September-November 2008

Echo Park Improvement Association newsletter

Volume 15 Issue 3

A GARDEN STARTS WITH AN APPLE
by Susan Borden

Bettina Jeszenszky always enjoyed her regular walks through her Echo Park neighborhood. Without a yard of her own, she liked the exercise for herself and her child. Many gardens on her route attracted her with colorful flowers, fruit trees and thriving vegetables. Bettina often noticed one particular neglected sliver of land: a fenced-off lot on the local elementary school’s property. It seemed a shame to her, an area the size of a suburban backyard that no one was caring for. Sophia, her little girl, had chattered excitedly for a week after picking and eating an apple growing on its tree. Sophia’s wonder at nature’s simple act gave Bettina an idea. Why not turn this overlooked space into a productive garden for schoolchildren and nearby residents? Although Sophia was too young for school, last fall Bettina approached the principal at Elysian Heights Elementary School with her proposal, explaining that she planned to enlist assistance from the neighborhood as well as parents to help the children raise vegetables and flowers that could be sold and promising to organize a gardening club to tend plots and instruct students.

honor of Heller Ehrman’s twenty years in Los Angeles and the tenth anniversary of its community service commitment, the firm organized a workday at the site. Which was why, at nine o’clock in the morning on Saturday, August 9th, more than fifty men, women and

In December, with principal Sally Holguin’s Height elementary school’s new garden blessing, Bettina began to organize friends, local families, school parents, and even a few teachers, to children converged on a dirt- and straw-filled patch of create the garden she visualized instead of the unused the Elysian Heights elementary school campus. wasteland behind the chain link fence. Twenty Teachers Martha Smith and Susana Villamarin, who enthusiastic people attended the first meeting. registered participants, were impressed by the One of them was David Schnepp, father of a three- turnout. Sporting matching dark-green tee-shirts, the year-old, who lived on a neighboring hillside street. Heller Ehrman employees and their families were all David realized that the expenses of setting up the business as they joined local garden supporters to garden were not going to be met by the financially whip the space into shape. strapped school district. He successfully applied to the After breakfast in the school lunch court, courtesy San Francisco based law firm Heller Ehrman for one of of Delilah’s Bakery and Starbuck’s coffee, group its annual community service grants. The little garden garnered the money it needed to get started and, in (Continued on page 9)

Katia Kaplun, permaculture gardener, with newly planted flowers in Elysian

Echo Park Improvement Association
Meets at 7 p.m. the 1st Thursday of each Month in Williams Hall at Barlow Hospital 2000 Stadium Way in Elysian Park
Mail for EPIA: P.O.Box 261021, Los Angeles, CA 90026 Message Phone (323) 882-4835

Page 2

September-November 2008

Echo Park Film Center
“Your friendly neighborhood media arts organization!”

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The sun never sends a monthly bill!

ELECTRICITY MAKE YOUR OWN ELECTRICITY
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call for a free site visit & estimate

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1200 N. Alvarado St., Los Angeles, CA 90026 213-484-8846 www.echoparkfilmcenter.org
Hours: Wed/Thur/Fri 2 – 7pm, Sat noon – 5pm

(909) 865-8561 www.eesolar.com
EXPERT

*Thursday Night Cinema Series: 8 – 11 pm
*50% off equipment rentals for EPFC Members *Free filmmaking classes for Seniors and Teens
EPFC is a 501(c)3: donations are tax deductible.

