Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alumni Drill Team 2011

Great pics from Cathy Nicholls Coyle (BHS '67) from the Burbank On Parade!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Burbank Host Families Needed

When I lived in Rohnert Park, California, I hosted a Japanese girl student one year and a boy the following year. It was a FABULOUS experience!

The Burbank Sister City Committee is looking for families to host exchange students from Ota, Japan, this summer.

The high school students will be in Burbank from July 26 through August 9 and host families are needed to house them during all or part of their stay.

For further information or if you are interested in hosting, please contact Sharon Cohen at the Burbank Public Library, 818-238-5551, or check the Sister Cities' website,

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BHS & JBHS Show Choirs Finished 1st and 2nd

BTW... Brendan Jennings, director of Burroughs' Powerhouse group, is the son of friend and classmate, Deanna Lloyd Jennings (BHS '67)!

School show choirs finish on top

District performing arts programs continue to shine despite budget cuts that threaten their existence.

April 19, 2011|By Megan O'Neil,

The show choirs at Burbank and John Burroughs high schools finished first and second, respectively, at a prestigious regional competition on Saturday, the latest in a string of successes that has launched the programs into the national spotlight in recent years.

The 17th Annual Southern California Show Choir Invitational in Chula Vista regularly attracts the region’s elite high school programs. The top Burbank High show choir, known as In Sync, and the top Burroughs High show choir, Powerhouse, regularly compete for the top spots.

Powerhouse had bested Burbank High in two competitions earlier in the season and they were hoping for a season sweep, said Burroughs choir director Brendan Jennings. “Burbank has won the Chula Vista competition for the last seven years,” Jennings said. “But both choirs were absolutely fantastic. I don’t know how [judges] choose, they were flawless. I was proud of my kids. They did a good job, we were happy to participate even though we didn’t win.”

The Burroughs High choir was founded in 1978 by then-choir director Mary Rago. Her former student, Jennings, took over in 2007.

Powerhouse — cited as one of the inspirations for the hit television show “Glee” — has performed alongside Christina Aguilera and Nelly Furtado, and were featured in a British documentary titled “Gleeful: The Real Show Choirs of America,” and on “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.”

In October, Powerhouse performed on “Dancing with the Stars,” and in February, members traveled to Hong Kong where they were featured as part of the Chinese New Year celebration.

The Burbank High program is younger, but has quickly made up ground. Established in 1997, In Sync won its first national title in 2004 at FAME New York, a major show choir competition. In 2009, the choir appeared in the “Glee” pilot, and last year performed at the “Glee” season premier party.

Peggy Flynn, the district’s visual and performing arts coordinator, said the show choirs are a tremendous source of pride within a community with close ties to the entertainment industry. She likened the dueling choirs to “football in Texas.”

“They are nationally recognized and they are always competing for first or second,” Flynn said. “They are just phenomenal programs…it is like going to a Broadway show.”

Burroughs senior Tyler Mann, 18, is a four-year member of Powerhouse. Participating in show choir enables him the opportunity to not only develop his individual talents, but also to contribute to the larger group, he said.

The cross-town rivalry with Burbank High serves as motivation, he added.

“We love to hate each other, we both respect what the other one does and recognize the other one is really good, but we want to win every time,” Mann said. “I think it has really served this program really well to have a rival as good and strong as Burbank because it has pushed us to get better.”

The two choirs will team up for a performance on June 11 at the Starlight Bowl Amphitheatre in Burbank. Dubbed The All American Show Choir Super Show, the concert will mark the first time the two choirs have performed on the stage together. Tickets go on sale May 1.

Talking with Folks Before Burbank on Parade

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Three Dog Night... Remember Them?

I have fond memories riding around with Nancy Bridgestock in her car listening to Three Dog Night with an 8 track (or 4 track?) player her dad installed. This was during the time we were roommates living in Studio City and working as carhops at Bob's Toluca Lake!

Happy Days in the News

Duane Thaxton (BHS '67) sent me this email today with a link to article about friend and classmate Anson Williams (Anson Heimlick in high school) - click link to see videos:

Cathy, interesting article regarding Anson and other Happy Days actors, actresses – with a few videos.

'Happy Days' actors claim fraud, money owed for merchandising

Former 'Happy Days' cast members from left to right: Anson Williams, Don Most, Marion Ross, Erin Moran.

By CNN's Scott Zamost and CNNMoney's Poppy Harlow

April 19, 2011: 2:04 PM ET

LOS ANGELES -- A CNNMoney and CNN Special Investigations Unit Exclusive report

"Happy Days," one of the most popular shows in television history, faces an unhappy legacy nearly four decades after it first went on the air.

