A Roundup of Eastside News & Info

LAUSD race is getting interesting. CalTrans still hasn’t sold hundreds of homes along the path of the failed 710 Freeway extension. Eastside journalist Lionel Rolfe died at 76. More in News & Notes Monday edition.

Bennett Kayser drops out of LAUSD race

Former Los Angeles Unified School District board member and Silver Lake resident Bennett Kayser has dropped out of the race to recapture his old seat, which he lost to charter school advocate Ref Rodriguez, the Los Angeles Times reported. That same seat is now once again up for grabs after Rodriguez resigned in July.

Kayser was one of 17 candidates who had filed to run, but instead of gathering the required signatures, he’s backing  another former board member Jackie Goldberg. She, like Kayser, is a fierce critic of charter schools.

Rodriguez was the first president of the board to be elected by a charter-backed majority in a 4-3 vote. But that majority became endangered when he stepped down after pleading guilty to a felony count of conspiracy and three misdemeanors related to a money laundering scheme for his 2015 school board election.

Kayser told the Times that he and Goldberg share much of the same base and he is dropping out so not to dilute the base.  Goldberg is a former state assembly member and city councilwoman.

CalTrans sale of hundreds of homes in failed 710 Freeway path slow, hits snags

CalTrans plans to sell hundreds of homes it owns along the now defunct path to extend the 710 Freeway but the agency is moving slowly and running into problems.

Only 10 of the 460 homes in El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena have been sold, the Pasadena Star News reports. And seven tenants, who waited decades to purchase the homes under an affordable housing law written to help them, accuse CalTrans of illegally charging an “inflation-adjusted price” that could jack up the purchase cost by 500% to 600%.

One tenant’s home price went from $314,000 to  $550,000 under the price adjustment.

Still the houses are cheap. Reporter Steve Scauzillo, who has been following the 710 saga, earlier wrote that homes worth $700,000 to $1 million were being sold to tenants for as little as $150,000 to $300,000 under affordable housing rules. 

Those rules are intended to prevent the displacement of tenants unlikely to be able to afford the expensive homes.

Journalist, Atwater Village resident Lionel Rolfe dies

An afternoon service was held on Sunday for longtime  journalist Lionel Rolfe, who wrote about local politics, crime and culture for five decades. He died Nov. 6 of a heart attack at a Glendale medical facility.  He was 76.

The Atwater Village resident authored a dozen books and wrote for a litany of local publications from the Pasadena Weekly to City News Service. But his most enduring piece of work his book,  Literary L.A. about the coffee house scene in the ’50s and ’60s.

LAFD extinguished a small fire on Temple Street

The fire outside of a house of worship in the 2700 block of Temple Street was extinguished in less than 20 minutes on Monday morning, said LAFD. There were no reports of injuries.

Rachel Uranga is a Los Angeles-based writer

Eastside Scene of the Day

City Terrace | Jesus Sanchez

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