Von's Expansion Unveiled
Gas station gone, alley will go, too.
Northeast residents have been asking for years about
what's happening with the vacant lot near Von's Eagle Rock. The wait is
over as Von's representatives unveiled their plans just last month at
the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council Land Use Committee meeting.
The empty lots that abutted La Loma Road formerly
held a motel, a small apartment complex and an old Helm's bakery
building. These lots were purchased by Von's before 2003, when Nick
Pacheco was Councilman. At that time, a plan to add retail spaces,
restaurants and a route 66 theme gas station was shelved as city rules
forced Von's to delay building plans for a minimum of five years. The
development was put on hold because they took rent controlled housing
units off the market without providing for the replacement of it.
Now, as the five years have elapsed and the economy
is picking up, the development is on the front burner again. The new
plans do not include a gas station, but do provide at least two
restaurant spaces and up to eight other retail spaces. Parking is
increased by an estimated 30% and upgraded landscaping is also
Interestingly, the current building will be extended
on the north side, continuing to La Loma Road. The alley that currently
runs west to Genevieve will be teed off, with a new driveway being
added right at the La Loma - Colorado triangle.
The closing off of the alley was the only change
that wasn't allowed by right for Von's developers, who came to the ERNC
Land Use Committee for their approval. Von's representatives said that
"no one uses it," but it is used regularly by locals trying to avoid
rush hour congestion or long traffic light waits when entering or
leaving the store.
No word yet on whether any prospective tenants have
either expressed interest or are being solicited.
Relighting Figueroa's Historic Signs
Organizers need your help
Inouye and Nicole Possert
Under the auspices of the North Figueroa Association
(the Figueroa corridor's business improvement district), a grassroots
campaign has taken root to bring back Figueroa's historic lights and
give new appeal to this alignment of Route 66.
The project has just received a grant from the
National Park Service's Route 66 Corridor Preser-vation Program. Now, a
totally community-driven fundraising campaign is being launched to
provide the required matching funds for the project itself and
maintenance. Here's where your help is needed.
The first and most obvious target—the HIGHLAND
THEATRE sign. Not only is it a landmark of the neighborhood, it is an
important example of a rooftop electric sign, one of the biggest ones
still in existence in the city.
A second sign,
perhaps not so obvious is the
"Manning's Coffee Store" sign atop Las Cazuelas restaurant in the 5700
block of Figueroa. The Museum of Neon Art has deemed this sign a rare
example of "transitional electric signage"—as it combines neon with an
older form of signage called "opal glass"—white sheets of glass with
letters formed in relief, placed in the sign and lit from inside the
sign. If you look at the skeleton that remains in place today, you can
see where the opal glass letters used to sit, with the Manning's and
some arrows outlined in neon.
The original opal glass letters have been
tracked down, and a neon restoration team
will replace the neon.
You can sponsor a
lightbulb for the theatre for an
affordable $19.24 (it's a 1924 building), or you can sponsor an opal
glass letter, a neon letter, a neon arrow, or make a general donation.
We encourage groups to think about sponsoring a specific letter (the
Highland Park Heritage Trust is sponsoring the first H and the I).
Send your check, made payable to "North Figueroa
Association" (it's tax deductible) to: c/o Future Studio, 5558 N.
Figueroa St., Los Angeles CA 90042. Or use paypal to the email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure we get your name, address, and email
so we can keep you informed of progress. If you want to sponsor a
specific letter, please note that with your check or in your email.
The project is expected to get underway early next
year so we need to raise these funds in the next couple months!
Single bulb: $19.24
Manning's Coffee Store
Opal Glass Letters: (2 sets: COFFEE STORE, total 22 letters): $66. each
Neon Letters: (2 sets: MANNING'S, total 18 characters): $99. each
Neon Arrows (2 arrows): $660. each
Questions can be emailed to email@example.com
or leave a message at 323-255-5030 and someone will get back to you.
For more info on the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, go to
For more information on the North Figueroa
Association, go to oldla.org
Help Beautify Eagle Rock with the CERB
The Collaborative Eagle
Rock Beautiful (CERB) invites all to garden in Alatorre Park and help
maintain the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail on the first Saturday of each
month (excluding December) from 9 am to noon, beginning on November 6.
The Girl Scouts of Altadena will assist on November 6. The Eagle Rock
Canyon Trail is located on a unique 4.5 acre nature preserve adjacent
to the Eagle Rock. This massive project encompasses the last remaining
open space between Eagle Rock and Pasadena and features a native and
drought-resistant botanical garden in a magnificent setting with vistas
to the sea for painters, hikers and sightseers.
CERB also invites the community to join in its
monthly street plantings on the third Saturday of each month (excluding
December). The next meeting is on November 20 from 9 am to noon.
Volunteers will meet at Yosemite and Eagle Rock Boulevards.
Basic tools will be provided for all volunteers.
However, volunteers are invited to bring their own work gloves and
trowels, if they have them.
The Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful is a
non-profit organization, founded in 2001, to bring local volunteers and
agencies together to enrich and beautify Eagle Rock. The mission of the
Collaborative is to create low- to no-cost, drought-tolerant
landscaping for area medians and parkways which alleviates dependence
on uncertain City funding. Tax-deductible contributions to support
median landscaping and the purchase of the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail
property are always appreciated. For further information, see
www.cerb.us or call 323-255-9400 or 323-254-6540.
Colorado Terrace to Expand-
Phase II Coming
Developers of the big orange senior apartment
complex on the corner
of Colorado and College View, long the subject of ridicule and called
by some "the ugliest building in L.A.," unveiled their plans to expand
their building last month at the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council Land
Use Committee meeting.
This building was originally done with the approval
and support of
the Eagle Rock Association, (TERA) and was one of the few developments
built in full compliance with the much heralded Colorado Boulevard
Specific Plan. Developer Kurken Alyanakian said that he would have
included the addition in the original plans, but the property owners
would not decide to sell at that time.
Alyanakian stated that Caltrans was requiring him to
traffic from the parking lot onto Colorado Boulevard. This took the
committee by surprise, as that section of Colorado usually has a steady
stream of traffic coming through that mostly blind curve at relatively
high speed. (Observers believe that Alyanakian mis-spoke as Caltrans
has no jurisdiction over traffic on Colorado Boulevard, and instead is
under the purview of the L.A. City department of transportation.)
As is always the case with those having to appear
before the land
use committee, developers are there to ask for permission to do
something that is not already allowed by right. Tonight was no
exception, as a zoning change was the real reason they were here. They
were asking that the current C-4 zoning be changed to C-2. This was
caught by former TERA president Michael Tharp, who is a professional
"Why is this not 'spot' zoning?" he asked. The
member said it was a MORE restrictive zoning, which Tharp countered
"It's less restrictive," Tharp said.
"More restrictive," they replied.
They went back and forth two more times, before
Tharp prevailed. He
explained that the difference between C-4 and C-2 refers to allowable
uses. C-4 is almost all of the Colorado Specific Plan area, and the C-2
zoning change would allow, among others, retail with limited
manufacturing, service stations and garages, churches, schools, auto
sales, childcare centers, homeless shelters, theaters and broadcast
The committee adjourned without making a decision,
decided to put off the issue and take up the friendly sounding
invitation from Alyanakian to tour the building at their leisure.
