Daily Archives: March 23, 2012

Bob Hope Airport Opens Bids for New Transportation Center

View of RITC from Hollywood and Empire Ave looking west

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority opened bids yesterday for a 21st Century, sustainable intermodal transportation facility that will be among the first of its kind. Bids were competitive and appear to be within budget, allowing the project to receive further consideration by the Authority.

McCarthy Building Companies has been identified as the apparent low bidder with a bid of $72,683,000 for the construction of the Regional Intermodal Transportation Center (RITC), which is comprised of a consolidated rental car facility and a bus transit facility. Ancillary components include an elevated walkway, site work, off-site improvements and site preparations for a separately procured design-build replacement parking structure.

Bomel Construction Company was the lowest responsive and responsible bidder for the replacement parking structure with a bid of $8,496,000 (bids were opened on January 12, 2012). The Authority’s construction budget for the combined project components is $93 million, and these two bids represent favorable results. The next step in the process is evaluation of the responsiveness of the McCarthy bid, and subsequent issuance of bonds. Groundbreaking is slated for June 2012.

“The RITC combines the latest in seismic technologies with environmentally-sensitive mass transit and individual transportation solutions, creating a green Tri-City gateway upon which to build for

View of Customer Service Building and Consolidated Rental Car Facility looking east from Empire Ave.

tomorrow,” said Dan Feger, Executive Director of the Bob Hope Airport. “This intermodal facility, targeted to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, actually embodies the phrase ‘planes, trains and automobiles,’” Feger added.

Upon completion in mid-2014, the RITC will provide seamless connectivity for airport passengers, train passengers, bus transit passengers, rental car customers, and bicyclists. In addition, because the structure is being placed on base isolators, users of the facility will be protected from the effects of a major seismic event, and the facility will have the capacity to serve as a command center for emergency operations.

Details about the project components are as follows:

Regional Intermodal Transportation Center (RITC) – This 520,000 square foot structure will accommodate nine rental car brands (Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National and Midway) currently serving Bob Hope Airport customers. The three-level Consolidated Rental Car Facility will provide easy access ready return space, quick turn-around maintenance bays, fueling and car wash capabilities on each level, as well as a customer service building.

A Bus Transit Facility will accommodate local and regional transit vehicles. The open air design will be the architectural feature of the structure complemented by 16 three-story art panels which will enhance the passers-by experience. As a result of a partnership with the City of Burbank, solar panels generating about 1.5 megawatts of clean energy will be installed on top of the RITC, which is consistent with the City’s compliance with sustainable energy goals set for 2030.

Elevated Walkway – This 19-foot high covered elevated walkway will connect the RITC and the airport terminal with moving sidewalks that span 1,100 feet and allow for safe and efficient transport of airport passengers to the terminal and a ground transport center where off-airport shuttles will offer service to hotels and public transportation facilities such as the Burbank Metrolink Station and the North Hollywood Red Line Station. The transport center will also provide bicycle storage areas.

View of RITC, Customer Service Building looking southeast

Replacement Parking Structure – This five-level facility will replace approximately 1,043 parking spaces that will be lost by the combined footprints of the RITC and the Elevated Walkway.

Site Work – This element consists of underground utilities infrastructure work, relocations of wet and dry utilities, and hardscape and landscape work (the landscape plan is subject to final approval and acceptance by the Burbank City Council).

Off-Site Improvements – These improvements include the installation of new traffic signals, synchronization of traffic signals, a new pedestrian crosswalk and off-airport signage.

The Architect of Record for this project is Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville (PGAL) headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with offices in Los Angeles. Other Design Team members include Miyamoto International, PBS Engineers, John W. Cruikshank Consultants, Blymyer Engineers and Anil Verma Associates. The Program Manager is gkkworks/STV, with assistance from Del Richardson Associates, Elkin Construction Services, and Heritage Tree Films.

Notices to proceed are anticipated to be issued by June 1, 2012 with a 24-month construction schedule. An Owner Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP) is in place for the project and the management consultants are committed to SAFETY FIRST!

Vintage Burbank Celebrates Second Anniversary

Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes joins the first and second residents Marion Hendrick's and Jean Wilkinson that moved in 2 years ago with Scott Wilkinson home theater journalist . (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Walking into Vintage Burbank feels more like boarding a luxury cruise ship, than retirement community.

