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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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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New Mural Is a Magical Ode to Highland Park

Highland Park has a new mural. It is Crea mementos Majicos (Create Magical Moments), on the side of the Tinfoil Liquor and Grocery Store on Figueroa Street – a brightly painted mural with the community’s landmarks under a flying alebrije, a fantastical mystical creature that came to artist Soledad “Sol” Luongo in a dream. “I […]

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Q&A: Josh Shaw Is Staging a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opera in Highland Park

Josh Shaw is the founder and artistic director of Pacific Opera Project (POP), which has staged over 10 operas in Highland Park since 2012. His latest project is La gazzetta, a rarely performed Rossini opera that will open on June 28 for a five-night run at the Ebell Club on S. Avenue 57. This will […]

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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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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Ask Lionel: What Growing Older Has Taught Me About Being Young 

  I recently told my physical therapist that until he brings it up, I often forget I have arthritis. The dreaded autoimmune disorder has very slowly taken residence in various parts of my body, occupying it as though it had squatter’s rights, but on days when I’m pain free, I feel like I did 30 […]

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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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