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
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
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
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.
-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
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
Blatant Disregard for Community
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
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
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
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.
DISCOVERING PINEAPPLE WEED
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
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
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
Annual Tour de Arroyo bike ride
by Jerry Schneider
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
$70 million and 10 Years later - still
no college or charter school
Van de Kamp Coalition c/o Laura
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
Ave. 50 & Rangeview Neighborhood
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
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 (email@example.com)
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
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
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
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
by Joe Walker
70 years ago this
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
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
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
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.
Class of 2009
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.
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.
Murder Suspects Arrested
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
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
The LAPD Force Investigation Division is responsible for conducting the
investigation. Charges against Alaniz are pending, based on additional
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
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.
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,
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
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.
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..
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 AimĂ©e 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
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
Softball Team Wins Second Place
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
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.