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Monday, July 28, 2014

Burbanker Gets Radio Show on KABC

Local Real Estate broker Barry Burnett, who has been a Burbank resident for decades now, has his own show on Talk Radio 790 KABC in Los Angeles!  (This is the 2nd biggest radio station in the country).

The show is called "Investing Insights with Barry Burnett", and it is not your average Real Estate home show.  It deals with the complexities of commercial real estate and an individual's real estate portfolio. 

We're proud whenever a local makes good, and we welcome a local real-estate veteran's insights into today's complex markets.

You can listen Saturdays at 8 p.m., or find an example of a past show here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mike Gatto Adjourns the State Assembly in Memory of Louis Zamperini

Burbank Assemblyman Mike Gatto honored the life and legacy of local Hollywood Hills resident Louis Zamperini by moving to adjourn the Assembly floor session in his memory.

A World War II prisoner of war survivor, inspirational speaker, and Olympic distance runner, Zamperini was a true American hero. He died of pneumonia on July 2, 2014 at the age of 97. Zamperini lived in Gatto's 43rd Assembly District.

“I got to know Louis Zamperini when we sat next to one another during a flight one evening,” said Gatto. “He was a very memorable guy, and humble and charming despite his incredible life story. His tales are burned in my mind.”

The child of poor Italian immigrants in Torrance, California, Zamperini became a celebrated runner, representing the United States in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Later, as a bombardier for the Army Air Corps, Zamperini survived for forty-seven days on a raft in the Pacific Ocean, rescuing two of his crewmates after their plane crashed behind enemy lines. Zamperini survived the ordeal by eating birds, fish, and sharks, only to be captured and tortured as a POW at “Execution Island” in the Japanese-occupied Marshall Islands. Overcoming the continued abuse, Zamperini survived the war and eventually returned to Japan to offer forgiveness for his tormentors and carry the torch for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano. He leaves behind a son, Luke; a daughter, Cynthia; and a legacy of perseverance that will be memorialized in the feature film Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie, which will be released this Christmas.

Gatto’s motion to adjourn in memory of Zamperini was published on July 3, 2014. A spoken motion will apparently also be made by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), who represents Zamperini’s hometown, when the legislature returns in August.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Adam Schiff Secures Federal Funding for New Technologies

Local Congressman Adam Schiff has succeeded in passing an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill that would boost funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) by $20 million, to a total of $300 million a year. Started in 2009, ARPA-E is a revolutionary program that advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies, leveraging federal funds to generate additional private sector investment. Schiff offered similar amendments in 2011 and 2013, both of which were successful, and this one passed by a vote of 216-206.

ARPA-E is modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which has produced famously successful inventions for the Department of Defense, perhaps most notably the Internet. ARPA-E’s rigorous program design, competitive project selection process, and active program management ensures that our taxpayer dollars are being used wisely. In the few short years of its existence, the program has funded 362 projects. And these project investments have paid off. Since 2009, twenty-two project teams have leveraged the ARPA-E’s investment of approximately $95 million dollars into $625 million dollars in private sector capital.

“This is a very important investment for an agency whose work is helping reshape our economy. That a majority of the House has, for the third time, voted for an amendment to increase funding for ARPA-E shows the strong bipartisan support for the type of research this innovative agency fosters,” said Rep. Schiff. “If we are serious about staying at the forefront of the energy revolution, then we must continue to invest in the kind of cutting-edge research ARPA-E supports. By providing the additional funding through our amendment today, we will send a clear signal that America intends to lead that revolution. While other programs focus on funding technologies that can be deployed soon, ARPA-E focuses on the high-risk, high-reward technologies that have the capacity to completely remake our society and economy."

The bill originally provided $280 million for ARPA-E, which was significantly below the Administration’s request for $325 million. This increase in funding for ARPA-E is fully paid for with a reduction in the Department Administration account.

