Grupo de Desarrolladores Aprobado para Renacimiento de la Cárcel de Lincoln Heights

November 15, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

El Concejo de la Ciudad de Los Ángeles ha firmado un contrato con un equipo de desarrollo para la cárcel de Lincoln Heights, vacía y en ruinas, desde hace mucho tiempo, pero podrían pasar dos o más años antes que realmente comience la construcción.

La oferta ganadora es de la empresa conjunta de Lincoln Property Company y Fifteen Group. El distrito de Lincoln Heights Makers propuesto por los desarrolladores venció a otros dos finalistas que competían por desarrollar el sitio en la orilla este del río Los Ángeles, junto a la avenida 19 en Lincoln Heights, que también esta convenientemente dentro de 5 a 10 minutos de seis autopistas principales y una estación de tren de Metro.

Un lienzo favorito de los marcadores o “taggers” y vándalos de grafiti en los últimos años, la cárcel de Lincoln Heights fue construido en 1931 y cuenta con un diseño Art Decó. En 1993, la Comisión del Patrimonio Cultural de Los Ángeles designó el edificio Monumento Histórico-Cultural de la Cuidad (No. 587), otorgándole el titulo “Sitio Histórico” local.

La ciudad dejó de usar la instalación como cárcel en 1965 y finalmente la puso a disposición de los grupos sin fines de lucro, incluyendo la Fundación Bilingüe de las Artes (BFA) y el Gimnasio de Boxeo de Lincoln Heights. El edificio se cerró permanentemente en el 2014, y la ciudad citó los riesgos estructurales y otros riesgos potenciales como la razón.

La remodelación de Lincoln Heights Markers propone una ambiciosa combinación de vivienda y de trabajo, espacio de oficinas creativas, espacio comercial y de manufactura y venta al público, un mercado público, espacio verde que incluye un anfiteatro, espacio de recreación y un espacio comunitario en la azotea.

La cárcel de Lincoln Heights en la Ciudad de Los Ángeles. (Foto por Gloria Alvarez)

La cárcel de Lincoln Heights en la Ciudad de Los Ángeles. (Foto por Gloria Alvarez)

El área esta zonificada, “Innovación Urbana”, una clasificación relativamente nueva destinada a revitalizar áreas subutilizadas y estimular la creación de empleos a través de usos verdaderamente mixtos, aunque las cuotas de vivienda y densidad de venta son significativamente más limitadas que en algunas áreas cercanas.

Se prohíben los usos industriales pesados, desde la fabricación hasta los astilleros de demolición de automóviles.

El vicepresidente de Fifteen Group, Rogelio Navar, le dijo a EGP que proponen incorporar dos propiedades que ya poseen al otro lado de la calle desde la cárcel al plan general del proyecto, agregando más de 3 acres al desarrollo general.

El Lincoln Heights Makers District correrá del oeste al este desde el Río de Los Ángeles hasta San Fernando Road, y desde el patio de la ciudad al norte de Humbolt hasta justo al sur de donde se fusionan la avenida 19 con Riverside Drive y la calle Figueroa.

Los sitios combinados crearán una comunidad de destino que incorporará una variedad de usos, dijo Navar. Habrá espacios abiertos, espacios verdes para la recreación y para reuniones comunitarias dijo, y agregó que las unidades de viviendo y trabajo podrían ser utilizadas por artistas.

Si bien no se han nombrado inquilinos específicos, Navar dijo que el edificio identificado como Markers Hall incluiría 40,000 pies cuadrados de fabricación liviana, como fabricantes de cerveza artesanal o tostadores de café.

“Nuestro plan respeta los objetivos del CASP (Plan de Cornfield Arroyo Seco) y la zonificación de la Innovación Urbana”, dijo Navar, y agregó que otras industrias, como las del campo de la biotecnología, podrían encontrar un hogar en el sitio.

