From Eagle Rock to West Point: A Cadet Reflects on Veterans Day    

Elias Manning, an Eagle Rock native in his second year at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, recently shared how Veterans Day is celebrated at The Point: “In the most American way possible — with a weekend of Army football,” he wrote in an email. “Army plays and will beat Lafayette on Saturday, November […]

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NELA Real Estate in 2018: High Rents Have Cast Nearly One in Five Californians into Poverty 

California prides itself on being a prosperous state. But California has the highest poverty rate of all the states, 19%, according to a measure by the U.S. Census Bureau that looks at the costs of living in each state and the federal aid available to help cope with those costs. Over all, the census figures, […]

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On Homelessness:Learning from Experience

A recent forum on homelessness in Glassell Park featured two residents from the Alexandria House, a privately funded, 16-unit housing condominium in Koreatown for homeless women and their children. The experiences they shared were riveting and encouraging – and instructive in the search for solutions to homelessness. Keana, 26, was a foster child shown the […]

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Ask Lionel: Mixed Feelings in the Fight Against Homelessness    

At dinner the other night, my wife, Wanda, my son and I were taking turns reviewing the day’s events. Wanda, said she was feeling terrible about her handling of an earlier incident.  Wanda had started the day as she always does, with a morning ritual that includes a daily affirmation. This particular morning, she had […]

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A Voice in the NELA Wilderness: Flamenco-Fusion Out of Highland Park

I’ve observed what happens when David Holguin, 27, starts to play his guitar. People stop and listen – and then they stay, waiting for another song. “That’s the kind of music we need more of,” said one man who recently stopped to listen to Holguin at the Old L.A. Farmers Market in Highland Park. Holguin, […]

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A Voice in the NELA Wilderness: One Man’s Quest to Revive the Dying Art of Basketmaking

Some 20 years ago, I saw a photograph of Justin Farmer in the Southwest Museum in Highland Park. In the photo, Farmer is holding a traditional long bow. I have never forgotten it. Farmer is not primarily known for his bow-making, though that is one of his many skills. Farmer is best known for his […]

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Picking Up the Trash Is the Easy Part. Paying for Trash Pickup Is Hard.

For the most part, businesses and landlords in Northeast Los Angeles and the rest of the city have had no choice but to accept the higher costs and new procedures imposed by RecycLA, the city’s commercial trash-hauling system in effect since July 2017. But at a recent meeting of the committee on Energy, Climate Change […]

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Parting Advice from Gov. Brown: Don’t Encourage More Drinking

Gov. Jerry Brown defied the wishes of the California legislature recently, when he vetoed a bill that would have let bars in Los Angeles and eight other cities stay open until 4 a.m. Among the majority of lawmakers who voted in favor of a 4 a.m. closing time (versus 2 a.m. currently) were NELA’s representatives […]

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Franklin High Bomb Threat Was a Hoax; Principal Says, “Safety Is Our Priority”

A bomb threat on Oct. 15 that prompted a lockdown and police sweep of Franklin High School in Highland Park was a hoax. The caller also said that an officer had been shot at the school. No evidence was found of any bomb or any shooting. The major crimes division of the Los Angeles Police […]

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Rules May Be Coming Soon on Short-Term Rentals 

On any given day, about 500 rentals in Highland Park, Eagle Rock and Mount Washington are on offer through Airbnb and other short-term rental sites.   New rules proposed in September by the City Planning Commission could affect many of them.  The proposed rules, if approved by the City Council, would limit short term rentals […]

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A Voice in the NELA Wilderness: Revered Elder of Highland Park Spreads Music and Well-being 

A recent Monday night found me at Colombo’s restaurant on Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock, listening to Tom Trujillo playing jazz on the guitar with a few other musicians. Trujillo also sang and played the drums before the set was over.  Trujillo, whom I have known for more than 40 years, is a born, all-around […]

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Fixing Up the House with Help from Habitat for Humanity 

The vast service area of the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity (SGV Habitat), a nonprofit group that builds, renovates and repairs affordable homes, includes the Northeast Los Angeles communities of Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Highland Park and Montecito Heights. That could be good news for some homeowners in those neighborhoods, because SGV Habitat is […]

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Public Education:Deadline to Apply for Magnet Programs Is Near   

From Oct. 1 to Nov. 9, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will accept applications from parents who hope to secure a spot for their child in one of the system’s 292 public-school magnet programs for the coming academic year. Magnet programs emphasize certain subject areas, such as visual arts, performing arts, math, science […]

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State of Play: Which Way Is Eagle Rock Going on the Proposal to Build a Big Storage Facility?