Let's hope some of the more cool, cutting-edge technologies that we have heard of recently, see funding from this legislation!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Great Story

The LA Times has a great story on two gay men who got married in ... 1975!

As one tried to stay in the US with his life partner, they went through quite the saga.

The story details the shocking letter they got from the INS.

From the story:

A year ago, the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, making legally married gay couples eligible for green cards. But Sullivan is still fighting an old battle because his marriage — one of the first legal same-sex marriages in the country — pre-dated the abolishment of DOMA.

Sullivan is 72 now, with a soft voice and shy smile. His beloved Adams died in December 2012, just months before the Supreme Court's rulings on gay marriage.

Definitely worth a read.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Santa Barbara Killer Elliot Rodger Bought Guns in Burbank and Exemplified Everything Wrong with Society

By now most of the story is out about Elliot Rodger the self described sexless twentysomething who went on the tragic rampage near UC Santa Barbara venting his rage on so many who he thought represented the gender, women, who turned him down, and the others, including the men who he thought lived a better life than he did.

It has also come out that Rodger legally purchased a gun from Gun World here in town over on Magnolia.  It totally creeps us out just knowing this guy was in town.

As the coverage turns to the whys and the psychoanalyis, we cant really add much to the clear conclusion that this guy really hated women and was seriously out of touch with reality.  We also noticed a really odd narcissistic bent and a really developed materialism, both which disturb us second generation hippies and citizens of this planet.

Did you read his 140 page rant?  If you didn't here are some gems:

"For one thing, I was never enthusiastic about [my family buying me a trip to] Morocco.  The country is very backward . . . and they didn't even have the latest video games."

and then there was the I deserve to get rich quick part:

"I believed that it was my destiny to win the Megamillions Lottery. . . . I was meant to live a life of significance and extravagance.  I was meant to win this jackpot."

and then there was this douchetastic one:

"To make me more confident, my mom provided me with a better car to drive in Santa Barbara, a BMW.  I had always wanted this, since I cared a lot about my appearance.  I had been asking my parents for a more upper-class car, ever since I found out there was a car hierarchy."

We express the deepest sympathy for the victims of this terrible human being.

We hope every parent is having a long talk with their kids tonight.

We remain fearful of narcissists. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Our Predictions for Local Elections

Welp, it's just a few weeks from the primary vote, and the races are beginning to get clearer.  Locally, there are three races to watch, and all are centered near the beach.

Our friends on the "Wess-a-sy" (westside) tell us that they are receiving a stack of mailers every day, and stopped paying attention long ago.

Starting from the top, there is a free for all for the seat of retiring Demo, Henry Waxman.  Lots of attention has been given to several No Party candidates (Marianne Williamson), and several "alternative" Dems (Matt Miller).  However, this is a Primary folks, and voters will go back to partisan blood.  We predict Gang Prosecutor Elan Carr finishes first, followed by Ted Lieu for second place.  Although a particularly strong north district turnout could propel Wendy Greuel to second place, since Lieu is strong in the South Bay primarily.  Greuel has taken to poking fun at Williamson of late, so interpret that as you may.

Next of course is the State Senate seat being vacated by Ted Lieu.  A crop of candidates are in the field, and it's really anyone's race.  Semi-kind of-liberal-household name Sandra Fluke is running, although we're not sure why.  So is Betsy Butler, who narrowly lost her Assembly seat a couple years ago.  There is also a South Bay Mayor Amy Howorth in the field, and a Santa Monica School Board Member named Ben Adler, among others.  We believe this is anyone's race.  With no Rep running, it will certainly be two Demos in the runoff.  We believe the runoff will be Howorth and Adler, in that order, but Betsy could surprise everyone and come in first based on her strong name ID alone.

