The decade started with a fire. The College Hills fire in June 1990
destroyed 64 homes and caused $18 million in damage. Arson investigator
John Orr was the least likely suspect at the time, but he was convicted
of the crime two years later.
The arrest and subsequent conviction of Jorjik Avanesian for killing
his wife and six children shocked the community in 1996, only to be followed two years later by a Glendale Adventist Medical Center
respiratory therapist confessing to killing more than 50 senior patients
before recanting his statement and proclaiming his innocence.
The decade prepares to go out with the San Rafael Hills fire late
Tuesday night in which 800 acres of brush were charred but no homes were
"It would seem that everything would have to top something," said
Mayor Ginger Bremberg. "Something had the be the best, oldest or the
worst. We couldn't just have a fire. We had to have a big one or two or
three. After a while you run out of things to say about it. You are
resigned to something awful happening."
If it wasn't crime, it was other natural disasters, like the
Northridge earthquake that damaged homes, businesses and city facilities
in Glendale and across the Southland. Government saw money given and
money taken away during the decades. In 1992, Glendale reduced spending
$7.8 million by reducing library and parks services. The impact of those
moves is still felt more than seven years later.
The voters gave $186 million to the Glendale Unified School District
for its capital improvements program.
What may have started as small events turned into watershedslike the
construction of the mansion on El Tovar Drive that became a rallying cry
to anticity forces the way "Remember the Maine" was during the
Building the mansion without approved plans result in an overhaul of
the city's building permit process proves to be a continuing
embarrassment to the city. It could come to an end since permits are
close to being obtained to upgrade the home and allow it to be occupied.