• EXPERIENCED • ENVIRONMENTALY AWARE

Steven Arthur, Efficient Energy Specialist

Los Angeles Citywide Service Directory
a single toll-free phone number to contact City of Los Angeles officials for any non-emergency public service: Dial 311 non-

NEWSLETTER CREDITS
EDITORS: LYNN BARBÉ STEVEN M. ARTHUR ADVERTISING ROSIE BETANZOS DESKTOP PUBLISHING: S.M.ART SYSTEMS PRINTING: LYMAN PRINTING
Copyright by Echo Park Improvement Association 2007

Mail for EPIA: P.O.Box 261021, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Message Phone (323) 882-4835

September-November 2008

Page 3

Echo Park Curb Appeal
Despite a slowdown in construction due to the downturn in the market in recent months, there’s still a lot of activity in our area. Although many feel the Modern style of renowned twentieth century architect Richard Neutra is out of place in Angeleno Heights, the first half of his “Maxwell” house that was built in Brentwood in 1941 arrived at 830 E. Edgeware in Angeleno Heights early on the morning of Thursday August 14th. The house was removed from its previous Beverly Hills site to make space for a larger, new house on the large lot it was previously on. As EPIAN Ways goes to press, the second half (including the garage) is scheduled to arrive the week of August 25th. Work to reassemble and restore the house in its new location will begin as soon as all the pieces arrive here. Owner Barbara Behm is undecided as to whether she will occupy the house upon completion.

notes on Echo Park Structures
by Lawrence Fried

floor is planned to complete it in its new space. Questions or concerns regarding the Neutra “Maxwell” house or the adjacent Carriage house can be directed to Bob Goode, Chairperson of the Angeleno Heights Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) at 213-250-1112.

Grading work has begun on 20 live-work lofts with storefronts to the West of the Alvarado carwash at the corner of Sunset and Alvarado. The new units will be zoned for live/workspace to be used by creative professionals such as Graphic Designers, Visual Artists, Musicians and Photographers who can live and work in their units. The developers, Alvarado-Sunset Ventures are hoping to attract a new coffee shop as one of the first floor retail tenants to serve patrons of the adjacent car wash while they wait for their cars. The units will be available for rent when construction is completed. Questions or concerns The Neutra house move called to our attention about this project can be addressed to Clyde Wood a small 2nd floor of a house that’s curiously at 323-549-0787. suspended adjacent to the Neutra house’s new Please submit any Echo Park area remodel, environs. Unlike the Neutra house, the portion of rehab, improvement or construction projects you’d the structure that’s sitting adjacent is consistent like to have included in Echo Park Curb Appeal to: with the Angeleno Heights Victorian style. This EPIAMail@Yahoo.com. Please include how we can carriage house sat just West of Figueroa near Pico contact you and if possible include a contact name Blvd. for decades and was moved to its present site for the project. more than a year ago to make way for the Nokia Theatre and surrounding development. A new first

Read the EPIAn ways online at http://echoparkimprovement.googlepages.com/home

(323)

Mail for EPIA: P.O.Box 261021, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Message Phone (323) 882-4835

Page 4

September-November 2008

1800 W Sunset Blvd • (213) 989-1558 •

www.masaofechopark.com

1911 SUNSET BOULEVARD LOS ANGELES, CA 90026 (213) 484-1265

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knows the neighborhood
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Mail for EPIA: P.O.Box 261021, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Message Phone (323) 882-4835

September-November 2008

Page 5

Remembering the Food Conspiracy
by Ross Plesset

A major chapter in Echo Park's long history of activism is the Food Conspiracy, which according to veteran activist Art Goldberg, began in late 1969 and lasted about 10 years. Recently, he shared some of his memories of it.

