Grant for Rock the Boulevard Is Denied – Project on Hold

Rock the Boulevard, a public/private effort to transform Eagle Rock Boulevard into a safer, more beautiful thoroughfare, has been unable to secure the public grant money needed to move forward as originally planned.

There were high hopes for the project last year. Launch money was raised from City Council District 14 ($23,000), Occidental College ($13,500), the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council ($2,500) and The Eagle Rock Association improvement group (an unspecified amount)

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Wildfires are getting scarier – NELA at “high risk.”

Wildfires can occur anytime, not only in the typical wildfire season of mid-summer to early autumn. Northeast Los Angeles is at high risk: The Boulevard Sentinel recently reported on data showing that nearly half of the buildings in Eagle Rock are in a very severe hazard zone; in Highland Park, 40% of the buildings are in a very serve hazard zone. In Mount Washington, all of the buildings are in a very severe hazard zone.

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Jack Goldberg addressing supporters

Jackie Goldberg Wins School Board Election. Voter Turnout Was Poor.

Jackie Goldberg, a veteran local politician, won a decisive victory on May 14 over Heather Repenning, a former city commissioner, for the Board District 5 (BD 5) seat on the Los Angeles School Board, which includes Northeast Los Angeles. The task now before Goldberg, who was endorsed by the L.A. teachers union, is to find the money to deliver on her promise of smaller class sizes and more counselors, nurses and teachers aides.

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Settlement Is Reached in the Case of the Missing Scholarship Money

A settlement has been reached in a long running case that set Forever 21 and Arroyo Vista Family Health Foundation against the Lincoln Heights Chamber of Commerce (COC).

The case involved donations made in 2011-2013 by Forever 21 and the Arroyo Vista foundation to a scholarship fund established by the Lincoln Heights COC. The money raised, about $30,000 in all, was supposed to go to college-bound students from Abraham Lincoln High School in Lincoln Heights, but as far as everyone could tell, no scholarships were ever awarded.

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Vielka McFarlane

Prison Time for Charter School Founder with Ties to NELA

Vielka McFarlane, who founded the Celerity network of charter schools located in Eagle Rock and other parts of Los Angeles, was sentenced on May 20 to 30 months in prison for misspending public education money on luxuries for herself, including first-class plane travel, fine dining and high-end shopping.
McFarlane pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to misappropriate and embezzle public money. The plea followed an investigation, starting in 2012, by the inspector general of L.A. Unified School District and federal authorities.

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Bill to Allow Multi-Family Housing in Single Family Areas Is Delayed

Action on Senate Bill 50 (SB 50) — a measure to address the state’s housing crisis by rewriting local zoning codes — was put off until 2020 by the state Senate Appropriations Committee on May 16. The delay undercuts the Senate Housing Committee and the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, which passed the bill in April. The bill would let apartment complexes be built in areas deemed “job rich” or “transit rich” and would permit fourplexes in neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes.

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School Libraries in NELA Escape the Budget Ax

Applause and tears of joy erupted at a School Board meeting on May 21, when Austin Beutner, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), announced that the district’s elementary school libraries would be fully funded for the 2019-2020 school year. The announcement reversed an earlier decision by LAUSD that would have cut library funding.

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Ramona Sierra, 90, and Suzanna Bermudez, 65, went to City Hall on Wednesday to ask for help to avoid being evicted from their bungalows in Eagle Rock. Photo by: Bill Hendrickson

Elderly Women Face Displacement, Community Tries to Help, Odds Are Long

Ramona Sierra, 90, and Suzanna Bermudez, 65, are bracing for eviction from their rent-controlled bungalows at 4542-4544 Eagle Rock Boulevard in Eagle Rock. Sierra has lived in her bungalow for 40 years. Bermudez and her husband, who are both disabled, have lived in the bungalow three doors down from Sierra for seven years.
This particular eviction story starts in 2017 when . . . . . . . . .

