GUSD Takes Steps Toward Limited Return to Campuses

Local school officials have begun the process of preparing applications and obtaining the necessary letters of support to eventually begin applying to Los Angeles County for waivers to reopen limited facets of in-person elementary instruction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Glendale Unified School District continues to plan a return to outdoor conditioning for student-athletes and anticipate hopeful next steps for expanding in-person services to special education students and English language learners.
“A day doesn’t go by that I don’t get questions — ‘When are we opening up? When are we getting our students back to school?’” board President Armina Gharpetian said at Tuesday’s meeting. “The county, they’re moving very cautiously and very conservatively. We need to take those baby steps to get there.”

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International Film Festival Comes to Home Screens Oct. 15-21

To accommodate the now-digital reality of the coronavirus pandemic, the seventh annual Glendale International Film Festival is bringing the movies to the home screen this year.
From Thursday, Oct. 15, through Wednesday, Oct. 21, the film festival’s website will offer access to the feature and short films being presented this year, the collection of which covers a wide variety of genres and filmmaking styles. Additionally, the organization will offer Q&A sessions with the filmmakers.
Viewers can purchase individual tickets for films, or otherwise purchase a festival pass for $60. The film festival provides a recommended schedule of films and special features.
The Glendale International Film Festival was formed in 2014 by longtime Glendale resident and performer Velvet Rhodes, who succumbed to cancer this summer. The film festival organization plans to continue the event as part of her legacy in the community.
To access the festival, visit

Assembly Candidates Stick to Point at Forum

In contrast to some of the larger-scale debates voters have recently seen, this week’s forum featuring District 43 Assemblywoman Laura Friedman and challenger Mike Graves harked back to the wholesome, issue-focused sessions of yore.
The forum, among many hosted recently by the League of Women Voters of Glendale/ Burbank, provided a virtual window to the district’s voters. They will decide in November on all levels of leadership to continue moving the nation through the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic, cultural upheavals with regard to enforcement and emergency services and the gloomy reality of environmental damage. Candidates at the forum spoke from the comfort of their homes, using Zoom to “meet” with their moderator and be broadcast throughout the area.

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Girls Draw on Their Art to Support Firefighters

By Haley Sawyer
Glendale News-Press

Photo by Haley Sawyer / Glendale News-Press
Tuesday Carroll gives Operations Battalion Chief Todd Tucker paintings and a check for $600 at Glendale Fire Station 29 on Monday.

On Monday afternoon, the Glendale Fire Foundation received a $600 check from two generous donors.
One of whom is 6 years old, and the other, just 2.
Sisters Tuesday and Sunny Carroll have spent much of their at-home time during the COVID-19 pandemic painting. They decided to sell their art to raise funds for their local fire department and on Monday, delivered their donation of money as well as three paintings to firefighters at Glendale Fire Station 29.
“It’s pretty good here,” said Tuesday, 6, after she and Sunny were given a tour of the station. “I really liked the firetrucks.”
Although Tuesday and Sunny might not realize how large the amount of money they raised is, or the impact their actions will have on their local fire station, the firefighters are grateful.

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USC-VHH Named Top Hospital for LGBTQ+ Patients, Employees

Photo courtesy USC-VHH
In 2019, Keck Medicine — of which USC Verdugo Hills Hospital is a part — helped sponsor the L.A. Pride parade (above), and hospital employees were invited to participate. USC-VHH was designated this year by the Human Rights Campaign as a top hospital for LGBTQ+ patients and health-care workers.

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital recently was designated by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as a top hospital for LGBTQ+ patients and health-care workers, the only hospital in Glendale to receive the recognition.
The Human Rights Campaign, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, designated all of Keck Medicine’s hospitals as LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leaders after evaluating hospitals nationwide on their services and work environments to ensure that people who identify as LGBTQ+ feel included and are well cared for.
“It has always been the goal of our hospital to ensure the health and well-being of the whole community, including those who identify as LGBTQ+,” said USC-VHH CEO Keith Hobbs. “Receiving this designation by the Human Rights Campaign is an honor, but not the reason we strive to provide care. That said, we hope that this designation can reassure LGBTQ+ patients in the community that we are here for them, that they and their loved ones will be treated with the utmost respect and compassion, addressing any personalized needs that may arise.”