ganizing. “So you could get very good prices on most of the produce, and often if they had old produce, meaning it was a day or two away from going bad like ripe peaches, they would literally give you an entire crate for a dollar or some“Once a week we would set up this kind of farmers' thing,” he said. “That was really before soup kitchens in a market,” Art recalled. “It was very similar except this was lot of ways because they didn't know what to do with it.” only one source: the Food Conspiracy. And then, everyone Food was only part of the conspiracy's purpose, Art in the group had to do work. It was a whole ideological po- said. Every week, the group would talk about politics and sition of being a kind of socialist cooperative. So once a try to get people in the community to become active bemonth you had to do maybe two to four hours of work: yond the Food Conspiracy. “The Food Conspiracy was sort pricing, selling the things, child care, doing the actual buy- of [similar to] the way the Black Panther Party did the ing--there were many tasks. As a result, you saved at that breakfast programs with children,” Art recalled. “It was a point about 25% overall on food. social activity in which you hoped to get other people poThe Food Conspiracy sprang up in a period when a tentially politically involved.” number of activists had moved to Echo Park – Art, some of his friends from his activist days in Berkeley, and his sister Jackie, who went on to elected office in city and state politics. For Art, the Food Conspiracy was a way to bridge some of the differences in the community. “You could buy food down at the produce market, and they not only sold produce, but you could get cheese, and nuts, quite a few different things. It moved around in the Echo Park-Silver Lake area.” At one point, the Food Conspiracy had a store, which ironically, is now the location of Art's law office on Echo Park Ave. and Scott. Such political involvement included antiwar marches, which, Art noted, were much bigger then because there was a draft. Art described the end of the Vietnam Offensive as a key factor in the Food Conspiracy's decline. By the time Reagan was elected in 1980, the political environment had begun to change – some participants in the conspiracy had had children, and some didn’t want to raise them in Echo Park. “My kids were getting older. I was spending more time with their activities in school and stuff. It was just a different climate,” he recalled.

See more on Echo Park activism in “Bohemian Los AngeArt got to know the downtown produce buyers, some of les: and the Making of Modern Politics” by Daniel Hurewitz. whom were progressive or liked the idea of community or-

Check out the Griffith Park Adult Community Center
by Stephanie Vendig The Griffith Park Adult Community Center (GPACC) is at 3203 Riverside Drive, just south of Los Feliz Blvd., and has a wide range of activities for the 50+ population in our community. The facility is open weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Check it out and take advantage of a great place to “hang out.” Housed at the facility is the Griffith Park Adult Community Club, formerly Silver Lake Senior Club. The club has monthly trips for its members and raises money to support the programming at the center. The club’s general meeting, open to the public, will run from noon to 3:30 pm on Sept. 17 at Friendship Auditorium. The Senior Ombudsman for the DMV will speak, and lunch will be served. The community center currently offers: A nutrition program provided 5 days a week by Hollywood Multipurpose Center. You can sign up daily starting at 11:30 am with lunch served at noon. The cost is $1.75 for people 60 and over and $3.75 for all others. Appointments with Shirley Ann Hoffacker, Case Management Supervisor from Hollywood Multipurpose Center. One-on-one sessions for those who want to improve their computer skills – or learn for the first time Guitar lessons, art classes, a book club, yoga and other activities Games such as Mah Jongg, scrabble, tile rummy and bridge Golf, tennis, walks in Griffith Park and swimming at the Los Feliz pool. Lectures by retired professors, provided by the Osher Life Learning Institute Program at Cal State LA. For more info on GPACC, contact Facility Director Mark Wilson at (323) 644-5579 or mark.wilson@lacity.org. For Griffith Park Adult Community Club information, contact Stephanie Vendig at vendig@sbcglobal.net or (323) 667-3043.

Mail for EPIA: P.O.Box 261021, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Message Phone (323) 882-4835

Page 6

September-November 2008

ECHO PARK CALENDAR
Event
EPIA Meetings
Date

Location
Williams Hall at Barlow Hospital, 2000 Stadium Way in Elysian Park Call (323) 882-4835 for location LAPD Stop-In Center, Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard Williams Hall at Barlow Hospital, 2000 Stadium Way in Elysian Park Taix Restaurant.

