Tag Archives: School

Traveler Visits McKinley Elementary Ahead of USC – UCLA Game

Photo By: Kelsie Hernandez

On Thursday, November 16th, staff and students at William McKinley Elementary school participated in their annual College Rivalry Day. The day centers around another big event that takes place every November: USC vs. UCLA.

During the class recess, students were encouraged to go out the playground where they were able to take part in a variety of activities. The majority of the students each had on shirts or jerseys representing their favorite team. To help kids get into the spirt of Los Angeles’ Crosstown Rivalry, two large speakers were set up on the far side of the field. The speakers played one of College Football’s most iconic songs, Tribute to Troy, which is USC’s fight song. As the fight song played, kids ran relay races, threw footballs, visited booths to representing each college, and waited in line to pet USC’s official mascot, Traveler, who was also there in attendance.

The storied history behind Traveler began in 1961, when he and his rider appeared in USC’s first home game of that season against Georgia Tech. As the story goes, USC’s director of special events saw Richard Saukko riding his white horse, Traveler I, during the 1961 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. By the fall of that year, Saukko and his horse were doing laps inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. From 1961 to 1988, Saukko himself would train and ride each iteration of Traveler. After his death, the Saukko family continued the tradition until 2003. Starting in 2003, Joanne Asman took over seeing the tradition through. Since the original Traveler in 1961, there have been several iterations of USC’s mascot, with the current horse, named Traveler IX, completing its first football season this year.

Photo By: Kelsie Hernandez

This year, Raymond Juarez, a parent who has children attending William McKinley Elementary, organized the event. Juarez, who also organized the event last year, said his favorite thing about putting the event together is “getting the college exposure to the kids and just making sure they’re exposed to the two powerhouse colleges that we have here – UCLA and USC – and just to build that college experience that hopefully they’ll have later on.”

The program, which is over six years old, is always planned for the Thursday before the big game, but is not limited to just USC or UCLA school spirt. Much of the staff also sported different college tees, increasing the exposure of a variety of universities among the young students. According to Juarez, past organizers and his team always try to help from outside resources to make the event special for the kids. “Our big help is the Burbank Print Center,” said Juarez, “Joanne and her team really helps us out, and we do reach out to UCLA and USC, to try to get any items from them.”

At the end of the day, the program was a success. “The McKinley school community had a great time meeting Traveler, the team, and adding to great USC and UCLA memories”, said Juarez.

USC is set to host UCLA at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 PM, PST, and will be broadcasted nationally on ESPN. USC leads the overall record between the two teams at 48-31-7.


St. Francis Xavier Installs New School Officers

Dr. Paul Sullivan of St. Francis Xavier School lights a symbolic candle held by incoming school president Kaitlyn Maddigan under the watchful eye of Councilman Jess Talamantes (Photo By Craig Sherwood)

St. Francis Xavier held their installation ceremony at the school on Thursday.  Students from all grade levels assembled in the school’s church to listen to speakers and pray for their new class officers.

Burbank City Councilman Jess Talamantes was the keynote speaker and talked about the students and class leaders possible bright futures.

Student Council Elected Officers

2012/2013 School Year

 President                       Kaitlyn Maddigan

 Vice-President              Kayla Santos

 Secretary                       Allison Salvador

 Treasurer                      Michael Romagnino

 Reporter                       Austin Oberlander

 Officers of Service        Daniel Maddigan,        Ana Tressel

 Officers of Religious Affairs      Shereen Aziz,     Becky Doyle

 Boys Sports                   Kyle Lucero

 Officer of Spirit            Allison Romagnino

 Historian                       Ryan Maddigan

Elected officials all line up to take the pledge of office. (Photo By Craig Sherwood)

Appointed Officers


City of Burbank Youth Board                  Lauren Ryan

 Community Service      Jide Hospidales

 Girls’ Sports                  Haley Lefevre

 Assistant to Girls’   Sports       Gabriella Angrisani

 Assistant to Spirit        Isabella Augustine         Aidyn Kehrli

 Snack Cart Set up        Weston Dunkin-Butcher,       Andrew Jaramillo

 Snack Cart Treasurer    Collette Lee

 Courtesy                         Reem Dabbous

 Publicity/Posters                   Olivia Oberlander         Isabella Mardirossian

