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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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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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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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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