News and Views

for Northeast Los Angeles             go to EAGLE ROCK NEWS

June 2009



want frys
with that?

Fry Crawl
by Linni Kral

Ah, binge drinking—the celebratory pastime of many college students nationwide. You might celebrate accomplishments with a Homeric journey through local bars, or even through your own liquor cabinet, and you wouldn't be alone. To cap academic achievements in higher education, that's the ordinary course of action.
But I hate being ordinary.
While it makes some sense to reward the brain for years of thinking with a night of killing brain cells, I can't say I had any scientific justification for the epic I had in mind upon graduating college. It wasn't a bar crawl I had in mind, no— I wanted a fry crawl.
Consider, if you will, the french fry. How did these starchy slivers of beige potato, stripped of nutritional value by hot oil, become such a dietary staple? They didn't used to do much for me, but I've noticed recently that my dislike of mushy tasteless potato doesn't have to mean a distaste for french fries. Turns out, I can actually get on board with the stuff if it's cooked right. I discovered this upon moving in next to Troy Burger #3 on York Boulevard.
I've made many a 3 a.m. walk home from Troy, greased up bag in hand, knowing full well that the contents of my satchel will deliver me from tomorrow morning's hangover. That alone has fostered in me a love of the fry, but it's also the way Troy manages to keep their slices thick and their edges crispy that's made me give the sticks a second chance.
With that in mind that I set out to discover the best fries in my neighborhood.
We began at The Bucket on Eagle Rock Blvd.— I say "we" because, pride aside, I knew I couldn't eat four orders of fries alone. My team consisted of three ladies and one lucky gentleman, all slightly dubious of my plans for their arteries. The first shot to our hearts came from this B-rated burger bar, serving gut bombs out of a rickety hut where the patio overlooks Eagle Rock Blvd. and an aging biker gang will drunkenly slur at you at 5 o'clock in the afternoon.
Their $2.50 fry basket fed four people but was nothing to write home about. The skinny fries, only occasionally crispy, function perfectly as a side to what The Bucket does best— burgers and beer. The seasoning on top was a nice touch, as was Julio's sauce—an orange peppery mustard that, according to our server, had a splash of Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck thrown in. But tasty though it was, I'm ultimately looking for a fry that requires no accouterments.
We waddled out to the car and over to Penny's on Figueroa and York next, a cartoonish spot I had doubts about. Their purple and teal exterior intrigued me, but I knew nothing about their food. Our $2.10 no-frills to-go order came out in your average white paper fast food bag, filled to the brim. I reached in for the first bite and stopped immediately— winner.
They were Troy style larger wedges with Bucket-style seasoning and everything about them was uniform— no soggy bites, no sporadic grease wads. The exterior was unambiguously crisp and gave way to a dreamy burst of pillowy goodness like mashed potatoes in a crunchy casing. We'd made our way through half the stuffed bag before even thinking about the now-buried Heinz packets. For an order that could feed five people, this was by far the best deal, and the best fry. If it's possible to finish your third order of fries when it's this big and still enjoy the last bite, the fat man with the big metal scoop behind the counter is doing something right.
I took a break at this juncture, and a much-needed shower— I wasn't aware that eating three orders of fries would make me feel like I'd actually rolled my body around in them, but you live and you learn. If Penny's was going to contest my Troy lovers that started this mess though, I couldn't bow out now. A walk to Troy burger was in order.
Troy's $1.99 order equaled Penny's in size, but required both salt and strenuous squeezing of the Fancy Ketchup packets. Their wedges aren't uniform with any consistency, and if you aren't careful digging in the bag, you'll definitely grab some soggy or burnt pieces. While they are fried in the same style as Penny's, they taste distinctly like everything else at Troy— no seasoning, but a grease I could recognize anywhere after smelling the smoke billowing out of the place every day for a year.
Our tastebuds were dulling with sensory overload at this point, but I knew I hadn't gotten a full survey of the boulevards' fried offerings. I lay in bed plotting my next crawl that night, and it wasn't long before we hit the streets again. This time, it was a trifecta of Delia's on York and Columbo's and Pete's Blue Chip, both on Colorado. Delia's impressed us first with its quaint atmosphere and a menu endearingly riddled with typos, then followed through with a $1.91 medium plate of well-seasoned rectangular wedges. None were burnt, although my tongue was after biting into them. Every fry was crispy, even the widest ones, and the casing melted fluidly into the interior. But at the end of the day, these needed ketchup.
We certainly didn't expect to need ketchup at Columbo's next, where we ordered a big Styrofoam container of their parmesan garlic fries for $3.22, but were sadly disappointed. I was shocked to find what tasted like pre-grated parmesan from a plastic container at this classic Italian restaurant, and even more surprised that the pre-seasoned twigs dusted with parsley needed additional salt. These were the only fries we'd come across on Day Two with the potato skin still on, which won them some points, but the square-cut fries themselves were just plain dry. None were burnt, but it felt as though Columbo's had skimped on the oil here. This place gets a gold star for creativity, but they ultimately lose in the execution.
The big finale came at Pete's Blue Chip. This was the first time I took the team through a drive-through, and it felt eerily similar to our Penny's experience. The fries came in a greasy white bag stuffed to the brim, a bag that was half-empty before any of us even considered the ketchup. They resembled Penny's in every way, with the exception of some dark, soggy pieces and not quite enough seasoning. The huge bag was only $1.85, though, and I was once again impressed that the final stop on our journey could taste so good on such full bellies.
Pete gave Penny's a run for their money, especially since they're cheaper, but the winner ultimately still resides in a colorful little hut at the corner of York & Figueroa. Next time I have something major to celebrate, I'm skipping the crawl and heading straight there.



Jack Goldhammer
-Keeping it Green and Clean at 80+

by Tom Topping

Jack Goldhammer was invited to the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce board meeting last month to tell about what he does for the community. Some time ago, he got involved with the CERB, The Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful, and went to work helping plant street trees and succulents and other activities of the CERB.
Lately, with the ongoing effort of greening of the islands along Eagle Rock Blvd., he helped plant them and now has taken over the watering and maintenance of the newly planted trees and succulents. If you haven't noticed the improvement on that street, you may want to take a look, as Eagle Rock Boulevard has never looked so well.
At the Chamber meeting on May 26th, Mr. Goldhammer explained that when he retired he had nothing to do, and needed to keep physically busy because he is a diabetic. So he started picking up palm fronds and trash. He trimmed the trees that were intruding on pedestrians. He even pays a helper part time to assist him.
"I enjoy doing it, but I'm running out of money as far as paying my helper," he lamented. "I could also use some help in thinking how to do this- and keep doing it," Goldhammer added.
Chamber President Michael Nogueira chimed in that he sees them out there, cleaning up and watering in the early morning hours, and vouched for the positive effect his work has had on the looks of the boulevards in Eagle Rock. Always one ready to open his own pocket to improve the community, Mr. Nogueira told how he had ordered a flashing light bar to install on Goldhammer's pick-up to add to the safety of him and his helper as they water the plants regularly.
Chamber members discussed how they might help, when Mr. Goldhammer interjected, "I just appreciate Michael for bringing me here, so I can see who the people are that I'm doing this for. And it's a lift to my spirit."
Robert di Pietro motioned to donate $100 a month to help defray the fuel and equipment wear and tear. There was some discussion, and the motion was amended to limit the time period to five months until chamber members had a chance to weigh in on whether it was a desirable use for Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce funds. The motion passed and Mr. Goldhammer was to be paid the first month's installment right away.
Like I said, you may want to take a look at what he does, and what the result of his labor of love is. Consider for yourself whether this effort is one worthy of your support. Perhaps you are a retiree looking for an opportunity to contribute to the community. This may be a good chance for you. When you see him you could stop by and have a chat, maybe kick him a couple of bucks to help defray his costs. Most of all, let him know how inspired you are to see what folks like him do for communities, and tell him you appreciate it.



Relay for Life at Eagle Rock Park

The Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society fundraising event, was held at Eagle Rock Recreation Center on May 30 and 31, 2009. Participants donated and walked as either individuals or in teams around the recreation center building to support the American Cancer Society and to honor cancer survivors, pay tribute to the lives of loved ones they've lost to the disease, and raise money to help fight cancer here in their community. Music performances lasted all day long, and the path was beautifully lighted with luminarias as the walkers continued on into the night.
The 14 teams, 123 participants and sponsors raised a total of $16,000 for the cause.
Local group "People Connectors" did a great job providing activities and gifts for about 50 cancer survivors who participated. The Women's 20th Century Club was there in force, raising money with a bake sale. The L.A.P.D. auctioned off a "ride-along" on the spot raising $150. Kaye Beckham of LTC Home Health Care put together all the entertainment. Local Activist Brandy Chavira helped get some of the recording artists who performed. Michael Nogueira of Sir Michael's Limousines helped by sponsoring canopies and a lot of other equipment. Jose Huizar's CD14 Council Office was also a big sponsor.
You can still donate to your favorite team by visiting www.relayforlife.org, clicking on "find local events" and search by the zip code (90041). There you will also find the participant or team to donate to.



