Council Affirms June as Official Pride Month

June is officially Pride Month for Glendale, and the city will formally promote the virtual event that takes the place of what would have been the city’s first pride festival.
The City Council officially made the proclamation this week after signaling its intent to do so earlier this month in time for the virtual event. Councilman Dan Brotman, who made the initial push for the proclamation, read the item aloud at Tuesday’s meeting. As part of the observance, City Hall will be lit in pride colors to show support to the city’s LGBTQIA-plus community.
“Though Glendale’s first-ever Pride Festival was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, we invite everyone to support the community by coming to see our light display in front of City Hall and by participating in their reimagined e-event, ‘Glendale Pride Because,’” Brotman said.
Participants in the virtual event are invited to use the hashtag #GlendalePrideBecause in their applicable Instagram posts on May 30-31, “whether it’s a performance, drag, music, comedy, spoken word or just a bit of shared thoughts,” according to the Glendale Pride organization. The group also is collecting content using Flipgrid, which can be accessed on its website at glendalepride.org.
The original event, which was to have been at Central Park on May 30, would have provided food, music and other entertainment for guests and would have included a kid-oriented space to complement the rest of the family-friendly celebration. City officials got the ball rolling under direction of then-Mayor Ara Najarian.
Other organizations involved in planning the event include GlendaleOUT, the Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society, Equality Armenia and Revry.
“We have a great group of friends and allies who are helping us out through all of this, including the entire Glendale City Council, and we’re very thankful for that,” Grey James, one of Glendale Pride’s organizers, told the council on Tuesday.
Council members voiced their support at this week’s meeting.
“I’m so sorry that we didn’t get to move forward with your huge festival,” Councilwoman Paula Devine said, “because I know it would have been great and a lot of fun and great education for our community, but we’ll do it for real next year.”
Councilman Ardy Kassakhian quoted Harvey Milk, the gay rights icon who was assassinated 11 months after his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978: “It takes no compromise to give people rights and it takes no money to respect the individual.”
“Ultimately we need to strive for a society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of who they are and who they love,” Kassakhian added Tuesday. “I know that this is a modest gesture by the council, but I hope it will go some ways to assuring our citizens that every single one of them adds value to our city.”

City Plots Course to Help Residents, Businesses Recover

When the Glendale City Council starts to truly grind out its 2020-21 budget next month, it will draw out what could be a wide-reaching recovery program for residents and businesses whose livelihoods have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The body decided at its final budget study session on Tuesday morning to use $6.25 million as a starting point for renter and homeowner assistance and $3.65 million for commercial recovery when it meets on June 2 for formal budget talks. From there, the council will determine how much will be allocated where, and how the funds will be administered.
“That’ll be a longer discussion,” Councilman Ara Najarian said at the study session. “’Do we combine it all [into one program]? Do we split it all into categories?’ As long as we’ve got the chunk of money reserved for budget purposes this coming month, we can work on the details later.”
Philip Lanzafame, director of community development, outlined the proposed programs as part of the discussion of the upcoming fiscal year’s Measure S projects, so named for the voter-approved tax to fund essential services and quality of life improvements for residents. It is projected to generate around $20 million for the year.
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Board Discusses Schools’ Bleak Financial Forecast

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
A Glendale Unified School District maintenance worker places a congratulatory banner for the Class of 2020 on the GUSD Administrative Building, one of many remote acknowledgements thanks to the pandemic. The GUSD Board of Education this week had a sobering discussion on the fiscal fallout of the global crisis.

There is probably not a single meeting of a public agency in the nation that doesn’t include the inevitable grim financial forecast, and Tuesday’s Glendale Unified School District Board of Education session was no different, as historic budget shortfalls were discussed.
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Aid Center Responds to ‘Tsunami’ of Need Amid Crisis

Photos by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Volunteer Bunny Vitale and Congressman Adam Schiff fill bags with food items during his visit to Burbank Temporary Aid Center.

This past Tuesday afternoon, a maroon-colored compact car pulled up in the parking lot behind the Burbank Temporary Aid Center. Adjusting his mask into place, the casually dressed driver got out and opened the back door, revealing bags and boxes of food items.
Moments later, after unloading his haul into a shopping cart, the man pushed it to the donation receiving area where he was greeted by BTAC Executive Director Barbara Howell; Roger Koll, who serves as the president of the nonprofit organization’s board; and Michael Flood, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
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Domenic “Eddie” Saraceno – Obituary

Domenic “Eddie” Saraceno

Domenic “Eddie” Saraceno passed away in Burbank at the age 92 after a brief illness. He was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1928 to Joseph and Rose Saraceno of Sicily.
Dad always recalled his early childhood as exciting, filled with “life’s little lessons.” Along with his pals (“The Brickyard Gang”) they forged lifelong friendships. “Friends to the end!”
Domenic attended Classical High and got his first part-time job working for the Thom McAn shoe company. As his career started to grow, it would soon be interrupted by the Korean conflict.
In 1950, Domenic was drafted into the U.S. Army (17th Infantry). He served with distinction, earning a Bronze Star Medal for valor and heroic achievement. Afterward, he returned to Thom McAn and helped expand the company to California.
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Stars Pivots to Provide Groceries, Meals to Families

Photos courtesy Stars
Stars nonprofit organization has pivoted operations during the COVID-19 crisis to offer full-service food and grocery delivery to low-income families.

As efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic effectively shut down public education and socialization in mid-March, organizations such as the youth-based Stars nonprofit had to suddenly halt all its after-school programming and enrichment activities.
They knew, however, the low-income students and their families they typically serve would be hit hard by both the virus and the ripple effects of the resulting recession, and began a different kind of outreach.
“I used to say we were a low-income program, but now I say we’re a no-income program,” said Stars Associate Director Kurt Gibson, noting that nearly 70% of the heads of household for whom they provide outreach have been laid off.
After a survey of families revealed the majority were facing severe food insecurity as they increasingly tried to care for elderly family and neighbors, the Pasadena-based nonprofit’s leadership pivoted to provide a full scale food and grocery distribution. Now, after just five weeks, the organization is handling between 2.5 and 3 tons of food per week for up to 65 families or about 270 individuals, all of which is delivered to the homes.
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Unexpected Visitor Brings Joy to Hathaway-Sycamores’ Youth

Photos courtesy Hathaway-Sycamores
Committed staff members of Hathaway-Sycamores are continuing full-time work at the El Nido campus caring for the boys and homeless youth who live there during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just a few days before Los Angeles County issued its “Safer at Home” order, effectively shutting down all youth activities after schools themselves had closed, a petite feline crept her way unto Hathaway-Sycamores’ El Nido campus and into the hearts of the boys who reside at the facility for foster and homeless youth.
Soft and friendly, she commanded attention, and the boys were happy to reciprocate her cuddles.
Staff put out some food for the collarless critter, hoping the distraction might help soothe the boys as the campus shut down from outside visits to obey the social distancing order, meaning the youth would not see their families for supervised visits — part of the legal process they undergo to return to permanency with their parents or extended family.
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Huntington Hospital Offers COVID-19 Antibody Testing

Dr. Kimberly Shriner is an infectious disease specialist at Huntington Hospital.

Huntington Hospital recently began a serologic testing program to identify individuals who have been exposed to – or recovered from – the coronavirus infection and may have developed potentially protective antibodies.
Protective antibody infusions are a well-established method to treat a variety of infections and current studies are showing the benefit for critically ill patients with COVID-19.
Huntington Hospital in Pasadena is an expanded access site for investigational therapies to treat coronavirus, including the use of convalescent plasma (CP) for the sickest patients.
Like many factors associated with the pandemic, there is a shortage of CP available for use.
“That is our rallying cry,” said Dr. Kimberly Shriner, an infectious disease specialist at Huntington Hospital. “If you had coronavirus or the antibodies, we are asking you to donate plasma through the Red Cross. Hopefully, there is something we can use.”
Shriner is part of a team that treats the between 60-70 COVID-19 patients who are currently hospitalized at Huntington, a number she said “is plateauing, but starting to go down.”
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Christopher Daniel Berta

In Loving Memory of
Christopher Daniel Berta
September 23, 1988 – May 11, 2020

Christopher Daniel Berta

Our beloved son has gone home to be with the Lord. After many months of suffering, Christopher passed away from natural causes.
He is preceded in death by his father, Robert W. Berta, Jr. Christopher is survived by his loving mother, Susan Berta, and his brother, Alexander Berta of Pasadena, CA. Also survived by many uncles, aunts and cousins. Steve and Nancy Lidle, Hinesberg, Vermont; Charles and Valorie Berta, The Woodlands, Texas; Gene, Judy, Clay and Blake Matsuda, Palos Verdes Estates, CA; Erich, Mandy and Charlie Camping, Rochester, N.Y.
He enjoyed growing up in La Cañada. Christopher had a kind heart and caring soul and had many friends. As a member of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, he served as an Acolyte, served in Children’s Ministry, and was active in many youth groups.
His education included La Cañada schools, Mt. Bachelor Academy, Oregon, and graduated from Island View Academy, Utah. Upon graduation, he taught disabled children and also pursued a career in sales. Much like his father, he was a history buff and was an avid reader.
As a member of the Los Angeles Yacht Club, Christopher grew up sailing offshore and to Catalina Island on his family’s sailboat.
His pride and joy was his 14-foot Lazer which he sailed in the Port of L.A.
Because of Christopher’s love of the ocean, his wishes were to be joined with his father at sea.
During this uncertain time, there will be an intimate family memorial service.
The family wishes that in lieu of flowers, to please consider making a contribution to St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Building Fund at 2416 Montrose Avenue, Montrose, CA 91020.

Terese Chiames Caire – Obituary

1962-2020

Terese Chiames Caire

Terese Chiames Caire passed into the arms of her loving God on April 29, 2020, after a courageous battle with COVID-19. She left us much too soon, but she left her family and friends with a lifetime of love and memories they will always cherish.
Terese was born in Fresno, CA, to Paul and Anita Chiames. Along with her brothers Chris and Paul, her extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins were the centerpieces of her childhood.
Terese was active in school, church and social activities, whether as a cheerleader or student government officer at McLane High School, Sunday school teacher, Greek dance troupe member or a national officer for the Maids of Athena, a Greek-American service organization for young women. Her church and her Greek and Serbian/Montenegrin heritage were very important in her life. She participated in the first-ever Greek Folk Dance Festival and continued to be involved with her own children as the event grew to include over 3,500 dancers from across the U.S.
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