Comments

1 Thursday, 7:00 pm Oct 2, Nov 6, Dec 4 2nd Monday, 7:15 pm Sep 8, Oct 13, Nov 10 2nd Thursday, 2:00 pm Sep 11, Oct 9, Nov 13 1st Wednesday, 7:00 pm Oct 1, Nov 5, Dec 3

st

Call EPIA message phone for additional information. Take an active part in EPIA. Join the Steering Committee Hosted by Echo Park Security Association. Call (323)666-3228 for more info Call 213-666-9651 for meeting location

EPIA Steering Committee Meetings Community Safety Meeting Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park Echo Park Chamber of Commerce Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council Meeting Edendale Library Friends Society >=> ELFS <=< Positive Energy Group of Echo Park and Silver Lake Area EP Farmers Market Community Parade Deadline Sept EPIAn ways
Griffith Park Adult Community Club

3rd Thursday, 7:00 pm and every Wednesday 1:30 pm 4th Tuesday, 7 pm Sep 23, Oct 28, Nov 25 2nd Wednesday, 7 pm Sep 10, Oct 8, Nov 12

Call 213-630-3032 for further information. Call (213) 413-3196 for info or visit www.GEPENC.org

Logan Street School Auditorium, 1711 W. Logan Street

Edendale Branch Library Join the library’s support group Community room and find out how you can help 2011 W. Sunset Blvd. your neighborhood’s branch.

4th Wednesday , 6 pm - 7 pm Edendale Branch Library For info : e-mail slsa@sbcglobal.net or our blog Sep 24, Oct 22, Nov 26 Community room
www.positiveenergygroup.blogspot.com

Or call (323) 860-9914 Every Friday, 3pm - 7 pm 4th Thursday, 5:30 pm Sep 25, Oct 23 Saturday, Nov 22
Wednesday, Sep 17, 12-3:30pm parking lot #663 -- half a bock south of Sunset Boulevard 323463-3171 x13

Central City Action Committee

534 E. Edgeware Road (coner Belevue) Send submissions to EPIA, Attn: EPIAn Ways Editor
Program featuring the Senior Ombudsman for DMV speaking on seniors and driving.

Friendship Auditorium 3203 Riverside Drive Lunch will be served

SPECIAL EVENTS
blankets rewarded children who drew pictures of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowmen or Christmas trees. The kids’ NATIONAL NIGHT OUT crayon drawings were collected for a contest. The winning Historical Society, Edendale Library Friends Society, Echo entries will decorate flyers and programs for the 2008 Park Security Association, Echo Park Animal Alliance, Christmas holiday parade. neighborhood dentist Dr. George D. Lim and police I hope you didn’t miss it all—especially the blue cotton outreach. candy. See you next year!
(Continued from page 12)

At another table Los Angeles Dodgers bobble-heads and

Mail for EPIA: P.O.Box 261021, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Message Phone (323) 882-4835

September-November 2008

Page 7

POLICE
Police Emergency: Need Police Car Spanish Line Narcotic Hotline Child Abuse Hotline Police Non-Emergency LAPD Air Support Division 911 213-928-8222 1-800-662-2878 1-800-540-4000 1-877-275-5273 213-485-2600 213-485-4061 213-485-4080 213-485-4062 213-793-0775 213-847-1903 213-621-2344 213-485-2563 213-485-2563 213-793-0760 213-793-0763 213-485-2566 213-485-2548 213-847-4263 213-847-3375 213-485-2568 213-485-2566 Abandoned Vehicles Cars Parked in Yards Fire Hazards

CLEAN-UP
1-800-222-6366 1-888-524-2845 1-310-412-5350 1-800-988-6942 310-412-5350 1-800-996-2489 213-485-5391 1-800-773-2489 FAX 213-847-2261 818-374-1111

Hazardous Waste Disposal Information Overflowing Dumpsters Parkway Maintenance Storm Drains Trash and Bulky Item Pick Up L. A. Fire Department Brush Clearance

RAMPART DIVISION
Rampart Police Division Desk Rampart Vice Unit Rampart Division Watch Commander Senior Lead Officer Ford Community Relations China Town Sub-Station

GRAFFITI RELATED ISSUES
Central City Action Committee Free Paint 1st District) Free Paint 13th District) 213-241-0908 213-485-0763 323-957-4500

