Friday, February 27, 2009

Burbank Time Capsule Photos Published

The Burbank Times has published 47 high resolution photographs of Burbank in 1959 recovered from the time capsule recently removed from the Magnolia Boulevard Bridge. Check them out - it's amazing how recognizable modern Burbank is in the 1959 photos.

(via Burbank Library Blog)

Wednesday Night Police Chase and Gunfire

There was a police chase and gunfire in the neighborhood on Wednesday night. The violent incident began when a man broke into his wife's apartment, violating a restraining order she had against him. From the News-Press:
When police knocked on the apartment’s front door, Asatryan jumped out of a kitchen window, Lorenz said. But an officer saw him and began chasing him east on Lomita to Central Avenue, he said.

The officer tried to catch Asatryan and cut a corner, but ran into a chain that was used to close off a parking lot, Lorenz said.

The officer was hurt, but kept running after Asatryan, who had already gotten into a car, he said.

“The suspect attempted to run down the officer and, in doing so, he collided with another vehicle,” Lorenz said.

The officer feared for his life and safety, so he pulled out his gun and fired numerous shots at Asatryan’s car, he said. Asatryan was not struck by bullets, Lorenz said.

Gunfire hit the car, but Asatryan kept driving on Central and turned east onto Colorado Street, he said.

Asatryan lost control of his car and crashed at Colorado and Central, where he got out of the car and continued to run from police, Lorenz said.

Another officer caught up to Asatryan, tackled him to the ground and arrested him at Orange and Colorado streets, he said.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Glendale On Film: Pineapple Express

An unexpected Glendale location jumped out at me while watching Pineapple Express this week - the villain's lair is the Rodriguez house, designed by architect RM Schindler and located right here in Glendale at 1845 Niodrara Drive.

Glendale News-Press Open House, Thursday 02/15/09

Departing Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader Editor Danette Goulet's farewell letter contains an invitation to the newsroom:
And so I am asking you all for one more thing as we embark on the process of finding my replacement: Tell us what you think we should be looking for. I invite, and encourage, input. This is your community paper. You’ve never been shy in giving me your opinion before, so let it fly.

E-mail your thoughts to me, or better yet, come on down and tell me. We’re holding an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Glendale News-Press’ office, 221 N. Brand Blvd., where you will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with the entire staff, say good riddance to me and tell John O’Loughlin and me in person what you think we should look for in a new newsroom leader.
I pass the building every day and am curious to see the newsroom.

Sunroom Desk has an interesting response to Franklin Avenue's critique of the News-Press last week, which I wrote about previously.

Missing: One of My License Plates

My personalized front license plate has either been stolen or maybe just fell off. If you see or have seen an IAMSTIG front license plate lying around Glendale somewhere, shoot me an e-mail. It either fell off during a short, slow drive to downtown Glendale on Saturday 02/08 or was stolen on that same day between 2:30-4:30pm in the city lot in the 100 block of North Maryland.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Improving The News-Press

Mike at Franklin Avenue has written a detailed post on the shortcomings of the Glendale News-Press, and makes a number of positive suggestions to make the paper more relevant. He ties the post to his astonishment that the deeply unhip News-Press made no mention of Lux Interior's death in Glendale last week.

Not only did Lux die here in Glendale, but he and wife/fellow Cramps member Poison Ivy lived right here in Adams Hill. The GNP is such a small-town newspaper that it runs photos of people holding up the newspaper on vacation, yet it can't be bothered with the death of a local icon. Blogs and newspapers all over the country mentioned his death in Glendale. But the hometown newspaper? Nothing.

So on to the GNP. Yes, it's a small-town newspaper... but Glendale isn't exactly a small town. It's a city with a population of 207,000. Take Glendale away from the L.A. region and it would be big enough to support a full newspaper, as well as TV and radio stations. (At least before the economic collapse; but I'm comparing it to smaller cities like Rockford or Duluth, both of which support a slew of media outlets.)

Criticizing a newspaper in this dismal media climate feels like kicking a disabled baby, but literally and figuratively, the News-Press is square and thin. I read it every day, particularly Jason Wells' and Veronica Rocha's coverage of City Hall and public safety, but I want more.

If you don't think Glendale is underserved by the media, search Google News for "Glendale" and note that the overwhelming majority of Glendale news stories relate to...Glendale, Arizona (population 247,000). Our Glendale (population 210,000) is barely mentioned.

