A Roundup of Eastside News & Info
An Out of the Closet thrift store is replacing the former Orchard Supply Hardware store on Hollywood Boulevard on the border of Los Feliz and East Hollywood, according to Curbed. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which runs Out of the Closet, will also set up a wellness center in the former hardware store, which closed last year after only six months of operation when the chain was shut down. The same building will also serve as headquarters for the foundation's public health division. Meanwhile, the organization is closing its Hollywood thrift store branch at Sunset and El Centro, which is set to be replaced by a 270-unit apartment complex.
Los Feliz residents have been receiving robocalls claiming that "Vegas-style" digital billboards would be showing up in "every major intersection" in the neighborhood by 2020 – with the support of City Councilmember David Ryu, the Los Feliz Ledger reported. Turns out those calls are false, say officials. The Ledger added that legislation for such billboards is "nonexistent," and Ryu spokesperson Mark Pampanin called the calls fraudulent. "If anything, Councilmember Ryu has advocated for stronger restrictions on this kind of advertising," Pampanin said. Similar calls have also gone out in the districts of Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield, Mike Bonin and Paul Koretz - all of whom have have previously opposed electronic billboards. It is not clear who made the calls, and Pampanin said the council office is investigating the source.
Memorial services for L.A. Park Ranger Capt. Alberto Torres will be held this coming weekend - and Councilman Mitch O'Farrell is proposing naming a Griffith Park Ranger station in his memory. Torres died earlier this month after suffering a heart attack and collapsing at Ranger Headquarters at the Griffith Park Visitor Center. "Captain Torres was extremely loved by the Los Angeles communities he served," O'Farrell said, in his proposal to rename the Visitor Center/Ranger Station at Crystal Springs in Torres's memory. This weekend's memorials will take place at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills at 6300 Forest Lawn Dr. - with a prayer service on Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Old North Church, and the funeral service on Monday, 11 a.m. at the Hall of Liberty.
The New York Times takes an extensive look at Highland Park, and the pros and cons of gentrification, weighing less gang violence versus the weakening of the neighborhood’s old identity and, perhaps the disappearance of its diversity. "Highland Park is the new Silver Lake," Alison Huddy, from the real estate team Home Sweet Huddy, told the Times. "In the ’80s and ’90s the sun would go down and, that was it — you locked your doors because there was so much gang activity … but now, you walk down Figueroa Street at night, and it’s so happening."
A long-time resident of Silver Lake applauds new regulations restricting short-term residential property rentals, writing in the L.A. Times that it should help stem the tide of what he calls “rentrification.” Charles Fleming writes about his new neighbors in the age of Airbnb: "They arrived in Ubers and Lyfts, dragging suitcases. They tended to smoke a lot of weed, play loud music and leave craft beer bottles and cigarette butts on the street in front of their short-term rentals."