Archive for the ‘thoughts’ Category

The Golden State is not necessarily a happy state

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You would think warm rays of sun and an occasional celebrity siting would be enough to put a smile on Californians’ faces.

Not according to a study published recently in Science magazine, ranking California as the 46th happiest state in the country.

Economics professors Andrews Oswald, of the University of Warwick in Britain, and Stephen Wu, of Himilton College in Clinton, New York, used self-reported data from a random sample of 1.3 million Americans to determine life satisfaction.

The happiest state in the Union? Louisiana, followed by Hawaii. The least happy state? New York.


Written by Megan O'Neil

December 23, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Posted in thoughts

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Hanukkah, a personal favorite holiday, begins tonight.

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Tonight is the first night of the Festival of Lights.

A lot of Jewish holidays are about forgiveness, atonement, new beginnings and remembering how our ancestors suffered. We starve ourselves, we lay off bread, we remind ourselves of the bad things that we’ve done in the last year and we look forward to new years and new opportunities. No matter what the holiday is, you do the same ritual every year.

Hanukkah is the only holiday where we celebrate our families and how they change; we glow in the flickering candle light and share the joy of being around one another. We enjoy it as kids, opening presents and drinking hot cocoa and playing dreidel (some of us did, anyway). We get older and enjoy the company of our siblings, seeing our parents as equals and drinking wine with one another. We get older and enjoy it as parents and seeing our children open their presents. And so on and so forth.

This will be my first year celebrating it without my dad, who passed away in early October.

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Written by Seth Amitin

December 11, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Posted in la cañada, thoughts

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TV news crews can’t find La Cañada?

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As I was watching the local NBC morning show and noticed some discrepancies in the rain coverage.

While the tagline on the screen said the news crew was broadcasting from La Cañada Flintridge, the K-rails in the background were marked “City of Glendale.”

Now maybe the good people in Glendale generously donated barriers to La Cañada. But I’m guessing, the people interviewed were actually north Glendale residents.

I heard similar complaints about TV news coverage during the Station Fire. What do you think?

Written by Melanie Hicken

December 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Posted in glendale, la cañada, thoughts

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Impromptu haircuts

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An aspects of the papers’ redesign I was most excited about are the skyboxes, the areas above the masthead that are basically Editorial’s advert for what’s inside. When I worked on the newspaper Wales on Sunday, cutouts were encouraged and we would generally put them, to use a British phrase, all over the shop.

Cutouts are something new to us at the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun, although our colleagues in Orange County have used them for a while.

So it’s taken me a bit of time to get back into the swing of doing them, and one thing I forgot from those rainy days in Cardiff is the golden rule: Don’t cut out people with long, frizzy, messy or just generally all-over-the-place hair.

Which is sort of hard when the best  photo for the skybox is of, say, girls playing soccer. Or basketball. Or tennis. Or other sports where hair’s in the air.

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the pen tool in Photoshop is no match for errant strands, blurry ponytails, tangled tresses and messed-up ‘dos. So I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone out there who appears in the skybox with slightly mangled locks.

And don’t even get me started on trying to cut out water polo players.

Written by Matt Wilkes

December 3, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Posted in thoughts

Acting coach kept film realistic

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Disability acting coach Tom Burke plays tennis with clients from the Burbank Center for the Retarded. (Roger Wilson/Leader)

Space didn’t allow my story to include producer Andrew Gottlieb’s comments on Tom Burke’s work on the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “A Dog Named Christmas” that aired at 9 p.m. Sunday on CBS.

Burke is the lead teacher for the afternoon program for developmentally disabled adults ages 18 to 25 at BCR “a place to grow,” a sheltered workshop that teaching independent living skills to its clients.

Gottlieb is a freelance producer but this is his fifth film for Hallmark Hall of Fame, long been recognized for its top-notch storytelling for as long as I can remember.

Gottlieb and director Peter Werner did a lot of research on the production and that included a stop at BCR.They met Burke and hired him on to consult on the script, but found they needed him in other areas. He offered insight on the clothing the character Todd would wear, as well as what his bedroom would look like, Gottlieb said, as well as how he would react to emotional situations.

And because the filming is done out of sequence, Burke’s help overall kept everything consistent, including how the actors playing the mother and father would portray their characters. It kept it realistic throughout, Gottlieb said.