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Sparks Fly at Local Congressional Candidate Debate

The last of a series of local forums on local, state and federal elections also proved to be the most combative, with the two candidates for California’s 28th congressional district clashing over the coronavirus, the president and other topics.
Rep. Adam Schiff, who has represented the 28th Congressional District that includes Burbank, Glendale and part of Pasadena, is running against Eric Early, a Republican attorney who previously made an unsuccessful bid for California attorney general.
The event hosting the two candidates, held Monday by the League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank, had been marketed as a Q&A-focused forum. But a flurry of attacks from Early against his Democratic opponent pushed it into the territory of an aggressive debate, while Schiff reserved most of his jabs for Trump and other Republicans.

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Obituary | Leon Alexander

Leon Alexander was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 11, 1924. He passed away peacefully at home at the age of 95 on October 5, 2020, surrounded by friends and family.
In 1943, Leon was drafted into the Navy and served three years in France, the South Pacific, and Japan. Upon his return, he completed his studies at Brooklyn College followed by three years at Yale Law School, where he graduated at the top of his class. While in law school, he married Greta Rosenbaum, a student at the Yale School of Music.
After graduation, they struck out for the West Coast, moving first to San Francisco and then to Los Angeles, where they had three children. Over the years he built a thriving law firm with 15 attorneys and eventually retired from private practice to work as an arbitrator and mediator.
He married a second time, and although that marriage also ended in divorce he remained on good terms with his former wife and her two daughters.
Perhaps the happiest time of his life followed, when he engaged in new activities, joining a gay camping group where he met the great love of his life, Timothy Stocks. They took up bridge (Leon eventually became a Bronze Life Master), wine tasting, and moved into what became their home in Glendale for 30 years. They also took cruises around the world.
Towards the end of his life, he published a book of poetry, For Aged Men.
He is survived by his three children, Robin, Randy and Ronni Alexander; his two step-daughters, Kira Od and Jana Odette; his great-nephews Nathan and Greg Alexander and their families; and his caregiver, Devin Kelly. A date for a memorial will be set for the Fall of 2021 to celebrate his life and memory.

Glendale Armenians “Inspired by Other People’s Sacrifices”

When local members of the Armenian diaspora woke up on Thursday and began to scour the internet and social media for on-the-ground updates — any news, really — from the front lines of the reignited war between Azerbaijan and the Armenia-backed breakaway state Artsakh, they found pictures of the Holy Savior Cathedral.
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World Mission Society Church of God Hosts Food Drive

The World Mission Society Church of God recently hosted a food drive at 1817 W. Olive Ave. to support those effected by the coronavirus.
Volunteers collected dozens of donations, including canned and dry food, hygiene products, cleaning supplies, and paper products such as toilet paper and paper towels. The donations were packed up and delivered to the Burbank Temporary Aid Center for distribution to those suffering from financial hardships, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Burbank City Council member Timothy Murphy showed appreciation to the volunteers during the event.
“Thanks a lot to the World Mission Society Church of God for helping the people who are hungry and hurting during this time. This is absolutely awesome. We had a great day out here. We collected a whole bunch of food, and it’s going to go to people who need it. Thank you,” said Murphy.
The organization has hosted more than 15,866 volunteer services in 120 countries worldwide to give courage and hope to neighbors in need. In addition, WMSCOG’s social services correspond to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. According to the United Nations Development Programme, the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
For more information, visit

YWCA Director Engages Community for Nonprofit of the Year

Photo courtesy YWCA Glendale Tara Peterson, chief executive of the YWCA Glendale, said she aims to preserve the legacy of the institution while guiding it further into the 21st century.

Since joining the local YWCA four years ago, CEO Tara Peterson has emphasized the “community” in community organization.
The institution’s bread and butter has long been its domestic violence emergency shelter and services, but Peterson said she knew upon joining that there were other areas to target in that unsavory but too-real issue. In asking herself “What else?” Peterson said she was motivated to bridge the relationships with faith leaders, civic groups and educational institutions, relationships that helped propel the YWCA Glendale to the forefront of the city’s varied looks-in-the-mirror this year with regard to racism.
When she left a Sacramento-based domestic violence organization to journey south and take over this YWCA, Peterson said she strove to “keep the legacy but also move us forward into the 21st century.” The sum of those efforts since then recently arrived at the landmark of being named Assemblywoman Laura Friedman’s Nonprofit of the Year for the Assembly district.

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