June 23, 2012
Walmart will pay for the city of Burbank's defense against a lawsuit filed in an effort to block or at least stall the world's largest retailer's plans to open a store near the Empire Center. The City Council has decided to defend the lawsuit, which alleges certain street improvements must be made before the Walmart can open, council members hired the Costa Mesa-based law firm of Rutan and Tucker during a recent closed-session meeting. Later, City Atty. Amy Albano announced the decision during an open meeting and said Walmart would pay for the defense costs.
June 5, 2012
I fully support a Walmart store in Burbank. I liked the fact that Walmart reached out to the residents with an open house, the agents answered all my questions. The store will increase the retail shopping choices for Burbank residents. Before attending any of the scheduled city council meetings, I perused the staff reports and the project environmental impact report. At the council meetings, I overheard some of the people's complaints that Walmart was not unionized, most of its products were made in China, that the traffic mitigations were not complete and that small businesses would be forced to close.
June 2, 2012
I think Walmart will be a fantastic addition to the Empire Center, and to Burbank as a whole. The two letters published in the Saturday edition of the Leader (Mailbag, May 19), one expressing worries about the City Council selling out, and one fearful Walmart will change the very fabric of Burbank, are not concerns residents should use to prevent Walmart from becoming part of Burbank. I don't think the City Council has “sold out” residents by allowing Walmart to set up shop in the Empire Center.
May 29, 2012
I don't know about others, but I don't want a vacant and abandoned building in my neighborhood. Not only is it an eyesore, it's also been a real drain on the surrounding businesses. The new Walmart expected to go into a building that is now vacant is going to be a 100% improvement. It is important to have empty buildings quickly occupied and converted into something that would benefit other surrounding businesses. To most business owners (and observant community members), an empty storefront means lost sales, lost customers and lost jobs.
May 18, 2012
Burbank residents are tired of Walmart spokespeople falsely claiming that Burbank wants a Walmart, and we're tired of being referred to as “special interests.” When it was announced that Walmart purchased the space formerly occupied by the Great Indoors, it was residents who launched Facebook pages and a Twitter account in an effort to organize; it was residents who stayed until midnight at City Council meetings to speak out against Walmart...
May 18, 2012
I don't think we can have such a huge store as Walmart in Burbank without losing what makes Burbank a great and special place. It sounds like there are serious traffic considerations that have not yet been addressed, and will certainly need to be addressed, if a store the size of Walmart would move into the Empire Center. I don't think any extra tax revenue would be worth it. The extra traffic, pollution, noise, and impact on the city's small town feel would be significant. This store will have a huge impact and we should know what those impacts are. I have shopped at the Empire Center and as it is without the Walmart store.
May 8, 2012
Three local residents have filed a lawsuit against the city to stop a Walmart from opening in Burbank, alleging the city illegally cleared the way to issue building permits to the world's largest retailer without adequately investigating the store's environmental impact. After months of public outcry that included protests and opposition voiced at City Council meetings, Shanna Ingalsbee, Katherine Olson and Yvette Ziraldo filed the lawsuit Friday through their attorney, Gideon Kracov, who also represents United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 770. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that the city has yet to make street improvements that were required before building permits could be issued for any new businesses in, or adjacent to, the Empire Center, according to a resolution approved by the City Council in June 2000.
March 24, 2012
There is a lawn sign in my neighborhood that says: “Burbank: Stop Walmart, Live Better.” Of course, there has been zero explanation of why we in West Burbank, or any part of the city, would be worse off if Walmart opens in that big, vacant store in an established shopping center located in an industrial/commercial section of town. The hype against Walmart is based upon old complaints in other parts of the country that just aren't applicable here, or upon labor union frustrations about not being able to collect more dues.
March 13, 2012
Instead of arguing what should not go into the Great Indoors space, maybe the discussion could be about what could go in instead. With such a tremendous space, something like a SkateLab would be a nice fit. We do not need more retail space. Burbank has a nice selection of department stores and mom-and-pop shops, why crowd in Walmart? The skaters of our community would enjoy a safe place to hang out and their parents would appreciate not having to drive to Simi Valley. This space already has a nice café area where the parents can relax while the kids have fun. Since it is a bit larger than the facility in Simi Valley, maybe a party area could also be incorporated into the space.
March 6, 2012
In the recent submission by Walmart as to why Burbank residents want a Walmart here (“ Op-Ed: here's why Burbank residents want Walmart ,” Feb. 19), there were two statements that one should question. One is that that the average full-time worker receives $12.69 an hour. Aren't most Walmart employees part-time workers? There is also a difference between a median and an average. Mentioned was “average,” which indicates that management/executive salaries are also factored in the equation.