El plan Lincoln Heights Makers incluye 57,000 pies cuadrados para uso residencial en el sitio de la cárcel de Lincoln Heights, y propone más de 200,000 pies cuadrados de espacio residencial en el antiguo edificio MAGA y las propiedades Anhing – identificado en el plan como el Sitio 405 – en el lado opuesto de la Avenida 19. Se han programado más de 200,000 pies cuadrados para uso comercial y otros 15,000 se destinarán a usos minoristas, de acuerdo con la oferta de los desarrolladores. Incluye servicios comunitarios tales como campos deportivos para jóvenes y jardines comunitarios.

El desarrollador también está poniendo la creación de la “Festival Callejero”, una sección de la Avenida 19 que podría cerrarse de vez en cuando para eventos comunitarios, como festivales, mercados de agricultores y eventos similares.

En una reunión de la comunidad a principios de este año, donde los tres finalistas presentaron sus propuestas a un grupo asesor comunitario especialmente convocado y la comunidad, algunos residentes expresaron su preocupación de que los proyectos podrían llevar a una mayor

El Lincoln Heights Makers District correrá del oeste al este desde el Río de Los Ángeles hasta San Fernando Road, y desde el patio de la ciudad al norte de Humbolt hasta justo al sur de donde se fusionan la avenida 19 con Riverside Drive y la calle Figueroa.

El Lincoln Heights Makers District correrá del oeste al este desde el Río de Los Ángeles hasta San Fernando Road, y desde el patio de la ciudad al norte de Humbolt hasta justo al sur de donde se fusionan la avenida 19 con Riverside Drive y la calle Figueroa.

gentrificación el vecindario del área noreste.

De acuerdo con Navar, sin embargo, el rechazo de la comunidad por los temores de gentrificación ha sido menor que en otras áreas de la ciudad. Él piensa que es porque el sitio ha estado vacante durante tanto tiempo y no está rodeado de viviendas, por lo que no hay viviendas asequibles que perder.

“Este proyecto llevará el área a la comunidad de Lincoln Heights, conectándola con el vecindario”, dijo.

“Quiero señalar que el concejal (Gil) Cedillo hizo un gran trabajo informando e involucrando a la comunidad en el proceso”, dijo Navar, señalando que Cedillo había “designado un panel asesor especial” formado por personas de la comunidad, incluidos residentes, empresas y el consejo del vecindario para evaluar las propuestas y hacer recomendaciones al concejo municipal, asegurando que la comunidad tuviera voz, dijo.

Los detalles del contrato de desarrollo, incluidas las tarifas a pagar, la disposición de propiedad adyacente de la ciudad actualmente en uso por los departamentos de transporte y saneamiento, aún deben ser finalizados. Una vez que se haya completado, si iniciara el proceso de obtención de permisos.

“Probablemente pasaran dos años antes de que comience la construcción”, dijo Navar.

Hombre Asesinado por CHP

September 21, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – Un hombre que caminaba en los carriles de la autopista fue asesinado en Lincoln Heights el domingo por oficiales de la Patrulla de Carreteras de California (CHP).

El incidente fue capturado en video por un pasajero en un automóvil y mostró a varios oficiales del CHP disparando múltiples balas, presumiblemente al hombre en la autopista.

El tiroteo fue en la autopista de Golden State (5) en las afueras del centro de Los Ángeles, en Mission Road, justo al norte del intercambio 5 con la autopista San Bernandino (10) y la cadena de eventos comenzó con una llamada telefónica sobre un peatonal en la interestatal a las 11:50 de la tarde el sábado, dijo la oficial del CHP Elizabeth Kravig.

Al parecer, el hombre caminaba por la autopista en dirección sur, cerca de la autopista San Bernandino (10). El tiroteo, sin embargo, estaba en los carriles del norte.

“Los agentes llegaron a la escena a las 12:05 de la mañana y posteriormente ocurrió un tiroteo de oficiales”, dijo Kravig.

