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County libraries face deficit; names are dropped from gang injunctions; Eastside fires

Dec 17, 2017

Eastside Review
A recap of some of the past week’s scenes, sightings and stories from across the Eastside.

  • The county library system faces a growing budget deficit as the cost of salaries, retiree benefits and other expenses have continued to grow. Supervisor Janice Hahn warned of possible future cutbacks if officials can’t get the deficit under control. KPCC
  • The police pursuit of a stolen van that began in Boyle Heights zig-zagged from West L.A. to the San Gabriel Valley before ending in Downtown L.A. Daily News
  • Thousands of meals for firefighters battling brush fires in Los Angeles and Ventura counties were prepared by volunteers with L.A. Kitchen in Lincoln Heights. ABC7
  • A Los Feliz activist and member of the Griffith Park Advisory Board was investigated by the city for “inappropriate” behavior after he allegedly touched or hit a female Recreation & Parks Department employee on her backside with a plastic paper plate during a community event. The investigation has prompted some community activists to defend Chris Laib, a gay man who some say has been targeted for political reasons. Los Feliz Ledger & L.A. Times
  • More than 80% of the people once covered by gang injunctions have been removed from the court orders following an audit by the City Attorney and other agencies. The change comes after a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the legality of the injunctions, which are used to restrict the activity of suspected gang members. The injunctions cover numerous Eastside communities, including portions of Atwater Village, Boyle Heights, Echo Park, Highland Park, Lincoln Heights, Silver Lake and other Eastside neighborhoods. L.A. Times
  • The former Acapulco Mexican restaurant in East Hollywood is finally being torn down. Heavy-duty construction equipment and demolition crews showed up last week at the 4400 block of Sunset Boulevard, where the restaurant closed nearly a year ago, one of several shuttered by its corporate parent, Real Mex Restaurants. The Eastsider
  • The Occidental College Glee Club will perform in Austria and the Czech Republic next month as part of a week-long European tour. The Eagle Rock college’s choral group will sing music by classical European composers as well as contemporary selections, American gospel songs and pieces made famous by Simon & Garfunkel and Michael Jackson. Occidental College
  • The L.A. school board voted to keep an “early start” school year that begins in mid-August. Many parents of elementary and middle school students favor a later start to allow for longer summer vacations but parents of high school students prefer an early start that ends the first semester before the winter break. This allows more time to prepare college applications. L.A. Times & L.A. Schools Report
  • Prepare to be on camera if you’re playing tennis or playing baseball at Echo Park. Nine dome-type security cameras will be surveilling the tennis courts and ball fields in the portion of the park south of the 101 Freeway if the city’s parks commissioner follows recommendations by the Department of Recreation and Parks. The Eastsider
  • Juanito’s Tamales in East L.A. seems to have closed, after more than 60 years. No word why or whether it will reopen. This news comes in the middle of L.A. Times columnist Jonathan Gold’s annual recommendations on where to buy Christmas tamales. The Eastsider
  • A new fee that would be used to help pay for affordable housing will be applied to new residential development across the city under a law adopted by the City Council. The new linkage fee is expected to generate about $100 million in revenue but developers and business groups said it would only boost the cost of housing construction. L.A. Times & KPCC
  • Firefighters distributed Christmas gifts to every student at First Street Elementary in Boyle Heights. ABC7
  • This Week in Fires: 
  • ECHO PARK – A 14-year-old girl was injured after a Christmas tree caught fire inside a home in the 300 block of Alvarado Street in the Historic Filipinotown section. A spark from an electrical overload was blamed for the fire, which engulfed the home. The girl was treated for a burn described as non-life threatening. LAFD
  • ELYSIAN PARK – A brush fire burned about half an acre before firefighters knocked down the blaze in about 30 minutes. Daily News
  • HIGHLAND PARK – An apartment fire over a garage in the 300 block of Newland Street was put out quickly, and there were no reports of injuries. LAFD
  • EAGLE ROCK – A brush fire scorched about two acres tonight near Occidental College south of the campus swimming pool and amphitheater. The Eastsider
  • LOS FELIZ – Firefighters quickly put out a kitchen fire in an apartment in the 3600 block of Los Feliz Boulevard. No injuries were reported. LAFD

Photo of the Week

Photos by Kevin Kuzma

  • City signmakers apparently could not agree on how to spell the name of this one-block street in Highland Park, with one sign reading Videte while the other sign at the same intersection reads Vidette. The correct answer: Vidette (with 2 T’s). The Eastsider

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