Eastside Review Collage

A recap of some of the past week’s scenes, sightings and stories from across the Eastside.

Police arrested three suspects in connection with last week's fatal shooting of Officer Juan Jose Diaz after he reportedly confronted a tagger near a taco stand. The three suspects - Francisco Talamantes, 23, Cristian Facundo, 20, and Ashlynn Smith, 18 - are residents of Temecula. "These are the folks that we believe are responsible for that senseless murder of Juan Diaz," said LAPD Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala. The Eastsider

The City Attorney wants an Eagle Rock condominium declared a public nuisance after a runaway teen who tried to buy heroin was allegedly held against her will for 10 days and sexually assaulted. The lawsuit alleges ongoing drug sales in a four-bedroom condo in a gated community on Wiota Street. Last July, Glendale police arrested a suspect and found heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, a gun, ammunition and a digital scale from the property, according to the complaint. MyNewsLA

Katy Perry's option to buy a former convent in Los Feliz has expired, but the pop star and church officials are still open to a possible deal. Perry and the archdiocese prevailed over Silver Lake businesswoman Dana Hollister in a bitter legal battle over the hilltop property. Hollister claimed ownership of the property after winning the support of two nuns who had opposed selling the former convent to Perry. Sisters Rita Callanan and Catherine Rose Holzman had maintained they had the authority to sell the property to Hollister, but a judge later canceled the deal. The original proposed sale to Perry was for $14.5 million, consisting of $10 million in cash and an agreement to provide an alternative property for a house of prayer worth $4.5 million. The Eastsider

U.S. House Rep. Adam Schiff’s profile is rising on the national stage, but challengers are lining up for his upcoming reelection bid. Schiff, whose 28th District includes Echo Park, stood out during the recent testimony by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But local issues, particularly homelessness, are being raised by five challengers, including two Republicans, an Independent, a Democratic mathematician, and a Democrat seeking to be the first transgender person elected to Congress. Schiff, a frequent critic of President Trump, received 78.4% of the vote in 2018. L.A. Times

An L.A. County off-duty sheriff's deputy who allegedly attacked his 73-year-old mother at the family's home and resisted arrest when another deputy responded to the scene was charged with a trio of felonies. Antonio Ramirez, 45, pleaded not guilty to one count each of elder abuse, resisting an executive officer and carrying a dirk or dagger, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said on Wednesday. Prosecutors said Ramirez was off duty on Monday when he allegedly attacked his mother, who fell to the ground and suffered "visible injuries." The Eastsider

A pair of Echo Park housing developments that have been years in the making are moving forward, with sales at one of the projects expected to begin next spring. Planet Home Living finally began grading a former parking lot and hillside at 1516 Echo Park Ave. to make room for “Morra,” a project with five homes. Each small-lot home will consist of two and three bedrooms and will range in size from 1434 square-feet to 1480 square-feet. The other development is up the hill from Morra on Bruce Court.  After extensive grading, the developer has constructed a new street and cul de sac for a new and yet-to-be-named single-family home project that will most likely open a few months after Morra. The Eastsider

The Echo Theater Company in Atwater Village had to cancel a play for the first time in the theater's 23-year history. Echo announced the last-minute cancellation of Antoinette Nwandu’s “Pass Over”  "due to internal artistic differences that cannot be reconciled.” The play focuses on two young black men who hang out on a dangerous street corner. The production was supposed to run from July 13 to Aug. 19, but the play’s director, Deena Selenow, the producers at Echo Theater, had a difficult relationship, and Selenow was fired five days before the opening. The design team and actors resigned in solidarity, and Nwandu pulled licensing for the play. The Times notes the harsh optics of the incident: A white male theater leader firing a black female director, with a play that focused on race in America. L.A. Times

A former gang member was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for firebombing the homes of black residents in Boyle Heights five years ago in an effort to drive them out of their neighborhood, reports City News Service. Jonathan “Pelon” Portillo, 24, was the fourth of eight defendants to be sentenced in the case.

If your daily commute involves the Cypress Park Roundabout, your drive is going to get more challenging next month. Emergency sewer repairs are going to prompt the temporary closure of lanes in and around the roundabout at Figueroa Street and San Fernando Road during August. The Eastsider

A man was killed in Atwater Village after he walked onto the northbound 5 Freeway near Los Feliz Boulevard and was struck by a vehicle. The victim was described as a white older male who was homeless. The Eastsider

A woman in El Sereno was severely injured in a domestic dispute, and police have her boyfriend in custody. After accusing his girlfriend of infidelity, the suspect allegedly drove the victim to a secluded location and began to strike her using his fists. The victim, 42, was able to escape after using pepper spray on the suspect. She received moderate to severe injuries in the attack and was transported to a hospital to be treated. The suspect, 49, was taken into custody on a charge of domestic violence, police said. The Eastsider

The former panaderia La Espiga was raided by police after they said it was converted into an allegedly unlicensed pot shop. Happy Nugs Collective took over the La Espiga space -- one of the neighborhood's last Mexican-style bakeries -- following the sale of the building at Glendale and Scott last year. The business was raided by narcotics officers on June 17 and is now closed. The raid was part of a larger crackdown on unpermitted marijuana dispensaries. The Eastsider

An artist with a focus on Eastside Latino neighborhoods now has a large-scale installation in the L.A. County Museum of Art's permanent collection. Ana Serrano, who has lived in Eagle Rock and Highland Park, had her installation "Homegrown" acquired by the museum in July. The piece reproduces the the look and feel of front-yard, window-ledge spaces in Latino neighborhoods, the Sentinel said. This includes brightly colored walls and grated windows, along with plants such as aloe vera and chili de arbol. Boulevard Sentinel

In Quentin Tarantino’s new movie "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," look for the Super A Foods in Glassell Park. The supermarket makes an appearance early in the film, with members of the Manson family dumpster-diving for food on their way to the Spahn Ranch. Rick Schuler, the film's location manager, notes this is also where producers of "A Star is Born" filmed Lady Gaga working on the song "Shallow." Fandango

A mental health center reached a settlement in a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former CEO. Lawyers for Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center, and their former leader, Mara Pelsman, announced an agreement had been reached during the second day of the trial. No terms were divulged. Pelsman had alleged she was the victim of retaliation and gender discrimination when she was fired in 2017, after having expressed concerns about the Board of Directors' actions. The Eastsider

Property owners in L.A. filed to remove 657 rent controlled apartments from the market over three months. The Zip Code with the highest number of evictions from April through June was right here at 90026 - including Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Historic Filipinotown. But the increase isn't just striking on the Eastside. The citywide number marks a large increase from before. The Ellis Act allows landlords to remove a unit from rent control either if they either plan to demolish the building or permanently take it out of the rental housing market, often to convert it to for-sale units. Curbed

Talk is Cheap, Gathering News is Not

Join the readers whose monthly sponsorships defray the costs of gathering news and storytelling. That includes covering a variety of bills — from web hosting to bookkeeping — as well as payments to writers and photographers who have been generous with their time and talent. Only $5.99 a month!

Load comments