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The Battle over Buses on Colorado Boulevard

The Metro Board of Directors recently advanced a plan that would put bus rapid transit (BRT) lanes on Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock.

Under the plan, the Colorado Boulevard corridor would be one segment of an 18-mile BRT line connecting North Hollywood and Pasadena (NoHo-Pasadena). Various routes were considered for the line, including one that would use the 134 Freeway to traverse Eagle Rock, thus bypassing Colorado Boulevard. But Metro staff determined that a route along surface streets would attract more riders and provide better connections than a freeway-based route. The Metro Board accepted the staff’s finding and on May 23, voted to begin a draft environmental review

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Ramona Sierra, 90, and Suzanna Bermudez, 65, went to City Hall on Wednesday to ask for help to avoid being evicted from their bungalows in Eagle Rock. Photo by: Bill Hendrickson

Elderly Women in Eagle Rock Face Eviction

Ramona Sierra, 90, and Suzanna Bermudez, 65 and disabled, are on the verge of being evicted from their rent-controlled bungalow homes at 4524 Eagle Rock Boulevard in Eagle Rock. Ramona has lived in her bungalow for 40 years; Suzanna for seven. Neither wants to move, much less out of Eagle Rock. But the owner, Randy Stevenson of Allegro Capital Partners, LLC, plans to renovate and sell their homes and the other three bungalows on the property.

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Founders of the Eagle Rock Dog Park in the Park they created (standing from left): Carlos Buenfil, the construction project manaer, Matt Harrington, the advocate representing thousands of local dog owners, Craig Raines, the landscape architect of LA Rec and Parks and Lucy Aparicio, representing Councilmember José Huizar. (front row): Scruff and Buddy, Matt Harrington's dogs.

THOUGHTS ON A SNEAK PREVIEW OF THE EAGLE ROCK DOG PARK

The Eagle Rock dog park is the result of special efforts and it shows it. It was an honor for me to be invited to a sneak preview of the park on Wednesday and I’m happy to share some thoughts and images of what I got to learn and see.

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Los Angeles County is the hardest-to-count county in the nation.

Countdown to the 2020 Census

By T. A. HendricksonAt a recent rally downtown in Los Angeles to urge everyone to be counted in the 2020 census, city and county officials did not mince words: The obstacles to participation in the census are high, they said. But failure to get a full and accurate count would be devastating, financially and politically.

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Poster by Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.

Election Results 2019 for NELA Neighborhood Councils

Here are the results for those NELA neighborhood councils which help elections in April 2019. We are posting tthe results for Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Cypress Park and Lincoln Heights. The neighborhood councils for Glassell Park, Arroyo Seco and Hermon did not have elections.

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Nature could be restored in and along riverside areas like this one, while the park is upgraded with new and improved playing fields.

One LA River, Many Park Interests

With so many different ideas about what an L.A. River park should include, it can be hard to see how to accommodate them all. One example of working together to advance various interests involves Anahuak’s Raul Macias and Jon Christensen, a UCLA adjunct assistant professor specializing in the environment and a board member of the non-profit Los Angeles River State Parks Partners.

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The school yard at Eagle Rock Elementary.

Eagle Rock Elementary Faces Budget Cut

Eagle Rock Elementary School (ERES) is facing a budget cut of $125,000 in the coming school year and possibly much more in subsequent years. The looming cutback, disclosed at a parent meeting in March, has the school community “highly alarmed,” said ERES Principal Stephanie Leach, adding, “I share their concerns.”

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New Group Forms to Save the Southwest Museum and Lummis House

The Lummis Legacy League, a grassroots organization to preserve the legacy of Charles Fletcher Lummis, will hold a kick-off reception and presentation on March 17 at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens in Cypress Park. Suzanne Lummis, the granddaughter of Charles Lummis, will be a guest of honor. The group hopes to draw more […]

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Amid an FBI investigation, Huizar has been stripped of power at City Hall and has disappeared from community gatherings. “He’s toxic,” says one former councilman. - Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times

Where’s Huizar? His Vanishing Profile Raises Questions for Constituents

José Huizar has become the invisible man.

