City Extends Renter Safeguards, Recognizes Landlords’ Hardships

The City Council once again extended its protections for residential renters this week, prolonging Glendale’s eviction moratorium and rent freeze till at least Aug. 31 as the nation continues to reel from the coronavirus pandemic.
In renewing the eviction moratorium, the council on Tuesday also set modified guidelines by which renters must show pandemic-related hardship as a reason for deferring their monthly rent payments. Those tenants must show documentation — such as bank statements or check stubs indicating income loss, bills showing new medical or child-care expenses or a letter from an employer attesting to reduced work — to their landlords on or before the rent due date.
Council members certainly seem aware of the precariousness of continuing to kick the can down the road with regard to rent deferment. The majority of city residents are renters, a situation that creates a perfect storm of apartment dwellers ­— who already had a hard time affording rent — losing their income and mom-and-pop landlords suddenly suffering their own loss of income.
“It’s a very sad and very difficult time for tenants especially and landlords also,” Mayor Vrej Agajanian said at Tuesday’s meeting. “Nobody was expecting to see something like this and I don’t see any solution to it in the near future.”

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Activist’s Effort Was Solitary, but Now There’s Solidarity

The one-man demonstration by local resident Spencer Carney, shown in the foreground, inspired others to join him in front of City Hall on Tuesday to show support for Black Lives Matter and Pride Month. The group plans to return on each remaining Tuesday this month.
Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press

As he took note of the massive protests forming in the Los Angeles area, Spencer Carney knew he had a decision to make.
The protests joined countless others throughout the nation and world, all to call out systemic racism and policy brutality after George Floyd was arrested in Minneapolis and died after one of the four arresting officers knelt on his back and neck for nearly nine minutes. But, Carney noted, they also ran contrary to social distancing widely adopted to help curb COVID-19, a disease of particular threat to senior citizens such as those who occupy most of the Glendale resident’s apartment building.
“The idea of going out to a protest and exposing myself to people not practicing social distancing or wearing a mask represented a conflict,” he said. “It was difficult for me to brainstorm these things, because in the past, I was always that guy who would go out and protest. I’ve been to the last two Women’s Marches. I went to USC and helped start One for All, which is a social justice theater troupe.”
Having attended various Pride events in years past, Carney also took note of the All Black Lives Matter march in Hollywood last weekend, which called attention to the adversity faced by black members of the LGBTQIA community and took place in lieu of the canceled Pride Parade. Continue reading “Activist’s Effort Was Solitary, but Now There’s Solidarity”

Protest March Is Significant, Hopeful

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
Protesters march down Brand Boulevard, past the iconic Alex Theatre, on Sunday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. More than 1,500 joined in Sunday’s demonstration, one of countless numbers that continue nationwide to call for police reform after the death of George Floyd while being arrested in Minneapolis.

The occasion was one part solemnity and another part rage, but the energy that resonated from the throngs of protesters who marched on Sunday and paid respect to lives lost seemed, in some ways, hopeful.
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After 50-Plus Years, Dry Cleaners Stop the Presses

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
Carol Cianfrini, Dee Bertelsen and John Cianfrini — the faces behind the counter at Crysti Cleaners in Adams Square since it opened in 1966 — have elected to retire earlier than planned and close shop in light of the pandemic.

For the first time in 54 years, the storefront at 1124 S. Adams St. is devoid of seasoned-but-reliable dry cleaning presses, a winding motorized rack along the ceiling and what seemed like an endless collection of silk dresses, business suits and cashmere sweaters.
The longtime proprietors of Crysti Cleaners, John and Carol Cianfrini — along with Carol’s cousin, Dee Bertelsen — are hanging it up after more than half a century there. Or, rather, they are asking their last dozen or so customers to come and pick up their orders, so that they may hang those up on their own. After five decades plus at the same location in Adams Square, the Cianfrinis are expediting their retirement by more than a year, a decision accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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College Success Fund ‘Planting Seeds of Hope’

This Glendale 1st-grader hopes to use the $50 from the Student Success Fund to attend college and become a veterinarian, saying, “When I make animals feel better, I feel happy.”

Amid the requisite challenging financial news that accompanies every meeting in the COVID-19 era, the Glendale Unified School District launched a truly uplifting program on Thursday evening that pierced through the typical report of budget deficits and dwindling reserves.
It’s called the College Success Fund, a long-awaited new initiative that will provide each 1st-grader within GUSD with a $50 savings account to begin the long financial road toward post-secondary education.
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Caution Urged as New COVID-19 Cases Trend Downward

Cases of COVID-19 continue to grow in Glendale, although the rate of new infections has decidedly fallen since peaking in late April and early May.
As Los Angeles County officials dictate reopening plans for municipalities, locals are urged to continue social distancing and hygienic practices to keep flattening the curve of the disease. Glendale has continued to follow county guidelines as it has recently begun allowing the reopening of certain businesses, with restrictions.
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County Receives Go-Ahead for More Reopenings

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
The Americana at Brand plans to reopen its stores for normal business — at half capacity — starting on Monday. Los Angeles County officials decided this week that retailers could reopen with the restrictions.

Los Angeles County officials have given the green light for restaurants to resume dine-in service, as well as for barbers and hair salons to reopen, provided they adhere to proper distancing and hygiene protocol.
The Friday update followed an announcement from Gov. Gavin Newsom that L.A. County was free to reopen those businesses according to state guidelines. Glendale, like most L.A. County cities, follows health direction from the county Department of Public Health.
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Officials Re-Emphasize Caution as Virus Cases Rise

Heading into the weekend, Glendale neared 900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its residents as officials urged people to continue to practice social distancing and wear face coverings in public.
Parks and trails have reopened, and more businesses are allowed to resume operations under limitations, but the City Council also recently renewed its requirements that individuals wear face coverings when outside. Those shopping inside grocery stores and other essential businesses are required to keep their faces covered as well.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, there have been 886 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Glendale residents as of Friday, with 72 deaths. This gives the city a per capita ratio of more than 429 cases per 100,000 residents. More than 43,000 cases have been identified across L.A. County, with 2,049 recorded deaths.
In La Crescenta-Montrose, there have been 26 confirmed cases among residents and one death.
The county also lists skilled nursing facilities and other institutional residential facilities in its daily caseload updates, including cases that have occurred among employees, cases that have occurred among residents and deaths overall.
In Glendale, these include Autumn Hills Heath Care Center (24 employees, 56 residents, 11 deaths); Chandler Convalescent Hospital (eight employees, 26 residents, five deaths); Glendale Adventist Medical Center’s skilled nursing facility (one employee, one resident, no deaths); Glendale Healthcare Center (10 employees, 10 residents, three deaths); Glendale Post Acute Center (23 employees, 48 residents, nine deaths); Glenhaven Healthcare (15 employees, 19 residents, five deaths); Glenoaks Convalescent Hospital (eight employees, 24 residents, eight deaths); Griffith Park Health Care Center (one employee, two residents, no deaths); Leisure Glen Post Acute Care Center (31 employees, 65 residents, four deaths); Leisure Vale Retirement Home (no employees, three residents, no deaths); and Park Paseo Independent Living (no employees, four residents, one death).
In Montrose, 21 employees and 34 residents at the Montrose Healthcare Center have been confirmed to have had the disease, with 11 deaths; and 14 employees and 15 residents at the Verdugo Valley Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre also have been confirmed to have had it, with two deaths.