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Eastside presence at Golden Globes | Sunset Junction business shake-up | El Sereno’s anti-gentrifier graffiti

Jan 13, 2019

EDITED by BARRY LANK

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

The Rite Aid in Echo Park received a shoutout during this year’s Golden Globes, with hosts Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg arranging for flu shots to be delivered from the Glendale Boulevard pharmacy. Men and women in white coats and syringes walked from the stage and into the Beverly Hills ballroom, offering fake shots to Willem Dafoe and Linda Cardellini. Meanwhile, some questioned the wisdom of getting an Echo Park flu shot in Beverly Hills, since a Rite Aid can be found about a mile from the Beverly Hilton. Why have your shots get delayed in crosstown traffic? Vanity Fair & Bustle

The Eastside also had another attendee at the Golden Globes. Alexis Martin Woodall, an Eagle Rock restaurateur, is also a producer with “American Crime Story,” which won the 2019 Golden Globe for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” Woodall co-owns the Red Herring on Colorado Boulevard with her husband, chef Dave Woodall. The Boulevard Sentinel

Sunset Junction in Silver Lake has seen several businesses come and go in recent weeks. The branch of El Pollo Loco was damaged by a fire on December 2 and will not be reopening. A 1,500-square-foot coffee shop, previously known as Eat Well, is up for lease, and is scheduled to close for good on Jan. 27. The Vietnamese eatery Blossom Restaurant is up for sale, though with an agreement to extend the lease. Meanwhile, Creatures of Comfort, a high-end women’s apparel store, shuttered after only a year. But Yolk Design Store has moved into the former Bar Keeper space. And A sign for California Sun has risen above the former Mixed Company — a restaurant that lasted less than a year. The Eastsider

Cal State University Los Angeles has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit for $2.75 million. Former Olympian and former senior associate athletic director Shelia Hudson accused the university’s ex-athletic director Mike Garrett of calling women in the department “sexist names,” such as sweetheart, love, and babe. She also accused the school of retaliating when she produced a report showing gender pay gaps in the department. In the settlement, the university also dropped its suit against Hudson, which accused her of illegally and secretly recording conversations with four employees. Hudson will no longer be able to hold a post in the university system and she must delete social media references to the litigation. Los Angeles Times

Several new and renovated homes in El Sereno have been hit by anti-gentrification graffiti — including one occupied by a builder of affordable housing. Messages like “Fuck Gentrification” and “Your house raises our rent” started appearing last fall, with photos posted on Instagram and other social media sites. Ironically, one of the homes targeted by the taggers is the residence of Tak Suzuki, who has overseen the development of more than 300 affordable residential units for low-income residents as a director at the nonprofit LTSC (Little Tokyo Service Center). It’s not clear who is behind the tagging. Curbed

A Glendale police officer was reassigned to desk duty and is being investigated after having shot at a robbery suspect in the parking lot of Eagle Rock Plaza. The incident began when a woman reported her cell phone stolen near the mall’s Target store. The officer, whose information hadn’t been released, fired four rounds at the suspect as he drove away. Surveillance footage showed the suspect, “backed out at a high rate of speed at our officer,” a department spokesperson said. The suspect, later identified as 28-year-old Joseph Vincent Esposito Jr. of Los Angeles, later surrendered to police. Glendale News Press 

Eastside representative Rep. Adam Schiff was sworn into the historic 116th Congress . With Democrats taking over the House, Schiff has been elevated to head the House Intelligence committee just as special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury was extended for up to six more months. He’s already threatened to release to Mueller possibly incriminating transcripts of Trump top allies. CNN

A black Kia crashed onto the sidewalk outside of Antigua Coffee Roasters in Cypress Park, demolishing a stop sign, some planters and narrowly missing sidewalk tables outside the Figueroa Street coffee house. But photos on the cafe’s Instagram show Antigua customers glued to their tables and laptops inside the cafe, unfazed by the car on the sidewalk a few feet from where they were sitting. The Eastsider

A man in El Sereno escaped injury after gunmen opened fire on him near Rose Hill Park. The victim was walking home when a vehicle approached, and the suspects asked what gang he was from. The victim ran away as the suspects fired numerous rounds at him before they drove off in an unknown direction, Barkley said. One of the suspects is described as a Latino man, 5-feet 5-inches tall, wearing a black hoodie and black shorts. The Eastsider

An interview with Constantine Singer, whose new science fiction novel, “Strange Days,” is set in his neighborhood of Echo Park – with aliens as a metaphor for gentrification. “We were part of the invitation to change, and some of the ideas and acts of proprietary entitlement I continue to see and hear in the name of ‘highest and best use’ shows up in the book.” The Eastsider

A driver has pled not guilty in a deadly Boyle Heights crash. Authorities claim that Joe Louis Perez was driving under the influence of laughing gas when his Ford Mustang was involved in a crash that killed an 11-year-old girl at a Whittier Boulevard taco stand in November 2017. If convicted, Perez faces up to nearly 14 years in prison. L.A. Times

Francisco Ramirez, whose La Princesita sold tortillas to high-end restaurants as well as neighborhood residents, died from a heart attack at age 64. Even as his company grew, Ramirez made tortillas the old-fashioned way, with stone-ground nixtamalized corn. “He didn’t care if you were someone in the neighborhood or a high-end restaurant — you were a customer, and that’s what mattered,” said his daughter Mavel. L.A. Times

Armed suspects in ski masks robbed a smoke shop in East Los Angeles. Two men demanded money from the cashier at the OG Smoke Shop on the 3900 block of Whittier Blvd. They took off with $450. Nobody was hurt. The Eastsider

A 77-year-old motorist pleaded not guilty to charges connected to a hit-and-run last month that claimed the life of a woman with 23 grandchildren. Raul Juarez Carranza allegedly fled the scene after his pickup truck struck 74-year-old Maty Sanchez as she crossed Whittier Boulevard and Williamson Avenue on the morning of Dec. 8. Carranza faces a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted of the charges. The Eastsider

Scene of the Week

Yarn bombing at the Silver Lake reservoir photo by Dan Gershon

Yarn Bombing, Silver Lake Reservoir | Dan Gershon

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