Tag Archives: Burbank

How Burbank High School Is Responding to COVID-19

In an emergency meeting held this past Friday, March 13, the Burbank Unified District School Board voted to close all Burbank schools from March 16 through the 27 in wake of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Among those closed is Burbank High School. For the time being, the school is implementing online learning resources to continue curriculum progression. 

“All districts are launching their version of distance learning platforms,” Burbank High School Principal, Thomas Crowther, said. “Ours will be a combination of resources. A lot of our teachers are already on Google Classroom. I know teachers who are already sharing their curriculum with one another, and collaborative efforts like these are powerful. We will be prepared when the time comes as we have a lot of good people working on this.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

With the school currently shut down, Crowther says that one major impact will be in regards to the seniors’ graduation ceremony. While money was previously being raised for the ceremony to take place on campus, recent events have forced a stop on donations. 

“While we wait to see how this unfolds before making a decision on whether we can have a traditional graduation ceremony, we have determined we won’t have the time or resources to have it on our campus,” Crowther said. “We hope to still have graduation at Memorial Field, but we have to see how the next month or so unfolds.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

As spring sports have also been put on hold, Crowther says there’s difficulty in seeing student’s and athlete’s schedules being stopped after showing strong dedication to their work.

“My heart breaks for all students, especially our athletes impacted,” Crowther said. “ To see the seasons they have worked so hard for literally taken from them is hard. I also feel for our seniors for the same reasons, which is why we will wait as long as is reasonable to [be] making decisions on culminating events.”

Other than daily on-campus classes, more major student events are either canceled or up in the air. Grad Nite has been called off, and prom, which is planned for early May, is currently in limbo. A final decision will be made as to the date approaches.

While there is uncertainty regarding when Burbank High will resume its usual on-campus activities, preparation is key to moving forward.

“We are working with stakeholders on developing a plan for distance learning – a hybrid of online work and handouts – in preparation for the possibility of being closed longer, but we don’t know yet how long,” Crowther detailed. “Yes, Governor Newsome suggested last night that some schools will be closed into the summer months, but at this point it is speculation that could go one of a number of directions.

Our superintendent has kept the community informed. We know this week is a shuttered week after the Governor (officially) shortened the school year by five days. He’s likely to extend this, we think. We know next week is our scheduled Spring Break – but obviously it will be a different sort of week now. We are working with stakeholders on developing a plan for distance learning – a hybrid of online work and handouts – in preparation for the possibility of being closed longer, but we don’t know yet how long.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

There are more than 6 million California public schools closed as of right now, which has created a strange scenario for students and teachers alike. 

“It had to be done in an effort to keep everyone safe, but now that we are several days into this week it is a pretty surreal feeling,” Crowther explained.

One of many tough aspects of the shutdown for Crowther is missing the student/faculty social aspect that goes along with working in education. 

“I love being a principal and an educator,” Crowther said. “I love interacting with our students and staff. Suddenly, days are quieter, slower and less hectic. I miss the chaos if I am being honest.”

Crowther urges all BHS personnel to be cautious and good to their loved ones. In addition, he believes that the Burbank High School community will bounce back and make it through these tough and unpredictable times.

“Chances are that whoever you are in close proximity to these days are family you love, make sure you tell them that daily,” Crowther said. “Listen to the experts in the field of science and medicine, respect their guidelines. Stay strong and stay safe – we will get through this.”

Burbank-based Unique Vintage Releases “I Love Lucy” Collection

Following heavy anticipation since being announced in mid-2019, Unique Vintage will be releasing its newest clothing collaboration, a line recreating looks from the classic sitcom “I Love Lucy,” in its Burbank store on Saturday, March 14. 

The classic Lucy Ricardo polka dot dress was one of many outfits that served as inspiration for the clothing collaboration with Unique Vintage. (photos courtesy of Unique Vintage)

This in-store release will provide early access to shoppers, and the online presence of the collection will be available to the public on Monday, March 16, at 5pm. The “I Love Lucy” line follows several other successful collaborations for Unique Vintage, including partnerships with Coca-Cola, Care Bears, Universal Monsters, and most recently, Barbie, which was in partnership with Mattel.

