Tag Archives: Chandler Bikeway

Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers Draw Growing Interest

The Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers have been setting up telescopes every month for more than 10 years along the Chandler Bikeway at Lima Street and Chandler Boulevard in the Magnolia Park district of Burbank. Weather permitting, the group will set up Thursday, December 4, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. for star- and planet-gazing.

“We try to reach the youth and grow interest,” commented Bob Alborzian of the Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers, noting that U.S. college students currently make up a dwindling percentage of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) majors.

Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers' Bob Alborzian talks about the Dobsonian telescope. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers)

Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers’ Bob Alborzian talks about the Dobsonian telescope. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers)

In 2003, the City of Burbank removed an unused rail line that had run in between North and South Chandler Boulevards, from Mariposa Street to Clybourn Avenue, where border with the City of North Hollywood lies. On August 20, 2004, the Chandler Bikeway held its grand opening party.

“I started putting up telescopes at night once the bike path was finished,” explained Alborzian, “and the Mayor and the City approached me and asked for me to hold a regular event.”

While the Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers may have been slow to start off, the group has gained a lot of momentum and the monthly stargazing parties in Burbank are a big draw.

“Before, we almost had to beg people to look through telescope and now we go and they are waiting for us,” continued Alborzian. “It’s a delight.”

Alborzian, who has Master’s degrees in both Astronomy and Library Science, met the founder of the international Sidewalk Astronomers group, John Dobson, as a student at UC Berkeley.

Dobson taught Alborzian how to build a telescope at home, something for which members of the Sidewalk Astronomers are known. The Sidewalk Astronomers share their knowledge and their time with interested people in their communities.

Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers set up along Chandler Bikeway. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers)

Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers set up along Chandler Bikeway. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers)

The nonprofit group was formally established in 1976 although Dobson had been sharing his enthusiasm with like-minded individuals for more than a decade previously.

“We teach people how to build telescopes for free,” explained Alborzian. “Your only cost is the build material.”

“Growing up, my mom would often tell me a Persian proverb: ‘seek knowledge and education from the cradle to the grave because one lifetime is not enough,’” he added.

At 69 years young, the retired librarian still takes classes to continue learning about the world around him.

In addition to the monthly stargazing parties at the Chandler Bikeway, the Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers also set up telescopes at the monthly Griffith Observatory Public Star Parties, at area schools and at libraries throughout the region. The group visits Arroyo Seco Academy in Highland Park on Friday, December 5, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The monthly star parties held by Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers on Chandler Bikeway continue to grow in popularity. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers)

The monthly star parties held by Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers on Chandler Bikeway continue to grow in popularity. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers)

Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers close out the year with dates on December 27 at Griffith Observatory and on the 29th at Burbank’s Chandler Bikeway and at the Echo Park Library.

The stargazers also visit Griffith Observatory on January 24, the Fillmore Library on January 26, Chandler Bikeway January 27 and the Silverlake Library on January 28.

More information can be found on Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers website. Monthly Chandler Bikeway Stargazing dates are also posted on myBurbank’s master calendar.

Burbank Celebrates National Night Out 2013

The City of Burbank observed “National Night Out” Tuesday evening, as it has for the past several years.  The event is a one-night rally where citizens and law enforcement come together to strengthen neighborhood spirit and the police-community partnership.

Burbank's New City Manager Mark Scott gets to meet citizens during this years National Night out as he was introduced by Chief Scott LaChasse.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s New City Manager Mark Scott gets to meet citizens during this years National Night out as he was introduced by Chief Scott LaChasse.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A total of 15 National Night Out events were held throughout the city in addition to the large event held adjacent to the Chandler Bikeway  on Chandler Blvd. between Keystone St. and Lincoln St. next to Edison Elementary School.   Attendance figures were not immediately available, but the crowd this year seemed smaller than in previous years.  Last year 1,100 people attended the City sponsored event.

Co-sponsored by the Burbank Police Department and the City’s Park, Recreation, and Community Services Department, the big event  featured a number of booths.  There were free snow cones for the kids, as well as games and activities.  The Burbank Library, Animal Shelter,  and Burbank Water and Power were there, as well as Friends of the Chandler Bikeway.   A booth by Cal-Trans was dispensing information on changes coming in the next few years to the Golden State Freeway access around the Empire Center.

Burbank Police Officer John Embleton and partner Steevo. (Photo by Ross A.Benson)

Burbank Police Officer John Embleton and partner Steevo. (Photo by Ross A.Benson)

The police Department had their armored vehicle on display.  Unlike last year, when the public was allowed to climb inside, the vehicle was not open.  Police dog Steevo was there, much to the delight of the kids.  Some were disappointed that police horse “Texas” was not in attendance.  Because of the motorcade taking the President from Bob Hope Airport to make an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, there was not time to get the horse ready and transported to the site.   The motorcade was headed back to the airport just minutes before National Night Out was set to begin at 5:30 p.m.

