Centennial Kickoff Event a Success-
|Happy Birthday Eagle
Rock! - Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, February 26, 2011 -
Assemblymember Anthony Portantino and State Senator Carol Liu present
certificates of recognition to Eagle Rock Centennial Committee Chair
Valerie Dawson at the Eagle Rock Centennial kickoff event.
A word from Committee Chair Valerie Dawson...
"This afternoon we
pulled off a very successful event. We had Eagle Rock High School's
Jazz Band perform, we had two classrooms from Dahlia Heights elementary
perform a historical play, and we also had Rockdale do some
performances as well. In addition to that, Eric Warren, with the Eagle
Rock Valley Historical Society did an hour presentation. We had all our
sponsors and elected officials come up and give all their special
thanks and offerings. We're just really overwhelmed with all the
"For the upcoming year, we have a series of events
slated throughout the entire year. Our next major event will be the 4th
of July opening of the Concerts in the Park. It's going to be a
collaboration with our committee, the Council office and the Chamber of
Commerce, and dedicated to the Eagle Rock Centennial year. In addition
to this we have a formal gala toward the end of the year in October, a
formal dining event hosted by the Women's 20th Century Club. We are
also working on a centennial theme activity for the music festival and
plan to participate in the Veterans Day parade as well.
"We just learned today that the Los Angeles City
council will designate this Friday, March 4th, as "Eagle Rock Day"
throughout the City of Los Angeles. Everyone is invited to attend at
the City Council Chambers at 10 a.m. this Friday morning in downtown
L.A. and are asked to wear green, Eagle Rock's traditional color."
Huizar and Martinez,
Round 3 -
The Media Frenzy
by Tony Butka
jockey for position as round 3 of the Martinez/Huizar candidate forums
get underway in Eagle Rock.
Boy what a
difference one weekend and an email makes! Lights, camera, action and a
standing room only crowd greeted folks at the Eagle Rock Center for the
Arts on February 8th, to hear the third debate between incumbent José
Huizar and challenger Rudy Martinez for LA City Council District 14.
Co-hosted by The Eagle Rock Association (TERA) and
the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council (and a special thanks to them both
for providing this service to the community), the debate was moderated
by attorney Brian Heckman, who is currently the Treasurer for the
Neighborhood Council, and is also a former candidate for this very
Both candidates started out strong on the Quality of
Life issues, with Mr. Huizar emphasizing a "30% decrease" in crime
under his watch, the revitalization of Colorado Blvd and Eagle Rock
Blvd, along with a strong commitment to education, not to mention his
outstanding constituent services. Mr. Martinez keyed in on job
creation, public safety, and
eliminating blight in the community. I think the answers to this first
question were indicative of the balance of the debate — Mr Huizar was
polished and plausible in his explanations of 'what he has done', and
Mr. Martinez was passionate
and engaged in really wanting to 'fix things'.
Underneath the answers, a slightly different reality
emerges for those of us who actually live in these communities. For
example, I suspect that Caroline Aguirre of our own Carolines Corner,
is going to have a major dispute with the proposition that crime in
CD14 is down. Just read her blog posts, and note the Councilman's total
avoidance of the fact that the Gang Unit in Northeast LA is gone, gone
gone. And if the current state of affairs on Eagle Rock Blvd and
Colorado Blvd constitute 'revitalization', then the Councilman is not
driving on the same streets that I do every day. But the biggest
whopper Mr. Huizar tried out for size here was the one about
outstanding constituent services. If the Councilman was referring to
the fact that he gives Eagle Rock (the Music Festival, Center for the
Arts etc.) a nice chunk of money each year, probably a lot more than
the other parts of his Council District, and that qualifies as
constituent services, then he may have a case. But if he is referring
to staff, give me a break. He DID have well respected staff here but it
was years ago. Paul Habib, who he trotted out as an example, has been
off doing the downtown Broadway project for years, and perhaps the best
staff person we had in CD14 was Jim Omahen, who quit a long time ago
for a better job. But if you don't live here, he sounded good.
And as for Mr. Martinez, he of course has never been
an elected official,. On the other hand, in today's climate this should
not be a negative, and he at least seems to genuinely listen to people.
It is very clear that he is a business person who truly believes that
improving the business climate in LA City and the District will create
local jobs. And it is also true that the business climate in LA City if
you are a small business is deplorable. I actually believe that Mr.
Martinez will do everything in his power to help small business and
that is a good thing. How exactly this will play out in the
mind-numbing City Council which defines 'small business' as Eli Broad
and AEG, I have no idea. And there of course the devil is in the
details. His answer that eliminating 'blight' is his third goal, may
have been an unfortunate choice of words, since his discussion then
turned to things such as the proliferation of street vendors and swap
meets which detract from the look, feel, and business friendliness of
the area. But these days, the word 'blight' immediately conjures up
images of the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles. It
recently received have a 2 1/2 million dollar HUD grant to explore the
idea of gobbling up large portions of Northeast LA. After all the
CRA/LA can only make us a "Project" by declaring blight and thus
allowing them to give us the blessings of eminent domain. Just ask
Atwater Village, and the folks at the Adelante Eastside Project of the
CRA in Boyle Heights.
I could go into similar detail about the rest of the
set questions, but this article would be way too long. So let me cut to
the final question, about what specifically each candidate would cut to
balance the City budget. And here again, we see the same differences
between the candidates that were revealed on the opening question. Mr.
Huizar started out by talking about the current budget shortfall and
the $350 million deficit that will start next years budget cycle, and
how we are indeed in tough times. He then indicated that there are no
real exact numbers at the start of the budget cycle to answer the
question posed, that he's a member of the City's Budget & Finance
Committee, and how he's going to make the 'tough decisions'. For his
part, Mr. Martinez pointed out that unlike Mr. Huizar he is not on the
City Budget & Finance Committee, but as a businessman he is his own
budget & finance committee, and he makes a profit. His other two
key points were that (a) he is funding his own campaign and therefor is
not beholden to any special interests come budget time, and (b)
reiterated his core proposition that the big issue is to generate jobs
through businesses which will result in increased income, increased
revenues, and a bigger pie.
I will not go into Mr. Huizar's proposition that the
City balances its budget each year — see my earlier post regarding the
last debate. As to the assertion that the City doesn't have good
numbers, I have to wonder if Mr. Huizar is in fact really on the Budget
& Finance Committee. Maybe he didn't attend the meeting recently
where the CAO gave the Committee a 27 page report about exactly what
cuts (by department) have to be made if the great Parking Lot Sale
(which he voted for) doesn't go through in time, and perhaps he really
didn't vote to take additional Furlough days recommended by the CAO off
the table as his own Budget Committee recommended. Maybe he doesn't
know that the 2011/12 budget is going to start off with more like a
$400 million plus deficit, and that doesn't even count how you count
the now annual rollover of about $1.2 billion (as in BILLION) dollars
in short term notes the City is addicted to. Maybe he should read Jack
Humphreville's excellent article in CityWatch.
But I digress. Mr. Martinez' difficulty is that he
does not have the technical knowledge of the City Budget and its
byzantine process, and it's easy to promise that you will honestly
balance the behemoth. On the plus side, his point about funding his own
campaign so that he doesn't owe the big special interests is a valid
point. I assume that this is a reference to Mr. Huizar's special
relationship with the Mayor, the Unions, and the democratic campaign
machine of Parke Skelton & crew, now minus the services of Mr.
Trujillo,. There's also a question about his use of his taxpayer paid
for City staff (who were all copied on the Trujillo email).
So all in all, a very interesting debate,
well-moderated, and it seems clear that this race is the most exciting
cliffhanger of the City Council elections. The career politician vs the
challenger, slick & technical vs enthusiasm and a genuine regard
Michael Larsen, Chair of the Neighborhood Council,
and Bob Gotham from TERA started events by making a plea that the
candidates henceforth pledge to concentrate on community issues and
solutions, rather than personal attacks — referring, one assumes, to
the recent meltdown by Huizar campaign consultant Michael Trujillo
first reported by latinopoliticsblog. Everyone in town has jumped all
over this story, from the LA Weekly's Jill Stewart, to our own Ron
Kaye. Scott Johnson of Mayor Sam's Sister City blog has been all over
this story (not to mention Mr. Trujillo) for some time, and is clearly
enjoying his vindication and Mr. Trujillo's downfall..