Blatant Disregard for Community Input

by Tony Butka

Gail Goldberg, Planning Director
City of Los Angeles

Dear Director Goldberg:

On Friday before a three-day weekend, I received the Agenda for the City Planning Commission for next Thursday. On that agenda appear four Citywide Public Hearings requested by your office. They variously ask for a new ordinance to curtail auto related businesses, create a new "CPIO" planning tool, create a new "GFC" commercial property planning tool, and create a new "PED" pedestrian zoning designation.

These constitute four major citywide initiatives with absolutely no discussion, outreach, or notice which would allow any Neighborhood Council to weigh in on any of the issues as required by the Los Angeles City Charter and the Plan for Neighborhood Councils.

While I will be placing these issues on the agenda of our Neighborhood Council, and will b e sharing the information with other neighborhood councils, I cannot emphasize enough the blatant disregard which these agenda items and the manner of their notice represents to the ability of any community input prior to the Planning Department reaching decisions which have major impact on the citizens of the City of Los Angles.

I would ask that the Planning Commission continue these items until stakeholders have an opportunity to find out what is being proposed, read the materials, and respond prior to actions being shoved through the system with virtually no notice.

Tony Butka, Chair
Glassell Park Neighborhood Council



Peace in the Northeast March- June 13

by Stan Moore

It took nearly 4 months to set up this year's March, due to the gang violence in March (two young men killed at the Arroyo Seco Library) and the killing on May 2 during the Cypress Park Cinco de Mayo Parade. Sadly, schools that had welcomed being the starting and ending points of the parade decided to withdraw—fearing gang violence being directed toward them after the event.
The March will now begin at the Sycamore Grove Park's band shell at 10 a.m. and terminate at approximately 12:30 p.m. at the el Rio de Los Angeles Park at 1900 San Fernando Rd. The March, after rallying words by City Council members Ed Reyes, Eric Garcetti and Jose Huizar, will proceed down Figueroa Blvd. to Cypress Ave., turn right at Nightingale Middle School, and go to Future Street, where the rolling police traffic blocking will make a final turn and proceed to el Rio Park. At the Park there will be free food, entertainment and approximately 50 community resource tables. There will be a Kid's Corner with its own entertainment and treats, set up by Maggie Godoy of the HHPNC and the Burn Calories and Crime (BCC) program—a program she started after the first March last August 16, 2008.
A planning committee has been at work since late January, usually meeting weekly. The core of the effort has been members and attendees of the Northeast Ministerial Association. Three years ago the Ministerial Association, which is denominationally very diverse but works together to achieve common goals and often refers to itself as "The Church in the City," had about 10 active members. Today the communications chair, the Rev. Nancy Moore, has more than 60 email addresses of participating pastors, and more than 60 community leaders wishing to be kept informed of its activities. The Ministerial Association has grown under the unofficial leadership of Pastor Randy Carrillo and especially the arrival of Captain Bill Murphy of the LAPD's Northeast Division last April. On April 4, 2008, the approximately 25-30 pastors at the monthly meeting heard about the violence and gang recruitment at Luther Burbank Intermediate School from the vice president of the HHPNC, Dr. Stanley Moore, who had heard about it the night before from 5 concerned women whose children were being affected. Pastor William Rodriguez stood up and said, "What can we do to help this situation?" At that point Captain Murphy stood up, introduced himself as the new captain of the NE Division as of April 1st, and said, "You can have a peace march. It will help create community solidarity, And, if you do have a march, I will march with you."
Four months later, on August 16, the first march was held—starting at the Veterans Memorial at York and Figueroa and going down York to Eagle Rock Blvd. and ending at Victory Outreach south of El Paso Street. The March's planners hope to change the location each year, seeking to deepen community solidarity in the entire NE area of Los Angeles. Next year we hope the March can go from the Cypress Park area eastward into Lincoln Heights.
After last year March two programs have lived on. Joe Carmona has started the "Peace Warriors" at Luther Burbank, and five days a week meets with the members for lunch. Maggie Godoy started BBC, and now five schools have instituted the program. Parents promise to walk in the vicinity of the schools before and after the children are walking, providing a presence of oversight and peace.
The sponsors of this year's March include the Mayor's office, City Councilmen Ed Reyes, represented by Suzanne Jimenez on the planning committee, Council president Eric Garcetti, represented by Alejandra Marroquin, and Jose Huizar, Assemblymember Anthony J. Portantino, represented by Elizabeth Garcia, LAUSD Board Member Yolie Flores Aguilar, represented by Ron Palacios, and Assemblymember Kevin De Leon. City Councilmember Ed Reyes has provided the committee enough money to cover the cost of the el Rio de Los Angeles Park, as well as 40 tables, 400 chairs, and some canopies for shade on June 13. Portantino, Flores Aguilar and De Leon offices have each financially contributed toward the expenses of the March.
A contribution of $1,500 has come from the Cypress Park/Northeast GRYD whose partners include: Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Anawuak Youth Sports Association, Center for NonViolent Education and Parenting, LACER Afterschool Programs, and Youth Mentoring Connection and represented on the committee by Aida Cerda. Glassell Park Neighborhood Council has approved $1,000 and has been represented on the committee by Art Camarillo. Historic Highland Park NC has contributed $1,000 and has been represented on the committee by Maggie Godoy and Stan Moore. The Eagle Rock NC, Greater Cypress Park NC, Lincoln Heights NC, and the Eagle Rock NC have each contributed $500. Aztecs Rising, an anti-gang intervention program in NELA, has given $500 and been represented on the planning committee by several of its members, including Henry Hernandez, Richard Celis, Leonard Rivas and others.
Six churches have donated funds to the March including: Pillar of Fire, Victory Outreach, represented by Rev. Ezra Turco, Ben Castro, Rueben Castro, and many others working on the distribution of flyers and providing security for the March, Eagle Rock Presbyterian Church, Occidental Presbyterian Church, represented by Stan Moore, Grace Presbyterian Church, and Principe De Paz Church of Cypress Park.
Sponsors include HP Chamber of Commerce, the HP Kiwanis Club, represented on the committee by Heinrich Keifer, Joe Carmona, Ron Palacios, Ann Walnum for The Friends of the SW Museum Coalition, Sign-A-Rama on York, the Audubon Center at Debs Park, LAPD Northeast Division, represented by Officers Leo Rey and Danny Roman, Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, A & M Printing, Antigua Coffee House, the Good Times Car Club, represented by Jesse Rosas, the American Legion, District 17, Machete Tacos, "The Amazing Sean," a junior magician from the Hollywood Magic Castle, Building a Culture of Peace Exhibit by SGI-USA, Ana's Party Supplies—providing a jumper, and others who are assisting with food and the Kid's Corner.
The March is deeply grateful to its faithful core of planners without which the March would not be held: Revs. Ezra Turco, Nancy Moore, Henry Hernandez and Randy Carrillo, Ben Castro of Victory Outreach for overall logistics, resource booth coordinator Heinrich Keifer, fundraisers Maggie Godoy and Dr. Stanley Moore, Danny Roman and the LAPD for water and for managing the march, for Maggie Godoy taking charge of both food and the Kid's Corner, and Suzanne Jimenez, field deputy of Ed Reyes.