The proposal to build a huge StorQuest storage facility on the Ernie Jr.’s site in Eagle Rock is now on the agenda of the City Planning Commission for Thursday, Oct. 11 – a month later than previously planned. It was replaced on the agenda by another issue. The extra time provides the public a chance […]

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Business Openings in NELA

Mera Group  The Mera brothers, Chris and Mike, have formed the Mera Group, based in Eagle Rock, to create and implement digital marketing strategies for retail and service businesses, locally and nationwide.   Their credentials are superb. Chris Mera developed new revenue channels and name awareness campaigns for brands including Disney and NBCUniversal. Mike Mera […]

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Q&A: Officer Leo Perez on Partnering with a Legend

When the storied 30-year partnership between Northeast LAPD Officers Harold Marinelli and J.C. Duarte ended with Marinelli’s retirement in 2017, Duarte handpicked Officer Leo Perez, a 40-year old with 15 years on the force, as his new partner. The two patrolled NELA together for nearly a year until Duarte’s retirement in August. What was it […]

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A Voice in the NELA Wilderness: Local Pioneer of Self-Reliance Practices What She Teaches – and Teaches What She Practices

Recently, Prudence Boczarski was at the Highland Park Farmers’ Market, showcasing her natural bakery business and representing WTI, the local nonprofit founded in 1971 to teach urban dwellers how to live better with less. And since there is no better way to teach than to give a hands-on demonstration, Ms. Boczarski was also using her […]

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Foes of L.A.’s Trash System Will Get Their Day in Court

The City Attorney of Los Angeles has tried and failed to block a class-action lawsuit to undo the City’s new trash-collection system for businesses. Both sides in the fight are now gearing up for more battle. Frank Mateljan, a spokesperson for the City Attorney, told the Boulevard Sentinel that the City will continue to vigorously […]

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Glendale’s Energy Debate Will Force Decisions on Scholl Canyon

August 3 was the deadline in Glendale for energy professionals to submit proposals on how Glendale could switch to renewable resources for generating electricity. In all, 34 proposals were received and are now under review, with a public presentation of the review findings expected around mid-October, according to Steven Zurn, the general manager for Glendale […]

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Burning of Methane at Scholl Canyon Raises Questions Anew

The methane gas from decaying trash at the Scholl Canyon landfill in the hills above Eagle Rock is being “flared,” or burned off, the Boulevard Sentinel has learned. Contrary to common belief, the methane is no longer being used to make electricity at the Grayson Power Plant in Glendale. From an environmental point of view, […]

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Do Huizar’s Problems Leave Him Any Time to Do His Job?

NELA’s City Councilmember, José Huizar, engulfed in legal problems, has all but disappeared from public view. In September and October, Mr. Huizar was named in a personnel complaint and two lawsuits by former employees alleging various violations, including workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation. On Nov. 7, his home, City Hall office and field office in […]

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Local Leaders Ask for Your Help to Stop the Latest Anti-Immigrant Proposal 

Hilda Solis, the Los Angeles County Supervisor for Northeast L.A., has joined Mayor Garcetti in opposing a Trump Administration proposal that would make it hard for legal immigrants to become permanent residents if they or their families receive Medicaid, federal housing aid or food stamps. “We are doing everything possible to stop this proposed rule […]

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Shop Locally. Boost the Community. Have a Great Holiday. 

The small businesses of Eagle Rock will roll out a collective welcome mat on Saturday, Nov. 24, with retailers and service businesses up and down the boulevards offering some of their best deals of the year and sponsoring special events. The occasion is Shop Small Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when small businesses nationwide showcase […]

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Panel to Investigate Councilmember Huizar for Discrimination, not Harassment or Retaliation

by T. A. Hendrickson On Oct. 2, the spokesperson for the City Personnel Department, Bruce Whidden, said he had erred in September when he stated that a complaint filed against Mr. Huizar dealt with allegations of harassment, discrimination and retaliation. Responding to questions from the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Whidden said that the personnel department’s […]

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Local Nonprofit Receives $200,000 to Help Refugees

Miry’s List, an organization founded by Miry Whitehill of Eagle Rock to help refugees resettle in Southern California, has received a $200,000 grant to expand its work. The money, in the form of an LA2050 “Connect” grant from the Goldhirsh Foundation, will be a game-changer for the organization – and for the refugees, asylum seekers […]

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iPrep’s Failure Raises Issues for Next School Board Election 

The sudden closure on Aug. 23 of the PUC iPrep Charter Academy in Eagle Rock disrupted the lives of 114 children who had started school there a few days earlier, provoking dismay and anger among their parents.    It has also intensified the debate in NELA over charter schools versus traditional public schools just as […]

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Vacancy on School Board Creates Challenges for NELA Schools

Ref Rodriguez’s guilty plea to charges related to political money laundering marks the end of his career in the Los Angeles school system. But it is the beginning of challenges for NELA schools in Board District 5, the area Mr. Rodriquez represented on the school board. The job of a school board member is to […]

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The Giving Season: Twenty Nonprofits That Make NELA a Better Place to Live

Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27 this year, is the day on the holiday calendar when nonprofits ask you to give – and to remind others to give by posting about your donation on #GivingTuesday. But with so many worthy causes, how do you choose? One way is to focus your giving on local nonprofits so that […]

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Out-of-State Investment Firm Is the New Owner

When the Frank’s Camera building at 5715 N. Figueroa St. in Highland Park reopened in February after a lengthy renovation, the owner/developer, Engine Real Estate, intended it to be a gem in its growing portfolio of Los Angeles-based properties. That was then. On June 23, Frank’s and two other buildings in Highland Park owned by […]