OK, back to the debate itself. After both candidates
'took the pledge' to play nice, Councilman Huizar made his obligatory
apology for Mr. Trujillo's actions, and that was about it for the
fireworks, one presumes much to the dismay of the television cameras
present. As explained by TERA's Bob Gotham, the format was to have a 3
minute opening, then 6 prepared questions, followed by audience
questions handed in on 3×5 cards and selected by the moderator until
In an interesting twist, the six set questions asked
both candidates were as Eagle Rock specific as the moderator could make
them, which makes sense when want to tone down a debate. My notes on
the questions are:
- top 3 goals for eagle rock and how you will accomplish them,
- in these hard economic times, how will you improve the business
climate in eagle rock,
- What are your strategies to encourage all modes of transportation in
- The 3 major quality of life issues and how to address them,
- About those massage parlors,
and my personal favorite (of course):
-What specific department, employees, and programs would you cut
to balance the City Budget?
That's all for now.
New Glassell Park High School Update
Construction of the new Central Region High School
#13 is nearing completion. The school, built to relieve overcrowding at
Eagle Rock, Franklin and Marshal High Schools will eventually house
about 2300 students. Of interest to students and parents, especially is
that the new school will not be a single large high school but will
consist of five smaller learning communities that include classrooms,
science labs, and academy administration. School facilities shared by
the small learning communities will include performing arts classrooms,
a library, multi-purpose room, two gymnasiums, food service and lunch
shelter, central administration, playfields, and surface parking.
There are six submitted school plan proposals, in
which 3 to 5 will be selected by the Board of Education, to run the
independent schools within the campus. The applicants are 4 teacher
groups and 2 Charter schools. The parents, faculty, staff, high school
students, and community members have cast their recommendation votes on
which schools should be selected.
Of the six school proposals that have been
submitted, only 3 to 5 will be accepted, which may include an arts
oriented school, a business and technology centered school, and a
school with a focus on ecology and social justice called the Los
Angeles River School.
boundaries of the new High School have been drawn- but the school does
not yet have a name.
|Artist rendering of
completed high school.
At a construction update and meet the Principal
meeting held February 9th at the Franklin High School Auditorium,
Phillip Naimo, the interim-Principal presented the attendance boundary
map of the school. All students living within that area who will be
entering 9th and 10th grade 2011-2012 school year will be required to
attend the new High School. Some 11th graders will attend, but because
the district has decided that seniors should be allowed to complete
12th grade and graduate with their current class, no seniors will be
attending the new school in the first year.
Basically, the boundaries include most of Glassell
Park, most of Cypress Park, about one third of Atwater, the Elysian
Valley and all of what we used to call "Frogtown." There is concern
about how students will get across the river from the Elysian valley,
and at the meeting tonight, we were informed that there will be no
busing to help this.
Some other Facts:
Parking? 200-250 spaces
Teaching positions? 50 to 70
Football? Not until second year
Open enrollment slots? 450
Shared facilities? Performing arts classrooms, library, 2 gyms, food
service, lunch area, playing fields, administration offices
Opening? August 2011
"Dick" Sale 1930-2011
Alfred R. "Dick" Sale of Eagle Rock, a long time mountain rescue and
civic volunteer, died February 14 at Huntington Memorial Hospital. He
was 80. Memorial services will be held in the local mountains in the
Dick was born on September 15, 1930 in Altadena and
spent part of his boyhood at Switzer's Camp in the San Gabriel
Mountains, where his mother was the camp cook. He worked at Rockwell
Aviation as an instrumentation photographer. A specialist in high speed
photography, he took great pride in having "helped put man on the moon"
as part of the NASA space program in the 1960s and '70s.
Dick served as a leader of the Sierra Club Angeles
Chapter's Basic Mountain Travel Course (BMTC) from 1971 to 1976. He
joined the oldest California mountain rescue team --Sierra Madre Search
and Rescue Team (SMSR) -- at the age of 46. Dick also served at a
national level in various board capacities of the Mountain Rescue
Association (MRA). He took great joy in teaching children and adults
about wilderness safety and was scout master of Temple City Boy Scout
troop 157 from 1962 to 1971.
Two days after 9/11, Sale made the first of more
than a dozen trips to Taiwan. As the result of an e-mail inquiry by a
Taiwanese mountaineer, Dick eventually helped establish and train
Taiwan Mountain Rescue teams versed in the latest Search And Rescue
techniques. He is regarded by the Taiwanese as the "Father of Taiwan
Mountain Rescue". Dick's Taiwan work will continue under the guidance
of mountaineer Steve Reese who co-taught with Dick beginning in the
Dick, easily recognized by his full beard, huge
Australian hat and red suspenders, was a HAM radio operator and an avid
electronics hobbyist. In recent years he developed enhanced mapping
techniques, often printing updated maps on-site during searches. Sale
continued as a Sierra Madre operations leader, organizing wilderness
searches and rescues locally and regionally, until his death. His motto
was "Mountains and wilderness don't care, you take care, be safe".
Dick will be best remembered locally for his
affiliation with the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society. He served
briefly as secretary and was instrumental in production of the
newsletter during the Society's re-organization in the late 1990s and
early 2000s. With wife Melody, he began the tradition of ERVHS Ice
Cream Socials to which he brought the entertainment of his friend Peter
Breede, "The Organ Grinder Man".
Sale married his first wife Barbara in 1950 and
raised three sons after her death in 1973. He is survived by his wife
of 28 years, Melody Peterson of Eagle Rock, his two surviving sons,
Terry Sale of Denver, and Jeffrey Sale of Orange County, and six
grandchildren. He is pre-deceased by his son Donald.
Those wishing to make donations in Dick's honor may
direct them to any non-profit conservation organization, animal rescue
group, or to the Sierra Madre Search And Rescue Team (SMSR) with
designation to the "The Dick Sale Navigation and Tracking Fund".
At the Grand Opening of Fresco market in Hermon, Councilman José Huizar
congratulated owner John Murga and his wife Elena with a visit and a
certificate of appreciation. He said, "I kept hearing from the local
community, we need another supermarket in the area, we need another
supermarket in the area. I couldn't think of a better store than Fresco
markets, opening up here, and with this foundation they've opened up,
they give back to the community. That is something I haven't seen in a
local business and it is something that needs to be modeled for others
to follow. So, John and Elena, we are thrilled to be here, we support
you and everything you've done here, we wanted to present you with this
recognition from the City of Los Angeles."
The market was awash with sample tables that day,
giving a taste of everything
from pork chops to fudge pastries, from fruits to fresh salsas, and I
was impressed by the stocking selection of 4 different brands of
balsamic vinaigrette dressing. John and Elena Murga are Mt. Washington
residents and have created 72 jobs with this new market.
Community Festival at Franklin
Franklin High School is once again hosting the third
Annual Highland Park Community Festival. With help from the Principal,
clubs, and programs of Franklin as well as outside organizations, this
event became possible.
On April 9th, they are having their third Community
Festival where the neighborhood can enjoy free fun. There are going to
be various shows and games throughout the day, and from 11:00am to
5:00pm, they will have food venders selling sandwiches, funnel cakes,
smoothies and fruits. On top of this, Franklin's clubs are making games
for kids of all ages as well as some games for parents to enjoy with
There will be live talent performing on the main
stage so you can enjoy local dancers, bands, and some MCs. Fun for the
whole family and friends the entire day on Franklin High School's
football field. They even have a second stage for poetry, spoken word,
rap, and a capella.
However, the day doesn't end there! They also have
the Spring Comedy Night, taking place from 6:30pm to 9:00pm so everyone
can sit down and end their day with some laughs. This addition to the
festival will happen in Franklin High School's beautiful auditorium so
everyone can be nice and comfortable while they listen to jokes for the
rest of the night. The Community Festival is for everyone to take part
in, and all are invited to attend from 11:00am to 5:00pm on the
football field. Comedy night is from 6:30pm to 9:00pm in the
auditorium, but both events are extremely enjoyable no matter which you
choose to attend.
Franklin High School is located at 820 North Avenue
54, Los Angeles California 90042. Please call (323) 550-2000 for more
35 years ago
A Franklin High School student whose brother had been killed by rival
gang members brought a .22 caliber revolver to school on March 18,
1976. He spotted whom he believed to be responsible for the earlier
death and shot him in the back. The Los Angeles Times did not report
the names of the attackers or the victims.