Before FBI agents served search warrants at his Boyle Heights home and city offices in November as part of an apparent “pay-to-play” corruption probe, the councilman was an impressive practitioner of retail politics and photo ops.

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School News: Renaissance Arts Academy Is Honored. Another Area School Needs Improvement.

Renaissance Arts Academy, a K-12 charter school in Glassell Park, has been designated a “California Distinguished School” by the California Department of Education. The school is one of 162 middle and high schools in the state to receive the honor, which recognizes exceptional student performance or consistent progress in closing the achievement gap. It is […]

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Marcos Juarez, a realtor, and Alex Lozano, a broker associate, both with Compass Real Estate in Highland Park, showing a rendering of Frank Romero's next mural, 'Going to the Olympics Again.' -Photo by Bill Hendrickson

Frank Romero Mural Coming to Highland Park

By T. A. Hendrickson

When Frank Romero painted the mural “Going to the Olympics” for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, he was already famous as a founding member of Los Four, the artist collective that put Chicano art on the art-world map.

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Tony Ricasa, Assistant Chief of Staff for Gil Cedillo opening meeting with seniors concerned about Safe Parking at their Senior Center -Photo by Bill Hendrickson

Overnight Parking for Homeless People Is Coming to Glassell Park

This story was updated on March 8, to include reactions by the Glassell Park Seniors to the overnight parking plan. The story was updated on March 9, to include follow-up to address the seniors’ concerns planned by CD-1 following their receipt of a petition from the Senior Group.

Safe Parking is coming to Glassell Park. A part of the city’s Homeless Strategy, Safe Parking uses parking lots that are secure, well-lit and available at night to provide overnight parking for people who live in their vehicles.

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The team from Franklin High savors their first-place win in the LAUSD Academic Decathlon. Front row (left to right), Regina Marquez Martinez (Principal), Katie Rodriguez, Raquel Alegria, Gian Munoz Mayo, Jade Tolentino, Tina Wu, John Rev Bermudez. Back row (left to right), Raymond Guillen, Patrick Dowd (Coach), Henry Reyes, David Flores, Bienn Viquiera, Adrian Manhey, Yenny Yi (Coach)

Franklin’s Best and Brightest to Compete for State Title in Academic Decathlon

By Mary Lynch

A team from Franklin High School in Highland Park is on its way to Sacramento this month to compete in the California state finals of the Academic Decathlon, a prestigious educational competition for high schools.

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Corey Wilton owns Piencone, Four Café and a third restaurant opening soon. He says one burglar "was in, out and gone within 45 seconds. The guy totally knew what he was doing."

Special Report: Break-Ins Steal a Sense of Security Along Colorado Blvd.

The Boulevard Is a Vulnerable Target, Business Owners Want More Police Presence by Joel Sappell and Laura Brady-Allen       UPDATE: May 29, 2019, 6:25 p.m. Three men arrested for a one-night spree of burglaries on Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock and Pasadena on Jan. 5 pleaded no contest to the charges on May […]

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Police seeking Public's help in Identifying this man.

Two Suspects Arrested for Burglaries on Colorado Blvd. A Third Suspect Is Sought by Police

January 24, 2019 Here’s the press release from the Pasadena Police Department: PASADENA POLICE STOP COMMERCIAL BURGLARY SPREE PASADENA POLICE ALSO SEEK THE PUBLIC’S HELP IN IDENTIFYING A THIRD ARRESTED: Juan Manuel Morales, male, 19-years old, Los Angeles, CA resident Kiyonte Levell Sowell, male, 18-years old, Los Angeles, CA resident PASADENA, CA – On Friday, […]