The first floor foyer is bathed in light from the surrounding plate-glass windows, and the soothing mint walls and dark brown accents create a sense of elegance and tranquility. There is a main dinning room, private dining room, a parlor graced with a grand piano and lovely patio with a fireplace and fountain.

This is living!

And that, my friend, is the mantra of Vintage Burbank!

The facility celebrated its second anniversary Thursday night with an open house. Some 200 residents and guests listened to pianist Rich Smith and later Bill Chico and his Trio while dining on the buffet fit for a king –and queen.

Mayor Jess Talamantes dances with Jean Wilkinson a 2 year resident of Vintage Burbank was also it's first resident. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Executive Director Ted Burgess welcomed everyone and gave nonresidents a history lesson on how far they’ve come since opening on March 1, 2010.

Jean Wilkinson, age 86, was the first resident followed a week later by Marion Hendricks, 89. Today, more than 60 seniors are living there in the different levels offered —assisted living, independent living and Recollections Neighborhood, where residents receive memory support services.

There is still room for 40 more residents, and Burgess promised them “if you live here, you won’t have to drive home next time there’s a party.”

Mayor Jess Talamantes toured the first floor and had one word for it “incredible!”

“On behalf of the City Council, congratulations on the success you’ve had and much continued success!” he said.

Speaking for Vintage residents was Council President Audrey Hanson, who served as a school board member in Burbank during the 1980s.

“I want to tell you that this is really a nice place,” she said. “The people who work here are warm and friendly.”

Wilkinson moved to Vintage Burbank after living in the same house on Naomi Street in Burbank for 60 years, said her son Scott Wilkinson.

Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes greets guests with congratulations on their 2 years event. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“My sister and I are thrilled that she decided on her own accord to come here when the time was right,” he added.

Jean Wilkinson said she really enjoys the food and her favorite dish is the Talapia.

“There is also a great theater with comfortable seats,” she said.

Residents can watch a different movie on the big screen every day. Films range from current to classic including musicals, comedies and even foreign titles.

The theater feature was a plus for her son as well as he is a home theater journalist and regular guest on the weekend radio show “The Tech Guy with Leo Laporte” on KFI-FM (640).

“The theater was one of the first things I checked out,” Scott Wilkinson said. “I’m really impressed with the food and just the general ambiance is very high class — top notch through and through. And the staff is exceptional!”

Former Burbank School Board Member Audrey Hanson is a resident and she now is Resident Council President at Vintage Burbank. Executive Director Ted Burgess listens in. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Schiff Calls for Ban on “Pink Slime” in Public School Cafeterias

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) called for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fully ban “finely textured lean beef trimmings,” more commonly known as “pink slime” from school lunches. The USDA, after facing outcry from parents and students around the country, announced that they would allow local school districts to opt-out of purchasing beef containing pink slime. However, this announcement does not fix the problem, and will likely result in many school districts throughout the country continuing to purchase the less expensive, pink slime beef. Schiff issued the following statement:

“As a father of two kids in public school, I am appalled that pink slime is being served in school cafeterias to our children. While the USDA quickly took action after hearing complaints from lawmakers, parents and students, their announcement earlier this week does not go far enough to protect school kids from this poor quality ‘food.’

 “Pink slime should be banned from school cafeterias, and it’s my hope that Secretary Vilsack takes immediate action to ensure our kids have access to the healthiest food possible.”

Earlier this week, Schiff joined with Congressional colleagues led by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), in writing to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, asking him to immediately ban the use of the product in school lunches. More on the USDA decision can be found here.

The letter sent by Members is below:


Dear Secretary Vilsack:

Thank you for your recent attention to the issue of “finely textured lean beef trimmings” or “pink slime” in our children’s school food.  While we appreciate your recent statement that schools may ‘opt out’ of purchasing the slurry meant for animal feed, we are writing to urge you to completely end the purchasing of pink slime for school food.

As you know, “pink slime” is a term used for an industrial slurry of beef scraps and connective tissue. This product, produced by two companies in the United States, Cargill Meat Solutions and Beef Products, Inc., is treated with ammonia hydroxide to remove E. coli and Salmonella.