El hombre fue pronunciado en la escena y ningún oficial resulto herido, dijo Kravig.

Según informes de los medios, un cuchillo fue recuperado en la escena y una pistola paralizante fue utilizada en él, sin resultado.

Un SigAlert fue emitido a las 12:56 de la mañana, por una duración desconocida, con todo el tráfico del 5 en dirección norte siendo desviado hacia el este del 10, aunque el desvió recomendado fuera del intercambio del este de L.A. fue evitar el cierre usando la autopista Hollywood (101) en el valle de San Fernando.

Breves de la Comunidad

July 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

LOS ÁNGELES

(CNS) – Un oficial del Servicio Federal de Protección de Seguridad fue acusado el jueves 29 de junio por presuntamente patear a un detenido esposado en la cabeza.

Jasón Michael Rouswell, de 46 años, del vecindario de El Serano, fue acusado con un cargo federal de privación de apariencia de legalidad desde el supuesto asalto del 20 de octubre, según la Oficina del Fiscal de los Estados Unidos.

Rouswell es acusado de patear a la víctima en la cabeza después de que el detenido había sido esposado y estaba boca abajo en una posición prona.  También se alega que la víctima sufrió lesiones corporales. El supuesto bateador tomó lugar fuera de las oficinas de la Administración del Seguro Social en Pomona.

Rouswell – que enfrenta hasta 10 años en una prisión federal si es condenado – se entregará a las autoridades federales en el centro de Los Ángeles el miércoles 5 de julio para su procesamiento.

 

DOWNEY

(CNS) – Un hombre de 38 años fue acusado de haber disparado fatalmente a la madre de sus hijos e hiriendo a un hombre durante un intercambio de custodia en el hogar de la mujer en el sur de Whittier Heights, fue esperado en el Tribunal Superior de Downey el lunes para ser su alegato.

El ataque tomo lugar alrededor de las 11:10 de la mañana en el bloquee 13900 de Coateau Drive, dijo el alguacil Jeffrey Gordon. Nereida Villanueva, de 33 años, fue pronunciada muerta ahí mismo y su compañero masculino fue llevado a un hospital en el área. Su condición no fue conocida de inmediato, ni la naturaleza de su relación con Villanueva.

El sospechoso, Efrem Rubén Lozoya huyó después del tiroteo, pero luego se entregó a una comisaría local, informo el departamento del Sheriff. Fue arrestado a eso de las 5 de la tarde el sábado por sospecha de asesinato e intento de asesinato, según el departamento del Sheriff y la información de la cárcel.

Los detectives de homicidios del sheriff pidieron a cualquier persona con información sobre el incidente que se comuniquen al (323) 890-5500.

 

LINCOLN HEIGHTS

(CNS) – Los bomberos de la cuidad de Los Ángeles detuvieron un pequeño fuego de combustión lenta que incendiada dos acres de monte bajo el domingo por la noche en Lincoln Heights.

Las llamas cerca del bloque 4000 del norte de Mission Road fueron reportadas alrededor de las 7:05 de la tarde, dijo la portavoz del departamento de bomberos Margaret Stewart.

El departamento envió a 64 bomberos y tres helicópteros con agua para extinguir el incendio en unos 49 minutos, dijo Stewart.

Los bomberos permanecieron en la escena para apagar los puntos calientes, dijo Stewart.

No se comunicó que hubiera heridos o estructuras dañadas.

Bomberos de L.A. Detuvieron Pequeño Fuego en Lincoln Heights

July 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Los bomberos de la cuidad de Los Ángeles detuvieron un pequeño fuego de combustión lenta que incendio dos acres de monte bajo el domingo por la noche en Lincoln Heights.

Las llamas cerca del bloque 4000 del norte de Mission Road fueron reportadas alrededor de las 7:05 de la tarde, dijo la portavoz del departamento de bomberos Margaret Stewart.

