Boulevard Sentinel - VOLUME VII ISSUE 2 June 2003
News and Views for Northeast Los Angeles
ERNC Takes on Doggie Debate
MAY 6, 2003
by Bob Thorpe
The fur wasn't flying, but discussion of a proposed dog park brought out the most emotional responses at the May 6th meeting of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, held at the Eagle Rock Library on Caspar Avenue from 6 to 8 in the evening. Ursula Brown, a Stakeholder and local Real Estate professional, brought pictures and made a presentation supporting the establishment of a dog park on the Southeast corner of the Eagle Rock Recreation Center at Figueroa Street and Eagle Vista Drive.
According to Ms. Brown, the idea of an off-leash park was first discussed in conjunction with the Eagle Rock Beautiful Cooperative, and she has been in contact with the City of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation commissioners regarding a dog park in the area. The response, she said, has been favorable, and she has been told that there is money available for such a project, but that the City wanted to make a decision to build the park or not within two weeks.
The only problem has been finding a location. The advantages of the proposed location, according to her, is the fact that the area is partially fenced, has water, includes mature trees, and is close to a crosswalk. It is similar in size to a dog park already in place in the Silverlake area. She expressed a desire to have the dog facility close to the park for reasons of safety.
Immediate response came from attendees who, although in favor of the idea of a dog park, were staunch supporters of the sports programs already in place at Eagle Rock Recreation Center, and who said that use of that location would take away an area where soccer is played. In addition, it was stated that almost 25 softball teams and flag football teams use the park, and that if money was available, it should be used to enhance the sports programs.
Ms. Brown stated that in her discussions with the commissioners, the money for a dog park was to be provided from funding separate from the budget for the Recreation Center. Preliminary talks had included mention of $80,000.00 which might be available, although Ms. Brown stated that she didn't think that much money would be needed to build a dog park. Other attendees asked what other locations had been considered, and Ms. Brown responded that she had talked to Southern California Edison about the use of their land (usually located under transmission towers) and while the company used to lease out such land for $1 per year to civic groups, the lease program is no longer available. She had also talked to CALTRANS, but found that the land available was typically under an interchange, without water, and had too steep a slope for a dog park.
Another attendee said he had talked to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy about the use of Richard Alatorre Park at the base of the Eagle Rock for a dog park. According to him, the area is flat, and the Conservancy is willing to give the park back to the City of Los Angeles if the City is willing to maintain the property. Public objections to that location included lack of sufficient parking, and the fact that Richard Alatore Park is not immediately adjacent to Eagle Rock Recreation Center.
Comments in favor of having a dog park included an opinion that it would be a draw for young families from Pasadena and Mount Washington to come to Eagle Rock, where local businesses could profit from increased traffic. Others objected to the dogs because odors might blow into the picnic areas, and because of fears that children in the park might be at risk. Ms. Brown pointed out that the adjacent picnic tables were on a different level. While most of the participants seemed in favor of having a dog park, there was resistance to changing the current use of Eagle Rock Recreation Center.
Only one woman – a dog owner – stated that she was vehemently opposed to the use of the proposed area as an off leash park. At the end of the discussion a motion was made to write a letter to the City Parks and Recreation Department asking that no decision be made on the allocation of funds until the Council could conduct further studies and have a public meeting on the issue. The motion was seconded and carried.
Everett Sarabia presented an update on the new DASH service proposed for Eagle Rock and Glassell Park. One advantage to the new service would be that it would provide transportation for students who are now walking from the Toland Way area to Washington Irving Middle School. With 3 busses in service, the loop would take 15 minutes rather than the 45 minute ride on the existing MTA bus routes. To attract rider ship and to promote the Eagle Rock and Glassell Park areas, the busses could be the trolley type currently in use on the Angel's Flight loop, instead of the standard DASH issue.
Other items discussed at the meeting included a presentation by Koko Panossian, a participant in a USC research project on Neighboorhood Councils. The project, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Irvine Foundation, will be a 5 year long study in which Council Members who volunteer will be surveyed in order to determine what works and what doesn't in Neighborhood Councils. A database will be established from the responses in an attempt to discover the best practices of the successful Councils.
Highland Park Yearly Car
The Custom Car Show is coming to Highland Park. It happens on Figueroa Street between Avenue 52 and 57 which will be closed all day, Sunday, June 29. Bombs, Lowriders, Lowrider Bikes, SUV's and imports are all welcome. Trophies will be awarded to many catagories. Club participation, furthest distance traveled, best mural, best interior, and use of gold and chrome will be recognized for sure. Overall winner will take home a cash prize, and spectators get in free.
Entrants should arrive no later than 6:00 am. All cars and bikes must pre-register to save $5. Call organizer Jesse Rosas at (323) 620-1298 for a registration form or if to get the details. The Show is sponsored by the Goodtimes car club, Vintage Tatoo and Budweiser Beer.
