Tag Archives: Burbank

Mayor Rogers Diagnosed With Stage 4 Liver Cancer

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

This afternoon, September 20th, a press conference was held at Burbank City Hall by Mayor Will Rogers who announced that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer as well as non-alcoholic cirrhosis, and will be minimizing his mayoral duties.

Mayor Rogers’ diagnosis will affect his attendance at ribbon cutting ceremonies and meetings throughout the city. As he seeks medical treatment, Vice-Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy will be stepping into fulfill some of Mayor Rogers’ responsibilities.

“It remains my intent to continue serving as mayor,” Rogers stated. “I simply won’t be attending as many events as I typically do.”

Rogers (60) was elected to the Burbank City Council in May 2015 and was appointed mayor in May 2017. His honorary term as mayor is due to end May 2018.

Previously misdiagnosed four times with cancer, this was the first test to return as positive for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer.

Unfortunately, at this stage, he will not be able to receive a liver transplant or chemotherapy, which are standard treatments. Alternatively, he is currently undergoing immunotherapy and drug trials through a cancer research clinic at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson) File {hoto

“Like every one of us here today, I don’t know if I have another week, or another five weeks,” Rogers said.

Before joining the Burbank City Council, Rogers was an achieved journalist, writing for the Times Community Newspapers which earned him over 20 first-place awards throughout his career.

During the press conference, members of the City Council stood behind Mayor Rogers in support of his decision to take time off.

“It is an extremely courageous act for our Mayor to share his personal challenge with all of us,” Vice-Mayor Gabel-Luddy said. “Mayor Rogers provides Burbank with outstanding service and we know the community, along with Will’s friends and family, will be understanding and supportive.”

“Warner Bros” Author Event Slated For Buena Vista Library

The author of Warner Bros, The Making of an American Movie Studio, David Thomson, is scheduled to appear at the Buena Vista Library on September 13.

“Among the major movie studios Warners was the most remote,” Thomson commented. “It found itself in a rural-suburban place, working class, but then it employed a lot of people who wanted to live close to work.”

Book jacket cover for David Thomson’s “Warner Bros.”

“So it became a kind of movie center. In many ways, it retains that character and I think it helped in giving Warners a family feeling,” Thomson also said.

“It’s a book about something young people today hardly understand – a movie studio where the same people worked together for years or decades so that sometimes the pictures seemed to make themselves.”

Thomson, a film critic and author of several books on the movies, will be introduced by Warner Bros. Studios senior archivist Mark Greenhalgh.

“The story of the Warner brothers is a classic American success story,” said Greenhalgh. “The history of their studio goes back nearly a hundred years now and has become an integral part of the history of Burbank.”

“The Warner family were great believers in being good citizens of both the nation and their community. David Thomson’s book, Warner Bros, The Making of an American Movie Studio, brings a fun and fresh perspective to their inspiring story.”

George Feltenstein, Senior Vice President of Theatrical Marketing at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, will conduct an interview with Thomson about the book.

“David Thomson’s new book about Warner Bros. is a testament to the spirit of innovation and creativity that set the studio apart from the rest of the industry,” commented Feltenstein.

“With a freshly personal perspective, Mr. Thomson has captured the essence of what made Warner Bros. films so distinctive and distinguished,” he added. “It is a highly fascinating, and entertaining book, and speaks eloquently to the legacy that inspires all the storytelling and entertainment that the company continues to create today.”

The Warner brothers – Harry, Jack, Sam and Albert – founded Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.

“Besides being a great story about the community, I think this is a timely one, because these days when we seem to be calling into question the value of immigration to our country, this is a story about immigrants who did so much to create the image of what it means to be American to us and to the rest of the world,” added Burbank Librarian Hubert Kozak.

“There are so many young people, and also so many new Burbank residents these days, who don’t know about the central role of Warner Bros. in the development of the film industry in the 20th century, and don’t know that this fabulous history unfolded all here in Burbank where many of the classic movies of all time were made.”

“And many who knew this history have forgotten much about it,” continued Kozak. “It blew my mind to realize that Casablanca was filmed in its entirety just a few blocks from this library.”

The event begins at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 13. The interview and Q&A session will take about an hour and the author will sign books afterwards. Books will be available on site for purchase. The event is free to the public.