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Teachers, students and others showed up in the rain in support of LAUSD teachers getting an acceptable contract | photo by Bill Hendrickson

Photo Album – L.A. Teacher Strike 2019, Day Four – Jan 17

Teachers and their supporters were out in force again today, in the rain, again. In Eagle Rock that meant a noisy demonstration, not a celebration.  The teachers I spoke to said they would rather be in the classroom — with an acceptable contract — than on the picket line. They have been working without a contract […]

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Scene in hills behind the Glassell Park Rec Center

Pregnant Woman Robbed in Daylight at the Glassell Park Rec Center

An assailant used bodily force to rob a pregnant woman of her cell phone at the Glassell Park Recreation Center on Friday, Jan. 11 at 10:20 a.m.  Officers with the LAPD have arrested Marlon Bugtong Mata, a 29-year old transient, for the robbery. This information was provided by Captain Arturo Sandoval, Commanding Officer of the […]

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L.A. County Supervisor for NELA, Hilda Solis, (center in colorful scarf) pictured at the rally for striking teachers today in Grand Park in downtown L.A. with Randi Weingarten, (in rain poncho), president of the American Federation of Teachers and other strike supporters.

Where NELA’s Elected Officials Stand on the Teacher Strike, Day One

The Boulevard Sentinel emailed NELA’s elected leaders – local, state and federal – asking whether they support the teachers, the LAUSD or are neutral. Here are the replies: L.A. City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, Council District 1: “Councilmember Cedillo is with teachers and hopes both parties can reach an agreement as soon as possible to minimize […]

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Strike supporters outside Eagle Rock Elementary School - early Monday morning, Jan 14, 2019 | Photo by Meiko Arquillos

Photo Album – L.A. Teacher Strike 2019, Day One

The rain came down this morning as striking teachers and their supporters showed up on picket lines in front of public schools throughout NELA. Here are some photos taken at Eagle Rock Elementary this morning: Here’s a photo of a Dad in front of Franklin High School about 10am this morning. He’s holding the ground […]

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Police secure the scene in front of Target at the Eagle Rock Plaza after officer-involved shooting on Jan 2.

More Details in Shooting at Eagle Rock Plaza

Glendale Police have arrested 28-year old Joseph Esposito, Jr. for attempted robbery and assault on a police officer in connection with the officer-involved shooting on Jan. 2 in the parking lot near Target at the Eagle Rock Plaza. The arrest occurred at the home of Mr. Esposito on Trent Way on the border of Eagle […]

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Police take reports outside Johnny’s Bar in Highland Park after the shooting on Oct. 6. - Photo by Loudlabs.com

NELA Crime Scenes

As the New Year begins, notable crimes committed toward the end of 2018 are either making their way through the courts or remain unsolved. Here’s an update: Maximo Muy, 25, the man accused of shooting three innocent bystanders outside of Johnny’s Bar on York Blvd. in Highland Park on Oct. 6, pleaded “not guilty” to […]

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Lani Says: Surfin’ Bird – Bird Is the Word

Birds – rentable, dockless, electric scooters -– have descended upon Eagle Rock. They dot sidewalks, rest on corners and tend to congregate at the intersection of Colorado Blvd. and Eagle Rock Blvd. when they’re not scattered along residential streets. They’re reasonably inexpensive and convenient. You use a downloadable phone app to find and rent a […]

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Lindsay Garcia member of ER team that won four CIF L.A,. City Section Championships | Photo by Dave Abbott, Splash Art Photography

Spring Season Highlights

The Special Olympics, held at Sotomayor in Glassell Park, warmed the hearts of NELA.  The girls softball team at Eagle Rock High got off to a booming start this spring season. The retirement of a coach at Lincoln High evoked gratitude for a remarkable career. 

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Spring Season in NELA Gets Underway

The Special Olympics, held at Sotomayor in Glassell Park, warmed the hearts of NELA.  The girls softball team at Eagle Rock High got off to a booming start this spring season. The retirement of a coach at Lincoln High evoked gratitude for a remarkable career. 