Water Main Progresses
Water mail replacement
Boulevard is moving along on schedule. The initial laying of the main
under the street went quickly and without a hitch, but the consequent
hook-ups to feed each street and fire hydrant has been a long slow
grind. This latest work has been the bumpiest for drivers as well, as
weeks of driving over trench plates followed by roughly filled in
crosscut trenches, added up to a bone jarring ride along the eastern
section of Colorado from Loleta to Genevieve Streets.
All work is scheduled to come to a halt, however,
completion of this eastern section, as Colorado Boulevard merchants had
earlier asked for a reprieve from the dust and noise, and traffic and
parking interruptions throughout the holiday season. With the
completion of final details along this eastern section of water main,
work won't continue until the end of February, when it will start again
at the corner of Eagle Rock and Colorado, and travel east until it is
finished, hopefully by the end of June.
Paramedic Of The Year 2010
Luncheon & Awards Ceremony
Battalion 2 Commanders
are very proud to
announce the recipient of the 2010 Paramedic of the Year Award. This
year's award goes to Firefighter/ Paramedic Ruben Terrazas of Fire
Station 42, in the Eagle Rock/ Glassell Park area.
There will be a luncheon celebrating Firefighter
achievements at Fire Station 42 with the local community on Thursday,
November 18, 2010 at 11:00am. ("A" Platoon on duty) The luncheon will
be hosted by The Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce. We have invited Mayor
Villaraigosa, City Council Members Jose Huizar, Tom LaBonge, Eric
Garcetti and Ed Reyes, along with the Fire Chief of the Los Angeles
Fire Department, Millage Peaks. Rescue 42 serves neighborhoods in
Council Districts 1, 4, 13 and 14.
This is a great time to celebrate with Ruben and his
honor his commitment to the Fire Department, and the citizens of Los
Please Join the Chiefs in Battalion 2 at our
luncheon to honor
Ruben Terrazas, this year's Paramedic of the Year. There will be an
awards ceremony starting at 11:00. Immediately following the
presentation, a great lunch will be served courtesy of the Eagle Rock
Chamber of Commerce.
If you can join us, please call (213) 485-6272 and
leave your name
and how many will be coming with you so we can make sure to have plenty
of food for everyone.
DATE: Thursday, November 18, 2010
PLACE: Fire Station 42, 2021 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, CA
TIME: 11 :00 am
Oktoberfest in Eagle Rock
Solheim Lutheran Home
Solheim Lutheran Home, a not for profit retirement
community in Eagle Rock, is known to be a place of peace, serenity,
security, and abundance. On Saturday evening, October 23, the emphasis
was on abundance, an abundance of JOY! In the finest Bavarian
tradition, the stage was set for a good time, food, music and fun, Ja!
Nearly 175 local folks, Solheim residents,
volunteers, and neighbors, including council member José Huizar and
entourage, devoured the traditional meal of bratwurst, sauerkraut,
potatoes and, of course, apple strudel. And the not so traditional, but
very thoughtful, vegetarian options.
Men don't like to dress up? HA! There was "hosen"
everywhere, Lederhosen, Plattlerhosen, Bundhosen. They were all there,
held up by hosentraeger (suspenders) and sporting a myriad of fancy
socks beneath. There were plain and embroidered shirts, topped by hats;
trilbies, alpines and fedoras. Many of the women also suited up in
colorful flouncy skirts and vests, with hair in traditional Bavarian
braids. Many of the staff and volunteers were also smartly costumed
thanks to the handiwork of Mary Casaburi.
Thanks to the generosity of the Solheim Board of
Directors, we were rockin' to the tunes and humor of the great Bavarian
band Stewedsheidzel (that's "Bavarian Stew"), folks danced and sang
along to traditional tunes, especially enjoying the Beer Barrel Polka,
In Heaven There is no Beer, and The Chicken Dance. We also toasted
life, laughter and drink! But drinking is not taken lightly at
Oktoberfest, hails of "Eins, zwei, drei... G'SUFFA!!!" and cheers of
"Prost!" accompanied the traditional swigging from beautiful
The band also led us in some traditional games.
Yodeling, "stein holding" and the men's pretty knees were happily
contested. Good natured participants were cheered on with boisterous
support from the crowd. The winners Brad Steed in yodeling, David
Russell and Kimberly Knab in stein holding and David Casaburi and Edwin
Hernandez in the men's pretty knees contest, look forward to being
challenged next year.
Kudos to Council member José Huizar and staff for
sharing the festivities. While the councilman wished us all a good
time, and hopes for a bright tomorrow, he was also a great sport,
dancing in the final round of the chicken dance.
But you can count on the younger crowd to steal the
show! Angelina and Talula, both age 3, had just met, but it was instant
friendship. They took the crowd by storm with their dancing. Not to be
outdone, David, a strapping youth, gave the men, and Kimberly, a run
for their money in the stein holding contest. How long can you hold a
full, large stein, in one hand, arm straight out in front of you?
This year's festival, a fundraising event to benefit
Solheim Lutheran Home, was born of the playful creativity of Tina
Antypas, Development Director, and the Development Committee, headed by
Sue Clauss. The generous time and energy of volunteers, including
Daniel, Gretchen, Denise and other nursing students of Pasadena City
College, made the evening possible.
One question got the same response all around, from
local families, Solheim residents, and volunteers. "Should Eagle Rock
Oktoberfest become an annual tradition?" "JA!" A feather in the trilby
of Solheim Lutheran Home for bringing a festive Bavarian folk tradition
to Eagle Rock.
Another Craftsman Home
Lost to Stucco
Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society
The remodel of a
craftsman style house on Mount Royal Drive reminds us of the need to
protect our historic neighborhood. This sad destruction of the exterior
woodwork, windows, and doors and their replacement with stucco and new
imitation details is an ongoing problem in our area. The developer
seems oblivious to the fact that restorable period style houses bring a
premium price in our beautiful neighborhoods. These tasteless
modifications also lower the value of the surrounding properties. A
sign on the property reads Another Project Done by Universal Home
A sad way to remember Eagle rock's centennial.
Historic Preservation Overlay Zones, Historic Cultural Monument status
and Mills Act property tax relief will be discussed at the Eagle Rock
Valley Historical Society meeting Tuesday January 18, 2011.
