City Approves ‘Hero Pay’ For Local Grocery Workers

For the next four months, employees at the larger grocery and drug store outlets in Glendale will be paid an extra $5 per hour, under an urgency ordinance dictating “hero pay” to those workers.
The City Council approved the policy on Tuesday, after which it immediately went into effect. The discussion of the ordinance throughout March was borne of other cities throughout Southern California also implementing the hazard pay, which has politically been coined as “hero pay” because of the necessity of grocery stores and drug stores throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“They have been there since the very beginning of this pandemic,” Councilwoman Paula Devine said during last week’s initial debate, noting that grocery employees have had the highest uptick in workplace mortality. “That is extraordinary and scary. Imagine going to work and knowing that you could die. Very easily, you could become infected and be one of the workers that loses their life over this.”

Continue reading “City Approves ‘Hero Pay’ For Local Grocery Workers”

City Council Officially Condemns Asian Hate

The City Council affirmed its commitment to fostering a city that is inclusive of its diversity this week, unequivocally condemning a national surge in hateful rhetoric and violence toward Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in a resolution.
The condemnation was issued a week after a 21-year-old white man killed eight people in a shooting spree in Atlanta-area spas, six of whom were Asian women. That tragedy followed a year in which Asian and Pacific Islander residents across the country have reported a rise in harassment and attacks by others, a trend corresponding to the coronavirus’ origins in China. In recent months, these attacks have grown increasingly violent and deadly.

Continue reading “City Council Officially Condemns Asian Hate”

Golanian Confirmed As New City Manager

Roubik Golanian

Roubik Golanian will continue his decades-long career with Glendale after the City Council confirmed him this week to be the permanent city manager moving forward.
Golanian — who was the assistant city manager under his predecessor, Yasmin Beers, since May 2018 — is now tasked with continuing to guide the city through the end of the coronavirus pandemic, improving the efficiency of the city’s bureaucracy and with implementing the council’s myriad policy goals, which range from ramping up affordable housing construction, developing sustainability practices and modernizing the city’s transportation infrastructure. He had been keeping the seat warm as interim city manager since October, when Beers retired.

Continue reading “Golanian Confirmed As New City Manager”

‘Slow Streets’ Program Options Discussed

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
Stocker Street west of Pacific Avenue was selected as a Slow Street last year by the city, where there was a sign placed reminding motorists that the residential neighborhood was often used by pedestrians and cyclists. The city is considering whether — and how — to make the program permanent.

The City Council plans to continue looking at options to potentially make permanent the Slow Streets program that it piloted last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The council had considered a number of options at its meeting Tuesday and ultimately sought more research on an additional batch of options that were brainstormed at the meeting. There was not a vote on Tuesday, but there likely will be eventually.
“People are, at this point, vested in the program,” Councilwoman Paula Devine said. “I’m for creating a permanent program.”

Continue reading “‘Slow Streets’ Program Options Discussed”

Transportation, Bicyclists Among Topics At City Council Meeting

Planning officials provided a number of quick updates on mobility projects at a special City Council meeting this week.
Many of the updates concerned typical long-term planning topics such as circulation studies, while more pointed projects such as the Verdugo Wash linear park also came up. No decisions were made, as the presentations were information-only, but many of the projects are due to come before the council again for myriad reasons.

Vision Zero
This is perhaps the most wide-ranging of the city’s plans, as it encompasses all facets of transportation and safety for those undertaking it. Pragmatically, it’s more of an approach than it is any singular project.

Continue reading “Transportation, Bicyclists Among Topics At City Council Meeting”

‘Winegate’ Controversy Engrosses Council

More than two hours of discussing what one caller coined as “winegate” produced more headache than anything for the City Council this week.
Ultimately, four council members voted to formally codify a rule directly forbidding the consumption of alcohol during board, commission or council meetings. However, a separate motion to simply recognize the event in question — that a member of the Design Review Board was on two occasions seen sipping from a wine glass during a meeting — fizzled out on an unusual 2-1-2 vote.

Continue reading “‘Winegate’ Controversy Engrosses Council”

City Council Aligns Rent Repayment Plan With State’s

In anticipation of future state legislation and hopes of mitigating growing confusion among renters, landlords and their legal advisers, the City Council elected this week to abdicate its own rent repayment schedule and align with the state’s own plan.
Mayor Vrej Agajanian and Councilmen Dan Brotman and Ardy Kassakhian supported the measure on Tuesday, with Councilwoman Paula Devine voting against it and Councilman Ara Najarian choosing to abstain after its passage was assured. The decision ends the city’s previously adopted 12-month quarterly rent repayment plan that was scheduled for first installment at the end of November.

Continue reading “City Council Aligns Rent Repayment Plan With State’s”

Glendale Armenians “Inspired by Other People’s Sacrifices”

When local members of the Armenian diaspora woke up on Thursday and began to scour the internet and social media for on-the-ground updates — any news, really — from the front lines of the reignited war between Azerbaijan and the Armenia-backed breakaway state Artsakh, they found pictures of the Holy Savior Cathedral.
Continue reading “Glendale Armenians “Inspired by Other People’s Sacrifices””

Report Details City’s Prior Methodology of Prejudice

Image courtesy city of Glendale
This 1939 map indicates which neighborhoods in Glendale, among other areas, were subject to the “redlining” that was often used to keep minorities from property ownership.

Councilman Ara Najarian didn’t mince words when it came time for his input at this week’s City Council discussion on the local history of racism.
“Glendale was a cruel place, I have to tell you,” he said. “Looking back, there was incredible disrespect and abuse of certain citizens and people of color that, I’m afraid to say, continues to this day.”
The council had just been briefed on a compendium of research by city staff that took them as far back as 1920, when the U.S. Census reported that Black people represented a mere 0.16% of Glendale’s population — and virtually all were likely live-in domestic workers, the research indicated. Since then, the percentage of Black residents in the city has increased tenfold, rising to 1.6%, a stark contrast with the figure for all of Los Angeles County — 9%.
Continue reading “Report Details City’s Prior Methodology of Prejudice”