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for Northeast Los Angeles             go to EAGLE ROCK NEWS

August 2008

Trouble with
a Capital T..

that rhymes with P...
that stands for POT!
by Tom Topping

Green Goddess Collective

Everybody's talking about the latest in a series of prescription pot (medical marijuana) facilities to be proposed for the commercial boulevards in Eagle Rock. This latest one had the tongues wagging and the fists shaking as apparently the thought of people who are suffering and in pain being able to find some sort of relief without a myriad of side effects worse than the symptoms they're trying to cure was enough to make some community member's blood boil.
At the latest Neighborhood Watch meeting, (where they also got to meet Eagle Rock's newest senior lead officer, Chris Orange, who ironically is black), one local gentleman (and I use the term loosely) was literally bellowing his complaints about it.
"It upsets me to the point where... I talk to this gentleman, José (Huizar), and he's got a softball game to go to!"
Gotta admit, that does sound like José.
The next week, at the Chamber of Commerce meeting, folks were exercising a much more politically correct tone.
Bob Arranaga, chair of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council land use committee reported at the Chamber meeting that the sign is up on the Green Goddess Collective (officially the GREEN GODDESS HOLISTIC COLLECTIVE LLC, 300 W. Glenoaks Bl. Glendale, CA- agent for process of service; Nicole McLaughlin, 5713 N. Figueroa St.) but they have not moved in yet. He summarized the recent presentation of the Green Goddess Collective, and various discussions that the Neighborhood Council and the City of L.A. have been having.
He said that the Collective felt they could move in without permits because they already had them at their previous location on Figueroa Street. Further, he said they were very sharp and knew what they were doing, and basically were directly challenging the city, telling them that "We're going to do what we want to do."
Their argument seems to hinge, at least in part, on the fact that the State, (whose voters granted such places permission to operate by passing an initiative a few years ago) is a superior power to local municipalities like the City of L.A. The city presumably can come up with a process to regulate with them, but has not as yet. Bob threw out that 660 such establishments are operating currently in L.A. (five reported to be in Eagle Rock.)
Yes, the tone of this discussion was polite and professional, while possessing a clear undercurrent of sentiment like the bellowing fellow from just a few nights before.
According to some, the place will be nothing but a haven for dope fiends seeking to get high, their next agenda item undoubtedly being to burn, murder, steal, rape and pillage the local natives as they slumber peacefully in their neatly kept and cozy million dollar mud and straw huts along Hill Drive.
Of course, it goes without saying that any and all children who would dare to pass by on their way to buy a sugar-free candy snack or a bag of low trans-fat potato chips for Grandma will be violently snatched inside by a perverse and crooked claw. They then will be forced at threat of death to ingest the evil substance, instantly resetting their life course in the direction of crime and depravity.
I know. It sounds inviting.
But the suffering of sick people is no laughing matter.
Luckily there was a lone voice of reason at the Chamber of Commerce meeting. It belonged to none other than Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce veteran Ms. Kaye Beckham.
Drawing on the knowledge of her years of experience running LTC Home Health care company, and also due to a recent fact finding visit to yet another local "den of iniquity" located just a few doors down from her establishment, she composed a very convincing case, vouching in part for those whose suffering is truly relieved by medical marijuana, and secondly for the security and professionalism she observed first hand just a few doors down.
So convincing was her testimony that I found my eyes tearing up as Ms. Beckham vouched for the way so many critically and terminally ill people find medical marijuana a great substitute for up to five different pharmaceuticals, each one usually with nasty side effects, and probably quite expensive to boot.
She continued with a report of her field trip to her neighboring business. A security guard is on duty during business hours, who will also walk patrons to their cars after filling their prescription. Every new prescription is thoroughly checked out to make sure it and the doctor who wrote it is totally legitimate. They are open 'til nine so working people can get their pot prescription filled.
If you know Ms. Beckham like I do, you know she does not take any of these things lightly, and would be the first to bring down the entire wrath of ten levels of government force on any operation that is not 100% up to par. The rest of the Chamber members at the meeting knew this as well, and not one uttered a peep as she talked. They all sat transfixed, with slackened jaws askew.
She finished, and then the Chamber of Commerce meeting calmly moved on to the next agenda item, a $500 donation for the upcoming Eagle Rock Music Festival, which passed handily.
Back at the Neighborhood watch meeting, the cops reminded that medical marijuana is legal in California, and community members suggested that if you don't like that, get the law changed or get the DEA to close it down as it is still against federal law.
The Eagle Rock Council voted to ask Councilmember Huizar to stamp out the application and draw deeply on the moratorium to extinguish new facilities, but it still smells like a issue that will certainly smolder, burn and reek for some time to come.


New Principal for
Luther Burbank Middle School-
Did the District See the Light?

