A Roundup of Eastside News & Info
A rash of burglaries, break-ins has Eagle Rock business owners questioning the LAPD. Meantime, Los Feliz shops are looking at private security to protect the area’s main drags. And in Boyle Heights, masked anti-gentrification protesters stormed a bike way meeting. News & Notes for a soggy Monday.
Eagle Rock’s main drag beset by robberies, thefts
Robberies and break-ins are so frequent along a one mile strip of Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock that some restaurants and shop owners consider crime a cost of doing business, the Boulevard Sentinel reports. The Sentinel delves into the numbers after robbers hit five restaurants last month, as the Eastsider reported. And it’s stark. Many business owners blame the LAPD’s failure to keep a watchful presence. Since 2016, LAPD records show at least 40 break-ins have occurred on the strip between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Eagle Vista Drive, according to their report.
“Shattered windows covered with plywood have become a familiar sight,” wrote Joel Sappell and Laura Brady-Allen. The commercial stretch is more victimized than the corridor along York Boulevard in Highland Park, Glendale Boulevard in Atwater Village, Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park and Hillhurst Avenue in Los Feliz, their report said.
Los Feliz businesses owners look to private security for protection
Eagle Rock businesses aren’t the only ones complaining about the spate of commercial break-ins and robberies. The Los Feliz Ledger reports businesses along Hillhurst Avenue in Los Feliz have begun looking into private security after several retailers were broken into last year including children’s shop the Reckless Unicorn, grocer Lassens Natural Foods, Hillhurst Liquor and computer store Los Feliz Hi-Tech. But the business improvement district doesn’t have buy in from everyone.
The Ledger said recent crime statistics show the majority of the crime along Hillhurst and Vermont Avenue, the other commercial corridor, happen during business hours and are burglaries, robberies or thefts not related to vehicle break-ins. At McCall’s butcher shop, which has been burglarize four times, the owners have found one way to deal with criminals. They have stopped accepting cash in hopes of deterring robbers.
Anti-gentrification protesters briefly take over Metro’s bike path meeting in Boyle Heights
Anti-gentrification activists briefly took over a Metro-sponsored community meeting on extending the L.A. River bike path late last month. The Facebook group Defend Boyle Heights posted video of the dramatic show from more than half a dozen activists, some with black hoodies, black sunglasses and red bandanas carrying protest posters.
The 8-mile river path extension would run between Elysian Valley to Vernon. It has close to $365 million in Measure M funding. It’s expected to be completed by 2027.
During the meeting at Boyle Heights City Hall on First Street, one of the activists took to his bullhorn to denounce development in the working class community that’s been a flashpoint over gentrification.
Much of his speech in front of the small meeting was hard to make out on the video. The audience looked slightly bewildered at first and later taking up their own cell phone video. The anti-development band left, chanting, hitting metal pails ,and one protester posted a fluorescent pink sheet that said “null and void” on one of Metro’s displays.
Outside (where audio was clearer) one of the hooded protesters said the Metro board, like L.A. City Council, “develop, develop and develop recklessly, arrogantly, turning Chicano and immigrant communities like Boyle Heights into playgrounds for the rich. That’s why this whole so-called community meeting is a sham.”
A second meeting was held at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in the Downtown Arts District without interruption, Streetsblog LA reported. Another meeting is scheduled this week in Cypress Park on Thursday, Feb . 7.
Rachel Uranga is a Los Angeles-based writer
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