The police department exhibits seemed much less than what was presented last year.  Perhaps it was because of the demands placed on the police department by the Presidential visit.  The Burbank Fire Department had several of their personnel on hand, and a booth where kids  could get a free backpack, but there wasn’t a fire engine there this year.  Last year it was a big hit with the kids.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

At least the Burbank Police Commission was in attendance, with a goal of going to all of the other 15 events in town.  Several City Council members were there, as was the new City Manager.

New Yor Life Insurance offered free identification cards for kids.  In just minutes, they printed out a card with the child photo and finger prints, as well as physical description.  As they have been in the past, Target was there with their prizes.  Everyone lined up at 7 p.m. as the ticket numbers were called.

Perhaps it is a sign of how bad the economy really is, but the “free” hot dogs from previous years were now $1 each, as were a bag of chips, or a drink.  However there were plenty of free items being given away, from police badge replica fans, mounted unit coloring books to a “make your own” police car that punched out of paper.   And to carry all the goodies home, Burbank Water and Power was giving away reusable bags.

On the bright side, it was a beautiful evening weather-wise.  The cooler than normal temperature made for a most pleasant experience.  As always, it is was a fun and educational event for all who attended.  The Burbank Police Department did a great job again, despite the demands put on it by the Presidential visit.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

New City Manager Mark Scott with Chief Scott LaChasse and Police Commissioners Cohen and Rosenfield.. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

New City Manager Mark Scott with Chief Scott LaChasse and Police Commissioners Cohen and Rosenfield.. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Police Sgt. Adam Cornils enjoys the look on this young Burbank youth as he get interviewed by KFI's Steve Gregory. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Police Sgt. Adam Cornils enjoys the look on this young Burbank youth as he get interviewed by KFI’s Steve Gregory. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Police Sgt. John Pfrommer gives a group of kids a full tour of his office, or police cruiser at one of the block parties during National Night Out.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Police Sgt. John Pfrommer gives a group of kids a full tour of his office, or police cruiser at one of the block parties during National Night Out.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Police Sergent John Prommer and Crime Analyst Jessica Statland talk to a group of residents in the 1000 Blk of West Orange Grove (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Police Sergent John Prommer and Crime Analyst Jessica Statland talk to a group of residents in the 1000 Blk of West Orange Grove (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Bicyclist Injured On Chandler Bikeway

A Burbank man out for a bicycle ride along the Chandler Bikeway Friday morning, collided with a large metal pole used to keep cars from entering the popular waking and cycling path.

Neil Chamberlain, 52, of Burbank, was riding eastbound on the bikeway with his wife, Nancy, at 9:30 a.m.  She was a few blocks ahead of him, when he crossed Keystone St.  According to witnesses, Chamberlain was not traveling fast when he hit the yellow metal pole located between the bicycle and pedestrian lanes of the bikeway, about 10 feet from the street.

According to Crossing Guard Harrie Niers, who was just completing his assignment at the corner adjacent to Thomas Edison Elementary School, the cyclist fell sideways off his bike after impacting the pole with the right side of his body.  As Chamberlain clutched his injured chest and writhed in pain on the sidewalk, passersby came to his aide and immediately called police and fire department paramedics.

Although in a great deal of pain, Chamberlain was finally able to take out his own cell phone and call his wife, who was several blocks ahead on the bikeway.  She immediately rushed back on her bike to comfort her husband.  Burbank Fire Department Rescue Ambulance 15 and Engine 11, arrived shortly thereafter and began treating the victim.  Chamberlain was transported to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.  According to his wife, he sustained fractures to two ribs and bruising along his right side.  He was treated and returned home Friday afternoon.

Remarkably, his bicycle did not appear to have sustained any serious damage.  Most of the impact was between Chamberlain’s right side and the pole, not the bicycle. According to his wife, he is an veteran mountain biker.  She speculated that her husband may have been distracted and didn’t see the pole.  She noted that today was his day off from work.

After Chamberlain was transported to the hospital in the ambulance, his wife rode her bicycle back to their home on Niagara St., and the crew from Engine 11 dropped his bike off at their home.   The couple is supposed to ride in a 68-mile cycling event in Joshua Tree in about three weeks.  According to Mrs. Chamberlain, that is now in doubt.

Chandler Bikeway accident

Burbank Fire Department personnel administer first aid to bicyclist Neil Chamberlain, who ran into yellow metal pole on left on the Chandler Bikeway at Keystone St. Friday morning. His wife, in light blue shirt next to him, conforts the injured man. He sustained moderate injuries. (Photo by Stan Lynch)

Chandler Bikeway Sculpture Brings Back Train Memories

By Stan Lynch
BurbankNBeyond

Burbank’s newest piece of public art was unveiled in a ceremony on the Chandler Bikeway at Mariposa St.  Entitled “Trackwalker,” it is the creation of Burbank sculptor Shiela Cavalluzzi.

The larger than life-size bronze sculpture of an early 20th Century railroad worker was cast at the American Arts Foundry here in town, and features the addition of a train track made with actual pieces of rail held in place with track plates and spikes that the artist obtained.   According to Cavalluzzi, she used local freelance animator Jaime Oliff, as the model for the trackwalker.

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