by Tom Topping

John Samaniego

Parents at Luther Burbank Middle School were heard singing, "Hail, hail the witch is dead," up and down the halls of Franklin High School last month, when a new Principal was introduced at the Highland Park neighborhood council meeting. No official details of Principal Ms. June Matsushita's removal were released (and probably can't be due to employment rules), but after critical coverage in two local papers exposing:
1. her inability to control on campus violence,
2. her having parents removed from public meetings by LAUSD police for simply speaking out,
3. her overall ineptitude in maneuvering the ins and outs of community politics,
it may have finally become clear to district officials that the right man for this job was not this woman.
Community leaders at the July 17 Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council meeting, in unison, breathed sigh of relief, and took in a big breath of fresh air as the newly appointed Principal introduced himself.
John Samaniego, whose youthful looks belie his 51 years, showed up casually dressed in blue jeans, tennis shoes, and a pink and white striped shirt with the collar wide open and shirt tails hanging out.
He definitely exuded a friendliness, openness and camaraderie that would be more typical of a local community member, completely comfortable in his own setting. As he spoke, he communicated his passion for education, and for involving the community in that endeavor.
He talked a bit about what was coming up for Luther Burbank Middle School.
"Luther Burbank Middle School is going to be an outstanding campus. There is gonna be some major work done. There's gonna be two buildings that are going to be torn down, and we're gonna have a state-of-the-art auditorium. We'll have theater presentations, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, so it is critical that you're involved."
He added, "I need to make this the best campus in the area."
He received a warm welcome, as the mothers I'm sure liked the youngish looking attractive latino man, and the mostly Spanish speaking parents of the school probably felt a lot more comfortable with a principal that looks like them, and sounds like them.
Principal Samaniego was previously at Charles White Elementary, the Pico-Union/ MacArthur Park area of the city. Before that he was assistant principal at MacArthur Park Primary School. He taught for eight years before that at Euclid Elementary. He holds two teaching credentials, two administrative credentials, and a certificate of clearance, according to the California Commission of Teacher Credentials website.
He explained he was tapped for the position of Principal at Luther Burbank by District 4 Superintendent Richard Alonzo because of his experience in overseeing school construction at one of his previous assignments.
He deflected questions about the official reason for Ms. Matsushita's removal, saying, "I know there's been a prior history," then went on to talk about his plans for the school.
"One of the things I believe in, is they can never get a program without our community and our parent's involvement. I think that because that's been my trademark, they want to bring me over to Burbank." He told how he had been active in his previous community, providing support to and getting support from the other community groups like the Neighborhood Council, and putting on community events at the school that the entire community could participate in.
He talked a bit more about the upcoming construction and improvements that would be coming to Luther Burbank Middle School, and invited parents and community members to drop by and visit him at the school to see the architectural renderings in his office. "We need to get that out there," he added, talking about the upcoming improvements. "Because they (the community and parents) need to be involved in this process because they know the community better than I do and we need to get that input."
Community members who had been pushing for the removal of Ms. Matsushita for months, claimed a hard fought victory against the byzantine and usually unresponsive L.A. Unified School District. Eagle Rock education activists considered it a encouraging sign, and vowed to renew their efforts to remove Principal Salvador Velasco from Eagle Rock High School.
However, it may not be as simple as that. Major differences exist between the dynamic of a community unhappy with principals at Eagle Rock High or Luther Burbank Middle School.
One analysis is that Matsushita's inaction regarding the daily violence was something that brought her criticism to a much higher level than Velasco's simply being inept at fairly administrating justice among the teachers working under him. The other obvious difference is one that probably no one wants to talk about.
Where Velasco is a latino male, clearly part of the "home boys club" with District 4 officials, the Asian woman, Ms. June Matsushita, was a double loser, clearly looking like local district 4 has a predisposition for both misogyny and racism.

Historic Mt. Washington Hotel Preservation Planned by Tom Topping
One of the truly historic structures in Northeast L.A. is also one of the least well-known, although it sits conspicuously atop Mt. Washington, and is depicted in practically every book ever published about early 20th century L.A. history. The structure is the Mt. Washington Hotel, or, as it is known today, the Self Realization Fellowship (SRF).
One of the most recognizable photos often seen is of the Mt. Washington incline railway, which connected the hotel to Marmion Way down below (a typical early 20th century ploy to sell real estate). That was removed after L.A. City public works officials declared it unsafe.
In the 1920's, the Hotel was bought by the SRF and converted to be its world wide headquarters. The hotel building, still looks much the same today as it did when it was built. On July 14th, 2008, the Highland Park Heritage Trust was invited to a presentation about the planned restoration and renovations the old Mt. Washington Hotel building will be getting in the next couple of years.

Mt. Washington Hotel, 1910-1925
Stephanie Kingsnorth explains the preservation plans to the Highland Park Heritage Trust in lobby area of the old hotel.

The presentation, for the most part, tried to show that the building would be in jeopardy if action was not taken. Stepanie Kingsnorth, of Pfeiffer Partners Architects Inc., told about details of the un-reinforced foundations, and unsupported hallway walls, that would be dangerous in an earthquake, for example. She showed photos of added on electrical systems, that would be hazardous, and the need for central air and heating systems. Interestingly, external windows that could be entered by a fireman in full gear were also needed she said, but would be designed to simulate the originals as much as possible.
Everyone got to enter the main room of the old Hotel, which was in surprisingly good shape.
The outing seemed to be more about giving the community an early warning rather than an avenue for input. They seemed to mostly want all to know that the process, once started, would look more like the hotel was being completely pulverized, rather than preserved. It seems that the walls and windows inside and out must all be removed in order to install completely updated electrical, plumbing and heating systems.
A trench several feet wide must be dug all the way around the site in order to provide the room to build a new foundation. That work will require the permanent removal of many of the mature trees surrounding the building, as well as the pretty and placid patio garden area that abuts the rear of the building.
We were amazed to learn that 16 of the original 19 hotel rooms had still been occupied as apartments 'til the renovations were scheduled to start.
Our next step was to look at the old cable house, once the upper terminus for the incline railroad. Surprisingly, this building had no foundation at all, in contrast to the very strong foundation inside the building, that once solidly held the machinery for the cable car railway. This building had been rebuilt and changed so many times, there was barely any part of it retaining the original shape, except for the first few feet down from the roofline.
The planners expect the restoration project to be in the planning and permitting stage for the next two years, with the construction to take another two to three after that.


A Local Success Story

by Tom Topping

Omar Penate has made a good business and good friends in Eagle Rock.

There are a few businesses in Eagle Rock that really operate differently than the rest. Hell, I've been in business for years and still don't consider myself a "businessman." I'm more of a craftsman- I can do very good work, and make sure I get paid for it, but that's not what businessmen do. A real businessman plans. He reaches out. He positions himself and his product in the market.
You can tell the difference right away when you walk in the door. Walk into ETY auto parts; walk into Cycle Depot; walk into the Rockin' Baby Shop and walk into Sightwaves. There's just something that's different.
Sightwaves was nothing but a little local car radio shop, working out of a stall at JJ's carwash when I first saw it. The only thing I could see was that the owner, Omar, was just as friendly, helpful and open as a man could be. Little by little, I saw newer and newer and fancier cars in his stall, every month as I delivered the new edition to him.
Soon, I began hearing about what car show he was getting ready for. Later, it was about the trade shows he prepared for. I started seeing him and his guys creating these custom speaker enclosures out of fiberglass- with the finished product looking like it came factory original.
Soon, he outgrew JJ's and opened up next to Boston Transmission, I started seeing a lot of really expensive new cars in there getting the full treatment. Stereo systems, video systems, custom interiors, wheel packages, suspension systems and paint jobs.
One day, there was a brand new Ferrari in his shop. Later, a brand new Lamborghini. Same old Omar, though. always just as friendly and open as ever; except when you asked him who his clients are.

"Omar, does this car belong to a famous basketball player or something?" I'd ask.
"Something like that," was all he'd say as he'd flash a winning smile.
I was just as sure as tomorrow that he was another with an MBA, like ETY and the cycle shop. Turned out, I was only half right.
He started on his career path back in 1989, as he always liked cars and was good at installing stereo systems for his friends and for friends of his parents. Soon, he figured he'd better start getting paid for it, and went to work as a car stereo installer at a Circuit City on the Westside.
It soon became apparent to Circuit City that they had someone whose talents far surpassed those of a typical installer, as his personality and ability to relate to people put him right at the top when they were opening a new store in Burbank. That's where he got his education. Circuit City, at that time had a great training program. They provided him training in electronics, the latest car electrical systems, management, human resources and more. Soon after two months training in Virginia, he had 10 installers working under him, and was bringing in 8 to 10 million dollars a year for that store.
He took to it like a fish to water and life was good.