El Mio Home Tour
The L.A City Cultural
Monument Victorian residence of " El Mio" will be open for a Home tour
and craft fair November 28, 2010. El Mio is perched on a hilltop
overlooking historic Highland Park. Completed in 1887, the home was
built in the Eastlake Queen Anne-style by the occults writer Judge
David Patterson Hatch. In 1890 the residence was acquired by Charles
William Smith and remained in the Smith family until the 1960s. In 1900
Smith was appointed by Henry E. Huntington to run the Los Angeles
Railway's Yellow Car trolley system. From his hilltop home he could see
the Arroyo Seco Valley being developed with rail lines running from
downtown to Pasadena. It is due to the Smith's long residence that the
house is listed as "The Smith Estate" on the National Register of
In the late 1980s ardent preservationists Michael
and Lacy Gage purchased the house and were responsible for various
restorations. The current owners Tim and Mari Parker acquired the home
in 1997, and after a devastating fire in 2001, have been working to
restore the home to its original luster. It has a rebuilt attic, the
exterior color scheme is based on the original, and the interior has
been largely decorated to reflect the original period. The home has
Victorian furnishings and hand painted stenciling in the entrance hall,
dining room, and many of the other rooms. The Parkers have graciously
offered to open their home for a tour and craft fair.
Proceeds from ticket and craft sales are tax
deductible and support the Milford Archaeological Research Institute, a
non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness and
the understanding of archaeology in the Desert Southwest.
Update on the Eagle Rock Housing Market
What is Your Property Worth?
The days are getting shorter and the nights are
getting cooler! I hope everyone is having a wonderful autumn so far,
and are looking forward to the upcoming holiday season as much as I am
- one of my favorite times of year! With all the doom and gloom about
the housing market in the media these days, and so much negative press
everywhere you turn, many of you may be wondering just what is going on
with the housing market here in Eagle Rock, and how properties are
selling these days.
The first thing to keep in mind is that real estate
markets are extremely localized. What is happening in the market in one
neighborhood is often completely different from what is happening in
another - home sales may be sluggish and values may be declining in one
area, and nearby the market may be thriving. The driving force behind
home sales is buyer demand, and a home will ultimately be worth what a
buyer is willing to pay for it – some areas are more desirable than
others, reflected accordingly in the prices.
Here in Eagle Rock, the 3rd quarter of 2010 (June 1
– September 30) saw a total of 57 new listings of single family homes
in the 90041 zip code, according to the Southern California Multiple
Listing Service (MLS). During that same period, a total of 31
properties closed escrow, with an average sale price of $454,396.00,
and at an average of 60 days on the market. Comparing those statistics
to those for the 3rd quarter of 2009, there were a total of 52
properties listed for sale, 38 properties which closed escrow, at an
average sale price of $472,588.00 and an average of 59 days on the
So what do these numbers mean? First of all, the
average sales price is exactly that – it is simply an average of the
final sales prices of all the homes that sold during that period, it is
NOT an indication of value. A change in the average sales price does
not indicate a change in the property values of a given market – if
more high priced properties sell it will produce a higher average, and
vice-versa, regardless of the actual direction the property values are
going. A better indication of the change in value, and a way to roughly
estimate property values in a given area, is by looking at the average
price per square foot (calculated by dividing the total purchase price
by the total number of square feet of the home). Of the sold homes in
each period above, the average price per square foot increased by
slightly over 9% from 2009 to 2010, going from $327.73 in 2009 to
$357.38 in 2010. Although the properties sold in a given period may
have been in better overall condition and thus the difference in the
amounts, but it can also be argued that properties here in Eagle Rock,
while not at the value they were at the height of the market in 2006,
are certainly holding steady in price over the last 12 to 16 months,
and seem to be slightly on the increase. Eagle Rock is a certainly
desirable place to live, as most residents including myself will attest
to, and when properties come on the market that are priced right in a
desirable area, they usually sell very quickly.
Although the average price per square foot is a good
way to roughly estimate market value, there are many other factors
besides this taken into account when determining a property's worth.
Items such as location, property condition, size of the lot, number of
bedrooms and bathrooms, and the presence of upgrades and special
features such as remodeled kitchens and swimming pools all contribute
to the value of a home. Sow how exactly is the fair market value
determined, and how do buyers get assurance that the home they are
buying is worth what they are paying for it? This is where the
appraisal comes in. An appraisal is strongly recommended for all
buyers, and when they are obtaining a loan for the purchase, the lender
will insist upon it. An independent appraiser will be hired to conduct
a review and visual inspection of the property (called the "subject
property"), and will present their findings in an appraisal report,
which is basically a written statement of the appraiser's opinion of
value. Most appraisals done on single family homes are done using the
"sales comparison approach", where the value is determined by examining
other recent home sales in the area, and comparing them to the subject
property. In preparing the report, the appraiser will take into
consideration the various features of the property, including the size,
condition, age, scope and amount of upgrades, etc., and then compare
that property to several other properties in the immediate area that
have sold within a specified time period, usually no more than 6 months
prior, and also look at some current active listings and pending sales.
The appraiser will try to include properties most similar to the
subject property as possible, and will make calculated adjustments to
the value based on the differences, ultimately arriving at the fair
market value. Buyers should always have an appraisal contingency
written into their offer by their agent to protect them, which means
that as a condition of the contract, the appraisal value must be equal
to or greater than the agreed upon contract purchase price. If the
appraisal does end up appraising for a lower price, the buyer will
still have the option to either cancel the contract with no penalty, or
re-negotiate the contract terms with the seller.
So when is a good time to buy? Most experts agree
that when you find the property you love and are comfortable with the
monthly mortgage payment, don't wait and try to "play the market".
Prices appear to be holding steady and it does not look like there will
be any further significant drop in values. 30 year fixed interest rates
are at there lowest amount in nearly FIFTY YEARS, and a small increase
in the rate could dramatically increase your monthly payment for the
same priced home. Remember, you are buying a home first and an
investment second, and each home is unique – if you pass up your chance
on a home you love, that chance may be gone forever!
For questions or comments, you can reach John at
30 years ago:
Highland Park, 1980
Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson held a meeting at the
Ebell Club with "The Arroyo Group" a planning and architectural firm,
over their plans to revitalize the the area of Figueroa St between Ave
50 and Ave 61.
Nov 12, 1980
Martin "Meb" Brantley, a 53 year old resident of
4500 Mosher St, Montecito Heights, had a history of mental problems
when two L.A. County mental health workers came to take him into
protective care. When he was uncooperative, they called the LAPD. Four
officers arrived and he became more and more enraged, saying he was not
breaking any laws and that he wanted to be left alone. Neighbors along
Mosher Street gathered to watch the drama unfold, and finally the
officers shot him with taser darts and sprayed him with tear gas. That
made him even more angry, and he grabbed a typewriter and held it above
his head, as if to toss it at the officials. LAPD Officer Scott
Burkhart, 28, shot Brantley in the chest, killing him.
Brantley was well known in the neighborhood, driving
an old van with a sign reading "Mebs TV Repairs" on it. The day before
he was killed, he had accosted the local mailman, knocking him to the
ground. While many neighbors felt that the officers overreacted, they
also knew that "Meb" was volatile and often violent to others. His last
words were: "Charge me with something..you can't just take me away..Let
me alone..you have no reason to be here!"
November, 1980 Northeast Los Angeles
Four term State Assemblyman Richard Alatorre easily
won re-election to his fifth term, beating Republican challenger Dale
Reed with 67% of the vote to Reeds 28%.
