City needs to cater to new generation of residents
Since moving to Burbank a year ago, I have enjoyed reading the
letters to the editor that reflect the various demographics and
psychographics of this city. I am pleased to see a substantial
segment of the population wants to see Burbank move into the 21st
century and understand that a new definition of the city needs to be
Having grown up in Burbank, moving away to college, living in a
number of different towns and cities in several states, followed by a
return to my roots, I have observed Burbank up close and at a
distance. One observation is clear: Burbank is, and always will be, a
company town. Forty years ago, that “company” was a manufacturing and
industrial center whose epicenter was the Lockheed Corp.
Consequently, the housing trends, retail centers and entertainment
venues reflected the lifestyle of the people who worked in that
sector. Burbank did a very good job of providing that kind of
shopping, restaurants and amenities that fit the needs of the
residents at the time. Today, Burbank still fills the mass-market
need, and there will always be a niche for that in this diverse city.
However, the “company” that now inhabits Burbank is the film and
television industry. This company town is today made up of a very
different group of people than those who worked in the manufacturing
end, and their lifestyle needs to be considered when planning the
future of this city. Whether or not one works in “the industry,”
according to the letters in the Leader, there is a large segment of
Burbank’s population who wants the kind of amenities here that they
are currently traveling to Pasadena, the Westside and Santa Monica to
find. Although Burbank has done a great job of attracting small live
theater, the city leaders need to understand that the same people who
attend those theaters also go to the Laemmle theaters for film, enjoy
interesting restaurants and have substantial purchasing power.
I can’t speak for the rest of this group, but I would like to shop
in Burbank without having to go all the way to La Brea Avenue to find
an interesting greeting card. Our downtown village is the perfect
location for some special boutiques, as exemplified by the success of
skyblupink. Yes, there is room for the large mid-priced chains like
Anne Taylor Loft and Pottery Barn. But to keep San Fernando Boulevard
from becoming another mall-store row, like Old Pasadena, the city
needs to draw smaller, more unique stores that won’t be pushed out by
skyrocketing rents when the larger stores move in.
As “a city on the move,” Burbank has done a wonderful job of
upgrading schools, libraries, civic buildings and parks and
recreation facilities. That momentum needs to continue by listening
to the public, and not turning away the kinds of attractions that
clearly many in Burbank are seeking. As for the people who feel that
the city is ignoring their lifestyle preferences, the best way to be
heard is with one’s vote and city involvement. We can create a new
definition of Burbank for the 21st century -- one that will encompass
all of its population and rich diversity.
Don’t overlook mall’s treasure of collectibles
Kathy Anaya may be right in her criticism of the Burbank mall not
having trendy shops. I don’t find that a problem.
I just bought hundreds of dollars worth of items from the
so-called junk shops. They’re interesting, creative collectibles. One
shop had closed in the past year due to slow business. Another owner
told me it was his slowest year in the three years he has been in the
According to business reports, the gross national product is
growing, though slowly, but unemployment is rising.
If George W. can take a break from the Iraq problem, he may want
to spend some time stimulating the economy so everybody benefits, not
just his rich friends.
Regarding the junk shops, I think we should enjoy them. What is
considered junk to one person may be an attractive collectible to