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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
A longtime St. Vincent de Paul volunteer has been recognized by the Los Angeles Rams for her leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving Los Angeles.
Claire Padama received the Community Quarterback Award on the football field during the Nov. 6 Rams game against the Carolina Panthers.
Padama has served as president of the Board of Lincoln Heights-based St. Vincent de Paul for 6 years and volunteered with the non-profit for the last 20 years. Her efforts include assisting the charitable organization’s low-income and homeless clients get assistance with their housing and utility costs, the hot lunch program and furniture distribution center.
“There is so much to be done and we need as many helping hands as possible to help feed, clothe and shelter the needy in Los Angeles,” said Padama. “I will continue to work with St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles to collect donations, deliver food to the hungry and combat homelessness in our city.”
St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles also received a $5,000 check from the team to fight homelessness in Los Angeles. The donation will be used to purchase clothing, food and supplies.
Firefighters quickly extinguished a small brushfire that ignited on both sides of the Pasadena (110) Freeway in Lincoln Heights and charred about a quarter of an acre of grass, authorities said.
The brush fire near Figueroa Street and San Fernando Road was reported at 1:35 p.m. Sunday, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said.
Firefighters quickly put out the fire, Scott said. No official knockdown time was available.
The California Highway patrol issued a SigAlert at 2:25 p.m. and temporarily shut down the number 2 and 3 lanes, as well as the San Fernando Road onramp on the 110 Freeway so firefighters could position their equipment.
The SigAlert was cancelled at 3:14 p.m., according to the CHP.
No injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation.
A suspect was shot and wounded Wednesday afternoon by police near County-USC Medical Center and the university’s Health Sciences Campus in Lincoln Heights.
No officers were injured in the shooting, which happened about 3:30 p.m. in the area of Zonal Avenue and Cummings Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The suspect was taken to hospital. His age and condition were not immediately available, nor were details about what led to the shooting.
A report from the scene showed a crashed SUV outside a building bearing a USC banner.
An alert issued by USC in the shooting’s immediate aftermath advised students and others to avoid the area.
Just after 5 p.m., LAPD Officer Tony Im said there was no threat to the campus.
The Biotech industry is not limited to some “crazy scientist locked up in a room or lab,” says Martha Escutia, vice president of government relations at the University of Southern California.
There is a wide range of career options and job opportunities in the field, and USC wants to inspire Latino parents and students to begin exploring them, says Escutia, a native of East Los Angeles and former state senator.
On Saturday, in partnership with the Los Angeles Community Colleges, USC is hosting “Preparing for the Biotech Decade.” a bilingual summit aimed at demystifying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and the Biotech/Bio-Med fields.
These fields offer good paying jobs in a lot of different areas, from lab technicians to marketing and communications, logistics and administrative positions, points out Escutia, noting that the USC Health Science Campus in Lincoln Heights is helping to fuel development of a strong bio-med corridor in L.A. County.
It’s important that Latino students and their parents in the city and county’s Eastside begin to think about these careers so they can start planning early, Escutia told EGP, adding that there will also be information available to adults looking to make a career change.
Saturday’s summit will be held at East LA College from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon and will include panel discussions and workshops with a variety of experts in the fields. There will also be a resource fair where people can get information on job openings, college requirements and programs, high school classes as well as re-training opportunities for adults. All of the events are free and open to the public and will be available in both English and Spanish.
If you ever dreamed of meeting a real life astronaut, this is your chance. Former astronaut, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC Ret. Carlos I. Noriega is one of two special guest speakers Saturday, the other is Dr. Dian Ramos, LA County’s Medical Director for Reproductive Medicine.
Noriega will discuss the road that led him to eventually logging more than 481 hours in space, including over 19 EVA hours in three spacewalks.
Ivan Alberto Trujillo-Priego is a PhD candidate attending USC and will be one of the panelists speaking Saturday. He told EGP he hopes his story inspires and motivates students to follow in his path.
“I don’t know why, but there is something that stops us as Latinos from getting into the science field, maybe because of the lack of resources or due to the lower incomes,” he said. “Biotechnology or science, for that matter, is not for an elite group, and not something alien. We do have the potential and the same capabilities that everyone else has to do it,” he said, referring to the lower number of Latinos in the field.