Four cast members, and the estate of Tom Bosley, who died last October, claim CBS (CBS, Fortune 500), which owns the show, has not paid them for merchandising revenues they are owed under their contracts.

The show, which originally aired from 1974 to 1984, "represented to the public what the best of America has to offer," said Anson Williams, who played Potsie. "The friendships, the opportunities, the warmth. Unfortunately, now 'Happy Days' also represents the worst of America -- of what major companies are trying to get from it, trying to use it for, and forgetting the family it created."

In exclusive interviews with CNN, the cast members -- Williams, Don Most, Marion Ross and Erin Moran -- all claim they have been cut out of the merchandising bonanza the show has spawned. Those products includes comic books, t-shirts, scrapbooks, trading cards, games, lunch boxes, dolls, toy cars, magnets, greeting cards and DVDs where their images appear on the box covers.

When the actors learned their images were also put on "Happy Days," slot machines, they said they began wondering where all the money ended up.

"When these slot machines came out, it was like Barnum and Bailey came to town," Williams said. "We were bombarded with, oh look at these pictures, they'd be all over the country."

Under the actors' contracts, they were supposed to be paid 5% from the net proceeds of merchandising if their sole image were used, and 2 1/2% if they were in a group. The studio could deduct 50% off the top as a "handling fee."

"It takes a lot to make me angry because so often my expectations are so low," Ross said. "But the other day someone came up to me and said, 'You must be cleaning up on those casinos.' And I said, 'Well, what are you talking about?' And he said, 'If you get five Marions, you get the jackpot."'

Attorney Jon Pfeiffer represents the actors in their case against CBS, which owns the show. He filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

"The issue is the five cast members of 'Happy Days' were not paid for the royalties for their name and likeness," Pfeiffer told CNN. "That being the use of their picture, use of their name in slot machines, in games, in greeting cards, in t-shirts, anything where you saw a 'Happy Days' face of a character, they were not paid for that."

Ron Howard, who played Richie Cunningham, and Henry Winkler, who played the Fonz, are not part of the lawsuit. Howard, through his publicist, declined to comment. Representatives for Winkler have not returned CNN's calls.

In 1999, Moran did receive $692 for merchandising after she said she pressed the studio, which was then Paramount Pictures. In a document sent to Moran, Paramount said she was previously paid $8,229 for merchandising, but Moran told CNN she had not received that money.

Moran declined to discuss details of her current financial situation but confirmed that last year, she lost her California home to foreclosure after attempts to work out a loan modification with her bank failed.

"It definitely could have made a difference," Most said. "I would think so, and right now it could really make a difference because (Moran) is going through a bit of a hard time."

Unhappy days: The story in pictures
The issue, Pfeiffer said, is that "they (the studio) made a promise to pay, they broke their promise -- that's breach of contract. Number two, they made a promise to pay, they purposefully didn't pay, they broke their promise -- the fraud."

"And here we have iconic actors. I mean, I grew up watching these people. And yet they got stiffed," Pfeiffer said.

He said attempts at mediation to resolve the dispute earlier this year failed.

CBS, in a statement e-mailed to CNN, said, "We agree that funds are owed to the actors and have been working with them for quite some time to resolve the issue."

A CBS consumer products spokesperson said that would be the company's only comment.

In documents provided to the actors, CBS said it only owes them between $8,500 and $9,000 each for the last four years. Most of that money is from slot machine revenues. The actors argue they are owed millions of dollars.

Pfeiffer said Bosley "couldn't believe that they didn't know they owed the money. And instead of paying what a small sliver of what CBS is making on these slot machines, they decided not to pay, and he was upset."

Just two days before Bosley died, Most said he left him a voice message.

"He was upset with what this represented and he wanted to know," Most told CNN. "He called me, and I called him, and he left a message on my machine that said, 'I'm fine, I'm going to be leaving the hospital tomorrow. But I'd really like to hear what's going on.'"

Asked why they didn't raise the merchandising issue earlier, Williams said, "We're actors. We were going through other things. We just thought if there was something to be made, we'd get it in the mail. We didn't think about it. But when those slot machines hit, it just woke us all up to look back and say, 'Wait and minute.'"

The "Happy Days" slot machines were launched in 2008 and have "performed well for the casinos, which in industry vernacular often means coin-in," Mollie Cole, director of communications for WMS Gaming, wrote in an e-mail.

