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Burbank Viewpoints

Burbank, California – Information and opinion on the most crucial issues facing our city.

Burbank Mom on I Heart Burbank

I wish I could have made this event at the old Ikea. I didn’t get home from work until 7:15 that evening. So hopeful they will do something similar again. But here’s an interesting viewpoint from Burbankmom.com. This is the blog that always seems to be in lockstep with the development class in our city. This time she’s a bit “sad.” Which is telling. I’m neutral on this project but very concerned for the congestion it WILL bring. I already avoid the Empire Center and downtown is already pretty bad. You can justify this massive development any way you want but the fact remains: I HEART BURBANK will further transform the downtown area into the congested, zoo-like atmosphere of the Santa Monica 3rd Street promenade when it’s completed. No one can argue against that. But of course Burbank Mom makes it sound like any dissent would be akin to “panic”. Do we want all this for a measly one-time 2.5 million increase to the city’s coffers? Remember the sales taxes go to the region not directly to our city. And the idea that Macy’s “owns” San Fernando Blvd. That one sounds pretty fishy to me. Will have to check that out and report back. The best course is to pay attention to the project and keep getting the word out so the people who live in the area can weigh in.

Mega Development Open House this Thurs.

If you live, work or do business downtown OR if your kids go to Burbank High you need to attend this open house for the new I Heart Burbank development at the Old Ikea site on San Fernando. It’s this Thursday from 6pm-8pm. More info here.  Be advised they are asking to email or text you news etc. Not singling out these I Heart Burbank people specifically, but you should always be cautious online.

Summer slowdown

Minor health issues and a busy summer schedule are keeping me from updating the blog recently. But not to worry, we still have plenty to share in the weeks ahead. Thanks for your patience!

Roy’s 30 hour run is always amazing (please show your support)

Here’s a great write-up about Roy Wiegand’s incredible 30 hour marathon run to raise money and awareness for children with cancer through the Michael Hoefflin Foundation. Roy’s a great neighbor and activist in our community and this is a wonderful cause. (He also is quite adept with puns.) Good luck Roy! You’re an inspiration to us all.

From the MHF website:

4th Annual “Roy’s Run for Christopher”
June 14th -15th, 2017

Roy Wiegand is an ultra-marathon runner who is running for a Cause! He will be running the equivalent of 4 marathons/100 Miles, in 30 Hours, to raise $13,100 dollars, for the Michael Hoefflin Foundation on behalf of Christopher Wilke, who passed away of cancer in 2014.

Roy’s Run begins on Wednesday, June 14th, at Noon, at the Market Place Park in Santa Clarita, 23841 Newhall Ranch Road (corner of Newhall Ranch Road & Grandview Drive), ending on Thursday, June 15th at Westfield Valencia Town Center Drive (Outside near the food court) at 6PM. Roy will be running throughout the City of Santa Clarita Trails.

Help Roy, by making a donation of any amount, or running with him on the Santa Clarita Trails! $25 Donation to run, all funds raised from this event go directly to support the Michael Hoefflin Foundation and our services.

Some of our Services Your Donations Directly Help:
$2500- Funeral Expenses for 1 Family
$1000- Cancer Survivors College Scholarships for 2
$500- Grocery Gift Cards for 2 1/2 families
$250- Gas Gift Cards for 1 family
$100- Holiday Baskets for 2 families
$50- Hospital Parking Passes
$20- Goodies for “Kare Kits”

Too Good Not to Share

https://semichorus.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/rogers-publicly-excoriated-these-critics-as-non-attorney-know-nothings-but-he-secretly-agreed-with-them/

Yes the “50k BHA” Board broke the law

A misdemeanor no one will be punished for – but it’s a start and again – we were right. A few months ago we’ve shared further information with the District Attorney that will hopefully prod them to continue their investigation about how this all came about and who was involved.

More to come but here’s the Leader article: http://www.latimes.com/socal/burbank-leader/news/tn-blr-me-bha-donation-20170607-story.html

WARNING: LIVING HERE MAY INCREASE YOUR RISK OF CANCER

At Tuesday night’s marathon City Council meeting — where the behemoth housing project First Street Village was up for discussion — Councilwoman Sharon Springer asked an excellent question about the cancer risk posed to residents of the 5 Freeway adjacent property. Unfortunately, she didn’t get a straight answer.

In fact, a “scientific” study of how highway pollution might affect future residents of the proposed multi-used development on the corner of First and Magnolia (which was paid for by the developer) was presented to the council in a manner which can only be described as disingenuous at best.

Ms. Springer asked the consultant presenting the study to provide some context so the public might better understand the study’s finding that set the cancer risk posed by exposure to freeway pollution at “60.85.”

Well, the consultant explained, if you said 40 percent of Americans will get cancer in their lifetime you’re talking about 400,000 out of a million people. This number is much smaller — only 60.85 people out of a million.

And while this is true — 60.85 out of a million is a smaller percentage than 400, 000 out of a million — it is equally true that 60.85 is almost double the cancer risk faced by Americans who don’t live next to freeways.

Here are some other points the applicant failed to bring to the city council’s attention:

  • Their study did not measure Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM); it used Particulate Matter as a surrogate. This ignores the fact that Diesel Particulate Matter (emissions from diesel trucks) is more hazardous to human health than the same mass of other particulate matters.
  • The EPA sets the acceptable cancer risk level at 1 in 1 million. The cancer risk predicted in this study is more than 60 times greater.
  • A Harvard study showed that the relationship to DPM exposure and health is linear. Any increase in exposure to DPM causes an equal increase in health risks.
  • The US average for air pollution-related cancer deaths is 36 per million. In freeway adjacent parts of LA County where air pollution is most intense that number climbs to 70 per million.
  • According to the study’s own findings, the cancer risk to a child between the ages of 2 and 16, living in First Street Village, will be more than twice that of an adult resident. (A cancer risk of 27.62 compared to 13.74)
  • This study did not look at the impact of exposure to other toxic gases caused by proximity to the highway which, unlike particulate matter, can not be filtered out.

