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Gadfly

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NEWS
December 25, 2002
Laura Sturza City Council gadfly Esther Espinoza hopes to land a seat on the other side of the council dais. The unabashed critic of the council aims to represent the city's Latino population -- a group she said has been discriminated against by the City Council. "Some people have not been treated well," said Espinoza, 69. "We need to root out all forms of institutional discrimination." Her controversial comments at meetings have drawn fire from council members, who have frequently reprimanded Espinoza for her use of racial slurs.
NEWS
February 18, 2004
I'm responding to Mr. Donn Nay's letter regarding my challenge (Jan. 28 Leader). First, there was no challenge. Second, my Britannica-Webster defines gadfly as a person who annoys or criticizes others in an attempt to provoke or stimulate them. I'm sure the city of Burbank gets enough criticism about decisions made with respect to repairs and improvements. But when you organize whole groups of people to criticize just that, it can get annoying. I'm sure the school board knows exactly what it's doing.
NEWS
May 30, 2001
Will Rogers presents a good case for the bad vocal habits of the Tuesday night City Council gadfly group ("Defending a nutjob's right to speak," April 28), but doesn't offer any solution for controlling their behavior. He says this is the price of democracy. Not true. There are all kinds of restrictions of free speech in our society where it infringes on civility. We are limited in our mode of expression at work, at church, in restaurants and other public places.
NEWS
March 2, 2002
So Mike Nolan is going to be representing Measure A in court. Will Rogers' column hit the nail on the head when he was describing Mr. Nolan, but he neglected to state the fact that the citizens of Burbank are the losers here. The citizens of Burbank voted on Measure A and we wanted it passed. The measure and the responsible citizens of this city are going to be represented by a belligerent, obnoxious, incoherent gadfly who had no part in the ballot measure when it was created and voted on, and has no business anywhere it now. Measure A is going to be killed in court thanks to the machinations of our council and a pair of its biggest proponents, Ted McConkey and Mike Nolan.
NEWS
May 17, 2000
Robert F. Walsh Having witnessed several and participated in a few oral communications sessions during Burbank City Council meetings, I am writing to express my concern with the manner in which this opportunity to communicate with our city governors is being abused constantly by a few members of the community. Council members and other city officials are subject to humiliating, vicious, irrelevant or false accusations by the same pack of speakers.
NEWS
July 14, 2001
Karen S. Kim Some have used the term gadflies when referring to the unofficial 10-member group of stalwart citizens who face off against the City Council week after week. This colorful bunch blanches at the term "gadfly," though. Rather, they say they consider themselves civic-minded citizens who have a responsibility to speak to their elected officials. When the City Council made moves on June 19 to temporarily restrict the first period of oral communications to 60 seconds for a period of 60 days, this group of regulars was probably the most upset, vowing to fight the change.
NEWS
May 10, 2000
Will Rogers With recent talk of reducing the time residents have for addressing the City Council, and given simultaneous forays into the substance -- or, in some cases, the lack thereof -- of remarks made each week by some of the regular speakers, it was fitting that I coincidentally heard from a man who years ago was known to many as "The Gadfly From Hell." Melvin Perlitch was not insulted when city officials called him that. To the contrary, he began introducing himself as the Gadfly From Hell.
NEWS
July 21, 2001
I was disgusted by your cute, happy look at Burbank's gadflies. When one of that group began to use the occasional epithet, the public outcry seemed to thrill her, and she greatly increased her use of revolting and offensive racial and religious slurs. Among the crowd you featured, these people have a long history of reveling in public attention, which encourages more of their offensive, destructive behavior. I don't apply the term "gadfly" in the pejorative sense to everyone using the public microphone at council meetings.
NEWS
December 18, 2002
Resident liked the Rogers of yesterday Leader letter-writer Richard L. Jensen takes great exception to my constant hammering of Will Rogers, and I'm flattered to think he suspects some kind of personal or psychological motive in my doing so. Apparently, I'm not alone with my problems, because every time I complain about the latest misstatement or straw-man argument of Will's, I hear a tremendous amount of agreement in...
NEWS
November 13, 2002
AS IF YOU ASKED Diplomacy has been compared to approaching a vicious dog, saying "Here, doggy, doggy," this while hiding a large club behind your back. It's an art at which Burbank -- including officials, residents, and even this columnist -- has utterly failed through years of debate about the local airport. The best evidence of that failure is the Airport Authority's vote to abandon pursuit of a new terminal building, and the disparate reactions to the news.