"Happy Days," she wrote, "is a five-level Free Spin Progressive slot machine, where the number of spins increases during play, with three base games -- Cunninghams Go Wild, The Fonz and Richie's Big Night; the latter was a big hit in casinos."

She said the company does not release specific numbers showing how many machines are in casinos.

Asked about the legal battle ahead, Ross said, "I haven't thought about how long this could go because our lawyers will take care of a lot of it. Once we've stated our case, then that's pretty much our story, and the rest is a legal problem, and I think we have some wonderful people working for us, and I think they'll do a great job."

The cast members said their case will be precedent-setting because it's the first time actors from an iconic show have sued over merchandising.

"There's a bigger picture here," Most said. "We're one show, but there's many other shows, and we've spoken to many other actors, and they haven't seen any money for merchandising, so we think this is pervasive. This is just the way that business is done, and we have -- in our original contracts, it says we're supposed to get 'X' amount for merchandising -- it says in our contract. But the fact is, we haven't gotten paid, and many other actors in other shows haven't gotten paid."

In the last several years, CBS Consumer Products has issued news releases about expanding merchandising deals for its most popular shows, including "Happy Days." For example, the company announced deals with a clothing manufacturers in Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, new apparel collections in Canada, and Bluetooth headsets in the U.S.

In addition, plans are in the works for a "Happy Days"-themed lottery game, a spokesman for Alchemy3, which has a licensing deal with CBS to create instant and on-line game tickets for several television shows, told CNN.

"Happy Days is the type of show that represents the best we can be," Williams said. "It's something warm, something tactile when life was good and life was simple. When friends were there and neighbors were neighbors ... I think it's going to ring in peoples' hearts because it's going beyond this show. It's going to go into their world, into how they're being treated in whatever arena they're working or participating in."

But now, "there's a huge juxtaposition for 'Happy Days' to represent the coldness of big business, the wrongdoing of big business and the greed of big business," Williams said. "And the idea that they don't have to abide by contracts, and they can get away with anything as long as they are not caught. And they picked the wrong show."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lunch with Friends

Another great photo from Facebook:

l-r: , Nancy Krogh Brez, Vivian Blum Gillette, Donna Luce Neitman, Cathy Nicholls Coyle, Joan Nobile Ortega and Carol Brown Baker... all BHS '67!

Cathy Coyle wrote, "Had a very nice lunch with high school friends at Islands Restaurant yesterday. Time always flies when you are having fun!!! So very good to see you gals!!!!! You all look great!!! Looking forward to Burbank's big Centennial bash on July 9th!"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

1961 CBS Television Season Preview

1905 Trip Down Market Street, San Francisco Before Earthquake/Fire

More Hobnobbing with the Stars!

Found this gem on Cathy Nicholls Coyle's Facebook wall - you guys are having TOO MUCH FUN!!

"Had a good time last night at Hot in Cleveland with Donna, Carol and Dave. Got to chat with Valerie Bertinelli & her son, Wolfe's, tea cup pomeranian!"
Cathy Coyle

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Warren Patrick Fligg (BHS '67) 1949-2011

November 17, 1949 - January 24, 2011

I am shocked and saddened to write that classmate and friend, Pat Fligg, died this past January.

Below is the note just received from his daughter - thank you, Wendy. We all loved your dad. He had a great attitude and was always fun to be around. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers...

Hi Cathy,

Thank you for your thoughts!

I don't think there was an obituary because most of his people were around the world and not really in NJ. I'll ask my mom...

He passed away on January 24, 2011 after fighting Luekemia (AML) for 3 months. He had a very successful first round of chemotherapy, but the second round was too much for him. My mom, his brother-Mike, one of his great friends-Bob Weiss, and I were there at the end. It's a moment I wish he never had to experience. We just had his funeral on March 25th at the West Point Military Acadamy in NY. West Point was such a huge part of him and I am glad he can now rest there. He even broke a few speed records in the pool there! He was honored with the 21 gun salute and my mother was given the flag. It was truely beautiful. Afterwards, we had a reception with his friends and family that flew in from around the country. We had a slide show with photos from his entire life... wish he could have seen the turnout! He would have been impressed!

He had a great time seeing everyone at the Burbank Centenial and the pictures of the past were great! I really enjoyed seeing them!

I am so very proud of who he was and miss him so much!!!! I wish he was only just away on a trip to Asia or Hawaii...


Pat along with Ken Powers, Tim Thomas and John Ferguson were honored at Burbank High's Centennial 2008.

Photo posted by Tim Zuma Tolnay on Facebook from BHS Centennial