3rd-Grader Excels in Braille Competition

Ethan Moore, a 3rd-grade Providencia Elementary School student, is almost completely blind due to a brain tumor discovered when he was 5 months old. He’s now one of his grade group’s top competitors in the Braille Challenge, having taken his final exam on the writing system early this month.

At the end of the month, Providencia Elementary School 3rd-grader Ethan Moore will find out how he did in the Braille Challenge, a series of tests taken by school-age children who have visual impairments. He made it to the final round, one of the 10 in his age group topping a list of about 200 competitors, and recently took his culminating exam.

He’s not nervous about the results.

“I felt confident,” he said in a Zoom interview with his mother, Burbank resident Katie Moore, and his Braille teacher Lupe Vigil.

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Council Approves New Utility Bill Relief Program

With utility rates scheduled to increase in the fall, the City Council authorized a new Burbank Water and Power program giving electricity bill credits to low-income residents.

The program is expected to go into effect at the beginning of October, when the utility will raise its electricity and water rates; further increases are planned for early next year. Residents who meet income eligibility thresholds and have been financially impacted by COVID-19 will receive a one-time bill credit of $50.

Eligible residents whose accounts are in arrears — 91 days or more past due as of the program start date — and have owed more than $500 in their electric bills for that time period will receive a $300 bill credit. Furthermore, residents in this category who are elderly or have a permanent disability and are also in the BWP’s Lifeline program can receive up to $1,000 in assistance.

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Armenian Community Exults Over Planned Museum

In a moment that reflected pride in an ancestral homeland, the yet-to-heal wounds of a genocidal campaign and the successful integration of a diaspora into American culture, dozens grasped gold shovels in Central Park on Sunday, July 11, and tossed some fresh soil onto the grass.

Photo courtesy Armenian American Museum
The board of trustees and other officials behind the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center formally broke ground Sunday. The facility is set to be constructed atop Central Park by 2024.

As the dignitaries did so, dozens of white doves were released and flanked an audience of more than a thousand people who heartily cheered as ground was officially broken for what will become the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center. The future landmark will begin construction at the site after the park is formally closed at the end of this month.

In crediting all involved in the ambitious project that has been planned since 2014, Executive Director Shant Sahakian recalled the proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.”

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City Staff Peddles Ideas About Bike Lanes

As the city continues to improve alternative transportation methods in West Glendale, other large-scale projects are getting underway.

Glendale aims to collect public input on a pair of proposed protected bike lanes that would be installed along Glenoaks Boulevard, along with connecting paths on Western and Grandview avenues. Ideally, the city would like to complete the Glenoaks modification in conjunction with a dedicated bus rapid transit lane along the boulevard.

At present, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to use the Glenoaks lanes abutting the center grass median as a dedicated BRT route that will ultimately bridge a North Hollywood-Pasadena City College route.

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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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Jewel City Beats Crescenta Valley for Title

By Nathan Cambridge

After this, there would be no more games to play in the Little League District 16 Major All-Star baseball tournament. Jewel City and then Crescenta Valley had previously beaten the other in this tournament, so this “if necessary” game became necessary to settle the district championship.

It was Glendale’s Jewel City Little League that took an early lead en route to a 13-2 victory over Crescenta Valley in a game shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule Sunday at Montrose Park.

The game featured young athletes who are mostly either 11 or 12 years old, with their teams’ ultimate goal being to reach youth baseball’s holy grail – the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

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Los Angeles Sues FAA Over Burbank Airport Frustrations

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
The Hollywood Burbank Airport’s replacement terminal project appears to have hit a roadblock, with the city of Los Angeles suing the Federal Aviation Administration in an attempt to force it to address potential noise and air traffic concerns related to the project.

The city of Los Angeles sued the Federal Aviation Administration this week, saying its concerns regarding the terminal replacement project at the Hollywood Burbank Airport were not considered when the FAA allowed the project to move forward.

If the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of the city, which filed the lawsuit on Monday, it would present an obstacle for the controversial terminal project. L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer argued in a news release that the FAA failed to address the city’s concerns about potential noise, air quality and traffic impacts caused by the project.

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Friday Night Classic Car Show Returns to Bob’s Big Boy

Photo by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Long-time employees Alma Hernandez and Gencer Pedrigala of Bob’s Big Boy are thrilled to be back up and running with their Friday night car shows.

It was a blistering hot Friday afternoon in Burbank as actor Joaquin Garay pulled his 1984 Mazda RX7 into the parking lot of Bob’s Big Boy restaurant on Riverside Drive.

He bounded out of the car with a huge smile on his face, popped open the hood, and expressed his excitement over the official return of the restaurant’s Friday night classic car shows. 

“I’m thrilled,” said Garay, whose father, Joaquin Garay Sr., was a well-known entertainer and radio personality in the 1930s and ’40s and best known for providing the voice of Panchito in the 1944 Disney film “The Three Caballeros.”

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LCUSD Staff Will Calculate Parcel Tax Charge

The La Cañada Unified School District staff is determining an appropriate figure of inflation to Measure LC, the parcel tax that stakeholders voted to renew in March of last year, the district’s Governing Board was told at a virtual meeting Tuesday night.

The measure’s original language called for the tax not to exceed $450 per parcel in the 2020-21 fiscal year and to be adjusted thereafter annually for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index for the Greater Los Angeles area.

Mark Evans, associate superintendent of business and administrative services, had proposed a 1.64% increase that would result in a levy of $457.38 per parcel, which would give the district an additional $39,704 in funding.

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Kids Interrupt Burglary, Chase Intruders

La Cañada Flintridge resident John Akopyan said burglars took cash and watches from his home. He and his wife were away from the residence, but security cameras captured much of the incident.

A La Cañada Flintridge resident said his three children chased off a group of burglars last weekend after they found the intruders at their house.

John Akopyan said his daughters, ages 18 and 15, and his son, 7, arrived at their home in the 700 block of Forest Green Drive at about 9 p.m. on Saturday and saw three people running around the interior of the residence. As the children shouted at them, the three burglars got into a car driven by a fourth person and fled, Akopyan said.

The children then briefly pursued the burglars in their own vehicle, the father added.

“I don’t know why they decided to do that, but you know what? I’m glad they did,” he said, adding that all three of his children were unharmed.

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