NORTHEAST DIVISION
Northeast Desk Northeast Report Unit Senior Lead Officer Bobby Hill Senior Lead Officer Al Polehonki Northeast Detectives Northeast Community Relations Northeast Gang Detail Northeast Youth Referral Program Northeast Records Release of Impounded Vehicles

CITIZEN COMPLAINTS
Department Building & Safety Department of Health Department of Transportation Department of Water & Power Parking Enforcement Loose/Stray Animals/Barking Dogs Legal Aid Client Referral Operation Bright Lights Street Lighting Repairs Professional Helicopter Pilots Association 888-524-2845 1-800-427-8700 213-580-1177 800-342-5397 866-869-2929 888-452-7381 1-800- 399-4529 1-800- 303-5267 1-800- 303-5267 213-891-3636 213-485-3451 323-957-4500 213-483-1425 213-628-9230 213-612-9566 323-258-0450 213-974-4111 213-978-0600 213-847-8045

LA County Department of Consumer Affairs 213-974-1452

COMMUNITY SERVICES
Copies of Crime and Traffic Reports Concerned Citizens Echo Park/Youth Empowerment Council — CCEC/YEC El Centro del Pueblo Echo Park Library Echo Park Recreation Center Echo Park Chamber of Commerce Dodger's Security Dodger's Comunity Focus Dodger's Public Relations Central City Action Committee North Central Animal Shelter L.A City Department of Aging Elysian Park Ranger Los Angeles City Information website 213-485-4193 323-662-2081 213-483-6335 213-250-7808 213-250-3578 213-630-3032 323-224-1363 323-224-2636 323-224-1435 213-241-0908 213-847-1416 800-834-4777 323-913-4688 www.lacity.org

POLITICAL
1st District Ed Reyes 13th District Eric Garcetti Congressman Xavier Becerra Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard State Senator Gil Cedillo Assemblyperson Kevin de Leon LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina Mayor’s Office mayor@lacity.org

City Attorney, Rocky Delgadillo

Mail for EPIA: P.O.Box 261021, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Message Phone (323) 882-4835

Page 8

September-November 2008

ECHO PARK LIBRARY
Library Hours Mondays Tuesdays Wednesdays Thursdays Fridays Saturdays Sundays 10:00 am - 8:00 pm 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm 10:00 am - 8:00 pm 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm 10:00 am - 6:00 pm 10:00 am - 6:00 pm CLOSED

EDENDALE LIBRARY
Library Hours Mondays Tuesdays Wednesdays Thursdays Fridays Saturdays Sundays 10:00 am – 8:00 pm 12 noon – 8:00 pm 10:00 am – 8:00 pm 12 noon – 8:00 pm 10:00 am – 6:00 pm 10:00 am – 6:00 pm CLOSED

Library Address Echo Park Branch Library 1410 W. Temple Street Los Angeles CA 90026 Phone 213.250.7808 213.250.3744 FAX

Library Address Edendale Branch Library 2011 W. Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90026 Phone (213) 207-3000 FAX (213) 207-3097

World Wide Web Address http://www.lapl.org

24 Hour Renewal: 888-577-LAPL

Adult Literacy Center Now Open at Echo Park Library
by Lisa Hsia, Adult Literacy Coordinator In October 2007, the Echo Park Library opened a brandnew Adult Literacy Center to serve the communities of Echo Park, Chinatown, Edendale, and Little Tokyo. Now, adults living in these neighborhoods who cannot read English above a sixth-grade level can get free, individualized help at their library. reach her life goals: getting her GED, passing the citizenship test, or reading a picture book to her children.