35 years ago:
In November, 1975, the Trader Joe's at 1566 E
Colorado Blvd offered a 1968 Parducci Petite Syrah for $2.69.
40 Years Ago:
Kathleen Denise Arnett, a 19 year old Pasadena City
College Student and resident of 703 N. Ave 66, Highland Park, was named
to the 1971 Rose Parade Court. She stated she was "nervous and
excited..and just so happy to be on the court!" She was even more
amazed when she was named the actual Rose Queen a few days later.
45 years ago:
Northeast Los Angeles-1965
Men from the ages of 19-26 in the neighborhood knew
very well the address of 2091 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena. While it is
now a "Di-No Computer" store, back then it was the Selective Service
Office where all men were required to register and bring their draft
notices in for processing. President Lyndon B. Johnson had recently
rescinded President John F. Kennedy's policy of not drafting married
men, so thousands more fell under the threat of being called up and
sent to Vietnam. All inductions were for the Army, Navy, and Marines,
with the Air Force not asking for draftees.
45 years ago:
Heavy rains in the area contributed to minor mud
slides and flooding, particularly in Eagle Rock when a 20 foot section
of earth slipped at the rear of 2031 Las Colinas Drive in November,
Supervisor Ernest Debs made a motion to turn the 350
acres that would eventually bear his name into a County/city park.
Councilman John Holland, who represented the area, supported the plan
as long as only clean dirt was used, and no sanitation fill soil was
used for the grading. At the time, the area was very undeveloped and
the only roads through were one's constructed by the depression era
Works Progress Administration, (WPA) in the 1930's.
Violence erupted at the home of Ronald and Mary
Colin of 640 Rome Drive, Mt. Washington, on November 25, 1965. A family
fight, fueled by drinking and the threat by Ronald to shoot his wife
and six kids lead to Mary Collin calling the police. After a short
standoff, Colin laid his rifle on the front porch and announced to
officers, "If you want it, come and get it". As Officer R.J. Code went
to retrieve the weapon, Collin lunged for the weapon, attempting to
retrieve it and possibly continue his rampage. A shotgun blast from
another LAPD officer killed Colin, and the 29 year old father of six
50 years ago:
Nancy Ann Mellen, 17, of 859 Cresthaven Dr, Highland
Park, was named to the Tournament of Roses Court fr the 1961 Rose
Parade. Two weeks after the parade, the Pasadena Star News reported her
engagement to a Mr. Ronald Kendall.
50 Years ago:
Now known as the Montecito Heights Senior Center at
4545 Homer Dr, in 1960 it was called the Arroyo Seco Park Recreation
Center. On November 27, 1960, the first of four "Christmas
Charm"classes were announced. The classes for young ladies would
include tips on grooming, excercise, all of which would be preceded by
30 minutes of aerobic exercise. No word on whether Ms. Mellon, the new
Rose Princess, attended.
On November 20, 1960, Diana Jensen, a Franklin High School student, won
a speech contest competing against 43 other high school orators. The
contest was sponsored by the "Community Chest", a nationwide
charitiable organization that was eventually replaced by what is now
known as the United Way.
55 years ago:
While Romeo and Juliet was a tragic Shakespearean
tome about forbidden love, a modern day story with equally tragic
results hit the same and quiet hillside street of O Neill Street in
foothills off Huntington, above the Ascot Resevoir. George Inada, 30, a
Japanese-American man who's family owned strawberry ranches in
Oceanside, and Virginia Parschall, 25, were in love. Inada's
traditional parents did not approve of Virginia, who was divorced. So,
they took a tragic way out. They locked her German Shepherd in the
house, ran a garden hose from the exhaust pipe into the car, and
committed suicide. 10 days later they were discovered at her quiet home
at 4337 O Neill St by a neighbor. The dog, malnourished and neglected
after 10 days, survived.
"Still Cruisin" with The Eagle Rockin'
by Terrey Munday
Greetings friends and neighbors,
We would like to thank everyone who attended our
Halloween cruise-in despite the cold weather. A few even came in
costume and the cars were all decked out in the spirit of evening. The
raffle went well with two cash winners taking home $33.00 each.
Next month we will be giving away the money we have
raised all year to our charities. All of you who participate deserve a
huge hand because, without your generous purchases of tickets and
various donations, none of this would be possible.
This year we're focusing on the children of Eagle
Rock and hopefully you will be pleased with what we have decided to do
with the money. However, you have to wait till next month to find out!
Also, we are very delighted to welcome Terry May, our newest member to
the Eagle Rockin' Rodders.
It's always awesome to see some new faces at our
cruise-ins' but equally grand to see the familiar faces of past members
and members of other clubs. Your support means more to us than you
know. Once again there were over 20 cars in attendance so we have two
cars for our "pick of the month".
First pick is owned by Roger Perez. It's a 1931 Ford
Sedan with a 4 inch chopped top. It rocks a 350 engine, 350
transmission, shift kit, and Stewart Warner gauges he says he "snagged
from his buddy Rex". He got the car in 2006 after finding it in pieces
with a tree limb growing out the rear window. Since then it has been a
work in progress with Roger, giving her the nickname of "La Chona". She
proudly bears four bullet holes and rumor has it she ran moonshine back
in the days of prohibition. Keep a look out for her driving around
Eagle Rock since Roger and his lady Olga, are local residents.
The second pick is a 1967 Chevy Chevelle that
belongs to Eric and Regina Padilla. It got a lot of attention with its
"hugger orange" paint job and felt cut outs of a jack-o-lantern on the
hood. It was the perfect addition for Halloween. Eric got the car 20
years ago and at that time it needed everything. He started working on
it right away and within the first year he entered it in a car show.
That day he won the trophy for "best under construction" and that's all
it took. He was inspired to go all the way to pristine and finally
completed the project in 2005. It now has a 383 Stroker Engine, 400
Turbo Trans, Posi Rear-end, and is simply gorgeous inside and out.
Thank you Eric and Regina for sharing it with us and we hope to see you
and the family again next month.
We will be back at Tommy's on November 27th from 6-8
PM. As well as presenting our charitable donations we will be hosting a
toy drive in conjunction with "Fire Station 42". Please bring an
unwrapped toy to share if you can. This year the Eagle Rockin' Rodders
have much to be thankful for. We wish you all a blessed and Happy
CRA in NELA? Open House Nov. 6
Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA) is exploring
the possibility of adopting a new redevelopment project area that
overlaps with portions of four communities: Atwater Village, Cypress
Park, Elysian Valley and Glassell Park in an effort to enhance existing
commercial corridors and residential areas by using a portion of funds
you may already pay to the Local City, State, or Federal Government.
Join us at a Community Open house to learn more
about the work we do and how redevelopment could benefit your community.