In a letter to Burbank’s Planning Department the South Coast Air Quality Management District warned, “Cancer risk still remains a significant impact,” despite assurances from the developer that residents could minimize their risk by keeping their windows shut, staying inside and relying on top-of-the-line filtration systems.

That residents will chose to do so — and will instead refrain from using the pool, their balconies and any outdoor building facilities (including the temporary park proposed as an offset to the city granting the development a code variance) — seems, as Ms. Springer pointed out, highly unlikely.

Why it Matters
When it comes to Diesel Particulate Matter (DPMs), cancer risk is only part of the story. Studies indicate it is a genotoxin and suspect it might alter DNA and cause changes at the cellular level. It has been linked to endocrine disruption, decreased fertility and birth defects.

As part of the development agreement, residents of First Street Village will have to sign a waiver acknowledging they’ve been informed of the health implications of their decision to live in the complex and advising them to keep their windows closed and stay indoors as much as possible. This is presumably intended to shield the developer and the city from liability should the predicted health consequences occur.

What might be harder to shield themselves against are the ethical implications of targeting young professionals — the much-desired millennials — with promises of housing that seems appealing on its surface (bike paths, public green spaces, modern conveniences) fully cognizant of the fact that it has the potential to make them — and any children they might decide to have — very sick.

Knowing what we know about the health risks, is building homes for young professionals on this site the right thing to do? Maybe that’s the question we should be asking.

[Editor’s note: This article doesn’t even mention the history of the site where this development sits. Currently there is automotive repair shop that has been there for years and previously there were aircraft related industrial uses. The developer will have to take soil smaples at the site prior to grading to ensure there are no longer any toxins released during construction. More info on pages 60 of this PDF.]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4894930/ https://www3.nd.edu/~kshrader/pubs/pusateri-shrader-frechette-2015.pdf
http://www.newsweek.com/air-particle-pollution-exposure-linked-higher-cancer-death-risk-454256
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160429095025.htm
http://www.news-medical.net/news/20160430/Exposure-to-fine-particulate-matter-in-air-can-increase-risk-of-cancer-specific-mortality.aspx
http://burbank.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=7888&meta_id=32248

Now that Rogers is Mayor let’s revisit the naming of Measure B

This was originally posted on the No on Measure B blog last year. Now that Will Rogers is Mayor and there are more people following Burbank Viewpoints I wanted to share this little examination of how the Mayor casually changes his story as it suites him. (Sound familiar?) How ironic is it that Rogers said voters who dared speak out against Measure B were from Trump-land. It’s a cautionary tale. He’ll continue to protect City Staff and mislead people about us “nutballs” who dare to ask questions — but all one has to do is pay attention over time. Eventually he’ll slip up. Restraint isn’t his strong suite. Someone in City Hall or their pals wanted to name the ballot Measure B to invoke the feeling and spirit of the original ballot measure that was designed to protect residents.


New information on how the new Measure B (2016) got it’s unfortunate and misleading name. Councilman Will Rogers, who is very active on Facebook stated:

“I believe the city clerk – who was not here through the earlier battles – simply heard so many references to “Measure B” that she either believed or came to think that would be the best name for the current Measure, too. To my knowledge, there was never any discussion among supporters or opponents about what the title could or should be. We all simply did as Burbank’s election official (the City Clerk) directed us. Those of us who were writing arguments on the measures were told that, on the form where it calls for the measure’s title, we should write ‘Measure B (TBD.)’ “

Let’s parse this out:

“I believe the city clerk – who was not here through the earlier battles – simply heard so many references to “Measure B” that she either believed or came to think that would be the best name for the current Measure, too.”

It looks like it was city staff who arrived at this “in anticipation of the City Council’s direction” per this July 26th Staff Report:

measurebsecure

More from Rogers:

“To my knowledge, there was never any discussion among supporters or opponents about what the title could or should be.”

That’s not what he said on this Facebook comment:

“Personally, I said at the time that I thought “Measure C” would be most appropriate, but who listens to me? But, yes, I’m aware that yet another nutball conspiracy theory has bubbled up around who branded it “Measure B,” and why.”

Ignoring the insult, it’s all confusing and feels a bit deceptive. While it makes sense with all the references to Measure B (2000) there might be a little carelessness involved here but this is A NEW MEASURE.  City staff clearly wanted to name this Measure B for a reason but why not name it Measure C (comes AFTER B – get it?) or Measure T (for Terminal or maybe Traffic.) Someone wanted this new Measure B to invoke the familiar, feel-good measure from 2000. It was one of the most successful votes in Burbank’s history. The fact is the city can submit any name and do so strategically as you’ll see below from this Leader article on Measure S:

measures


Here are images of the original FB posts mentioned above. The posts were made in a closed group so the links above may not work.

The $50,000 Question Remains Unanswered

I’m posting this Jack Sprat video because the election is over.  Now that we have more information about what really occurred and who knew about it ahead of time, I’ll be stoking the fires again and demanding the City Council call for a disestablishment hearing for the BHA. You can read more about this illegal use of public funds here and here. I fully intend on briefing the public and the newest member of the City Council, Ms. Sharon Springer on our latest discoveries soon. I’d like to hear how she responds to our findings and if “trust” between “our city government and our community” is really something she values as she stated on her campaign website.  Here are additional videos that explain this criminal activity in a bit more detail.

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