After the Barbie x Unique Vintage release, the brand joined forces with CBS, as well as the estate of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, to construct outfits that represent Lucy.

“[Lucy and Desi’s] daughter and granddaughter, Lucie [Arnaz] and Kate [Luckinbill] have been working very closely on this,” said Unique Vintage marketing coordinator Abbi Graddy. “They’ve been such great partners and we’ve been so excited to work with them. It’s been a lot of fun. We’re really excited about it.”

Whereas Unique Vintage’s design team usually has physical garments to work with, this project mainly utilized photos to use as references for the outfits. The goal was to stay true to their originality while making them contemporary for 2020. 

“This collection was a little different because we were working mostly from pictures, but a lot of the looks are adapted more to be wearable today,” Graddy detailed.

12 pieces will be incorporated into the line, including recognizable outfits like the Lucy Ricardo dress, Lucy’s grape stomping outfit from the episode “Lucy’s Italian Movie,” and the “Lucy Does a TV commercial” dress.

Additionally, the clothes will come in a size range of x-small to 5X, which is the standard size range Unique Vintage incorporates to make sure their merchandise is accessible to a wide range of consumers.

“We always love to produce in the fullest size range that we can and make it as inclusive as possible,” Graddy said. “I know that’s kind of a gap in the vintage clothing industry for sure, a lot of things run smaller and are only available up to size large. We are not about that. We want everyone to feel their most bombshell, diva, vintage self.” 

Ball’s enduring popularity, owed to her powerful comedic skills and eye-catching fashion styles, made for a strong collaboration with the Burbank retailer. (photo courtesy of Unique Vintage)

“I Love Lucy,” which first aired nearly 70 years ago, in October of 1951, has stood the test of time and remains well-known due to Ball’s comedic talent and progressive representation of female empowerment. These characteristics appealed to the Unique Vintage brand and made for a fitting collaboration.

“Lucy was so ahead of her time, she was this iconic female trailblazer who really paved the way for female comedians today,” said Graddy. “We’re all about women’s empowerment, and it was a really good match for our brand, [along with] her fabulous, glamorous outfits.” 

The goal is to not only provide beautiful new garments for fans of “I Love Lucy” and Unique Vintage, but to also send a powerful message regarding standing in one’s own power as Ball herself did. 

“I just hope that everyone kind of takes away that spirit of empowerment, Lucy’s joy, celebration of female friendships, and her trailblazing attitude,” Graddy said. “In addition to wearing a super cute dress that makes you feel amazing, I hope that everyone also feels very powerful.” 

To stay up to date on all things Unique Vintage, visit their store, located at 2013 W Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank, and follow them on Instagram here: 


Local Coyotes Alarm Burbank Neighborhood

Recent coyote sightings in Burbank have turned frightening as a pair of coyotes are becoming increasingly aggressive towards neighborhood members and their pets.

Burbank resident Cheryl Holt has lived in the area for 13 years and resides on the corner of Kenneth and Magnolia. Holt says the pair of coyotes that frequent her neighborhood have grown bolder since the start of the new year.

“They always come and go, but they’ve really kicked up since New Year’s day,” Holt said. “We’ve just been seeing them and seeing them. It seems to be the same pair.”

Holt lives in an apartment complex with a large lawn and says the coyotes will often stop on the grass before continuing down Magnolia. In the past week Holt has overheard two separate occasions where the coyotes confronted local dogs being walked by their owners.

“Two different nights last week they were laying in my yard, just hanging out there,” Holt said. “And somebody came walking down the street with their dog at 9:30, 10:00 o’clock at night and they came up to my corner, and those coyotes just went crazy.”

Although the first incident seemed to cease safely, Holt says she suspects the second encounter may have ended more violently.

Neighborhood coyotes have started to concern Burbank locals. (Article photos courtesy of Burbank Animal Shelter)

“Last Thursday I think they bit somebody’s dog, I don’t know,” Holt explained. “The dog came up the corner, starts barking, and the coyotes start howling, and then I heard the dog yelping, like he got bit.”