Jesse Muño works on a system for a new Corvette.

One day, a headhunter for Disney approached him, and offered to bring him into fiber optics at Disney. Omar at first resisted, he had never touched anything with fiber optics before. He was assured that his electrical background was plenty to start the training that Disney would provide.
He trained a year and a half, while living in Florida. He spent two months living in France. He traveled across the globe on Disney's dime. He returned to California and worked on projects that became part of Disney's California Adventure. Life was really good.
He was living in Glendale, and had connected to a new girlfriend living in Eagle Rock. He started taking his car to JJ's to have it washed. "JJ and I got along really good," said Omar. "They just really liked me."
One time he noticed a new building going up at JJ's and asked about it. He found that JJ was building it to rent out, and said, "If you have 'em here in a year, we'll lease 'em."
For the first year he was a one man show. He then soon discovered that having family member's help was not a good idea, and finally hired Jesse as his first helper.
"Jesse really knew nothing when he started," said Omar like a proud father. "Now he runs the place."

Here, the Sightwaves crew attends to a very high-end installation.

Later he hired Eric, and Rick. All of them originally came in as customers, and ended up working there. (Rick has now moved to Arizona to start his own shop- they still keep in touch to share information and help each other out)
What I wanted to know was how he had transitioned from putting low-end stereos in old Hondas to working on brand new Ferraris.
Omar hit the nail on the head, saying, "My mentality was, the kid that comes in with his Honda today, is the kid that's gonna have a Porsche tomorrow, and winds up with a Lamborghini later."
And sure enough, the guy who brought in a truck, later hit it big with real estate, and then brings in a new Porsche or Mercedes, and it happened again and again. "I had kids that get a new car from their parents when they turn eighteen, and it turns out to be a Ferrari!" Omar exclaimed.
"You can't judge a book by its cover," he continued. "We treat a multimillionaire or a kid out of high school the same way, we show 'em everything," he added, referring to the different levels of equipment available. He gets very elusive, however, when asked about who his high roller clients have been. "Some of them require us to sign a non-disclosure statement," he said. (Once a brand new Ferrari showed up on a flat bed with zero miles on the odometer- no name- no instruction other than 'give it the works.')
Life is really, really good for Omar and Sightwaves now. His work is often featured in magazines, he is doing what he can to support the community, and plans to open another location in Glendale soon. He says, "Come check us out. We have a lot of brands a lot of people don't carry- We have European brands- most (companies) that do R&D are in Europe- those we do carry."
If you need a slight upgrade or just a replacement for your car stereo that's on the fritz, or if you need to have the system that will be the envy of all your friends and drive the ladies wild, Sightwaves has just what you need. If you're looking for some fancy 22's (wheels) or the latest accessories, chances are good that if they don't have it there, they can get you what you need. If you need a video system to keep the little ones happy in the back of the minivan or SUV (or Prius these days), you've come to the right place, too. You can depend on getting treated like a friend, no matter who you are.
One of Omar's secrets to his success is that he rarely, if ever, says no. If you show up at 5:45 on a Friday night, hoping to get your system upgraded for a hot date that night- you won't be turned away. "We don't turn business away," he said. If he has the stuff, he'll take care of it. Another secret is really no secret at all, just the golden rule. "I want to treat (my customers) the way I want to be treated," he added.
I always like to ask a successful person if they might have message for someone just starting out in business, or life.
"You've got to think long run," said Omar. "You can't think of that moment. You got to think, two years- five years- ten years - picture where you're gonna be in that moment- and that's where you'll be."
Apparently, ten years ago or so, Omar had envisioned a home in Eagle Rock, a fun, profitable and interesting business, and an army of loyal customers that are also such good friends, they often stop by just to visit, and Omar loves every minute of it. How could anyone have more success than that?




25th Annual National Night Out
On Tuesday, August 5, Eagle Rock citizens, business people and the Los Angeles Police Department will join together to participate in the 25th Annual National Night Out. The event will be from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm, and begin at the Eagle Rock Target Store (2nd Level parking lot) at 2626 Colorado Blvd.
Target is proud to sponsor the 25th Annual National Night Out event on August 5, 2008 with efforts to raise community awareness of our Neighborhood Watch Program. Target Supports because it helps us achieve our mission by strengthening partnerships with law enforcement and the communities we serve.
Target and the Los Angeles Police Department invites all to join them for this community building event. Food and refreshments will be happily provided!



by Christopher Nyerges

[Nyerges is a manager of Tuesday's Highland Park farmers market, the editor of Wilderness Way magazine, the author of How to Survive Anywhere, Enter the Forest, and other books. He has led wilderness trips into the Angeles National Forest for over 30 years. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.ChristopherNyerges.com.]