Kasey Lansdale & Dark Delicacies Throw Harvey Fundraiser

Country Music Star, Writer, and Actress Kasey Lansdale is throwing a fundraising and donation event, with the help of the folks over at Dark Delicacies. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, September 5th, and will benefit those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Tuesday event is headlined by special guests and celebrity talent who are available for autographs at $20 an item. The guests include:

Lance Henriksen (Aliens)

Cerina Vincent (Original Cabin Fever)

Paul Dini (Batman & Harley Quinn)

Misty Lee, Brea Grant (Halloween II)

Katie Featherston (Paranormal Activity)

Izzy Lee (Innsmouth)

Heather Langenkamp (Nightmare on Elm St)

David J. Schow (The Crow)

AJ Bowen (You’re Next)

Lew Temple (Walking Dead)

Jackson Stewart, Graham Skipper, Brea Grant & Chase Williamson (Beyond the Gates)

Online Auction

Organizers are asking that everyone who attends the event to please bring cash. Additionally, for those who can’t make it, an online auction will be set up and run live on Facebook. The auction will include items such as:

John Carter Cash & Ana Cristina Cash are donating Johnny Cash memorabilia for the auction.

Cerina Vincent

Kane Holder  

David Morrell

Bracken MacLeod’s “Come to Dust” limited edition 

Art by Bill Paxton

Joe R. Lansdale

*Indie horror kids Graham Skipper, Chase Williamson and Jackson Stewart will also be in attendance! They got IFC to donate posters for them and Brea Grant to sign from Beyond the Gates! Crushing it!

24″ by 36″ ‘Rise Up’ poster of Season 7 signed by all season regulars

Signed ‘Breaking Bad’ pilot script up for auction.

Charlaine Harris is sending auction items.

We will have Walking Dead memorabilia or Photos of Pollyanna McIntosh from ‘The Walking Dead’ signed personally to you.

Volumes 3&4 of Clive Barker’s limited edition fine art book, will be up for sale.

Chris Cuffaro, who has “shot” every bad ass band in LA is donating a signed, framed photograph. He has also volunteered to do a photoshoot for anyone who wins the in store raffle.

George R.R. Martin

 Game of Thrones Anniversary illustrated edition 
 Song of Ice and Fire set of five book in Spanish from Plaza Jane 
 Wild Cards hardcover set of Inside Straight, Busted Flush, Suicide Kings 
 Knight of the Seven Kingdoms illustrated
 Mystery Knight Comic
 World of Ice and Fire 
 Dance with Dragons Subterranean Press Limited edition box set fully illustrated (Out of Print) 
– Tuf Voyaging limited edition 
– FFC chapter books X4 
– Coins
– Funko pop dolls X2
– Stuffed Dire wolves plushy X2


Donations had already started accumulating at Dark Delicacies and they have since run out of room in the store. If you are planning on attending the event and still want to donate, event organizers have asked that you please donate money instead. However, Dark Delicacies will also be accepting payment by card both online and in-store.

The event is on Tuesday, September 5 at 7 PM at Dark Delicacies, which is located at 3512 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California 91505.

For more information, including new announcements regarding memorabilia up for auction, you can find the Facebook event page here. Hope to see you all Tuesday!

Willy Wonka Visits and Warner Bros. Studios Celebrate Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

On Tuesday, eight-year-old Sage Marie Spaeth were flown out from Teaneck, New Jersey to visit Willy Wonka at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. As a winner of Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge, Sage had the opportunity to pitch her story idea to a major Hollywood Executive at Warner Bros. Animation studio and take a tour of the Warner Bros. Studio Lot.

Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge recently wrapped on its first year of submissions. The contest received over 20,000 imaginative story ideas from American kids ages 5-12. Only five children, including Sage, were selected to see their stories come to life with the aid of Willy Wonka.

To find out more about Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge, you can visit their website here!







FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank 1945 Becomes a Repatriation Community!

In the wake of the end of WWII, Burbank had played an important role in the war production arena to insure Victory with the thousands of airplanes Produced to fight Tyranny.

This is well known to most Burbank citizens.

What is very little known is Burbank’s post war efforts to help people return to a normal life.

Burbank was named as one of the repatriation cities for Japanese Americans and took this job very seriously. The City dedicated land and materials to house the people returning to the Los Angeles area from the camps where they were interred  during the war.

This was temporary housing while they got their lives back on track and found more permanent work and lodging.

Near the airport was a large area where the City placed a large number of Airstream type trailers and community buildings for food service and other assistance. Along Magnolia Blvd were some housing projects that were in the early stages of construction that were used for more temporary housing.

While we have no numbers of how many families and individuals came here to make a new start we do know that Burbank was instrumental in helping them with all their needs in blending back into society.

A time we all can look back and be proud that our people and City came together to help Humanity.

A portion of the Magnolia Housing Project at Burbank, California, where returned evacuees find temporary quarters while locating homes in the Los Angeles area. 11/1945

Family belongings arrive by truck from the relocation center at a temporary trailer home in the Burbank, California (Winona Housing Project, where returned evacuees are provided with temporary quarters while finding their permanent homes in and around Los Angeles, California). 11/1945

A section of the Winona Housing Project, Burbank, California, where trailer homes are provided for returned evacuees while they are securing permanent homes in and around Los Angeles. 11/1945


Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

Burbank Police Nab Two In Home Invasion Attempt

The Burbank Police Department Responded to the 3000 block of N. Naomi St. at around 10 o’clock Wednesday night after receiving a 911 call from a resident stating that she could see people breaking into her home.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Units were immediately dispatched and swarmed the area along with Burbank’s  “Air1” overhead.

