Started a Newspaper
by Tom Topping
I had just finished doing what I thought was the highest achievement of
my life. I competed in and finished the world famous "Race to the
Clouds," the Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb held in Colorado Springs,
Colorado. All the drivers of that race are really treated special back
there. It was where the Unser family got started in racing. And now I
was part of its history, too. I was now one of the big kids. I even
made the TV coverage of the race on ESPN. That was July 4th, 1995. I
was 37 years old, and I had no idea what to do next.
I kept on fixing cars for people as I had done my entire life, and one
evening in September of 1996, I went to visit my mother and I saw a
flyer she had tacked up on her refrigerator. It said, "Downtown
Directions." It advertised that anyone who wanted to have their say
about the future of the boulevard areas in Eagle Rock should attend
Well, as a boulevard merchant and auto repair shop owner I was familiar
with the government adding layer upon layer of regulations, always
connected with a new fees, to businesses that are overburdened as it is
and under appreciated as well.
To me this flyer meant, "They are at it again- they're gonna hurt us
I got all excited and made up a flyer of my own. It read in big bold
type, "AUTO BUSINESS BANNED IN EAGLE ROCK." I distributed it to all the
auto related businesses in town. The very next evening I had 40
business people there, most in red hats or shirts, a showing of
solidarity that to us meant we would not be stepped on again. (Later I
realized how good that was to get 40 people to a meeting. At the time I
had no idea).
From there I started to get involved with many things in the community.
I helped organize and put on the original Eagle Rock Snapshot Day, and
participated in the business focus groups of the "Downtown Directions"
At the time, a very small paper was being published here called the
"Summit Niche." Melody Peterson was the editor. She had been watching
me and came to my shop one day. "I'm here to ask you to sell business
card ads to your auto guys, and you can write an article, too," she
said. Well, with few instructions and materials, I was off and running.
I had very little problem selling the ads, and my teachers in school
had complemented my writing skills. Afterward Melody said, "You write
A few months later she called me. "Tom, I am quitting my editor job and
I think you should apply." I was stunned. I didn't know what to do. I
was talking to Bob Costa at Another World Comics about it, and he told
me, "Tom, I think you should do it because you never know where it's
going to lead." Truer words were never spoken.
I interviewed for the job and got it. I got busy preparing everything
for the next issue, and when it was time to do another, Melody
mentioned she had not been paid. I thought, "Hmm, working for slave
wages ($100 per issue) is one thing, but to not even get paid- that's
I found a little PC Attorney program on my computer, and made up an
independent contractor agreement. I gave it to the ladies at the Summit
Niche to sign. Well, they wouldn't even talk to me after that. That was
Monday May 12, 1997.
In the meantime, I was still busy preparing the text and photos they
needed to fill up the next issue. I waited and waited, and still no
call. On Tuesday night, May 13, I used an old copy of Ami-Pro
(software) to put together a four page newsletter. At the top of the
page I put "Eagle Rock Sentinel." (I used to deliver that paper when I
was a teenager here) Hmm, not quite right I thought, and besides, it
didn't really say where I was coming from.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. "The Boulevard Sentinel." I was to
be the guardian of the boulevards, fighting for the rights of business
people and community I grew up in my whole life. I finished printing
out the four page bulletin, and scoured the yellow pages for a printer
The next day I took my originals to Grace printing in Glendale. It was
to be one 11x17 sheet folded in half- four letter sized pages: Issue #1
Volume #1- May 17, 1997. I ordered 1000 copies and paid $168.00 for
them. The Boulevard Sentinel was born. As I delivered the papers, I
didn't know I had just started on a new career path. It's been one I
never could have imagined....
Hermon Dog Park Breaks Ground
The Hermon Dog Park broke ground last
off-leash exercise area for dogs and their owners, located in Hermon.
Here, Heinrick Keiffer, Jessica Wethington, and
Councilman Villaraigosa mug for the cameras.
A support group for the proposed off-leash park in
Hermon Park was established last year including dog owners from the
Hermon neighborhood, and individuals from throughout Northeast L.A.
Kayaking The L.A. River?
by Tom Topping
In Northeast L.A., seldom do we think about the L.A. River. The most we
hear is when the television news is covering the L.A. Fire Department
doing a "Swift Water Rescue," or read about someone drowning in the
ferocious winter flow or maybe an old episode of PBS Televisions's
Huell Howser, where he travels to a beautiful part of the L.A. River,
and shows us what it is like.
Some Angelino's, though, are much more connected to the river. They
participate in clean-ups, hikes, or just bicycle along the recently
created bike-way (last ten years) that stretches from the L.A. Zoo down
to the confluence with the Arroyo Seco River, in Lincoln Heights (or is
it Cypress Park there?)
For someone growing up here in Northeast L.A., there are memories of
the bicycle rental shop that was once located where Los Feliz Blvd.
crosses the river. My dad, mom, sister and I rented and rode from there
a few times. We'd go along the river, cross it and often fall into it
(bicycle tires and river bottoms covered in slime don't co-exist very
People growing up near the river as kids may also have fond memories of
summer afternoons spent catching polywogs, and wading in the normally
ankle deep summer flow.
In recent years, there is ever increasing attention paid to the river.
A volunteer group that keeps their offices locally, "Friends of the
L.A. River," (FoLAr) is comprised of folks from all over the city.
Their mission is to "protect and restore the natural and historic
heritage of the Los Angeles River and its riparian habitat through
inclusive planning, education and wise stewardship." Their latest board
meeting was held recently at their offices in the L.A. River center
complex in Cypress Park. (formerly Lawrey's)
The guest presentation that night was by a Mr. John Osbourne, who had
been fined for trespassing on the river. It seems that Osbourne and two
others were caught by the L.A.P.D. kayaking down the river. They had
entered the river bed near Canoga Park and had made their way about to
Van Nuys before the police stopped them.
"They were really mad and told us how stupid we were to do that," he
said. The trespassing was a small fine but he was mostly concerned
about the bill that the City of L.A. would be sending him for the
activation of the L.A. Fire Department's Swift water rescue team. They
had deployed to seven bridges along the river, and the fee (not unlike
the fee charged for an ambulance ride to the hospital by LAFD
paramedics) could be a sizable one.
FoLAr chair Lewis MacAdams (poet and journalist) seemed pleased that it
might be a case where the question of "who owns the L.A. river?" might
finally be addressed. FoLAr member William F. Delvac (environmental
lawyer), objected saying that the group could not take any position on
illegal activity. This led to other members questioning whether
students doing water quality testing in the river were also guilty of
trespassing, and countless others who are hikers and birdwatchers (and
people like me and my entire family who once rode bicyles and hunted
I drove down to the river at Fletcher drive and entered through the
artistic and beautiful wrought iron gate. There I looked carefully for
fences or signs warning of "private property" or "no trespassing".
There were none. There were very inviting shade trees, steel benches,
concrete steps and a water fountain that were tempting if not
irresistible signs that it was OK for me to explore the river.
When I got back, I called the LAPD to ask what law I'd be breaking if I
were to kayak the L.A. river. It took 15 minutes for the kind officer
who took his time to ask and call around that it was trespassing on
private property. I mentioned the bikeway and lack of fences and signs
prohibiting it and he finally referred me to the L.A. County flood
maintenance folks, who he said had hung up on him.
The main question on my mind now had been stated earlier at the FoLAr
meeing by Mr. MacAdams when he asked, "who owns the river?"
A few more calls to the L.A. River ad hoc committee of the L.A. City
Council and the L.A. County Public Works Flood Maintenance division
netted information that the Federal Government was the owner of the
L.A. River, under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
One of the FoLAr people mentioned that all other rivers in the United
States are public and open to public use, so one would assume that if
any laws were broken by entering the L.A. River, trespassing was not
one of them. The L.A.P.D. couldn't find anything else prohibiting it.
Later, at the unveiling of a new effort to revitalize the L.A. river
(The Future is Now), I was able to investigate further. Apparently, my
phone call had created a discussion at the Northeast Station. I spoke
to one of our local bicycle officers, asking her what laws I'd be
breaking if I were to go into the river. She said, "You want to go for
a swim? Go ahead!"