Eagle Rock residents are probably well-versed in some of the local Native American history from the Arroyo Seco to the east, west to Griffith Park and beyond, and in the local mountains.
And though we are not taught in school about any of the visitors from afar who came into Indian territory in the pre-Columbian days, whole books have been written on this subject, such as Barry Fell's "America B.C." and Gloria Farley's "In Plain Sight."
I have studied how to identify hand stones from known Native American sites of Southern California: rocks that were used to grind, to crack, to shape other rocks, to mark trails, etc. I have also spent some time learning about one method that was used to write on stones approximately 1500+ years ago. This method, known as ogam, was employed primarily in the British isles, though examples can be found further afield. Ogam employs straight lines across what is called a stem line. It is certainly possible to see natural fractures in rock and think you are looking at ogam, especially if you have not studied rock sufficiently to see the difference between what nature does and what man does.
On Halloween day in 2001, I was leading a birthday outing for a 10 year old boy and his friends at the 3000 foot level of the Angeles National Forest. At a spot I had never been to, I saw the back side of a large, 10 foot wide boulder with unusual markings on it. There were two large horizontal cleavages and numerous markings across the cleavage that bore an uncanny resemblance to ogam.
I returned a week later to take photographs and sketches. After carefully comparing my sketches with the ogam alphabet, I was amazed to see that all the marks were consistent with ogam. So I then sent photos and sketches to perhaps 50 "experts" in ogam, linguistics, archaelogy, and other fields and eagerly awaited their response about my exciting discovery. Most never responded, or said that since the rock inscription was in California, there was no chance that it was bonafide ogam.
So I laid out what I felt was a fairly reasonable scientific method for ascertaining if the inscription I found was, or was not, of some significance.
I had to determine that the markings were consistent with the ogam alphabet. Having done that, I proceeded to the other steps. 2. Determine if the ogam letters actually spell anything. 3. Determine if the inscription could actually be dated. 4. Determine if there was anything else significant about the site.
Since all the markings were consistent with the ogam characters, I then proceeded to determine the actual sequence of letters. Based on the manner in which the markings were made on the rock, I broke the letter sequence into the following groupings: B- MMH- BL- TMG-MC-MM-DH-B.
I then tried to determine if it spelled anything. Ogam was used primarily to express Gaelic, and so, the two letters MC jumped out at me. In Gaelic, MC is a very common abbreviation for "son of," as in McDonald, MacAllister, et al.
I obtained a copy of Dwelley's "Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary" (copyright 1902-12) and one rainy day, I spent about five hours going through Dwelley's page by page, looking for letter combinations that might mean something.
There were no vowells, suggestive of an older or earlier linguistic form, akin to several of the Middle Eastern alphabets written without vowels.
After five hours, I came up with the following likely transliteration: To-memory-Bel- Thy Young Hero- Son of – Mother – Deep/depth/ darken- stone. The tentative translation reads: To Bel, in the memory of the young hero, son of the mother (prince?), laid to rest with this stone." (I found at least one stone in which scholars translated "DH" as "laid to rest.").
Two different geologists, one a PhD, told me that such inscriptions could not be definitely dated. The PhD said that based on his educated guess, the inscription was made between 1500 and 2500 years ago, and he'd say it was 95% certain that it was made by man, not natural forces.
Thus, amazingly, everything suggested that this was a foreign inscription, probably someone from Western Europe who came up the canyon and died, or was killed, back when this was all Indian territory.
Thor Heyerdahl proved that primitive peoples could have crossed the oceans in small reed boats, which is how visitors from afar could have gotten to the west coast. For that matter, 2000 years ago, there were very large boats used by ancient Phoenicians and Romans, as per the writings of Caesar.
I eventually produced a small booklet explaining this find and a BBC documentary is still in the works, which contains many of the details that there is not space for here.
My rewards for taking all this time on this multi-faceted research: I have been called a fraud numerous times. I have been listed on a college web-site as an example of "fringe archaeology" and explained away as a fraud.
On the other hand, I was made a life member in the Epigraphic Society. According to Wayne Kenaston, Jr., who bestowed that membership upon me, "Welcome to the frustrations that come with dealing with rock –writing, or epigraphy. You did a very good and scholarly job of deciphering, transliterating, and translating the Angeles Forest Mystery Rock inscriptions. I congratulate you and encourage you to pursue your efforts to learn more about the provenance of the 'young hero' whose grave is probably marked by the inscription."
Readers and researchers interested in my work notes on this project can request them from me at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.

Cruisin’ with Mary

Greetings Eagle Rock, one of the shakiest places on earth! How did everyone like that earthquake? The Eagle Rock n' Rodders held a successful July cruise in at Oinkster with one of the best raffles this year. Thanks to Terrye and Anita for all their diligent work selling raffle tickets and handling the raffle as well as our generous sponsors: Tritch and Verdugo Hardware, Sir Michael's, and Nestle. While hot rod attendance is still a little low, we do have two new potential club members, so that's exciting.

photo 1- Mary

photo 2- Gary Jacobson shows off one of his classic Buicks at the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce Concerts in the Park.

photo 3- Lois Eder brought her classic Corvette to the July Cruise-In... and her husband Glenn, too.

One other thing that was kind of fun for me was being approached by a couple of readers of this column who complimented my writing and encouraged me to keep up the good work! I really appreciate all feedback, but this was especially satisfying. It's not always easy to be creative every month, and come up with interesting, new, or funny things to say.
One of the "hot" raffle items was a t-shirt purchased at 50/50 Grind on Colorado Blvd. near Taco Bell. You may have seen these black t-shirts around Eagle Rock which have bold white print stating "The ROCK 90041." This was my first time in the store, who specializes in skateboard gear and the owners were extremely nice and cordial. The club hopes that eventually this store may also become a sponsor of our raffle.
July 13 was the first of this summer's Concerts in the Park highlighting the Eagle Rock n' Rodders car show. We had a disappointing show of cars this year, approximately our 12th year of participating in this event. After reviewing the way the club handled publicity, or lack of, for the car show, it was decided that next year we will revert to our former procedure of printing reams of flyers and spending the whole month of June papering every car show, cruise in, and event we can hit. In past years this seemed to work well, with cars to overflowing capacity. We don't want to kill trees, but hey, we have to do what we have to do….
It was a fun concert by the old standbys, Ronnie and the Classics, and the club's picnic was delicious. We held a club potluck, and had so much food left over that the club agreed to make food available to anyone at the concert who was hungry. Keeping in mind that we are "the club that gives back to the community." We had a very long line of concert goers who were treated to free dinners of chicken, pasta, dessert, sodas, and more. One observation on this free food giveaway: I don't mean to be a crabby or selfish person, and everyone who knows me also knows I have a heart as big as the sun, BUT, I, and other club members felt that some of our "guests" who were getting food really took advantage of the situation. I saw people walk away with literally armloads of sodas and water after piling several plates of food up. This really wasn't fair because it left people at the end of the line with not much to choose from. The idea was to feed as many folks as we could, not stock someone's fridge with soda and water. Next year if we have food left, we will still give it away, but it will be monitored so that everyone has a chance.
On the other hand, we conducted our usual cash 50/50 raffle and several people went home with nice cash gifts, and our charity funds for November are picking up nicely. Many thanks to everyone who so generously participated.
Don't forget our next cruise in is Aug. 30 at Oinkster. And visit our MySpace at www.myspace.com/eaglerockinrodders. Until next time, keep on cruising!