Written by Joyce Rudolph

November 30, 2009 at 9:54 am

Posted in burbank, thoughts

Behind the scenes at the Glendale News-Press

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Occidental College student Chloe Jenkins- Sleczkowski today shadowed the staff of the Glendale News-Press. Here’s what she had to say.

The day started with a morning news meeting. Well, not exactly. A brief overview of the office, a coffee run down the street and complaints about rival reporters preluded this. But the official start — the first item on the agenda — was the morning news meeting.

In the smaller of the several conference rooms, we circled around a table and I watched the fleet of reporters present their stories for the day. No one had notes or papers, but instead counted off the facts of their subject and explained why they were important. Editor-in-Chief Dan nodded in agreement and moved down the list of items.

A short outing to the local Burbank pre-school followed the morning meeting. I tagged along as one of the paper’s three photographers covered the annual trike-a-thon — an adorable brigade of 3-year-olds staring in confusion as Raul kneeled in front of them to capture a perfect ground-level picture.

Although I pointed out a few of the cuter kids, he explained that he focuses on the interesting ones, the girl riding the rusty bike or the boy with a joyous face. We uploaded the pictures and I watched him prepare them for publication, a process that involved re-sizing, brightening and highlighting.

Back in the office, I was passed to City Editor Jason, who was in the middle of editing an article that had just been updated. After changing a “do” to “does” and fixing a comma, he showed me the web update process.

Each news piece receives a web presence almost immediately, as per the motto for the blog/website movement. As soon as a story is written, Jason edits and uploads — “breaking news” is indeed instantly breaking forth. And later in the day, as reporters finish their stories and complete their work for the day, they are required to update the blog with one of their stories of the day.

After a quick lunch break to Porto’s Cafe (the éclairs are divine), I returned in time to sit in on a web development meeting. In this day and age, the online news sources seem to rule the world.

Much of what I witnessed today proved that the website receives constant attention and every effort to keep it current. This meeting covered some points on the new website changes, and how it will be better than the current one. Anyone who says that newspapers are a dead field has not seen the complexities of an online journal.

I then accompanied reporter Zain on an interview for the Q&A section — a section that features a different Glendale “celebrity” each week. This week’s item was a local fashionista who has recently gained fame with her blog and appearance on a style show.

Zain and I did some research on her, noting some trends and the fact that she likes to jump in her photo shoots. This turned out to be an important bit, as it elicited an intriguing response during the interview. She told us that she jumps in her photos because it creates a natural, personal and totally unique pose for her.

I watched Zain think of new questions that added to the story. He also explained the importance of always having two recorders — his flashy iPhone has a few functionality problems that tend to lose recorded files.

When we came back from the interview, I talked to Web Editor Jamie about some of the web design aspects of the paper. She updates the blog and website in order to keep the news “breaking.” After making her edits, she arranges articles for online publication. She also ensures the paper’s presence on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites.

Then I was assigned to write this blog. Shortly afterward I wrote it, I considered the events of the day, and decided to start looking for an internship ASAP.

— By Chloe Jenkins- Sleczkowski


Written by Times Community News

November 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Posted in glendale, thoughts

The Big Game lacks the pageantry of years ago

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Standing on Memorial Field Friday night watching The Big Game with my classmates and former Burbank High School football stars, we reminisced about the last time we were all together in the stadium. We couldn’t help but notice the lack of excitement and revelry we remember from that great 1972 season.

Leo Orange, Mick Flavin, Bruce Smentek, Frank Baldino, Fred Hodges and Mario Perez from the championship team of 1972 were huddled on the right side of the field near the goal post. They were excited about the upcoming transformation of the football stadium and several said after 66 years, it’s definitely time for a facelift.

But we all couldn’t help but notice the lack of songs we remember the band used to play throughout the game to get the guys fired up. Gone were “Go, go go, go you Mighty Bulldogs,” “Fight for Burbank” and “Budweiser” to name a beloved few. 

And, when the band went out onto the field, there were no baton or flag twirlers or drill team members galantly marching behind them in snappy royal blue uniforms and dazzling white pomm-pomms. And the cheerleaders pomm-pomms are barely larger than the girls’ hands now. They didn’t even bring them to cheer the guys on at the end of the field when a touchdown was scored.

Probably the most astonishing change was the band not playing the school’s song “Hail Burbank High School.” Instead, the football team did a choreographed hiphop-inspired drill with chanting.

Sadly, this isn’t the pageantry I remember.

Written by Joyce Rudolph

November 18, 2009 at 11:48 am

Posted in burbank, thoughts