points. We must continue to practice social distancing and regular hand washing. These are simple things we can do to ensure everyone’s safety and hopefully not have restrictions again in the future. Thank you for being kind. Many are stressed during this difficult time and a kind word or thank you can help.
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Starlight Bowl Concerts, Youth Camps Canceled

Photo courtesy City of Burbank
The Starlight Bowl concert series has been canceled due to COVID-19 health orders.

Several city-run summer outdoor events, including the Starlight Bowl Summer Concert Series and the Tot Summer Daze camp, have been canceled due to the coronavirus.
The cancellations were announced during the Burbank City Council meeting on Tuesday. Marisa Garcia, the city’s Parks and Recreations director, said during the meeting that, while some facilities are tentatively planned to reopen over the summer, certain events would not be resumed.
The canceled events will save the city about $300,000, she noted.
While the Starlight Bowl concerts, including the July 4 celebration, have been canceled, private organizations may be able to rent the venue for their own concerts between August and October, depending on COVID-19 health orders from Los Angeles County officials.
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BUSD Projects Dour Budget Revisal; Considers Senior Celebrations

Photo courtesy Ryan Hirsch
Burbank Unified School District is considering ways to celebrate senior graduates.

Burbank Unified School District Superintendent Matt Hill expressed concern on Thursday about how Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised state budget, taking into account economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, will impact local schools.
With a projected $54.3 billion deficit due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shutdown, Newsom proposed a $203.3 billion budget on Thursday that would significantly cut school funding.
“If this budget is implemented, it will drastically impact BUSD,” Hill stated in his weekly letter to the BUSD community. “The California School Board Association has made it easy for us to stress the need to protect education funding.”
Hill encouraged community members to follow the CSBA’s online link —p2a.co/lY0Zw5J — and email legislators about protecting educational funding.
The BUSD Board of Education will convene for a special meeting to “discuss budget scenarios and fundraising priorities” on Tuesday, May 19, at 7 p.m.

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City Council Projects Steep Revenue Loss on Pandemic Recession

Burbank City Councilmembers discuss a potential new coronavirus relief package with Congressman Adam Schiff, who briefly joined their virtual meeting Tuesday to answer questions about the $3 trillion bill.

The Burbank City Council approved a tentative budget this week that estimates a revenue loss of $15-$20 million during the next fiscal year of 2020-21 due to economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The council heard eight different budget presentations on Tuesday during a virtual meeting that lasted nearly six hours, creeping past midnight. Though city officials emphasized that the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial impact on Burbank remains uncertain, they expressed confidence that the city’s prudent fiscal policies over the past several years have put it in a good position to withstand economic challenges.
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