Bar Owners Frustrated Anew as Restrictions Return

Tony Charmello, owner of the Snug, says he doesn’t let anyone else clean the pub. He can’t afford to.
A couple of times a week, he drives from his home near Los Angeles International Airport to Burbank to dust the surfaces or do some repainting at the Snug. Some of his eight employees offered to do the cleaning for him, but Charmello declined. With bars like his closed throughout Los Angeles County and beyond, he doesn’t have the revenue to pay them.
“I feel very sorry for anybody who’s lost their life [from the coronavirus],” he said in a phone interview, “But … I don’t think we can stay closed forever, because a lot of places are going to be in financial hurt, and I’m starting to feel that way a little bit.”
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Al Fresco Eateries as Oases of Economic Hope

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
The city has begun implementing outdoor dining spaces, known popularly as al fresco, as a measure to help restaurants and eateries serve more customers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Those concrete barriers popping up around downtown Glendale and Montrose? For the foreseeable future, they are part of the new normal for restaurants that are now reopening dine-in service to their patrons.
The city this week has been busy setting up K-rail barriers throughout public spaces, later adding tables with umbrellas, chairs and potted plants to make the setting a bit more picturesque. Along Honolulu Avenue in Montrose, the half-dozen al fresco parklets utilize sections of street parking to allow the eateries to spill outdoors to accommodate more customers and make those customers more comfortable as the COVID-19 pandemic persists.
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Homeless Count Trending Downward, but May Rise With Pandemic

The city’s recently published homeless count report indicated that, as of January, the city was continuing its generally downward 10-year trend.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down large portions of California’s economy starting in March leaves a large asterisk on this year’s report and may have undone the progress made since last year.
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After 50-Plus Years, Dry Cleaners Stop the Presses

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
Carol Cianfrini, Dee Bertelsen and John Cianfrini — the faces behind the counter at Crysti Cleaners in Adams Square since it opened in 1966 — have elected to retire earlier than planned and close shop in light of the pandemic.

For the first time in 54 years, the storefront at 1124 S. Adams St. is devoid of seasoned-but-reliable dry cleaning presses, a winding motorized rack along the ceiling and what seemed like an endless collection of silk dresses, business suits and cashmere sweaters.
The longtime proprietors of Crysti Cleaners, John and Carol Cianfrini — along with Carol’s cousin, Dee Bertelsen — are hanging it up after more than half a century there. Or, rather, they are asking their last dozen or so customers to come and pick up their orders, so that they may hang those up on their own. After five decades plus at the same location in Adams Square, the Cianfrinis are expediting their retirement by more than a year, a decision accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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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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City Council Projects Steep Revenue Loss on Pandemic Recession

Burbank City Councilmembers discuss a potential new coronavirus relief package with Congressman Adam Schiff, who briefly joined their virtual meeting Tuesday to answer questions about the $3 trillion bill.

The Burbank City Council approved a tentative budget this week that estimates a revenue loss of $15-$20 million during the next fiscal year of 2020-21 due to economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The council heard eight different budget presentations on Tuesday during a virtual meeting that lasted nearly six hours, creeping past midnight. Though city officials emphasized that the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial impact on Burbank remains uncertain, they expressed confidence that the city’s prudent fiscal policies over the past several years have put it in a good position to withstand economic challenges.
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USC-VHH Continues To Safely Deliver Babies Despite Coronavirus

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital continues to deliver babies and tries to keep its patients safe by screening individuals who come to the facility and also by limiting mothers to one guest.
In fact, the hospital is reporting its highest birthrate in years, and CEO Keith Hobbs pledged that USC-VHH will continue to deliver babies throughout the crisis.

Photo courtesy Keck Medicine of USC
A new mother and her baby are pictured with USC Verdugo Hills Hospital nurse Kristin Anderson.

Among the hospital’s newest mothers is Tiffany Yzaguirre, who gave birth to a healthy girl — Blake — via C-section on March 23. The 25-year-old said she felt the hospital staff was accommodating and that everything went well, even amidst all of the attention focused on the disease, which is caused by a novel coronavirus that emerged late last year.
“In the midst of the coronavirus and pandemic going on, it was a really eerie feeling to be at the hospital, but they took all the precautions they needed too,” Yzaguirre said. “They screened everyone at the door, which was slightly intimidating, but overall it was a great experience.”
Her doctor, Steven Hartford, a 35-year resident of LCF, said he has delivered babies for 36 years at the hospital. He said USC-VHH has sensible yet strict policies for getting inside and being safe since the coronavirus outbreak.
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