At this point, Holt felt the situation escalating and went outside to investigate.

“And then I heard the human shouting so I ran out there and I grabbed a rock,” Holt said. “I was gonna throw it at them, I didn’t know if they were attacking her, I didn’t know if they were attacking the dog. But she had gotten the dog away and she was running down the street. And they were just standing in my yard, just watching her, and like okay, like we showed [them], right?” 

The Burbank Police Department has issued an informative release for residents dealing with coyote sightings. 

“Coyotes are indigenous to the Verdugo Mountains and sightings of them in adjacent residential areas are common during this time of year,” the department wrote in their community news bulletin. “Typically, they are more active in the spring when caring for their young and in search of food and water. Coyotes are naturally fearful of humans, but they may become less apprehensive if given easy access to human food and garbage.”

The BPD also included a list of tips in the coyote awareness bulletin, including: never feed or attempt to tame coyotes, do not leave small children or pets outside unattended, and, if followed by a coyote, make loud noises. If this fails, throwing rocks is another option.

More info from the bulletin and an educational brochure on coyotes can be found here:



Burbank Crossing Guard Supported by Community After Tragic House Fire

A local crossing guard has received an outpouring of support from the community after suffering from a devastating ordeal.

On Thursday, February, 13, a house fire started in George Contreras’ Burbank home, burning all of his belongings and destroying the house in the process. Contreras has two dogs, and while one was in the backyard and stayed safe, the other dog was tragically unable to escape and perished inside the house. 

Contreras was taking a bath at the time the fire started and had to make a quick choice of escaping through a window in spite of wanting to try to go back in to save his dog.

“I knew if I ran back in there, I wasn’t coming out,” Contreras said. “[I thought], ‘I know I’m not gonna make it.’ If it’s that thick I won’t be able to see anything and I didn’t know where she was. I had to make a split second decision.”

George Contreras stands inside of what remains of his Burbank home following a destructive house fire. (photo by Ross A. Benson)

Contreras has lived in his house on Lake St. since he was eight years old. His father, actor Roberto Contreras, purchased the property in 1967. In 53 years George Contreras has become a well-known member of the community and is known locally as George of Lake Street.

For the past two and a half years Contreras has worked as a crossing guard at elementary schools in Burbank. He’s earned the respect of locals through his job performance and giving nature, which is reflected in his volunteering at the Disney Family Cancer Center and the Burbank Fire Department.

Contreras is currently a crossing guard at Walt Disney Elementary School and is known for playing guitar outside of the school in between times he has to help students cross the street. Both parents and students have consistently shared their approval of him to staff members, a rare occurrence for the position.

“They said, ‘You’re the only crossing guard we’ve ever had [that] when we get phone calls and letters, it’s not complaining, it’s commending,’” Contreras said.

Aside from school personnel, local drivers also take the time to stop and thank Contreras for his contributions.

“I’ve had people come through the intersection who have nothing to do with the schools, they’re just on their way to work. And they stop me, they pull up and say, ‘Hey man, I appreciate you because you get us on our way,” Contreras said.

Contreras attributes the accolades to his dedication to the work. A former male nanny, he remains focused on the job and puts the safety of the children first. 

“I really take this job seriously because I know that the children are the most valuable thing,” Contreras explained. “I know I’m carrying a heavy weight because the most precious thing[s] in the world I’m being trusted with and I’d better do the job right or I have no business doing it. I would give my life for those children.” 

Aside from safety, Contreras also tries to pass along valuable life lessons to students. 

“I [once] said, ‘Okay kids, time for George’s lesson: the word for the day: integrity,” Contreras recalled. When you say you’re gonna do something, you do it. Keep your word.’ That’s very important.”

Firefighters work to put out the flames at George Contreras’ Lake Street home. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Following the fire, a neighbor, Sarah Radle, suggested starting a gofundme page since Contreras doesn’t have home insurance. At first, Contreras was skeptical due to his private and humble nature, but he eventually agreed to let Radle give it a go.

