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City needs to cater to new...

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

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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

created.

Having grown up in Burbank, moving away to college, living in a

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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

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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,”

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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.

CYNTHIA CAVANAUGH

Burbank

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

mall.

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

another.

WESLEY GREENE

Burbank


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