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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Picking Up the Trash Is the Easy Part. Paying for Trash Pickup Is Hard.

For the most part, businesses and landlords in Northeast Los Angeles and the rest of the city have had no choice but to accept the higher costs and new procedures imposed by RecycLA, the city’s commercial trash-hauling system in effect since July 2017. But at a recent meeting of the committee on Energy, Climate Change […]

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Parting Advice from Gov. Brown: Don’t Encourage More Drinking

Gov. Jerry Brown defied the wishes of the California legislature recently, when he vetoed a bill that would have let bars in Los Angeles and eight other cities stay open until 4 a.m. Among the majority of lawmakers who voted in favor of a 4 a.m. closing time (versus 2 a.m. currently) were NELA’s representatives […]

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Franklin High Bomb Threat Was a Hoax; Principal Says, “Safety Is Our Priority”

A bomb threat on Oct. 15 that prompted a lockdown and police sweep of Franklin High School in Highland Park was a hoax. The caller also said that an officer had been shot at the school. No evidence was found of any bomb or any shooting. The major crimes division of the Los Angeles Police […]

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Arrest Is Made in Saturday Night Shooting on Trendy York Blvd.

Police have arrested Maximo Muy, 25, for the shooting that occurred in front of Johnny’s Bar on York Blvd. in Highland Park on Saturday, Oct. 6 at around 11:20 p.m. A detective with the LAPD Northeast Division who has been working on the case told the Boulevard Sentinel that Mr. Muy was arrested late last […]

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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 and a Closing

Judson International School 1495 Colorado Blvd. | Eagle Rock After 28 years in Pasadena, Judson International School, a private, non-denominational K-12 Christian school, has relocated to the school building on the campus of the Eagle Rock Baptist Church. Nearly a third of the school’s 100 students are international and its curriculum, taught by 19 faculty […]

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Open for Business in NELA

Three New Businesses in NELA are featured this month – Plant Material is a dream shop for eco-sensitive gardeners, Relentless is a new bar and restaurant beautifully outfitted with both open-air and balcony seating, and Touch is a boutique for art supplies that selects, curates, displays and demonstrates them. These are great addtions to NELA. Read more about them here.

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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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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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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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Burning of Methane at Scholl Canyon Raises Questions Anew

The methane gas from decaying trash at the Scholl Canyon landfill in the hills above Eagle Rock is being “flared,” or burned off, the Boulevard Sentinel has learned. Contrary to common belief, the methane is no longer being used to make electricity at the Grayson Power Plant in Glendale. From an environmental point of view, […]

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Do Huizar’s Problems Leave Him Any Time to Do His Job?

NELA’s City Councilmember, José Huizar, engulfed in legal problems, has all but disappeared from public view. In September and October, Mr. Huizar was named in a personnel complaint and two lawsuits by former employees alleging various violations, including workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation. On Nov. 7, his home, City Hall office and field office in […]

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Local Leaders Ask for Your Help to Stop the Latest Anti-Immigrant Proposal 

Hilda Solis, the Los Angeles County Supervisor for Northeast L.A., has joined Mayor Garcetti in opposing a Trump Administration proposal that would make it hard for legal immigrants to become permanent residents if they or their families receive Medicaid, federal housing aid or food stamps. “We are doing everything possible to stop this proposed rule […]

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Shop Locally. Boost the Community. Have a Great Holiday. 

The small businesses of Eagle Rock will roll out a collective welcome mat on Saturday, Nov. 24, with retailers and service businesses up and down the boulevards offering some of their best deals of the year and sponsoring special events. The occasion is Shop Small Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when small businesses nationwide showcase […]

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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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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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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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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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