 Pride Patrol                  Matthew Fowler

 Connor Flynn

 Skye Pingul

 Isabella Scozzola

Burbank City Councilman Jess Talamantes addresses the students and teachers at the school assembly. (Photo By Craig Sherwood)

 Kindergarten                Joseph Augustine

Representatives            Miles Kenney

First Grade                    Lauren Ryan

Representatives            Taylor Serna

 Second Grade               Nathan Priestley

 Representatives            Jonathan Topete

 Third Grade                  Ella Santos

 Representatives            Lincoln Melcher

 Alternate:  Cole Clark

 Fourth Grade                Alexandria Sorensen

 Representatives            Matthew Aziz

 Fifth Grade                             Giselle Gonzaga


 Sixth Grade                   Hope Clark

 Representatives            Valeria Cobilich

 Seventh Grade              Rebecca Penaflor

Representatives            Joseph Whelan

Eighth Grade                Julian De La Rosa

 Representatives            Jasmine Ztintun

Burbank City Council Stops Cell Tower In A Steeple – Others May Already Exist

By Stan Lynch

In a not surprising move, the Burbank City Council voted unanimously to uphold an appeal of an earlier Planning Board decision to allowed T-Mobile to place a cell phone antenna on the roof of the Little White Chapel Christian Church, located at 1711 N. Avon St.

Residents gather at City Hall to fight a proposed Cell Tower (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

The antenna would have been housed in a steeple-like structure to be constructed on the roof of the church.  The church, which was built in 1941 by ministers and lay people from the Disciples of Christ denomination, takes its name from the original church building, a small chapel on the corner of Jeffries Ave. and Avon St.  The chapel has a steeple, with a bell that is not visible, inside it.

Although the alleged health risks from the antenna were cited by opponents of the tower, the council is prohibited by federal law from regulating cell phone towers based on environmental health concerns.  In the end, the decision was apparently based on the project being aesthetically incompatible with the neighborhood.  Specifically, they thought the steeple-like structure that would hide the actual antennas, was too tall for the area.

The City does have a 30-foot height limit on structures in single family residential neighborhoods.  Traditionally, churches have had tall steeples.  The steeple on the chapel, according to the City, is 39 feet tall.

The reality, some say, is that the council was overwhelmed by the vocal opposition to the tower.  City Hall was over-flowing with people Tuesday night because of this issue.  In a town where elections are sometimes decided by fewer than 100 votes, the threat of not voting for an incumbent in the next election can’t be ignored.

Some criticism was leveled at the meeting Tuesday night, particularly by Dr. David Gordon, about the ordinance the council passed last September, which permits cell phone towers in single family home neighborhoods with a conditional use permit.  That ordinance makes it possible for each request for cell towers to be considered on a case by case basis.   Gordon criticized three of his colleagues for voting for the measure.   Yet, if anything, the council’s reversal of the Planning Board’s decision showed that the law works.

While those protesting against the tower cited, among other things, the close proximity of the proposed antenna tower to schools and homes.  Cell phone antennas next to homes, some even closer than the one at Little White Chapel would have been, can be found all over town.  They are on the roofs of commercial buildings in the strip zones along major streets in Burbank, such as Magnolia, Burbank, Glenoaks, and Victory Boulevards.

They are already on at least one church, and possibly others.  There may even be one just two blocks away from Bret Harte Elementary School, as well as one three blocks from Luther Burbank Middle School. There is one just across the street from Emerson Elementary School. You can find one right next to the athletic field at Jordan Middle School, one 3 blocks from Muir Middle School. Across Olive Ave. from the Olive Recreation Center in George Izay Park is another cell antenna site.  They are all over town.

One of the more prominent cell towers is located on industrial property just a few feet north of Chandler Blvd. and Lomita Street, not all that far away from homes.  The tower is disguised as a really fake-looking palm tree.  Two real palm trees were planted with it when it was installed some years ago.  One palm died shortly thereafter, and the other is still there.   Nobody is fooled into thinking the antenna is a real palm tree.  Perhaps no one would have been fooled that a second steeple on the Little White Chapel was pointing to Heaven rather than hiding a cell antenna.