by Christopher Nyerges

[Nyerges is the author of "Guide to Wild Foods" and "How to Survive Anywhere." He is the editor of Wilderness Way magazine, and has been leading wild food classes since 1974. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or via www.ChristopherNyerges.com]
In hard-packed soils around the Eagle Rock area, you can sometimes find the highly aromatic pineapple weed – a close relative of the popular chamomile. This is a good plant to know, especially for those of you who want to "get more for less," who want to live simpler but better by learning what nature provides. Plus at times like this when you might be losing not just your job but even your shirt, it makes sense to learn about everything valuable underfoot.
Pineapple weed prefers soil that would be hard to penetrate with a shovel – hard-packed soil where people have walked or cars have driven. Pineapple weed (Chamomilla suaveolens)
is also called rayless chamomile because the flower heads have no petals (technically, these are composite flowers, meaning they are clusters of flowers. The pineapple weed lacks any ray flowers in its bundle of flowers). Pineapple weed is a low-growing plant which can get easily lost and hard to locate in the other vegetation that grows in late spring and into the summer. The segments of the leaves are linear, and two to three-pinnately lobed. They are uniquely aromatic.
When you find some, crush the leaves and smell the unique fragrance. Similar to chamomile, but not quite. Now crush the flower heads. The fragrance is much stronger, and slightly reminiscent of fresh pineapple. The flowers are green at first, and maturing to a yellow color.
You can make an infusion from the entire above-ground plant, or a stronger beverage from just the flowers. When there is a lot of the plant growing, I have taken the time to pick off just the flower heads to make a stronger beverage. If I don't want to take the time, I simply clip a bunch of the entire above-ground plant to make my tea. Either the fresh herb or the dried plant can be infused into a tea.
Though related to chamomile, my botany professor (Dr. Leonid Enari) told us that the pineapple weed lacks the medicinal properties of chamomile. Nevertheless, Pineapple weed makes a pleasant beverage as a hot or cold tea, sweetened or not. Pineapple weed is believed to be a native of the northwest North America, and northeast Asia.
When I used to live on my grandfather's farm in rural Ohio, I enjoyed discovering the many eastern plants that I never saw in my native California. When I drove home from work each day (I worked several miles away in town), I parked the car in the garage that was about 25 yards away from the farmhouse. There wasn't a paved driveway, just hard-packed soil that had once been covered with gravel. In this soil grew wild chamomile, the chamomile that you typically purchase in the health food stores, a low-growing plant with daisy-like flowers.
One of my favorite memories from Ohio was the strong fragrance that wafted through the air as I walked from the garage to the farmhouse. The strong aroma of freshly-crushed chamomile almost seemed to put me into a relaxed state of mind, like it was telling me, "your work is over for the day; relax now." On occasion, I would make an infusion from those wild flowers to help me sleep.
Our pineapple weed in the wilds and thickets of Eagle Rock is our counterpart to the true chamomile.
NOTE: Don't ever use any wild plant for food or medicine until you have 100% positively identified it. If uncertain, take a sample of the plant to a botanist. You can also send me a digital picture for identification.


Annual Tour de Arroyo bike ride

by Jerry Schneider


The Tour de Arroyo starts in Pasadena and travels down the Arroyo Seco River to the Cornfield (L.A. State Historic Park)


On Saturday, May 30, 75 cyclists gathered at Memorial Park in Pasadena for the first of what the Arroyo Seco Foundation plans to be an annual Tour de Arroyo bike ride. This event was dedicated to the memory of Dennis Crowley, a pioneer who advocated bicycling as an alternative to cars in Pasadena and beyond.
Dennis had lobbied for a commuter bikeway between Los Angeles and Pasadena. He envisioned a toll road for bicyclist similar to the Dobbins Cycleway that operated briefly near the turn of the twentieth century. In 1996, Dennis founded California Cycleways, a non-profit dedicated to promoting cycling as healthy commuting solution. The goal of the ride was to raise awareness of the possibilities for commuting and recreational bicycling along the Arroyo Seco corridor.
The ride was a gentle-paced, mostly down hill ride ultimately leading to the new State Historic Park, formerly the Corn Fields rail yard, near China Town in Los Angeles. The tour started on well-shaded, tree-lined streets in Pasadena and South Pasadena. Some of the streets are designated Bike Routes, indicating to bicyclists that these streets are preferred for safety reasons, and supposedly to inform motorists that they need to share the road. Bike Routes are known as Class III bikeways, the lowest in the three-tier bikeway designation system. In Class II bikeways, known as Bike Lanes, white stripping on the pavement designates a lane that is reserved for bicycles. The highest-class bikeway is a Class I, Bike Path. In a Class I Bike Path, there is complete separation from motorized vehicles.
The bike riders were treated to a brief taste of Class I Bike Path upon crossing into Los Angeles. At the parking lot for the Arroyo Stables, a ramp leads down into the Arroyo Seco's concrete-lined channel. In 1983, then Councilmember Arthur Snyder had this bike path installed as a raised concrete path that occupies one side of channel floor. The bike path has been mostly neglected, sometimes obstructed by sand and debris, and gated closed during winter storms. In late April of this year, the Los Angeles DOT, without notice, had the bike path striped with a yellow centerline and white lines at each shoulder, clearly designating two lanes, one for each direction. Additionally, LADOT installed signs directing bicyclists to the bike path entrances. Once you are on the path, there are no markers to indicate location or identify the streets you pass under, which raises concerns by some users for safety, should they need to call for assistance in an emergency. Also, there is no signage to direct users to any of the parks, museums, or other destinations along the way. Where the bike path exits the channel near the pedestrian bridge at the northerly edge of Montecito Recreation Center, another short bike path continues along side the channel and ball fields, to the Recreation Center parking lot.
Continuing southerly, there are no more Class I bike paths, or even Class II lanes. There are plans to improve the bikeway leading towards the confluence of the Arroyo Seco with the Los Angeles River. A park is planned for the confluence and also bike routes to ultimately to link to the Los Angeles River Bike Path and routes into downtown.
The County of Los Angeles received a grant from Caltrans in 1997 to extend the existing in-channel bike path toward the Los Angeles River. The County's plans were based on continuing within the channel, and when disclosed at a public meeting in 2005, were met with objections based on safety and environmental concerns and for lack of access to adjoining communities. The County engineers were asked to study options for routes on the surface along the channel. In March of this year, nearly four years later, the County held a public meeting to announce their conclusion that a Class I bike path outside of the channel was not feasible. At this meeting, the attendees pleaded for construction of a portion of the bike path that would be technically feasible and yet remain outside the channel. The County will have a follow-up meeting on June 2, to disclose which alternatives are possible.
The tour riders were told about and looked at some of the possible alternatives. In the interim between the County's meetings in March and June, there has been much interest in local communities. The Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council has held presentations and sent a resolution to both County and Los Angeles City officials asking them to work together, funding, and implementing the most feasible portion of the Arroyo Seco Bikeway leading north from San Fernando Road. A working group has been formed and a blog site www.arroyosecogreenwayblogspot.com allows all who are interested to share ideas.



$70 million and 10 Years later - still no college or charter school

Van de Kamp Coalition c/o Laura Gutierrez

After 10 long years the new buildings at the site of the old Van de Kamps Bakery as well as the adaptive reuse for the historic office building are well on their way to completion. Unfortunately that is about all that is well on its way.
In April, Los Angeles City College (LACC) citing the recent economic crisis as the primary reason turned the project over to the Los Angeles City College District (LACCD) and they, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to ditch the promise of a satellite campus for our Northeast communities. Instead they are pursuing becoming landlords instead of educators. They are planning to rent out the new campus to a combination of paying tenants.
Before we continue, a brief history to refresh memories and educate those new the Northeast. In 1999, the Van de Kamps Coalition formally known as the Coalition to Save the Van de Kamps Bakery spearheaded the campaign to make sure that this site became a viable asset for the North East Communities instead of another controversial BIG BOX Development.
The Coalition successfully stopped the demolition of the historic building and then set out to find a use that benefited the community. After countless meetings with various organizations, The Coalition together with State Senator Richard Polanco secured the seed money and an agreement from LACC to construct a satellite campus.
The original pre-bond plans included a third building being built through a $20 million dollar fund raising drive. Subsequently, LACCD successfully floated Prop AA Bonds which included all the money required to completely build a 3-building accredited adult education facility at the Van de Kamp's site. The now missing third building - a multipurpose auditorium that would have facilitated large lectures, movies, and theatrical use, was the "crown jewel" of the project, serving both campus students and the local community.
What we are now getting two thirds of a campus occupied by a charter school, with a fence decorated with symbols of baked goods - in the words of LACCD "the baking heritage of the community". Or, as Coalition to Save Van de Kamp's co founder Netty Carr put it, "it looks like now all we're getting for $70 million in taxpayer dollars are the cupcake fence and the crumbs." Mighty pricey crumbs.
The need for operational funds to start a satellite campus had been recognized late in the process. While nearly $300,000 was been spent on consultants and fees to obtain these start-up funds through "center status", according to the officials it had been abandoned due to the inability to obtain necessary letters of support from Glendale and Pasadena Community Colleges. It was said that they were afraid of "competition."
Community college board of Trustees Vice President Mona Fields, who is uniquely positioned in this situation, as both a senior LACCD Board member and a long time and influential faculty member at Glendale Community College, was always present at these meetings. She offered no comment or information on the situation with regards to the difficulty in obtaining support from neighboring Glendale and Pasadena CCs. Are we to be held hostage to these cities to never see a community college open at the Van de Kamps Bakery?
LACCD announced today their community colleges will not have summer class sessions or limited class sessions. Students are visibility upset that their educational goals will be delayed and fear transfers to 4 year colleges will also suffer. And what about the graduating students from Eagle Rock, Franklin, and Marshall High Schools, where will they go? Glendale and Pasadena City Colleges, of course.
The leading contender for tenant at the site is the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, whose recent East LA campus opening was graced by a smiling Mayor Villaraigosa and rhapsodized about by LACCD officials at nearly every LACC/LACCD Outreach community meeting since. Alliance is wired into the financial/education nexus of foundations, political alliances and funding sources that include not only the Mayor, LAUSD President and Board member Monica Garcia, and Yolie Flores Aguilar. Alliance anxious to open their 13th High School this year along with its 3 middle schools, according to their website, the Van de Kamps Bakery is now located in Atwater Village. The need for another high school that will mimic the same curriculum of the high school currently being constructed at Taylor Yards, does not make any sense. Coalition members question, "Why are they handing out applications in "well affluent" communities and not been seen nor heard of in any of the local schools around the Van de Kamps site?"
Now we are in the final rounds. The Coalition has asked for a complete accounting of all money spent on the project. We were told that will be coming in 2 weeks at the April 27th meeting at LACC. Public record act requests are being prepared to get to the bottom of this. Repeated requests via emails and at these public meetings to restart the Steering Committee or attend the Satellite Subcommittee of the Educational Planning Committee that is overseeing all academic programming, as of today, empty promises. LACCD officials meanwhile are racing to sign contracts with paying tenants and the community is struggling for the promised higher education that is much needed. Why is LACCD shutting out the community? What are they hiding?
The VDK Coalition remains fully committed that a viable adult community college with adult educational components goes into that site. We are currently working on a web site that will have a full account of names, timeline, and materials collected over the past 10 years as well as action alerts and new developments. To be place on our email list, sign up for actions alerts, or to let us hear your thoughts, please email us at vdkcoalition@gmail.com.
The Van de Kamps Coalition will have a booth at the Lummis Day Festival on Sunday, June 7th, stop by, look at our displays and enjoy a cupcake!