Safe and Healthy Streets Website Launches

The LA County Bicycle Coalition and the City of Glendale have launched a website devoted to the Safe and Healthy Streets project that was recently presented to the City Council. (previously).
A community bike ride in the City of Glendale is in the works as well as promotions at the Glendale Downtown Dash (March 8th) and Bike to Work Day (May 14th). Stay tuned!
Colin Bogart, the Bicycle Coalition's liason to the city of Glendale, is forming a stakeholder group of Glendale community members. If interested, please contact him directly.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Weather On Mount Wilson

(stunt photo by Danielle)
Thought this weekend was cold in Glendale? Here is a glimpse of the weather today at the peak of Mt. Wilson, which is less than 7 miles away. The hike was part of the Sierra Club's Wilderness Travel Course. At various elevations our group experienced fog, mist, rain, hail, and snow.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jewel City Photo: BMW Motorcycle With Sidecar

Spotted on Magnolia in Burbank. Magnolia always has a wonderful density of interesting cars and motorcyles.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lux Interior, Dead At 62

Glendale resident and The Cramps frontman Lux Interior died at Glendale Memorial today of a heart condition. The official statement:

February 4, 2009

Lux Interior, lead singer of The Cramps, passed away this morning due to an existing heart condition at Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale, California at 4:30 AM PST today. Lux has been an inspiration and influence to millions of artists and fans around the world. He and wife Poison Ivy’s contributions with The Cramps have had an immeasurable impact on modern music.

The Cramps emerged from the original New York punk scene of CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, with a singular sound and iconography. Their distinct take on rockabilly and surf along with their midnight movie imagery reminded us all just how exciting, dangerous, vital and sexy rock and roll should be and has spawned entire subcultures. Lux was a fearless frontman who transformed every stage he stepped on into a place of passion, abandon, and true freedom. He is a rare icon who will be missed dearly.

The family requests that you respect their privacy during this difficult time.

Glendale just got less interesting.

Jewel City Photo: Griffith Observatory In Fog

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Brand Park Rescue Operation

While volunteering as a docent at the Doctor's House Museum in Brand Park this past Sunday, I had front row seats to a massive operation to rescue an injured hiker in Brand Park.

Glendale FD must have decided to make this a training opportunity, because the resources thrown at this hiker with a hurt ankle were unbelievable. I saw At least three full size fire trucks, three FD pickups or SUVs, a ranger SUV, two hook and ladders, Urban Rescue, an ambulance, Pasadena PD's Bell 206 helicopter, and finally, a massive H-3 Sea King from the LA County Sheriff's Department, which plucked the unlucky hiker from the Verdugos and landed him safely onto the baseball field at Brand Park. Glendale FD paramedics treated the hiker in the parking lot and released him.

ATMs Magically Appear On Brand

Would you use these ATM's that just showed up on Brand? They are probably legitimate, but given Glendale's well deserved reputation as a center of identity theft, I would be hesitant to put my debit card into an ATM that suddenly appears on the street.
(as a side note, Bacara's lunch specials are pretty good)

I'm partial to the credit union ATM in the lobby of the Glendale Police Department. And I still look over my shoulder there before entering my PIN.

The Exchange Claims Another Victim: Mashti Malone's

This week I noticed that the front of Mashti Malone's was covered in paper, so I took a look inside.

Everything has been ripped out. The depopulation of The Exchange continues. In related news, Dolci Mango has a sign up saying they are "Temporary Closed for Renovation - Remodeling". Hmm. There is no sign of life at Twinkles.

Workers are tearing up the inside of the Famima space, although For Lease signs were still up in the windows. None of the workers could tell me if anything specific was going in. It looks like they were just tearing out everything Famima related.

Also: what's going to happen to the life-size great white shark above the bar at Chuy's? I'm thinking it would make a bold statement in my one bedroom apartment...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Traffic Safety Letter of the Week

In response to the smoke and noise devoted to traffic safety this week in the wake of several high profile crashes on Glenoaks and the recent report by Allstate Insurance ranking Glendale drivers as having the second to worst safety habits in the U.S., Steve Foster jumps above the fray with a concise letter in the News-Press:

City should go out on a limb

Regarding “Najarian introduces traffic plan,” Wednesday:

If the Glendale City Council, by raising penalties, can protect certain tree species from tree-butchers, the Glendale City Council, by raising penalties, can protect citizens from motorized people-butchers.



Good letter, Steve!  In addition to more severe penalties for dangerous driving, implementing leading pedestrian intervals along Brand Boulevard north of Colorado would go a long way towards making pedestrians safer downtown.

 On Friday, I was nearly run over twice.  The first encounter was with a woman inattentively driving down Maryland at a high rate of speed.  Maryland has two pedestrian crosswalks, but they are poorly marked (by elevated signs in the median and two shades of earth-tone bricks[!]) and drivers frequently don't notice them.  In this case, I was in the pedestrian crossing, saw a RAV4 squeal around the corner of Wilson/Maryland and accelerate towards me, and I literally had to wave my hands wildly (while preparing to dive out of the way) to get this idiotic woman to stop.

The second encounter on Friday was a few minutes later at Wilson and Brand, when a very young driver making a right onto Brand from Wilson decided to stomp on the gas as soon as the light turned green, and nearly ran over 5 pedestrians (including me) who had the right of way to cross Brand.  The second situation is exactly the type of dangerous conflict that leading pedestrian intervals are designed to eliminate.