The last time I wrote about a ‘wish list’ for the Boys and Girls Club
of Burbank, it included the club’s wish for a 15-passenger van. That wish
was granted. Isn’t that great? All right, it’s true I had absolutely
nothing to do with it. Publicity I gave the list did not prompt the
donation. Some have said the contribution by local Kiwanis was more
likely made despite that tenuous connection between myself and the club.
But I’ve been working around politicians so long that I can’t help but
feel entitled to kudos for accomplishments that were not mine. So please
be tolerant while I bask in the glow of wholly undeserved glory.
While I am feeling so good about my non-accomplishment, I want to let
you know about another opportunity to help the Boys & Girls Club of
Burbank. The club is hosting a holiday party for the kids next week and
needs us to help by donating new gifts. You’ll find there’s nothing on
the list nearly as challenging as a 15-passenger van, and I urge you to
help if you can.
For boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 12, the club needs all
the popular action figures and dolls, Hot Wheels cars and related
equipment, and Legos. As parents of kids that age can tell you, the club
will also eagerly accept gifts in any way related to the Pokemon
For kids age 13 to 17, the club is taking the smart route. They’re
asking for gift certificates to let kids buy their own tapes and CDs at
stores like Virgin Records and Sam Goody’s. Movie passes for the local
theaters are another great idea. And because these are for teenagers,
gift certificates for clothes at Miller’s Outpost, Target, Mervyn’s and
Sears are requested.
As any teen can tell you, except for important staples the club asks
donate new - like t-shirts, shoes, socks, sweaters and jackets - DO NOT
BUYING CLOTHES FOR KIDS! YOU WILL DO IT WRONG!
Finally, the club also requests donated school supplies like folders,
backpacks, novelty pens and pencils.
When I try to promote wish lists like this one, realizing how basic
needs are always moves me. At least for now, there isn’t a thing on this
list that my kids can’t count on having when they need them, and I’ll bet
most of you can say the same.
Just a few years ago some doubted we needed a Boys and Girls Club in
Burbank. Today the club has more than 700 kids as members. That many
attending the holiday party next week can’t count on basics many of us
for granted reminds me of how lucky I have been. And while I know that no
one of us can help all of them, I have to believe 700 of us can help 700
Please deliver gifts to the clubhouse at 2244 N Buena Vista St.
11am and 5pm, or call for information from the program director, Norberto
Oropez, at (818) 842-9333.
[BOLD]Signed, Eternally Yours[END BOLD]
State Senator Adam Schiff has been sending holiday cards to some local
voters. The cards, paid for by Schiff’s campaign for congress, include a
picture of the senator, his wife and their daughter. Whenever I rap
campaigns for sending us cute pictures of the candidate’s kids instead of
material on the issues, the pols angrily accuse me of ‘dragging’ their
Inside the greeting card, a message from Schiff reads, ‘We hope the
thousand years will bring you continued good health and happiness.’ I’ve
heard of empty gestures, but this one takes the cake. I have reason to
believe that sometime in the next 1,000 years I will be dropping dead,
I’m a tad peeved at Schiff for reminding me.
Maybe this is Schiff’s way of telling us he’s opposed to the ultimate
‘term limits.’ Perhaps he’s promising legislation to forbid mortality?
Surely he’d get bi-partisan support. But I suspect this just is an
of taking optimism too far. I predict that, of those who receive a copy
Schiff’s good wishes for the next 1,000 years, most won’t make it even
that long. Then again, maybe he’s stumbled on the next fad in political
promises. ‘Elect me and health care will be reformed by the year 2657!’
[BOLD]Who Rang That Bell?
A volunteer working for a candidate I’ve never met recently turned up
my doorstep. The poor fellah, canvassing door to door to see a candidate
believes in elected to state office, had the bad luck of coming across
But maybe I’ve won some revenge for those irked when solicitors turn up
at dinner time.
I grilled the poor guy on recent legislation and local issues. I admit
it’s unfair to expect that a volunteer can be sent out with detailed
to all the questions I had. But I was also surprised the volunteer was
unfamiliar with a couple of heated debates in Burbank, questions I hope
others on my street share. For example, he said his candidate favors a
mandatory curfew at the local airport. But when I asked if it was the
described in the ‘framework’ proposal, or the one in a proposed ballot
initiative, or perhaps some other version, the perfectly nice fellow took
the look commonly described as ‘like a deer in the headlights.’
I finally clued him in as to why I happened to be such a big-mouth
many questions. When I asked if any locals had endorsed his candidate,
volunteer said, ‘It’s too soon for announcements, but you’ll be reading
those in the newspapers.’ I told him, ‘No, I’ll be writing about those in
[BOLD]Out Of The Frying Pan...[END BOLD]
A week after the volunteer’s visit, his candidate called me to follow
We had a pleasant chat, we talked a lot about politics, and he did his
to convince me he is in touch with Burbank. He wanted me to know he’s up
date on local controversies, has talked with local officials and
and now he knows what’s what.
Then I asked who in the city has endorsed him that I might know. He
happily chirped, '(Former councilman) Ted McConkey!’ Forget what I may
think, or even the results of Burbank’s last council election. Glendale
in the same district. What are voters over there going to do when they
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