CRA/LA Community Open House: Glassell Park
Saturday, November 6, 2010 | 10 am – 12 pm
Glassell Park Community and Senior Center
3750 Verdugo Road, Los Angeles, 90065
We are very pleased to inform you that yesterday,
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced
its list of grant awards for the first notice of funding availability
under the Sustainable Communities Program. The Community Redevelopment
Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA) was awarded a $2.25million
grant that will be used to significantly enhance the studies that the
CRA/LA is conducting related to the proposed redevelopment project area
in Northeast Los Angeles. We are one of two planning projects that
received awards in the state of California for this very competitive
This grant does not pre-determine the adoption of a
redevelopment project area or the final proposed boundaries. There is a
process that must be followed to ensure that the community is informed,
engaged and heard. It will help us conduct a needs assessment for
workforce development and training that is customized to our local
employers, support planning for enhanced walking and cycling facilities
that connect our neighborhoods with each other and the Los Angeles
River and support a detailed review of areas where industrial
businesses create nuisances for neighboring residential areas. Please
visit our website to download a copy of the grant application that was
submitted for the award.
Please sign-up on our interested parties list for
more information or contact Michael Cortez, Community Affairs:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-960-2664. CRA/LA Hollywood Office /
323-960-2660 www.crala.org Follow us on Facebook: The Northeast Los
Angeles (NELA) River Corridor Study For more information on the grant
please visit www.crala.org/nela or contact myself or Alison Becker at
"Truly An Evening of Hope"
by Linda Allen
The recent event of an "Evening of Hope", a
partnership of the Women's Twentieth Century Club of Eagle Rock and
Glendale Adventist Medical Center, was a wonderful, festive and
thoroughly "Pink" evening at the Clubhouse! Attendees were feted with
fun, camaraderie, good food, wonderful vendors giving and selling their
specialized creations, and an "Army of Pink" cardboard supporters of
the cancer awareness cause.
But more importantly, what came from the evening was
a "true" sense of hope. The doctors and staff of GAMC, with all their
expertise, information, caring and love, gave women who attended, a
warm sense that they, and their health, are deeply "cared" about. They
would help any woman who needs medical attention and support in this
important area, with the latest digital imaging and most recent medical
data. One lovely lady doctor was even moved to near tears by the story
of one of her patients. Hopefully, this nurturing atmosphere helped a
number of women who were afraid of seeking help, or needed to hear warm
words of encouragement, decide to seek treatment. This event would not
have been possible without GAMC and their staff, in particular Denise
Miller and coordinator, Teryl McDougall who gave so much time to this
event, organizing, gathering vendors, donating food and wondrous cake,
and additionally providing speakers, survivors, and inviting
legislators and supporters. The WTCC event committee, especially
Co-chair Karen Warren, Anne Wolf, Lois Lowrey, Martha Hidalgo and
helpers, Roe Muzingo and Lani Stapp worked hard with GMAC to insure a
wonderful evening. It was truly, "An Evening of Hope"!
Heritage Square 3rd-5th Grade Program
Free living history program for 3rd – 5th
grade classrooms receives grants from Verizon and the Crail-Johnson
Thanks to recent grants from Verizon and the
Crail-Johnson Foundation, Heritage Square Museum's free education
program for 3rd-5th grade classrooms will continue to provide a great
way for students to learn Southern California history in a fun,
interactive way. Called A Golden Vision: The Growth of Southern
California, the program's distinct components have proven to be an
effective way of teaching history without neglecting other subjects.
Results don't lie – students have improved by as much as 30% on recent
evaluations after participating in the program.
A Golden Vision is an opportunity to immerse your
students in the history, culture, and lifestyle of Los Angeles from the
1850s to the 1950s.
The program is unique in that it offers:
A curriculum for teachers that complies with the
content standards for the respective grade level and subject; a
classroom visit from a costumed museum educator; participation in
period activities during your site visit, such as learning how
blacksmiths bent metal or how Victorian society washed clothes.
New components added
This year, the museum has added new components
designed to keep students involved in local history and find ways to
keep them interested and engaged in learning. New this year to A Golden
Vision is our website and book reading contest. The website
(www.agoldenvision.org) features living history activities you can do
at home, online games, historic photographs and documents and links to
additional educational websites. The book reading contest is open to
any child currently in 2nd through 5th grade. Any child who reads three
books on California set in 1850-1950 and writes a synopsis of each will
win their family free admission to the museum and an additional prize.
The rules and a list of suggested books can be found on the website.
Participation in this program is free and will give
your students the opportunity to truly engage history and learn about
the growth of Southern California. For more information on A Golden
Vision: The Growth of Southern California or to sign up, please contact
Jessica Rivas at 323-225-2700 ext.224. Sample materials can be provided
Heritage Square is a living history museum dedicated
to telling the story of the development of Los Angeles. The museum
houses eight structures of historic and architectural importance, saved
from demolition and moved to the current site. These buildings provide
the perfect backdrop to produce quality events, exhibits and programs
that inspire the public about the history of Southern California.
Heritage Square is located at 3800 Homer
Street, off the 110 Arroyo Seco Parkway (110/Pasadena Freeway) at
Avenue 43, just North of downtown Los Angeles. For further information,
the public may call 323-225-2700 or visit our website at
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of
Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12
education through its free educational website, Verizon Thinkfinity
(www.thinkfinity.org), and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic
violence. In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded $67.9 million in
grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. It also matched
the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting
in $26.1 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through
Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer
programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 5
million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on
the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.
CicLAvia Attracts 100,000, Transforms L.A. to a Bicyclist's Paradise
Bicyclists pedal through MacArthur Park.
Councilmember Reyes thanks the nearly 100,000
bicyclists, pedestrians, dog walkers, skate boarders, roller bladers
and others who turned out for the City's first CicLAvia on Sunday, Oct.
10, 2010. Participants passed over bridges, through parks, past City
Hall and along the Los Angeles River in a 7.5-mile car-free route from
East Hollywood to Boyle Heights.
Reyes Helps Bring Bike Racks to Westlake Reyes speaks to bicyclists and
reporters about the importance of bike racks.
Councilmember Reyes, jack hammer in hands, pounded
bolts into concrete to install a bike rack in front of the CARECEN Day
Labor Center. It is one of dozens of new bike racks popping up in the
Westlake neighborhood this month intended for immigrant bicyclists, an
important and often overlooked demographic of the bicycle community.
The bike rack installations are the latest in Councilmember Reyes'
efforts to make Los Angeles a more bicycle-friendly city. The project
is a joint effort of Reyes, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and
the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.
“North by Northeast"Cutting-edge art meets artistic heritage
at the 18th Annual Arroyo Arts Collective Discovery Tours
For 18 years, Northeast
LA had played host to the Arroyo Arts Collective Discovery Tour. On
Sunday, November 21, from 9:30 AM to 5 p.m., the tour returns under the
title "North by Northeast" and will showcase more than 100 artists who
work in an array of mediums, from the traditional to the exotic to the
The self-guided auto tour features a unique glimpse
into artists' homes and studios in Highland Park, Mount Washington,
Glassell Park, Montecito Heights and Eagle Rock. It also offers a great
opportunity to pick up one-of-a-kind art works and artistic treasures
at great prices.
For those who don't wish to drive, shuttle buses
will be available with stops at select locations.
