In this issue: The Dodger Stadium COVID testing site is morphing into a vaccination center. A mini Target will open on Temple Street. And a homeless man was found dead at the Echo Park Community Center.
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Echo Park Scene
The "Welcome to Dodger Stadium" sign at Vin Scully Avenue has been turned into a memorial to Tommy Lasorda, the legendary team manager who passed away last week.
Fans have been pulling over to take photos of the memorial, composed of flowers, balloons and a sign that reads:
The only time crying was allowed in baseball
Rest in Paradise
News & Notes
Dodger Stadium is moving from COVID testing to vaccine distribution. Testing operations ended Monday, with the stadium scheduled to reopen later this week with COVID vaccines. Up to 12,000 people per day will be able to get vaccinated when the stadium is fully up and running. This shift in resources will temporarily reduce testing capacity in L.A. County, but "more than triple the number of daily vaccines available to be dispersed to Angelenos," according to a statement from Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Tommy Lasorda, the eternally optimistic Hall of Famer who managed the Los Angeles Dodgers for 20 seasons and led them to two World Series titles, died at the age of 93. Lasorda, long hailed as one of the most colorful figures in baseball, suffered a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest at his home and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A Hall of Famer since 1997, Lasorda led the Dodgers to two World Series championships and two World Series losses during his 20-year managerial career.
A new small Target store with a Starbucks is coming to Temple Street. A Target spokesperson said the new store on Temple between Bonnie Brae and Westlake will be approximately 24,000 square feet. By comparison, the Target that opened this fall in East Hollywood is more than 6 times larger. A notice with the Department of Building and Safety says the ground-floor retail space will also include a Starbucks kiosk. This store will be at the base of the newly constructed Alexan Bahay apartments.
Solano Avenue Elementary School has been named a 2020 National Elementary and Secondary Education Act Distinguished School. The 260-student school next to Elysian Park is one of 100 schools nationwide to receive the honor. It was honored for succeeding in closing the achievement gap between different groups of students and ensuring students who need extra assistance. In 2020 the school was also named a California Distinguished School for the fifth time, and it has previously been named a California Gold Ribbon and National Blue Ribbon school.
A homeless man was found dead at the Echo Park Community Center, the recreation facility on Patton Street, on Monday. The man was identified as Renado Vega Cruz, age 40, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner. He was pronounced dead at 7:20 a.m. An examination is pending, a coroner official said. A cause of death has not been determined. The center is currently being used as a winter shelter for the homeless, according to the LA Homeless Services Authority.
Barlow Respiratory Hospital next to Elysian Park is seeking to issue as much as $50 million in bonds to pay for an extensive renovation. Councilman Gil Cedillo has sponsored a motion to issue the bonds for construction and renovation at the hospital. No city money will go toward the upgrade, however, since Barlow will be responsible for paying off the bonds. The Barlow buildings on Stadium Way are getting a new, larger intensive-care unit with private rooms, a new, modernized pharmacy, new rehabilitation, more radiology suites and seismic improvements. "The impact of our new facility will last for generations," said Barlow spokeswoman Julia Shimizu.
An appeal against a 72-unit residential complex planned on Temple Street has been rejected. The six-story, mixed-use building is part of the Transit Oriented Communities Affordable Housing Incentive Program, and includes seven units set aside for extremely low-income households. As a result, the project was granted a 60% increase in density, and a 20% reduction in open space.
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Crimes this week included a robbery at Rosemont and Bellevue, the brandishing of a weapon in the 1700 block of Bellevue, and two motor vehicle thefts within one day -- and one block -- of each other, in the 1200 block of Innes and the 1300 block of Sunset, according to CrimeMapping.com.
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