Literacy opens up whole new worlds to students, and teaching it is just as rewarding for tutors. Volunteer tutors do not need any special skills or background, just compassion, patience, and a desire to help. The Adult Literacy ProWhen a student enrolls in the LAPL’s Adult Literacy Pro- gram provides the training and materials. gram (http://www.lapl.org/literacy), she is matched with a The Echo Park Adult Literacy Center is in need of motivolunteer tutor, and the pair then decide on a regular time to vated students and good tutors! Please help us in getting the meet at their nearest library branch. The tutor will work one- word out. If you are interested in tutoring, or would like to on-one with the student for at least six months, helping her refer a student, drop by the library or contact the adult literimprove her basic reading and writing skills, and helping her acy coordinator, Lisa Hsia, at (213) 623-4078 x10890 or hsia@lapl.org.

Mail for EPIA: P.O.Box 261021, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Message Phone (323) 882-4835

September-November 2008

Page 9

Elysian Heights Elementary School Garden
(Continued from page 1)

members dug irrigation channels. Others pulled weeds, cleared away rubbish and lugged lumber for eighteen planter boxes. Some built and assembled the trapezoidal wooden boxes designed by a team of four permaculture garden students. Volunteers mixed compost and hauled dirt to fill planters. In August’s heat, it was hard work, but the only complaints were about the flies.

A three-piece bluegrass band, seated on straw bales under the bougainvillea, filled the air with traditional Appalachian dance tunes. Fiddler Joe Black, an Echo Park resident, and banjoist Steve Lewis have played together for fifteen years. Professional classical To volunteer in the garden, contact principal Sally Holguin, Elysian Heights School, 1562 Baxter Street, 323-665flute player Laura Osborn strummed the guitar. 6315. To be part of the Garden Committee, call Bettina During a lunch provided by the Los Angeles Jeszenszky, 323-665-6594. To get in touch with Joe Dodgers, a clown, balloon animals and a tug-of-war Black’s band, call 213-413-4240. (The Echo Park entertained the kids. District 13 City Councilman Eric Improvement Association is the fiscal agent for the Heller Garcetti walked over from his nearby home to plant a Ehrman school garden grant). sprig of ceremonial sage in a freshly-filled planter box.

Laboring through the hot afternoon, volunteers were surprised to discover a large boulder with a commemorative plaque near the garden’s back gate. The inscription read: “Beverly D. Mason. Garden And Animal Center. In Recognition Of Her Many Years Of Devoted Service To The Children And Community Of Elysian Heights School. Dedicated May 22 1983”. Until her retirement, long-time principal Beverly Mason maintained a student vegetable garden and a barnyard of goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits and other farm animals on the site. If she were alive today, Miss Mason would surely approve of the new garden that little Sophia’s apple inspired.

Mon — Sat 11 am — 7 pm Sundays — Group of 10 or more by Reservation Wood Burning Rotisserie 309 N. Glendale Blvd We Roast Los Angeles, CA 90026 our own www.tigeorgeschicken.com HAITIAN Coffee
Email: geo4u1@sbcglobal.net

Saturday Special Typical Haitian Food

EPIA can be contacted at epiamail@yahoo.com. Of course, you can continue to reach us through the EPIA message phone at (323) 882-4835.

Mail for EPIA: P.O.Box 261021, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Message Phone (323) 882-4835

Page 10

September-November 2008

The Mayor of Elysian Park
by Eric Trules

There he is. Gravel voice. Boxer’s pug face. One eye. Laugh like a happy machine gun. Eddie “El Gato” Gasporra. Echo Park resident since ‘81. Or was it ’85? Or ’89? He’s not so clear about it these days. But he’s sitting on “his” bench in Elysian Park in the Marion Harlow Memorial Garden, just beneath the Atwater property at the northeast end of Park Drive. Eddie’s got his dogs with him, Lucky, Nano, & Glory, who have replaced Randy, Girlie, and Duke over the years. Eddie’s been sitting here every day holding court with his neighbors, who like to refer to him as “The Mayor of Elysian Park”. Eddie’s a neighborhood kinda guy. Friendly, smart-ass, mouth like a sewer. A people person. Born in 1935, he grew up in Huntington Park, defending the underdog ever since elementary and high school … with his fists. Maybe that’s how he became a professional boxer in the late 1950s, a fly then lightweight, trained by Joe Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, managed by the infamous Jackie McCoy, fighting at the legendary Hollywood Legion on El Centro just south of Hollywood Boulevard. One of six boys and a girl, his mother was born in El Paso, Texas, his father, the macho patriarch of the family “who never spared the rod”, in Chihuahua, Mexico. The family moved to Watts during Eddie’s teenage years, but Eddie’s older brother still