El departamento envió a 64 bomberos y tres helicópteros con agua para extinguir el incendio en unos 49 minutos, dijo Stewart.

Los bomberos permanecieron en la escena para apagar los puntos calientes, dijo Stewart.

No se comunicó que hubiera heridos o estructuras dañadas.

County Breaks Ground On New Mental Health and Wellness Center

June 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

LINCOLN HEIGHTS – Jessie Cho for years suffered from depression, abusing drugs until she finally got help at the Northeast Mental Health Center in Highland Park. She now hopes others will get the treatment they need when a new mental health center opens in Lincoln Heights.

“I wanted to die, I felt I was of no use,” she tearfully recalled last week during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new county facility scheduled to open in November 2018.

Cho credits the mental health counseling services and treatment she received for turning her life around. For the first time in a long time, she felt like she was not alone.

Inspired to pay it forward, Cho began volunteering at the mental health center and eventually trained to become a community health worker. She now helps guide others to the appropriate services for his or her situation.

“I learned to balance my work and give myself self-love and self care,” she said about her recovery.

A groundbreaking was held in Lincoln Heights last week for the future site of the Northeast Mental Health Center. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

A groundbreaking was held in Lincoln Heights last week for the future site of the Northeast Mental Health Center. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

The soon-to-be constructed 47,330 square-foot mixed-retail and medical office project will be located on the 3300 block of North Broadway, and will house the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Northeast Mental Health and Wellness Centers.

Outpatient services will include crisis resolution assistance and wellness treatment. Clients will also be able to receive medical services at the same location.

“This facility is something that is much-needed” in the area, said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis at the event. “This will bring county services to a community that desperately needs them.”

Located just east of Chinatown and south of Cypress Park, Lincoln Heights is a neighborhood in transition. Latinos are about 70 percent of the population, with Asians being the next largest group at about 36 percent and growing. The median household income is about $36,000 a year, lower than many other areas of the county.

Like many nearby areas, the number of homeless has been on the rise at the same time housing prices are trending upward as people with higher incomes priced out of nearby neighborhoods like Echo Park, Highland Park, and the Downtown Arts District look for more affordable homes.

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is the largest county-run mental health department in the country. On average, more than 250,000 county residents receive services every year, according to the department.

Although Lincoln Heights is also home to County USC Hospital and LAC-USC Medical Center and Health Sciences Campus, residents and mental health advocates in East and Northeast L.A. have long complained of a lack of mental services in the area.

Noting that deep cuts nationally to health care are on the horizon, Solis said it’s “important for a project like this to get done.”

The facility will be built on a lot that has been vacant for years, despite a one-time plan to build a banquet hall there. Local residents, citing its close proximity to Lincoln High School and other schools, objected to the banquet facility because liquor would be sold.

Arman Gabay, co-founder of the Charles Company – the project developer – was overcome with emotion last week as he told the story of how the idea to build the medical office building in Lincoln Heights finally took root.

The medical and mental health facility –which will include retail space on the ground level –is the first major development the area in years.

When the Rose Eye Medical Group moved from the location, it became an “eyesore,” Steven Kasten of Steven Kasten Reality told EGP.

The building was torn down and the lot has been vacant for over a decade, recalled Kasten, whose company owns and manages many properties in the area.

Kasten, former president of the Lincoln Heights Chamber of Commerce, says he hopes the new development will be a catalyst for more quality development in the area.

“Most people didn’t want to invest in Lincoln Heights,” he told EGP Tuesday. But now “all the ingredients are right for development.”

The project is also expected to generate 180 jobs.

“This is a partnership between the community, stakeholders, City of Los Angeles and the County,” Gene Detchemendy of the Charles Company explained.

“It’s thinking outside the box,” agreed Solis who called the partnership a “village approach.”

Cho, who now works at the same center in Highland Park where she received treatment, attributes her speedy recovery to the services she received at the county-run mental health facility.