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LOCAL
By Jesse L. Byers | May 9, 2009
So there’s been two letters in a row from Wesley Greene wherein he suggests I run for City Council. Having been a frequent contributor to and reader of this letters page, I know Greene has a less than favorable opinion of “gadflies” like myself, David Gordon and other truly concerned citizens. This is why I suspect his notion that I run for council is entirely facetious. Maybe he even finds it amusing that I did run once and didn’t fare too well in that contest.
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NEWS
March 17, 2004
Tim Willert Apparently, Mark Barton doesn't intend to let sleeping dogs lie. Barton, the Burbank gadfly who accused Community Development Director Sue Georgino of intentionally ruining his reputation, said Tuesday that he is considering legal action against the city even though an informal police investigation turned up no wrongdoing on Georgino's part. "She lied to government officials, she has broken the law," Barton said. "I wouldn't rule out anything at this point, including legal action."
NEWS
February 18, 2004
I'm responding to Mr. Donn Nay's letter regarding my challenge (Jan. 28 Leader). First, there was no challenge. Second, my Britannica-Webster defines gadfly as a person who annoys or criticizes others in an attempt to provoke or stimulate them. I'm sure the city of Burbank gets enough criticism about decisions made with respect to repairs and improvements. But when you organize whole groups of people to criticize just that, it can get annoying. I'm sure the school board knows exactly what it's doing.
NEWS
December 25, 2002
Laura Sturza City Council gadfly Esther Espinoza hopes to land a seat on the other side of the council dais. The unabashed critic of the council aims to represent the city's Latino population -- a group she said has been discriminated against by the City Council. "Some people have not been treated well," said Espinoza, 69. "We need to root out all forms of institutional discrimination." Her controversial comments at meetings have drawn fire from council members, who have frequently reprimanded Espinoza for her use of racial slurs.
NEWS
December 18, 2002
Resident liked the Rogers of yesterday Leader letter-writer Richard L. Jensen takes great exception to my constant hammering of Will Rogers, and I'm flattered to think he suspects some kind of personal or psychological motive in my doing so. Apparently, I'm not alone with my problems, because every time I complain about the latest misstatement or straw-man argument of Will's, I hear a tremendous amount of agreement in...
NEWS
November 13, 2002
AS IF YOU ASKED Diplomacy has been compared to approaching a vicious dog, saying "Here, doggy, doggy," this while hiding a large club behind your back. It's an art at which Burbank -- including officials, residents, and even this columnist -- has utterly failed through years of debate about the local airport. The best evidence of that failure is the Airport Authority's vote to abandon pursuit of a new terminal building, and the disparate reactions to the news.
NEWS
March 2, 2002
So Mike Nolan is going to be representing Measure A in court. Will Rogers' column hit the nail on the head when he was describing Mr. Nolan, but he neglected to state the fact that the citizens of Burbank are the losers here. The citizens of Burbank voted on Measure A and we wanted it passed. The measure and the responsible citizens of this city are going to be represented by a belligerent, obnoxious, incoherent gadfly who had no part in the ballot measure when it was created and voted on, and has no business anywhere it now. Measure A is going to be killed in court thanks to the machinations of our council and a pair of its biggest proponents, Ted McConkey and Mike Nolan.
NEWS
July 21, 2001
I was disgusted by your cute, happy look at Burbank's gadflies. When one of that group began to use the occasional epithet, the public outcry seemed to thrill her, and she greatly increased her use of revolting and offensive racial and religious slurs. Among the crowd you featured, these people have a long history of reveling in public attention, which encourages more of their offensive, destructive behavior. I don't apply the term "gadfly" in the pejorative sense to everyone using the public microphone at council meetings.
NEWS
July 14, 2001
Karen S. Kim Some have used the term gadflies when referring to the unofficial 10-member group of stalwart citizens who face off against the City Council week after week. This colorful bunch blanches at the term "gadfly," though. Rather, they say they consider themselves civic-minded citizens who have a responsibility to speak to their elected officials. When the City Council made moves on June 19 to temporarily restrict the first period of oral communications to 60 seconds for a period of 60 days, this group of regulars was probably the most upset, vowing to fight the change.
NEWS
May 30, 2001
Will Rogers presents a good case for the bad vocal habits of the Tuesday night City Council gadfly group ("Defending a nutjob's right to speak," April 28), but doesn't offer any solution for controlling their behavior. He says this is the price of democracy. Not true. There are all kinds of restrictions of free speech in our society where it infringes on civility. We are limited in our mode of expression at work, at church, in restaurants and other public places.
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