Mask Mandate Returns as Virus Cases Increase

By Oscar Areliz and Zane Hill

Though the increase pales in comparison to last year’s Fourth of July surge, Los Angeles County is experiencing a concerning spike in COVID-19 infections after recording more than 1,000 new cases for a seventh consecutive day on Thursday.

The rapid rise in daily cases, increasing number of cases involving the Delta variant and a slowing vaccination rate prompted the county to reinstate its mandate that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in public spaces, just one month after the state celebrated its much-anticipated reopening. The new health order will be effective late Saturday evening.

“Wearing a mask when indoors with others reduces the risk of both getting and transmitting the virus,” County Health Officer Muntu Davis, a physician, said in a virtual conference on Thursday. “Masking indoors must again become a normal practice by all, regardless of vaccination status, so we can stop the trends and level of transmissions we are currently seeing.”

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Local Unemployment Numbers Dipped Last Month

a chart shows glendale unemployment decreasing from may 2020 to may 2021
Data: California Employment Development Department

As Los Angeles County moved into the state’s least restrictive tier of coronavirus restrictions, Glendale’s unemployment rate fell last month following a brief bump in April.

The local unemployment rate dipped from 11.1% in April to an estimated 10.4% in May, according to the California Employment Development Department, with the number of out-of-work residents falling from roughly 11,500 to 10,800. The lowest rate for the city since April 2020 was in November, when about 10,500 locals were unemployed — 10.3% of the labor force.

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Pandemic Fosters Useful Practice: Telehealth

Although medical centers are well into resuming typical operations and activities, the coronavirus pandemic seems to have opened a door that can’t be shut — telehealth.

A practice necessary to maintain the distancing necessitated by the coronavirus, telehealth — or telemedicine — was also lauded as the pandemic raged for its efficiency in getting patients to their doctor visits. Its remote nature means, provided there is a good internet or mobile data connection, that patients can communicate with doctors at appointment time, instead of hurrying up and waiting in the lobby for ages.

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City’s Dilemma: Who Should Manage Landmark?

The Glendale City Council seems poised to move in a different direction on Tuesday regarding the management of the Alex Theatre, unless it does an about-face on the sole agenda item for a special meeting that afternoon.

For now, the action recommended by the municipal staff is for the council to terminate exclusive negotiations with Glendale Arts, which has managed and operated the venue since 2008, and engage a different operator in a contract. Although the city and Glendale Arts have been in negotiations since April, the council itself earlier this month decided that talks had stalled, hence the possible change.

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Glendale Arts Elevates Two to Lead Organization

Two managing directors of Glendale Arts, the nonprofit organization that has managed the iconic Alex Theatre for years, were promoted to high-level executive roles this month and together will lead the group, starting Aug. 1.

Nina Crowe, who presently handles fundraising and special events, will be chief executive officer, while Maria Sahakian, who manages bookings, marketing and messaging for the theater, will be chief operating officer. The Glendale Arts Board of Directors unanimously approved the promotions.

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Tech Firm Honors Local ‘Heroes’

Freshly into the time of being able to, once again, host luncheons and soirees — and indoors, at that — a local company this week invited first responders and others for a ceremony thanking them for guiding Glendale through the coronavirus pandemic.
Tech firm Phonexa, through its Phonexa Cares program, hosted Glendale’s police officers and firefighters, city leaders and school district officials at Phoenicia restaurant on Thursday, where they were treated to a lunch and awards were handed out. In hosting the event, Phonexa’s leadership hoped to pave the way for emerging from the crisis that has gripped the world since March 2020 and, in California, seems to be nearing its end.
“It’s been a very difficult, trying year,” said Armen Karaoghlanian, chief marketing officer for Phonexa, “but everyone we’re recognizing has played a very significant role in how we’ve come together this past year, how we’ve stayed strong and persevered and all the fantastic work that we’ve done to bring the community together.”

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Officials Hope Mask Announcement Will Spur Vaccinations

Photo courtesy Glendale Fire Department
A firefighter with the Glendale Fire Department administers a coronavirus vaccine as part of the city’s home vaccination program, which recently resumed after federal officials OK’d continued use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson inoculation.