Tragedy struck the Kostoglou home at 6433 Repton,
Highland Park, on March 11, 1976, when four year old Nick and his five
year old cousin discovered a .22 caliber rifle under a mattress. The
boys began playing with the firearm when it went off, critically
injuring young Nick. He died two weeks later of his injuries.
The elegant interior of Thorn Hall at Occidental
College has had thousands of distinguished speakers and as many
spirited debates and talks over the years. On March 6, 1976, two highly
qualified representatives of the left and right squared off on a topic
as relevant then as now..the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and whether
it was a necessary ammendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Arguing gainst the ERA was Willian A Rusher. A
publisher of the conservative magazine, National Review, he was active
in the Barry Goldwater for president campaign, which pulled the
Republican party to the right and kept it there for 50 years.
Arguing for the ERA was Dr. Jane Jaquette, a
political science professor who advocated for women's equality issues
for many years prior to her time at Oxy. Patt Morrison, who's red hats
and commentary on Los Angeles politics still are a major part of the
local political discourse, was in the audience and wrote a lengthy
piece on the debate for the L.A. Times. Dr. Jaquette was five months
pregnant at the time of the debate, and got laughs as she tried to
reach the microphone.
Rusher charmed the audience with his occasional agreements with her. He
also commented that, "Statutes-often with the best intent0don't do what
we want them to do. They have to be revised, amended but you simply
cannot and should not do that to the Constitution." She responded with,
"We have to have a ommitment to the absence of institutional sexism,
whether it is benign and paternalistic or nasty of discriminatory
35 years later, Rusher is a Distinguished Fellow of
the Claremont Institute and the author of many books. Jaquette is still
a Professor of Politics at Occidental College and Chair of the
Diplomacy and World Affairs Department. She recently recalled the
debate, and how she was quite close to delivering her daughter. She
said, "the thing I most remember about this is that I was very
pregnant--hard for him to cast me as a wild eyed, man hating feminist,"
Her daughter recently lectured at Oxy herself on "The Curious Incident
of the Dog in the Nighttime" a book all Occidental College freshmen are
reading from the standpoint of disability theory."
40 years ago,
Councilman Arthur K. Snyder, who had draw flak several weeks earlier
for taking at least 24 flights on LAPD helicopters during a six month
period from July, 1970-February, 1971, announced his financial worth.
He listed his net worth in March, 1971, as $8600. This included
interest in his Eagle Rock home comprising $15,179. The full value of
the home was $39,800, which loans totaling $23,38. His only income was
his $17,000 per year as a city councilman.
45 year ago
Jack F. Topping, the honorary mayor of Eagle Rock, was named the
chairman of the Northeast LA area campaign to pass the L.A. City School
District bond issue in the June 7, 1966 city election.
On March 13, 1966, Arroyo Volkswagen at 5944 N.
Figueroa, Highland Park, received a zone change allowing it to build
two parking lots in a residential area. The change was protested by
local neighbors. A CVS store is now on the site.
50 years ago
Mrs Irene Branham of 1580 Yosemite Dr, Eagle Rock, a technical
illustrator for an airplane company, was driving home from jury duty
when her breaks went out and her car hit an embankment, causing her
head and eye injuries. Instead of calling in sick the next day, she
reported for jury duty with an eye patch and still very sore from the
accident. She remained on the trial until the two defendants, arrested
for being drunk in public, were acquitted. To show their thanks that
she stuck with it and avoided a mistrial, all 11 remaining jurors and
the judge, Parks Stillwell of the L.A. Municipal Court, signed a scroll
commending her for her dedication.
Wendy Stone, an 18 year old Oxy student, lost
control of her car on March 11, 1961, plunging over and embankment in
the hills between Yosemite Drive and Coringa Dr, crashing into a garage
at 1918 N. Ave 52, Highland Park. She suffered scrapes and bruises.
On March 18, 1961, the State Department of Natural
Resources named the Lummis Home as an offical historical landmark.
Over the weekend of March 17, 1961, Gregg Landers of
639 Dimmick Dr, Mt Washington, got into a dispute with two local
juvenilles who threatened him. Later, while walking through his home,
he was shot in the back.
The Gittins family at 5152 Rangeview Drive, Highland Park, got
heartbreaking news when they heard that their father, . Lamont Gittins,
had been killed in a plane crash in Hong Kong. A distinguished Navy
veteran from World War II, he later became a pilot for Siamese Pacific
Overseas Air Service. On March 22, 1951, the plane which Gittins was
navigating crashed on take-off, killing all 26 aboard. He left a wife,
Peggy, and two son, Larry, 4, and Ronald, 4 months.
Private First Class Joseph Kennedy of 215 Hamlet St,
Highland Park, was in the 40th National Guard Unit and about to be sent
to Japan in March, 1951. Only 21 years old, he had served three years
after he married 15 year old Margot Kennedy. They had two daughters in
their short marriage, Linda Marie, 2, and Wendie Jean, 2 months old.
Kennedy had been making $260 per month as a truck driver and providing
for his children and wife, but his rank in the National Guard paid on
$105. Unable to buy food, local neighbors began feeding his wife, who
was bedridden and unable to care for her children. The head of the
National Guard Division, Col John McFayden, promised to grant Kennedy a
compassionate release. Historical records show that the 40th Division
was indeed sent to Japan in mid-1951, but later went to Korea where,
according to Wikipedia, "Total division casualties in Korea included
376 Killed in Action, 1,457 Wounded in Action, and 47 Died of Wounds."
Kennedy could easily have been one of those casualties.
with The Eagle Rockin' Rodders
This fine 1956
F-100 belongs to Carey Delzell of the Trompers. After many years in
construction, it is finally on the road.
Hello there hot rod fans!
Can you believe how cold it was this February? We
were just itching to get back into the swing of things on the 26th but
the weather had something else in mind. Not only rain but around 5 pm
we even had snow for a whole three minutes. Too bad it melted right
away. There were only seven people that braved the cold so we decided
to hold off on the raffle till next month and instead we shared a meal
and had a nice visit. Thanks Al, Sandy, Rex, and Rene you guys are so
This month our pick belongs' to one of our own, and
past club president, Kirk Munday. When Kirk bought his 1970 Chevy Nova
in 2002 it needed lots of work and he began restoring it right away. He
built its 327 small block engine himself and added a turbo 350 with a
three stage shift kit. With 272 gears in the rear end and a "Pete
Jackson Gear Drive", it sounded pretty good.
In June of '08 the unthinkable happened. Kirk had just finished adding
a carpet kit, gauges, and brand new interior, making his car almost
ready for paint. He was attending his daughter's high school graduation
when they received a phone call that their garage was on fire. The
family rushed home to find the garage engulfed in flames and the fire
department there. Thankfully they saved the house but the garage was
destroyed as well as the whole front end of the Nova which was parked
on the carport right behind it.
With no garage till the new one was built, he was discouraged. Kirk
says "he is so grateful to his buddy Kenny Lee, who let him keep the
car in his garage so he could begin to rebuild his baby". He had to
completely reconstruct the front clip. Even the headlights, blinkers,
and the tires were melted. This time he would make it even better with
a "Summit Center Line" and 4 in. rims on the front and 7 ˝ in. rims on
the back. He chromed the original front and back bumpers and completely
refurbished the front end by hand. He also dropped the suspension,
front and rear. About all that's left now is a little work on the rear
quarter panel and she is ready again for paint. Looking good Kirk!
Can't wait to see the finished product!
Well that's it for now and we are going to hold the
cruise-in again on the 26th of March at "Tommy's Burgers". We will
bring along some hot coffee and donuts. Hope to see you there! Mark
your calendars as well for April 2nd when the "Trompers of Eagle Rock"
start their cruise's again at Coco's Restaurant in Highland Park. Also,
April 9th the Trompers will be holding their "hot rod swap meet" at
Eagle Rock Recreation Center. Take care all and happy cruising!
Ramsey Brings an Aging Eagle Rock Eatery into the Twenty-first Century
by Tom Topping
Ramsey poses for a photo with the Theil twins and the entire Capri crew.