"Hoppers" will compete for prizes in the single pump and double pump category. If you have never seen a Hopper, don't miss this chance. All hoppers must have wire rims to compete and sign in by 10 a.m. There will also be "grudge" hopping where everything goes, meaning that there will be no restrictions on the equipment.
Everyone is welcome at the Highland Park Car Show, but attitudes, alcohol and weapons are not. Make sure you leave those at home and have fun.
A road rage event and local burglaries represent the crime picture from the middle of April to the end of May, 2003.
On Sunday night, June 1st, a couple in a black Mitsubishi disagreed with four young men in a silver ford probe about where the other should be driving. That sparked a road rage incident that sent four people to the hospital and at least one person to jail. The passenger in the black Mitsubishi is alleged to have exited his girlfriend's car, stabbing the driver of the silver probe. The assault turned into a high speed chase between the two cars that went eastbound on Yosemite Drive.
The chase abruptly ended when the driver of the Mitsubishi slowed to turn right on Townsend Avenue to go over Ave. 51. The Probe did not slow and crashed into the rear of the black sports car as it started to turn, making the female driver lose control and hit the curb. Waiting at the light across the intersection was an LAPD patrol who successfully took control of the situation before anyone else could get hurt. Four police cars, four ambulances, two fire trucks and the fire captain all responded to the scene, which was cleared by midnight.
Aggravated assaults continue in the Northeast area, as 15 were reported in the Eagle Rock Highland Park area, 7 of which were gang related. Figueroa is a relative hot spot for these crimes with shots being fired at four of the events there. Fifteen street, business or residential robberies occurred in the same area, with one near Mc Donald's on Figueroa done by 'miscellaneous' black gang members.
Burglaries are up, and they are centered mainly around the Figueroa and York Boulevard area. An exception was Monday, June 3rd, when two dirt bikes were stolen from the fenced yard of Cycle Depot on Colorado Boulevard. Two suspects described as 18 to 20 year old males cut the chain link fence with bolt cutters and rolled the motorcycles out the fence and up the street, probably into a waiting truck. The thefts occurred at about 8:30 in the evening, and in a rare twist, the closure of Topper's tavern, usually a magnet for crime when open, may have had something to do with it.
Topper's was closed last week by the new owners to start remodeling work. Well known Italian restaurant Casa Bianca, is closed on every Monday. That left the block between Townsend and Vincent Avenues virtually vacant. The thieves took advantage of those absences and made off with a yellow Suzuki and a blue Yamaha, both motocross bikes belonging not to customers of Cycle Depot, but two employees.
Once again Toyotas are the most popular car to steal, followed by Hondas and Fords. 36 cars were stolen in the Eagle Rock / Highland Park area.
Qui Bono? Who Benefits?
Over the past 4 years, the Arroyo Seco community has worked to create a neighborhood council, which is designed by the City Charter to promote local participation in city government. This work began hopefully and enthusiastically, but now is struggling to proceed over a deepening neighborhood feud.
By estimates, somewhere between $8,000 - $10,000 has been spent with the sole purpose of agitating neighbors to break up the certified Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council – mass mailings, lawn signs, meetings. And for what reason?
The fear that captures some imaginations is that rampant development will be approved on privately-owned land. In our burgeoning urban landscape, holding onto open-space, preserving wildlife and not overbuilding our infrastructure – these are wonderful goals – goals virtually without opposition in our rural/urban mix area.
You would think that the "enemy" would be "Developers", or the Mayor's appointees to the East LA Area Planning Commission, the ones who actually approve development projects under their mantras "we need more housing" and "we need to make LA more business-friendly". But neither is mentioned in this campaign.
One picture portrayed in meetings and in the expensive mailings is that Outside Influences Who Don't Have Our Interests will be bussed in, all holding pre-marked ballots. The vision painted is of zombie-like minions, paid to register and vote by nasty, subversive developers. Or zombie-like church members, all in a campaign to take over the area.
The real target of this expensive campaign is democracy itself, which is required of neighborhood councils. The middle-class fear of low-income residents turning up and exercising their right to vote drums up significant turn-out. Several long pamphlets describe the burden of the Brown Act, as neighborhood councils are required to post their process and ensure that they inform everyone. Another pamphlet described that what is really needed is a private organization that can specifically limit participation. Democracy is the real problem that the organizers have with neighborhood councils. Fear of people they don't know, fear of other organizations such as churches - these are still useful tools in whipping up anger and resentment.
But what device has been used to try to break-up the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council? To separate off the small hillside communities of Montecito Heights, Monterey Hills and Hermon. The contradiction here is that these communities have many long-active and vocal small-growth and environmental activists and organizations. The efforts have been to break off exactly those who would facilitate the purported goals of the break-up movement. The net effect of the past two years campaign has been to drown the voice of slow-growth and environmentalist activists with this squabble. Those goals definitely have been harmed.
Who would benefit enough from undermining the voice of slow-growth and environmentalism to pay for the mass mailings? We only can surmise that the bulk of the funding comes from a couple of individuals. We do know, however, what harm has come from this.
