Tag Archives: Pickwick

Downtown Burbank’s “The Rink” Officially Opens at Ribbon Cutting

On Friday, December 14, the City of Burbank hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the popular seasonal ice rink known as “The Rink,” located behind City Hall at 275 E. Olive Ave.

(Photo Courtesy Scott Talamantes)

The outdoor ice skating rink is 4,100 square-foot and can hold up to 165 skaters per session. For the next six weeks, it will be open for everyone to enjoy, with fundraising events, scheduled performances, and public skating.

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy cut the ribbon after giving a short speech, stating that she hopes Burbank residents skate into the new year.

During the ceremony, young talented figure skaters from Pickwick Ice performed on the rink, skating to songs such as Christmastime, It’s Not Christmas, Winter Dreams, and a track from The Adams Family.

Among the skaters was Aubrey Ignaco who recently competed in the Pacific Coast Sectionals and won first place for the novice level. She will be advancing to compete in nationals this January.

“Hopefully she’ll go from there to the Olympics. At this point she can be invited to compete internationally,” said her father proudly.

(Photo by Tim Mably)

Shoko Tokuda, whose son skated as a part of an “Adams Family themed” trio, is excited to return to The Rink throughout the rest of December.

Conveniently located near the recently remodeled Burbank Town Center, locals have a festive activity to look forward to after buying presents.

For interested skaters, costs include $12 unlimited skating with no re-entry. Skate rentals are also provided for $5, and skating aids are $8.

The Rink is open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. It will continue to stay open to the public until Sunday, January 6, 2019.

Owners of Pickwick Properties Call for Rezoning, Redevelopment

Last night, September 14, those campaigning for a change to the Pickwick Gardens held a special meeting to discuss plans for redevelopment. The land in question consists of two parcels, and is roughly 8.5 acres.

Those in attendance of the meeting were notified of its existence through mail or word-of-mouth. The meeting was not announced on any city website, or even the website dedicated to the Pickwick Gardens Redevelopment. Still, the room was packed and chairs quickly ran out. It was clear before the meeting began that this was an important issue for our community.

The Pickwick properties have been a staple of the Burbank community for decades. The ice rink, which opened in 1960, and the bowling alley, which opened in 1958, are set to close along with the other Pickwick properties and the Viva Catina restaurant located across Riverside Drive. The site is center stage for a battle between the community members and those behind the redevelopment plans over the issue of rezoning the area.

Reason for Closure

The meeting began with Ron Stavert, current President and Chief Executive Officer, explaining the burdens and pitfalls of maintaining both the Pickwick Ice Rink and Pickwick Bowling Alley. Stavert continued by stating that there has been a lack of interest in both ice skating and bowling over the years.


Shortly after coming to the conclusion that the land should be redeveloped, owners of the land decided to partner with Shea Properties. Shea Properties is heavily into the construction business, having been involved in major projects such as the Hoover Dam, The Bay Area Rapid Transit System, and the Purple Line Extension in Los Angeles. However, as clearly stated in the redevelopment website, “Shea Homes will build its 100,000 single-family home this year.”

New Concepts

The meeting continued with a couple of representatives from the Shea Properties company. They began their portion of the meeting by stating that there are no solid concepts, ideas, or plans for the redevelopment project. They also stated that there are many possibilities that can come out of this redevelopment.

However, the remaining portion of their presentation, which consisted of Powerpoint-like slides, zeroed in on housing opportunities. As it stands right now, this property is the “only private property in Burbank that is zoned Commercial Recreation.” It’s also important to note that the property “is not currently zoned for any type of residential usage.” This is a detail that Stavert and Shea Properties hope to change. In order for that to happen, an amendment would have to be approved by the Planning Board and the decision must be ratified by the City Council. No members of the Planning Board, nor the City Council spoke during the presentation.

The presentation also included slides depicting what the property would look like with housing units. Talk of town homes and apartments were met with loud boos and general dismay from the community members in attendance. It seemed that the community does not want commercial business or large housing projects replace the current structures.

The apartment buildings would theoretically be four stories high, with open spaces between buildings. Garages for the housing would be located under the apartments/town homes.

It’s About to be Game Over at Pickwick

At its prime, Pickwick was the place to go in Burbank.pickwick-gardensaa7-7

Over the years declining revenue has forced the family owned business to close its public swimming pool and now we may soon see the rest of the establishment closing. Many Burbank residents learned how to swim at that pool.