Business people, and restaurants especially, must
occasionally update, rebuild or redecorate their product and decor to
keep up with the times, tastes and trends. This fact is often lost on
many a mom and pop style business, as once they have discovered what
works, they have a hard time seeing any need to change. We've all seen
a favorite eating place get a little stale over time, and watched
helplessly as they slowly go obsolete and finally go out of business
Others msy recognize the need for change but may not
have a clue of what to do, and those that do are faced with having to
figure out how to pay for it all.
Enter the Capri.
Established in 1963, and not really in decline,
despite the aging decor and menu, the Capri has been open with hardly a
change for almost 50 years except for ownership. They boast a strong
clientele of repeat customers who all know their favorite dishes they
want to order before they even come in, and those customers have
enjoyed a level of service and a continuity of cuisine that has served
Enter Jim and Jeff Theil.
The well-known twin brothers of the Capri took over
the restaurant completely a few years ago when their parents retired.
They've done pretty well, winning a Jacmar signature dish award for the
"most Creative" new dish they came up with. Never ones to shun the
spotlight, they've really become part of the business community,
participating in and supporting almost all Eagle Rock events and
Though doing OK, they knew they could always do
better, and have continued their part-time entertainment careers by
auditioning for the Biggest Loser, and participating in the National
Body challenge TV show, when they lost 180 pounds between the two of
When they heard that the "Kitchen Nightmares" TV
show was looking for local restaurants to makeover, they got right on
it, e-mailing the producers right away.
Jeff said, "They called us and said , "Send us a
brief history of the restaurant, where it's at, what it's done," and
from there they came out to interview all the employees - and videotape
After submitting the paperwork, producers were
uncommitted, but hinted the Capri probably had been selected. The twins
were warned however, that if anything came out in any media or
newspaper, their application would get trashed before it got started.
The Theils waited, tight-lipped, until finally the
phone call came. Filming would start the second week of January.
The time arrived, and it turned into a real
whirlwind of a week. First, they had to shut down on Saturday so the TV
lighting could go up. Then the entire dining room was ripped out. New
chairs, new tables, new lighting and even benches salvaged from a local
church went in. The carpets were removed to uncover a vintage linoleum
tile floor, with pleasing patina to meet the current style.
Everything was in place except their long-time chef,
John, who didn't want to do the show, and despite extensive cajoling,
would not give in. The twins had to let him go, and turned to a friend,
Marcus Vargas, an experienced restaurateur, to fill in.
And Chef Ramsey? If you've seen Chef Gordon Ramsey
and like his shtick and like his style, well, let's just say you won't
be disappointed when the show airs later this month. (Should be on
March 18 or 25, both Friday nights)
Jeff said, "It was a rough ride at first, getting
beaten up by Chef Ramsey." In typical Chef Gordon Ramsey fashion, he
screamed and yelled at them... all of it caught on film, of course, for
the show. Was he a real ball-buster? "Yes he was," the brothers said in
However, since then, the brothers added, "It's been
working out very well. Our dishes have changed, but they're still
Then, there was the work on the menu. "Chef Ramsey said,
(after looking at their menu) "Your kitchen's too small to make all
these entrees. The area you really should be working on is your Pizza
Yes, the Capri had numerous entrees on their old
menu. Many dishes had been added over the years, but none had been
removed. This necessitated a lot of supplies, a lot of preparation, a
lot of spoilage and a lot of extra cost. Chef Ramsey pared down the
menu to focus on Pizzas, but retained a good variety of pasta dishes,
while adding herb chicken and Mac and cheese as well.
How did he do?
"The overhead and the preparation is less," said
Jeff continued, "The pizzas are now more natural
flavors, all new to us, and all freshly made. We make almost everything
ourselves fresh now. We now make our own homemade meatballs. The
lasagna changed a little but it's great. We have garlic knots instead
of garlic bread. We have short-flat bread appetizers with a pepperoni
and cheese dip. Potato wedges, a half chicken. And try the desserts.
Apple calzone, brownies ala mode, chocolate banana marshmallow pitas.
All made right here."
Speaking for myself, I always liked the Capri, but I
love that they now offer a selection of "table salads" made for
sharing. Italian chopped, pasta, caesar and a parmesan salad that is
just great. The selection of pizzas is out of this world. The choices
include Pesto; white clam; garlic rosemary; Cuban; Hawaiian; BBQ pork;
mushroom; Mexican; spicy; and the variety of flavors of pizza is
stunning and pleasing to the eye no matter what you pick. And the
topping you didn't order is what begs you to came back to try the next
Even better, I got out of there, fully satisfied, in
well under an hour for under $25, something I never had done there
I always liked the Capri. But now I love it.
Jeff continued, "It's been very good for us so far
and we're getting new clientele and most of the old clientele is happy.
A few of them lost their favorite entree, but we plan to bring
everything back occasionally as specials.
If you like Italian food and trying new eateries in
the local area, you have got to get back in the Capri and try it again.
They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 4 pm to 10 pm, and now
they're even open for Sunday brunch from 10 am to 2 pm.
It just goes to show you that where there's a will
there's a way and The Capri Italian Restaurant and the Theil twins are
just another example of the fantastic businesses and business people we
have here in our little corner of Southern California called Northeast
over Burned out Houses?
So much for quality of life issues.
Today at 9AM, at Avenue 50 and York, Councilman
Huizar had his Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the newly installed "bike
corral". But located just 2 blocks away, the burned out house that I've
called to Huizar's attention again and again remains in place.
I went to the Cafe de Leche and talked to the owner
and he acknowledged that living next door to a burned out structure
which emits fumes is of concern as he resides in the neighborhood and
has small children, but getting more business is far more important.
Last night I took the time and showed the
photographs to Councilman Huizar's wife, as the councilman made a point
that he had minor children and therefore quality of life issues for
families are very important to him.
We are in a mess. Of interest was the fact last
night that Huizar for the first time acknowledged that he used those
CLARTs Funds to offset his staff salary (remember their LA. City Work
furlough days?) Was this legal? Yes, because Huizar had received LA
City Council approval. However, at the Eagle Rock political forum,
Huizar thanked his staff for their dedication to continue to work even
after receiving less money due to the work furlough days. So did they
get furloughed- or were they paid with the CLART funds to offset the
furloughs? Or both? Now we know what Huizar acknowledged last night was
I wish you would write something on the burned out
house or at the very least go to the location and walk past it yourself
and talk to the neighbors. - Carolyn Aguirre
The same month that Eagle Rock is poised to celebrate its Centenniel,
one of its remaining historic bungalow complexes is scheduled for
destruction. Just last October, Huizar's Northeast Community newsletter
noted the significance of these "wooden bungalow-style homes" when ER
was first incorporated. Yet likewise that same month, the ER
Neighborhood Council approved razing the seven 90-year old cottages and
trees in favor of a 19-unit housing complex with no greater concern
than the amount of guest parking that would be needed (by law, none).
When the producers of True Blood learned they'd be losing one of their
most vital story locations, they were resigned to alter their storyline
and burn the cottages to justify the loss. Thus the first nail in the
coffin is set when they ignite the structures during shooting Feb. 11th.
Is Eagle Rock so bereft of vacant lots that housing
can only be built by wiping away the vestiges of its charming past?
Eagle Rock likes to boast of its traditional small town qualities, but
clearly the powers that be in the Councilman's office and the ERNC care
more for L.A.'s darker tradition of burying its history under the
shovel of developers. - David Helfand
Increase Pet Adoptions
Working with the Friends of Hermon Dog Park, Councilmember Huizar was
one of the major sponsors for the 2nd Annual Adopt-A-Valentine Pet
Adoption at the North Central Animal Shelter this Saturday. Dozens of
dogs and cats found new homes through the adoption and Councilmember
Huizar congratulates the Friends of Hermon Dog Park, the Arroyo Seco
Neighborhood Council, Atwater Village Neighborhood Council and the Los
Angeles Animal Services Department for all their efforts.
FAST Animal Group at 400th Cat
Friendly Arroyo Seco Trappers (FAST), an grass-roots
animal group based in Hermon, hit a milestone today with the
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) of their 400th cat!! This comes after the
fixing of 9 local neighborhood cats captured in Northeast LA on
Thursday evening. Surprisingly, kitten season (normally reserved for
springtime) has arrived early this year -- 2 of the 9 captured on
Thursday were expecting.
TNR is the method FAST has used for the past two
years to help reduce the homeless cat population in LA, estimated at
approximately one million. TNR involves humanely trapping unaltered
neighborhood cats, neutering them, and releasing them back to the same
environment where they were collected.