Workers Comp Needs Fixing
By Jack Scott
There's no doubt about it: California's workers' compensation system is almost broken. The original intent of workers' compensation was that workers would receive appropriate care and compensation for their injuries. In return, employers received immunity from employee lawsuits and would pay the insurance costs to cover the benefits.
But California's employers are paying premiums that are among the highest in the nation while injured workers receive some of the lowest benefits in the country.
There's lots at stake: the breakdown of workers' compensation in our state affects businesses, cities, counties, school districts, hospitals, lawyers, insurers, unions, doctors and other health care providers, and workers.
We in the legislature must confront this problem to give businesses relief from these costs. I am pleased that there is bipartisan interest in enacting significant reforms this year. The reforms need to focus on finding ways to lower premium rates without sacrificing or reversing injured worker benefits.
One of my top priorities is to reduce and stabilize rates for employers and to reduce the complexity of the system. Here are a few of the bills that I am supporting to help fix the system:
· SB 176-(Johnson) Requires workers' compensation insurance rating organizations to notify an employer of inspections and reclassification of the employer for workers' compensation purposes.
· SB 223-(Margett) Requires greater use of generic drugs by individuals or entities that dispenses medicines and medical supplies to a worker. · SB 757-(Poochigian) Requires that injuries must be at least 50% work related, contains out-patient center costs by developing a fee schedules, and reviews the development of utilization guidelines for the system for out-patient care.
· SB 899-(Poochigian) Prohibits physicians from referring patients to outpatient surgery centers when they or a family member have a financial interest in such a referral.
Clearly, a great deal of work needs to be done to correct what has become a grossly inefficient and costly program. The good news is that both political parties are working toward finding common-sense reforms that harm neither employers nor employees. I hope that financial relief will occur in the months following this year's legislative session.
Senator Jack Scott (D-Altadena) represents the 21st Senate District that includes Pasadena, Burbank, Glendale, San Gabriel, Temple City and portions of Los Angeles.
JUNE IS GAY PRIDE MONTH
The Uptown Gay and Lesbian Alliance cordially invites all to attend their community-wide reception at the LAPD Historical Museum and Education Center located at 6045 York Boulevard in Highland Park on Friday June 20th, 5 :30 pm to 7:30 pm. Hors d'oeuvre and beverages will be served. There is no charge. Drop by and get acquainted. They'd like to meet you.
Eagle Vista Seniors
On Tuesday June 3, the Eagle Vista Seniors board will meet at 9:30 a.m. followed by the regular meeting at 10 o'clock. On June 10 a craft talk will be given by crafty Helen Jacobs. June 17 is BINGO, and Carlos Cruz will be the caller.
All members who can go are looking forward to the trip across the desert to Arizona and Nevada. They will visit Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Laughlin and Oatman. The bus leaves the Eagle Vista recreation center at 7:00 am. and returns on Friday the 27th.
Of course the June 24th meeting is canceled because of the bus trip.
Senior members should make a note that final payment for the Alaskan cruise is due on June 20.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Upon learning about the Federal Communications Commission's decision to ease media ownership rules, Representative Xavier Becerra (CA - 31), the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus's Telecommunications and Technology Task Force, issued the following statement: "As the steward of our nation's public airwaves, the Federal Communications Commission needs to responsibly safeguard diversity and act in ways that allow for a full expression of views, The decision rendered on June 2 fails to adhere to this mission and i6 a grave mistake that will lead to a homogenized American media market.
"Much was overlooked in this rush to rewrite the rules. There is already a dramatic underestimation of Spanish television and radio audiences, which discourages new advertisers from trying to reach an important segment of the population. While Hispanics represent about 13 percent of the U.S. population in aggregate. America's leading advertisers allocated an average of only 2.4 percent of their measured media advertising resources to target Hispanics over the past three years. This is grossly unfair, and will only get worse by the new FCC guidelines. This decision also will close the doors of opportunity for minorities to enter the broadcasting industry.
"Equally unfortunate through all this has been the minimal to nonexistent network coverage given to this important issue. A study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that over 70 percent of the American people have not heard anything at all about the FCC's proposal to relax broadcast ownership rules. Only now, after a decision has been made, are people beginning to hear and understand.
"The core of the problem Is not what we will see, hear and read, but what we will not be able to see, hear and read. My Democratic colleagues In Congress and I will continue to fight for legislative ways to turn back this decision and create rules that are fair and all encompassing."
The situation in the Chinatown Neighborhood Council bears investigation at every level of government. Candidates were disqualified on the narrowest of technical interpretations by DONE in order to eliminate individuals that were opposed by DONE staff. The bylaws were rewritten by DONE interpretation in the middle of the election to disqualify those that had already been elected. Write-in candidates had the rules for their qualification changed by e-mail only a few minutes before the balloting, and then their votes were never counted, though they were demonstrably elected had their votes been counted. A candidate who was a part-owner of a prominent restaurant, who provided proof of his ownership, but refused to provide other proprietary information about the business was disqualified. What was done in Chinatown was clearly illegal, but neither the Mayor, nor the City Attorney, nor the Councilmember is willing to step in to set things right. Now DONE is urging that the persons illegally seated have their terms of office extended for an additional year beyond what is provided in the bylaws.