Northeast Los Angeles—or NELA, as residents call
it—has a rich creative history that dates back to the late 19th
century, when poet and writer Charles Lummis built his home "El Alisal"
at Avenue 43. The hand-hewn residence quickly became a gathering place
for writers and other luminaries. At around the same time, landscape
painter William Lee Judson founded the Los Angeles College of Fine Arts
and Architecture a few miles north. The school became USC's first
School of Fine Arts in the 1920s.
Today, Northeast Los Angeles offers a vibrant art
walk the second Saturday of each month that includes several
neighborhood galleries and attracts hundreds of enthusiasts. While the
focus is local, the growing attention NELA is getting is turning
international: the New York Times and the Financial Times of London
have taken note of the NELA scene, as have many other respected art
critics and publications.
Find out what the buzz is about and support Los
Angeles artists. Purchase tickets in advance for $10 or the day of the
tour for $15. The tour begins at the Lummis Home, where participants
will receive a map and tour badge. Maps will be available beginning at
9:30 a.m., and studios will open at 10 a.m.
A preview party featuring tour artists' work will be
held Nov. 13 in conjunction with the second Saturday art walk. The
party, which is free, will be at Future Studio Gallery, 5558 North
Figueroa Street, Los Angeles.
The tour begins at the Lummis Home (200 E. Ave. 43,
Highland Park, 90031 )Tickets are only $10 in advance and $15 on the
day of the tour and can be purchased online or at Galco's Old World
Grocery, 5702 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90031. For more information
or to purchase tickets, visit www.arroyoartscollective.org or call
Images from artists and previous Discovery Tours are
available upon request.
At top left, the American Tire building undergoes renovations as it is
converted into medical offices.
Top right, a young musician returniong home on a Sunday morning fell
asleep and crashed into the pickup shoving it on top of the honda car.
At bottom left and right, the 2010 Eagle Rock Music Festival ROCKS!!
Groundbreaking Ceremony for Improvements to Hermon
Park in the Arroyo Seco
by Wendi Riser
September 18, 2010
The historic community of Hermon recently held a
Groundbreaking Ceremony with Councilman Huizar in Hermon Park for a
$750,000 Prop K improvement project. The Improvements will include an
Americans with Disabilities compliant children's playground to replace
and add to the present playground. Increased and more efficient
security lighting throughout the park (but not the dog park) and the
installation of a new irrigation system and those used the remaining
There were several meetings with 3 Hermon community
members, two people from the Council Office and two people from the
Bureau of Engineering to discuss the project. Councilman Jose Huizar
enlisted the help of the City's General Services Department to take on
the project when the contractor who originally won the bid defaulted.
The project has now begun.
Here's some history on this project. In 2005, Hermon
leaders were approached by Mark Mariscal, then Superintendent of
Regional Operations for the Department of Recreation and Parks for our
area. He told us that Prop K funds would be coming down the pipeline
for Hermon Park. (Rec and Parks must use those funds for improvements
to the parks) He recommended that we gather community input about the
kinds of future new/additional facilities we'd like to see happen at
So as recommended, at Hermon Local Issues meetings
in January of 2006, and again in September of 2006, ideas were
discussed. Community ideas included a jogging path and exercise
equipment circuit, a fountain and landscaping, a gazebo for outside
events, turning the first tennis court into a basketball court with
community volunteer coaches, an outdoor amphitheater with wood beams
built into the southern slopes that border Via Marisol for live
theater, concerts and movies, and lastly was the request for use of a
public building for indoor community meetings.
A short time later Rec and Parks supervisor Bill
Lopez suggested the last lot next to the back tennis courts be used as
a community garden. His suggestion was taken to the Arroyo Seco Chair
of the Community Garden Committee and plans have been in the works to
make that happen.
Arthur (AJ) Jaramillo, Mark Legassie and I were the
three Hermon community members invited to be on the committee. So we
were quite surprised after taking the many suggestions we'd been asked
to glean from the community, to find out from Field Deputy Erick
Martell that the funds were already pretty much spent.
Evidently, before any improvements can be made to
the park, the present playground has to be removed to be made ADA
compliant. With mats replacing sand so that wheelchair-bound children
can attempt to use the swings, slides and monkey bars. Further they
felt that what used to be the regularly budgeted maintenance, lighting
and irrigation could now be updated with Prop K Funds instead. Those
three things took all the money and the decision was made before we
ever met. Our time was spent looking over approved drawings of the
playground and blueprints of where the lighting and irrigation will be
placed. So sadly for us none of the community's wishes were even
The playground, lighting and irrigation are
scheduled to be completed by June 2011
Garvanza History Revealed in New Book
Local author Charlie Fisher releases new book featuring
stunning collection of vintage photographs- Book signing Nov. 6
New from Arcadia
Publishing's Images of America series is Garvanza. In over 200 vintage
photographs, local author Charles J. Fisher and the Highland Park
Heritage Trust share the history of the area.
Named for the garbanzo bean that Julio Verdugo
raised on his Rancho San Rafael, the town of Garvanza was laid out by
Ralph Rogers in 1886. The community soon became a haven for artists and
others seeking a refuge from the growing urban life of Los Angeles.
Early institutions included the Church of the Angels and the Judson
Studios, founded by painter William Lees Judson to create art through
The town's identity was eventually overtaken by
neighboring Highland Park but the community name was reestablished in
the 1990s by today's residents, who are as in love with its beauty as
those 110 years earlier.
The photographs used in this book are mostly from
the collection of Virginia Neely, one of the original founders of the
HPHT, as well as the author's personal collection and other sources.
Many have never before been published.
Join us for a book signing event!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
6:30 to 8:30 PM
Figueroa Produce Market
6312 N. Figueroa S/York Blvd
Highland Park, CA (in the shopping plaza)
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers,
and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local
and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make
history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on
the heritage of America's people and places. Have we done a book on
your town? Visit www.arcadiapublishing.com.
Author Charles J. Fisher is a professional historian
specializing in local history. A native of Los Angeles, he grew up on
Mount Washington, a stone's throw from Garvanza, and has lived in
adjacent Highland Park for almost 30 years. Fisher has successfully
researched, written, and/or advocated more than 110 successful monument
applications in the City of Los Angeles and is a past president and
current board member of the Highland Park Heritage Trust (HPHT).
by Charles J. Fisher, Highland Park Heritage Trust
Images of America series
128 pages/ softcover
Available: September 27, 2010
I regret to inform you,
and truly apologize, that our brief relationship must come to an end.
No, no, please don't get me wrong, it's not you. 'love your place, I
really do. I've been looking for a place just like yours to spend my
Saturday mornings. The two weekends I spent with you were perfect. Your
employees were super (sorry about that spill guys), the Wi-Fi was up to
speed, the music was unobtrusive and relaxing, and there was a nice mix
of clientele. No, it's not you.