Peace in the Northeast March

by Stan Moore
The PEACE IN THE NORTHEAST march on SATURDAY, AUGUST 16, will begin with the Good Times Car Club leading the way down York Blvd. and end with food and live entertainment. Pastor A.J. Moro of Hermon Free Methodist Church has two websites, www. RemixTheWorld.com and www.RemixTheCommunity.com, and has taken charge of the live concert that will conclude the Peace in the Northeast march that begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Senior Citizen Center at York and Figueroa Blvds. and ends at Victory Outreach Church at 4160 Eagle Rock Blvd. Walkers are encouraged to come early. The staging area will be setting up at 9:30 a.m. Hopefully, the marchers will be off by 10:30. We have been told that the march is on the Mayor's schedule.
The March will attempt to honor the families in our community who have been the victims of violence. The committee has been told that several of the families will walk with us and we do wish to honor them prior to the March.
The March is sponsored by the Northeast L. A. Ministerial Association which has more than 45 cooperating churches of differing denominations, chaired by Rev. Randy Carrillo, Associate Pastor of the Methodist Church at La Plaza at the heart of Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, united as The Church in Northeast L.A.
The Ministerial Association. is being joined by many cosponsoring organizations including: City Council Districts 14, 13, and 1, the Mayor's Office, the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council(HHPNC), the Glassell Park Neighborhood Council, the Cypress Park Neighborhood Council, and additional Neighborhood Councils are being approached, as well as the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion District 17, the Greater Highland Park Kiwanis Club, Rev. Bishop Bill Cruver of the Pillar of Fire Church, the Friends of the Southwest Museum Coalition, Ms. Ann Walnum, the Peace Over Violence, Anahuak Soccer Club and many other community organizations. The organizing committee needs help in raising fund because we expect more than 2000 persons to participate in this first anticipated annual community march.
The march was stimulated by the new captain of the LAPD's Northeast Division, William Murphy, who, when asked at the April meeting of the Northeast Los Angeles Ministerial Association, "What can we do to address the violence in our community?," replied, "A community march often helps, and if you sponsor a march I will march with you."
The organizing committee has about 25 members, including pastors representing about six or seven denominations, Ms. Zenay Loera of Council District 14, Ms. Abigail Ramirez of the Mayor's Office, and about eight or nine members of Victory Outreach a gang interventionist, three members of the HHPNC, as well as many others, such as Javier Solis who is in charge of distributing the 25,000 flyers being printed. In other words, the committee is an enthusiastic group of amateurs. Rev. A.J. Mora has already confirmed the participation of several local performers and groups from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. after the conclusion of the march.
The Good Times Car Club will lead the March down York Blvd. while the LAPD motorcycle officers will conduct a rolling block of traffic—closing York as the March nears and reopening York Blvd. after the last of the marchers have passed.
Ms. Maggie Godoy of the HHPNC is in charge of the free food for marchers at the end of the 2.7 mile walk down York Blvd. from "Veterans Square" and the Senior Citizen Center. Hot dogs will be cooked on a BBQ grill belonging to Occidental United Presbyterian Church at the corner of York and Eagle Rock Blvds. and three from Victory Outreach. Parking is being provided at the new Fresh and Easy Store on Eagle Rock Blvd. A bus and a number of vans will shuttle walkers to the beginning of the March, as well as follow the March to pick up any participants who need assistance and return walkers back to the starting point. Ms. Abigail Ramirez of the Mayor's Office is trying to arrange for water bottles for each walker.
ALL THAT IS NEEDED IS YOUR PARTICIPATION. Come for the walk, the Good Times Car Club show, the community resource booths, the live entertainment, the food, networking and fellowship. Let's have a real march for Peace in the Northeast! For additional information call 258-7878. To volunteer to help, call (323) 992-5324. To help fund the event call (626) 831-7970 or between August 7 and August 16 call (323) 256-1024.


Friends of
the Rock
Evening Gala

The Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful Presents: "Friends of the Rock Evening Gala" Benefiting the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail
This massive project encompasses the last remaining open space by the Eagle Rock. The one mile trail has been completed and is open for hiking. It is surrounded by a native and drought-resistant botanical garden in a magnificent setting with vistas to the sea for Plein Air painters, hikers, and sightseers.
It will be on Sunday, September 14, 2008, at the GLAD Historic Building, 2222 Laverna Ave., Eagle Rock, CA 90041.
It will start at 4pm-5pm with a Prelude to the Evening Gala. You can stroll through the beautiful GLAD garden, peruse and purchase the creations of the Plein Air painters as they work on site, also unique raffles and silent auctions.
From 5pm to 7pm, attend the Gala Reception offering a gourmet hors d'oeuvres buffet and champagne in the garden, then retiring to the Penthouse for dessert and a showcase presentation on the continuing progress of the trails and plans for the future development of the Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful 4.5 acres. Advanced reservations are $35.00, at the door, $40.00* *All proceeds are tax-deductible donations to CERB
To purchase tickets send a check payable to the CERB to PO Box 411441, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, go to www.cerb.us or contact Ursula Brown at 323-255-9400. For further information email at info@cerb.us

Ebbs & Flows;

Sea Change and the Family Gathering
Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock is proud to host Ebbs & Flows; Sea Change and the Family Gathering, a Latino art show curated by Steven Irvin. The Opening Reception will be Saturday August 30, 2008 7pm- 10pm, and will be in conjunction with NELA Night Second Saturday Gallery Night September 13 2008.
This multimedia exhibition recognizes the limits of presenting an ethnic heritage show within the diverse framework of Los Angeles. Yet Ebbs & Flows suggests new possibilities within this well-worn path through a new examination of the themes of community and family. The show attempts to bridge the gaps within a multicultural city. Rather than focusing on the specifics of the Latino experience, he mines the aspects of Latino culture that, through cultural exchange, is inherent to us all. Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock supports this innovative approach for the Latino heritage month exhibition through the Department of Cultural Affairs.
Selected Artists:
Angela Ortiz, Terry Konrath, Sonia Romero, Ulises Ramirez, Abel Alejandre, Clement Hanami, Sheku Kowai, Femi Dawkins, Santos Vasquez, Ismael de Anda, Melissa Flores, Otonomiyaki (Alan Nakagawa & Kio Griffith).
Gallery Hours are Monday – Friday 11am- 5pm., Saturday 11am – 3pm. The show runs August 30th through October 11th, 2008.
Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
2225 Colorado Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041


