Residents will definitely want to check out the Burbank Police and
Fire Museum, which opened its doors with a ceremony honoring the
volunteers and donors who brought the project to life.
What it lacks in size, the $200,000 museum makes up for in charm and
ingenuty. Among the interactive displays are a fire engine that has been
cut and half and mounted on a wall, a vintage police cruiser and a door
from the old city jail. There’s also plenty of memorabilia highlighting
the two department’s histories and more.
Mayor Stacey Murphy was right when she called the museum “A treasure
for the community.”
There’s no charge to visit the museum but memberships are available
for between $10 and $100. The museum is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2
p.m. and by appointment. It’s located in the Police and Fire Headquarters
at 200 N. Third St. For information, call 238-3175.
A WELCOME SHOCK
Fire officials are confident a recent investment in new equipment will
pay off in the form of lives saved.
Beginning in January, a machine known as an automated external
defibrillator will accompany Burbank firefighters when they respond to
emergencies. The department has purchased seven of the devices, which
apply electrical impulses to the heart through paddles placed over the
chest. The defibrillator is designed for use by firefighters who are not
trained as paramedics but who are often the first to arrive at an
emergency call when someone’s heart has stopped beating.
The machines are not cheap, they cost $6,000 each and every
firefighter spent 4 1/2 hours learning to use them. However, if one life
is saved because someone did not have to wait for paramedics to arrive in
the critical moments after a heart attack, the money will have been well
Congratulations to Bellarmine-Jefferson High School students Brian
Idoni and Leslie De Leonardis who recently completed a week-long youth
leadership program in Washington D.C.
The Bell-Jeff seniors were nominated by the school to attend the
conference because of their more-than-solid grades and all-around
leadership abilities. Idoni and De Leonardis have the highest grade-point
averages in their class at the Catholic school.
Sponsored by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, the
conference introduced the Burbank students to teens from around the
country and beyond and gave them a close up look at how government works
in the nation’s capital. Idoni, senior class president, said the
experience taught him that politics isn’t always pretty.
“The stressful work and the constant public scrutiny is not for me,”
NOT YOUR ORDINARY JOE
Burbank lost one of its most colorful characters with the death of
boxer, restaurateur and businessman Joseph Botana. He was 91.
Although Botana only lived here the last 10 years of his life, his
impact on Burbank’s cultural life dates back to 1954 when he opened La
Paradiso, the city’s first supper club. Among Botana’s regular customers
were a veritable who’s who list of Hollywood at the time, including James
Dean, Lucille Ball, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor.
Botana, who was born in a small village in Spain, grew up in New York
where he was a boxer and contender for the featherweight championship
while still in his teens. In 1965, Botana sold La Paradiso and entered
the development business, helping to finance Burbank’s first high-rise
medical center on Riverside Drive.
“When people say Frank Sinatra did it his way, so did my dad,” said
daughter Joanne Botana.
BASKETBALL PLAYER DIES
Former Bellarmine-Jefferson student and varsity basketball player
Lawrence Jenkins may have left the school but he remained a popular
figure on the Burbank campus.
That was clear this week judging from the reaction by students and
faculty at the school upon learning of the young man’s death during a
basketball practice at Ribet Academy, where he had transferred for his
senior year. Jenkins had just finished a sprinting drill when he
collapsed in the Ribet gym with an apparent heart attack. A resident of
Los Angeles, Jenkins was 17.
In tribute to their former teammate, the Bell-Jeff students decided to
cancel their nonleague game with Orangewood High.
“He was a just a nice guy who never got mad at anyone,” said Sal Que,
a Guard teammate of Jenkins who knew him since elementary school. “I will
miss him a lot.”
At least one Burbank business is being tied to a massive Southern
California Medi-Cal fraud investigation that authorities say could
eventually uncover more than $100 million in losses to state taxpayers.
Glendale resident Martiros Agazarian, the owner of a Magnolia
Boulevard medical supply business, pleaded guilty to defrauding Medi-Cal
of $125,000, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. So far,
investigators have levied charges against the owners of 78 such
Authorities said Agazarian and others enticed Medi-Cal customers to
bring in their prescriptions by giving them gifts. They would then fill
only half the items listed on the prescription and bill Medi-Cal the
whole amount. In other cases, items were billed to Medi-Cal that were
never purchased at all.