I then met and talked with a member of the L.A. Fire Department's swift
water rescue team. I said, "As far as I can tell, there's no law
against going in the L.A. River." He said, "Yes there is!" I asked what
the law was. Is it a city, county, state or federal law? He couldn't
tell me any of that. Interestingly, though, he was one of the
responders to the scofflaw kayaking incident, and explained how the
response of the Fire Department works.
According to him, if they get a call that someone is in (or on) the
river, they have to respond. They don't have a choice. Now, when the
first responder gets to the scene, it is their responsibility to asses
the situation and judge whether or not more help is needed. In Mr.
Osbourne's case, they could see that nobody was in imminent danger,
three people in two kayaks had everything under control, so no further
response was needed or requested. (Osbourne was told that seven swift
water rescue teams were activated, which he would have to pay for). All
this, for doing something that is not breaking any laws in the first
At the event, I also spoke with a Colonel of the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers. They are the entity that channelized the river many years
ago, and are responsible for the operation and upkeep the various dams
on all the L.A. area rivers. These areas do have controlled access,
both to avoid any interference with the work that is constantly being
done, and these days, to guard against vandalism- or worse.
As for the ticket for trespassing, I am told by our local L.A.P.D.
senior lead officer that trespassing violations can only be enforced if
the area is marked with a "No Trespassing" sign. Further, to prosecute
the case requires that the owners show up in court to say, "No I did
not give him permission to be on my property." So, if you plan on
visiting the L.A. River, you might want to make a note of what the nice
man at the county flood control said. "If you get a ticket for
trespassing, just fight it because no one from the county or the
federal government is going to show up to complain that you were on
Glassell High? Don't Hold Your
by Tom Topping
Northeast L.A. residents have long been pushing for the best
use of the Taylor Yards, a railroad freight yard now vacant for years.
The communities of Glassell Park, Cypress Park and Mt. Washington, in
particular, have worked very hard to press for a Taylor Yard State Park
and lately, a much needed new High School.
Negotiations were underway between A&B Legacy partners and the Los
Angeles Unified School District to purchase the property, known as
Parcel F. In a move that surprised and shocked many, the property was
sold last month to developer Richard Meruelo for $30,000,000 (according
to Meruelo who said at the meeting, "It's public record").
Suddenly, a deluge of accusations started flying. An article in the
L.A. Times reported that developer Meruelo was spending $62,500
independently to help elect Antonio Villaraigosa as Mayor (Actually,
it's $78,611 according the Los Angeles Ethics Commission filings).
E-mails were sailing all around the northeast repeating those charges,
with people wanting to know what the councilman had promised Mr.
Meruelo to earn that money.
It was a startling to me that neither Villaraigosa nor any of the
School Board members showed up to a public meeting called by Councilman
Ed Reyes and State Assembly person and former L.A. City Council person
But, to let the public have their say and to give the community a
chance to speak their mind, the 6:30 p.m., April 28 meeting at Glassell
Park Elementary School, gave them a chance to do so. The developer, Mr.
Meruelo was invited, and as a surprise to some, showed up.
Mr. Meruelo said, "We were approached to buy this property, as were
many others." His side of the story describes the seller, A&B
Legacy, as getting frustrated with the delays of working with the
school district's plans to purchase the property. He reported that they
had lost confidence that L.A.U.S.D was going to move forward with the
purchase, so they went looking for other buyers.
The school district is at a disadvantage when it comes to buying
property because they cannot pay more than fair market value, and the
required environmental studies and testing for a school site cause
considerable delays. (problem sites like the Belmont learning center
downtown, are the reason the extra rules were created)
Terence Fennessy, director of acquisitions for L.A.U.S.D. said that the
seller (Legacy) had set certain terms that they wouldn't meet, but that
negotiations had not broken off. He claimed it was a surprise to him as
well when he heard the site had been sold.
The community had plenty to say. Local mothers with school age children
took it as an attack on their children and they were angry. One latino
lady said, "It hurts me to see someone with the name Meruelo (a latino
name) connected with spoiling the dreams of school kids." Others echoed
Joan Lundy spoke out from her seat, "I'll never trust another developer
It appeared that all the talk was for nothing when Meruelo stated that
the property was not for sale. However, he did say that he thought that
a win-win situation could happen. He plans to develop much of the
property, but it is large enough, he said, to still allow room for the
planned High School. He added, "My family is the only developer
investing in inner city urban areas, I'm not here to spoil the dreams
of school kids."
As the scheduled end time for the meeting was getting near, Ms.
Goldberg put both developer Meruelo and LAUSD on the spot, and asked
for their public commitment to working together to make Glassell Park
High School a reality. Specifically, since LAUSD wants to continue with
environmental testing of the area, they needed access to the location,
something that Meruelo has not given. At the meeting, he agreed to
provide that, but those in the "loop" believe he will only do that when
forced to by court order.
Further investigation via the internet has revealed much information on
Mr. Meruelo. His family has been acquiring downtown land since the
1970's. But this is no ordinary developer. He almost makes Donald Trump
look like Donald Duck. His companies control in excess of 70 acres of
downtown property- more than double the amount of the second largest
land owner there.
His companies also own many of the surface parking lots around where
Anshultz, Staple Center owner plans to build a huge entertainment
center. There, a high stakes game of monopoly seems to be happening,
with both developers playing a waiting game, ready to spring with a
counter attack after the other makes his first move.
It looks like Mr. Meruelo is a real expert at acquiring property. But
that's not all. He buys properties, not just to re-sell it, but to use
them as leverage to, in one recent case, get neighbor's approval for a
development he wants to build.
At the Southern California Institute of Architecture, in downtown L.A.,
his company, Merco, bought three properties, one of which was a vacant
lot that had been used for student parking since the school opened. The
School was in negotiations to buy the lot, and one day (as the chain
link fence was going up) found it had been sold out from under them.
An offer made by e-mail to the school, by the law firm representing Mr.
Meruelo, (Manatt, Phillips and Phelps) read: "In exchange for the
School's support" (for Merco's development- two 50 story towers
described as Miami-esk), Merco would donate the parking site, "provide
assistance to the school in connection with its negotiations to
purchase the school site and will assist the school in its efforts to
find funding for the acquisition of the site," among other things.
Apparently, that was not acceptable to the board that runs the school,
as they had to resort to lawsuit with Meruelo's company. Basically, if
the school wants their parking, they are being forced legally to
support the developer's plans.
Meruelo comes from a Cuban-American Family, with properties and
businesses in Florida as well as California. Condos, apartments and
hotels seem to be their forte. A Gooogle search also turned up
references to lawsuits they were involved with regarding real estate
and insurance, one concerning a family member suing Lloyd's of London
who was identified as "being previously convicted of insurance fraud."
The search also turned up a few records of political contributions and
a much heralded public relations style donation to build a waterfront
park in West Palm Beach, Florida. In the search results were links to
political donations from all the Meruelo family members to Councilman
Villaraigosa's Mayoral Campaign, with six family members donating
$24,000 in the primary election (totally separate from Richard
Meruelo's $78,611 independent expenditure).
One can only assume that the future of Taylor Yard parcel F , and
Glassell High, will be deluged with litigation, peppered with political
donations, and punctuated with possible offers to give the community a
school as long as they will support his plans for some aesthetically
questionable (or worse) development. Although Northeast L.A. has prided
itself in the past with its ability to scuttle the plans of many a
developer, this time, they may be simply out-matched.
That, or it could be that this is the pendulum is swinging back the
other way, simply being a response, or reaction to the ever more
commonplace and sometimes arbitrary rejection of all projects by
neighborhood groups. If developers were looking for a way to overcome
that, Richard Meruelo has found it.
Arts Education Under Attack
OXY Helps Keep it Going
by Jacob Stevens
Five years ago, Oxy formally adopted Eagle Rock Elementary School,
cementing its tradition of sending nine to twelve students from the
Education department to work in the classrooms every year. Along with
ten other Prototype for the Arts primary schools in the Los Angeles
Unified School District (LAUSD), Eagle Rock Elementary, a national
blue-ribbon school, receives additional funding for books and materials
to teach music and the visual arts.