New Blog On Autry Center's Griffith Park Expansion Proposal
The purpose of the blog is to reach out to museum, accounting, legal, education professionals, students, and concerned individuals across the nation to inform, discuss, and analyze the implications of an ongoing effort of the former Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage to move the entire Southwest Museum from its nationally significant landmark campus into an expanded single Autry Museum building in Griffith Park. The proposal has been severely condemned by historians, archaeologists, historic preservationists, civil rights leaders, and community activists. Over 7,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the Autry not be granted City of Los Angeles permission to use City park land to carry out this plan.
For professionals in the museum world, there are parallels of the Autry case to the actions of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and the recent Montana Supreme Court decision involving the Charles Bair Family Museum in Martinsdale, Montana. In the Montana case, the Montana Supreme Court ordered the removal of the entire Board of Directors of the Charles Bair Family Museum for dereliction of fiduciary duties.
Students in Museum Studies programs across the country will be able to participate in a discussion among museum professionals, accountants, historians, and others concerned about this controversial proposal. The forum is intended as a place for a serious discussion of Autry fiduciary duties, non-profit accounting rules, and the viable alternatives to Autry's continued stewardship of the Southwest Museum.
Each day, the blog will have two types of postings for the comment and discussion. First, there will be a chronological daily posting of the history of how the Autry Museum was entrusted with the assets of the Southwest Museum and how, over time, it appears the Board of the Autry Museum became intent to breach fiduciary duties owed to the Southwest's assets. Second, there will be a Current Events post or postings providing details of what is happening right now as Autry tries to convince the Los Angeles City Council that it should allow Autry to "absorb," and therefore wipe from the face of the earth, the Southwest Museum.
Interested folks are encouraged to visit the blog and help start a thoughtful conversation about the issues. Please forward this invitation to participate to students, historians, teachers, and other professionals who you think will be interested in this issue which intersects Los Angeles' political, civic and cultural worlds.
Mark Kenyon and Daniel Wright
MWA Donates $1000
The Mount Washington Association has donated $1000 to the Avenue 50 Studio to help mitigate extensive losses caused to the non-profit gallery and community arts resource from a recent burglary. The Association's board presented a check to the Avenue 50 Studio¢s Kathy Gallegos at their recent meeting at the Southwest Museum.
The Avenue 50 Studio is a non-profit art gallery formed in 1999 to support the cultural vitality of the community of Northeast L.A. with the objective of enhancing public recognition and appreciation of our multicultural art community, and providing support for visual artists, writers and poets.
The Mount Washington Association was formed in 1954 by residents of the Mount Washington community of Northeast Los Angeles. Its purpose is to preserve our community's scenic beauty, encourage and promote our cultural activities, support our educational resources and act as a forum for issues of concern to our residents and the residents of our neighboring communities. Visit www.mtwashington.org for more information, Mount Washington news and weather.












Nice Day for 5 Gay Weddings

Councilman Huizar married
Carl Johnson and Carl Matthes

by Tom Topping
On July 13, 2008, five gay couples in Eagle Rock joined the landslide of gay Californian couples in exchanging wedding vows. (The marriages were made possible by a recent California Supreme Court decision.)
Michael and Eugenie Nogueira, (Sir Michael's Party rentals) provided their very comfortable and beautiful Hill Drive estate as the venue for these Eagle Rock nuptials. Performing the five ceremonies were CD14 Councilman Jose Huizar, who did two, and Superior Court Judge Zeke Zeidler, who did the other three.
The couples wed that day by Judge Zeidler, (himself just married to his longtime partner the month before) were Bill Mitchel to David Stokes, Randy Burt to Eric DeLaCruz, and Eagle Rock civic leader Herb Larrimore to his long time partner Harry Park.
Councilman Huizar married Carl Johnson to local piano maestro Carl Matthes. What made this special, though, is that Carl Matthes's sister Ella Matthes was betrothed to Dr. Gladi Adams at the same time, which may be the first brother and sister gay wedding ever.
The event was billed as the "Marriage Mixer," and organized by the Uptown Gay and Lesbian Alliance, a well known local gay and lesbian organization.


New Senior Lead Officer

for Eagle Rock
by Tom Topping

Officer Orange

After barely a year at the post, Eagle Rock Senior Lead Officer Lenny Davis is being reassigned to the Hollywood area. Eagle Rock had just barely gotten to know him, with his Santa Claus like facial coloring and features that matched his friendly and open demeanor.
Replacing him is Officer Orange, a tall, dark and handsome man who lives in nearby Pasadena.
He said, explaining how he and his neighbors help keep their neighborhood safe, "I'm here for you. I live in Pasadena. I live right near the Rose Bowl, I live in a community where everybody is pretty much retirees, the average person in my neighborhood is about 80 years old. That being said, I'm being (the police's) eyes and ears as well. If we see a suspicious person walking through the neighborhood at the wee hours of the night, or loud car, bumpin' his sound, we're calling the police, and we want the police to be there to monitor that type of activity. So if you take it personal, the way we have, we're (the L.A.P.D.) gonna translate that into a community that's concerned, and that's what we're here to do for you."
Community members can get their chance to meet him on Tuesday, August 5, as citizens, business people and the Los Angeles Police Department will join together to participate in the 25th Annual National Night Out. The event will be from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm, and begin at the Eagle Rock Target Store (2nd Level parking lot) at 2626 Colorado Blvd.


Hey Tom-
Nice article on the takedown on Drew St. We've won a battle, but the war is still far from over. I stare down up and coming "hoodies" as we are calling them now (due to the hooded oversized sweatshirts hiding their faces and of course the "hood" reference...), some as young as 11 or 12 years old walking around with their chests all stuck out thinking they are going to have a chance to move up in the ranks now that some of the shot-callers have been taken down. No time to rest.
On another note, have you done a food review on the new Red Dragon restaurant at the All Star Lanes? Their food is amazing, best chinese food north of Chinatown.
Mongolian beef is outstanding, orange chicken is wonderful, portions are generous and the place is empty.
They are getting ready to put the finishing touches on a new bar after remodeling the entire dining room and its nice. I am celebrating my 50th there this weekend, and am proud to be patronizing a local place to do it.
Bowling alley aside, this is a great place for the family to enjoy a good sit-down meal. Much more generous than Panda and a whole lot better tasting than OK Chinese food.
Check it out, let me know what you think. And pass the word, I don't want another good eating place to go out of business because no one knew it was there.
Take care and thanks again for the article.
Maggie Garson-Ray

An event created to showcase the best of local Eagle Rock cuisine while supporting a local social service organization known as (GLAD) the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, will be on August 23, 2008 from noon to 6: p.m.
The event is set to showcase local restaurants that will provide delicious samplings of selected menu items. It is sure to draw residents of all ages from the local and surrounding areas for a fun filled and informative day. Where else can you go to try delicious samples of the new and hot, as well as the classic restaurants of Eagle Rock. Your participation will not only be a fun and tasty experience, but will also benefit a crucial social service agency serving the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing community, throughout the entire southern California area.
It will also serve as way for GLAD, the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce and local businesses to connect with the community at large. Opportunities for sponsors, vendors and entertainers are still available and will help the success and support continuation of this inaugural event.
GLAD has been improving the lives of the deaf and hard of hearing since its creation as a volunteer organization in 1969. The mission of GLAD is to ensure equal access of the deaf and hard of hearing community to the same opportunities afforded their hearing counterparts. The organization's general purposes and powers are directed around the promotion of the social, recreational, cultural, educational, and vocational well being of its deaf and hard of hearing consumers. GLAD is proud to be housed in the former Women's Christian Temperance Union building, an Eagle Rock historical landmark and is a 501c3 Non-profit organization Tax ID Number 95-2677094.
The Tast of Eagle Rock will be held on the GLAD campus, located at 2222 Laverna Avenue, in Eagle Rock from 12:00 pm-6:00 pm. Tickets are on sale now at www.gladinc.org.
For more information contact Rachel Braver at GLAD, 323-550-4274, rbraver@gladinc.org, www.gladinc.org.


