‘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.

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Council Hires Recruiter to Find City Manager

After seven firms applied for the job and four were named finalists, the City Council decided this week to contract with CPS HR Consulting to identify candidates to become the municipal government’s next top executive.
This search for a new city manager will be led by Frank Rojas, the firm’s executive recruiter, through a $25,000 contract with Sacramento-based CPS HR. Council members picked Rojas, who is based in the Los Angeles area, in part because of his familiarity with Glendale and the region.

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Though Airport’s Traffic Lags, Finances Relatively Steady

Photo by Christian Leonard / Glendale News-Press
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority voted this week to purchase a new firefighting vehicle with federal grants. Hollywood Burbank Airport, which the authority oversees, continues to struggle with low passenger counts.

Hollywood Burbank Airport, like similar facilities across the nation that have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to see a drastic drop in passengers compared with last year’s traffic, airport officials said this week.
Staff from the airport told Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority commissioners on Monday that passenger numbers of about 110,500 for July 2020 — the most recent figures available — showed a 79.6% plummet from July 2019’s total of nearly 542,000.
About 1,875,000 fewer passengers have traveled through the airport from January to July this year compared with the same period last year, according to officials, a drop of more than 57%.

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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%.
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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.

New Leaders Chosen for Airport Authority Commission

Paula Devine, Vrej Agajanian and Ara Najarian.

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, owner and operator of Hollywood Burbank Airport, has elected new officers to head the Authority Commission through June 2021.
Pasadena Commissioner Ross Selvidge was elected president, Commissioner Paula Devine of Glendale was anointed as vice president, and Burbank Commissioner Don Brown was chosen secretary. The commission elects its officers each July.
Selvidge was first appointed to the authority in July 2015 and served as vice president in the recent term and as secretary in the term before that. Coming from a family of aviators, he holds airplane and glider pilot licenses and made his very first solo flight at Hollywood Burbank Airport more than 50 years ago.
He also has an extensive airport background, having been a construction contracting officer at two Marine Corps air stations while he was an active-duty Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer.
Devine was first appointed to the commission in June 2017 and served as treasurer this last term. Brown was first appointed to the panel in November 2001 and has served as president and vice president during his tenure.
In related action, the authority appointed Vrej Agajanian as treasurer, reappointed Bill Wiggins as auditor and reappointed Executive Director Frank Miller as assistant secretary.
The authority is a joint powers agency formed by Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena to own and operate the airport. The authority is governed by a nine-member commission; each of the cities appoints three commissioners.
The other current commissioners are Wiggins and Ray Adams of Burbank; Agajanian and Ara Najarian of Glendale; and John J. Kennedy and Steve Madison of Pasadena.

New Leaders Chosen for Airport Authority Commission

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, owner and operator of Hollywood Burbank Airport, has elected new officers to head the Authority Commission through June 2021.
Pasadena Commissioner Ross Selvidge was elected president, Commissioner Paula Devine of Glendale was anointed as vice president, and Burbank Commissioner Don Brown was chosen secretary. The commission elects its officers each July.
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