Eagle Rock Elementary has kept up its end of the deal by committing
itself to maintaining an arts education within the required academic
curriculum. As LAUSD continues its push to increase standardized
testing, parents and teachers worry that students are losing out on the
arts and activities that they believe are valuable in the development
of a well-rounded child.
Twelve years ago, two Eagle Rock Elementary teachers formed a
partnership, taking it upon themselves to bring the arts into the lives
of their students. For over a decade, Laurel Hitchcock and Joyce Jerome
have annually pooled resources and combined their classes to put on
musical theater productions unlike any others performed at the school.
Both teachers and students work cooperatively for months preparing
every aspect of the musicals, from costumes and sets to lighting and
stage directions for actors. For a few evenings each spring, former
students, parents and hundreds of community members pack the tiny
auditorium to watch the performances.
Just a few weeks ago, cheers filled the room, parents wiped tears and
actors took their final bows, bringing this year's production of Alice
in Wonderland to a close.
"Now this is the hard part," Hitchcock said, her voice wavering as she
stood amongst students on stage, many taller than herself. She then
announced that Jerome would be retiring at the end of the year.
After Jerome, a career primary education teacher, took the final bow of
her 34-year career, she made a second announcement to the crowd.
"We will now ask the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat to pass the hat
through the audience to help defray the personal cost of costumes, sets
and everything else," she said. This was the first time that the
teachers had to solicit for donations.
To work the arts into mandated public education is a considerably
fierce battle. Hitchcock and Jerome merge their classes twice a week,
teaching half the class science while the other students work on the
"It's a good way of managing the arts and the academic so students
don't miss out on either," Hitchcock said.
Administrators and parents say they recognize the benefits of
standardized testing, but some are now questioning the role these
assessments have come to play in daily instruction. As scores and
academic performance index (API) placement have become increasingly
tied to funding, test materials and required subjects have come to
dominate class activities at every grade level.
"Everything has become so product-oriented; the focus on tests and
assessment has significantly detracted from the presence of the arts in
public schools," Jerome said.
"What happens is that there are schools so driven by these tests, they
focus on them and detract possibly from the arts, or physical
education, possibly de-emphasizing other forms of learning that are
needed to develop a balanced child," said Oxy Director of Residence and
Greek Life Rameen Talesh. Talesh's three sons currently attend Eagle
Rock Elementary and the eldest participated in a musical last year.
"It's difficult because you want teachers and schools to be
accountable, but you want teaching to be positive without an
overemphasis on particular scores," he said.
On that warm spring evening, costumed fourth graders slowly collected
donations in the packed auditorium. Wallets opened and purses emptied,
donations more than doubling expenditures on the play. The community of
Eagle Rock spoke out and took action, ensuring that this neighborhood
treasure wouldn't be lost in a world of API scores and test-prep
"Eagle Rock Elementary has had a culture for the arts for years.
Although we are always under pressure to look at test scores and
reading levels, I will work to continue these types of programs as long
as I'm principal here," Sierra said.
The Vacant Lot at VON's by
many of you know, the ERNC Land Use & Planning Committee sponsored
a community planning session for this area of the community before the
new year which was run by consultants from Civic Enterprise Associates
and MDA-Johnson Favaro. Discussed was the specific property and the
area at-large, in terms of what's working, what's not working, what
stakeholders would like to see built on the property and what could
happen in this area in the long-run with the right kind of proactive
planning and cooperation.
It was a good event, and everyone – including the Von's corporate folks
– came away with new, enlightening information about how the community
views this property and how it plays a part in our future.
Dear Boulevard Sentinel
My name is Majelane Bautista. I am student at Providence High School in
Burbank California and I am a resident of Eagle Rock. I was writing to
you to express my concern for the streets in Eagle Rock.
I want to voice my opinion because I believe that the roads are unsafe
for pedestrians. One of the major streets, Eagle Rock Blvd., lacks
proper cross walks. Although several crosswalks are in place they are
not sufficient for the number of pedestrians in our community. I know
this to be true because my family friend was hit by a car and killed as
he was crossing the street and trying to get home from our local
The crosswalk solution is not adequate because drivers are still having
difficulty seeing pedestrians crossing the street. This is especially
true for young pedestrians that are trying to get home from our local
schools. Other communities in our area have come up with the solution
to add flashing lights to alert drivers that someone needs to cross the
I write to alert the public especially those in our community that
something must be done to make our roads safer. I hope you can find
some way to help me pass the message around. Thank you for your time.
Majelane M. Bautista
MOTA Day is May 22, 2005
Local Museums to Celebrate Arroyo Culture on May 22, 2005
One-Day Event Will Feature Exhibits, Special Events, Crafts and Family
Fun; Free Shuttle, Free Admission to Five Area Museums
PASADENA and LOS ANGELES, Calif. - April 21, 2004 - Like great art,
architecture, music and family fun with some historical discoveries
thrown in for good measure? How about it all for free?
On May 22, 2005 the 17th annual Museums of the Arroyo (MOTA) Day
invites the public to tour five museums located along the celebrated
Arroyo Seco in Los Angeles and Pasadena for a free day of music,
storytelling, art, crafts and entertainment. MOTA Day is 11 a.m. - 5
In addition to free tours at each MOTA museum below, special events at
this year's MOTA Day include:
. The Gamble House. Visitors can enjoy a performance by
Grammy-awardingR winning musicologist Ian Whitcomb and his Bungalow
Boys; children can do crafts in the backyard.
. Heritage Square Museum. Guests can observe a Spanish American War
encampment, watch traditional woodcarving and plastering demonstrations
and listen to historical storytellers as well as enjoy calliope tunes
and music from local swing band. Children can play with Victorian toys
and do crafts.
The Lummis Home and Garden. Folk singers Gigi and Mike will lead family
sing-alongs with tunes from the turn-of-the century.
The Pasadena Museum of History. Guests can tour the museum's current
exhibition "Century of Pasadena Parks and An Enchanted Park:
Celebrating the Centennial of Busch Gardens" as well as hear band organ
The Southwest Museum. Visitors can see current museum exhibits as well
as hear from contemporary Native American songwriters Arigon Starr and
Getting to MOTA Day is easy --- take the Gold Line to MOTA Day and jump
off at either the Southwest Museum or Heritage Square station, where
free shuttles will escort you to MOTA Day. Or park your car once and
shuttle to the museums of your choice.
For more information call the MOTA hotline (213) 740-TOUR (8687) or go
About the MOTA Museums
THE GAMBLE HOUSE
An internationally recognized National Historic Landmark, in the style
of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Built in 1908, The Gamble
House is the most complete and best-preserved example of the work of
renowned Pasadena architects Charles and Henry Greene.
Established in 1969, this living history museum reflects the settlement
and development of Southern California from 1850 to 1950. Through
guided tours, changing exhibits and special events, Heritage Square
Museum takes its guest back in time to eras where electricity was a
novelty, a trip to the beach was often a full-weekend activity and
manners were distinctly different from those of today.
THE LUMMIS HOME AND GARDEN
A turn-of-the century home built over a 12-year period with stones from
the arroyo by Charles Lummis, early activist, author and civic booster.
Lummis also founded the Southwest Museum and was the first city editor
of the fledging Los Angeles Times.
PASADENA MUSEUM OF HISTORY
A museum and research library/archives focusing on the history of
Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley, the museum is on the grounds of
one of the few remaining grand homes on Pasadena's former
"Millionaire's Row." The 1905 Beaux Arts Fenyes Mansion is listed on
the National Register of Historic Places.
As the nationally renowned and the oldest museum in Los Angeles, the
Southwest Museum houses one of the most significant collections of
American Indian art and materials cultures in the country. Ranging from
prehistoric to contemporary works, the museum's exhibitions represent
the diversity of American Indians with special attention to cultures of
the native people of California.
Traditional Navajo Rug Auction
Los Angeles (April 14, 2005) — Participate in a good old-fashion Navajo
rug auction, complete with an auctioneer and an up-close-and-personal
preview of 200 Navajo weavings, at the Autry National Center's
Southwest Museum of the American Indian.