Units conducted a felony stop at Naomi and Scott Rd. on two subjects in a black BMW less than a block north of the address.

A search of the home by the Burbank Police Department eliminated the possibility of any outstanding suspects in the residence. The two males in the BMW were arrested at Naomi and Scott, and are considered persons of interest in this investigation.

It is still very early on in the investigation and more information will be shared as it is made available.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian







Book Review: Lost Burbank

During my life spent living in this spectacular city, people have asked me what it is about Burbank that gives it that hometown feeling despite being in the center of a major metropolitan area in Southern California. It has always been hard to explain why people born here, stay here, retire here, and even die here.

It is not unusual to see families that have been here for 50-plus years. Generation of families have called Burbank home. It’s a feeliing that you cannot really explain as much as you try.

If there was ever a way to put that on paper, authors Wesley H. Clark and Michael B. McDaniel might have achieved what most residents have found impossible to explain.lost-in-burbank-book-cover

Lost Burbank is a book of unique stories and a trove of treasures. It is the history of Burbank and the folklore that also makes up many of the stories.

When you first open the book and look at the preface, you are already intrigued by the Turkey Crossing and what Burbankers have all known for years as a local pride and joy, Martino’s Tea Cakes.

Clark and McDaniel first take you through the early years of Burbank all the way back to the days of Burbank’s namesake, dentist Dr. David Burbank.

Did you know there was talk about Disneyland and UCLA being located in Burbank? Find out the real stories as described by these two men.

What is also great about the book is not only the history that is shared, but the great array of pictures from all the different eras. Historical pictures of Burbank, both locations as well as the people, give you a sense of the time. If you are like me you will study some of the different pictures and put them into today’s Burbank to realize not only all the changes, but also some of the similarities to the past.

Another chapter deals with the the war and especially Lockheed. Not only an integral aspect to the war, but also for the Burbank economy. Another part of Burbank’s important history and evolution is covered in a chapter entitled, “The Media Capital of the World.”

When we arrive to “Notable Places,” the mixture of both stories and pictures is rich in history. You see some of the beginnings of Burbank’s landmarks both back then and today. Places such as the Jefferies Barn, the Dip at Five Points, the Pumpkin Building, the Golden Mall and even a spot called “Hotsie Alley” all have their nitch in our history and memories.

You will also find a chapter on Burbank’s music history as well as the inventors that made Burbank home. Did you know that someone in Burbank actually invented a monorail in 1911? Might not be what you would ride at Disneyland but then what if Disneyland had been built in Burbank and the monorail was already here? Makes you wonder, ‘what if?’

We also learn about the many personalities in Burbank, both widely known and those who were just local legends. It’s a whose-who of names that weaved the fabric of this city.

Of course no city is complete without its dark and scandalous years. The authors delve into the seedy side of Burbank with a chapter entitled, “Murder and High Crimes in Burbank!” There is the murder of cowboy star William ‘Tom’ T. Bay in 1933 and, of course, a section dedicated to the crime and corruption in the 1950’s that led Burbank to many reforms including the Police Commission that is still around today.

Without a doubt though, my favorite chapter entitled “Fun Burbank Lore” is exactly that, the stories and events that made up your childhood and youth if you grew up in Burbank. Everyone knew of the ‘Breathing Bush’ and the rumors of ghosts at City Hall. And yes, it actually did snow in Burbank and even the Big Game (Burroughs vs. Burbank high school football) is mentioned.

The last chapter is dedicated to the brave warriors that called Burbank home. It mentions all the memorials in Burbank and the poignant stories about them.

I have known about Clark and McDaniel for many years. I was first introduced to them through their website, Burbankia, which I would look at for both reference and enjoyment for years. MyBurbank then approached the two bright authors for their contributions to our “Friday Flashback” series that runs every Friday highlighting a different event or moment from Burbank’s past.

Lost Burbank brings everything full circle and has captured what many thought would never be depicted or brought back to life for us Burbankers. The soft cover book entails 224 powerful pages and would be a great coffee table addition for your perusement.

A fantastic value for under $20, you can buy it directly on Amazon by clicking this link. Enjoy this holiday season reading about the amazing history of our great city!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found. 

Click HERE to Order Yours Now!

The authors will be doing a Multi Media presentation and book signing at the Buena Vista Library on November 30th at 4 AND 7 pm. They will have a signing event at the AUTOBOOKS store on Magnolia Saturday December 3 From 10 am to 2 pm.