"Adventures at Sea"
2nd Annual Pool Party at Casita Verde

La Casita Verde Preschool & Childcare Center is hosting its 2nd annual Pool Party "Adventures at Sea" on June 20th (Saturday) from 10am – 2pm, for children ages 0-8 years old. It is a FREE event, open to all families with young children, and will feature:
· Kiddy Pools
· Live performance by "Artichoke" band
· Fishing games
· Food & Drinks
· Arts and Crafts
· Bounce House
· Rummage Sale & Raffle
· Cupcake decorating
La Casita Verde is located at 4601 N. Figueroa, 90065 at the Metro Goldline Southwest Museum station. La Casita Verde is a 501(c)(3) non-profit preschool & infant/toddler development center located in Highland Park's historic Ziegler Estate, offering children a home away from home with its nurturing environment and loving teachers. Bring your friends for a center tour! For info, 323.222.7001 www.lacasitaverde.org

Eagle Rock Couple Celebrate 6 Month Anniversary w/ Bachelor's Degrees

To celebrate their six-month wedding anniversary, Adolfo and Amber Escobedo will receive his and hers bachelor's degrees at Cal State L.A.'s Commencement ceremony Saturday, June 13.
Adolfo's degree will be in mathematics, while Amber's will be in liberal studies. In the Class of 2009, the Eagle Rock couple was already rather special. Each entered the University as a President's Scholar, a distinction given to a select group of roughly eight incoming freshmen who, based on exemplary high school academic performance, each year receive $5,000 annual scholarships renewable for up to four years while they attend Cal State L.A.
Both have a passion to help others. Adolfo coordinated community service projects with Lion's Club, Tour de Sewer and Five Acres as this year's president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Amber, a member of the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, participated in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and wrote letters to female soldiers serving in Iraq.
After graduation, Amber plans pursue a master's degree in education administration/leadership and a teaching credential in order to become a school principal. Adolfo will be completing an accounting certificate and applying for law or graduate school to pursue his goal of becoming a legal accountant. They are also looking to buy a home.



Cruising with Mary

Welcome readers, back to Cruizin' with Mary- your source of local hot rod and cool cat information! The May ERR cruise-in went off with no problems at our new temporary location, with discounted dinner again provided by The Coffee Table. Attendance was a little better with several new hot rods as well as many old friends stopping by.
I used to write about my "Pick of the Month". Sometimes it was a hot rod, sometimes a person, and sometimes even an event. My article, my choice. I recently had the honor and great pleasure to interview the new owner of a gorgeous blue 1940 Ford business coupe and to take a few pics of it as well.
Behind every great lead sled are more than a few stories and history about rod and owner. This robin's egg blue beauty was owned until recently by Hollywood resident Earle Bruce, who bought the car brand new in 1940. Over the years the car was painted various colors after the original black, including cream, lime green metallic, purple, and swift red. During the red phase, Mr. Bruce called the color "Groovy Red", and his license plate read "Groovy".
The groovy red coupe graced the cover of the Aug. 1979 issue of Street Rodder, complete with an 18kt gold grille and hand formed side grille covers.
The chop on the top is a moderate 3 3/4 inches because Bruce didn't want it to look like a "pregnant whale". The quarter windows were filled and wind wings removed. The piece-de-resistance is the gull wing doors with of course, no handles. The interior is currently soft white diamond tuck leather, but over the years, velvet and lambskin have been included. The rear window is robin's egg blue lexan.
I was fortunate during my research this month, to be able to view a recent appraisal and description of the coupe, which in part states that the chop work done was state of the art at the time, via hand cutting and welding with NO bondo used... Also no lead was used in the welds, and the pedigree of the car is a "one and only unique". This car has been in many magazines and won hundreds of awards.
The coupe is appraised at many, many times its original price of $7,000 for its beauty, history, excellence in customizing, as well as the fact that it still hauls ass!
One of Earle Bruce's last wishes was that his ashes be taken to El Mirage dry lake in the coupe to be sprinkled on the raceway. The car's new owner and several friends honored his wish, complete with photos and video of the event. The coupe hit close to 100 mph and an angel cloud was seen around it, and Earle got his wish. R.I.P. Mr. Bruce and thank you for your creative hot rod vision!
A quick car show note: Eagle Rockin' Rodders will again be hosting our annual car show @ Concerts in the Park, Sun. July 12, at ER Rec. Ctr.
Sun. June 14 is the Burbank Road Kings free picnic and car show @ Johnny Carson Park.
Cruise Night in Glendale is scheduled for Sat. July 18.
Until next month, "Louie doesn't give it up... EVER" and keep on cruisin'!



Southwest Museum - Northeast Cultural Icon Endangered Time for Community to Object to Autry's Selfish Plans -

