As Strike Moves Closer, Parents and Communities Need to Prepare

Public school teachers in Los Angeles moved closer to a strike on Friday, when the third mediation session between the teachers union (UTLA) and the school district (LAUSD) ended in failure. The teachers want increases in wages, per-pupil funding and student support services; decreases in class size and standardized testing; and improvements in charter school […]

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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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For the Love of Film, for the Love of Highland Park

By Diana Martinez It was five years ago that three local artists – actor/writer Marita De La Torre, cinematographer Alessandro Gentile and music producer/DJ Mark Reitman – launched the Highland Park Independent Film Festival (HPIFF). The festival was a big, but natural step for the northeast Los Angeles art community, which is known for its […]

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Gil Cedillo Preschool in Lincoln Heights Celebrates a Grand Re-opening

Gil Cedillo Preschool in Lincoln Heights Celebrates a Grand Re-Opening Late in 2017, $1.1 million in Federal Head Start Funds were committed to Plaza de la Raza Child Development Services for the renovation and expansion of the Gil Cedillo Preschool on Workman Street in Lincoln Heights.  The award came with a catch:  The project had […]

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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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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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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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CONCERTS AT EAGLE ROCK PARK SWING TO A CLOSE

Last evening, the 17-piece Jack Lantz Big Band filled the Eagle Rock Park bandstand and treated concert goers with a concert filled with great swing music of the 30’s through today.  A couple hundred concert goers dotted the slopes in front of the bandstand.  They picnicked, listened, applauded and danced, ultimately under the stars.  Mars, […]

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Meet Carlos “The Solution” Morales FRIDAY, August 24th.

CALLING ALL FIGHT FANS – Meet Carlos “The Solution” Morales, Super Featherweight, with 14-1-3 and 6KO’s, tomorrow (Friday, 8/24) from 1pm to 2pm at Rock N’ Egg Cafe at 4616 Eagle Rock Blvd.  Free tickets to Carlos’ fight on Sept 1st for the first 15 guests and fight shirts while they last.  Here’s the official […]

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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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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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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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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Eagle Rock The State of the Town, 2018 

Homelessness was the most discussed topic at Eagle Rock’s 12th annual State of the Town address last month. Councilmember José Huizar, who delivered the address and took questions, told the audience that helping the homeless was one of his top policy priorities. He said he supports proactive outreach teams, expanding emergency shelters and more permanent […]

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Daniel Duarte (left) Was the Victim of a Random Shooting in a Homeless Encampment. His Family (right) Tells His Story.

Highland Park resident Darlin Duarte stood behind the line of television cameras and quietly watched the LAPD news conference that identified two gang members suspected of killing her twin brother, 31-year-old Daniel Duarte, as he slept in a tent in a homeless encampment.    When asked if she wanted to join the detectives and speak […]

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Big Investments for a School, a Church and a Park in NELA

Benjamin Franklin High School in Highland Park, St. Dominic Catholic Church in Eagle Rock and the Eagle Rock Recreation Center have something in common. They are all on the receiving end of large sums, totaling some $5 million, to improve the buildings and spaces that support their work in Northeast Los Angeles. At Franklin and […]

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An Effort to Educate the Public About Housing for the Homeless

Mona Field, a resident of Eagle Rock, is undertaking an effort to educate the community about housing the homeless. Ms. Field is the 1st vice president of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, the local chapter of the national organization dedicated to engaging citizens in decisions that affect their lives. The L.A. chapter […]

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Glassell Park Neighborhood Council Gets New Leaders

The Glassell Park Neighborhood Council is reconstituting itself after resignations earlier this year left it without a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. The council was also short on non-officer members. The new president is Karin Davalos, who ran her first meeting on Mar. 20. The new vice-president is Brian Frobisher. A secretary, Andrew Ageuro, and […]

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Restored Building in Highland Park Hosts Grand Openings

  The building that once housed Frank’s Camera on Figueroa St. and Ave. 57 is setting off a one-building boom in the Highland Park economy. Three new businesses in the building will hold their Grand Openings in March: Pacific Union International, a major realtor, Chops Meat and Fish market and the reopened Dave’s Chillin’ and […]

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Grant Money Will Fund Auditorium Upgrades at Eagle Rock Elementary

A pair of back-to-back competitive grants totaling $34,109 will allow Eagle Rock Elementary School (ERES) to buy and install a state-of-the-art lighting and projection system for its auditorium. The upgrade is some 50 years overdue, give or take a decade or so. Teachers and students are wary of even turning on the current equipment and when they do, it often malfunctions, if it […]

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Community Input Is Sought on Improvement Plan for Eagle Rock Blvd.

The future of Eagle Rock Boulevard will be like the present, only more of it, as taller and larger residential construction replaces the corridor’s low slung commercial buildings. To believe otherwise is to not believe your own eyes. But in one way, the future need not be like the present. Eagle Rock Blvd. can be […]

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Southwest Museum: The Long Slog to Save It

A collection-sharing deal between the Autry Museum of the American West and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is likely to result in more exhibits of artifacts from the largely shuttered Southwest Museum of the American Indian, located in Mount Washington. Currently, most of the museum’s artifacts are in storage at the Autry’s facility […]

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NELA Real Estate in 2018: Want to Buy a Fixer-Upper? Good Luck. 

  It’s no secret that many houses for sale in NELA in recent years have been flipped by investors who buy, remodel and quickly re-sell them for big profits. What is (somewhat) surprising is that investor buying remains strong even at today’s high prices – and that homebuyers are still paying up for recently rehabbed […]

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