“I said ma’am, I’m a giver. I’m not a taker,” Contreras said. “My whole life, I pride myself on my independence. I never ask for anybody’s help. And then she said, ‘Are you sure? Why don’t we give it a try, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, it doesn’t hurt to try.’ I said, ‘Okay.’”

After only being up four days, the gofundme page has raised over $22,000 with a total of 336 donors thus far. 

“My husband and I just moved down the street from Disney but even in that short amount of time we lived there George has always brought a smile to our faces,” said donor Jennifer Oganesyan.

“See him every day! Everyone loves him and he keeps our children safe. Most energy and character I’ve ever seen in any cross guard. The community needs to pay it forward for this man,” fellow donor Gordon Greer wrote.

Contreras has been following the good turn daily boy scout rule since 1971, wherein he performs a good deed each day. Although it was initially difficult for the modest Contreras to accept good deeds in return, he has grown more comfortable with the acts of kindness from both friends and strangers.

“Someone told me, ‘You’re giving those other people a blessing by helping them, doing something selflessly, and it makes you feel good. It’s your turn to receive because this is the time when you need it.’ When the people explained it in that manner, it made a little more sense to me.”

The response has astounded Contreras, who didn’t realize his impact until he was in need and the community stood by him.

“It’s overwhelming, I just cannot believe it,” Contreras said. “To get this response, I don’t think I’m worthy of it. Their care, love for me, they’ve carried it above and beyond what I’ve expected.”

To support Contreras, visit his gofundmepage here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/george-contreras-lake-street-fire-fund?utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&rcid=1175d621caf6423ca6eabd80ae20b865

Students Give Back at Burbank Animal Shelter

During the week of Valentine’s Day at the Burbank Animal Shelter, local students from George Washington Elementary School have pitched in to make sure rescued animals are feeling loved. 

February is Kindness Awareness Month at George Washington Elementary in Burbank, and visiting the shelter to read to animals is serving as their community outreach initiative. GWE Principal Brandi Young says the goal is to teach kids the value of giving back and treating animals with kindness. 

“I hope [students learn] that you need to serve your community,” Young said. “Always get out there and help. And be kind, empathetic and understanding that animals need love and a home.”


George Washington elementary student Brienna Karns reads to a dog  at The Burbank Animal Shelter. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

Fifth grader Cash Levin says his involvement at the shelter has instilled in him a love of animals. As a frequent visitor, he knows that adoption is crucial because “these pets might have been here for one or two years” without finding a home, Levin said.

Being around the animals has also inspired Levin’s future career aspirations.

“I either want to work [at the Burbank Animal Shelter] or be a veterinarian,” Levin added.

Fellow fifth grader Hailey Collins read to two cats during the event and felt compelled to volunteer in order to make the animals feel appreciated. 

“[Visiting is important] so they can be happier,” Collins said. 

Stacie Wood-Levin serves as Senior Animal Control Officer at the Burbank Animal Shelter and emphasizes how the event provides a great opportunity for students and the animals alike.

“[The kids] absolutely love it,” Wood-Levin said. “I think a lot of these kids live in apartments and they can’t have animals so it’s nice for them to come here and be able to pet them and talk to them. It’s good for them to read and it’s calming for the animals.”

Besides organized, school-related events, the shelter also allows for visitors to read to animals throughout the year. 

Animal Control Officer Stacie Wood-Levin(left) and George Washington Elementary School Principal Brandi Young prepare to hand out reading material for kids. ( Photo by Ross A Benson)


“We have an ongoing program where we have donated books from the library, and they can just come get one if they’re here with their parents and sit down and read to an animal at any time,” Wood-Levin added.

Overall, Wood-Levin encourages all Burbank residents to come visit the shelter, adopt, and gain a new perspective through the eyes of a rescue animal.

“It’s important to come in and bring your family and friends into the shelter just to see how wonderful our animals here are,” Wood-Levin said.

For more info on the Burbank Animal Shelter, visit their site here: https://www.burbankpd.org/programs/animal-shelter/

How Impending Burbank Boulevard Bridge Reconstruction Will Affect the Community

In a project expected to last 14 to 16 months, crews will close Burbank Boulevard between San Fernando Boulevard and Front Street with a subject-to-change start date of Friday, February 14, My5LA has announced. 