Auctions have long been a vital part of the collecting tradition. They
have been held in cities and towns throughout the Southwest. This event
brings this historic tradition to Los Angeles for the fourth year in a
row. Rug auctions benefit not only traders and collectors but also the
Navajo weavers themselves by increasing their market. In addition, this
auction benefits the Southwest Museum and it programs.
Bruce Burnham from the R. B. Burnham and Company Trading Post in
Sanders, Arizona, returns as auctioneer and will present a special
selection of Navajo weavings from weavers and trading posts throughout
the Southwest with whom he has built a long-lasting relationship. Each
rug is uniquely designed, and they range from the very affordable to
The auction will take place at the Southwest Museum with a preview from
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a live auction from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission and parking are free. Visitors are encouraged to take the MTA
Gold Line to the Southwest Museum.
Southwest Museum of the American Indian
The Southwest Museum holds one of the nation's most important museum,
library, and archive collections related to the American Indian. In
addition, it has extensive holdings of pre-Hispanic, Spanish colonial,
Latino, and Western American art and artifacts. For nearly 100 years it
has supported research, publications, exhibitions, and other
educational activities to advance the public's understanding and
appreciation of the Americas, with particular emphasis on the western
United States and Mesoamerica. The Southwest Museum is located at 234
Museum Drive in Mt. Washington and is easily accessible via the Metro
Rail Gold Line, which stops directly across from the museum.
The Southwest Museum and Museum Store are open Tuesday through Sunday,
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free on the second Tuesday of every
Hermon Dog Park Breaks Ground
The Hermon Dog Park -- an off-leash exercise area for dogs and their
owners to be located in the historic Hermon community of Northeast Los
Angeles broke ground on Friday, April 29.
After passing though initial CEQA (California Environmental Quality
Act) studies earlier this year, Recreation and Parks has agreed to
assume responsibility for new environmental mitigations deemed
necessary to open the facility, including replacing the existing grass
with a decomposed granite surface and adding vinyl coated fencing. It
had originally been estimated that these and other news costs could
have increased the funding needed to complete the three-year-old
project by $100,000 or more, and delayed the project further while
additional funds were being sought.
Located at the northern edge of Hermon Park in the Arroyo Seco
(entrance at 5566 Via Marisol), the dog park site makes use of a
separate, secluded and virtually unused portion of that park bordered
by the northbound Arroyo Seco Parkway onramp at Avenue 60, and the
The Hermon Dog Park Formation Committee has also requested that the
community have an opportunity to review final plans for the design of
the dog park at a general meeting. The 1.3 acre off-leash exercise area
will include two separately fenced areas – accommodating small- and
large-breed dogs – as well as a dog watering fountain, community
bulletin board, portable toilet, and benches.
Residents from the Northeast communities of Hermon, Montecito Heights,
Monterey Hills, and other neighboring areas began lobbying the city
council member for District 14 more than two years ago to place a
planned, funded dog park in Hermon -- a centrally located community in
the district -- after other nearby communities opposed it being built
in their parks elsewhere. In the Spring of 2003, then Councilmember
Nick Pacheco transferred $80,000 in funding from a similar cancelled
project in the district to Recreation and Parks holding accounts
earmarked for the Hermon Dog Park.
A support group for the proposed off-leash park in Hermon Park was
established last year including dog owners from the Hermon
neighborhood, the nearby Montecito Heights Improvement Association,
City of Angels Dog Rescue, and individuals from throughout Northeast
Los Angeles and the nearby San Gabriel Valley. Additional information
and a link to the tentative Recreation and Parks Department plans are
available at www.hermondogpark.com
Hello again everyone! Thanks for checking in this month. The Trompers
of Eagle Rock Hot Rod club continue to make their mark! The
rain-delayed Glendale Kiwanis car show finally took place April 10th,
and 3 Trompers came home winners! In one of the pictures you'll see
Tromper Max Norris' 26 Tall T Ford coupe with a stunning flathead
engine, which won 1st place in modified coupe class, which had some
really stiff competition. Congratulations Max! Another Tromper Tim
Dodd, won 1st place in "under construction" class! This was the first
show Tim entered with his 1930 Ford coupe, and he came home a winner!
And, yours truly won second place right behind Tim in the same class
with my 1950 Ford pickup. For the Trompers, it was a great weekend! But
there were a lot of winners at this show, and the pictures showcase
some of the stunning class winners. The Kiwanis put on a first class
show, their 12th annual, which featured over 250 vehicles this year,
and the Trompers congratulate them for a "Job well done-as usual"! The
Trompers hope seeing all these great looking cars encourages you to
want to go to a car show somewhere around the area. Every weekend now,
there are car shows someplace, some close by, other you might have to
travel a bit to get to, but wherever you have to go, it's worth the
trip! Southern California is truly the hotbed Hot Rodding! We have the
pleasure of having more of the finest hotrods, custom cars, etc., than
any area in the entire United States. To guide you a bit, out in
Pomona, the first Wednesday night of each month the NHRA (National Hot
Rod Association) museum at the Fairplex has a "twilight cruise-in", and
that's the show you have to go to! You'll see over 500 of the finest
cars to be seen anywhere, and the crowd will be at 3,000 or better. The
museum is open that night with free admission, and the historic hot
rods on display are simply overwhelming, and represent some of the
sports most memorable examples. Show starts at 4 p.m.! Ok, we are going
to close this up, and leave room for these great pictures. Just one
final note, the Trompers lost one of our "original" members recently to
cancer. Art Killian, who had been a Tromper back in 1949/1950 passed
away April 11th. Sadly, we only got to meet Art just once back in 2004.
We'll miss Art, God Bless our fellow Tromper! Bye everyone, hope to see
ya at a car show real soon, and, by all means take your camera!
Esther Elaine Jacobson (nee Garlock)
Passed away April 20, 2005 at the age of 80. She was born in Lake
Preston, South Dakota on June 10, 1924, the daughter of Vernon and
Evelyn June Garlock.
Esther spent her years after high school in Washington D.C. working for
the government during WWII. She later moved to Southern California
where she met and married L.A. City fireman Leonard "Jake" Jacobson in
1949. They settled in Eagle Rock where they raised three children, were
involved in the schools and their church, Eagle Rock Baptist, where
they enjoyed many friendships in the community.
During retirement they moved to Oceanside, California. They were
involved in the Carlsbad Community Church where Esther spent time
volunteering. From 1991 - 1999, Esther cared for Jake while he suffered
from Alzheimers. She later moved into the retirement community at
Pacific Place where she resided until having a stroke in December of
2004. Since then, she has lived in several nursing facilities, until
succumbing to pneumonia. She spent her last month at the Solheim
Luthern Home where she received excellent care in a very loving
Esther was a sweet lady who loved the Lord, her family and friends. She
is survived by her son, James "Jake" Jacobson and daughter-in-law,
Druann of Malibu and four grandchildren, Theresa Collen Noble, Jamie
Jacobson, Kelly Jacobson and Andrew Jacobson; her daughter Janet Marie
Jacobson Chillingworth and son-in-law, Charles Chillingworth II of
Pasadena, CA and two grandchildren, Charles F. Chillingworth III, and
Lindsey Elaine Chillingworth; and daughter Julie Elaine Jacobson,
son-in-law Bud Dugan and grandson Lane Parker Jacobson; sister Myrtle
Garlock Rose and brother, Ronald Garlock, both of South Dakota. Her
older sister, Belva Garlock Weddell, preceded her in death. She also
leaves three nephews and two nieces.
A memorial service will be held Monday, May 23rd at 11:00 a.m. at the
Carlsbad Community Church. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to
the Alzheimers Foundation at:
San Diego Chapter
4950 Murphy Canyon Rd, ste 250
San Diego, CA 92123
800 272 3900
Leonard Harold Orr
died January 3, 2005 in Santa Rosa, California at the age of 83. He was
a native Californian, living Highland Park all his life, but the last
year he spent with his daughter in Santa Rosa.
Len attended Garvanza, Luther Burbank and Franklin schools.
When Pearl Harbor was bombed, he and his buddies joined the Marines.