by Daniel Wright

In 1979, when the City of Los Angeles did what I would call "Real Planning," the City Council adopted an earlier version of the Northeast Community Plan. This Plan expressed the policies and programs that the City of Los Angeles would follow in implementing the City's General Plan to control development of this part of the City.
The front of the 1979 Northeast Community Plan, the basic zoning law for our area, had an artist's rendering of the Northeast community on the front. There, floating above the meandering roads of the Arroyo Seco, with an iconic view as it has been for nearly the last 100 years, was the image of the Southwest Museum. So when the City itself was looking for the symbol that most captured the spirit of the Northeast Community Plan, it selected the image of the Southwest Museum.
The City's acknowledgement of the centrality of the Southwest Museum as the icon of the Northeast Community on its most sacred zoning plan, to me, is telling. That picture is worth a 1,000 words. In this picture, the City told the world that "This Place Matters" -- as an opportunity for economic development.
In 2003, when the Southwest Museum was financially struggling, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage came galloping over from Griffith Park on its high horse. Autry CEO John Gray told the Los Angeles Times and the Daily News that the Autry had a "bulging $100 million endowment" that would be used to save the Southwest Museum. A detailed study, on the website of the Friends of the Southwest Museum, establishes that these claims were materially misleading and factually untrue.
For the last nine years, the Autry has booked a $100 million pledge that has no visible means of immediate payment unless there is a gift in Jackie Autry's will. Accounting rules forbid the booking of gifts in wills because of their uncertainty and family probate battles after the death of the will maker. Autry would be bankrupt were it not for Mrs. Autry writing a check to close the deficits. So Autry never had the "endowment" its said it had, and instead, has used the assets of the Southwest to try to raise money from major donors because Mrs. Autry herself has failed to accelerate her own gifts to the Museum.
In the merger, Autry promised to dedicate its "endowment" and raise new money for an umbrella organization, the Autry National Center. The Center was supposed to even handedly distribute the benefits of the fundraising to two SEPARATE institutions: the Museum of the American West (the new name of the museum in Griffith Park that Autry now does not use in advertising) and the Southwest Museum.
But immediately after the merger, the Autry went in a different direction. It asked major Southwest donors to divert their gifts for a new Southwest Museum collection storage building to the benefit of the Autry. Then, the Autry declared it would seek all private foundation and major donor gifts to benefit only its museum in Griffith Park. Then, Autry wrongly rejected the advice of its own experts that the Southwest Museum could be successfully restored to museum exhibition standards and could financially succeed with its own Gold Line rail station. Mrs. Autry said "No, we want it all over in Griffith Park."
Elected officials expressed initial outrage but then Mrs. Autry and her Board started a despicable misinformation campaign. They plied City Hall with campaign contributions and many think promises to an ambitious new mayor who wanted to run for governor. They gave that mayor a photo-op press conference where he announced the formation of the "Southwest Society" that would allegedly raise money to convert the Southwest Museum to something else. To date, the "Southwest Society" is an empty shell, another in a long list of unfulfilled promises of the Mayor.
Autry lawyers from Latham & Watkins wrote a deceit-filled environmental report that tried to deny that the construction of 20,000 square feet of exhibition space for the Southwest Museum's collection in Autry's expanded museum in Griffith Park had any connection to or impact on the Southwest Museum campus. Everyone saw the deceit: the Autry intended to take the Southwest's collection, put it in its own building, and henceforth market only the umbrella organizational name: the Autry National Center. That is a total breach of fiduciary duties owed to the assets and the institution of the Southwest Museum.
We are told a hearing on Autry's plan is scheduled for June 16, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. before a committee of City Council members. This meeting time is one hour before the regularly scheduled City Council meeting at 10:00 a.m. This implies that the City Council is ready to help the Autry rip out the cultural center of the Northeast by giving the public one whole hour to testify about this complex transaction.
Will Antonio Villaraigosa, who promised us he would keep the Southwest Museum right here, take Autry's money and screw over his own community? Will Jose Huizar, obediently remain quiet while the Mayor's minions tell him he cannot keep his own campaign promise to preserve the Southwest as a full museum? Will Ed Reyes, who once decried the Autry's proposal as "cultural piracy," object to the destruction of the community's central icon? Will City Planning officials take out an eraser and try to remove the Southwest Museum from the picture on the front of the Northeast Community Plan?
Will you stand for this? Please tentatively reserve the morning of June 16, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. City Hall. Go to www.friendsofthesouthwestmuseum.com to register your email for our instant action alerts and look for us at Lummis Day. Now is the time to write letters and we will provide help at our website. We must now be prepared to politically hold elected officials accountable and possibly sue our own City to enforce the very zoning plan they were sworn into office to uphold.
Daniel Wright is a land use and environmental attorney. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Friends of the Southwest Museum Coalition.



Ave. 50 & Rangeview Neighborhood Watch

by Carolyn Aguirre

Residents who reside on North Avenue 49, 4900 and 5000 of Rangeview, Straford and North Avenue 50 attended a Neighborhood Watch meeting on the 23rd. of April. Los Angeles Northeast Senior Lead officers Orange and Allen both attended and gave an excellent overview on their goals and objectives to assist Northeast community residents .
The stakeholders voiced their concerns on many issues namely Occidential College students who leave he local drinking establishments on York blvd. late at night who then enter the private property of homeowners and then urinate on their property. The stakeholders also shared their concerns over loud and disruptive parties attended by the college students which keep the local residents up at all hours of the night. Holly Nieto head of Occidential College Security explained in depth new guidelines, rules and sanctions that are now in place which would hold the students more accountable for the disruptive behavior.
Also in attendance were two representatives from from CD 14 Councilman Huizar office Zenay Lorea and Juanita Martinez. As soon as both Senior Lead officers had completed their presentation to the residents both Lorea and Martinez stood up and stated that they had to leave as they both had another meeting to attend. Their statements did not sit well with the host of the Neighborhood Watch Meeting Ms. Aguirre as she had previous to the meeting date informed both representatives that the community stakeholders would be asking both of them pointed questions. The stakeholders did ask both representatives questions and both Lorea and Martinez ended up snubbing the stakeholders. Several years ago prior to the construction of the new Occidential College Dorms residents who attended the community meetings which were held on the Occidential College campus were told by both college officials and representatives from then CD 14 councilman Villaraigosa that if the stakeholders would agree to the college construction project speed bumps would be installed on both North Avenue 49 and Rangeview Avenue. Representative Lorea stated to the stakeholders that the residents would not be getting the promised speed bumps and that the stakeholders would have to submit a request to the current CD 14 Administration. The stakeholders also requested that a video camera be installed on the corner of Avenue 50 and Rangeview due to the fact that vehicles are racing down the narrow street at high rate of speed and are also failing to stop at the posted stop signs. Both representatives stated that the city lacked the financial resources to install any cameras. The same was expressed by the residents who reside on Stradford. The residents also voiced their concerns over the fact that individuals are observed exiting from both Marty' and the York Bars in intoxicated state and concerns over two homes located on the 5000 block of Rangeview ( both vacant ) which have become eye sores for the immediate community. Both locations have overgrowth of weeds. The residents requested that the CD 14 representatives contact the owners of the property and obtain permission so that the stakeholders at no cost to the city could remove the overgrowth of weeds themselves. Ms. Martinez in a loud and negative tone told those in attendance that the matter of the vacant homes has already been referred to the City of Los Angeles Building and Safety office. One neighbor then stated how long does it take ? One of the homes in question has been vacant for months. Another concern was the increase amounts of tagging / graffiti on public and private property. Residents who reside on Rangeview and North Avenue 50 have reported the tagging and graffiti to CD 14 reps. months ago and nothing has been done.
After the departure of the CD 14 representatives the residents made a decision to hold additional Neighborhood Watch meetings and to also draft a letter to the California Department of Alcoholic and Beverage Control and request an investigation surrounding both Marty's and the York Bars.
Overall the meeting which was well attended was a success. The neighbors got to know each other and all are willing to work together to make their community a safe place in which to reside. All laughed after the meeting and concurred that if the City of Los Angeles wants to do layoffs they may want to start with the CD 14 Representatives.



Night out w/Steven E.