While he was born and raised in Mexico, in some ways Trujillo-Priego has benefited from the same opportunities available to his higher income non-Latino counterparts in the U.S. He comes from a family of engineers and attended private schools, and his interest in the sciences was encouraged from an early age.
Math was intuitive to him, he says, but adds he still had to work hard to qualify for the internship program at USC, which presented its own challenges due to his limited ability with the English language.
Yet, he was undeterred.
“People from Mexico are sometimes afraid to come to the US to study because we think we won’t be good enough. However, once I came here I realized that I was very well prepared and sometimes at a higher level than the other students born here,” he said.
Trujillo-Priego told EGP he wants to disprove the myths that Latinos are not cut out to be scientists. As an international student, who struggled with language barriers, he hopes to further his research on infant development, helping those suffering from motor disorders.
Even if students don’t have access to laboratories at home, as he did growing up, Trujillo-Priego says students have other resources available and he suggested they download apps – that are often free – on their smart phones, or check out videos online to strengthen their skills. He also encourages high school students or undecided undergrads to become research volunteers at collage laboratories like those at USC. Lastly, he urges families to attend the free community events in their neighborhoods to learn not only about opportunities in science but in other fields as well.
“[Parents], try to give information to your children, push them but don’t do it too much so they don’t feel obligated. Encourage them because sometimes you just need a little push to know what is possible,” Trujillo-Priego said.
It’s a view echoed in part by Escutia, who said parents’ shouldn’t be afraid that something may be too hard for their child. “We need to raise expectations,”” she said. “We can’t be afraid to encourage them to take the tougher path, to work hard, to take more challenging classes,” she told EGP, adding that parents’ need to understand that the work they put in today will pay off in the future.
“These are the jobs of the future, we have to be ready for them.”
To learn more about the summit, go online to http://biotech.usc.edu/biotechdecade/
Arroyo Vista Family Health Center and the Lincoln Heights Benefit Association of Los Angeles (BID) celebrated National Health Center Week with a free health fair last week. Arroyo Vista, with clinics in Highland Park, El Sereno and Lincoln Heights, and the BID also took time to recognize the LAPD’s foot beat officers assigned to Lincoln Heights, Jose Romo and Lawrence Martinez. Arroyo Vista’s Executive Director Lorraine Estrada (center) and Councilman Gil Cedillo, who represents Lincoln Heights, presented certificates of recognition to the “two outstanding officers for keeping our community safe,” according to his office. Captain Martin Baeza, Hollenbeck Division thanked the officers for their commitment and Steve Kasten and Misty Iwatsu the BID”s executive director, also presented certificates.
A drunken driver who crashed a car into a light pole in Lincoln Heights, killing his cousin, was sentenced Wednesday to four years in state prison.
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Kristi Lousteau imposed the term on Jose Noe Lugo, 43, who pleaded no contest June 30 to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
The crash occurred as Lugo exited the Golden State (5) Freeway on Feb. 22. His cousin, Juan Mendez, 49, was sitting in the front passenger seat and was not wearing a seatbelt.
Authorities said Lugo left the crash site, but returned and was arrested by Los Angeles police. Two DUI counts stemming from the crash were dismissed as a result of his plea.
Still shaken from the deadly attack on an Orlando, Florida nightclub less than two weeks ago, members of the local gay community and allies gathered at the Church of the Epiphany in Lincoln Heights last Saturday to honor the victims and offer support to those still grieving.
At around 2 a.m. on June 12, Omar Mateen, 29, walked into Pulse, a nightclub popular with the gay community. Armed with a semiautomatic rifle, he started shooting. For three hours he barricaded himself in a restroom, holding 30 people hostage, before being shot and killed by SWAT police.
When it was all over, 49 people were dead and 53 more were injured.
Lea este artículo en Español: Las Campanas Repican, Las Voces se Alzan en Memoria de las Víctimas de Orlando
One by one, Saturday, the names of the victims was read aloud, followed by a moment of silence. Bells at the historic church tolled 49 times, once for each of the murder victims.
