Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill was open on Tuesday, Feb. 23 — illegally — in light of a City Council decision the night before. But customers filed in all the same.
It wasn’t that they were unaware that the council had revoked the restaurant’s operational permit. Several mentioned it explicitly. Some seemed to see ordering a burger and beer as an act of rebellion against what they saw as government overreach: the issuance of restrictive health orders aimed to slow a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans.
As La Cañada Flintridge residents and business owners grow weary of restrictions imposed by Los Angeles County in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City Council ordered staff to investigate possible avenues that would allow local restaurants to offer outdoor dining during a virtual meeting on Tuesday. Continue reading “Homework for City: Find Ways to Make Outdoor Dining Work”
In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the City Council formally adopted a modified version of its metallic balloon ban that it first introduced for review weeks ago. Starting on Nov. 30, Glendale businesses are barred from selling the balloons — colloquially called Mylar balloons — if they are inflated with helium or any gas “lighter than air.” Further, such balloons inflated with air may only be sold when affixed to some sort of decorative structure, like a post or balloon arch; otherwise, they are to be sold uninflated. The council adopted the ban at the urging of Glendale Water and Power as well as residents frustrated with power outages and damages to electrical systems as a result of wayward Mylar balloons entangling themselves in lines or equipment. “There is a really good reason why we’re looking at this kind of a ban,” Councilwoman Paula Devine said, highlighting the importance of some residents to have medical equipment or air conditioning powered consistently.
Under the urging of the City Council, the La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission reluctantly approved a proposed ordinance regulating short-term rentals during last Thursday’s virtual meeting.
Susan Koleda, director of community development, presented an amended ordinance that included 15 operational requirements. The commission tweaked some of the language before a 3-2 vote in favor of the new regulations, which will be presented to the City Council in the near future. Continue reading “Divided Commission OKs Proposal on Short-Term Rentals”
Retailers within city limits are soon expected to have to cut off their sales of Mylar balloons, assuming that a second reading of an ordinance goes without a hitch before the City Council. The proposal to ban their commercial sale gained unanimous approval this week by the council, which hopes to curb the frequency with which the decorative pieces float into power lines and transformers and send portions of the city into darkness. The ordinance permits latex balloons to continue to be made available to Glendale shoppers. “There are so many negative impacts from Mylar balloons that I really think it’s time for us to take the first step in a proactive leadership role,” Councilwoman Paula Devine said Tuesday.
Burbank Water and Power will propose to the City Council a $1.5 million program that would help residents laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic pay their electric bills. The potential program suggests that the utility dedicate part of its public benefits fund to give electric bill credits to local residents who are on unemployment insurance. The council is expected to decide whether to OK the program and may give direction regarding some details, including the size of the credits, during its Tuesday meeting. The amount owed for city utility services recently has increased, according to a staff report the council is scheduled to review on Tuesday, jumping from just under $1 million overall to about $4.8 million. About 2,200 users have had past-due accounts for 91 days or more. “BWP really understands that people are making some really tough choices right now,” Joe Flores, marketing manager for the utility, said in a phone interview. “Especially if you’re not receiving any type of income and if you are on unemployment insurance, you have to make some pretty tough choices about what bills [you’re] able to pay.
Nearly 60 years after its construction, a Burbank basketball court that hosted TV stars and professional athletes is receiving a replacement floor. The court has served as a location for basketball and volleyball games, school dances, day camps and other activities since the Verdugo Park Recreation Center was built in 1961. But over decades of use, the floor’s quality deteriorated, developing “dead spots” where basketballs tended to have less of a bounce. The project, which started Aug. 26, is expected to be completed on Oct. 7, though residents may not be able to see the new surface for a while since most activities at the recreation center are shut down due to Los Angeles County and California health guidelines.
In reflecting on an entire professional career for the city of Glendale, which culminates in October and is capped by nearly three years as the city’s chief executive, Yasmin Beers recalled telling the City Council when it hired her that this wasn’t the sort of thing that happens by chance. For starters, she said she had her parents — who “immigrated to the United States for a better life for their daughters” — to thank, alongside her sister, who often took care of Beers’ children while she or her husband were working. Beers also, of course, had to thank her husband, not least because being a city manager means you’re always on call and routinely being contacted by council members or administrators. And speaking of those administrators, plus Beers’ “partner in crime,” City Attorney Michael Garcia:
In future months, the city may pilot a shared mobility program, bringing those rentable bicycles or scooters to the downtown area for residents and workers to use. The City Council voted unanimously to open a bidding period for shared mobility companies to offer proposals for bicycles — manual or electric — as well as electric scooters to be placed downtown. Per Councilwoman Paula Devine’s suggestion, bids for each vehicle will be separate in the event the council wants to commit strictly to one or the other. If Devine has her druthers, it would certainly be bicycles.
With unanimous endorsement by the City Council, Glendale this week cast aside the ambiguity of silence and directly rebuked the past practices of city officials, local organizations and onetime residents that helped give the city the odious reputation of a sundown town. Continue reading “Council Condemns Glendale’s Past Racism”