An eastern redbud tree will soon grow in a peaceful corner of Brand Park, alongside a bench for park-goers to rest and reflect on the woman whom the two amenities commemorate. The City Council this week approved placement of the memorial items that will honor the life of Glendale native Lauren Geoghegan, who with her boyfriend, Jay Austin, and two others were killed in 2018 by militants in Tajikistan who later pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Geoghegan’s parents, Elvira Muñoz and Robert Geoghegan, approached the city earlier this year about the idea.
Days after the election, Konstantine Anthony and Nick Schultz continued late this week to be the front-runners for two seats on the Burbank City Council, though Tamala Takahashi added suspense to the race by hovering in third place. Anthony’s expected presence on the council would be only the latest development in his complicated relationship with the city: If he clinches victory, the disability services provider will have gone from suing Burbank this year to joining its lead panel in December. As of the most recent update from Los Angeles County on Thursday evening, Anthony had 15,222 votes, or 20.7% of the total of votes counted, while Schultz had 11,328 votes, or 15.4%. If their leads hold, the two will sit on the council for the next four years. Takahashi was not far behind, however, nabbing 10,862 votes, or 14.77%, in the Tuesday election in which eight candidates vied.
Though the outcome of the presidential election remained unclear as ballots in battleground states continued to be counted on Friday morning, results of most legislative races and ballot measure campaigns in California left little doubt about who or what were the winners. As of Thursday evening, incumbent state Sen. Anthony Portantino had a firm lead over Kathleen Hazelton — 236,728 votes to 122,979 — and will continue representing District 25, which includes Burbank. Laura Friedman defeated Mike Graves to continue serving the people of the 43rd Assembly District, receiving nearly 71% of the votes cast. Adam Schiff will also be reelected as the U.S. representative for the 28th District with 73.58% of the votes in a race against Eric Early.
La Cañada Flintridge voters will elect representatives to a variety of positions on Nov. 3, with candidates vying for local, state and federal seats. Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat, is aiming to represent California’s 28th District in the U.S. House of Representatives for another two years, with Republican and attorney Eric Early challenging his incumbency.
For the California Assembly, Democrat Laura Friedman is set on continuing to represent the 43rd Assembly District for another two years. The assemblywoman is facing Republican Mike Graves in the race. The candidates, with the exception of Graves, who did not respond to emails from the Outlook Valley Sun, have provided statements explaining why they believe they should receive residents’ votes.
The Burbank City Council voted this week to condemn Azerbaijani aggression in the mostly Armenian region of Artsakh, a disputed area over which Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have clashed. Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, includes the Hadrut province, with which Burbank declared a friendship in 2014. Reported violence by Azerbaijani forces in Artsakh has been the focus of widespread protests and rallies recently, with the Armenian flag becoming a not-uncommon sight in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The panel’s unanimous vote also directed city staff members to send a letter of support from the council for a potential U.S. House of Representatives resolution, House Resolution 1165, that would condemn Azerbaijan’s military’s actions in Artsakh. The resolution’s authors include Reps. Adam Schiff and Brad Sherman, who represent Burbank.
The League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank will host a pair of candidate forums next month regarding legislative races of significance to local voters. The forums in advance of the Nov. 3 election will be presented live on Spectrum Cable Channel 6 or AT&T Channel 99. On Monday, Oct. 5, a California State Assembly District 43 forum will take place from 2-3 p.m. Candidates are Democratic incumbent Laura Friedman and Republican Mike Graves. From 3:30-4:30 p.m. is the Congressional District 28 forum. Candidates are Adam Schiff, the Democratic incumbent, and Republican Eric Early. Questions to the candidates can be submitted to email@example.com. Due to time constraints and the number of candidates, not all questions will be asked. Questions should be on the issues and applicable to all candidates. No personal attacks or biased questions will be accepted.