Frank and Bill Rhue, Dorsy White and Bill Staffer.
They fought most of the Pacific battles from Guadacanal thru Iwo Jima
and all came home without injury, quite a record!
Len had many jobs in the area before going to work for Sparklett’s
Water Co., where he worked for 31 years before retiring in 1983. He
belonged to Western Racing Assn.. and attended many events as part of a
team for racers.
He is survived by Andrea Diric, his daughter of Santa Rosa, CA, Anna
May Standen, sister, of Texas, Joe Orr, brother, Lee Orr, sister in law
of Los Angeles.
Services will be held at St. Dominic’s at 2002 Merton Ave.. in Eagle
Rock, May 14, 2005 at 1 p.m.
Another memorial will be held at Toroweep Point at the Grand Canyon, a
favorite camping place of Len’s to be announced at a later date.
He will be missed by family and his many friends.
Edith J. Owen 1912 - 2005
Services took place on April 16 for long time Eagle Rock resident,
Edith J. Owen. She died on March 19 at a convalescent center in La
Mrs. Owen was born in Woodstock, Georgia and was the youngest of six
children. She attended Agnes Scott College in Atlanta and graduated cum
laude from the University of Southern California with a degree in
Psychology. She marrried Arthur Owen, her college sweetheart in 1934
and raised two daughters in the Eagle Rock home on Hartwick Street
where she resided for 63 years.
Edith Owen was a full-time homemaker during her entire adult life and
took great pride in maintaining her home and garden. During her life
time she was an active member and tireless worker in the Eagle Rock
Presbyterian Church and served as a Camp Fire Girls leader and was a
member of the Eagle Rock Women's Club.
Survivors include her daughters Ardith Smith and Virginia Kaufman,
seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
The family suggests that donations be made to either the Eagle Rock
Presbyterian Church or to the Grossmont Hospital Foundation /Sharp
Hospice Fund, P.O. Box 158, La Mesa, CA 91944-9942.
DASH to Progress
On Wednesday, April 27, at the Los Angeles City Hall , members of the
North East Transportation Coalition(NET-C), the North East Coalition
for Justice(N/E CEJ), and the Eagle Rock Valley Association(ERVA)
attended the City Council's Transportation Committee(T Com.) Meeting. A
study initiated by LADOT (Los Angeles Department of Transportation)
included a list of 20 recommended DASH routes for the city, ranked in
order by an indicator termed, Potential Index.
NET-C, which is an outgrowth of ERVA, N/E CEJ and other community
organizations working together on improving public transportation, was
well represented at the committee meeting. The room was packed
including standing room only.
Antonio Villaraigosa presided over the meeting with Co-Chair Tom
LaBonge, committee member Greig Smith was absent. Others present were
Adam Lid, Legislative Analyst for the T com., Maria Souza from the
Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst, Council Policy Staff Angela
Ovalle and Jeannie Chen.
Council Member Eric Garcetti made a special appearance at the meeting
to support our DASH Plan and its goals.
LADOT's Michael Davies along with Mary Oâ€™Melia presented the study
and its recommendations to the committee. The Public Comment period
opened with Tessa Charnofsky representing Hathaway House, West
Joe(Silverlake Improvement Association), Ronni Solman(Allesandro
CEJ/NET-C), Steve Zimmer (Marshall HS, Elysian Valley Neighborhood
Council, and E V United Community Center) Mario Moya (Allesandro
CEJ/NET-C), Everett Sarabia(Pres. ERVA/Co-chair NET-C). Gloria I.
Arredondo, (L.A. Bridges, Safe Passages Nightingale), Rosa Villafana
and Lidia Contreras, parents from Nightingale came to lend support. We
asked that our original route, covering Eagle Rock and Glassell Park,
be the very first new DASH route implemented once funds are available.
It is presently #3 on the list of 20 Antonio Villaraigosa remembered us
from prior contact and from an earlier meeting we held that he attended
over 2 years ago. He was very supportive and applauded our efforts on
behalf of the community. Both Council Members seemed very impressed
with the over all presentation.
The issues of funding and an implementation timetable still need to be
resolved. Although 20 routes from around the whole city were being
discussed, only Northeast Los Angeles residents were in attendance,
except for a small contingent from San Pedro. The matter (of approving
the recommendations) has been postponed 30 days, to give the LADOT time
to respond to some of the concerns voiced at the meeting.
This postponement means we still have opportunity to give input and
opinion into the process. The new date for this hearing is May 25. You
can send letters of support for the DASH PLAN to: The Transportation
Committee Attn: Adam Lid, City Clerk Office Room 395, 200 North Spring
Street, Los Angeles, California 90012-4801 or fax your letter to:(213)
For more information Contact:
North East Transportation Coalition
Co-Chair - Everett Sarabia
1223 North Avenue 45
Los Angeles, California 90041-3403
Jazz & Cocktails
For those of you that may have spent any amount of time browsing or
shopping in one of Eagle Rock's many wonderful stores, you have most
likely seen this album sitting in a shelf display of two.
Byron Motley's newest album, "Jazz & Cocktails" has been spotted in
many local boutiques including The Blissful Soul, Don's Music and The
Oxy Café, as well as not so local shops like Rockaway Records in
Silverlake. It's official…Byron Motley is everywhere!
Originally from Kansas City, Byron moved to Los Angeles and shortly
after received his masters degree in music from USC. He's performed on
three occasions with the prestigious Boston Pops under the baton of
conductor/composer John Williams. Their performance entitled "America,
the Dream Goes On", received accolades and strong critical praise. On
the same note, Byron has also performed with the Hollywood Orchestra
and the Liberty Symphony.
Byron Motley is an extremely sought after session singer who has
recorded with a long list of celebrities including Barbra Streisand,
Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Melissa Ethridge, Dionne Warwick and Joe
Cocker. Byron has performed on Broadway with Patti Lu Pone in the
acclaimed show "Patti Lu Pone On Broadway" and also regularly tours
with Barry Manilow.
At a masters class, respected entertainer Cleo Laine recognized Byron's
incredible talent and invited him to London, England, where he received
the coveted "Wavedon All Music New Singing Talent of the Year" award.
Byron's award was presented to him by H.R.H. Princess Margaret, an
honor that has also been bestowed on Wynton Marsalis and Andrew Lloyd
If Byron's voice sound's oddly familiar, it may be because you've heard
him on a commercial. He's lent his unique and professionally trained
voice to several jingles and recordings.
"Jazz & Cocktails" was released in 2004 on Cocoa Blu Records and is
a delightful mix of "some of the best-known jazz standards side by side
lesser-known gems." Song after song, Byron's voice sparkles and shines.
The album starts off with "June Night", a classic song that was
composed in 1924 by Abel Baer and Cliff Friend. Definitely a song that
will get your feet tapping and your fingers snapping.
"Waters of March" (or "Aguas de Marco") is a well-known Brazilian tune
that Motley sings half in English and half in Portuguese. A simply
soul-stirring song that was composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim in 1973.
A fun, up-beat song is "I Ain't Got the Gal" (composed by Edward Pola
and George Wyle in 1953). Big band flair with horns, keys and upright
bass really dazzle on this spectacular tune.
"I Told Ya I Love Ya, Now Get Out" is a fabulous take on a classic jazz
number. Composed by John Frigo, Lou Carter and Herb Ellis in 1947
(though this song will always be ageless).
On the vintage sounding "And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine" (composed by
Stan Kenton, Charles Lawrence and Joe Greene in 1944), Byron updates a
few of the lyrics and uses actual samples of the original backup vocals.
Byron Motley has created a beautiful collection of old and new
favorites that can be enjoyed by just about anyone. Byron's voice
really does soar.
Byron is accompanied on this album by "Motley's Crew": Ron Pedley (keys
and trumpet), Dean Taba (upright bass), John Pondel (guitar), and Randy
Drake (drums) as well as a handful of other talented musicians.
Check Byron out at www.byronmotley.com or see him live in concert at
Corky's Bistro in Beverly Hills on June 6th or locally at One Colorado
in Pasadena on June 10th and September 3rd. I think it's about time we
all went out for some "Jazz & Cocktails".
