EDITED by BARRY LANK
A recap of some of the past week’s scenes, sightings and stories from across the Eastside.
The back of a box truck exploded Friday near a busy intersection in Boyle Heights. Authorities are still seeking the cause. No injuries were reported. Firefighters told NBC4 that the truck may have been carrying propane tanks. A video posted on Instagram showed the instant the truck exploded as it traveled westbound on Olympic at Soto, showering debris across the street and towards other vehicles. The Eastsider
Three adults and two minors were arrested following a fatal shooting and dangerous pursuit through East L.A. The vehicle matched descriptions from two shootings in one night. Suspects lead Sheriff’s deputies on a pursuit traveling south on the 5 Freeway, where they discarded a firearm near the Washington Boulevard exit. The suspects exited at Garfield Avenue, where the vehicle struck a median and blew out a tire before reentering the southbound 5 Freeway and exiting Paramount Boulevard in Downey. The pursuit ended in the 9200 block of Samoline Avenue in Downey. The Eastsider
The Presbyterian Hospital’s new patient tower is starting to take shape along Vermont Avenue. The five-story, 175,000-square-foot is slated to house the emergency department with 20 exam rooms, a surgical unit with 20 beds and a new maternity and neonatal intensive care unit that includes 13 delivery rooms. Urbanize
EN Urban Dog Retreat in Cypress Park takes doggy spas to another level, offering reiki and energy healing for stressed dogs and their owners. A 45-minute reiki session for your dog to “remove emotional or psychological blocks that are impeding physical health, reduce stress and promote relaxation” runs $75. While a 1-hour energy healing session for the two of you is listed at $150. L.A. Magazine
A Silver Lake businesswoman is abandoning plans to transform the former Pilgrim Church off of Sunset Boulevard into a posh, 25-room boutique hotel with multiple restaurants and bars and a rooftop garden. Dana Hollister has put her interest in the project up for sale after losing a costly legal battle to pop star Katy Perry and the Catholic church over a former Los Feliz convent. Sale of Hollister’s 40-year-lease on the property will help Hollister pay off the millions of dollars she is required to pay Perry and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the wake of the Los Feliz court fight. The Eastsider
At least 11 candidates are running for the school board seat in District 5, which covers several Eastside communities, including El Sereno and City Terrace as well as Echo Park and Eagle Rock. The seat opened after pro-charter board president Ref Rodriguez resigned after pleading guilty to a felony charge related to campaign fundraising violations. L.A. Times
A grand opening was held for a new bioscience lab and office building in El Sereno, opening up space for researchers and entrepreneurs. The developer of HATCHlabs, in the 5300 block of Alhambra Avenue, is wooing cutting edge start ups to set up shop in a former 80-year old, 22,000-square-foot furniture factory and warehouse. The project is part of what officials are promoting as an emerging bioscience corridor between the USC Health Sciences Campus in Boyle Heights and Cal State Los Angeles and Grifols in El Sereno. The Eastsider
NPR profiles Boyle Heights Beat, a hyperlocal publication that’s “reported by teenagers, edited by adults, funded by grants, telling stories in Spanish and English that bigger newspapers might ignore.” The eight-year-old, quarterly publication has become a staple covering everything from local artists to the dearth of park space. A project of USC’s Annenberg Center for Health Journalism and Hoy L.A., about 160 teens have worked for Boyle Heights Beat. NPR
Several buildings at Occidental College in Eagle Rock were briefly evacuated after an employee found a bomb threat note on the bathroom floor of an administrative building. But no bombs were found in the 11 buildings named in the Oxy note. The threat at Oxy came a day after graffiti found at California State University Northridge suggested a threat of a shooting on Dec. 12. No mass shooting transpired. The Occidental
Investigators are looking for a hit-and-run driver that killed a 74-year old grandmother in East Los Angeles. Matiana “Maty” Jimenez was struck in an unmarked crosswalk on the corner of Whittier Boulevard and Williamson Avenue. The longtime resident walked everywhere. She had seven children, 23 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. California Highway Patrol officials believe the vehicle that hit Jimenez was a tan, late 1990s to early 2000s Chevrolet or GMC extended cab pick-up truck with two stickers on it. KTLA
The Hi-Ho Drive-in Market in Echo Park has closed for good, as plans have emerged to demolish the building to make room for a “mechanical parking” facility where vehicles are stacked on top of each other. A representative for Stayner Architects said the site will serve as a “satellite parking facility for the teachers and staff at the nearby Gabriella Charter School.” The Eastsider
Scene of the Week
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Echo Park | Tony Varela
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