The Crosby Chronicles: Burbank is 100 and it shows

As many of you know, Burbank just celebrated 100 years of its incorporation as a city.  There are many things to admire about Burbank, my hometown and the place I’ve lived in nearly all of my life.  However, a few things perplex me.

For example, recently opened on Lake St. is the new façade to the Burbank Water and Power building.  Have you seen it?  It's gleam and sheen would make any private company proud, only this is a public utility.

Then there’s the extensive maintenance work being done on the police and fire headquarters on Third St.  But why is such work being done on a building a little more than 10 years old when right across the street the nearly 40-year-old central branch library remains a dinosaur, an aging embarrassment to city visitors.  How many Burbankers instead visit the newer, nicer Buena Vista instead?

Oh, and don’t forget Burbank Unified School District’s shining star, its flagship child care center, Horace Mann. I put both my boys through Horace Mann, and what a surprise I had back in December when I donated items and noticed that the place hasn’t changed a bit.  Still the same drab looking hallway dimly lit, the same wall air conditioners (remember, these kids are here through the summer months).  When all of Burbank's schools got a much needed facelift a few years back, Horace Mann did not.

So, Burbank city officials, please get your priorities straight in these tight economic times and put what precious resources you have into your greatest asset, your citizens.

Brian Crosby is a teacher at Hoover High School and the author of Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher.  He can be reached at


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