Rainbow for Girls, Assembly #44
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (called IORG, or
Rainbow) is a non-profit, fraternal youth service organization for
girls between the ages of 11-20. Rainbow provides an environment where
teenage girls gain self-confidence and self-respect while practicing
reverence, patriotism, love and service. Rainbow teaches leadership
skills, service to the community, patriotism to our country and respect
for all. It is not a religion, cult or secret order. Nor is it
connected with any other group using "rainbow" in their name or logo.
Rainbow is a character-building service organization that is open to
all girls regardless of their religious belief.
Upcoming Fun Events for May
5/07/05 Bake Sale Eagle Rock Vons
5/21/05 Community Clean Up / Movie / Dinner Serving
5/28/05 Charity Event
We meet the 2nd and 4th Mondays, at 7PM at the Glendale Masonic Center.
If you are interested in joining, contact Angie Eckart, Mother Advisor
ER Valley Watch Awards
Eagle Rock - The monthly meeting of the Eagle Rock Valley Association's
Neighborhood Watch (ERVANWATCH) took place on Tuesday, April 19, at
Toland Way Elementary School, 4545 Toland Way. This group has members
that represent 18 blocks in our area. Over 95 neighbors and guests have
attended this meeting since its inception in June of 2004.
Certificates of Appreciation were presented by Michael Cathey,
Director/Field Deputy of the Eagle Rock Office for Council member
Antonio Villaraigosa, and President Everett Sarabia of the Eagle Rock
Valley Association. These Certificates were awarded to both neighbors
and the local merchants Albertson's on Eagle Rock Boulevard and Food
for Less on North Figueroa Street who have been key supporters of the
Neighborhood Watch(NW) and our community's efforts to improve the
quality of life in the Northeast.
After Senior Lead Officer Mark Allen received his award he stated that
what differentiates this group from other Neighborhood Watch groups is
that it continues to grow. Officer Allen presented the latest crimes
stats for the area during the last month: no homicides or aggravated
assault. There were mostly burglaries and auto theft, but the numbers
are down. The good news is that LAPD has apprehended the "bicycle
burglar" who has confessed to over 30 burglaries in the area. Officer
Allen reiterated the importance of people knowing their neighbors so
they can be alerted to suspicious people or activity.
Terry Valdez, Eastside Area Director for Mayor Hahn's Office, helped
our leadership to schedule Assistant Director Thomas W. Thomas, of the
Bureau of Street Services for our NW meeting. He answered questions and
gave updates on local street services. During his 45 minute interaction
with the group, he announced that $100,000, derived from gas taxes, has
now been added to the budget of neighborhood councils for street
re-paving. To ensure the appropriate streets are included in this
effort, Thomas suggested that he be contacted directly. His number is
Our discussion included the need for tree trimming on certain streets
and new trees to be planted by the city on Armadale Avenue. One of our
NW Captains took the lead in securing a grant from the Department of
Environmental Affairs to purchase and plant these trees. For more
information on the Neighborhood Watch, or to receive email updates
regarding the police related activity and monthly meetings in our area,
please send an email to ERVANWatch@adelphia.net or call 323-254-3512.
Home Town Originals
by Chockie Tom
Special to the Boulevard Sentinel
Spring is definitely in the air, the days are longer, and the flowers
are in bloom, now that the weather is warmer, it can only mean one
thing, shopping. Highland Park and Eagle Rock locals may have noticed
that there have been many major and minor changes happening in the
neighborhood, mostly around Eagle Rock Boulevard and all along Colorado
Boulevard. There are a bunch of new stores that have opened among old
favorites. There are services and interesting finds to be found all
over the neighborhood if you know where to look.
on our shopping and service tour of the neighborhood is Owl Talk.
Owners Kathleen and Sharon have been in business for 10 years. They
specialize in handpicking quality used contemporary and vintage
clothing and are always on the cutting edge of fashion. In fact most of
this spring's trends can be found at very decent prices. If you're
looking for all the right elements to update your wardrobe for spring,
this is the place to go for essentials like hand tooled leather purses,
vintage cowboy boots, full skirts and eastern inspired wear. Make sure
you get a good look at the jewelry case for one of a kind finds and
their selection of ID and cigarette cases. For those of you looking to
set yourself apart at prom, a unique piece of jewelry and a great purse
is defiantly the way to go. Keep your eyes open for the online jewelry
shopping experience that Owl Talk will be launching this summer: http://www.jeweltalk.com.
Another neighborhood favorite is Twerps, which is already well known
for their selection of children's resale clothing, wonderful screened
shirts for kids, toys that are both educational and classic and a great
selection of natural body care lines such as Burt's Bees. Recently the
store has become ground zero for local knitters, offering knitting
classes for $5 dollars, several days a week. Twerps now carries a
magnificent selection of knitting paraphernalia. The selection of yarn,
needles and knitting books is enough to make anyone with an urge to
knit one, purl two, very happy. Arts and crafts classes for children
are offered as well, prices vary from $2-5 depending on the supplies
that the store will be providing. 5 times week there is story time,
which is free. If you have any questions regarding the activities at
the store, Twerps can be reached at 323-256-7608.
One of the newer stores along Eagle Rock Boulevard is Imix Books. If
you're yearning for a good read, books about politics, various cultural
histories, poetry, hip-hop, punk rock among many other interesting
subjects can be found here. There is a great selection of bilingual
children's books to be found here. There is a great assortment of
screened tees with humorous, cultural, political and artistic themes;
terrific purses and other knick-knacks that range from Zapatista dolls,
buttons and 7-day candles. In the rear of the store, work by local
artists is on display. You can find stencil art, paintings and very
unique metal sculptures. There are also live events, signings and
readings that happen at Imix and that information can be found on their
website at http://www.imixbooks.com.
Recently opened Blue Heeler Imports specializes in importing Australian
goods. Make sure you stop in and check out the great selection of bags
that range from durable and functional Crumpler to the stunning nature
inspired bags by Nicola Cerini. If you'd really like to pamper yourself
try the Aromababy body care line or the sumptuous linens by Plane Tree
Farm and the chic lingerie and loungewear by Bulb Lifestyle. The staff
is really quite friendly and are very good at answering questions. You
can also shop online at http://blueheelerstore.com.
Xica is another store worth noting. If you're in the market for great
screened tee shirts, ethnic accessories, and clothing with a Mexican
flair this is the store for you. The shirts range from about 20-35
dollars and dresses about 30-70 dollars. A lot of the tee shirts are
customized and the purses are sure to please any fasionista. Don't
forget to check out their selection of edgy punk and glam inspired wear
as well. Xica (323) 550-1259.
Colorado Wine Company is your one stop for fine wines under $25
dollars. They've been open since March and offer Friday night and
Sunday wine tastings. Both owners are very helpful and will go out of
their way to help even the most uninformed patron find the right type
of wine. They also have a wine bar that is open evenings from Tuesday
through Sunday. The wine selection itself is hand selected from around
the world, and the few bottles that are over $25 dollars are some
dessert wines and champagne. The store also has a website that lists
upcoming events. http://www.cowineco.com.
If you're not old enough to sample fine wines, Galco's Soda Pop Shop
make be more up your alley. They have an amazing variety of
hard-to-find soda pops and old time candies. If you're hunting hard for
that soda you can't seem forget, they are more than accommodating at
helping you acquire it. They've also recently expanded into carrying
hard to find bottled waters. The root beer selection alone is
impressive; they carry 43 different varieties. They even have original
formula Dr. Pepper, imported Coca-cola and east coast favorites such as
Dr. Browns. If you would like to try something a bit different you can
find interesting flavors like celery, sangria or if you're really
daring, Galco's carries a cola made with habanero chilies or
exceptionally caffeinated Jolt! Cola. So whether you're a kid or you're
seeking a childhood favorite Galco's is a one-stop soda aficionado's
paradise. They also have a website which is worth recommending to any
out of town friends: http://www.sodapopstop.com.