A team will be demolishing then reconstructing the Burbank Boulevard Bridge over Interstate 5, during which the area will be completely shut off at all times to cars, pedestrians, and bicycles. The final result will be a new bridge with more length and width, bicycle lanes in both directions, more efficient ramps, and a reduced curve to enhance safety. 

The project is a continuation of improvements for I-5, which began in 2014 with renovations at Buena Vista St. and the construction of the I-5 Empire Avenue interchange. These plans have been in the works since the late 1990s, and this Burbank bridge venture is the final step for adding carpool lanes between the 134 Freeway and Highway 14. Funding has been provided through Federal, State, and Metro funds, with an additional $4.5 million in Development Impact Fees being contributed by the city of Burbank. 

With the announcement of this renovation, local administrations will be taking precautions in order to adjust.

“The Burbank Police Department takes great pride in respect to response times, consistently averaging well-below our goal of 4 minutes for emergency calls,” said Sergeant Derek Green of the Burbank Police Department. “Changes in traffic flow and traffic volume, as will be expected when the bridge is closed, could potentially impact response times to certain areas of the city. However, the Burbank Police Department will develop plans and utilize the most efficient, and direct alternate routes possible to avoid congestion related to the bridge closure,” Green added.

Crews plan to start reconstruction on the Burbank Boulevard Bridge starting on Friday, February 14. (photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Burbank Fire Department also has a system in place to adapt to closing near the bridge.

“The Burbank Fire Department will adjust its Fire District boundaries accordingly to account for the closure,” said BFD Battalion Chief John Owings. “Additionally, Burbank Fire Units are dispatched using Automatic Vehicle Locators (AVL) to quickly identify the closest available unit to the incident location. These protocols will ensure that most appropriate resources are dispatched in the timeliest manner possible.”

Furthermore, crews will provide helpful signals to assist Burbank locals regarding which routes will be open during the project.

“Detours will be provided. Signs will be posted to indicate the route. Helpful information also will be available on the project’s website, My5LA.com, and on the project’s Twitter account, @My5LA,” said Caltrans Public Information Officer, Michael Comeaux. “During the bridge demolition and reconstruction, nine freeway crossings, including five freeway interchanges, will remain open and accessible to serve Burbank.”

The nine freeway crossings that will continue to be accessible are Hollywood Way, Cohasset St., Buena Vista St., Empire Ave, Magnolia Blvd., Olive Ave., Verdugo Ave., Flower St., and Alameda Ave.  Hollywood Way, Buena Vista St., Empire Ave., Verdugo Ave., and Alameda Ave. are the five freeway interchanges to stay open.

For more information on the renovation, visit My5LA.com: http://my5la.com/

Local Artists Pay Tribute to Kobe with Burbank Murals

Following the tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, Gigi Brant, and seven others who passed away in a helicopter crash on January 26, tributes have emerged across the world to honor the basketball legend. The memorials have varied in form, from Nike’s display of his jerseys at a fashion show in New York, to Lebron James’ speech saluting his former teammate.

As a way to pay their respects to Bryant, local artists have been using their creativity to produce portraits in Burbank that represent the essence of who Bryant was and what he meant to not only to the Los Angeles community, but the entire world.

The creative team of Arthur Akopyan and Haibert Sarkisian collaborated together to make a mural at the corner of Verdugo Ave. and Lake St. in Burbank. Their mural showcases the faces Kobe and Gigi Bryant, as well as the late rapper Nipsey Hussle. The painting also displays a colorful background, including a purple and gold mix to reference Bryant’s history with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The duo, who goes by the names of dehmq and eyesbehindart in their artistic enterprises, had already been thinking of creating an image of Hussle, and Bryant’s death gave an additional inspiration to start the project.

Two young children admire artist Isaac Pelayo’s mural of the late Kobe Bryant. (photo by Ross A. Benson)

“When this whole Kobe thing happened, and when we found out that Gigi died as well,  the first thing that came to mind was, ‘We need an outlet to express this pain,’” said Akopyan. 