In addition to getting spayed, FixNation
(www.fixnation.org) provided free ear tip, flea control, rabies
vaccination, and distemper (3-in-1) vaccine. With the generous services
provided for free by FixNation, FAST could not provide this service.
On another note, today FAST helped an elderly lady
in Sycamore Grove by covering the $220 in medical bills for the
treatment of a sick, homeless cat she is feeding. The vet diagnosed
feline stomatitis, a painful dental disease which makes it difficult to
To find out more about FAST and their associated
non-profit organization, Friends of Hermon Dog Park, go to
Postponed til Further Notice
The CRA/LA NELA Staff would like to inform you that that we are
postponing further activities in the NELA River Corridor Study Area
until further notice. Currently the State Legislator is reviewing a
budget proposed by Governor Brown which includes the elimination of
redevelopment agencies statewide (see 2011-2012 Governor's Budget
Summary, pages 28 and 168-172). Our agency will have a better
understanding on the future of redevelopment activities and how this
may affect the CRA/LA NELA River Corridor Study Area once budget
discussions are finalized.
We will include more details about CRA/LA NELA
efforts in our next newsletter. Please stay tuned as budget discussions
evolve. We thank you for your continued interest.
Orchestra shines spotlights on its musicians
by Ted Ayala
One of the conventions of classical music concerts
that I'll never understand is certain orchestras' reliance on "star"
soloists to bring feet tramping into their concert venues. This isn't
to say that certain musicians of renown aren't deserving of their
fame--but so are very many rank-and-file musicians in many orchestras.
Though they may not have the name recognition of someone "famous", they
often offer musical pleasures that are equal or even greater than their
"brand name" competitors. Yet many orchestras ignore the excellent
musicians whom without they would be lost. Fortunately, some music
directors know better.
Last Sunday evening at Occidental College's Thorne
Hall, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra (SCO) performed a mixed program of
baroque music and 20th century music from Argentina. Enjoying pride of
place on this program were a clutch of the SCO's own musicians, now
enjoying their star turn before the audience. Pianist Natasha Marin,
whose impressive pianism had the audience at the edge of their seats at
an SCO chamber concert last month, was guest soloist in Johann
Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.5.
The Concerto in G minor for 2 Violins and Cello by
Antonio Vivaldi from his L'Estro Armonico collection of concertos
started off the program. Those expecting an anemic interpretation that
tips its hat to period performance practice probably found themselves
disappointed. Sonia Marie de Leon de Vega and the SCO played this
baroque music with luscious phrasing and warm vibrato that was
unabashedly romantic in conception. Not that the SCO didn't keep
Vivaldi's rhythmic creases crisply starched--far from it. Rhythmic
vigor pulsated from the exquisite mantle of string sound that enfolded
violinists Alexander Kalman and Anna Kostyuchek. Against the backdrop
of the SCO's strings, Kalman's and Kostyuchek's violins soared with
rich and sweet tone.
The music of Johann Sebastian Bach fittingly
followed Vivaldi. Bach deeply admired the work of Vivaldi; his musical
language was deeply enriched through the study of his Italian
contemporary's works. Bach even transcribed several of Vivaldi's
orchestral works for keyboard as a display of admiration for the
Again, the SCO played a warm and red-blooded
interpretation of this beloved work. Sonia Marie de Leon de Vega and
the SCO eschewed the embalmed sonorities favored by adherents of period
performance and played the Air with supple grace.
Violinist Melissa Phelps and oboist Sarah Beck
steeped onto the stage as soloists in Bach's Concerto for Violin and
Oboe. Phelps and Beck's playing was perfectly poised; a seamless fusion
of musical personalities. The elegant playing of both Phelps and Beck
were a wonder here.
The combined artistry of flautist Salpy Kerkonian,
violinist Yi-Huan Zhao, and guest pianist Natasha Marin had no problems
bringing the red-blooded Bach to life. Marin's muscular, golden tone
and her handling of the first movement's cadenza was breathtaking.
Managing to balance pianistic flair with musical intelligence, Marin's
playing of the cadenza was at once a dazzling show-stopper, but also
integrated firmly into the texture of her partners' voices. Yi-Huan
Zhao's creamy tone was, as always, a delight. The winsome playing of
Salpy Kerkonian's flute was a joy. Kerkonian was able to spin web after
web of gossamer webs of music. After the work came to its close, the
audience leaped to its feet in a much deserved standing ovation.
Rushing to the stage with a bouquet for Natasha Marin was her husband:
actor and comedian Cheech Marin.
From the heart of Prussia, the SCO took the audience
to the plains of Argentina's Gran Chaco via Argentinean composer
Alberto Williams' First Suite for String Orchestra. Milonga and tango
rhythms could be heard churning, but without the acidic bite that later
Argentinean composers would bring to their native dance idioms. Indeed,
the entire work seemed blissfully unaware of the chaos and upheavals of
the 20th century. The vast expanse of the pampas unfolded before the
listener in this charming and attractive work that sounded like it
could have been the work of a South American Dvorak. Why is this music
so little played? Sonia Marie de Leon de Vega and the SCO deserve
praise for bringing this work to light. Doubly so when they played it
as exquisitely as they did.
The turmoil and stress missing in the Williams work
was brilliantly sublimated into the dazzling work that closed the
program: Astor Piazzolla's Libertango. A truly eclectic and original
composer, Piazzolla was one of those rare musicians that refused to be
pigeon-holed. He effortlessly strode the worlds of tango and classical
music, informing each with the style of the other. Piazzolla's
Libertango fused the 20th century of Bartok and Stravinsky and
channeled it through the greasy sound of his bandoneon (a type of
concertina popular in Argentina and Uruguay). Here the uneasy
dissonances and rhythmic complexities of modernity were heard. Sonia
Marie de Leon de Vega and the SCO strings played the work with an
almost visceral thrill. What a way to end the concert.
The SCO's final concert of the season, entitled
Mexico Sinfonico, will be held on May 22nd at Occidental College's
Thorne Hall. More information on the SCO can be had by visiting their
website at www.scorchestra.org or by calling (323) 259-3011.
Garden Coming to Glassell Park
After years of work to abate the nuisance property at 3304 Drew Street,
the City of Los Angeles has acquired it and will be transforming this
neighborhood problem into a community garden specifically for
The new community garden will be a place where local
residents can work along side their friends and neighbors and grow
fruits and vegetables for themselves and their families. The City is
partnering with the Los Angeles Community Garden Council to manage the
An informational meeting was held on Thursday,
February 17, 6:00 p.m. at the Glassell Park Senior Center.
Please call the Glassell Park satellite office at
323-478-9002 with any questions.
Studio Gallery, March 12 –
April 2, 2011
Ingrid Lilligren teaches at Iowa State University in
Ames and is a Southern California ex-patriot. Forty of her "Small
Pleasures," created one a day over the course of one year with dry
pastels and eggshells, will be installed in the gallery. When Lilligren
began the project that resulted in 243 "Small Pleasures," she settled
on a strict format: a 7" x 7" square with a centered circle of 4˝". By
working with limited materials (dry pastel surrounding the circle where
the eggshells are contained), she was able to "explore what it would
feel like to do the same thing over and over." In addition, the artist
explained, "You get very creative when you limit yourself."
Pomanders: Made after a recent residency in France
and a trip to the Fragonard Perfume Museum, these small forms contain a
perforated tube that holds herbs and spices. These pieces allow people
to experience the scented air contained in the body of the ceramic
The exhibit runs from March 12 – April 2, 2011.
Opening reception will be during NELAart.com's Second Saturday Gallery
Night, March 12 from 7 to 10 p.m. After the opening, please make an
appointment to see the exhibit 323 254-4565.
Future Studio Gallery
5558 N. Figueroa St. Los Angeles CA 90042
The Arroyo Arts
For the Birds
installation project on the parkland of the Audubon Center at Debs
Park, featuring works by artists inspired by local birds, bird habitat
and migration, urban ecology and the works of James John Audubon. This
event is co-sponsored by the Audubon Center at Debs Park.
April 9 through May 7, 2011.
The Arroyo Arts Collective presents For the Birds, a
month long installation project on the grounds of the Audubon Center at
Debs Park. For the Birds will treat visitors to a rare glimpse of an
urban wildlife sanctuary, set in a Northeast Los Angeles neighborhood
that has long been a haven for artists. This collaboration between two
sets of "rare birds" allows a time for quiet reflection on the fragile
ecosystems that surround both.