“It was very emotional,” 27-year-old Andres Magana told EGP. “But we also had a lot of support from the community,” he said following the “Raise Our Pride” event.
Planned before the Orlando shooting, Raise Our Pride was originally intended to provide information about HIV in Los Angeles, including statistics and resources for prevention, according to Richard Zaldivar, founder of The-Wall Las Memorias Project, a community health and wellness organization that serves the Latino, LGBTQ and underserved communities.
In the wake of the mass shooting, however, organizers felt there was a need to show solidarity with the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer (LGBTQ) community mourning all over the world, Zaldivar told EGP.
Clergy from a number of Christian churches, members of the Islamic Center of Southern California, actor Johnny Ortiz, LAPD Senior Lead Officer Ian Lewis, L.A. City Controller Ron Galperin and UFCW Local 770 Vice President Rigo Valdez joined in prayer for the victims.
As nearly 200 people in unison chanted “we are not afraid” outside the Church of the Epiphany, the rainbow flag symbolic with gay pride and the diversity of LGBTQ community was raised for the first time ever above the 120-year-old Episcopal church on Altura Street.
Church of the Epiphany Vicar Thomas Carey identifies as a gay man and he told EGP that the church has a long history of supporting the Chicano movement and immigrant and LGBTQ rights.
The community of Lincoln Heights is more open and the church welcomes everybody to pray, he said, adding they make no distinction between people who are gay or heterosexual.
Magana, also gay, works for the The Wall Las Memorias and told EGP he vividly remembers waking up to the news of the Orlando shooting.
“I just looked and looked at the news for hours before I took time to step back and react,” he recalled, explaining that’s when he started to reach out to other members of the nonprofit to try to come up with a strategy to help staff and their clients deal with the tragedy.
The attack on the gay community was especially shocking because it happened at a place “where our community goes to be themselves … and the fact that it happened inside a gay club is really sad,” he said.
The attack at Pulse is considered the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman and the deadliest attack against the gay community in U.S. history. Many media outlets and law enforcement agencies have labeled it as both a terrorist attack and a hate crime against the LGBTQ community.
The gay community is not going into hiding, Zaldivar family told EGP. “We are saying that we have to be vigilant wherever we are, but we can’t stop being who we are,” he said.
“I don’t know why it happens,” but people often misquote ambiguous parts of the Bible when they show hate for the LGBTQ community, Carey told EGP, calling it arrogant for people to think they “know the word of God” and to act out in this way.
“There are parts [in the Bible] where it says to kill every men and child, and do we do it?” he asked.
The-Wall Las Memorias and the Church of the Epiphany are serving as spaces where members of the LGBTQ community can talk about their feeling either one on one with a member of the clergy or in peer groups.
The LGBTQ community needs time to be sad and mourn, and to let those emotions come out, says Magana.
“But at the same time, once we are able to bring those emotions out, to do some sort of action, whether that’s locally, statewide, nationally or even in smaller networks, like with friends and families,” he told EGP.
We need to pressure Congress to pass stronger gun control laws, said Zaldivar, who told EGP he was invited by Congressman Xavier Becerra to attend the LBGTQ Caucus meeting today in Sacramento to discuss actions to prevent similar attacks.
The rainbow flag still flies above the Lincoln Heights area church and according to Father Carey, they’ve not received any negative response.
For more information about The-Wall Las Memorias and its services, visit www.thewalllasmemorias.org. For more information about the Church of the Epiphany, visit http://epiphany.ladiocese.org/ or call Vicar Carey at (323) 227-9931.
Support Groups & Services
The-Wall Las Memorias:
Men’s Group (gay, bisexual, questioning):
Every Tuesday 7:30pm
Las Sirenas (Transgender women):
4th Wednesday of every month at 7:30pm.
Location: The Wall Las Memorias office
5619 Monte Vista Street 90042.
The Leadership Circle: Last Wednesday of the month at 6pm. Meets in various locations in Boyle Heights.
Call the office for more details (323) 257-1056.
Open Congregation Mass at Church of Epiphany:
Spanish–Sunday 10am and Friday 9:30am
English–Sunday 12pm and Wednesday 6:30pm
Location: 2808 Altura Street Los Angeles, CA 90031