The strength of character behind Bryant’s success served as a pivotal reason why Akopyan and Sarkisian felt compelled to design a piece of art in his honor. 

Arthur Akopyan and Haibert Sarkisian’s mural of Nipsey Hussle, Gigi Bryant, and Kobe Bryant sits at the corner of Verdugo Ave. and Lake St. in Burbank. (photo by Ross A. Benson)

“As an LA native, [I] look at him as a hero,” Akopyan detailed. “I specifically remember seeing that game where Kobe tore his achilles and got back up and went and shot another free throw and he finished that game. That Mamba mentality that he preaches was literally imprinted into my head after I saw that.”

They worked for a total of five days on the mural, and both artists say they have witnessed the community uniting over their portrait of the Bryants and Hussle.

“It allows you to just kind of let go of who you are and share this one common moment,” Sarkisian said.

Multitalented artist Isaac Pelayo also honored Bryant outside of Nelson’s Liquor in Burbank with a mural depicting Bryant from behind, wearing his number 24 jersey with a golden halo surrounding the late athlete. The background is a simple, glowing white with “LA” and “20” written as an homage to the city Bryant gave 20 years of his epic career to. 

Pelayo has become an acclaimed painter over the course of three-and-a-half years, but had never attempted a mural project prior to his depiction of Kobe. Although celebrity portraits are rare for him, Pelayo, a loyal fan of Bryant, felt compelled to honor the LA legend after his saddening and sudden death.

“This one hit differently,” Pelayo said. “This one hit my childhood. When Kobe passed, it was one of those things you just don’t believe.” 

Showing Bryant from behind allowed Pelayo to convey Bryant’s strength as a pillar of the city of Los Angeles.

“It represents him a lot. He was a leader. He was never looking back at any mistakes, and he just kept moving forward,” said Pelayo. 

For Pelayo, the symbolism behind the mural, which he dubbed “Saint Kobe,” was representative of Bryant’s contributions that went far beyond his time as a basketball player.

“I wanted to paint Kobe Bryant the person, not the basketball legend,” said Pelayo. “I didn’t want to highlight just one thing, I wanted to highlight him as a person moving forward, and he’s going to be illuminating the city for the rest of time. As long as the city stands, and the rest of the world, really. His light will never fade. That’s why the wall is as bright as it is, it illuminates.”

In creating the artwork, Pelayo strived to give onlookers a feeling of hope for the future, even in the face of tragedy or setbacks. 

“I hope that it gives people that sensibility of just not being afraid to move forward when you don’t know what’s going to happen. And just keep shining,” Pelayo said. 

You can follow the artists though their Instagram accounts: @isaacpelayo, @dehmq, @eyesbehindart, @splatterhaus

Warner Bros. Breaks Ground On Frank Gehry-Designed “Iceberg” Office Towers

California Governor Gavin Newson joined architect Frank Gehry, Warner Bros. Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff, developer Jeff Worthe and Burbank Mayor Sharon Springer at the official groundbreaking of the Second Century Project, a Warner Bros. Studios expansion featuring two Gehry-designed office towers known as the “icebergs,” on Tuesday, January 14.

“These incredible new buildings will combine state-of-the-art technology with a dynamic work environment and allow us to reimagine not only our workspace but our future,” said Sarnoff. “Along with our historic lot, this newly expanded campus will fuel increased creativity, facilitate collaboration and help us attract and retain the world’s best and most diverse talent.”

(from left to right) Burbank City Councilmember Emily Gabel-Luddy, Burbank Mayor Sharon Springer, architect Frank Gehry, Warner Bros. Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff, developer Jeff Worthe, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Burbank City Councilmember Bob Frutos, Burbank City Councilmember Jess Talamantes and Burbank City Councilmember Tim Murphy celebrate the groundbreaking on Warner Bros. Second Century Project. (Photo By Ross Benson)

“This is an investment in our employees, our creative and business partners and the Burbank community,” Sarnoff added.