Music editor's note: May was a great month of music variety. Hope you enjoyed your Cinco de Mayo and took good care of mom while finishing off the month with some Q. Okay if you have an upcoming event within the vicinity of Eagle Rock please send an e-mail to Steve Estrada at (entertainment@boulevardsentinel.com) thanks.
For the Month:
Sunday's Jazz Evening @the York at 6:00, Last Sunday of the month, Metal Nite @ER All-Star Lanes, Monday's Jazz Jam @Colombo's at 9:00, Last Tuesday of the month, 80'sRetro @the Little Cave at 10:00, Wednesday's Movie Night at 8:30@the Coffee Table Lounge & Open Mike @the ER All-Star Lanes at 9:00, Thursday evening @Casa Princesa Open Mike at 7:00. Enjoy.
Now for what you missed: the Santa Cecilia Orchestra @ Occidental College Thorne Hall was a complete afternoon of orchestral delight. I can only give you an unbiased opinion. Wow. Let's start out by stating that this orchestra is made up entirely of professional musicians and it makes its presence felt right away. The way these three pieces were choreographed, they seemed to fall into each other without much conflict. It was a celebration of Old World origins while acknowledging the more rambunctious musical traditions of the New.
The first piece by Dietrich Buxtehude, written in the late 1600's, is primarily music for the organ, not Church music. Two guys who thought he was pretty hot were Handel & J.S. Bach. The orchestrated version done in 1937 by Carlos Chavez (Mexico City) is what we hear today and is Mexico's greatest composer (by many). Brief sequences of harmonies, that repeats over and over throughout, along with an array of changing melodies. These words do not do it justice.
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra, Opus 43, Sergei Rachmaninov. Whew. Composed in 1934 in (wait for it) Southern California. This is what it is. Rachmaninov does Paganini but not the way Pag does it. This is a hot little number that has everybody involved right down to the triangle. It was like the orchestra was dealing with an inner conflict. Picture this (bear with me) your at a football game and the two rival cheerleading squads are facing each other and their throwing cheers back and forth to out do the other. That's what was going on between the string section and the viola and bass.
As one listens to the music flow you hear bits and pieces of other notes and phrases from other great pieces like Porgy and Bess, Close Encounters and Star Wars. Any wonder why he's one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. It was great. In the middle of the hailstorm was featured pianist Robert Edward Thies. This man has got the touch. Only the second American to win a gold medal at the Prokofiev Competition in Russia since Van Cliburn. He brings it.
Moving in and out of the battle on stage his intensity creates a balance of interaction and formula. And we got him here in Eagle Rock. This guy broke out a sweat. Throughout the piece he had the audience in his palm banging of the keys like a banshee with the elegance of Baryshnikov. Three standing O's, yeah. Not to be out done we have a piece by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. Symphony No.9 in E minor, Opus 95, "From the New World".
You see where this is all culminating. Relocated here in 1892-95 between New York & Iowa he soaked up the Americana and expressed interest in black spirituals and Native American tribal music which found their way into the themes of this symphony. He was quoted as saying "I do know that I would never have written it 'just so' had I never seen America." Done in four-movement symphonic classical design you hear a lot of familiar overtones from the mid-west punctuated intermittently with a wailing English horn throughout the piece.
Dvorak also has a contemporary following in Keith Jarrett and Chick Correa. (Oh Yeah!) At the helm was conductor Sonia Marie De Leon de Vega. She is a piece of work. Not overwhelming. Does not overplay her personality but is well in command. Now bear in mind this is an afternoon of community performance, that means you have nice cross-section of senior citizens, families, college students, 5 elementary schools (from everywhere) and assorted adults in rare form. Having to deal with young enthusiastic appreciative concertgoers (not knowing when to applaud) she kept her composure and concentration that was stellar. Her interaction with her guest pianist was like Fred and Ginger on the floor. A total effort appreciated by everyone. The next season starts late summer. Don't miss it. contact: scorchestra.org
At the York: Literally after the leaving the soft confines of the ultra air I headed to the York which was a blessing in disguise. The Joel Porter trio was in full swing. Now you have to understand that coming from one venue to another was a cultural shock. Sometimes it's nice. The Joel Porter Trio gives you a sense of compatibility without lulling you to sleep. Lenny Colton is a first rate guitarist who really brings the rest of the group into the fold. I must say the rhythm section speaks for itself with Tina Raymond on drums, Andy Allen on bass surround you with the aura that allows Joel's vocals to intersect between Lenny's riffs. Very tasteful. Contact: tinaraymond.com
AT Columbos: Cinco de Mayo was in full gear and LatinKool only added to the mixture. Trying to soften the bravado with some samba jazz to quell the natives, they were enticed to "let it out" as it were. David Victorino (sax), Steve Correll (Key's), Roman Kancepolski (Drums), Mike Pacheco (congas) & Peter Varela(bass) after the break they started to bring the house down. With "Cold Duck Time" from Eddie Harris's Swift Movement Album and it just carried to "Carl's Revelation" to go on into the night. Let it be known that this is a very entertaining group of fellows.
The Jack Bruce Trio was a bit of a surprise. Right out of the gate they did not mince notes, like a dip into the late 60's with a vibraphone at the helm; you knew it was not going to be a quiet night. Nick Mancini (vibes) was as complete as he was innovative. Gary Blumer (piano) gave strong direction with the tempo along leader Jack Bruce on bass. Together they moved from one style to another. It was akin to Milt Jackson or Bobby Hutchinson that the three were a well oiled machine. And to finish it off was a great version of "Summer Time" that kicked the roof. They should be back. Cantact: Jack Bruce 626/825-8967. And for you off the Waller's, Razorcake Mag is having a celeb/ben show 6/6@Nomad Gallery/Art Music Compound in Frogtown, 1993 Lake Ave.


Southwest Museum and Casa de Adobe's Future Still at Stake

City Schedules Meeting to Approve Autry Plans

The City of Los Angeles has scheduled a public hearing for June 16th (9 am at City Hall) to consider the first step in approving the Autry's proposed project in Grifith Park. Autry's proposed project would more than double their current size on city parkland. The reason for this project is to accommodate the relocation of the Southwest Museum's primary exhibition space away from Northeast Los Angeles.
This unnecessary loss of the continued operation of the City's first museum was proposed by Autry after the 2003 merger between the former Autry Museum and Southwest Museum. Autry states in the City's documents relating to their proposed project that they have no plans for the Southwest Museum and Casa de Adobe.
There is a viable solution to keeping the Southwest Museum and Casa de Adobe open to exhibit the vast Southwest Collection for the public in these two historic properties, conveniently located next to public transportation. Autry's own consultants provided a solution but their 200+ page report has been ignored. - Please visit www.FriendsoftheSouthwestMuseum.com and sign up for email updates. Any last minute changes to this tentatively scheduled meeting will be made available.















Looking Back

by Joe Walker

70 years ago this month-Eagle Rock
James Hutchanson, 60, of 2406 Ridgeview, Eagle Rock, was washing his house on June 20, 1939 preparing to paint it. He touched a live wire that was protruding from the structure and was electrocuted. His accidental death was a common occurrence before electrical safety standards were required of all homes.
60 years ago this month-Glassell Park.
The good ladies of the Delevan Drive PTA held a fundraiser to assist poor children in the L.A. unified School District who come to school hungry. Jane Royalty,Barbara Schultz, Faith Stansauk, Betty Kingsland, and "Chairman" Mrs. Martin Cheney raised $235 which was donated to the district to provide 235 boys and girls in Los Angeles a midday lunch each day for a week. The principal of Delevan Drive, Mrs. Ruth Quinn, said, "unless similar work is throughout the poorer areas of the city,many of the children are going to get hungrier and hungrier". The funds were raised by selling baked goods.
60 years ago this month-Eagle Rock
A gas explosion in a trailer at 4953 Eagle Rock Blvd was blamed for the death of John Bassey, 64, on June 5, 1949
50 years ago this month-Highland Park
Meldrim Burrill, left Luther Burbank Jr High School as principal in June, 1959, after 32 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District to become principal of the brand new Milliakan Junior High School in Van Nuys. Burrill retired in the late 60's, passing away in 1994 at the age of 99 years old. He was a guy who definitely got every penny out of his pension!
50 years ago this month-Cypress Park
A big moment in local freeway history occurred this month, June 21, 1959 as the state Highway Department announced plans for an $11 million dollar interchange which would connect the Golden State and Pasadena Freeways. It was expected that the project would take two years to complete. The crossing was set to be right where Ave 22 crossed the Pasadena Freeway. You now know this as the exit to the 5 Freeway where the Pasadena Freeway Tunnels end and people cut in line at the last second.
50 years ago this month-Highland Park
Mrs. Ann Firsich, project chairman for the Highland Park Youth Employment Service announced a program that will match area youths up with local jobs. With a goal to match up teenagers with needed work in the community, their slogan at their office located at 5203 N. Figueroa St was, "Let a teen-ager do your work"
50 years ago this month-Occidental College
Gilman Alkire, instructor of Russian language, was named one of 24 men who would serve as guides for the upcoming American National Exposition in Moscow that summer. The famous "kitchen debate" between Vice-president Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev took place at this event, where Nixon bragged about all the latest kitchen gadgets and Khruschev mocked him, saying they were unnecessary and an indication of American and Capitalistic overindulgence and consumerism.
50 years ago this month-Eagle Rock
Tragedy hit Mrs. Dorothy Dixon of 2230 1/2 Addison Way when a gas explosion at her home caused her to suffer terrible burns. Several days after the blast, she died from her injuries.
50 years ago this month-Eagle Rock
Jack Almond, a 1957 graduate of Eagle Rock High School, was appointed to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. His family lived at 5236 La Roda, Eagle Rock. He attended Rockdale Elementary and was active in scouting and a member of The Order of the Arrow, the national honor society of the Boy Scouts of America. Almond went on to serve many years in the Navy, retiring at the rank of commander. He died on December 18, 2000 in Coronado, CA. His ashes were scattered at the Naval Cemetery there after a service with full military honors. 40 years ago this month-Northeast L.A.
Cal State LA. Official and the City of Alhambra said that traffic on Valley Blvd where the 710 freeway ends is unbearable and urged the City of Los Angles and the City of South Pasadena to come to some agreement on the extension of the freeway to the where the 210 freeway is now. Councilman Arthur K. Snyder continued the work of his predecessor, John Holland, who in 1964 prevented the freeway from cutting into El Sereno and displacing thousands of residents. South Pasadena officials had strongly urged that the freeway be diverted through Highland Park and El Sereno, steering far clear of their city. 40 years later, nothing has changed.
40 years ago this month-Glassell Park
The first year of marriage is always the hardest. Linda and Thomas Turville, 22 and 23 respectively, realized that as he armed himself with a .22 caliber rifle and held her hostage at their home at 3330 Chapman, Glassell Park after a bad argument. On June 15, 1969, Linda fled from the apartment and Thomas fired several shots at officers from Northeast Division who responded. He held them at bay for two hours, exchanging shots with them, unti a rookie police officer named Kenneth Stiffler approached the building unarmed. Like a scene out of a movie, he persuaded Turville to put down his gun and he was arrested without any injuries to anyone.
30 years ago this month-Eagle Rock
On June 6, the 1979, the four year old Eagle Rock branch of the Civil Air Patrol was told they would probably lose access to their Burbank Airport headquarters, causing them to possibly be disbanded. Founded in 1975 by Paul and Barry Wilkinson, the Eagle Rock squadron used the Kiwanis Hut on Yosemite Dr and Flouristan for several years. The CAP base was a former military base that the CAP had leased since 1949.
27 Years ago this month, June, 1982-Highland Park.
High interest rates caused the local real estate market to suffer greatly. With home loan interest rates at 16-17%, housing sales declined 40% from the year before, even with declines in prices. The median price of a home in Highland Park was $98,000, $130,000 in Eagle Rock, and $240,000 in La Canada.



