In this issue: The Echo Park encampment is back in the media spotlight. A potential homicide victim was found just east of Angeleno Heights. And a look at the family behind Chinatown Express.

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Echo Park Scene

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A sunset view from Memorial Grove in Elysian Park.

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News & Notes

The final price tag is in for the popular new skate park near Echo Park Lake, and the cost is much higher than previously estimated, The Eastsider reported. The final tab came out to $1,126,000 - twice as much originally envisioned. The park, which is right next to the northbound 101 Freeway, has not even been dedicated, but it is already full and active with skaters.

A man was found dead late last week just east of Angeleno Heights from an apparent homicide, with lacerations to his head and chest area, The Eastsider reported. The victim was found along the 1000 block of Sunset Boulevard, near the corner of Custer Avenue, last Friday. The victim was described as a Black man in his 30s. Police said he was homeless.

The lake encampment received another lengthy write-up, this time by the L.A. Times. The homeless camp, which has grown to more than 170 tents and structures is like  “a commune-like society” with shared food, a garden and a “a veneer of self-policing and a tenuous grasp on basic sanitation," the Times said. But life in the picturesque park is hardly idyllic. As crime rises, a community rift over the park intensifies, the city’s response or lack thereof draws increasing heat, and anyone who finally moves out of the tent city is quickly replaced by someone else. In a vivid example of conditions at the encampment, a Times photographer captured a picture of two people at the park fighting over a knife.

A fake ID that turned up in Historic Filipinotown used a photo of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Asian Journal reported. The California ID had the name “Norman D,” and a picture of Duterte, police said. The Rampart Division of the LAPD tweeted, "Vice Officers recognized the picture used on a fake ID, to be that of the President of the Philippines. Good thing our Officers patrol Historic Filipino Town and are up to speed. Nice try"

Wichhica Nhim, owner and operator of Combo A on Echo Park Avenue, talks about his years at the family-run Chinese steam-table restaurant. "Not a lot of people are able to work alongside their parents," he told The Eastsider, "and it's kind of cool that I am able to do that. It's not just work, it's just like everyday, me being their son, we get to communicate."

Repairs to Echo Park Lake are coming up for a vote today at a meeting of the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners. The board is being asked to authorize spending $600,000 for restroom improvements, drinking fountain replacements, lighting improvements, and other work on the playground, boathouse, lake bridge and turf.

Two recent TV series have helped revive the memory of Echo Park's favorite 1920s evangelist, Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, Alta reported. Characters inspired by McPherson have shown up lately on "Penny Dreadful: City of Angels" (Showtime) and "Perry Mason" (HBO). "In both programs, the McPherson-like character is variously depicted as a ditzy, conflicted bleached blonde and an alluring radio preacher and healer not above tricking her followers with headline-grabbing stunts," Alta reporter Carla Blank said.

Elections for the Echo Park Neighborhood Council are coming up. Vote-by-mail applications are available by clicking here. Election Day is April 6.

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Crimes this week included a robbery in the 1000 block of Edgeware, brandishing a weapon near Sunset and Portia, and a stolen vehicle in the 1500 block of Parmer, according to

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