Curves of Eagle Rock Celebrates a Birthday!
Local women's fitness club reaches 5th anniversary in local community
When Lynda & Joyce D'Angelo, owners of Curves in Eagle Rock, opened the business 5 of years ago, the mission was to give the women in the Eagle Rock community a complete aerobic and strength training workout in a fun, supportive environment.
"It's exciting to have been a part of the Eagle Rock community for so long, providing women with weight loss guidance and a fun, doable program," said D'Angelo. "We feel our success in Eagle Rock stems from not only the strength of the Curves brand, but our dedication to helping women get fit."
Since D'Angelo opened Curves of Eagle Rock in 2003, women have been able to exercise in an environment designed strictly for them.
To celebrate the anniversary, Curves of Eagle Rock is offering special sign up discounts all week and hosting and Open house Friday and Saturday, August 22nd & 23rd. We will have healthy food, fun, and give aways. Stop by, we want to meet you and your fitness goals.
Under the direction of Richard B. Kreider, PhD, FACSM, scientists have put the Curves fitness and weight-loss program to rigorous testing, scrutinizing its effects on hundreds of women. The results? Curves works! Women on the Curves plan have lost weight and kept it off, boosted their metabolism, lost body fat, gained muscle, and enjoyed several other significant benefits.
According to D'Angelo, the Curves plan focuses on firing up the metabolism, small meals throughout the day, a broad variety of healthy food and strength training. Curves' exercise program consists of thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, during which participants work all major muscle groups and receive a great cardio workout. It includes all five components of a complete exercise program: warm-up, strength training, cardio, cool down, and stretching.
In addition to a proven workout plan, Curves of Eagle Rock offers various programs to help motivate and assist women in obtaining a healthy lifestyle, including: CurvesSmart™ personal coaching system, a new technology pioneered by Curves that offers a precision designed workout, moment to moment feedback and progress reports to keep members motivated while they work out; and www.CurvesComplete.com, an online weight-loss subscription service that provides subscribers with diet and fitness information, tools, experts and motivation to achieve their weight-loss goals.
"We look forward to continuing the Curves program in the Eagle Rock area and helping women achieve their goals," said D'Angelo.
For more information on how to become a member, contact Lynda D'Angelo at 323-259-5800.
About Curves
Curves works every major muscle group with strength training, cardio and stretching in every 30 minute workout. And now there's CurvesComplete.com: an online diet and fitness solution based on founder Gary Heavin's New York Times bestselling book Curves, Permanent Results Without Permanent Dieting and the results of an ongoing university study. Heavin and his wife Diane are considered the innovators of the express fitness phenomenon that has made exercise available to more than four million women worldwide. With more than 10,000 locations in dozens of countries, Curves is the world's largest fitness franchise. For more information, please visit: or www.curvescomplete.com.


Local Ladies Win 2008 "Women in Business" Awards
Senator Jack Scott, Assemblymember Paul Krekorian and Assemblymember Anthony Portantino will honor 20 businesswomen from across Southern California at the 9th Annual Women in Business Awards set for September 19, 2008 at the Castaway Restaurant in Burbank.
Carla Christofferson and Kathy Goodman, the co-owners of the LA Sparks basketball team have been tapped to present the keynote address during the luncheon. The three legislators will report on the latest from the state capitol.
Each year, the three area legislators honor businesswomen who have contributed to the economic growth and well-being of Southern California. These women exemplify the broad range of accomplishments women have achieved in our communities.
The following Eagle Rock women will be recognized for their achievements on Sept. 19th:


With a sense of humor and unwavering enthusiasm, Renee approaches the unique challenges of a non-profit with unbridled energy and a fastidious attention to detail. She deftly handles operations at the Center for the Arts and ably collaborates with other non-profit Organizations, businesses, schools, artists, galleries, and volunteer groups to produce highly successful and memorable events.
"We are extremely proud of Renee and we are very fortunate to have her as one of our most outstanding staff members," Executive Director Julia Salazar said.
An Eagle Rock native with deep roots in the community, Dominique is a graduate of Occidental College with an Advanced Baccalaureate Degree in Theatre and English. She is the grand niece of early California artist, John A. Dominique. She studied abroad in Oxford. Before contributing to the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, Dominique was successful as a jewelry designer, performer, and branch manager in the career placement industry.
Renee's team at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock has no doubt that she will continue to inspire and motivate with her verve and extraordinary dedication.


Tanis Rhines, the owner of The Garden Spa'T Organic Skin Care, had a successful corporate career as a scientist. However, when Tanis was diagnosed at the age of 20 with atypical cell growth, a precursor to cancer, she could not deny the calling to help other women take care of the largest organ of the body, their skin. Tanis has undergone over 80 procedures to remove pre-cancerous lesions and because of this, her mission and her passion are to educate and support other women in their pursuit for healthy and beautiful skin.
Ms. Rhines possesses a MA in Cellular and Molecular Genetics, a BA in Biology, and a minor in Chemistry. She has conducted fertilization research, been a science educator, and has worked in the pharmaceutical and microbiological industries. Today, Tanis operates the Garden Spa'T and is Director of an innovative Telepharmacy program at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. She also serves on the board of the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce, was a founding member of "The People Connectors" – a diverse networking group, is a member of the Women's Twentieth Century Club and volunteers at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts.
The Women In Business Legislative Update and Awards will take place Friday, September 19th at the Castaway, 1250 Harvard Road in Burbank. Registration is at 11am and the Luncheon Program starts at 11:30.
Seats are available for $35 each or tables are $300 for 10 guests. Dealine for reservations is September 5th, 2008. Checks are to be made out to "NAWBO-LA Enterprise Institute"
Mail to Women in Business Awards Att: Anita Avakian 620 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale CA #403 Glendale CA 91203-1257 For further information contact Julianne Hines 626.577.9944