What started out as a potential for community participation has devolved, in Chinatown into DONE domination and disregard for the will of the people. This community, which had the highest turnout rate at their election of any in the City, is now represented by a Board that was, effectively, selected by DONE in order to foil the will of the people.
Liu Identity Theft Bill
Sacramento - Legislation by Assembly member Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge) to regulate the mailing of social security numbers passed the Assembly today, earning unanimous bipartisan support (78.0). The bill, AB 763, prohibits the mailing of any portion of a person's social security number on or visible from the outside of an envelope or postcard. "As unbelievable as it may sound, some companies actually mail to their customers postcards on which their social security numbers are printed," Liu informed her colleagues on the Assembly floor. She has also collected examples of mailings where social security numbers are clearly visible through the address windows of envelopes.
Liu explained that major companies skirt existing regulations by slightly altering a social security number before mailing it. Some companies substitute numbers or letters for the hyphens in a social security number. Others transpose the last four digits placing them at the beginning of the number. "It doesn't take a genius to crack the code, Liu said. "No one with out authorization to open a person's mail should ever have access to their social security number. There is no justification for this outrageous practice."
Among the bill's long 1ist of supporters are: Attorney General Bill Lockyer, the Consumers Union (publisher of the magazine Consumer Reports, privacy advocates, and senior citizen organizations. The Privacy Rights Clearing house writes in support of AB 763, "California ranks second in the nation in identity theft with 91 victims for every 100,000 residents. The key to credit and thus perpetuating identity theft is the social security number."
This Just in: The Liu Identity theft Bill was passed by the Senate today, Thursday June 5. All that remains is for Governor Gray Davis to sign it into law. -editor
Local Kids Win Drug-Free
LOS ANGELES- 12- and 11-year-old brother and sister, Nick and Sadie James, are being honored for two years of whirlwind activity fighting increasing drug use amongst youth. They will be recognized next month in Washington D.C. along with other regional winners of the "Making My Community Drug Free" contest. The nationwide competition marks the 10th anniversary of the Drug-Free Marshals anti-drug campaign sponsored by the Church of Scientology.
Last month, the two accepted a proclamation from Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and the LA City Council commending the Drug-Free Marshals on their program's success. Since 1993 more than 3.1 million youth worldwide have taken a pledge to live drug-free lives.
"When it comes to exemplifying what it means to be a Drug-Free Marshal, these two have truly earned the shiny badges they wear," says Cat Tebar, Community Affairs Director of the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles. "They have devoted many hours to reaching out to their peers at health and safety fairs, beach cleanups, 'stop the violence' street events, sporting competitions and festivals. They have personally sworn in thousands of new Drug-Free Marshals. This is a fantastic level of accomplishment for two youngsters not yet in their teens," says Tebar.
"We talk to the adults too," says Nick, referring to presentations such as the one he and his sister made before more than a dozen nightclub owners in Hollywood. "We tell them they should help the Drug-Free Marshals, so we can reach more kids and get them to stay away from drugs."
Youth need a lot of help to win the battle, says Tebar. According to recent surveys amongst 8– to 14-year-olds, 12% are actively using street drugs, that number jumping to 61% of young people between ages 15 and 24.
"It is vital to reach out to kids just entering their teen years with straight talk so that they can decide against using drugs," she says. "We see that taking the pledge firms up that decision immeasurably." To help the Drug-Free Marshals get their message out, anti-drug booklets are provided by the Church of Scientology as a public service. These booklets tell about the harmful effects of drugs like marijuana, ecstasy and cocaine.
Says Sadie, "Helping kids stay drug-free is fun. When we help someone decide to stay away from drugs, we feel like we're saving lives."
For more information about the Drug-Free Marshals or to order anti-drug booklets, contact Drug-Free Marshals headquarters in Los Angeles at (323) 953-3225.
Vacation Bible School in
Eagle Rock June 21-25
On June 21-25, the Eagle Rock Adventist Church will conduct "Treasures of the Nile: On an Expedition to Jesus" Vacation Bible School from 6-8:30 pm. The church is located at 2322 Merton Avenue in Eagle Rock.
The VBS will focus on the biblical stories of Moses and the Israelites, sharing interesting aspects of Egyptian culture in that era. Stories, music, activities and crafts will be on the program. Admission is free and all are welcome. For further details, please call 323/257-5803 or visit www.eaglerocksda.com
New Church Coming to Eagle Rock
New Hope Christian Fellowship is relocating to Eagle Rock from Pasadena on June 1, 2003. They are renting the Central Filipino Church facility at 777 E. Colorado Blvd. and will hold their worship service every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. They invite all to come and give them a try – they have a place for you!
New Hope Christian Fellowship is a multicultural, intergenerational, youth friendly church family. They average 250 in attendance each week with over 75 youth. They have nursery and preschool care available and youth ministry for all ages. They offer sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired.