The announcement by President Joe Biden and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week that they feel fully vaccinated people can comfortably shed their masks in most public locations was a welcome one for many Americans.

It was also welcomed by Glendale Fire Chief Silvio Lanzas, who, like many others, read between the lines when the president said that if you’re vaccinated, the federal government won’t be the one to tell you to keep your mask on. A popular interpretation of the statement is that, as vaccination rates tumble, officials are hoping to encourage more Americans to get their inoculations against the coronavirus.

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Hotel’s Vouchers for Homeless Would Continue Under Proposal

The City Council seems poised to enact an urgency ordinance on Tuesday to essentially enter into a contract with a local hotel developer that would involve committing the operation to temporary homeless housing vouchers.

Under the general terms of the proposed ordinance, which was discussed this past Tuesday, the Vagabond Inn on West Colorado Street would continue to accept vouchers for the homeless tenants through the remainder of the year and would consider six-month renewals after that until the site is demolished. In exchange, developer Vista Investments LLC, which owns the inn, will be granted a contractual development agreement with the city that allows Vista additional time to complete the approved project with its variances. The Glendale Youth Alliance would administer the voucher program, with assistance from the city, and hotel stays would be capped at 28 days per client.

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Greg Doyle

Greg Doyle

It’s been a year since the very sad loss of our dear friend and brother Greg Doyle. Greg was a Glendale native, fun, friendly and always entertaining. Greg was born January 11, 1958, the fourth of Mark and Elizabeth Doyle’s eight sons. He attended Holy Family Elementary School, Pater Noster High School, Glendale Community College and Cal State Los Angeles.
Greg was always a hard worker and very entrepreneurial. In school, he was drawn toward journalism and was the editor of the El Vaquero newspaper at GCC and did similar work at CSULA. Just after college, while barely into his twenties, Greg started own business in Glendale, called Complete Graphics, which was in operation during the 1980s and early 1990s. While running Complete Graphics, Greg helped co-found what was later to be known as LA Parent Magazine with Jack Bierman, a classmate of his from CSULA.
Greg married his beloved Lynne in 1981 and enjoyed a wonderful life together in the Riverside Rancho area of Burbank. In 1996, Greg and Lynne moved from Southern California to Gold Hill, Oregon, to pursue a more rural lifestyle, one more compatible with Lynne’s love of horses. Greg continued to work hard, first as an executive for DMI Graphics and later as a sales manager for Charter Spectrum. Along the way, Greg dabbled talk radio syndication as a principal with Talk Radio Network. He was a true Renaissance man.
Greg had a larger than life personality. He was a beloved character, fun, friendly and enjoyed the company of family and friends. Those who had the pleasure of working with him loved him greatly and always came away from the experience wiser and appreciative.
Greg left this life on March 15, 2020 after a lengthy illness. In the last days, Lynne was at his side non-stop providing love and comfort. The day prior to his passing, Greg was able to speak to all seven of his brothers and bid a fond farewell to each.
One year later, we continue to mourn his loss. Due to the pandemic, a small gathering of family and friends commemorated Greg’s life a few months after his passing in Oregon. The family would love to hear from local Glendale-area friends of any fond memories of Greg. Please email to: thedoylefour@hotmail.com.

City to Rethink Mayoral Selection Process

Changes may be coming to the process through which the position of Glendale mayor is rotated among City Council members, in an effort to make it more predictable and less transactional.
The council directed at this week’s meeting that these changes be written out in ordinance form, for later consideration and approval. It also expects to consider an ordinance banning single-use plastics by municipal agencies in the future, after asking for that ordinance as well.
At Councilwoman Paula Devine’s suggestion, the council is likely to consider a policy that will organize mayoral hierarchy in a “zip line” fashion — that is, the council member who has waited the longest will serve as the next mayor for the year. Since two or three council members sometimes are elected at the same time, any ties that occur will be resolved on the basis of the number of votes they received in the election.

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