Holiday In The Park Tonight will be Bigger & Better

Deagon & Magnolia No Parking (© Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Holiday in the Park is coming and it’s bigger and better than ever before!

This Friday, Magnolia Blvd will be closed down for 9 blocks from Hollywood Way to Florence Street and down the side streets to the allies.

The event which has been put on by the Magnolia Park Merchants Association, a non-profit run by Magnolia Park store owners, for the last few years is excited to have been able to close the street down and create a more enjoyable and safe event for the community.

President and Founder of the Magnolia Park Merchants Association, Ashley Erikson, gave us 10 reasons why this year is going to be better than ever!

1.      The street will be closed!  The community is free to roam the street as they please allowing dogs, children, strollers, and families to feel safe and have fun during the event.

2.  Food!  The association encourages you to dine at all of the Magnolia Park restaurants like Romancing the Bean, The New Deal, Portos Bakery, Monte Carlo Deli, Yummy Cupcakes, and MeneSweet, but if you can’t get a seat there, you can dine at your choice of 14 food trucks that will be placed down the side streets of the event.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson File Photo)

3. Snow!  The Brad Korb Real Estate Group is sponsoring the snow play area at Ume Credit Union with even more snow then ever before!

4. Kid Zone!  South Hills Burbank is sponsoring a whole block of family fun including bounce houses, a craft area, parent resting area, and bubbles!

5. Character Photo Ops!  Stop by the Blast in the Past parking lot for tons of character meet and greets including the Grinch, Rocketeer, Anna and Elsa! Ume Credit Union will have free photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus, Dark Delicacies will have Krampus and It’s a Wrap will have Frosty the Snowman.

6. Live Performances!  Every block will be filled with music or dancing.  Stores will have live musicians in front of their stores, while Worship Walk will be hosting dance performances by Garri Dance studio all night long!  The Bank of America lot will also have a stage sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank with performances all night from local musicians and a live band will be out front of the Magnolia Park United Methodist Church.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson File Photo)

7.  It’s all about the community!  In the middle of the street you’ll find Magnolia Park merchant tables, non profit organizations and City of Burbank organizations.  Hop from table to table to learn more about the Burbank Recycling Center, the Burbank Public Library, local schools, the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter, and more!

8.  Car Show! The entire block between California and Fairview will host a unique car show.

9. FREE Magnolia Park Bags!  Some volunteers will be walking around passing out Magnolia Park reusable tote bags sponsored by local Magnolia Park stores.

10.  Burbank Police, Fire and SWAT will be on the block between Cordova and Avon with their vehicles on display for kids to take pictures with.  Stop by and say hello and give a thank you to all the men and women who keep Burbank safe.

For more information visit www.holidayintheparkburbank.com

Burbank Police Successfully Register Bikes While Several Received Needed Repairs

This past weekend The Burbank Police Departments Community Outreach & Personnel Services Bureau (COPS) along with volunteers from Walk, Bike , Burbank gathered at the intersection of Keystone & Chandler to register bikes and make minor repairs.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The Police Departments reported over 85 bikes were registered that day and several  bikes fixed by Walk, Bike, Burbank such as fixed flat tires, tighten seats, and adjusted brake cables free of charge.

There were new bikes, old bikes and classic bikes brought in to register.

My Burbank staff were on scene to capture some of the images from the days events.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)



Burbank Commissioner Bill Wiggins Elected President of Airport Authority Commission

On Monday, July 11, 2016, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, owner and operator of Hollywood Burbank Airport, elected new officers to head the Authority Commission for a one-year term from July 2016 through June 2017. The Commission elects officers each July.

Burbank Commissioner Bill Wiggins was elected President. Commissioner Terry Tornek of Pasadena was elected Vice President, and Commissioner Zareh Sinanyan of Glendale was chosen Secretary.

Wiggins was appointed to the Authority in 2001 and served as Secretary, Vice President and President during his tenure. Tornek was first appointed to the Commission in 2012 and served as Secretary this last term. Sinanyan was appointed to the Commission in May 2015.

In related actions, the Authority appointed Pasadena Commissioner Dr. Ross Selvidge as Treasurer, Burbank Commissioner Ray Adams as Auditor, and Executive Director Dan Feger as Assistant Secretary, and left intact the existing assignments for the various Authority committees.

President Wiggins also created a new Ad Hoc Committee, comprised of Commissioners Brown, Sinanyan and Selvidge, to oversee the negotiations for a renewal of the Airport Police collective bargaining agreement.

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority is a joint powers authority formed by the three cities to own and operate the Hollywood Burbank Airport. The Airport Authority is governed by a nine-member Commission, and each of the three cities appoints three Commissioners to the panel.

In addition to the officers, the other current Commissioners are: Don Brown of Burbank; Frank Quintero and Laura Friedman of Glendale; and Steve Madison of Pasadena.