Local Women Honored by State Senator

State Sen. Anthony Portantino recently saluted his district’s “women heroes of the pandemic” during a virtual ceremony, and at least five of the honorees have ties to Burbank.

Joyce Powell and Cynthia Triola, longtime nurses at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center; Sharon Springer, a Burbank City Council member;  and Simone McFarland, the city’s assistant community development director — all were commended by Portantino. Additionally Burbank resident Marcella Marlowe was recognized as a hero in San Marino, where she is city manager.

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Foundation Helps Loving Animals — and Their Owners

Linda Venegas and her dog Ottie getting pampered by groomer Deborah Stevens. Photo by David Laurell / Burbank Leader

In the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Gary Michelson, a renowned spine surgeon and prolific medical inventor, founded a nonprofit organization he called Found Animals. 

Beginning with the establishment of the first free pet microchip registry, today the Michelson Found Animals Foundation has gone on to create the Better Neighbor Project, which delivers pet food and wellness services to pet owners in need.

Continue reading “Foundation Helps Loving Animals — and Their Owners”

In Big Election Turnout, Locals Largely Favored Biden

Well, it’s official: La Cañada Flintridge residents care, and they show it by voting.
The final outstanding ballots from this year’s November general election were certified by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office this week, and vote tallies indicate more LCF residents voted in this presidential election than any in recent history, with the majority supporting the Democratic candidate.
Continue reading “In Big Election Turnout, Locals Largely Favored Biden”

Voters Keep Most Incumbents, Support Props. 17, 22

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
A man casts his ballot for Tuesday’s election at the voting center at Pacific Community Center and Park.

Voters returned a number of local incumbents to their state and federal seats Tuesday at a comfortable margin, while Los Angeles County will see changeover at the district attorney’s office.
Statewide, voters also defeated Proposition 15 — a measure supported by both the City Council and the Glendale Unified School District that would have increased property tax funding at a local level — while approving Proposition 17, which restores voting rights for convicted felons after their prison terms end. As of press deadline on Friday, Democratic nominee Joe Biden looked poised to unseat President Donald Trump after taking or maintaining vote leads in key electoral states Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Continue reading “Voters Keep Most Incumbents, Support Props. 17, 22”

Grateful for LCUSD Candidates and Right to Vote (Use It)

Charlie Plowman

It’s election season … and we are in the midst of competitive federal and state races and propositions. But this article is going to emphasize “local,” and that obviously means our La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board race.
For starters, we should all be thankful to have four candidates who want to give of their time and energy to help our students. Caroline Anderson, Jeremiah Arnold, Josh Epstein and Belinda Randolph should be commended for their willingness to donate hundreds (or is it thousands?) of hours over the next four years.
The two open school board seats aren’t salaried positions. These four individuals care about our community and youth so much that they are willing to endure the criticism that is inevitable during a four-year term so they can “give back.”
This race for the governing board positions is competitive, to say the least. Four candidates, two seats.

Continue reading “Grateful for LCUSD Candidates and Right to Vote (Use It)”

Glendale Arts Celebrates Successful Telethon for Alex Theatre’s 95th Birthday

Photo by Keira Wight / Glendale News-Press
Participants (in alphabetical order) include: Jazzy Birdsong, Alexis Colett, Ashley Crowe, Nina Crowe, Elissa Glickman, Zach Hazelwood, Melynda Homes, Androuhi Keshishyan, Nick Massey, Chad Mata, Bob O’Neill, Bri Pattillo, Rafa Posada, Maria Sahakian and Hilary Sbei.

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.

Portantino: ‘Every Idea’ on the Table for Recovery

State Sen. Anthony Portantino, shown here at a prior speaking event, recently discussed how lawmakers were planning recovery from the pandemic.

In a recent public appearance — well, virtual public appearance — state Sen. Anthony Portantino offered a glimpse at what reopening California is slated to look like and how Sacramento is trying to prepare for it.
One of the few crystal clear details is that it’s going to be expensive. Continue reading “Portantino: ‘Every Idea’ on the Table for Recovery”

Planned Parenthood Advocates Fundraiser Tonight

Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK
Elise and Rick Wetzel, Planned Parenthood Advocates Pasadena Board Chair Dawn Fanning Moore, event chair Jennifer Thibault, and former board chair Kristin Maschka are supporting the organization’s fundraiser tonight.

Planned Parenthood Advocates Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley will host its flagship fundraiser, “One Night Stand,” as a virtual house party to raise funds for advocacy and organizing that protects the essential health care of Planned Parenthood. The program is this evening, May 7, and begins at 7 p.m. Continue reading “Planned Parenthood Advocates Fundraiser Tonight”

Portantino’s Bill on Start of School Day Is Vetoed by Governor

A bid to help students statewide get a bit more sleep and do better in class was derailed when state Sen. Anthony Portantino’s bill requiring high school and middle schools to begin their day no earlier than 8:30 was vetoed recently.
Gov. Jerry Brown issued his veto of Senate Bill 328 and explained his decision.
“This bill would prohibit middle and high schools from starting earlier than 8:30 in the morning, unless in a rural area,” Brown wrote. “This is a one-size-fits-all approach that is opposed by teachers and school boards. Several schools have already moved to later start times. Others prefer beginning the school day earlier. These are the types of decisions best handled in the local community.”
The bill would have taken effect sometime between January 2019 and July 2021.
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City Council Hesitates to Budget for Sound Walls

In the last of three budget meetings, City Council members opted on Thursday, June 28, to hold off funding four sound walls and the long-discussed bikeway and pedestrian project near the YMCA as they worked to balance the city’s budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.
La Cañada Flintridge’s total general fund revenue for the next year is budgeted at $14,650,375, which will match its expenditures, according to Finance Director Rebekka Hosken. Continue reading “City Council Hesitates to Budget for Sound Walls”