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GAINS AND LOSSES

GAINS

SIREN’S CALL

Residents will definitely want to check out the Burbank Police and

Fire Museum, which opened its doors with a ceremony honoring the

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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

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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.

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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

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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

spent.

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,”

he said.

LOSSES

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.”

BAD MEDICINE

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

companies.

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.


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