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Eagle Rock High Basketball Champions Close Out the Winter Sports Season

By The winter post-season saw the boys and girls basketball teams from Eagle Rock High competing in playoffs at the City  and State levels. The girls water polo team from Eagle Rock also made it to the City playoffs, while both Eagle Rock and Wilson High competed in the finals of the Los Angeles City […]

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The Regular Winter Season Wraps Up

By The winter season in high school sports in L.A. has been stop and go. Competition started in mid-December, stopped for the holiday break, started again on Jan. 9, stopped during the teacher strike that began in mid-January and resumed after the strike ended on Jan. 22. Making up for lost practice time is really […]

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Franklin's Alfred Bobadilla takes a layup.

NELA High School Winter Sports Get Underway

Here’s an update on league play at high schools in Northeast Los Angeles – Eagle Rock, Franklin in Highland Park, Lincoln in Lincoln Heights, Sotomayor in Glassell Park and Wilson in El Sereno. Data is as of winter break in mid-December.  BASKETBALL The teams at Eagle Rock High and Franklin High have no home court […]

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From left, presenters at the workshop on student debt: Magaly Zapien, Sarah Moore, Victoria Wagner, Jamie Tijerina, Antonia Villaseñor.

Borrowers in NELA Seek Advice on Student Debt

By Jamie Tijerina NELearn, a series of workshops to provide people in Northeast Los Angeles with information they can use in their daily lives, held its third meeting on Dec. 15 at the Arroyo Seco Public Library. Ten people, most of them young Latinos, attended to learn more about the featured topic – Coping with […]

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On Homelessness — Disposing of RV Waste Safely

by Mary Lynch Some 4,600 individuals and families in Los Angeles live in RVs and vans. The human waste collected in such “housing” needs to get into the City sewer system and be treated so that bacteria doesn’t infect our water, cause disease and otherwise harm the environment. Working with L.A. Homeless Services and L.A. […]

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Photo | Google Image

The Longest Straw: A Film by Samantha Bode

When filmmaker Samantha Bode learned that a 338-mile aqueduct brings water into Los Angeles, she decided impulsively to see it for herself by walking its entire length – from the Cascades in Sylmar at the southern terminus of the aqueduct to Mono Lake, 338 miles to the north. The result is a documentary film, The Longest Straw – a close-up look at the environmental impacts of what it takes to keep L.A. alive.

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The drainage pipe installed on Yosemite Drive prevented flooding, but also caused the creek that once ran there to disappear. USC Digital archive

Water in NELA – Where Water Once Flowed

Much of our recent rainfall has flowed out to the ocean, uncaptured and unused. But it was not always this way. Up until the 1930s, water flowed throughout the area we now know as Northeast Los Angeles.

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Charter School Founder with Ties to Eagle Rock Pleads Guilty to a Felony

Vielka McFarlane, the founder and former chief executive of Celerity Educational Group, a Los Angeles charter school network, has pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to misappropriate and embezzle public funds. In her plea, reported by the L.A. Times on Dec. 21, Ms. McFarlane admitted that she had misspent $2.5 million in public funds intended for Celerity students.

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Saying “No” to Yet Another Anti-Immigrant Proposal

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has received 216,102 public comments on a Trump administration proposal that would make it harder for legal immigrants to obtain green cards or permanent residency if they use Medicaid, food stamps, housing subsidies or other common federal benefits.  The comments were overwhelmingly against the proposal. It’s safe to say […]

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Mike Kelly Memorial: Art that Unites Past and Present, Here and Elsewhere

Seven years ago, an abandoned carport at the end of Tipton Way in Highland Park became a community memorial to the artist Mike Kelley, who had his studio down the street and had died by suicide on Jan. 31, 2012. All through the month of February, 2012, visitors filled the space with farewell messages in […]

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L.A. Más: Help for Building Backyard Homes (ADUs)

     L.A. Más, a non-profit urban design firm in Elysian Valley, is now taking applications from homeowners for its Backyard Homes Project.      The project will help low-to-moderate income homeowners finance, design and build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on their properties. In exchange, the homeowners will rent the ADUs, (often converted garages), for […]

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Part of the 134 Freeway named President Barack H. Obama Highway.

