A Roundup of Eastside News & Info

The story about suspect in the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s shooting take a strange twist. The L.A. Times Editorial Board endorses a district veteran in the LAUSD race. And you probably need more poetry in  your life, so we’re pointing you in the right direction. Here’s Monday’s News & Notes:

Trader Joe’s shooter says he’s a prophet

The man charged in last summer Trader Joe’s hostage standoff that left an assistant manager dead told a judge last week that he was a prophet sent by Jesus, City News Service reports.

Gene Evin Atkins, the 29-year-old suspect who is representing himself,  said in a hearing he was bipolar and unsuccessfully attempted to plead insanity. In the hours leading up to the July standoff,  Atkins  also allegedly shot his grandmother and another woman.  Police had been pursing him when his car crashed in front of Trader Joe’s and a gunfight broke out.  A police bullet struck  Melyda “Mely” Corado, the manager,  who collapsed inside the store. Her family has filed a claim for damages against the department.

Over the weekend, CBS aired “48 Hours: Live to Tell: Standoff at Trader Joe’s”  in which patrons recount the horrific  day and talk about their lives since.

L.A. Times endorses South LA principal for LAUSD board 

Los Angeles Times’ Editorial Board endorsed Cynthia Gonzalez in the March 5 LAUSD special election, saying she’s what the financially struggling district and divided school board needs.

What impressed the board about the South L.A. principal at Diego Rivera Learning Complex’s communications and technology high school was her grasp of the system and day-to-day challenges it presents  for teachers, parents and students. She’s worked in L.A. schools for 17 years and while she’s not as politically connected as some of her competitors or as well funded, the Editorial Board argues her grasp of the issues will give the seven-member board insights that it too often lacks.

The odd-shaped fifth district includes Eastsider communities El Sereno, City Terrace, Glassell Park, Echo Park,  Silver Lake, Eagle Rock and Los Feliz, running south to Cudahy, Huntington Park and South Gate. The  seat was vacated last July by Ref Rodriguez who stepped down after pleading guilty to criminal charges.

Gonzalez is facing a crowded field including a former state legislator and city councilwoman Jackie Goldberg — the union favorite labeled by the Times as “too combative and too ideological”  —  and  former Mayor Eric Garcetti aide Heather Repenning, who was faulted for her lack of education experience for having “nothing insightful or original to say about the issues facing L.A. Unified.”

Silver Lake’s fly poet

L.A. Taco does a short profile on two-time National Poetry Slam finalist Yesika Salgado in which they urge you to “Fall in Love with Yesika Salgado: Silver Lake’s fat, fly,  Salvadoran poet.”

It’s not hard. Salgado’s poetry delves into love, empowerment and body image and she’s gained national attention, appearing on NPR and TedX. She’ll be debuting an advice column on Remezcla and her third book is forthcoming, L.A. Taco reported.

Rachel Uranga is a Los Angeles-based writer

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Dawn on the L.A. River, Elysian Valley | Karen K

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