Regarding the Burbank City Council election, terms like "ignoring legitimate concerns of residents" and "misguided policies that promote overdevelopment," as well as questioning ongoing trust in the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority again permeate the 2017 election cycle. Just as they have for decades now.
Over the past 10 years, including just after the dreaded Talaria project was approved, fewer than one in five Burbank voters have bothered to vote in the semiannual city elections. Aren't local things going along pretty well if the average Burbankian voter isn't concerned about placing a few check marks on a ballot and mailing it in the provided, envelope with an affixed first-class stamp?
More information on our rainfall
I have a couple of comments in connection with the Leader article on the storm of Friday, Feb. 17.
The article mentions a rainfall total of 0.85 inches reported for the Burbank Airport. I was informed by a meteorologist at the regional National Weather Service office in Oxnard (which covers the greater L. A. area) that there had been a power problem at the airport early in the afternoon that caused the rain data to be lost after the rainfall reached that amount. The total there undoubtedly would have been much higher if not for that problem.
I am glad you mentioned the Weather Underground figure of 3.57 inches for a Burbank location, which I believe to be more representative of rainfall in much of Burbank.
You refer to a wind speed of 30 miles per hour in Burbank. Actually that was the peak sustained wind at the airport; however there was a wind gust of 45 mph there according to information on the National Weather Service Oxnard website.
Thanks to the community
Thank you very much to all my supporters and my campaign manager, Elaine Paonessa for guiding and backing me through the primary election and the continued commitment to see me through the general election on April 11. I would also like to congratulate winners: Jess, Char and Steve and the other candidates for stepping up to the grueling campaign process and their willingness to serve.
FOR THE RECORD
3/6, 12:07 p.m.: A previous version of Sharon Springer's letter incorrectly stated Bob Frutos was among the candidates who'd won the primary outright. A final tally of the ballots, however, revealed he would instead have to continue his campaign through the general election in April.
I appreciate every comment, question and suggestion from the undecided voters I met, my supporters, and also from those who supported other candidates. I look forward to being elected, and tackling and resolving the many challenges that we face while maintaining and protecting our neighborhoods, services, schools, residents and sense of community. You matter!
Walking in a run against talking
The primary results are in and we are left with a choice between Dr. David Gordon and Sharon Springer. Let's examine the choices. Dr. Gordon received a $400 donation from Michael Cusumano, one of the largest developers doing business in Burbank. He then claimed to be against "irresponsible development." This donation is clearly recorded on his Form 460 for dates Feb. 12, 2017 to Feb. 22, 2017.
The other side of the equation, Sharon Springer, serves and has served on a wide range of Burbank committees and commissions. She has dedicated time and effort protecting Burbank on the Sustainability Commission and now helps oversee Burbank Water and Power's operation on the board. She also serves as a master gardener, giving out plants and sage advice the first weekend of every month at Burbank's Farmers Market.
The choice couldn't be clearer, Sharon Springer who walks the walk or Dr. Gordon who simply talks the talk.
March is indeedthe month to read
For the past 20 years the National Education Assn. has celebrated Read Across America during the month of March. If you visit any elementary school on March 2 you'll find kindergartners wearing silly red and white striped headbands; classroom doors decorated with scenes from children's books; as well as principals, teachers and students dressed up as famous literary characters. Ask any student why March 2 is important, and they will most likely look up at you with a smile and state, "It's Dr. Seuss' birthday!"
Read Across America is a year-round literacy project that encourages people of all ages to celebrate reading. It is the foundation of most academic success, and it helps to improve memory, concentration, vocabulary, comprehension, writing and speaking skills.
The Burbank Teacher's Assn. helps promote and celebrate Read Across America with activities and events across the school district. Most elementary schools celebrate on March 2 with a Community Read-In, during which parents, school district employees and community members visit classrooms and read children's stories to the students.
Some schools have a PTA-sponsored Reading Night in March. Guest readers visit, art projects are available, and families get to enjoy time together entering the realm of reading that should be opened to all children from an early age.
What can you do to help promote a love of reading in those around you? Visit a local library, support a local bookstore, donate to a book drive, attend a book festival. And enjoy the adventures each page of a book offers up to your imagination!
Editor's Note: The writer is BTA representative, a special education teacher and a parent.
Richmond is reassuring
Whenever I open the Burbank Leader I turn to see if Ray Richmond is on the page because I enjoy his column so much. It is so reassuring to read his intelligent and human-understanding remarks.
I found it ironic David Gordon and Juan Guillen reported receiving campaign donations from developer Michael Cusumano. The irony was that that Gordon repeatedly predicted the other candidates would likely take cash from Cusumano, and he'd be alone in staying pure. But here was Gordon reporting quite the opposite.
FOR THE RECORD
3/6, 12:07 p.m.: A previous version of Will Rogers' letter included a reference to David Gordon's "slate-mates who've since lost." A final tally of the ballots, however, revealed the implied candidate(s) will advance to the general election in April.
It's not unusual for candidates to receive cash they didn't solicit and don't want. But standard practice has them reporting the revenue, then on the same forms, reporting the cash was returned. Gordon reported the receipt, but 10 days later still had the donation.
In response to my teasing in a Facebook post, Gordon "issued a statement." He confirmed receiving the cash, then offered a convoluted explanation of the Paypal system. The implication was that somehow Paypal kept the cash inaccessible.
Gordon also claimed that what mattered was his "intent" with the money. Actions speak louder than words, which is why forthright people don't have to convince anyone of their intent 10 days after the fact.
What made this a true Gordon experience was his next comment. He had received the money and he held it because it's his intent to eventually send it back — certainly now that we all know about it, eh? But in closing, Gordon offered more explanation:
"… certain members of the community, including Vice Mayor Will Rogers and Council Candidate Sharon Springer, have pounced upon the reporting out of this entirely legal contribution …"
Gordon closed by declaring his confidence that Cusumano meant well, and he of course cleared himself. So, the only fiends named were Will Rogers and Sharon Springer, though we had absolutely no control over the cash Gordon reports.
Speech isn't so free in Burbank that one is permitted to question David Gordon.