If you're looking to find musical instruments at killer prices, look no
further than Highland Park Music and Pawn. Music lover Doug Brown runs
the store itself. If it's an instrument you're after, he can help you
make an informed decision nod or perhaps enlighten you on the history
of the instrument. Although the shop specializes in instruments and
helping local musicians, you can also find the usual assortment of
items found in pawnshops like jewelry and electronics. If you can't
find something that you're looking for, chances are Highland Park Music
and Pawn will if you contact them. Like most local businesses Highland
Park Music and Pawn has a website: http://www.musicpawn.com.
Instead of traveling out of the neighbor to find a good spa, why not go
right down the street to the Garden Spa't located in the Martin
Chiropractic Center. Whether it's a massage, aromatherapy, waxing,
facials or chiropractic care, you need, it's all conventionally located
in one spot. The Gardena Spa't part of the building is run by Tanis
Rhines. She carries Eminence Organics skin care products and
Pharmaskincare Products. Just in time for Mother's Day, she's offering
a special on the Chocolate and Roses Decadence Facial. She also has a
lot of male customers and customizes every facial based on skin
analysis. Dr. Martin has been a practicing chiropractor for over 20
years; he's been in Eagle Rock for about 8 years and has lived in the
area for 40 years. He does everything from family practice to physical
therapy and has customers coming from as far a Huntington Beach to seek
Also in the same building is Emja, whom specializes in Russian Clinical
and Sports Massage and aromatherapy. If you'd like to try out any of
their services, I would recommend going with the Day Spa Special, which
involves a facial, a massage and chiropractic care. Tanis can be
reached at 323-344-8269, Dr. Martin at 323-254-0917 and Emja at
Carlotta's Passion has art shows, carries six centuries worth of great
art and antique furniture from around the world for sale. They also do
art restoration. If you step inside you'll be sure to get educated on
local artist and other local happenings. They've been open since
December. Keep your eyes out for art shows that focus on Art Center
affiliates, Latino artists and other interesting things. Their website
Right after spring comes summer and everyone knows that summer means
swimsuit weather. If you'd like to get fit, Curves might just be the
place for you. Curves is well known for it's 30 minute workout and it's
comfortable all female atmosphere. The work out consists of 5 main
components; warm-up, strength training, aerobic exercise, cool-down and
stretching all of which is completed in just 30 minutes making Curves
the choice of many active women. The staff is very helpful and
membership rates are affordable making curves a popular choice for
women of all ages. You can call to set up an appointment to get a
figure analysis and get a tour of the workout facility.
If you're planning an event such as a party or wedding or if you just
need limousine services Sir Michael's is the local business that makes
sure you get all that you need. You can rent anything ranging from
dance floors to tables, to margarita machines to moon bounces and
anything else that will give your event the flair you're looking for.
Sir Michael's has been open since 1983 and has provided many services
for local events and schools. As far as limo services go, they have
limos, stretch limos and a Rolls Royce for rent. Their website has a
price list and photographs of the cars and links to other party related
services they are affiliated with. Sir Michael's Limousine and Party
Services can be reached via phone at (323) 225-5466 or you can check
them out online at http://www.sirmichaelsrentals.com
Last but not least on our tour is the Oh La La store. They have been
open for 3 months and carry the most delightful selection of full
skirts in the most amazing fabric. Most of their line is sold in
boutiques and department stores, however in the Eagle Rock store the
public has a chance to purchase items at wholesale prices. Most of the
skirts are in the $22-40 range. There are handmade purses, luxury bath
items, jewelry made by local artists and vintage fashions to be found.
You can also get prom style dresses here as well. If you want to have a
dress or skirt custom made using one of the fabrics they have on hand,
it takes about 2-3 days and costs a few dollars more. They are having a
grand opening in June.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as shopping and services go
in Eagle Rock and Highland Park. There are new local stores opening all
the time and many neat places you haven't even came across just yet.
Shopping in your own backyard is not only convenient but it helps keep
all those local businesses running. So until next time, I'll see you
around the neighborhood.
Just after 11:00pm on Saturday evening, April 30, two masked gunmen
entered Columbo's Restaurant in Eagle Rock and ordered patrons and
employees to the ground. The restaurant's cash register was robbed and
the belongings of some patrons in the bar were stolen. No one was
injured and no shots were fired. Columbo's Manager Vic Parrino reports
the robbers parked on Hermosa Avenue and entered the restaurant through
the side door.
Mr. Parrino indicates this is the first time Columbo's has been a
victim of robbery in many years. ERNC Business Representative and
Chamber of Commerce President Michael Nogueira reports that a meeting
of business owners is being arranged to discuss how the business
community can deal with rising crime and break-ins in Eagle Rock, as
there has been a rash of burglaries during early morning hours along
Colorado Blvd. It is not known if the incidents are related. If you own
a business in Eagle Rock and would like information on the
business-owners meeting, please contact Michael Nogueira at 323 225
by Tom Topping
On Thursday, April 22, about 25 residents showed up for the Eagle Rock
neighborhood watch block captains meeting at the Eagle Rock City Hall.
Only about 10 were regular attendees, the rest being first timers due
to a recent increase in crime, particularly in their neighborhoods.
Crime is up in the Eagle Rock area, and the villagers are getting
"Luckily for us, gang members are killing gang members," said Eagle
Rock and Glassell Park senior lead officer Joe Gallindo as he gave
attendees the rundown on the latest aggravated assaults which included
several shootings. Fortunately for Eagle Rockers (and not so fortunate
for Highland Park), those mostly occurred near the Figueroa/York
intersection. There was one assault at 2200 Colorado, wherein a car
with two suspects blocked the path of the victim. One told him "come
here or I'm gonna shoot you," while the other suspect exited the
vehicle and punched the victim in the stomach.
Burglaries are up as well, with homes on Yosemite Drive, Cindy Lane and
Burwood Avenue being hit. The highest number of crimes occurred, as
usual, in the form of grand theft auto (GTA), and burglary/theft from a
motor vehicle (BTFV). Three GTA's happened at the Eagle Rock mall
(Westfield), one at Townsend and Colorado and one at Eagle Rock Bl. and
Ave. 40. Seven BTFV's occurred in the area in that week of April 10 to
Officer Gallindo explained that the problem is mostly the homeless and
the drug addicts, specifically the meth-amphetamine users who are up
all night walking around looking for opportunities to steal. This,
apparently, was behind the latest round of business break-ins on the
morning of April 20th, where I was able to observe the aftermath
I was awakened by the sound of a wood cutting circular saw at 6:00 a.m.
in the morning and I thought some repairman or construction worker was
trying to get an early, albeit illegal, start to the day. As I exited
the street door of my apartment I saw a black and white parked next to
the building, the Eagle Rock Italian Bakery. I got to the corner and
saw a pick up truck with sheets of plywood in the back. As I started to
complain to the worker that he was not supposed to be working until 7
a.m., I realized that one of the workers was not a worker at all but
the policeman who was supervising the boarding up of the glass door
that had been broken out by burglars. (Never mind!) He mentioned that
all the bakeries up and down the Boulevard had been broken into.
I went back upstairs to finish getting dressed, grabbed my camera, and
started walking down the boulevard to check it out.
Sure enough, the Golden Ribbon Bakery across from Bank of America also
had a smashed glass door. I made my way back up to the other end of
town and noticed Lorraine, the owner of the Daybreak Health food store
across from Trader Joe's Market. She was busy sweeping up the glass
from her door that had been smashed as well.
She showed me where they had thrown the cash register drawer to the
ground after they saw it was empty. Lorraine then pointed out the tool
that was used to break the glass, a cast iron cover, normally in the
sidewalk, that allows access to the water meter. There it was, sitting
on the shelf 3 feet off the ground, right where it landed, a good 12-15
feet inside from where the door was broken.
After returning to the donut shop to get something to drink, I noticed
that Nicky's Nails, also had their door broken. I asked if the donut
shop workers had reported it. They said, no, they were too busy baking.
I then called the Northeast Station myself to report it, and the reply
I got from them, well, is the subject for a whole other story.
At the meeting, Gallindo said that security cameras at the Golden
Ribbon bakery had caught the suspect on tape. He had very dark skin,
wore a hat and was driving what appeared to be about a 1988 white
Honda. He was going from shop to shop, smashing the glass and grabbing
whatever was in the register. The police know who he is. They say he is
from Pasadena, and he has not been caught yet.