2nd Annual Celebration for High School Graduates and Their Families in Cypress Park
The Greater Cypress Park Neighborhood Council held its 2nd Annual Celebration for High School Graduates and their families at the Los Angeles River Center on July 15th. Even though the recent release of new figures for the drop-out rates in Los Angeles show the graduation rate for North East High Schools to be low, Cypress Park can boast of thirteen (13) new graduates who are really going places. Family members, friends, stakeholders, and board members cheered as Gus Lizarde, GCPNC board chair, announced the graduates' future plans: Alexander Aguilar, Cal State Northridge – Nursing; Omar Aguirre, Pasadena City College – Kinesiology; Alexander Cabrera, Glendale Community College – Science / Education; Alejandra Cortez, USC – undecided; Gabriel Farran, Cal State Fullerton – Business Management; Marcos Alexandro Figueroa, Seattle University – Mathematics; David Gonzalez, Dartmouth – Government & Pre-law; Rafael Guzman, Pasadena City College – Art; Dominique Lopez, East Los Angeles College – Art & English; Selma C. Lopez, Azusa Pacific University – Psychology; Frank Luna, Glendale Community College – Counseling; Estephani Orduña, Pasadena City College – Psychology; Ramon Robles, Jr., East Los Angeles College – undecided; Clarissa Valencia, UCLA – Astronomy. These talented and ambitious students show a side of Cypress Park in stark contrast to the recent press coverage of the neighborhood; there are plenty of good kids, with supportive families, who work hard, set goals, graduate from high school, and then head off to achieve an even greater goal of graduating from college.
Councilmember Ed Reyes attended the event and congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments, encouraging them to further their education and to give back to the community while presenting each with a certificate of achievement. Each graduate also received certificates from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Assemblymember Kevin de Leon, presented by East Area Director, Abigail Ramirez-Marquez and Field Representative, Alana Yanez. Gus Lizarde presented each graduate with a book from the neighborhood council: "Choices for the High School Graduate: A Survival Guide for the Information Age." Before the ceremony, graduates and their families were treated to a special lasagna dinner and celebratory cake. The evening's program was rounded out with a show of graffiti art canvasses created by participants in the recent Art Storm event at the Cypress Park Community Center (which will continue for another 10 sessions, beginning soon) and a special performance by the Franklin High School Cheerleaders.
To inspire other Cypress Park youth and to outreach for next year's event, the Greater Cypress Park Neighborhood Council will hang a banner with the graduate names and a congratulatory message in the Cypress Park Library and Cypress Park Recreation Center auditorium. For more information about this event and other GCPNC activities, please call 323-221-4740 or visit www.gcpnc.info.


Senator Scott Bills Signed by Governor
Two pieces of legislation authored by State Senator Jack Scott (D-Pasadena) have been signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger – including one that provides help for seniors with long-term care insurance.
Long-Term Care Prompt Payment Act (Scott) would impose a late payment penalty of 10% on long-term care claims that are more than 30 days past due. For several years now, health insurers have been required to reimburse claims promptly or face penalties. But, that hasn't been the case for payments on long-term care insurance.
"Recent published reports indicated that nearly one in four long-term care claims in California were denied in 2005," stated Senator Scott. "This legislation would help to curb that by making sure that insurers pay in a timely manner, or face penalties. According to AARP, more than 8-million Americans now have these long-term care policies and we want to make sure they are getting what they paid for."
Long-term care insurance helps pay for services beyond ordinary health insurance policies. These policies usually help pay for in-home help, assisted living or nursing home care.
Another piece of legislation authored by Senator Jack Scott (D-Pasadena) that updates open enrollment policies in which a parent may select the school his or her child will attend has been also signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger.
Current law requires that school districts establish policies of "open enrollment" to allow parents to choose the school their child will attend. This bill will renew and revise the existing state requirement for open enrollment and ensure that local policies are coordinated with federal requirements.
The bill was prompted by complaints from parents that some school districts were declaring schools to "closed" to transfers without any factual evidence of overcrowding. Therefore, the bill provides that a district must determine the capacity of its schools in a non-arbitrary manner based on enrollment and available space, and eliminates a district's discretion to close a school to transfers solely based upon the district's policy.
The legislation was signed July 10, 2008 and became Chapter 113 of 2008.


Summer Night Lights '08
The Mayor's Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD), in partnership with the City's Department of Recreation and Parks, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), will launch the "Summer Night Lights" program - eight (8) weeks of expanded programming for youth and families, in eight (8) park facilities in the Mayor's Gang Reduction and Youth Development Zones. The 2008 "Summer Night Lights" program provides these fun-filled, positive opportunities for our young people living in the most crime-ridden communities throughout the City and will serve as a pilot for necessary programming in coming years.
Cypress Park Recreation Center,
2630 Pepper Avenue,

Los Angeles, 90065
Glassell Park Recreation Center,
3650 Verdugo Road,

Los Angeles, 90065
Research has consistently shown that youth are most likely to commit violent crimes between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight. Additionally, crime spikes during the summer months when longer daylight hours also result in youth searching for activities to cure restlessness and boredom. According to LAUSD, nine (9) additional middle and high schools across the City will transfer to a traditional school calendar this year. This means that 24,090 more students will be out of school looking for activities during the summer months.
A Program Manager within the Mayor's GRYD Office will oversee the program in their designated zone and convene an advisory group which will include key local stakeholders that will be involved in the planning and implementation process. Local stakeholders will include LAPD, LAUSD, Recreation and Parks, Cultural Affairs, Council District Offices, community and faith-based organizations, intervention workers, community residents, youth, business leaders, and others.
The "Summer Night Lights" program has three (3) major components:
1. Extended Hours & Programming: From July 4 - Labor Day, eight Recreation Centers will extend their hours until midnight, four nights a week (Wednesday - Saturday) and expand programming to include youth-centered recreational, educational and artistic activities to engage youth in positive activities during peak times for violence. Youth will conduct outreach from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and programming at the park will begin at 7 p.m. and go until 12 midnight.
2. Youth Squad: 10 community youth coordinators will be hired to create and staff the extended hours and programs. Community coordinators will be at-risk youth, ages 17-20, and will receive stipends for 10 weeks. Training for the Youth Squad will start two weeks prior to the kick-off.
3. Cease-Fire: Interventionists will help maintain cease-fires on site (if applicable) at the Recreation Centers and in the surrounding community. They will assist in referring youth and in collaboration with recreation and parks staff, will assist in overseeing community coordinators and participate in the expanded programming (boxing, life skills workshops, etc.)