There is plenty of free parking on-site. If you have questions, feel free to call Pastor Dennis Pelley at (626) 836-3199.
Therapy and Wellness Center
The Montgomery Wards Auto Service building has a new tenant. It will soon house the Glendale Adventist Medical Center's (GAMC) new Therapy and wellness center and is scheduled to open in December, 2003. The center will house key GAMC outpatient adult and pediatric rehabilitation therapy and wellness programs and services.
On the first and third Sunday morning of the month the Fraternal Order of Eagles invites the community to drop by for their "community breakfast". Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Omelets and more are offered all for the meager sum of $5. The special event this month is the installation of the new officers for the club as well as for the women's auxiliary.
The Eagles Club operates to maintain a friendly, welcoming, and hospitable environment where its members can enjoy fraternity and camaraderie with others. The Eagles club is open to all who believe in the existence of a supreme being (God) and are of high moral standard.
Their big event of the year is the free thanksgiving dinner where every is welcome and over three hundred dinners are served.
The Eagles Club is at 1596 Yosemite Drive (corner of Townsend), and their Hall is available for rental for all occasions. Call 323 257-8869 for more information.
Eagle Rockers Awarded
The Heritage Coalition of Southern California honored six Eagle Rockers at their quarterly meeting, held on April 28, 2003 at the Eagle Rock Community Cultural Center. Kathleen Aberman, Kathleen Long, Suzanne Prieur, Jeff Samudio Joanne Turner and Eric Warren received awards for "exemplary contribution to community and regional heritage awareness and appreciation." We wish them all a hearty congratulations.
Congratulations Lani Stapp
We congratulate Lani Stapp on her recent rise to the Presidency of the once powerful and always historic Women's 20th Century Club.
S 54 Continentals
The Eagle Rock High School class of summer 1954 asks you to help support their 50th reunion by donating to their yard sale. The sale will be held at 4960 Ellenwood Drive on June 27, 28 and 29. Call 213 257-0823 for more details. (submitted by Diana Chun-Fook)
The Winner Is!
The winner of the Boulevard Sentinel reader survey raffle held last month at the Eagle Rock Arts Festival is Mrs. Joanne La Monte of Eagle Rock. Traffic safety, graffiti, controlling gangs and keeping schools funded are the most important issues to her. She was sent the $20 gift certificate to El Arco Iris (see story inside). Thanks for playing Joanne, and thanks for reading the Boulevard Sentinel.
Oxy Children’s Summer Theater
The critically acclaimed Occidental College Children's Theater will present "Goldilocks and the Three Tenors," an original tale, plus three unique adaptions of traditional folktales for a seven-week outdoor run starting July10. Performances will be in the Remsen Bird Hillside Theater on the Occidental campus.
In about an hour, a cast of six Occidental students, alumni and professional actors will perform without props, sets, or costumes, relying only on their acting and physical skills. "This dynamic company of talent actors ... is as fresh and entertaining as ever," the Los Angeles Times says.
Beginning July 10, "Goldilocks and the Three Tenors" will be performed outdoors in the Hillside Theater every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. through Aug. 23. All seats are shaded from the sun. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under. Group rates are available.
For ticket information, call the Occidental Box Office at (323) 259-2922.
"We work in the round, so the audience is right on top of the action," Angell said. "The unconventional material and the absence of props or costumes force both the actors and the audience to rely on their imaginations. It's remarkably different from most anything else you see in children's theater today."
Occidental College is located at 1600 Campus Road in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles. For a campus map and directions to the college, please visit www.oxy.edu/ oxy/welcome/directions.
Located in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, 116-year-old Occidental College is a selective, nationally ranked college of the liberal arts and sciences. Its 1,800-member student body combines diversity with academic excellence, having won three Rhodes scholarships and scores of other national awards over the past 10 years.
East meets West at Patriot Martial Arts
Inside the Patriot Martial Arts studio,
you'll find a unique combination of eastern philosophy, flag waving
Americanism and an overall desire to participate and contribute in the
education and growth of young people. William Littlefield, the owner,
has a depth and perspective on life, that on the surface, doesn't match
his outward appearance. When out of his Martial Arts clothes, he is
usually seen wearing a plumber's uniform, from his day job at Henrik
Plumbing, another local business.
"I went to Equador and I've seen how the third world is- the best of it and the worst of it. It made me realize that living in America, I had the potential to follow my dreams," he said. After that trip to Central America, Willy realized that his dream was to open his own Martial Arts Studio.
When Willy was a kid, he and his friends loved to play fight. His brother taught him some boxing and martial arts and he always enjoyed it. Later, he went on to study Kung Fu with Mr. Chin Lee in Highland Park. He afterwards was taught by Master Wong in Chinatown.
While helping out teaching at another studio he was attending, Willy discovered he had a passion for teaching his martial arts skills to others, especially kids. He found that the bigger the group of students he has to teach, the excitement and energy gets bigger as well. He savors that energy and excitement and likes to see it grow and grow.