She expects the new Lincoln Heights center will provide the community with a nurturing place for mental health and recovery.

“They literally saved my life,” she said, as she stood at the future site of the mental health center where she will soon be helping others. “I feel I have come full circle.”

 

Six-Years Later, Familial DNA Used to Find Killer of Teen, Young Woman

June 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Nearly six years have passed since the rape and killings of a teenage girl and young woman in Lincoln Heights sparked fear that a serial killer could be on the loose.

Pleas to the public, offers of rewards for information leading to the killer led nowhere.

But police kept searching for the killer of 17-year-old Michelle Lozano and 22-year-old Bree’Anna Guzman, finally turning to a process called familial DNA testing to find their suspect.

Michelle Lozano were killed in 2011, prompting fears of a serial killer. (EGP photo archive)

Michelle Lozano was killed in 2011, prompting fears of a serial killer. (EGP photo archive)

On Wednesday, 32-year-old Geovanni Borjas was charged with capital murder. Police say they cracked the case by using a familial DNA test and secretly collecting the suspect’s spit from a sidewalk.

Borjas was arrested May 25 at his home in Torrance, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said. He was charged Tuesday with two counts each of murder and forcible rape, along with a single count of kidnapping.

The charges include the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder during commission of a rape and a kidnapping. The allegations make Borjas eligible for the death penalty, but prosecutors have not yet decided if they will seek a death sentence.

Borjas pleaded not guilty, and is due back in court June 22, when a date will be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial. He remains jailed without bail, His attorney argued he does not pose a flight risk, noting he works full-time and is a father.

Bree’Anna Guzman was killed in 2011, prompting fears of a serial killer. (EGP photo archive)

Bree’Anna Guzman was killed in 2011, prompting fears of a serial killer. (EGP photo archive)

Borjas is suspected of kidnapping and slaying Lozano in 2011; the teen’s body was found the day after Easter, about 11:40 p.m. April 25, 2011, dumped along the Golden State (5) Freeway near State Street in Boyle Heights. The coroner said she was strangled.

Police said the body had been wrapped in plastic bags, put in a plastic container and dumped over a masonry barrier along the freeway, and when the container hit the ground, it broke open.

The eldest of six siblings, Michelle had told her mother she was going to walk to the store. She was last seen near Lincoln High School.

Calling her a bright girl who got along with everyone, friends said they were shocked by her killing.

Bree’Anna went missing 9 months later, on the day after Christmas. The mother of two small children disappeared after telling family members that she was going to walk to the Rite Aid pharmacy at the corner of Pasadena Avenue and Avenue 26, a short distance from her home in Lincoln Heights.

When Bree’Anna didn’t return, her family contacted police. They held candlelight vigils and plastered the neighborhood with posters with Bree’Anna’s face.

Geovanni Borjas was arrested in connection to the deaths of 17-year-old Michelle Lozano and 22-year-old Bree’Anna Guzman.  (LAPD)

Geovanni Borjas was arrested in connection to the deaths of 17-year-old Michelle Lozano and 22-year-old Bree’Anna Guzman. (LAPD)

Her body was found about 9 a.m. Jan. 26, 2012, near the Riverside Drive onramp to the southbound Glendale (2) Freeway in the Silver Lake area. The body was partially clothed and apparently was dumped at the location, police said.

Beck said both victims had been sexually assaulted.

In 2012, hoping to allay rumors of a serial killer on the prowl, LAPD issued an alert saying they believed the two murders were “distinct” and not connected. EGP at the time reported that police said they were unable to corroborate rumors of “several men riding around in a white van kidnapping young women from the street.”

The Los Angeles City Council first approved $50,000 rewards in each of the cases in February 2012: renewing the rewards in subsequent years to no avail.

However, Beck said detectives were eventually able to connect the crimes, and once that was done, police requested permission from the state Attorney General’s Office to perform a familial DNA search.