     Obama Drove Here      Roughly five-miles of the 134 freeway, including the stretch in Eagle Rock between Pasadena and Glendale, is now officially the “President Barack H. Obama Highway.” Two large freeway signs announcing the new name were unveiled on Dec. 20, one on westbound 134 at Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena […]

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Limai Academy Opens in NELA

Limai Academy is a new private K-12 school in Eagle Rock that combines the standard American curriculum with curriculum from around the world, including an emphasis on Latin, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese alongside art, music, math and science. “Limai” stands for Leadership, Innovation, Motivation, Academics and Independence. The Limai 2019 summer camp is $95/week plus $20/week for extended hours. Annual tuition for the 2019/2020 academic year, when Limai will offer instruction for kindergarten through 9th grade, ranges from $8,900 to $11,500, depending on grade level.

For more information about summer camp and the 2019/2020 school year, call 323-507-2345 or visit the school and meet Principal Turner.

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Sports Resume This Month Unless Teachers Go on Strike

Alfred Bobadilla, varsity quarterback at Franklin High School in Highland Park, has been named the 2018 All-City Offensive Player of the Year in Division II by the CIF Los Angeles City Section. Bobadilla, a junior, led all of L.A.’s City Divisions in 2018 with 3,267 passing yards and 36 touchdowns. He also had 10 rushing […]

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The money will fix the monument but not other problems that plague the square

Highland Park Veterans Monument Scheduled for Repairs

It has taken two years, but the desecrated monument at Veterans Memorial Square on York Blvd. and Figueroa St. in Highland Park is finally going to be repaired. Councilmember Gil Cedillo managed to get a motion passed on Dec. 7 to transfer money for the repairs from the Mayor’s approved city budget to the Department […]

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NELA neighborhoods are in or surrounded by a "very severe hazard" fire zone

New Data Suggest Vast Devastation in a NELA Wildfire    

While it’s no secret that Northeast Los Angeles is vulnerable to wildfire, it’s hard to fathom the scale of possible destruction. New data released in December give a sense of just how devastating wildfire in NELA could be. Consider: Five NELA communities rank in the top 20 of L.A. neighborhoods with the most buildings in […]

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Social Change: How You Can Make a Difference

Picks from the people who bring you the Boulevard Sentinel

The problems of the world are also local problems. Here are several ways in and near NELA to learn more about the issues and work toward solutions. We list ways for both children and adults. They include courses exhibits and programs by the Audubon Center, Eagle Rock Library, The Wall Las Memorias Project and the Museum of Social Justice.

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The Boulevard Sentinel pick for St. Patrick’s Day is Maureen O’Carroll: A Musical Memoir of an Irish Immigrant Childhood, which O’Carroll co-wrote with her daughter, Leora O’Carroll, an L.A.-based writer and musician.

Connecting NELA Writers and NELA Readers

Picks from the people who bring you the Boulevard Sentinel While most of us were doing whatever it is we do with our lives, some of our NELA neighbors were writing and editing books. Here’s a rundown, including events where you can meet the authors. Maureen O’Carroll: A Musical Memoir of an Irish Immigrant Childhood […]

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Get beneath the surface of events and attractions in and near NELA.

Picks from the people who bring you the Boulevard Sentinel February is an eventful month in L.A., from Chinese New Year to the Academy Awards. But what you see on the surface is, well, the surface. Our “Picks” column this month tells you how to get beneath the surface of events and attractions in and […]

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