“This is a project that shows confidence in our future,” commented Newsom, speaking to the positive economic impact of the project. “This is a big deal, not just for Burbank or the region, but for the entire state.”

Announced in April 2019, the Second Century Project, as the expansion is called, alludes to the beginning of Warner Bros. second century in business. The expansion is due to be completed in 2023, to coincide with the year of Warner Bros.’ centennial celebration.

(Photo By Ross Benson)

“Warner Bros. is a legendary company and we needed to create a legendary building for them,” commented Gehry.

The two new office buildings are designed to look like icebergs floating along the 134 Freeway, as Gehry described during the April 2019 project announcement. The office complex will feature two towers, one at seven stories and 355,00o square feet of office space and the other at nine stories and 455,000 square feet of office space and be LEED Certified.

“In the Media Capital of the World, Warner Bros.’ commitment to this project is also a commitment to Burbank, reinforcing our relationship that goes back more than 90 years,” said Springer. “The creativity of Mr. Gehry’s architecture along with Warner Bros. desire to build something genuinely unique and Mr. Worthe’s commitment to construct it, further proves that yes, Burbank is a World Class City.”

(Photo By Ross Benson)

The full Burbank City Council, including Bob Frutos, Jess Talamantes, Emily Gabel-Luddy and Tim Murphy, were also on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony.

“We’re creating something pretty unique and pretty special,” added Worthe. “Almost 4000 Warner Bros. employees [will] work here. We’re trying to do something to make their lives better.”

With the groundbreaking now official, the construction of the Second Century project takes place in two phases. Occupancy of Phase I is expected in 2022 and Phase II occupancy will coincide with Warner Bros.’ centennial celebration in 2023.

French Holiday Bazaar

Get a head start on your holiday shopping!

The Burbank Campus Parents’ Association of the International School of Los Angeles is proud to present their 3rd annual French Holiday Bazaar on Friday, December 6 from 3:00pm-9:00pm. Featuring over 30 vendors and artists, plus gourmet French food and festive drinks, the Bazaar is the perfect place to start (and maybe even finish!) your holiday shopping.

The festivities will include:
> toys, costumes, and games
> trendy fashion
> jewelry
> home decor & linen
> gourmet gift baskets
> pre-orders of holiday trees

Admission is free! Simply RSVP for free via Eventbrite (https://french-holiday-bazaar.eventbrite.com/) to join us for a merry evening of shopping and more!

Burbank Baseball Caps Regular Season With 10-3 Win Over Burroughs

By Rick Assad


Because of proximity and history, any time Burbank High and Burroughs face each other in athletic competition, something is always at stake.

On Friday night at Tomahawk Field, the stakes were raised even higher because if the Bulldogs captured this Pacific League baseball encounter, they had a chance to pull even with Crescenta Valley for second place behind first place Arcadia.

But if the Indians prevailed, they would be tied with Muir at 8-6 and have a chance for the postseason.

Davis Mieliwocki went five innings and collected the win as Burbank prevailed 10-3 over Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In a game that lasted almost three hours and saw nine total pitchers employed and eight combined errors committed, Burbank walked away with a 10-3 victory.

With the triumph over their longtime rival, the Bulldogs are 10-4 in league, tied with the Falcons while the Indians posted a 7-7 mark, one game behind the Mustangs, and are out of the CIF Southern Section playoffs which begin next week.

For the seniors who win, there is always extreme joy and happiness, while for the losers there is only pain and sadness.

“Tough preseason for us. We played the monsters. But it seemed to kind of work in our favor,” said Burbank coach Bob Hart, whose team went 8-3 down the stretch. “I liked the resiliency. I like the fact that they were in every game. I had juniors wanting to give at-bats for the seniors. Ultimately that’s a testament to their character and that’s probably what I’m most proud of. I love to see guys who are selfless. We’ve got a bunch of those guys. I’m probably more proud of that than the score.”

Xavier Dubon was one of seven pitchers used by the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Craig Sherwood, who has coached baseball for 39 years and has also won a CIF championship, knows the other side.