Vaya con Dios, Enrique

Enrique Ramirez, a very well-liked and hard working busboy at Carrows Restaurant in Highland Park, was murdered last month. The stabbing happened at Garvanza Park on May 17th, Sunday afternoon at 4:30pm, in the playground area nearest to the skate park.
He was described as an outgoing, friendly person by those that knew him from his work at Carrow's on York Bl. He was very fast when bussing tables, learned English rapidly and eventually advanced to taking beverage orders. He was known for helping the wait staff when things got really busy. Community members say it seems like a bad dream now that he is missing from there. They can make no sense of something like this happening to him.
The HHPNC observed a moment of silence in memory of Enrique at their last meeting in May. Most of the council members knew him from all of the committee meetings that are regularly held at Carrows. The funeral service at St. Ignatius Church was reportedly filled to capacity.
His remains were flown back to Mexico after the service.



Mario Spinelli 12-12-31 5-20-09

A longtime resident of Eagle Rock, adoring husband of 50 years to Marilyn, loving father of: Ann (Bill) Adrian, Mark (Melinda) Spinelli, Mary (Eddie) Cuddihy. Perfect papa of: Tim Adrian, Julie (Brett) Yeager, Eddie Cuddihy, Steve Cuddihy, Scott Cuddihy, Mary Adrian, Luka Spinelli &Lauren Spinelli
Great Grandfather to: Jordan Yeager.
Mario "Spin" retired from Pacific Bell Phone Co. in 1984. He served our country in the U.S. navy as an electrician from 1952 - 1956.
Spin was an avid golfer and enjoyed refinishing furniture and yard work. He kept up on all information of current events and he loved music, especially Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
Spin was a contributing member to sons of Italy and the Reagan Foundations.
A little note from Marilyn to Spin- "This I will remember. When the rest of my life is through, the finest thing I I have ever done is simply loving you - All the way."
Although Spin lost the battle with cancer, our family has peace knowing he is in the arms of Our Dear Lord.



8th Grade Graduation

Class of 2009

Saint Dominic's School

Back row left to right: Yazmin Palacios, Daryl Suba, Ronelle Caguioa, Luciano Santoro, Brian Lee, Ricky Marquez, Noeh Martinez, Marita Benigno. Middle row left to right: Justine Del Rosario, Melissa Mendoza, Sebastian Espinosa, Chad Dela Cruz, David Acosta, Joseph Carreon, Adrain Avalos, Monika Bernabe, Kirsten Vega, Jessica Legaspi. Front row left to right: Miss Kathleen Craughwell, Michelle Tapia, Patricia Quadra, Samantha Dela Cruz, Christina Neri, Alessandra Gonzales, Mailene Gonzalez, Micaela Lanza, Angelica Torres, Stephanie Delazeri, Ms.Elida Lujan, Fr. La Salle



Beverly Ogg,

beloved wife of George Ogg and mother of John Ogg passed away on February 13, 2009. She was the most generous and loving person and gave so much to others. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.



Cypress Park Murder Suspects Arrested

Last month, suspect was arrested whom Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives believe is responsible for the murder of 24-year-old Victor Solis. An additional suspect who is an accomplice is also in custody.
On May 2, 2009, at about 1:45 p.m., LAPD Northeast Division officers responded to a call of an assault with a deadly weapon on Pepper Street in the Cypress Park area of Los Angeles. Once there, they discovered Solis in a vehicle where he had been shot. Solis was then transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Acting on various leads, detectives identified two suspects: 21-year-old Adrian Martinez and 18-year-old Joshua Ricardo Galindes. Both suspects were believed to be gang members and a danger to the community. However, in this case, detec
tives believe Galindes is the shooter.
Late last week, detectives apprehended Martinez without incident. Then yesterday afternoon, officers from the Department's Northeast Criminal Apprehension Team were working in an area associated with Galindes when they observed him emerging from a vehicle with a gun. Galindes tossed his weapon aside and attempted to run away but was captured a short time later. His gun was also recovered, although it was not of the same caliber as the murder weapon. Even so, all suspects believed to be involved with Solis' murder are now in custody.
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact LAPD Northeast Division detectives at 213-847-4261. After hours and on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text "Crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD." Tipsters may remain anonymous.



Garvanza Man Swinging Machete Shot by Police

A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer shot a suspect who threatened him with a machete in Highland Park. On May 3, 2009, at about 6:30 p.m., 911 operators received an anonymous report of "screaming and yelling" coming from a residence in the 300 block of N. Avenue 66, north of Ruby Street. The call was dispatched to Northeast Area patrol officers as an "unknown trouble" at the residence.
The officers arrived at the residence and encountered a male Hispanic adult, later identified as 50-year-old Ramon Alaniz of Highland Park, armed with a machete. When Alaniz refused to comply with the officers' commands to drop his weapon and moved toward the officers, an officer-involved shooting occurred. Police Officer II Gregory Ibanez, 3 years 9 months with the Department, fired multiple rounds at Alaniz, striking him once in the head. Alaniz was then taken into custody without further incident and transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he is listed in stable condition. No officers were injured.
The LAPD Force Investigation Division is responsible for conducting the investigation. Charges against Alaniz are pending, based on additional investigation.
Persons with information related to this incident are requested to call the Department's 24-hour tip line at 1-877 LAPD 24-7(1-877-527-3247). Those wishing to remain anonymous may use their cellular phones and text to "CRIMES" or by logging on to www.lapdonline.org and clicking on "webtips." When using a cell phone, the text portion of the message should always begin with the letters "LAPD." Texting or internet tips provided in this manner may remain anonymous.



"Make Art Not Trash Program" Installation Debuts in Early June;20 Unique Art Trash Cans Set for Eagle Rock Streets


Eagle Rock, Calif. - Community beautification efforts get a big boost next week when the Eagle Rock Make Art Not Trash project is installed in primary commercial areas of the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles. The project consists of 20 modern concrete trash receptacles placed on sidewalks along Eagle Rock and Colorado Boulevards, and on a portion of North Figueroa Street. Each trash receptacle will feature four large custom ceramic panels, created mainly by local Northeast Los Angeles artists, featuring scenes that reflect the community.
"This project has been a wonderful collaboration between local community groups, artists, businesses and government," explained Pauline Mauro, project coordinator and board member of The Eagle Rock Association (TERA). "The trash cans are a wonderful platform for local public art," she added. "They will add bright, colorful design elements to our commercial areas while making it easier for pedestrians to dispose of litter, helping to keep our streets clean."
Seventeen artists were commissioned to design and create unique ceramic mosaic panels for each can, celebrating the culture, traditions, history and geography of Eagle Rock. The styles of the panels are eclectic, ranging from folk art to contemporary design. Each of the trash receptacles is sponsored, on an ongoing basis, by a local business that has pledged to regularly empty and maintain it.
The Eagle Rock Make Art Not Trash program officially begins with an opening reception for the artists, community groups, businesses and the general public on Saturday, June 13 from 4 pm to 6 pm at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, at 2225 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock, CA 90041. Self-guided tours of the cans will follow. An online map showing the trash can locations is at: http://tiny.cc/8UvR2
The Eagle Rock Association's (TERA) Beautification Committee included representatives from the Arroyo Arts Collective and The Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock. Funding for the Eagle Rock Make Art Not Trash Program was made possible through The Eagle Rock Association (TERA), The Community Beautification Matching Grant of the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Eagle Rock Community Preservation and Revitalization (ERCPR), Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce (ERCC), Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council (ERNC), and the Eagle Rock Kiwanis Club. Selected tiles graciously donated by Dal-Tile.