Photographer Ross A. Benson got one of the last ariel shots of Pickwick Drive-In just before it closed. The pool, located inside the center of the complex, was the first to go.

Photographer Ross A. Benson got one of the last aerial shots of Pickwick Drive-In just before it closed. The pool, located inside the center of the complex, was the first to go.

Now, because of a decline in business that is not making the ice rink, bowling alley and banquet facilities profitable, the Stavert family, who owns the businesses and land have started a process to determine the best options for their legacy property according to a website the family has launched.

The family has approached Burbank city officials as well as local residents in the Rancho District of Burbank to help determine what the next course of action would be to both make the property profitable while working with the community on ideas that they would support.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Because of the current zoning, there is not much that can be done unless the property were to be rezoned which would be done through zoning and public hearings before the City Council would make a final determination.

Here is the letter that Ron Stavert has been circulating in the local area:

pickwick-letterEDITORS NOTE: It has been brought to our attention that the Pickwick Drive-In only shared the Pickwick name but was never owned by the Stavert family. The article has been updated with the drive-in information removed, We apologize for the error.


Golonski Starts Out Year With Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

Religious and service groups combine to bring 37th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast to community. Mayor Dave Golonski thanks those attending for keeping the city of Burbank strong, healthy and vibrant.  Former pro-football quarterback Jay Schroeder tells audience to find their God-given ability and use it!


By Joyce Rudolph


Mayor Dave Golonski thanked those attending Thursday’s 37th Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast for continuing to share their talents and service with their community, and making Burbank a great place to live.

This year the annual breakfast drew more than 300 people to Pickwick Gardens Conference Center.

In his welcome speech, Golonski said while he was introducing someone to emcee Ross Purdy, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, he called Purdy one of the people who makes our community strong, healthy and vibrant. But Golonski realized that that was a common trait of everyone in the room.

“We have a whole lot of people helping pray for our kids, our schools, our city, our churches and it takes everybody pulling together to make that happen and that’s the key that makes Burbank great, we’re not perfect but we try hard, and for that I want to thank you,” he said.

Golonski then gave the Scripture reading from Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV).

Speaking at this years Mayor's Prayer Breakfast is Jay Schroeder former NFL football player as Pastor Ross Purdy & Mayor Dave Golonski listen in. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Guest speaker Jay Schroeder, a resident of Burbank and head football coach at Village Christian School, talked about his baseball and football career and life challenges after that career. He was the quarterback for the Washington Redskins and Los Angeles Raiders. He also was drafted third overall by the Toronto Bluejays and the 1979 major league baseball draft. While playing minor league baseball he was quarterback for UCLA. He threw what is known as the immaculate reception to Freeman McNeil and UCLA went on to beat USC in 1998.

“You are looking at a guy athletically who did things nobody else did,” Schroeder said.  “I tell you that with a lot of humility.. the good Lord gave me the ability to throw things.”

He asked the audience to look inside themselves to find that God-given talent and use it.

Former Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes a big NFL fan came prepared with his own football to get autographed by Jay Schroeder. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The breakfast is a team effort and this year chairman Darrell Taylor was assisted by his father Glenn Taylor, who serves as treasurer; and Bill Bertrand, E. Paul Brodsky, David Carletta, Debbie Kukta, Patrick Patterson, Ross Purdy, Carole Stavert, Herb Vincent, Joe Volpi and Jim Woodburn.

Sponsoring club presidents were Terry Scott, Optimist; Glenn Taylor, Masters Men; Harvey Branman, Noon Kiwanis; Jonathan Taylor, Noon Rotary; and Rodney Gregson, Sunrise Rotary.

Special acknowledgement was made to the Chamber of Commerce for ticket sales; Pickwick Banquet Center and the Stavert Family; and Patterson Graphics for design and printing needs.

Also contributing were Wade Mikels, pastor of Village Church, providing the invocation; Burbank High School Key Club, leading the flag salute; John Muir Middle School choir, led by director Margo Miller, singing special music; Tom Konjoyan, Village Schools headmaster; and JC Holt, providing the benediction.

The annual breakfast is modeled after the Presidential Prayer

Breakfast that has been held each year since 1952 in Washington, D.C.

Special music was provided by John Muir Middle School Choir under the Direction of Margo Miller. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)