The Little White Chapel’s motive was to bring in revenue.  Like other churches with dwindling memberships, they need new ways of paying operating expenses when the collection plate isn’t what it used to be.   Actually, the schools and the City, who also seem to need money, might want to consider cell towers as a revenue source.  Perhaps T-Mobile would be interested in sticking an antenna inside that statue of Dr. David Burbank over by Costco.

It wasn’t all that many years ago that every house in town had a big TV antenna on the roof.  How times have changed.  Right now there are thousands of telephone poles all over town.  They are unsightly.  Maybe the day will come when all the electrical lines will be underground and out of sight, and cell phones will have sent land line home phones the way of the roof-top TV antenna. Someday folks may decide cell phone towers aren’t so bad after all.

Lycee International de Los Angeles Makes Presentation to Rancho Residents

Residences of the Rancho area along with officials from Lycee Internation de Los Angeles gathered at Buena Vista Library Thursday evening. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Residents, along with officials from a proposed Lycee International de Los Angeles that wants to move into the old G.M. site and make a school for K-12 grade, met Thursday evening at The Buena Vista Library.

The gathering wanted to find out what the proposed Lycee International de Los Angeles School and residents could work out so both parties are happy.

Residents concerns were traffic, and noise, along with the other elements that schools bring. There were about 75 people in attendance and toward the end there was a show of hands that the residents would be willing to let the school proceed.

Residences of the Rancho area along with officials from Lycee Internation de Los Angeles gathered at Buena Vista Library Thursday evening. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

There are plenty of items that will need to be worked out but this was a fact finding mission, and not an official city meeting.


School to Hold Meeting to Discuss GM Site in Rancho Neighborhood

This coming Thursday, March 22nd, the Lycee International de Los Angeles (LILA) school will be hosting a community meeting to discuss their proposal to open a private school on the site of the General Motors Training Facility at 1105 Riverside Drive. The proposed school would replace the existing proposal by developer New Urban West to build 50 single family homes on the site.

The meeting will be held Thursday, March 22nd, at 6:30 p.m. at the Buena Vista Library Community Room, located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street.

The meeting was scheduled by, and will be hosted by, the LILA school. This information is being provided only as a courtesy and does not constitute an official public notice. This meeting is not being hosted by the City and does not fulfill any public meeting requirements for the zoning application process. LILA has not submitted an application to the City of Burbank.

City staff will be present at the meeting to answer questions about the City process and zoning requirements. Staff will be there to answer questions only, not to take public input on the project or discuss the merits of the project. This meeting is an opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide feedback to the school as they consider moving forward with their proposal. The City will have an official community meeting to solicit public input at a later time, if and when an application has been filed.

If you have questions about Thursday’s meeting, please contact Michael Forbes at mforbes@ci.burbank.ca.us or 818-238-5250.

McKinley Elementary Rocks

Photo By Ross A. Benson

The Rock & Roll Concert sounds filled the air around McKinley’s grass field Friday evening when the PTA put on McKinley Rocks. This is the second year of the concert, and the funds raised will go to Arts at McKinley Elemementary School. McKinley kid bands as well as Parent bands entertained while people ate hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, chips, drinks, cookies, and brownies. Many brought their own lawn chairs or blankets to sit on and were entertained.

Photo By Ross A. Benson

Photo By Ross A. Benson

Burbank’s William McKinley Elementary School Celebrates Namesakes Birthday

Photo By Steven J. Lynch

Clad in carnations, his favorite flower and good luck charm, students from William McKinley Elementary School were treated to an assembly to celebrate the 25th Presidents birthday a day early, Friday January 28th. The Burbank Community Band, directed by Dr. Don Holcomb, gave the students an educational concert where they learned about the different sounds of a band. There was also a slideshow presentation depicting many photographs of the former President.

New Pertossis Immunization Required For Grades 7-12 In Burbank Schools

Effective immediately: The State of California is requiring all students entering grades 7 to 12 in Fall 2011 to have proof of receiving the Tdap booster on or after their 10th birthday. See the home page of Burbank Unified School District website (www.burbankusd.org) or contact your School Nurse for further information.