Exploring a wide range of themes related to local
birds, artists will construct temporary installations in the parkland
of the Center, a haven for nearly 140 bird species. Visitors will enjoy
a unique blend of art and nature as they follow trail maps to the
installation sites. A gallery show of bird related artwork by Arroyo
Arts Collective members will be exhibited inside the Center and
auctioned to benefit the Audubon Center at the closing reception on May
7, from 2 to 5 p.m., with music by the band, Artichoke.
In addition to the Opening and Closing Receptions,
For the Birds features three Saturday activities for families: Paper
Bag Puppet Making, on April 16, from 2 to 4 p.m., a bilingual Bird walk
on April 23, at 9 a.m. and Conservation and Conversations, featuring
conversations with the artists and an opportunity to help with habitat
restoration in the park, on April 30 at 10 a.m. The Audubon Center is
located at 4700 North Griffin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90031.
Information at ArroyoArtsCollective.org or by voice mail at
323-850-8566. This event is free and open to the public.
The Arroyo Arts Collective was established in 1989,
as a community organization of artists, writers and performers who live
and work in Northeast Los Angeles. The mission of the Arroyo Arts
Collective is to develop and present creative events that educate while
fostering an awareness of the creative vitality of Northeast Los
The mission of the Audubon Center at Debs Park is to
inspire people to experience, understand and care for the local natural
world. Located in a wildlife corridor for migratory birds, Debs Park is
a haven for nearly 140 species of birds. Its nature-based education and
community programs are designed to engage children and their families
in the outdoor world, and to give them a personal stake in its
protection by making environmental issues relevant to their lives. The
Center, which is surrounded by predominately Latino neighborhoods, is a
unique gathering place and dynamic focal point for outdoor recreation,
environmental education and conservation.
Five for $5 – Finding Great
Lunch Deals On the Cheap in the Eagle Rock Area!
Both my husband Jim and I work out of our home
offices in Eagle Rock, and while that sounds awfully romantic and
desirable, freelance contract workers often get the short of the stick
when it comes to Oscar pools, office politics and griping about the
boss. Still, there's something nice about working in your pajamas at 2
When we have to escape the grind for a moment, Jim
and I will often venture into downtown Eagle Rock and Highland Park to
see how we can stretch our ever-precious dollars into a lunch that is
more than just a burger or a slice of pizza ("not that there's anything
wrong with that," as Jim continually points out to me).
We have our favorite locally-owned places in town
where we enjoy a delicious and economically-friendly lunch for five
dollars (not counting the tax). We know there are more places out there
– we've specifically avoided national chains, burger/fries combos, and
the many mom and pop Mexican food restaurants that offer cheap, but
ginormous burritos (that's a story on it's own) – but maybe we've
missed a few, so we'd love to hear where our fellow Eagle Rockers and
Highland Park-ians dine on a dime!
In the meantime, here's where you can usually find us at lunchtime
around town, savoring great meals on the cheap:
Special-Pollos A LA Brasa
Pollos A La Brasa, (2161 Colorado Blvd, 323-255-6322) has one of our
favorite lunch specials offered between noon and 3 p.m. consisting of a
quarter of chicken along with two sides for a mere $4.50. Sweet and
garlicky, the chicken comes with Peruvian sauces that you can smear
across the meat (we actually prefer it
au natural). For sides, Jim loves the beans, while I'm hot on the
onion/tomato salad. Word of caution: the food can take a while to
prepare, so we always come expecting to wait. We like to browse among
the many Peruvian food products – including ice cream – that are
stocked on shelves and in coolers.
OK Chinese Food (6320 N Figueroa St, 323-259-2414)
has a meager décor, but makes up for its lack of swankiness with
incredible lunchtime deals. Choose between combo deals that range from
a mere $2.95 to a whopping $4.60. Some come with rice, egg roll or chow
mein, but you get to pick your tasty (and yes, I admit, infused with a
delicious greasiness) item including: spicy chicken, shrimp chow mein,
beef broccoli, deep-fried chicken wings and pork in a black bean sauce.
It's a cash-only counter, so come with a paper Lincoln and leave with
some copper Lincolns.
|2 item combo from OK
Classic Thai Restaurant (1708 Colorado Blvd.,
323-478-0530) has lovely lunchtime specials, but alas, most fall out of
our pre-determined price range (but not by that much!!). Never fear,
the folks offer a super Thai Salad for $4.95 that satisfies my hungry
stomach – but not so much my meat-lover hubby. Yes, this delightful
salad is sans flesh, so consider this your vegetarian meal of the deal
and save up for big hunk of juicy prime rib later for dinner. Crisp
lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, hard-boiled eggs and crunchy bits are
drizzled with a thick sweet yet savory peanut sauce that adds the right
touch of zest to this meal.
Buff Wings (4411 Eagle Rock Blvd, 323-256-4870) is a
relatively new joint tucked away in the corner of a strip mall that can
fulfill Jim's desire for deep-fried wings served alongside deep-fried
potatoes, aka French fries. (OK, I admit it…I sometimes get such a
hankering for some wings! Twist my arm!) Mr. Buff offer a $5 special of
six hefty wings with fries that's lip-smacking, napkin-wiping good. The
wings come in a variety of sauces, like lemon pepper, spicy oriental,
along with a series of hot and ridiculously hot. We've never tried the
Ludacris – the hottest of the bunch -- but have heard tales of blanched
red-faces and smoke erupting from ears and nostrils.
Pete's Blue Chip Burger (1701 Colorado Blvd.,
323-478-9022) proves that you can certainly do breakfast for lunch with
their giant breakfast burrito that Jim says is a meal for the Hobbit in
all of us who yearns for a "Second Breakfast." The $4.65 bacon and egg
burrito brings a meal in a tortilla, served all day. This massive treat
gives other legendary breakfast burritos a run for their money (Did I
say Lucky Boy? Oh yes I did), and it's crammed full of bacon, eggs,
potatoes, cheese and salsa. Not for dieters, I asked once about
calories and got a maniacal laugh. All I know is that one of these will
keep your stomach satisfied through dinner and possibly beyond. Also
available in ham and egg, sausage and egg, and a straight egg and
cheese versions that all hit our target budget of under five dollars.
Of course, in our travels we thought we needed to
include some old tried and true lunch standards that fit the lunchtime
bill and the budget. The Italian Bakery (1726 Colorado Blvd.,
323-255-8224) has a small Italian combo sandwich that when you add
chips hovers around $4.40 before tax; while down the street, Pizza Man
(1578 Colorado Blvd # 5, 323-254-2581) offers a medium cheese pizza for
the astonishingly low price of $3.99 if you stop in personally and pick
it up. And that, boys and girls, is a meal unto itself!
So where do you find the best under $5 deals around
town? Drop a letter to the editor to the Boulevard Sentinel to let us
know about any hidden treasures that exist... I've got a fiver burning
a hole in pocket!
Eagle Rock Recreation Center Failed?
The Department of Recreation and Parks puts forth a
code of conduct that all volunteer coaches should adhere too. They must
sign this every season and agree to be suspended from their volunteer
Eagle Rock Recreation Center has failed to follow
the City of Los Angeles own own set of rules by allowing a volunteer
coach to continue after he became physical with a player. The coach was
suspended for one game, a mere slap on the wrist.
This particular coach grabbed a player and threw him
after the altercation was already over. After he threw the player he
then proceeded to yell obscenities at him. Regardless of the reason no
parent or coach is allowed to become physical with anyone which is why
we have officials and recreation personnel. If we allowed all parents
or coaches to interfere order would not be maintained and chaos would
We must protect our children and ensure their safety
and well being from coaches that can loose their temper, show poor lack
of self control, poor judgement, and extreme poor sportsmanship. These
types of coaches are not the examples our children need.
Community Volunteer & CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate)
Eagle Rock Resident, 25 years
Armed Robbery Warning
I just wanted to send an email to let people know
that there was an armed robbery on Monday night at Dominos on Colorado
Blvd. and folks should be careful and watch out for one another. Sounds
like the robbers are preying on establishments that close late at
night. Please be aware of your surroundings.