"Part of what Martial Arts does is give you the ability to think," said Willy, reflecting on the many benefits of martial arts training. Many may be surprised to learn that Yoga is the foundation of all Martial Arts. He offers Yoga classes as well. "All are devised to open energy centers," he adds.
He explained that it helps to increase a person's focus, and the premise, 'that as the mind leads, the body will follow' also works in reverse. That is, 'as the body leads, the mind will follow as well'. Willy says, "I teach my students to believe in your technique- believe in your skills. When they make that jump from learning to implementing, from theory to practice, that's when they start smiling- they start appreciating what they're learning."
"The reward for me is to see somebody (a child) that started out timid and in a short period of time starts to develop self confidence," said Willy.
His trip to Equador did more than just bring into focus his dream of having his own studio. The trip gave him a deep appreciation for America, what it stands for, and how precious it is. "I boldly say that we uphold the principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights," he boldly says, while pointing to the two laminated copies of the historic documents affixed to the wall of his office. He has a special affinity for the United States Armed forces as well, and has a collection of recruitment posters that hang on the walls of his studio.
Thus, the life journey of this local man, who graduated from Eagle Rock High School in 1980, has brought him back. He wanted to contribute and give back to a new generation of Eagle Rockers, and he is doing it. The wisdom gained in such a journey displays itself in a metaphor Willy often uses to explain why martial arts teaches you to avoid trouble, rather than seek it.
"I tell people life is like a highway. Someone can cut you off and you can stay there and fight with them, but it's better to slow down and go around, or let them go around. If you stay and fight you're gonna crash. A half hour later you're still fighting on the side of the road and everyone else is continuing on their journey. You both lose. But those people who don't get stopped, they don't lose. They win. They're the real winners."
Time for Re-piping? Hire a
Sometimes you just have to hire a pro. You are not alone if you want to save money. However, when it comes to doing an important job like re-piping your house, hiring a professional and reputable company can make all the difference.
Almost everybody has experienced or heard a story- make that a horror story- about "home repairs gone bad," (I think FOX is coming out with that show this fall). Some contractors drive homeowners crazy by showing up late, or not at all. Walls or roofs are left open to the elements for weeks or months on end. That's only the start of the story..
Imagine yourself waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of running water. You stumble downstairs to see what's wrong and you discover you're standing in an inch of water in your own living room. What could be worse than that? (Just wait.)
How would you fell if your home repair or addition was stopped midstream because the contractor didn't bother to get the required permits? What if a worker from a company that operates without workman's compensation insurance gets injured on your property? Is it worth it to be sued simply because you wanted to save a little money?
One local company that has earned the confidence of its customers is Henrik Plumbing in Glassell Park. "All of our trucks have 'Henrik' painted on the side, and all of our plumbers and patchers wear the Henrik uniform," said William Littlefield, manager and Eagle Rock native.
Are you wondering why that's important? It's important because it's not easy to keep strangers out of a job site, that is, your home. Criminals can easily walk right into your home when you're having work done on it.. The workers will think it's someone who lives there and the homeowner will think it's one of the workers. Before anyone knows it, many valuables are missing.
Owners Henrik and brother-in-law Gary started the company in the eighties. They quickly built a reputation for being fast and clean. They would re-pipe a house in one day. The next door neighbor would see the work and the price and then hire them to do his house. Then the next neighbor would do the same. "Sometimes we spent a month on the same street," said Henrik. "We'd do one of every two houses on that same street. On one street in Encino we did almost every house!"
Henrik only does re-piping. You may or may not know that walls have to opened up in order to re-pipe a house. Henrik has one crew that consists entirely of patchers who repair the opened walls, and get them ready for paint. Manager Littlefield said, "Our plumbers don't patch and our patchers don't plumb." This was his way of saying that Henrik's worker are specialists. They work on what they do best.
Littlefield recommends that before hiring anyone to work on your home, get references from people in your area. He showed me an extensive stack of references from all over Southern California, some from nearby Mt. Washington and Glassell Park.
Henrik added that he has very low turnover rate of his employees. They have all been with him a long time. The backgrounds of all employees are checked thoroughly, including their credit, to ensure the security of his customers. To date he has never had a problem.
He summed it up by stating, "We don't charge extras to our customers. What ever price we quote stays solid."
Capri Celebrates Forty
Years in Business
by Tom Topping
The Theil family, reluctant restaurateurs, will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Capri Restaurant on the weekend of June 20 to the 22. They will be open for business and serving up anniversary drink specials, like 40 cent beverages, to all who attend. But the story of the Capri restaurant started forty years ago.
The Capri was first opened in 1963 by Joe and Helen Sams after borrowing the down payment from Sam's brother Ed. They and their children, Sharon (this writer's first love), Evelyn and John, built the little Capri restaurant into the local icon it is today. The Capri has woven itself into the fabric of perhaps thousands of lives. My favorite memories were the Tuesday nights (the nights they were closed) when the Sharon Sams, I, and friend Rosie Gaglione played guitars, sang and drank beer into the wee hours of the night. I'll never forget it.