As the meeting ended, all were reminded to spread the word and help get
more neighborhood watches started, but before we left, Officer Gallindo
had a request from us. It seems that L.A.P.D. top brass had given its
lead officers another task. They are now required to walk with their
constituents once a week. Most were only too willing to please as we
made the trek from the Eagle Rock City Hall parking lot all the way to
the fire station (next door) and back. I ran ahead and got pictures.
Cub Scout Pack #188 of Eagle
Are you interested in having fun, community service and learning? How
about joining the Cub Scouts. Cub Scout Pack #188 is looking for boys
grades 1st (or 6 years old) - 4th grade to join. Most dens meet at
Yosemite and the pack meetings are held once a month at Dahlia
elementary. If you are interested please give us a call @ 323.344.0629.
Max Briseno, Cubmaster
Playground for Rockdale Elementary
After four years of planning and preparation, the youngest students at
Rockdale Elementary have a new playground. This possible thanks to a
$25,000 grant from the Douglas Foundation, Anne and Kirk Douglas
Playground Awards program, which was matched with funds from the LAUSD!
The grant project was led by Kindergarten teacher Cindy Sherman-Binford
and Rockdale Principal Desiree DeBond Vargas and supported by teachers,
parents and staff. It will be used to replace tattered, worn and
outdated equipment which was largely in disrepair.
Screen legend Kirk Douglas and his wife Anne joined city & LAUSD
officials at the recent playground dedication. Now the children are
enjoying a new, safe & modern playground complete with slides,
climbing walls, ladders and a fire station learning station.
Congratulations to everyone at Rockdale who made this possible, and
thanks to all involved for caring for our community's kids!
One of the resolutions proposed at the Arroyo Seco neighborhood council
last month was one to support changing the name of Avenue 43 to Lummis
drive, or street or way. This to recognize the contribution the turn of
the century resident who shaped the future of Los Angeles while
preserving the history of the past.
Lummis was a very early resident of the Arroyo Seco, building his home
out of river rock from the Arroyo using his own two hands. He had come
to Los Angeles by walking all the way from Ohio. He was the city editor
of the Los Angeles Times from 1885 to 1888, and founded the Landmarks
Club in 1894 that led the effort to restore the early California
Missions. But what he is remembered for most these days is his founding
of the Southwest Museum.
The community wants to acknowledge the man by renaming the street where
he lived for 30 years, now known as Avenue 43. They also hope that
renaming the street will deter gang members associating with the Ave.
Day Weekend Observance
To Raise New Ceremonial Flags at Cypress Park Veterans Memorial April
21, 2005 – CYPRESS PARK (Los Angeles) – The Friends of Cypress Park
Community Improvement Association and Los Angeles City District One
Councilmember Ed P. Reyes will sponsor a Memorial Day Weekend
Observance on Saturday, May 28 to honor and remember local veterans of
all military services – from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cypress Park
Veterans Memorial, located at the intersection of Cypress Avenue and
For the first time, the Friends of Cypress Park will include, as part
of their traditional ceremony, the raising of a new flag previously
flown over the nation's capitol in Washington D.C. The ceremonial
honors flag has been donated to the community with the assistance of
Los Angeles Police Department Senior Lead Officer "Red" Faulkner, a
military veteran himself.
The Memorial Day Observance is open to all, and will feature moments of
inspiration from veterans, local officials and others, around the
Cypress Park Veterans Memorial site followed by food and refreshments
supplied by the sponsors and generous local businesses.
Other local elected officials have been invited to attend, as well,
including Congressman Xavier Becerra.
The Cypress Park Veterans Memorial is the product of volunteer work
organized by the Friends of Cypress Park group in recent years. From
2002-2003, local volunteers donated hundreds of hours to convert a
blighted concrete traffic median at the intersection of Cypress and
Pepper into a flowering neighborhood garden and memorial site complete
with engraved bronze plaque welcoming returning veterans.
The Friends of Cypress Park Community Improvement Association was
organized in 2001 by founding members of the Coalition for a State Park
at Taylor Yard, to enhance the quality of life in the Northeast Los
Angeles community of Cypress Park.
The Friends welcome new volunteers and meet at 6:30 p.m. the first
Monday of each month in the Los Feliz Room of the Los Angeles River
Center in Cypress Park (570 W. Avenue 26, Los Angeles), to oversee
community improvement and beautification efforts.
by AJ Killian
Art Killian was my father, and a good friend. He was a sentimental man,
and he loved those dear to him very deeply. I think anyone who knew him
well had to love him too. My Dad was a social person and he loved to
joke around. I think that's what I will miss the most about him.
Art liked friendly cats, friendly people, and birds. Especially Blue
Jays, who appear friendly when they are fed enough peanuts. My Dad
loved to tinker with cars and stuff. Not always fix them, just tinker.
It was like therapy for him. He was also crazy about airplanes, and he
loved to fly. When he went up in a plane he left his cares behind. Art
loved to bring the family camping, I remember him working for what
seemed like hours to build a fire. Slowly, as we all froze. There were
also the slow barbeques, I will always believe he dragged his feet to
make us hungry and build anticipation. Anyway, we grew to love the
outdoors, and that was what he wanted.
My Dad spent his happiest days hiking the Sierras, where he would walk
for days to reach the solitude of the high country, where all he could
hear were his own thoughts and the crunch of gravel under his boots. Up
here cold lakes reflect a deep-blue sky, and the fresh air is scented
with pines. He once told me he would like to come back as an eagle. I
like to think that My Dad has left his cares far below, and has
returned to where he found his greatest peace and enjoyment. He has
returned to the High Country.
Gil Espino Memorial Golf Classic
Gil Espino was an especially gifted Eagle Rock High teacher and coach
who died suddenly in 2001 at a very young age. $100 is the fee for
participating and features a free golf cart, a shot gun start, best
ball, $10,000 cash for a hole in one. Win a 6 day trip for two to
Mexico, a set of Pure Spin golf wedges and $250 in Golf apparel.
It is sponsored by ERHS students. All this on May 21, 2005 at 1:30 p.m.
takes place at the Upland Hills Country Club, Upland California For
questions or entry forms call Jorge Garcia 323 254 6891.
Margarita Quíroz passed away on Tuesday April 12, 2005. She worked very
hard for her community, especially at St. Dominic Church. There, she
worked with the altar servers, assisted in the baptismal preparation
classes, and helped with all the Quinceañeros, Posadas and the
after-mass refreshments at the church on Sundays. The rosary and
service last month was followed by burial at the San Fernando Mission.
She is survived by her husband, Hector Quíroz, who toiled alongside his
wife for their church and community.
Eagle Vista Seniors'
The Eagle Vista Seniors' May calendar begins on may 03 (Tuesday) with
the Board meeting at 9:00 a.m. Mrs. Eva Flores will discuss the program
available through the "Handy Workers" for home services. (Birthday cake
for May birthdays as usual.)
May 5 (Thurs) is the date for enjoying the fabulous Bob Baker
Marionette Theater. Luncheon at the fountain court is included.
Departure is at 9:30 a.m. with the return at 3:00 p.m.
May 10 (Tues.) the members will be regaled by Joel and Lucy Garcia's
trip to Europe.
May 17 (Tues.) The annual Eagle Vista Anniversary Luncheon will take
place at the Elks Club, 120 E. Colorado Blvd., in Glendale at 11 a.m. A
sing-along with Lou Agrati and his accordian and Ed Gnall leading the
singers. Also, Bob Monte will do his clever imitations.
May 24 (Tues.) B.I.N.G.O.! Carlos Cruz, caller.
May 26 (Thurs.) A trip to the Getty Museum. (Lunch on your own) Depart
11:30 a.m. and return at 4:30 p.m.
May 31(Tues.) One of the group's major money making projects, the
Silent Auction. really needs your participation. Carlos and Lupe Cruz
are in charge.
NOTE: The $500 balance for the Royal Caribbean Mediterranean Cruise is
due by May 10, 2005.