On Monday night, just before midnight, 2 black males
with bandanna's covering their face approx 6' tall 20-25 years of age,
with guns tried to rob Dominoes 3 shots were fired but nobody was hurt.
The police came right away but the robbers got away on foot. No vehicle
We are trying to upgrade our security measures and
everyone should should try and be more careful at night.
Hoping everyone is safe,
Michael Nogueira, President
Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce
Regarding a Slimmer Slower Colorado Boulevard
Dear Editor (and Damien
Do you even know why there is a median down Colorado
Blvd? Have you not seen the pictures of the electric cars that used to
travel there? I have lived in Eagle Rock for 52 years. I remember. City
money is slim right now and the city has a deficit of $53 million
dollars. Changes are a long way off.
But let's talk about the "slimming" of Colorado
Blvd- you implicate that the drivers going over the speed limit are
people going back and forth from or to Glendale or Pasadena and simply
use Colorado Blvd as a thru-way to bypass bad traffic on the 134
The truth is, the people that are speeding on
Colorado Blvd are your relatives, your friends, your neighbors.
If you REALLY want to make the streets safer in
Eagle Rock to travel, try passing around a petition in your own
neighborhood, on your own street asking every licensed driver to sign a
pledge obeying the speed law on Colorado Blvd and elsewhere.
And while you are at it ask them to stop double and
triple parking in front of elementary schools or after school programs
because they are late dropping off/picking up their children; ask them
to NOT make illegal left-hand turns from and to Trader Joe's; ask them
to NOT run stop signs in quiet neighborhoods like mine just because
they think no one is watching, or they are late to work or getting
If you really want to make a safer Eagle Rock, start
in your own neighborhood. And let me know how that works out for you.
News in Brief
Del Toro Trial Underway
As many will know from television and daily
newspaper reports, the murder trial has been well underway all the
month of February for David Del Toro, the LA fire captain who stands
accused of killing Jennifer Flores in August of 2006. Police arrested
him after finding Flores' half naked body on Loleta Avenue, with a
trail of blood and flesh leading back to Del Toro's house on Vincent
Prosecutors allege that he beat Flores and then
strangled her to death before dragging her behind his vehicle leaving
the trail of blood and flesh to where she was found later on Loleta.
Defense lawyers claim that an unknown man by the
name of Nick or Rick was with Flores that evening, who they say is
responsible for Flores' death.
Excitingly, jurors heard parts of audio-tapes of Del
Toro, who, during the breaks in interrogation said some pretty
self-incriminating statements when he didn't realize he was being
taped. Most of those were not allowed by Judge lance Ito, the famous
O.J. Simpson Judge.
Del Toro claimed to be sleep deprived from doing
long shifts as a fireman, and drinking heavily the night before. (I
swear I remember reports of him being seen in Colombos that night with
Flores, but apparently there are no witnesses to testify to that.) He
also claimed to have woken up and had tried to clean up a mess on the
floor of his living room that was determined to be Flores' blood by
A former girlfriend earlier testified that he beat
her years ago when he was drunk.
On Monday February 28, the case went to the jury and
as of Tuesday March 1st, no verdict has yet been reached.
Police Car Crashes While Chasing Burglary Suspect
An alert officer witnessed someone trying to break
into a parked car on Avenue 52 at about 2:00 am Sunday February 6. the
suspect ran and was chased by the oficer in the patrol car. The officer
lost control and crashed into a fence near Avenue 52 and Buchanan
The officer was able to track down the suspect and
arrested him for BTFV, (burglary theft from motor vehicle). No one was
Jogger Attacked at Yosemite Park
A jogger was seriously beaten and robbed last month
at Yosemite Playground on February 3, 2011. He was jogging in the park
when 4 skateboarders attacked him, beating him over the head and taking
his cell-phone with built-in music player.
He went to a neighbor's house who immediately called
911 and paramedics arrived within minutes.
Police said that the skateboarders were incorrectly
described as gang members, and arrested 2 of the 4, and know who the
The park has long been a problem spot with taggers,
drug users and gang members known to hang out there.
Oxy Master Plan Resurrected
Reconstruction of Swan Hall to begin as soon as L.A. Permits
After assuring community members that the Occidental
master plan was scrapped, Oxy President Johnathan Veitch revived about
90% of construction plans. The first anticipated work is set to begin
on the reconstruction of Swan Hall this month, as soon as the permits
arrive from City of L.A.
The work that included asbestos removal and interior
changes will also add 22,000 square feet to the existing 16.000 square
foot building. The building additions require it also to be ADA
compliant and will double the faculty office space used by six
departments it will house, (History, Sociology, Politics, ECLS,
American Studies and Psychology).
They say that the design and engineering to expand
and seismically upgrade the building will retain as much of the
buildings original historic fabric as possible.
When completed it will again house about a third of
the faculty departments. The project was approved by the L.A. Citywide
Planning Commission last month, February.
Man Tries to Fight Police, is Shot with Bean Bag
A group of patrons leaving the York bar on York
Boulevard at closing time started a fight with each other, then tried
to fight an L.A.P.D. patrolman. Officer Dan Gaglione was alone in his
Patrol car when he saw the fight at Avenue 50 and Figueroa, and stopped
to break it up.
The men turned on the officer who was forced to use
the prescribed non-deadly force to control the situation, which in this
case was a bean bag from a shotgun.
Northeast Captain Bill Murphy said that the bean bag
weapons automatically fire two shots, the first one hitting the man in
the torso and the second hitting his head as he doubled over.
A use of force investigation was opened which is
standard procedure for incidents such as this.
The injured man was taken to the hospital and is
expected to recover, according to Captain Murphy. The other men were
released from custody and will likely face various charges.
Bus Shooting on Eagle Rock Blvd.
A man was shot on the line 84 MTA bus while
traveling up Eagle Rock Boulevard in Glassell Park on Wednesday
February 23, at about 10:30 am. Witnesses say 18 year old Mark
Martinez, arrested later for the shooting, was about to shoot the
victims son, when the father stepped in to protect him. The victim was
transported to Huntington Hospital in stable condition and is expected
to recover. Eagle Rock Boulevard was blocked for hours just south of
York, where the bus came to a stop. The shooter was found about 30
minutes later and was booked for attempted murder.
Youth Leadership Programs in Action in Highland Park
Local Boys State Alumnus put what he learned into
action locally. Erick Duarte a graduate of Franklin High School
attended Boys State while a Junior in 2009 sponsored by the Los Angeles
Police Post # 381 of The American Legion. He is now attending College
at Cal-State Northridge majoring in Electrical Engineering.
Erik Duarte is the youngest member sitting on the
Board as a Director at large. After Graduating from Franklin H.S. in
June 2010 he ran for the Highland Park Neighborhood Council. He now
sits along side of long time Community Leaders on the Board of
Directors. He is an inspiration to all youth in the Community and his
youth is welcomed on the Board of Directors.
The young Director recently submitted a proposal to
the board to fund a local Highland Park Girl & Boy to attend the
2011 Boys State & Girl State Session so that others can reap what
he learned and share the inspiration of community service to other
young members of the Community. The motion was carried and has moved
over the first hurdle to reach the funding process.
Erik Duarte is a perfect example of what the Boys
& Girls State program strives for. For further info on Children
& Youth Programs of the American Legion contact: Richard Ledesma
(323) 392-6799 or L. Michael Black (323) 982-1477 Co-Chairmen of
District 17 Boys State & Girls State programs.
Photo by Richard Ledesma
Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council members
Lt. to Rt.: Board members Dr. Stan Moore, Erik Duarte (Boys State
Alumnus), Council President Chris Smith and Terry Bonsell.
Audubon 4-Mile Hill Challenge 3/12
Join us for the 2nd Annual 4 Mile Hill Challenge at
the Audubon Center at Debs Park in the heart of Los Angeles. This is a
fundraising run/walk event to bring awareness to the unique programs
and services offered at the Audubon Center. Proceeds from your $3 adult
registration go towards helping the people at Debs Park continue to
support the community by providing conservation activities and habitat
The race course runs through Debs Park on rolling
dirt fire roads and single track trails (see local images). When
participants cross the finish line, they will be treated to a post-race
party with music, free snacks (bananas and power bars), a diverse
vendor fair, children's activities and an award ceremony. In addition,
every walker/runner will receive a goody bag filled with fun items and
a 4 Mile Hill Challenge commemorative t-shirt! This event has something
for everyone—from the serious athlete trying to beat their personal
best to moms and dads looking for something fun the whole family can
enjoy. Children under the age of 12 can register for $15 throughout the
registration period. We will have FREE childcare for kids over the age
of 4. The registration fee includes a snack, a goody bag and a
commemorative t-shirt. The first race begins at 8:45am and the
post-race celebration runs from 9:00am-12:00 pm. All are welcome to
participate in our hopes of staying fit and enjoying the great outdoors.