The reason our brief relationship must end is the
parking ticket' received from the City of Los Angeles. Now, I admit, it
was entirely my fault. I parked on a deserted side street, and it just
didn't occur to me that I would need to put quarters in the meter on a
Saturday morning; but I really should have double checked. No, it was
definitely my fault. But I'll tell you, nothing spoils one's Saturday
morning more quickly than receiving a parking ticket; and nothing sours
that experience even more than being slammed with a fifty-five dollor
Now, in these difficult economic times-heck, in good
economic times-fifty-five dollars just comes across as an insult and an
abuse. Oh, I will pay the fine like a good citizen, and' will complain
about it, as is my first amendment right; but, sadly, I will also take
my business elsewhere-which I regret.
Through no fault of your own, you are losing a
client because the City wants to charge an outrageous fine. True, they
rightly won $55 of my hard-earned money; but you unfortunately lost
that $55, and more, which I would have happily spent in the coming
weeks in your establishment. Not only your establishment, but The
Corner Pizzeria, The Taco Spot, The Coffee Table, and other businesses
in the area that caught my eye, will all be losing my patronage. And,
I, of course, will be losing some great little places to hang out at,
in a great little neighborhood.
I am truly am sorry, it's just that I'm not going to
take the chance of getting a heavy-handed fine simply for my
inattention, forgetfulness, or the fact that I might stay one minute
too long in a !larking spot on a Saturday morn. No, there are other
places I can go where I don't have to worry about that. Normally I
wouldn't have said anything, just quietly disappeared; I just thought
you should know because I do love your little place. But, for now I
regret to say that I will continue to remain on my side of town-at
least until I can find another establishment where I don't have to
worry about the City ransacking my wallet.
I will miss you, and regret that I have lost you
before we even really got to know each other.
Forum on Identity Theft and Fraud
The Eagle Rock Chamber of
Commerce, Councilmember, Jose Huizar, and the Women's 20th Century Club
of Eagle Rock invite you to attend a Forum on Identity Theft and Fraud
on Monday November 8, 2010 from 7:00pm – 8:00pm at the Women's 20th
Century Club located at 5105 Hermosa Ave (at Colorado Blvd.) Los
Angeles, CA 90041.
Come and learn how to protect yourself from
· Internet Scams
· Credit Card Fraud
· Counterfeit Currency
Featured Panelists will speak and answer your
questions. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security-U.S. Secret Service, the Los Angeles Police Department and
Citibank have been invited. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP.
For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Council District
14- Northeast District at (323) 254-5295. Please help spread the word.
HP Students Boost Leadership Skills
Highland Park Students Strengthen Leadership Skills at Annual
Hathaway-Sycamores' Youth Leadership Council members serve as
(HIGHLAND PARK, Calif., Oct. 25, 2010)—
Members of the Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family
Services' Highland Park Family Resource Center's Youth Leadership
Council recently attended a three-day seminar set in the scenic
mountains of Blue Jay, Calif. The annual seminar is designed to
strengthen the students' leadership and interpersonal skills—skills
that they can then employ as they model positive behaviors t school and
in the community.
The Youth Leadership Council is a co-ed,
youth-service organization membered by Highland Park middle-school and
high-school students who are committed to bettering the community
through: engaging in volunteerism; enhancing self-character; and
serving as role models for area youth. The Leadership Council meets
every Friday afternoon at the Hathaway-Sycamores' Highland Park Family
Resource Center (840 N. Avenue 66) where they discuss upcoming events
Subjects covered during the weekend seminar
included: characteristics of a leader; team confidence building;
leadership styles; and self-positive thinking versus group-negative
thinking. One particularly engaging session was led by L. Michael
Black, Junior Part Commander of the American Legion's District 17.
Black presented a lesson focusing on the "Johari Window," a cognitive
tool created to facilitate a better understanding of interpersonal
communication and relationships.
Other informative sessions, which were led by Family
Resource Center staff members Richard Ledesma and Yvonne Sarceda,
covered a wide range of topics, including rumor control as well as
personal health and hygiene. For the latter discussion, hygiene
products were donated by local Legionnaire Keith Curdy of City Hall
Post 387. Leadership Council members also participated in a cooking
class led by Mrs. Elvia Ledesma whereby they made crab meat enchiladas
in green tomato sauce. Many of these activities were made possible, in
part, through funding provided by the Los Angeles Police Post 381.
Commenting on the event, Hathaway-Sycamores'
President and CEO William Martone said, "Our Family Resource Center is
dedicated to helping youngsters expand their horizons and make positive
life choices. This recent seminar certainly contributes to that goal,
and we are very proud of the students who participated."
Area middle-school or high-school students
interested in joining the Youth Leadership Council can contact Janet
Lester at (323) 257-9600, ext. 7111 or Richard Ledesma at (323)
257-9600, ext. 7120.
About Hathaway-Sycamores' Highland Park Family Resource Center
The Hathaway-Sycamores' Highland Park Family
Resource Center, which is located at 840 N. Avenue 66, provides:
after-school enrichment programs for children and adolescents;
individual and family counseling; adult education classes; access to
community technology centers; and other prevention programs that are
designed to enrich and empower families and their communities.
Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, the
largest provider of children's mental-health services in Los Angeles
County, provides a comprehensive continuum of services to more than
8,500 children and families annually through a network of facilities
stretching across the greater Los Angeles area including the San
Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, and the Antelope Valley. To learn
more about the organization go to www.hathaway-sycamores.org.
VOICE IN THE EAGLE ROCK WILDERNESS
Thoughts on Giving Thanks
By Christopher Nyerges
[Nyerges is the author of "Self-Sufficient Home" and other books. He
leads courses in the native uses of plants. He can be reached at Box
41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.ChristopherNyerges.com]
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of
the year. Even moreso than Christmas. It is our uniquely American
holiday where the family gathers, where we remember our roots, we share
a meal, and we give thanks.
But look how quickly such simple and profound holidays get perverted.
Today, we hardly know what "giving thanks" even means, and so the act
of giving thanks is lost on most of us. Newscasters talk about "turkey
day," as if all there was to the day was eating turkey. Interestingly,
most folks would not know whether or not they were eating turkey, or
eating crow, and most of the time we're doing the latter, figuratively
speaking. Then, when we have barely taken the time to consider the
notion of "giving thanks," we get up early on the following "black
Friday" to rush around with the mobs "looking for a good deal" to help
us celebrate the consumer-driven commercial craze into which we've
Wow! How did we get here? What can we do about it?
Let's take a moment to look at the roots of Thanksgiving.
In the history of North America, we are told that
the first historic Thanksgiving Day was in October of 1621. After a
successful harvest that year at the Plymouth colony, there was about a
week of celebrations. The local Indians and the colonists joined
together, with the Indians generally showing the colonists (mostly city
folks) how to hunt for the meal which consisted of fowl, deer, duck,
goose, and fish. Corn bread, wild greens, plums, leeks, and many other
vegetables (wild and domestic) were shared in this celebration.
Interestingly, there is no evidence that wild turkey or wild
cranberries (totally unpalatable without cooking and adding sweeteners)
were part of the menu.
In fact, some historians question whether or not
there were any religious overtones at all on this "first Thanksgiving,"
citing such evidence as the archery and firearms games, and the running
and jumping competitions, which they say would never be done at
religious ceremonies by the Puritans.
Some say that the "first Thanksgiving" was just
another Harvest Festival.