drove him to Huntington Park High, where Eddie was the football team’s galloping halfback and twice class president. The “black sheep” of the family, he also dabbled in weekend lunch room burglary and once even punched out his choir teacher. Eddie sang second tenor. After putting Julian Velasquez into a one day coma in the ring, Eddie lost his next three fights, along with his passion for professional boxing, and in 1959 he joined the Teamsters. First he worked the docks, then trucked, and then became the notorious Danny DeVito-like dispatcher for “Los Animales”, the rough and ready Montebello truckers of Local Teamsters 208. It was 1970, during the wildcat Teamsters strike, when Eddie met Alana, a 23 year old UCLA SDS student, on the strike line. Pumped up by strike line adrenaline as he was being hauled off to jail, Eddie managed to ask Alana for her phone number. Days later, he called her right after his release and was surprised to find the phone number “actually real”. Eddie’d been married twice before, father of Eddie Junior from the first marriage, father of Tony and Robin from the second. Alana had always been attracted to boxers, and as soon as she heard Eddie’s deep guttural intonations en Espanol, she was hooked. They moved in together in 1970, and they found their “little bunPROFESSIONAL SECURITY galow with rustic OFFICERS charm” at 1879 SECURITY PATROLS OFF DUTY POLICE OFFICERS Lucretia in Echo Park in 1981. Or LOSS PREVENTION was it ’85? Or DEDICATED ’89? Neither can

remember, but they’ve been here ever since. Eddie retired from the Teamsters in 1991 after 32 years, and Alana just retired from her elementary school teacher’s job at LAUSD. Now they like to go to Pizza Buona on Sunset once a week for authentic Italian food and to Barragan’s on Sunset for the best Mexican comida in town. Eddie meets his Mexican “homies” most mornings at the donut shop at Echo Park and Montana, and the homies greet him with a welcoming, “Don Gasporra”. Eddie likes it that way because he’s a big fan of the “Godfather” movies, and what better way to show “a little respect” for a man who stands up for neighbors, than with a Corleone-like salutation. In fact, if you want a friendly enforcer to stand up for you sometime, just walk over to the bench in Marion Harlow Garden in Elysian Park, and ask for “The Mayor of Elysian Park.”
Eric Trules is a 15 year resident of Echo Park and a Senior Lecturer at USC’s School of Theater. More info at: www.erictrules.com

MANAGEMENT & STAFF

24 Hour Dispatch Center: (213) 403-0111

Office: (213) 384-3643 - Fax: (213) 384-3652
3470 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 885Los Angeles, CA 90010

Opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Echo Park Improvement Association

Mail for EPIA: P.O.Box 261021, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Message Phone (323) 882-4835

September-November 2008

Page 11

Central City Action
Since I just found out the EPIAN was going to be published this weekend I am not at a loss for reporting events happening at CCAC, it’s just that I have to compile them quickly so the paper can go to print. In the last newspaper, I told of the trip to San Francisco. A wonderful, educating, entertaining time was enjoyed by the 10 kids who made the journey. A few of them had never flown before so that alone was the highlight of the trip. The youth were in awe of the architecture. Natalie told me she likes the way people dressed. They ate in Chinatown, Haight Ashbury and on the wharf... So what do we do for an encore? Can’t tell you right now, it’s a secret.

