Artsakh Avenue was filled to the brim last Saturday night — a boisterous gathering that included countless flags waving about, repeated choruses of Armenian mantras and a man dragging around a Turkish flag tied to his ankle. And yet when Vaché Thomassian — a well-known member of the many Armenian advocacy organizations in the Glendale area — roared into the microphone that night, his simultaneously angry and hopeful words hushed the rapt audience. Hundreds had marched from the Armenian Consulate to Artsakh Avenue in support of the Artsakh republic, which with assistance from Armenia has fought to repel an Azerbaijani military onslaught since Sept. 27.
City housing officials plan to roll out a series of incentive grants meant to draw more residential landlords into the federal Section 8 program as it affects Glendale, with help from a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, the Glendale Housing Division will employ a portion of the funds to design and implement an online portal for those in the program to use, with the goal of improving service rendered to the landlords and their tenants. The initiatives were prepared after the city received $384,357 in a second round of HUD funding stemming from the CARES Act. The Glendale City Council approved the measures during a meeting with the city’s Housing Authority on Tuesday. The four grants are designed to either spur new landlords to enter into Section 8 contracts, return to the program — aimed at serving lower-income renters — after past participation or reward their continuing participation.
In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the City Council formally adopted a modified version of its metallic balloon ban that it first introduced for review weeks ago. Starting on Nov. 30, Glendale businesses are barred from selling the balloons — colloquially called Mylar balloons — if they are inflated with helium or any gas “lighter than air.” Further, such balloons inflated with air may only be sold when affixed to some sort of decorative structure, like a post or balloon arch; otherwise, they are to be sold uninflated. The council adopted the ban at the urging of Glendale Water and Power as well as residents frustrated with power outages and damages to electrical systems as a result of wayward Mylar balloons entangling themselves in lines or equipment. “There is a really good reason why we’re looking at this kind of a ban,” Councilwoman Paula Devine said, highlighting the importance of some residents to have medical equipment or air conditioning powered consistently.
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.”
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 glendaleiff.com.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.