EDITED by BARRY LANK

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

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. 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. City News Service

The L.A. Times has endorsed a South L.A. high school principal in the school board race to represent District 5, which includes Echo Park and much of the Eastside. The Editorial Board said Cynthia Gonzalez is what the financially struggling district and divided school board needs. Gonzalez won the endorsement over more well funded and well known candidates, including Elysian Heights resident Jackie Goldberg, a former member of the school board, the city council and the state assembly. Despite her experience, the Times described Goldberg, a former teacher, as “too combative and too ideological.” The LAUSD special election will be held on March 5. L.A. Times

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater has found a new home. Only a few months after shutting its longtime space in Echo Park, the theater announced it will be heading to Highland Park, putting on shows at an old movie theater on York Boulevard. Puppet performances are scheduled to start this summer in the 1920s Art Deco theater building, which was most recently used as a Korean church. Meanwhile, back on the southern edge of Echo Park at 1st Street and Glendale Boulevard, the theater’s old home will be replaced by approximately 100 residential units. The Eastsider

Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown was shut down temporarily as firefighters battled a blaze in a machine shop. It took about half an hour for fire crews to extinguish the fire in a one-story commercial building near the corner of Temple and Parkman Avenue. There were no reports of injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Eastsider

A vehicle being pursued by police crashed into a Gold Line train in Highland Park, and then slammed into the side of a home near the tracks. The vehicle was believed to be stolen. The suspect was taken into custody. No injuries were reported. The Eastsider

There is an effort to let the public in to the Rowena Reservoir in Los Feliz, after having been off-limits for more than two decades. A resolution that has gone before the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council supports opening the six-acre, park-like property, which has the 10-million-gallon reservoir buried underneath. Doing so would not only offer up a pretty place to visit, but might also reduce the times it takes to drive to Griffith and more distant parks. But the L.A. Department of Water & Power, which controls the property, has long resisted efforts to open the property. And many people who live near the reservoir also want it to stay closed. The Eastsider

This month’s unusually cold weather included hail in Highland Park. Readers sent in pictures. The Eastsider

Six people at a bus stop in Boyle Heights were injured after they were struck by a minivan that drove off the road in an apparent attempt to avoid a traffic collision. CBS 2 said some of the victims may have been trapped under the vehicle. The victims — ages 20 to 61 — had been standing at or near a transit shelter at the northeast corner of Chicago and 1st streets. They are now in unknown condition. One person declined medical attention. The Eastsider

A short profile of two-time National Poetry Slam finalist Yesika Salgado, who is referred to as “Silver Lake’s fat, fly, Salvadoran poet.” 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

Scene of the Week

 

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


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