The Daily Digest features the latest content from TheEastsiderLA.com.
Hello, I'm Robert Fulton, your Daily Digest Editor for Tuesday.
Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and all affected by Saturday's mass shooting in Monterey Park. Scroll down to our "Good to Know" section for ways to help.
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📷 Eastside Scene
Los Feliz: Thanks to Liz Gaffney for her photo of the Griffith Observatory during a cloudy sunset.
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Freeway lane closure
Transportation: A key freeway connector next to Elysian Park will remain closed until next month, transportation officials said Monday. The connector from southbound I-5 Freeway to the southbound Arroyo Seco Parkway (110 Freeway) was closed earlier this month due to flooding and debris flow caused by this month's heavy rains. "Crews are working on adding protective net near the top of the connector. Workers will keep the connector CLOSED until early Feb. to continue clean up, add protective netting, rock scaling, clear drains, & repair barriers. Expect delays into #DTLA!" Caltrans tweeted Monday.
A school that started in a barn still welcomes students after more than a century
Eagle Rock Elementary's long, rich history dates back to the late 19th Century, its structures evolving with the community it serves.
The school has called numerous locations in Eagle Rock home, starting with a barn in the 1880s, according to the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society’s website.
Volunteers eventually built a schoolhouse, which the community quickly outgrew. In 1917, a school was constructed that makes up the core of the school’s current campus.
Architect John C. Austin, whose firm also worked on L.A. City Hall and the Griffith Observatory, designed the Italian Renaissance-style brick school building. It was constructed by Edwards and Wildey, a major construction company that built homes in Eagle Rock and was involved in the creation of several prominent buildings in downtown Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, according to the Historical Society’s website.
As the school’s enrollment grew, so did the campus. In 1923, as many as 600 students attended Eagle Rock Elementary, according to principal Rene Baez. At its peak, the school welcomed 1,092 students during the 2000-2001 school year. The current enrollment is 742.
A striking feature of the school is the trees around the campus, many visible in photos of the school taken in the late 1920s. The school’s “PTA planted the deodars during the presidency of Valley Knudsen,” according to the Historical Society’s website. Aside from being a beautification advocate, Knudsen, along with her husband, owned the Knudsen Dairies.
Following the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, Eagle Rock Elementary underwent renovation work, transforming the school’s architectural style to Spanish Revival, Baez said.
Architectural details include a red tile roof; arched, double-hung windows; rounded arch openings, and arcades. The façade of the main entrance has a section that pushes out and resembles a small balcony.
In recent years, portions of the school’s interior walls were decorated with colorful tiles crafted by the school’s students, Baez said
Baez added that parents have played a significant role in raising funds to support the school, including the addition of trees and other landscaping features.
🎒 More School News
District moves to remember the Holocaust
The LAUSD Board of Education approved a resolution at its Jan. 17 meeting calling for the observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday. The resolution also recognizes the Days of Remembrance from April 16 through April 23. The district will observe a moment of silence on April 18. Instructional materials that are relevant and appropriate for each grade level will be available for teachers to use on that day.
- Do you have your schools' news to share? Submit it here or reply to this newsletter with details.
EAST LOS ANGELES
Ruben Salazar Park is getting a makeover
The county’s Department of Parks and Recreation has secured more than $11 million in funds and will come up with a plan to renovate Ruben Salazar Park.
The Board of Supervisors last week approved the project, which will be completed with a combination of state and regional grants and other sources of funds, said Mark Glassock, a manager with the parks and recreation department.
What makes this park so special? Who is Ruben Salazar?
The park, which was previously named Laguna Park, was renamed in honor of journalist Ruben Salazar shortly after he was killed following the National Chicano Moratorium March in August 1970, according to the Los Angeles Conservancy. The peaceful march ended at the park in a deadly melee after sheriff deputies shut down the event.
The renovation plans include:
- Building a new plaza with a community stage next to the Paul Botello mural
- Creating a courtyard for shade and programs, and replacing the playground equipment
- Adding a splash pad and renovating the fitness equipment area
- Adding water-saving landscaping
- Installing permeable pavement in the parking lots
- Renovating restrooms, walkways, and lighting
In addition, they're budgeting for public art that honors the National Chicano Moratorium march.
Glassock said the vision for the park was developed with input from residents about “what features needed to be added and what features needed to be changed.”
The project will be completed in two phases so that residents can continue using the park. Construction is set to begin in late 2024 and take two years to complete.
Bookstore owner dies
Echo Park: Alex Maslansky, co-owner of Stories Books & Cafe on Sunset Boulevard, has died, according to several sources. The time and cause of death have not been released, but the store has been closed since Sunday, according to Stories’ website. Flowers and candles have been placed at the shop's front and rear entrances. People have also been sharing memories of Maslansky on Stories’ Instagram, with one person saying, “His presence at Stories was a sort of glue that somehow felt like it held the community together.” Stories Books opened in 2008.
🗓️ Things to Do
By Jennifer Rodriguez
Wednesday, Jan 25
Highland Park: Catch a lush and dreamy performance from Jessie Baylin at The Lodge Room featuring The Watson Twins.
Thursday, Jan 26
Los Feliz: Attend a life drawing and painting workshop with uninstructed drawing during twenty-five minute poses.
💡 Good to Know
In response to the recent mass shooting in Monterey Park, a number of organizations have set up fundraisers. GoFundMe offers a list of verified fundraisers. Click here to learn more or donate.
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-- Robert Fulton
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