San Fernando Valley roundup: New Burbank PIO, Orange Line extension and 'Rapture'

Good morning, readers. Today is Thursday, June 28, 2012. California is dealing with a budget crisis and cities are mourning the loss of redevelopment agencies, but development is still underway in the Valley.

The L.A. City Council OKd $500,000 for a project to repair cracked sidewalks in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. The money apparently came from leftover funding that the city's shuttered redevelopment agency squirreled away. Daily News

Downtown and Culver City welcomed the Expo Line earlier this year; Now it's the Valley's turn for a transportation upgrade.

It's only two days away until the Orange Line extension opens, connecting Chatsworth to Canoga Park. Metro will celebrate the opening day with free admission, live music and food. If you don't commute between the two neighborhoods, the expansion has some other features, including a new four-mile bikeway and pedestrian path. L.A. Times

After months of searching for the right person to represent Burbank, the city has hired Drew Sugars as the new PIO. Sugars comes to us from Santa Barbara and is a native of California. Burbank Leader

The 1994 murder of a Studio City man was unsolved until 2010, when DNA evidence connected 36-year-old Kevin Bernard Smith Jr. to the crime. On Wednesday, Smith was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal burglary attack in which he also tried to kill the resident's wife. Studio City Patch

Over in North Hollywood, a driver in a BMW led police on a chase across the Valley at speeds reaching 100 mph. L.A. Now

How are you dealing with the Rapture? The traffic between the Valley and the Westside is consistently horrendous, but the closure of two 405 Freeway ramps hasn't made the area uncivilized territory, yet. L.A. Observed

-- Tiffany Kelly, Times Community News

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