For years, Jeff Julian has been one of the best swimming coaches in Southern California. The head swimming coach at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center has devoted his life to the sport, guiding and mentoring countless athletes and coaching Olympian Jason Lezak prior to his remarkable, multiple-medal-winning performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Julian, 45, has become even more influential after surviving a bout with stage 4 lung cancer in 2015. He became a motivational speaker and has served as a beacon of hope and optimism for athletes and families who know him. His sister, Jaimi Julian Thompson, said he seems to be more of a teacher than a coach, providing “lessons that help people be successful in life.”
The death last week of legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen conjured up memories from former Glendale Community College students of the band Van Halen, which had a memorable 1975 performance in the school’s quad before attaining superstardom. Eddie Van Halen, who died of throat cancer at age 65, was the master guitarist who teamed with his drummer-brother Alex to create Van Halen, one of the era’s most influential and memorable “hair bands.” Lead singer David Lee Roth and bass player Michael Anthony were other members of the band’s 1970s lineup. (Sammy Hagar replaced Roth as lead singer in the 1980s.) They went on to become one of the biggest rock bands in the world, particularly after the release of their chart-topping album “1984.” The band pumped out hits such as “Panama,” “Jump,” “Jamie’s Cryin’” and “Hot for Teacher.”
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.
Glendale Unified School District staff recently distributed 107 free backpacks to students across all grade levels. Each backpack was filled with necessary personal protective equipment, educational resources and school supplies for students. The district drive-by distribution was the first of its kind and was funded by the Refugee School Impact Program, which specifically supports students who have been in the country for less than five years. “We are committed to supporting all of our students by ensuring each and every child has the resources they need to succeed during this distance learning experience,” said Glendale Unified Superintendent Vivian Ekchian. “This is another way we are taking steps to accelerate learning and increase pathways for every student.” The initiative to provide essential school supplies was spearheaded by the Glendale Unified School District Categorical Programs Department to better support newcomer students during distance learning. To learn more about the Refugee School Impact Program, visit acf.hhs.gov.
Financial contraction for the city’s government does not appear to have been as severe as anticipated, based on updated numbers on the close of the 2019-20 fiscal year that the City Council reviewed on Tuesday. To be sure, the city did experience revenue loss late in the period as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which planners and the council adjusted for in the spring. However, the final numbers seem poised to land somewhere between those in the original budget and the revised projections that officials made after the pandemic shut down large parts of the economy.
The coronavirus edition of Brand Associates’ annual fundraising art exhibit at the Brand Library is certainly a conversation starter. What would have been the traditional art opening this weekend — complete with wines, cheese and veggie trays and light music at the iconic library and gallery — will instead take place on computer screens, via Zoom, with any wine and snacks coming self-sourced from our own pantries and fridges. For those ready to partake, the Brand 48 Annual National Juried Exhibition of Works on Paper begins at 2 p.m. today, Sept. 12.
July’s opening day ceremonies and games marked not only the return of Major League Baseball and a semblance of normalcy in a world of COVID-19, but the beginning of Nik Turley’s comeback tour. “That was my first opening day,” said Turley, a journeyman pitcher who earned a spot on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ season-opening roster, a first in the Crescenta Valley Little League product’s career. “With no fans, it was a different experience for an opening day, but it was pretty special for me.” It was especially momentous for Turley, 30, because he had not pitched in the major leagues since 2017 due to a suspension and Tommy John surgery. The Pirates claimed him off waivers from the Minnesota Twins, with whom he made his MLB debut, two years ago and made a place for the left-hander on their 30-man roster.
There’s nothing quite like winning an Emmy during a global pandemic. Though Anthony Molina, a La Crescenta resident, feels honored and is thankful to his colleagues, family and, of course, the academy, tweeting out his acceptance speech instead of gracing a stage to warm applause was, well, a little weird, he joked. “It was a pretty surreal moment to top off what has been a crazy, strange year,” said Molina, who, after much pacing at his home office during the online ceremony, realized he had won outstanding editor for an animated program, which was also the first time in Emmy history the category existed. “It is kind of funny to say that my very first Emmy was through a tweet.” Molina, who has worked at Disney for a decade, won at the 47th Daytime Emmy Awards for an episode from “Disney Mickey Mouse” — a series that incorporates vintage animation and humor into contemporary settings — called “Carried Away,” which featured the final recording by the late Russi Taylor, a longtime Glendale resident who voiced Minnie Mouse for 30 years.
It was a cruisin’ good time last Saturday for those who caught “Cruise 2020,” the scaled-down version of Glendale Cruise Night, typically the city’s largest public event of the year. About 125 classic and eclectic vehicles rolled up and down Brand Boulevard as outdoor diners took photos and others strolled. “Everyone wore their masks and people seemed happy to get outside and get some fresh air to enjoy the cars,” said Glendale special events coordinator Patty Betancourt.
Glendale officials plan to continue researching specific past actions that contributed to a local culture that discriminated against black residents and workers, as part of a long-term reckoning with the city’s former reputation as a sundown town. The pledge comes after administration officials joined in a variety of outreach sessions with local civic and cultural groups to plot a course to promote racial equity in city government and healing from past practices that excluded minorities from the community. The next step of this process will be a panel discussion hosted by the city on Thursday, July 30, titled “Racism: Past and Present.” In preparation, city employees are diving into the city’s history. Meanwhile, the city plans to join a regional coalition that works to promote racial equity practices, but City Council members — at the urging of local residents — pumped the brakes Tuesday on adopting a formal resolution acknowledging the past for now. “Our staff is working on looking through our [past] ordinances at this time and our library staff is working on going through whatever they have in their archives of articles and whatnot and other resources we can go through,” Christine Powers, a senior executive analyst for the city, said at the council’s meeting.