Last but not least is the race for County supervisor, also on the Westside.  Here it is former lawmaker Sheila Kuehl versus former Sammo councilman and Kennedy clan member Bobby Shriver versus WeHo Councilman John Duran.  The winner will be whomever is the most Valley.  And yes, several Valley denizens are kicking themselves that they didn't jump in...  We think Kuehl ultimately prevails, setting in place a new battle four years from now, as she has indicated that she will serve just one term.  Expect a battle of the Ks in four years, as Paul Koretz takes on Paul Krekorian for this seat in 2018.   

Friday, May 9, 2014

Struggling to Understand Glendale City Council, Glendale News Press

Last year, Glendale residents were rocked by statements made online, that is, in writing, by current Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan.  The statements included disgusting bigoted utterances, threats of rape with objects, using slurs for gay people, and calling a woman the four-letter c-word.  At first, no one would even cover the story, even though the posts were on the Internet for all to see.  Sinanyan, who was running for council at the time, denied the posts.

Eventually the Glendale News Press awoke to the fact that a story might exist, but they covered it too late and completely soft pedaled it.  Instead of using a computer expert to verify the posts, they printed them as allegations.  Like much in modern journalism, there was no objectivity.  The "allegedly"s and lack of legwork played into Sinanyan's denials and conspiracy theories, and he narrowly won his election.  As stated above he is now Mayor of the city.  Sinanyan is Mayor DESPITE after being elected of course, he admitted that he posted the bigoted, threatening, homophobic, and misogynistic comments.

Fast forward barely a year.  Glendale City Councilman Dave Weaver is involved in a he-said, she-said.  An employee claims that he used a vulgar term to describe the anatomy of his grandchild in an ultrasound picture. 

The Glendale City Council empanels a special hearing and censures him.  The Glendale News Press gives it front page coverage, week after week.

To be fair, a woman is also suing Weaver in another he-said, she-said, claiming that he grazed her chest at a restaurant with his hand.

But at its core here, we have one councilman calling women the c-word directly, and we have another using the p-word instead of a more proper term to describe a piece of anatomy.

One got little coverage by the GNP and then elected Mayor by his colleagues.  The other got massive coverage and censured by his colleagues.

Why the double standard?

We have always let our proclivities be clear: we are a feminist blog run by Democrats.  However our viewpoints run the risk of not being taken seriously if we employ a double standard.

We know the old, white, Republican (Weaver) makes a better story and fits better into everyone's preconceptions of what a misogynist is than a young, ethnic Democrat (Sinanyan).  However in our worlds and values we have always found it better to call things for what they are.

Shame on the Council for a double standard, and shame on the GNP for not noticing the manifest irony here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Burbank City Elections

While some are snoozy-snoozing through a [non] Governor's race, and others are focusing on whether Dems will hold onto a 2/3rds majority in the wake of scandals in the Senate, a lot of locals are already discussing the 2015 Burbank municipal elections.

[Side note, some overly ambitious slimy pols are already campaigning for legislative seats that don't come up for election until November 2016.  Side note 2, not even Hillary is that nakedly ambitious.  Side note 3, no one has declared for President yet in November 2016, and that is the highest office in the land.]  But we digress.

Anyway, why are the Burbank elections of interest?  Well the council is split and elections have consequences.  Last time Bob Frutos won and he's a good guy but often the lone one aligned with Dave Gordon, who has been pushing hard to finally get the courtesy of his colleagues to get him elected mayor.  Gordon's politics are somewhere between Republican and Populist and Tin Foil Hat, with a strong Rebel Without a Cause streak.  So right now the council is basically split 3-2 and so whomever gets elected in 2015 could really tilt the balance.

School Board is also of interest to so many of us here because Burbank has great schools and the school board of course runs them.  Rumor has it that everybody under the sun is retiring so therefore everyone under the sun is running.  Expect insanity.

Well, we would love your thoughts on any and all elections.  Are you voting in 2014?  For whom?  What are your thoughts on the Burbank city elections in 2015?  Elections beyond?  Who wins President 2020?  Is the guy from La Canada already running for that too?