Many well known personalities have eaten at the Capri, too, some still frequenting it today. But in 1996, the Sams wanted to retire.
Richard (Dick) Theil met Caroline Majerus when they worked for the "Official Airline Guide" in Chicago. (We won't mention when) Later, they were married. When Richard was offered a transfer to New York, they took it. Their twins, Jim and Jeff, were born there. Years later, they moved from New York to L.A into the Mt. Washington home they have now. They asked Terry Hass, previous owner of the house, if he knew a good Italian restaurant and Mr. Hass directed them to the Capri.
The Theils became a part of the Capri restaurant as much as anyone who regularly ate there. They felt like part of the family. They never guessed that ten years later it would belong to them. A few potential buyers tried to take over from the Sams, but it was just not meant to be. One day, the Theils were joking about buying the place, and Joe offered them a deal they couldn't refuse.
The Thiels were reluctant and inexperienced. Caroline, Dick, Jim and Jeff had all worked in restaurants but had never owned one. Caroline was working at Solheim Lutheran Home, Dick was working for a major East coast publisher and Jim and Jeff were part time actors after graduating from Cal State LA. They survived four months of "boot camp" training with Helen, Joe and the chef Jose Aispiro. They learned the recipes and general functions of the restaurant.
Caroline brought to the organization her cheerful gregarious personality. She greets the guests. Jim and Jeff brought their screen talents from their TV commercials and sitcoms. Jim became the kitchen manager and chef. Dick brought organizational and accounting skills to the group. Together they learned the trials and errors of running a small restaurant in Los Angeles. The menu has grown with shrimp, calamari, and steak sandwiches. Now on Wednesdays there is a magician. They've never sacrificed their insistence on quality and graciousness of the "family restaurant".
Six years later, after paying the taxes, paying the insurance, paying the upkeep, buying the vegetables, boiling the pasta, baking the pizza and waiting the tables, they've become familiar and friendly faces in the business community. Although Dick still must support the restaurant occasionally from his publishing company job, they all press on cheerfully in the hope of someday turning a regular profit.
I will be there on the weekend of June 20 to 22 to celebrate, with them, their business, their adopted home and their many friends. And it will be an honor.
The Capri is located at 4604 Eagle Rock Boulevard.
Leslie Baker Quartet at Jazz Celebrations First Lutheran Church Glendale 1300 East Colorado between Verdugo & Chevy Chase on Sunday June 8th 5p.m. This is a very prestigious concert series.
Santa Cecilia Children's Choir
You can see kids from Eagle Rock, Glassell Park and Highland Park Children's Choir perform a selected repertoire featuring "The Amazing Encounter," a Children's Opera by Choral Director Mark Williams. The concert is on Sunday, June 8 at Occidental College, Thorne Hall, and the time is 3 p.m. Admission is free! For more information, please visit: www.scorchestra.org
Photo Exhibit Opening
WE THE PEOPLE:
Yoginis yogic arts studio of Eagle Rock will feature over 60 photos taken by both professional and amateur photographers documenting the current peace movement and nationwide resistance to war. The group show, opening June 21st, features archival and art photography of peace events in San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., and extensive coverage of the local demonstrations in the Los Angeles area. The exhibit includes images of civil disobedience, riot police, performance artists, and anti-war placards.
Featured local photographers include Hamidah Glasgow, Devika Coles, Terry Wong, Ann Zumwinkle, Alona Wedge, and Patti McGuire. Yoginis director Margaret "Saraswati" Kruszewska, with co-curator Elizabeth Benson selected twenty-five photographers' works from hundreds of submissions nationwide. The response included art projects from local high school students and images of senior citizens, African-Americans, and the Latino community participating in diverse peace activities.
Yoginis yogic arts studio is located at 4866 Eagle Rock Blvd. in Los Angeles (near Yosemite Dr.) The studio serves as a venue for art exhibits, musical performances, and offers daily yoga classes. VIEWING HOURS FOR " WE THE PEOPLE " ARE FRIDAYS 6 - 9 PM, SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS 1- 4 PM, and during daily studio class hours through the month of September.
Art in the Park presents the 12th annual CORN FESTIVAL, on Sunday, June 29th, from 2 pm to 7 pm, at Arroyo Seco Park, 5568 Via Marisol. Call 323-259-0861 for more information. The festival is free, as well as the art workshops. Live entertainment, artisan and craft booths and food! There will be an exhibit by the Arroyo Arts Collective. Come join the fun!
UCLA Extension at Occidental College
Expand your horizons this summer with UCLA Extension courses at the beautiful Occidental College in Eagle Rock. Summer quarter begins June 21, and with courses in creative writing, film scoring, composing, Traveler's French, Everyday Spanish, beginning Italian, and pronunciation improvement for nonnative English-speakers, UCLA Extension provides a convenient, delightful way to learn something new - just minutes from Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, and northeast Los Angeles.