Str8Up Aztlan Athletics supports the good work at
Debs Park and their goal of connecting people of all ages with the
wonders of nature.
Youth, Crime, Hope: Challenges for Today and Tomorrow
A program on
juvenile justice at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 2109 Chickasaw
Blvd., Eagle Rock (Los Angeles), March 13, 2011, 1-2:30 p.m.
While overall crime in Los Angeles has declined in
recent years, problems with youth crime still present major challenges
for our community. How can we keep our teens engaged in school, off
drugs and alcohol, and out of gangs? What is the connection between
educational problems, mental health problems and involvement in the
juvenile justice system? How does the juvenile justice system work?
What happens when are youth tried as adults? These will be among the
questions for discussion. The program is open to all. No RSVP is needed.
Participants will be: the Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool,
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles; Michael Smith, director
of the education clinic, Center for Juvenile Law and Policy at Loyola
Law School; Doron Lion, JD candidate, Loyola Law School; Elizabeth
Mateo, CDAA, substance abuse counselor at Camp Gonzales, LA Co.
Probation Dept.; Lisa Twombly, MSW, mental health therapist at Optimist
Youth Homes and Family Services; and Sam Pillsbury, deacon at St.
Barnabas and professor of criminal law.
This event is part of a statewide Juvenile Justice
Week of Faith. For more information, contact St Barnabas Episcopal
Church at 323-254-7569 or Sam Pillsbury at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Saving Myself. A Los Angeles Childhood
a memoir by
Reading March 13, 2-4 pm at Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and
Eagle Rock, 5711 Monte Vista Street, Los Angeles
I would like to introduce you to a young Jewish girl
and her experiences in the 1940s and 1950s. Her story is an amazing
journey, likely to stimulate many discussions and serve as an
inspirational teaching tool. You will soon discover that young Jeanne
is your old friend.
Daily, our country goes from one crisis to another,
and this story shows how phenomena from other times, long ago, still
have influence - from anti-Semitism to childhood loss to discrimination.
Imagine being told that, "your mother is in
Chicago," when actually she just died. Being the lone Jewish family in
her 1940s Los Angeles neighborhood living with anti-Semitism everyday.
Being refused membership in the Girl Scouts because she was Jewish.
Being bullied during her early school years. Being refused Bat Mitzvah
in her own synagogue. The stories go on and on.
Most children today have stories of pain and
suffering. Especially now, when a bullying epidemic is emerging across
the country. Saving Myself. A Los Angeles Childhood, Jeanne Simonoff's
new memoir, is special. It presents the author's enormous talent as a
writer. While the story takes place in the 40's and 50's, the issues
are universal and timeless.
Saving Myself. A Los Angeles Childhood offers not
only a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit, but does so as a
genuinely glorious piece of literature.
You will be fascinated by Saving Myself. A Los
Angeles Childhood and by Jeanne's journey. Her living it and her of
|Maude Fedorchuk, 91, of
Highland Park pictured with her 26 year old cat Millie which is 121 in
human years. Maude claims that every senior citizen should own a cat,
they make a great companion.
Send Some Love To The Avenue 50 Studio
The Avenue 50 Studio is embarking on an exciting new
year's worth of programming because of your generous support. In 2011,
we will continue our efforts to be a space for the exhibition and
advancement of Latino art.
With your support, in 2010, we produced a number of
In February, we brought you "Body Language", which
included, among others, the current work of Judith Hernandez, one of
the most important Chicana artists of our times, and the Annex
presented a fun and affordable art auction, "Here is My Heart". 50
artists generously offered delicious little works of "hearts" for our
With the hosting of La Palabra by Don Newton and
Laura Longoria, our literary programming increased, not only in
attendance, but scope, as the Avenue 50 Studio brought powerful poetry
readings such as "Spinter Generation", "Kerotakis", "Poetic Arte – A
Poetry Circle for Shifra Goldman", and "Luvina with Suzanne Lummis" to
Weighing in on issues that concern our community, we
presented "A Prayer for Juarez/A Curse on the Killers" speaking to the
hundreds of unsolved murders of young women of Juarez, Mexico; "No
Human Being is Illegal", an exhibition about immigration;
"Existance/Resistance", reflecting the anger and frustration of young
Chicanos; and "Day of the Dead Planet", our response to an unbalanced
As a non-profit, we continue to need your support in
order to bring you the quality of exhibitions you expect from us.
In 2011 Linda Vallejo will exhibit her biting "Make
Them All Mexican"; the Women's Caucus For Art will present "Does
Democracy Need Art"; and we will bring you a new and exciting series of
La Palabra with our new host, Luivette Resto.
Please consider Sending Some Love to the Avenue 50
Studio as we partner with Network for Good, a non-profit agency, to
help us manage donations and to ensure that donors receive yearly
receipts for their tax deductible donations. Your support is important
to us. Please consider a suggested donation of just $10 per month. This
is a painless way for you to support our work.
Please visit www.avenue50 studio.com and sign up for
a monthly, quarterly or yearly donation.
We look forward to your partnership in the next 10
Kathy Gallegos and the Board of the Avenue 50 Studio:
Raoul De la Sota
J. Michael Walker
Avenue 50 Studio, Inc.
131 North Avenue 50
Highland Park, CA 90042
Become an L.A. History Expert
Join the El Pueblo Docent Volunteers
All are invited to come and join a great group of
history buffs to learn about the history of Los Angeles and to teach it
to others. The group is Las Angelitas del Pueblo, docents who give
historically accurate tours about the founding and settlement of Los
When you attend docent training classes at El Pueblo
de Los Angeles, you will learn about the significance of Spain, New
World exploration, missions, presidios, Native Americans, early Pueblo
days, Mexican control, competition for California (do you know how
close we were to being Russian?), the Gold Rush, land boom, ethnic
diversity and other topics.
The new docent training class is from 10 a.m. to
12:30 p.m. starting March 22 and running for six Tuesdays, ending April
26. The classes are held in the office of Las Angelitas, located next
to the historic Firehouse on La Plaza of El Pueblo de Los Angeles.
When you attend docent classes, you agree to give
two weekday morning tours per month or one Saturday tour. Tours last
about 50 minutes, begin at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon, and are usually
given to groups of about 20 schoolchildren, accompanied by a teacher or
parent. Visiting adults may join a school tour or come on Saturday.
After completing the classes, you will be a
provisional docent for six months and then become permanent. There is a
non-refundable fee for $25 payable on the first day of class.
Docents will receive a broad base education on the
settling of Southern California and will continue to learn since there
are four general meetings a year with guest speakers lecturing on
It is important for the volunteer to be
people-oriented, friendly, and flexible since no two tours are exactly
alike. There are about sixty active docents as well as fourteen
provisional docents who just completed the fall docent training course.
A few of the docents are bilingual, speaking Spanish, German, and
For further information about the specifics of the
classes, go onto the website, www.lasangelitas.org and hit "Be a
Docent." If you are interested in becoming a docent at El Pueblo,
please call the organization's president at 818-790-2604 or the
teaching coordinator at 818-761-6480. If you can't reach either person
by phone, then please email the coordinator at KateMProbs email@example.com.
Las Angelitas del Pueblo
130 Paseo de la Plaza
(near Olvera Street)
Kiwanis Club looking for boys 12-14 for 2011 summer
Since 1949, R.M. Pyles Boys Camp has been providing
a quality summer camp experience for boys. Hathaway-Sycamores Child
& Family Services in collaboration with the Kiwanis Club of Greater
Highland Park in concert with Highland Park American Legion members are
looking to provide up to 40 summer camp scholarships for qualifying
families and boys 12-14 years of age. The Kiwanis Club will be
scheduling several workshops for parents of 12-14 year old boys to be
able to learn how to complete the required application. For more
information on the Summer Camp go to www.pylescamp.com, for information
on the workshop call 323-385-4935 or visit KiwanisGHP.org.