“Sixteen seniors,” he said. “All I did was get those kids into the ballgame tonight. Hopefully we would do well and we just didn’t do well. The ball didn’t bounce our way.”

Sherwood went on: “I’m proud of all my players,” he said. “Every single one of them. The toughest part is you’re a family. You spend 10 months together. Then suddenly it’s gone after the third out is made. It’s tough. It’s emotional.”

Neither team scored in the first inning, but the Bulldogs (10-12-1), who scored three runs in the third and fourth inning, struck for two runs in the second as junior Jakob Duarte’s double into the left field corner scored junior Troy Lee, who walked to begin the frame.

Duarte then advanced to third base on a passed ball and eventually crossed the plate on an error.

The Indians (10-19), who committed four miscues, evened it at 2-2 in the second frame when senior Nicco Chuidian was hit by a pitch that nipped his nose, went to third on a double to right field by senior Preston Lemus and scored on a wild pitch.

Jakob Duarte stretches at first base as Nicco Chuidian runs hard. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Lemus took third base on a wild pitch and scored on a single from junior Brian Garcia, who also doubled to left center in the sixth inning.

Chuidian was the starting hurler and allowed one hit, striking out one with three walks across two frames.

“It hurts. It really does,” said the right-hander. “Coming into this season and having our heads high and expecting to win. Having that high note. Having that high goal. That expectation.”

Chuidian added: “My team. We’ve been through it all. We’ve been through countless walkoffs. Countless wins. Countless losses. We’ve been together,” he said.

Aidan Gonzalez motors down the line as Collin Johnson readies for the catch. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Was there a point that changed the season?

“I wouldn’t say there was a tipping point, per se,” he noted. “But it would seem that after Pasadena, that loss, really got to us. From there we got on a consistent losing streak.”

Chuidian, who will attend Cal State Fullerton, but not play baseball, went on: “We came out and gave it our all. I am glad that I was able to play with this team,” he said. “This team has been battling with me for over three years It’s been a blessing to play for these coaches and be part of this family.”

After that 6-1 setback to Pasadena at home on March 29, the Indians went 2-7 that included a 3-2 loss in eight innings to Burbank on Tuesday.

In a cloud of dust, the Bulldogs score a run in a 10-3 victory over the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank, which also turned in four errors, made it 5-2 in the third inning as senior Daniel Ruiz lashed a run-scoring double to left field that brought in sophomore Ryan King, who led off with a base hit to right field.

Lee’s single to right field plated senior Davis Mieliwocki, who walked and a sacrifice fly to left by junior Dominik Severo brought home Lee.

Mieliwocki toured five innings and was credited with the win after surrendering three hits, fanning nine, walking four and hitting two batters.

Senior Joey Clark entered in the sixth inning and struck out three and allowed two hits over two frames.

A three-run fourth was helped because of three errors by the Indians as Burbank, which didn’t get a hit in the frame, extended its lead to 8-2.

Neither visiting Burbank or Burroughs played stellar defense. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior Oaklee Spens walked and scored, King was nicked by a pitch and scored and Mielowicki, who reached on a two-base fielding error, also crossed the plate.

Burbank tacked on two runs in the fifth inning when it rapped out four hits including a run-scoring single by Mieliwocki that drove in junior Aidan Gonzalez, who singled to left field.

The other run scored via a walk to Lee with the bases filled as Spens, who singled to left field, scored.

A run in the sixth sliced Burbank’s lead to 10-3 as senior Jesse Rodriguez, who was safe at third base on a throwing error, scored on senior Andres Salazar’s grounder.

Senior Julian Jaramillo singled in the third and seventh inning for the Indians and senior Cody Winters doubled off the fence in the fifth for the Bulldogs.

Senior Nathaniel Metz took the loss and didn’t retire a batter, yielding one hit with one walk.

Senior Xavier Dubon went one inning, striking out one and allowing two hits and senior Josh Hooker hit two batters, issued one walk and whiffed one over one inning.

Senior Brandon Aguilar failed to retire a batter and allowed one hit, Jaramillo gave up three hits, struck out two with one walk in one inning and Salazar fanned three with one walk in two innings.