“After the familial search a person was identified as a contributory match to the suspect,” Beck said.

“That individual was suspect’s father, who was arrested on a non-sexual-assault-type crime earlier in his life.”

After conducting further information into the father’s background, detectives “identified a family member who they thought possibly could be the suspect involved in these (crimes) and they collected a surreptitious DNA sample,” Beck said. “They did this by following the individual. During that following, he spit on the sidewalk. Detectives collected that and the DNA was a match. It was a match to both of these murders.”

Beck declined to elaborate on a possible motive for the killings or a link between Borjas and the victims.

Mayor Eric Garcetti hailed the detective work that led to the arrest, calling the victims “two innocent women who had their whole lives ahead of them.”

He said the families and friends of the victims “are finally within reach of some of the justice that they and this city deserve.”

According to Beck, the case marks only the second time police have relied on a familial DNA search, which can narrow the search for a suspect to a particular family and point detectives to suspects whose DNA is not yet in a database. Beck noted that Borjas’ DNA was not in any existing database prior to his arrest.

The only other case in which the LAPD used familial DNA was the Grim Sleeper serial-killer case, in which detectives used a discarded pizza crust to collect DNA linking the killings to Lonnie David Franklin Jr., who was convicted and sentenced to death in 2016.

At a police press conference Tuesday, Bree’Anna’s father. Richard Duran struggled to keep control of his emotions. His daughter did not know Borjas, Duran said in Spanish, breaking down in tears as he described his daughter as loving mother and sister, and thanked the LAPD for their efforts to bring her murderer to justice.

“I have to thank the LAPD,” he said. “… Now we know the person that hurt our family is behind bars.

“That gives me a lot of happiness. I have closure now.”

 

Information from City News Service used in this report.

 

Brush Fire Threatens Homes

May 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

LINCOLN HEIGHTS  – A 6 1/2-acre brush fire briefly threatened some homes in the Lincoln Heights area Tuesday afternoon before crews got a handle on the flames.

The fire broke out for unknown reasons shortly before 1 p.m. in the 500 block of East Avenue 28 and burned uphill, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Air and ground crews had the fire out around 2 p.m.

No injuries were reported.

Massive Multi-Media Art Installation Opens Saturday in Lincoln Heights

March 15, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The massive multi-media, interactive “14th Factory” art installation opened Saturday in Lincoln Heights, in a transformed 150,000 square-foot industrial warehouse across from the Old City Jail and the Los Angeles River.

The installation is the work of Hong Kong-based British artist Simon Birth, creator of the nonprofit 14th Factory Foundation that says it produces “art experiences that serve as vehicles for social change.”

People familiar with the area often refer to the property as the “MAGA Building,” a reference to the bright blue awning with MAGA logo over the entrance to the San Fernando Street side of the nearly 3-acre warehouse and office space located just south of Figueroa Street. The back of the property, and the entrance to the exhibition is on Avenue 19, across from the former Lincoln Heights Jail.

14th Factory

14th Factory

The site’s transformation, under way for months, strips bare its non-descript industrial character, replacing it with what curators call a “mystic universe” that “weaves together elements of popular culture — science fiction, punk music, graphic novels, and film — with critical re-examinations of social and historical narratives, especially interconnections between East and West,” which coincidently coincides with the property’ own history.

From its opening in 1910 until the early 1980s, the property was home to manufacturers of American sliced bread, then to an importer of Vietnamese and Chinese food products before being sold in 2016.

What do these airplane tails wings have to do with art? Find out at the '14th Factory' multi-media art installation opening March 11 in Lincoln Heights. EGP Photo by Gloria Alvarez

What do these airplane tails wings have to do with art? Find out at the ’14th Factory’ multi-media art installation opening March 11 in Lincoln Heights. EGP Photo by Gloria Alvarez

According to the 14th Factory website, visitors to the pop-up art installation – which runs through April 30 – will be taken on a journey through 14 interlinked spaces comprised of video, installation, sculpture, paintings and performance featuring works by sixteen interdisciplinary artists from China, Hong Kong, the U.S., United Kingdom and Canada.