The U.S. Postal Service continues to investigate two incidents of apparent mail dumping last week, including one instance in which a contractor appears to have discarded a large amount of bagged mail and packages in a parking lot. Meanwhile, Congressmen Adam Schiff and Jimmy Gomez have formally asked for USPS investigators to conduct a broad inquiry alongside the local probe to identify whether the incidents were isolated occurrences or reflect a larger issue with the institution. The dumping of unopened mail, which was partially captured on surveillance footage, is likely to serve as a lightning rod to ongoing controversies regarding the handling of the USPS ahead of a national election expected to rely heavily on mail-in voting.
The heat was on at the Alex Theatre on Saturday, when the venue’s nonprofit management company Glendale Arts surpassed its $95,000 fundraising goal in honor of its 95th birthday milestone, which was celebrated with a 12-hour program presented in a telethon format and livestreamed and telecast on multiple platforms. At the close of the Alex95 event, $98,339 had been raised for the preservation of the city-owned Alex Theatre and the programs and services offered by Glendale Arts, with donations continuing to come in from supporters. The performing arts and entertainment center has reduced its staff since the mandated lockdown took effect in March, but it remains committed to its mission of bringing the community together through the arts and entertainment while continuing to maintain the historic building. Alex95 hosts journalist Palmira Perez-Najarian, former NBC4 weathercaster Fritz Coleman, and comedians Alonzo Bodden, Mary Basmadjian, Matt Kirshen and Michael Rayner entertained viewers throughout the program, sharing the wonder and promise of the Theatre with their own special connections and memories. Program highlights included a guided tour of the Alex, video greetings from performers and artists, and familiar faces from the community, including honorary committee members and area elected officials, including Congressman Adam Schiff, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, Glendale Mayor Vrej Agajanian and City Council members Ara Najarian, Paula Devine, Ardy Kassakhian and Daniel Brotman. “We’re thrilled with the outpouring of support for Alex95, which reaffirms the community’s love for its iconic cultural and architectural landmark,” said Glendale Arts Managing Director Nina Crowe.
There’s nothing that makes an old newspaper columnist like me feel even older than to go into someone’s home and see a column I wrote decades earlier attached to the side of their refrigerator by rusting magnets. That has actually happened to me more than once. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is rather heartwarming to experience such a thing. However, it is also a bit disconcerting to see your younger self faded and sun-wrinkled on what looks like a yellowed parchment you would find at the National Archives. In recent years, along with refrigerator sides, I have also found myself face to face with columns I have written for The Leader that have been tucked away in people’s scrapbooks, file folders and various other repositories. As we plod through this pandemic summer, I, like so many others, have gone through a lot of old stuff in hopes of coming through this period of quarantine being able to say I wisely used my time to do some decluttering.
Congressman Adam Schiff and Assemblywoman Laura Friedman visited Burbank’s downtown post office on Tuesday in opposition to what they called attempts to “sabotage” the U.S. Postal Service. Schiff, whose district includes Glendale, called on Postmaster Gen. Louis DeJoy to resign following widespread reports that collection boxes and sorting machines were being removed ahead of a presidential election that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may lean greatly on mail-in ballots. “I don’t say this lightly,” Schiff said. “This looks like sabotage. This smells like sabotage. This is sabotage.” Also on Tuesday, DeJoy released a statement saying that, “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail,” he would be suspending several initiatives, which he expressed had been implemented before he was suspending changes “that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic.” In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi publicly decried DeJoy’s response as insufficient, questioning whether the machines and mailboxes that have been removed would be replaced. Schiff also voiced support for the Delivering for America Act, a proposed piece of legislation that would prohibit the Postal Service from making any changes to operations had on Jan. 1. A House vote on the bill is expected today. Pictures of locked mailboxes in front of Burbank’s post office went viral on social media Monday, with responses ranging from dismissal to fears about voter suppression or cuts to the service. Schiff did not address the posts in his speech Tuesday, but Evelina Ramirez, a district spokeswoman for USPS, explained in an email to The News-Press that the locks are used to deter mail theft and are removed at the start of the day. She also said that, even with the locks, there is a slot on the other side of the collection box where customers can deposit letters.