by Gloria
Want to tell you about this past week. Let’s go backwards from today. While I am sitting here typing away, the kids are all downstairs sliding down a water slide which is in the back yard of the fire station. One of them called me in the morning to ask if he needed a change of clothes and I old him it was entirely up to him. Sam is setting up the BBQ for hamburgers and hot dogs. This will be the finale for the week. What a way to go. Thursday the kids decided to do something that was air-conditioned so they went to see Batman. Wednesday was a night beach trip. The kids all went in the water, even I waded in a little bit. After we started the fire, out came the hotdogs. Everyone was eating them except something was wrong with mine—it tasted like salt—everyone was laughing at me. I think they put sea salt on my hot dog, it was the strangest tasting dog I ever ate. Anyway, after the fire got going Sam fell asleep and snoring so loud that the other people on the beach could hear him.

This summer we had 10 kids working with our graffiti crews. Not only did these kids make money, but they definitely enhanced our graffiti removal services. The crews were able to do whole blocks of light poles, instead on one at a time. The kids have worked their last days and will get their final paycheck the first week of school. Thanks to all the kids who worked—Maria, Andres, Arturo, Sarah, Richard, Yonathon, Marcos, Lynnette and David. The crews will miss your help. The kids who were not old enough to work had a great time this summer. Only thing, I felt the summer was too short. I had so much fun going to Hansen Dam three times that I would like to be permanently assigned there. It appears as if the kids favorite game is keep the ball away from Gloria. Aside from hitting me in the face a couple of times, I enjoyed my time with the kids. Even with movies, eating at hometown buffet and the beach we still all manage to play our Wii game. I now know all the words to I Love Rock n Roll.

On Tuesday, Sam, Maryanne and I took the kids to Hansen Dam. We had a picnic lunch provided by Maryanne’s daughter Chrissy. The water is great and everyone had a good time. On Monday, Sam took the kids to Venice beach. Some of our kids are like dolphins in the water, especially Arturo who I nicknamed Flipper. Is the staff tired? Just a little bit. Are the kids tired? No, they want more. Okay so next week is school. Several of our older kids have moved on to college so we will not be seeing them as often. Now we have the younger brothers and sisters coming to the center. Thanks for the community support of our agency.

THIS SPACE IS WAITING for YOUR AD
882Call the EPIA (323) 882-4835 for Info
Mail for EPIA: P.O.Box 261021, Los Angeles, CA 90026 Message Phone (323) 882-4835

Page 12

September-November 2008

Echo Park Celebrates NATIONAL NIGHT OUT
by Susan Borden

I hope you didn’t miss Echo Park’s version of National Night Out this year. If you weren’t one of the hundreds of revelers in the Walgreen’s parking lot on August 5th, you missed a free evening of food and fun. An annual nation-wide crime and drug prevention event, National Night Out has been sponsored for twenty-five years by the National Association of Town Watch. According to the group’s website, the festivity has four purposes. The first is to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; second, to

participation in local anti-crime programs; third, to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; last, to send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Rosie Betanzos of Positive Energy was the lead planner for the local celebration. She put together quite a show. Three Generations - Vicky, baby Jessica and Jesusita For a start, no one went hungry! Staff of Select Patrol parking lot Teen Community Police grilled fresh, locally made Advisory Board members painted sausages and hamburgers for bright designs on little faces. the crowd and served them up Youngsters could also win pet with all the fixings. After their goldfish by playing a simple game. families finished eating, the A good many fish went to a new kids could enjoy cotton candy, home in a plastic bag at the end of prepared right on the spot. the evening. The council districts were represented by several staff members, as well as elected officials themselves who visited, shook hands and met their constituents. Tables were set up where visitors could find out about local groups such as the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce, Echo Park
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Did I tell you it was all free? The Northeast L.A.P.D. was out in force, with Captain Bill Murphy introducing the dignitaries, as he stood next to a popular monster kiddie Captain Bill Murphy, Northeast LAPD with Noel bouncer. The colorful play apparatus was almost never Rogers and Susan Borden at EPSA table without a line of waiting generate support for and children. On the other side of the

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