Steve Fuentes and his "All Motor" 1973 Mazda Coupe

by Tom Topping
A young guy in Eagle Rock has been impressing race fans, and their eardrums, with his rotary powered Mazda Coupe for about ten years. It has been a long process, but lately he has achieved consistent 6.8 second runs at just under 100 mph in the 1/8 mile drags at Irwindale Dragstrip. (an 1/8 mile is equivalent to about two city blocks)
He originally built the car wanting to compete at the "Import Drags", but continues to take it to the track just for fun, when the young father's schedule of work and baby-sitting permits.
The 1973 Mazda RX3 Coupe body was mostly stripped when he got it, with no engine or transmission. In it now resides a two rotor RX7 engine, modified to put out about 350 horsepower. He completely stripped the body of all upholstery and insulation, replacing the glass windows with light weight plastic ones, modifying the chassis to hold up to racing, and adding a roll cage and other safety equipment as well.
The engine, built by friend and co-worker Jose Sanki, operates at extremely high rpm, limited by computer to about 10,800. It feeds gas through a 58mm carburetor, a Weber IDA copy supplied by Gene Berg Enterprises in Orange, CA. Two large mufflers are required to quiet it down, even to a drag strip acceptable level, using a Borla XR1 and a Dynomax Race muffler, with which the little green coupe is still very, very, loud.
The rear axle was replaced with a much stronger one out of a Ford pickup, commonly called a "9 inch Ford". For a transmission, he installed a "G-Force" transmission which lets Steve select the best ratio for every gear separately and allows him to shift gears without using the clutch.
The bright "Sparkletts Green" coupe is always a crowd favorite, especially when the impressively loud and powerful rotary engine pulls the front wheels off the ground as the car leaves the starting line. (Can you say wheelstand? I knew that you could!)
Engine builder Jose explained why the rotary engine is so powerful, especially for it's size and weight. He explained that a normal piston engine, like those found in most cars, have only one firing cycle for every two turns of the crankshaft. For the same two turns, the Mazda rotary has six. With a two rotor Mazda engine, those firing cycles are now doubled to twelve. This, in an engine smaller than a Volkswagen four cylinder, and 1/2 the weight of a typical American V-8 engine.
He considered using time honored hot rod tricks of injecting nitrous oxide or adding a turbocharger, but found it unnecessary as the car, nicknamed "all motor" for its lack of such power adding devices, is about as fast as any reasonable person, or Steve, wants to go.
Steve Fuentes, grew up in and loves Eagle Rock. (Eagle Rock High class of 1995) His wife, Eagle Rock native (and "no drug rehab house on my street" activist) Mia Barry, is not into his racing, but supports him doing what he loves.
He said of Eagle Rock, "I love Eagle Rock. I grew up in Eagle Rock. I'd love to live in Eagle Rock forever." and added, "I think it's pretty cool that Eagle Rock's got a street rodding scene, but I don't fit in too well with them. I (drove in with the Mazda racecar) one time and everybody (wondered), 'what the hell is that?'"
What it was, boys, was an incredibly high performance car, probably a lot faster than anything YOU have ever driven, home built by Eagle Rock Racer, Steve Fuentes.



The 25th Annual Highland Park car show will be held on Sunday, June 28

This year. Organizer Jesse Rojas expects about 300 of the most fantastic variety of low-riders, sport compacts, SUVs, customs and street rods you will ever see in the same location at the same time. However, after 24 years of L.A. City support, when the event was held on a closed off section of Figueroa Street, CD 1 Councilman Ed Reyes, denied organizers city support for the first time this year, causing them to move the venue to the Franklin High School Baseball field.
Entrants can pre-enter for $25 by calling Paul Sanchez at 323-384-5036, or Jesse Rojas at 323-620-1298. Entry on the day of the show is $35. Admission price for spectators is $5, which goes to support the student body at Franklin High.
Jesse says that special attractions are in the works, and may even include a bikini contest this year. Entries must arrive before 6 a.m., and the show is open to spectators from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Carl Matthes

Eagle Rock Pianist to be Orchestra Guest
Carl Matthes, concert pianist, teacher and a resident of Eagle Rock for over four decades, will be guest soloist with the Claremont Symphony Orchestra on June 14, Sunday, 3:30pm, in Little Bridges Hall at Pomona College in Claremont. Carl will be performing the Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto with Dr. James Fahringer conducting. Admission to the concert, which also includes works by Sibelius and Janacek, is free.
Carl's received his earliest lessons at the Los Angeles Conservatory which was located at 5922 Monte Vista St. in Highland Park. At the age of 6, he gave his first recital at the Conservatory on June 2, 1945. In 1959, Carl was featured soloist with the Highland Park Symphony performing the Beethoven 4th Piano Concerto at Franklin High School Auditorium and, in the 1970s, was again the featured soloist with the Highland Park Symphony doing Beethoven's Chorale Fantasy in Eagle Rock High School Auditorium.
Carl has given many recitals in Northeast Los Angeles including being named, in 1960, as winner of Occidental College's Young Artist of the Year, performing in Thorne Hall, and in 1999 giving the first fundraising concert for Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock.
He gained international performance recognition in London at Wigmore Hall, Lord Clive House and St. Martins-in-the-Fields as well as in The Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Germany. Returning to America, he toured for 15 years for Community Concerts and has performed as soloist with orchestra in Carnegie Hall under the auspices of the United Nations, in Hollywood Bowl, the Seattle Center Coliseum and with Sir Josef Krips and the San Francisco Symphony in the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. He appeared as soloist with orchestra in Royce Hall, UCLA; with the Fresno Philharmonic; the Korean Philharmonic at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles and at the John Anson Ford Theatre with the Cal-Arts Orchestra. In addition, he was a candidate for a Rockefeller Foundation grant to record all of the piano music of Aaron Copland..



BLOCK PARTY Apartment Show - New Art Night?

by Tom Topping

A local artist home tour took place on May 29, in Highland Park. Hosted by curators Kiki Johnson from Artist Curated Projects, Kate Hillseth from Young Art, and Daniel Ingroff and Paul Pescador, the "Block Party" was conceived to be a neighborhood art walk. Starting on Nolden near Meridian, and continuing on Aldama Terrace near Franklin High School, the final venue was on Avenure 54 next to the Goldline tracks.
On Nolden, TAPHOMANCY was curated by Kiki Johnson from Artist Curated Projects exhibited pieces and had installations by Aimée Brown, Quinn Gomez-Heitzeberg, Elisa Maria Lopez, and Christina Ondrus. Quinn Gomez-Heitzeberg's "The London Necropolis Train" was noteworthy both for the visual display and the concept.
At the Aldama Terrace, APARTMENT SHOW, curated by Kate Hillseth from Young Art, was a selection of works by artists Stephen Aldahl, Paul Forney, Miles Jopling, Jed Ochmanek, and Victor Torres. Interesting works, but the house and back yard were artful, comfortable, restful and delightful.
On Avenue 54, DUPLEX, curated by Daniel Ingroff and Paul Pescador featured the work of Alison O'Daniel, Julia Sherman and Summer Shiffman. Working in sculpture and photography, the work of these three artists occupies shared domestic space, and hints at notions of duality. Ouside, A video presentation called BEWITCH featured works by Ben Aqua, Tommy Blackburn, New Jedi Order and Mike Kitchell.
The tour was completely organized by a brand new group of young Highland Park Artists, with no ties to the Arroyo Arts Collective or the NELAart Gallery night. Nothing but fresh and enthusiastic faces, with some connections to Cal Arts, and a sizable following at each venue, where private back yard barbecues started early and lasted late into the night



San Pascual Softball Team Wins Second Place

San Pascual Elementary School's soccer team placed second in a championship play-off game at the Los Angeles Unified School District's West Youth Services Softbal' Tournament held in Marina Del Rey this month. This sports program is sponsored by thc District's Beyond the Bell afterschool program and is coached by playground supervisor, Sandy Romero.
Pictured are (top row from left): Sandy ~omero, Benjamin Moran, Oscar Rodriguez, Austin Mejia, Armando Covarrubias, Jesse Felix. From left, first row: Guillermo Cordova, Mario Lopez, Justin Montes, Joshua Malson, Rodolfo Rodriguez.