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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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’ […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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, […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Eagle Rock 2nd Grader Wins Music Composition Contest   

Violet Rivers, a second grader at Eagle Rock Elementary, has won a national Award of Excellence in Music Composition for a song she wrote, arranged and recorded, entitled Transformation, about a caterpillar and butterfly who long to be friends. The award was granted in May by the National Parent Teacher Association, which holds an annual […]

Continue Reading

NELA Real Estate in 2018: Big Money and Big Issues at Stake in Regulating Short-Term Rentals

Los Angeles is awash in short-term rentals (STRs) and neighborhoods in Northeast L.A. are no exception. A recent glance at Airbnb and other STR sites turned up 251 offerings in Highland Park at an average rate of $98 per night, 159 in Eagle Rock at an average rate of $159 per night and 118 in […]

Continue Reading

Lani Says: Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime 

For 103 incoming juniors at Eagle Rock High School, myself included, the first day of school on Aug. 14 will be the start of a rigorous, two-year academic journey known as the “International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme,” or IBDP. Begun in 1968 in Switzerland, IBDP stresses intercultural understanding, inquiry and analysis through immersion in English language […]

Continue Reading

A Voice in the NELA Wilderness: Soil from Coffee Grounds, Water from the Air Conditioner

I recently noticed a new flower bed behind Antigua Bread, the coffeehouse/bakery at 5703 N. Figueroa St. Where there once had been weeds and trash was a beautiful wood-framed garden bed, approximately 6-by-6 feet, with colorful flowers, some vegetables – and a five-gallon plastic bucket strapped to a tall wooden pole and connected by a […]

Continue Reading

A Voice in the NELA Wilderness: The Art and Craft of Sharpening a Knife

I met Julio Toruno recently at the Old L.A. (Highland Park) Farmers Market, where he works on Tuesdays from the back of his truck, sharpening knives on a whetstone.  Just by watching him, I could tell he epitomizes “old school” craftsmanship.  I approached him as he was sharpening a large kitchen knife and I could […]

Continue Reading

A Voice in the NELA Wilderness:Grow Your Own Oyster Mushrooms

Matt Heidrich of Highland Park loves oyster mushrooms – so much, in fact, that he has mastered the intricate art and science of home cultivation. I visited him recently and learned a lot. Oyster mushrooms grow on the sides of old and dying trees; in the Arroyo Seco, they commonly grow on willows and cottonwoods. […]

Continue Reading

Kudos

The eight-member robotics team at Washington Irving STEAM Magnet Middle School in Glassell Park won the California State Championship in the VEX Robotics Competition in Northern California in March, and, as we went to press at the end of April, was on its way to the VEX World Championship/Middle School Division in Louisville, Kentucky, a […]

Continue Reading

Milestone

The Department of Motor Vehicles recently announced that the state has issued one million drivers licenses to undocumented residents since 2015, when a law to allow such issuances went into effect. The milestone was cause for celebration for NELA City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who championed the law (AB60) when he was in the State Assembly. […]

Continue Reading

NELA Real Estate in 2018: Adding a Rental Unit to Your Home Has Never Been Easier

Laws passed in 2016 and 2017 have made it easy to convert garages into apartments, renovate back houses and build new free-standing apartments in one’s backyard. Homeowners seem to love the idea: In the year after the new laws took effect, nearly 2,000 applications were filed in Los Angeles for building permits for “accessory dwelling […]

Continue Reading

Guilty Plea in Racially Motivated Murders in Highland Park Nearly 20 Years Ago

A violent chapter in Highland Park history is coming to a close. Merced Cambero, Jr., 39, who was captured last year after almost 15 years on the run, recently pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes stemming from attacks on African Americans in Highland Park, including two murders, from 1997 to 2000. Mr. Cambero, a member […]

Continue Reading