The 14th Factory Pop-Up Space is at 440 N. Ave 19, L.A. (Lincoln Heights) 90031.Tickets range from $15 in advance to $18 at the door, unless you happen to live in the 90031 zip code, which means you can get it for free if you bring along a driver’s license for entry. Donate-What-You-Can at the door every Thursday and 3rd Sunday of the month, no online tickets available. March 11 open 10am-10pm; hours vary, closed Mondays. For more information, to buy tickets, visit the14thfactory.com.

 

Candidates Discuss Northeast L.A. Issues

February 23, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

The crowd at a city council candidate forum Monday in Lincoln Heights was a little more restrained than during a similar forum last week in Glassell Park, even though the candidates speaking and issues addressed were for the most part the same.

In Glassell Park, the First Council District Candidates’ Forum was often interrupted by loud heckling and shouts. On Monday, however, the forum organized by the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council and held in the auditorium at Sacred Heart High School was a little less raucous.

All five candidates vying for the council seat took part, including the incumbent, Gil Cedillo, and challengers Josef Bray-Ali, a community advocate; Giovany Hernandez, an education advocate; Jesse Rosas, a businessman; and write-in candidate Luca Barton, a graphic designer.

The City of L.A. ‘s Primary Election takes place March 7 and includes the races for mayor, city attorney, controller and several ballot measures, as well as an L.A County sponsored Measure H to raise the sales tax a quarter-cent to pay for services for the homeless. If a single candidate does not win 50% plus one of the vote, a runoff will be held in June.

Council District 1 covers multiple Central and Northeast Los Angeles communities, including, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Chinatown, Echo Park, Elysian Park, Highland Park, Koreatown, Lincoln Heights, MacArthur Park, Pico Union, University Park and a section of downtown.

The five candidates answered questions on issues ranging from the region’s housing shortage, traffic, public safety and the homelessness epidemic, with the focus being on the challenges those issues create for Lincoln Heights’ residents and businesses.

The format did not allow for a real debate, but instead limited each candidate to making short statements in response to questions posed by the moderator and later the public.

As the incumbent, Cedillo was often the prime target of criticism from the challengers, who each said the district needs new blood.

“We need new leadership in this district or we will continue to see failure,” said Bray-Ali, a former bicycle shop owner who has for years dogged the councilman at events and on social media for his part in stopping dedicated bike lanes from being installed along a portion of Figueroa Street running from Highland Park to Cypress Park.

Cedillo defended his record throughout the night, pointing to his 20-year record of accomplishments in elected office and 15 years in the labor movement, noting his long list of endorsements resulting from that work.

“If you want to know what people are going to do in the future, look and see what they have done in the past,” Cedillo repeated several times throughout the night, pointing to 100’s of bills he’s authored that have been signed by three different governors.

“I have a record. It’s constant, consistent and it’s measurable.”

All five candidates running for Los Angeles City Council District 1 participated in a forum Monday in Lincoln Heights. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

All five candidates running for Los Angeles City Council District 1 participated in a forum Monday in Lincoln Heights. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Bray-Ali attempted to paint a different picture of the councilman’s leadership and accountability.

He and the other candidates claimed Cedillo has not done enough to improve safety for pedestrian and cyclists using local streets, and accused him of simply not listening to the community.

“Time and time again we have had the door slammed in our face and been shut out of city office,” complained Bray-Ali, who has in the past used his Twitter account to blame the councilman’s failure to install bike lanes on Figueroa for nearly every pedestrian and auto accident on the street, and in surrounding areas.

Barton and Hernandez said more attention must be paid to traffic issues in Lincoln Heights, especially along North Broadway, the community’s main commercial area, and near area schools.

