Donna Balancia

Malia Balancia’s design for The Weeknd received a finalist designation for SoCal Journalism Awards — Courtesy Malia Balancia

California Rocker, our website that covers pop culture and music in the Golden State, is a finalist in six categories of the SoCal Journalism Awards, 2021.

Malia Balancia, art director, and Luis Moreno, photo editor, will be on hand to attend the SoCal Journalism Awards Gala on Oct. 16 at the Millennium Biltmore in downtown Los Angeles.

California Rocker received finalist designations for: Criticism of Music, Best Entertainment Photo, Best Photo Essay, Best Graphic, Best Animation/Moving Graphic and Best Blog.

For more information go to the SoCal Journalism Awards Finalist List here. Tickets to the gala are available here.



Van Espahbodi is co-founder of Starburst Aerospace — Courtesy

Van Espahbodi, the managing partner and co-founder of Starburst Accelerator helps aerospace companies grow.

Espahbodi, a 20-year aerospace strategist with an eye on the future, said Southern California is the most fertile ground for creative companies on the rise. Starburst Accelerator, led by Espahbodi and founder François Chopard, help develop young companies and introduce them into an ever-more demanding market.

He has always loved the aerospace industry. Espahbodi’s studies have been focused on technology transfer and how licensing technologies to partners shape foreign policy overseas. He started his career on Capitol Hill as a Congressional aid and grew to become a respected adviser to NASA, the Department of Defense, the UK and the military.

But Espahbodi’s heart lies is in helping to give young companies their start.

Read the full interview at