UCLA Extension is the nation's largest provider of adult continuing higher education, linking more than 65,000 adults each year to new opportunities. Visit uclaextension.org/oxy for complete course and enrollment information, or call (800) 554-UCLA for a catalog.
El Arco Iris: “The Rainbow”
By Audrey Allen
When Irene and Gustavo Montes first came to Los Angeles from Mexico over 40 years ago, they had a dream of opening a restaurant and bringing the tastes of authentic, homemade Mexican cuisine to California. Irene, always known by her family for her wonderful cooking, began mixing up rich, tasty "mole" and warm, soothing "menudo," bringing home to Los Angeles the rich flavors of her native food.
With such a wonderful variety of homemade goodness sure to warm any belly, the Montes' had only one name in mind for their restaurant – El Arco Iris "the rainbow." Before leaving Mexico, Irene said she remembers a dreary rainy day, and as the sun peeked through the clouds, she spotted a huge "wonderful" rainbow glistening red, yellow, violet, pink and orange against the gray sky. "It always stayed in their mind," said grandson Jesse Gomez. "They wanted to name their restaurant after that rainbow."
Forty years later, El Arco Iris is still known for its authentic Mexican cuisine and was passed down from grandparents to daughter and grandson: Jesse Gomez and his mother Angie Montes now manage it. "It is what we love doing and it has always been a part of my family. My uncles and aunts all worked here and when I was growing up, this place was practically my second home," Gomez said.
With only a few updated recipes and additional vegetarian friendly additions (including whole beans as an option to the traditional refried), the menu has changed very little over the years – "the core classics have remained the same," Gomez explained. The quality and flavor of the food is still as tasty as it was in the 1960s and the prices are great. "Customers always tell me it tastes like their grandmother's cooking," Gomez said, "and I tell them it is – my grandmother's cooking!"
With more salads and a healthier chicken burrito as well as vegetarian burrito options, El Arco Iris can satisfy a "veggie" appetite and the even the ravenous hunger pains of a meat eater. "Jesse's Special Burrito," which was named after Gomez when he was a little boy, is a favorite among restaurant goers. With a choice of meat, beans, cheddar cheese, guacamole and sour cream – or "Jesse's Extra Special Burrito," including mild or hot sauce as well as cheddar cheese heaped over the thick tortilla, this house specialty will fill you up! "People order dozens of these burritos and freeze them and sometimes ship them off to their relatives overseas," Gomez said.
El Arco Iris has a wonderful selection of burritos, tostados and tacos, and they also serve fresh salads piled high
with avocado. Another treat on the menu is fresh filet of fish "Pescado" prepared in three different ways including "a la Mexicana" sautéed with jalapenos, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers served with rice and beans, or "Al Mojo de Ajo" grilled with butter and garlic with a side of rice, potatoes and salad. All this flavor can be washed down with a cold, refreshing mango, strawberry or regular margarita served in a colorful rainbow-like hand blown glass crafted in Mexico.
Other delectable dishes include "Armando's Special" -- chopped steak or chicken sautéed with fresh tomatoes, onions and bell peppers served with rice and beans or tender beef chicken or shrimp burritos sautéed with spices (from grandmother's recipe), fresh tomatoes, onions and bell peppers brought to the table on a sizzling hot skillet with rice, beans, guacamole and tortillas.
Combination plates can also be ordered for those who want a little bit of everything: enchiladas with chile relleno or taquitos with soft tacos. For the smaller appetites, a special child's plate is offered: mini bean and cheese burrito, cheese tostado, and cheese enchilada or chicken fingers.
The meal can be topped off with a little something sweet and warm… delicious flan, homemade baked custard with a caramel topping and Kahlua poured on top (one the best flans around!). For those with a little chocolate craving, the "Pastel de Chocolate" cake is divine with a cup of java.
After feasting on crispy warm chips, dipped lavishly in homemade guacamole and spicy salsa, sipping on an icy margarita, and relaxing in a large booth, customers really feel at home in El Arco Iris. With a spacious dinning area complete with a bubbling fountain in the center, comfortable tables and chairs surrounded by warm pink-toned walls decorated with unique art pieces painted by a local artist, the restaurant's décor shows the family's love of Mexican colors and artwork. "We want everyone to feel at home here," Gomez said.
Customers can take the home goodness of El Arco Iris with them, by taking advantage of special catering. Or they can enjoy the comfort of the spacious banquet room, where numerous weddings, parties and other special events have been held.
In the future, Gomez said he would like to open a quick take-out restaurant, a mini sized El Arco Iris, but with the same quality and authentic Mexican cooking of his grandmother. "It would be something quicker, a more condensed version of the main restaurant," he explained.
El Arco Iris is located at 5684 York Blvd. in Los Angeles and is open Monday from 11 a.m.- 9 p.m., closed Tuesdays, open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (On weekends, enjoy the special "hangover" soup – Menudo – sure to refresh and revitalize.) To make a reservation or for more information, call the restaurant at 323-254-3401.