Hernandez proposed greater use of lighted-crosswalk markings to slow traffic, which Cedillo said are just some of the safety measures he’s implemented since taking office.

Rojas questioned why streets lights are not synchronized to better control the flow of traffic. “Everyone has a right to be safe,” he said.

The challengers said crime and the number of homeless people in Lincoln Heights has risen under Cedillo’s watch.

Bray-Ali accused the councilman and his staff of not “showing up” to reassure the community when a murder happens, or making sure police are on patrol.

Cedillo pointed out that L.A. has the fewest police officers per capita in the country, and that’s a problem, he said. He noted that he has the support of many of the city’s police and fire personnel.

Cedillo said he has long been an advocate for “fair share zoning” and that the burden of new homeless shelters and services should be spread across the city, and that’s why he stopped a plan to build homeless shelters on city-owned parking lots in Lincoln Heights.

“I’m fed up with the lies and hype,” responded Bray-Ali, claiming the councilman only took action after getting complaints from the community.

Bray-Ali said, if elected, he is committed to ensure homeless veterans have a place to shower, go to the bathroom and wash their clothes.

Cedillo responded by once again pointing to his record, reminding the audience that he helped create the city’s committee on homelessness.

Measure S, a ballot measure that if approved would place a 2-year moratorium on new developments, put the controversial issues of “gentrification” and rising housing costs in the forefront.

Rosas said large developments are not good for the community, claiming they often come at the expense of affordable housing.

“Affordable housing for who?” Rosas asked. “We don’t want people to get displaced.”

Bray-Ali, Cedillo and Hernandez all said they oppose the measure.

“I don’t think it’s the cure,” said Hernandez, a renter himself. This will mean, “halting the construction of much needed housing units,” he said.

“It’s an effort to stop change…it will take zoning in Los Angeles back to the 1950s,” said Cedillo.

Bray-Ali said with significantly more people than housing, development is needed, but blamed failed leadership for allowing developers to build without consulting with impacted communities.

“You think Measure S is going to stop them,” asked Barton. “If they can’t do new development they’ll take existing [buildings] and covert them to luxury units.”

Martha, 66, said she was a victim of just that, and blamed Cedillo for failing to help her.

Bray-Ali offered to connect her to a landlord willing to rent out to seniors being displaced from her building, garnering applause from the audience.

Hernandez pointed out the woman’s story proved “displacement is not an urban myth,” and the need for local officials to work with the state legislators to overturn the controversial Ellis Act. The 1985 Act has allowed landlords to legally evict their rent-controlled tenants if they sell or convert the building into condos.

Cedillo tried to offer reassurance that his office would help but was met with heckling from the audience, as he was much of the night and the previous forums.

“No change is going to happen in the already existing system,” argued Hernandez.

Hernandez, the youngest of the five candidates and self-proclaimed homegrown candidate, told the crowd election time is like a report card for the incumbent to find out if he or she has done a good job.

“I’m proud to give my community the option for something else,” said Hernandez.

Cedillo told the crowd they could heckle him all they want and even choose to vote for another candidate, but said he’s confident he will be reelected.

“This election is going go happen March 7 and we’re going to wake up on March 8 and I’m still going to be your council member,” he said. “We’ll see you at the election party.”

 

Car Chase Ends in Commerce

February 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A woman wanted for reckless driving struck two cars Monday during a chase before surrendering in Commerce.

The chase began about 10:15 p.m. in the Lincoln Heights area, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mike Lopez.

It ended about 15 minutes later when the car driven by the suspect collided with another vehicle near the intersection of Telegraph Road and Garfield Avenue in Commerce.

The car driven by the woman also struck at least one other car during the chase, police said.

The woman was taken into custody and will likely be facing a felony failure to yield charge, Lopez said.

The people in the other vehicle involved in the crash only had complaints of pain, Lopez said.

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