What then is it, if anything, that sets the American
(and the Canadian) Thanksgiving celebration apart from any of the other
myriad of Harvest Festivals?
The pilgrims experienced a severe drought in the
summer of 1623. That season, they were totally dependent on wild game
and wild plants, and owed their survival largely to the
English-speaking Indian Squanto. In their lack, they refocussed upon
their real purpose for coming to this new land. They sought to
establish a time to give thanks for their spiritual bounty, in spite of
the fact that they had no material bounty that year.
A harvest festival implies revelry and fun because of the material
bounty; by contrast, a day of thanks is intended to remind us that
there is more to life than the physical bodies and material food. The
day of thanks is set apart so that we do not lose sight of our
spiritual heritage, which is the real bounty.
Both Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July are the
times that Americans have traditionally set aside to reflect upon the
concepts of "freedom" and "giving thanks." The purpose of such special
times of reflection is to see how well we have done during the past
year, and determine what corrections we should make if we find that we
are veering away from our chosen path. It should not be a time of
merely "having fun."
Most of us have made the choice to abandon using the
Thanksgiving day as a time of reflection, either personally or
publicly. And thus, the Day of Thanksgiving continues to degenerate and
we veer further and further from fulfilling any special destiny that
may have been fulfilled by the people of the United States.
As long as we confuse "giving thanks" with "eating a
lot of really good food," the practical effect is that Thanksgiving
today is little more than a Harvest Festival. "Giving Thanks" is a
particular attitude which accompanies specific actions. Perhaps sharing
our bounty with the needy would be a better Thanksgiving activity than
eating large volumes of food. More to the point, perhaps we should use
Thanksgiving to give thanks where it is due -- to the American Indians
who have become the "forgotten minorities." Rather than "eat a lot,"
perhaps we could send blankets, food, or money to any of the American
Indian families or nations who today live in Third World conditions.
To me, the essence of Thanksgiving was the coming
together of two cultures, trying to work together under trying
circumstances. Yes, they shared a meal. Food sustains us. But it was
not about food, per se. They practiced with their bows and guns, a sign
of mutual preparedness. And in their own ways, they "prayed to God," in
the ways that were appropriate to each culture.
If atheists do not like the notion of "God" in
Thanksgiving, I say too bad! No one is forcing an atheist to celebrate
this American custom. They can go watch a movie, if they choose, but no
one imposes these traditions on anyone! The notion of a Supreme
Intelligence was common to the Indians and the new settlers to the
Northeastern coasts. That this was so is well-documented in William
Stolzman awesome book, "The Pipe and Christ: A Christian-Sioux
Dialogue." He shows many of the similarities, and differences, between
the native religion and the mostly Christian Europeans who began to
occupy what became the United States and Canada. Similarly, these
distinctions are well laid out in Vine Deloria's classic work, "God is
Red," which Wilma Mankiller once declared to the be closest thing to an
Indian Bible that's ever been written.
By the way, much has been said about the term
"Indian," supposedly because Columbus thought he was in India when in
fact he never got beyond the Caribbean islands. But not everyone agrees
with that linguistic conclusion. For one, India was not called "Indian"
in the late 1400s. Some have suggested that it was the phrase "en Dios"
(with God) that Columbus used to describe how the native, who lived
simply and were perceived to be "close to God," was the actual root of
the term "Indians." It is still debated.
Anyway, once we get to Halloween every year, we're
in the end-of-year Holiday mode that include Thanksgiving, and then
Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Years. These could be special
events that lead to our spiritual enlightenment, and evolution, but we
have to fight to make them so.
There is much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving,
whether we give thanks to friends and family, thanks to God, and thanks
for our relative bounty.
But we really should not forget our national roots.
Don't just give lip-service thanks to the Native Americans whose land
was taken. Rather, find those organizations that are actually providing
real assistance to Native Americans in poverty, such as many of those
living in the third world conditions so prevalent on today's
reservations. (IF you have trouble locating such organizations, contact
me and I will make some suggestions).
First Annual Northeast Carnival November 12-14
The First Annual
Northeast Carnival is coming to the Northeast Community on Friday
November 12 from 5pm – 11:00pm, Saturday November 13 from 1pm –
11:00pm, and Sunday November 14 from 1pm – 11:00pm. The First Annual
Northeast Carnival is a collaboration of the NOE LAPD, LAPD Cadets
(formerly the NOE Explorers), and local groups and organizations and is
to take place along Eagle Rock Boulevard (between Avenue 33 and Verdugo
Road) in the Community of Glassell Park.
Pre-sale discounted TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE ON A
"FIRST-TO-CALL, FIRST-TO HAVE-FUN" basis with those not acting quickly
enough paying full price of the ticket! For a measly $20 (pre-sale
discounted price), you get (1) sheet of TEN (10) tickets. This special
ticket price will allow the ticket holder to ONE RIDE PER TICKET. After
the PRE-SALE DISCOUNTED TICKETS are gone, regular price tickets will be
available at a ONE (1) DOLLAR PER TICKET, with tickets per ride going
from TWO (2) PER RIDE up to SIX (6) PER RIDE, a substantial increase
from the PRE-SALE DISCOUNTED TICKET PRICING!!
Act NOW!! All Pre-order Discounted Tickets will be
sold from 2pm - 8pm Monday - Friday by stopping in to the NOE LAPD
Station located at 3353 San Fernando Road (Front Desk) to purchase your
tickets, send your request to purchase tickets to Officer Olga Lowe,
send an e-mail to Officer Lowe at OMVLowe@vtext.com, or by calling the
NOE CRO Office at 213.485.2548. If ordering by phone or e-mail, you
must pay for and pick-up your tickets before Thursday November 11, 2010
– NO EXCEPTIONS.
PRE-SALE DISCOUNTED TICKET will not be available at
the Carnival/ You may also buy your PRE-SALE DISCOUNTED TICKET at this
weekend's Annual LAPD Open House & Resource Fair from 10am – 3pm.
We hope to see you there for a weekend of fun, festivities, and family
frolicking with the Clowns, Games, Rides, and Entertainment! Buy your
Van de Kamp Innovation Center Opens
Reyes recently joined
nearly 300 people to celebrate the reopening of the iconic Van de Kamp
bakery as the Los Angles Community College District Van de Kamp
Innovation Center. The Glassell Park center, which includes the
Environmental Science and Technology High School, offers students
general education, job training, education and career counseling. The
$67 million project is funded by Proposition A/AA, Measure J, and State
funds. For more information, click here.
Open Dialogue Over New Cultural District
Come weigh in on a discussion about recognizing some
First District neighborhoods as a Cultural District at the Central
American Cultural District Community meeting. The meeting takes place
tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 16 from 4:15-6:30 p.m. at MacArthur Park
Recreation Center, 2230 W. 6th Street. Residents said declaring
MacArthur Park, Westlake, and Pico-Union as a Cultural District will
help them tap into much-needed funding for cultural, art, and music
programs. Since parking is limited, attendees are encouraged to take
public transportation. For more information, call Maria Lam at (323)