Although fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King have stopped using pink slime in their food, the USDA has not yet made this policy change, and recently authorized the purchase of ground beef containing an additional seven million pounds of pink slime destined to be served in school cafeterias.  If these fast food chains won’t serve pink slime, why should school cafeterias?

We are also concerned with the consequences of creating an ‘opt out’ or two-tier system for schools. If pink slime laced ground beef is less expensive to make, we are very concerned that lower funded districts will be forced to use it. Creating a two-tiered school lunch program where kids in less affluent communities get served this low-grade slurry is wrong.

We share the concerns of people around the country about this bi-product being fed to our children. We hope you will do everything in your power to eliminate it from the National School Lunch Program.

Dodgers looking for Burbank Fans to Sing National Anthem

The Dodgers will hold Red, White and Dodger Blue National Anthem Auditions on Saturday, March 31 at Dodger Stadium and performers will be chosen to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” at home games this season. One participant will be selected to sing the national anthem at the Dodgers’ first home game in Los Angeles, as they take on the Angels on April 3.

Dodger Stadium anthem singers include numerous celebrities, Grammy Award-winning recording artists, stadium ushers and Dodger alumni and participants will have the chance to join that prestigious group. Entry to the Red, White and Dodger Blue National Anthem Auditions will be free.

Auditions will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis and fans will be able to enter the stadium from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. All performers are encouraged to bring a resume and a DVD copy of their anthem rendition and may bring one guest with them inside the stadium. Fans will sing a portion of the song a capella and performers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Performers will enter the stadium through the Sunset Gate on Elysian Park Avenue and park in Lot G. Fans will enter the stadium through the Field Level entrance on the third base concourse and the auditions will take place on the field in front of the Dodger dugout. For more information and to download the participant waiver, visit www.dodgers.com/anthem. National anthem renditions can also be emailed to nationalanthem@ladodgers.com.

Notable national anthem singers at Dodger Stadium during the past two seasons include Plácido Domingo, actress Demi Lovato, a college professor who has sung at more than 100 ballparks, a @Dodgers twitter contest winner, 37-year Dodger Stadium anthem singer Lowell Bassett, “The Voice” winner Javier Colon, Los Lonely Boys, Jordin Sparks and Slash.


The Burroughs baseball team was one of the few teams busy over the Burbank

Burroughs went 2-2 at the annual Coach Bob Invitational in Arizona the week of March 19.

Unified School District’s spring break, which fell far early than most districts and limited teams’ options for tournaments and non-league games.

Burroughs returned to the state of Arizona for four games in the “Coach Bob Invitational,” winning two of four games and dropping its fourth and fifth one-run losses of the season in a span of three days.

“Both one run losses were due to one bad half-inning of play, and in both of those games we had the tying and winning run on base when the game ended” head coach Kiel Holmes said. “It was a positive trip because the team executed the offensive plan and guys began to really started playing team baseball.”

After its 1-7 start, Burroughs is now 3-9 heading into Pacific League play on March 27 against Crescenta Valley — consider by most as the favorites to win the league.

Still, considering Holmes took over the program late November, the Indians have come a long way in a span of only a few months.

The Indians took care of business in their opener, beating Goldwater (Az)10-0 in a game called after five innings due to the 10-run

mercy rule. Chris Peale and Ryan Gordon each homered for Burroughs as Dillion Disiere, Nate Borgard and Luis Pereya combined on a one-hitter.

In a 5-4 loss to Rodgers (Az) later that evening Chris Davies was 2-for-5 with a triple while Peale was 2-for-4. Miles Haddad had two RBI in a losing effort.

Burroughs beat Quartz Hill (Ca) the next day, 7-3. Brian Pozos put the Indians ahead with a two-on, two-out double and Zander Anding, Dylan Goldsack, Haddad and Peale all had RBIs. Anding made his first start of the season after coming out late from football season and also reached base twice by being hit-by-pitch.

In their finale against Boulder Creek (Az) the Indians fell, 4-3. Peale had his third homerun of the tournament — all solo shots — and was named to the All-Tournament team.

Haddad was named to the Gold Glove Tournament team, turning in several highlight reel plays.  He also hit .300 in the tournament and had four RBIs.

Daniel Barraza threw 7.1 innings, struck out 11 and gave-up only four earned runs, while Borgard threw four scoreless innings of one-hit ball while striking out five. He also recorded a save in the game against Quartz Hill.