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There Is Hope

The Los Angeles Police Protective League will hold a 5K walk on Sunday, Sept. 9 at the L.A. Policy Academy/Elysian Park to raise awareness about suicide prevention. Participation is free, though you need to register, either in advance at Eventbrite.com (enter “Heart of the LAPD Walk”) or beginning at 8 a.m. on the day of […]

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Celebrate Latino American Heritage Month

September kicks off Los Angeles Latino American Heritage Month, a celebration of the contributions of Latinos to the City’s past, present and future. Among the events is Fiesta Patrias at Olvera Street, sponsored by NELA Councilmember José Huizar. The festival is the most popular L.A. celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day and the only one celebrated […]

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Getting Through the Night: The Homeless Need Places to Sleep and Park

Winter is coming and with it, the rain and cold that make living on the streets and in vehicles all the more difficult and dangerous. Councilmember Gil Cedillo and his staff are looking for suitable buildings in Council District 1 where homeless people can stay overnight in the winter. They are also looking for parking […]

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Will Abuse Scandal at Shambhala International Affect Local Outpost? 

The Shambhala Center in Eagle Rock is an outpost of Shambhala International, one of the largest Buddhist meditation organizations in the West. Last month, Shambhala International was rocked when its leader, Mipham Rinpoche, took a leave amid allegations that he had sexually abused some women in the organization. The governing council of the organization, headquartered […]

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NELA Schools Spiffed Up for the New School Year

Over the summer, 23 repair and renovation projects, with a total budget of $20 million, have been underway at 21 schools in Board District 5, which includes Northeast Los Angeles. NELA’s slice of the pie includes the following: Buchanan Street Elementary School (Highland Park): New playground structure and matting in the kindergarten yard Eagle Rock […]

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Summer Trips to Write Home About

Summer vacation for some of NELA’s brightest high schoolers includes travel to enrich their intellectual lives. Mia Bella Pardo, 17, of Eagle Rock, just returned from the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Massachusetts, a three-day program of medical lectures, academic advice and networking with physicians, scientists, deans and fellow high school students who aspire […]

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NELA Real Estate: Rents in NELA Are Lower Than in Most of L.A. So Why Do I Feel Squeezed?

By all accounts, L.A. is one of the most expensive cities in America. With median home prices in Eagle Rock, Glassell Park and Mount Washington now approaching the million-dollar mark, NELA is officially among the priciest housing markets in L.A. But not everyone on the Eastside is a homeowner. In fact, renters account for the […]

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NELA Real Estate: Echo Park Home Prices Have Been Dropping. Will Prices in NELA Follow?

Echo Park is the only neighborhood on the eastside of L.A. where homes are now selling for less than they did a year ago, according to a review by the Boulevard Sentinel of 10 eastside neighborhoods tracked by Redfin.com From March through May 2018, monthly home prices in Echo Park have declined year-over-year, with the […]

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Kudos

A four-member team of math, science and engineering whizzes from Luther Burbank Middle School in Highland Park took second place at the state level of the National Engineering Design Challenge at UC Irvine on May 12. Team members Julissa Merino, Kimberly Rizo, Sherla Chen and Won Joo Joswick, will all move on to high school […]

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Calling All Artists

Building on its successful year-long collaboration with Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park, the Arroyo Arts Collective is calling on artists to submit their work, either individually or with fellow artists, for possible display at the studio. The Collective will also review submissions from curators who wish to put on exhibits of artists’ work. This […]

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Help for Veterans

Wellness Works, an organization in Glendale that helps veterans self-heal through training, education and treatment, is holding a weekend workshop from Friday evening, June 8 through Sunday, June 10. Led by Fr. Michael Lapsley, founder of the Institute for the Healing of Memories, the workshop’s focus is on  emotional healing by exploring and acknowledging veterans’ […]

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Union Blues: A Victory for Local Labor, Then a Setback 

When unionized service workers at public schools in Los Angeles won a hard-fought new contract in May, their leader, Max Arias, of El Sereno, told the Boulevard Sentinel that the union could not rest on its laurels. Union members had to remain united and active, he said, because anti-union forces were strong and getting stronger. Sure […]

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Good News for Community College Students

The University of California has offered admission this fall to 28,750 transfer students, a record number, UC officials said in July. Most of these students are California residents transferring from community colleges. That is an encouraging development for the large share of students who start college at the community level. In NELA, for example, 300 […]

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Gang Member Is Sentenced for Racist Attacks in Highland Park

Merced Cambero, Jr., a member of the Avenues gang, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for hate crimes committed against African Americans in Highland Park from 1997 to 2000. The gang’s crime spree included two murders. The sentencing, on June 4, was a long time coming. Mr. Cambero was charged in 2004, […]

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Activists in NELA Continue to Take On the NRA

Drain the NRA, the anti-gun violence group co-founded by Laura Mannino of Highland Park, has notched another success: On May 9, the $225 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) adopted a gun-control policy developed by John Chiang, the California state treasurer, and promoted by Drain the NRA. Under the new policy, CalSTRS will pressure […]

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