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Eastside News Roundup

Silver Lake’s Rowena Road Diet keeps streets safer, the L.A. Times endorses Heather Repenning over Jackie Goldberg for school board race and Highland-Park raised Billie Eilish kills it as the 17-year-old makes her debut at Coachella. News & Notes Monday:

Don’t widen Rowena  again

City transportation officials want the six-year effort to make Silver Lake streets safer by reducing traffic lanes along Rowena Avenue to be permanent, according to Curbed L.A. and the Los Feliz Ledger. The City Council is set to vote on it later this year.

The so-called Rowena Road Diet removed a lane of traffic in each direction and added bike lanes along a half mile of Rowena after a pedestrian was killed there in 2012. T

 Los Angeles Department of Transportation and other studies have found that the road diet reduced collisions to an average of eight per year compared to 12 per year in the five years prior. However, some neighbors complain that the measures have steered traffic onto narrow side streets. A recent study commissioned by Councilman David Ryu found the road diet had increased safety but also said undoing part of the road diet could reduce congestion on side streets.


LA Times: Repenning for LAUSD board

The Los Angeles Times’ Editorial Board endorsed former mayoral aide Heather Repenning for the District 5 school board seat vacated by charter proponent Ref Rodriguez. Repenning is facing teacher union favorite, Jackie Goldberg, a longtime politician and former school board member in the May 14 special election.

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The Times board favored Repenning’s more consensus-driven style over Goldberg’s more ideologically driven one. (The rationale the board gave was the coming years, which are sure to be challenging. The board is often mired in charter-versus-union fights, LAUSD is facing a budget crisis and the superintendent wants to restructure the nation’s second largest school district.)

The Times had earlier dismissed Repenning for lacking experience and saying she had nothing original to say. But this time, they said with a child in the school district, she has the grounded perspective of a parent who has to deal with day-to-day realities.

The odd-shaped fifth district includes Eastsider communities El Sereno, City Terrace, Glassell Park, Echo Park,  Silver Lake, Eagle Rock and Los Feliz, running south to Cudahy, Huntington Park and South Gate.


Highland Park-raised Billie Eilish kills it at Coachella

Highland Park-raised teen pop star Billie Eilish slayed Coachella over the weekend. The LA Times, Variety, CNN and others rave over her performance.

At one point in Saturday show, she perched herself on a bed suspended in mid-air. The 17-year old Eilish’s album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart last week. She was homeschooled and joined the Los Angeles Children’s Choir at 8 years old, according to a 2016 Vogue interview. 

In a 2017 interview before her first tour, the then 15-year-old Eilish told California Sunday Magazine that “I don’t like smiling .... It makes me feel weak.” Sounds like a typical teenager.

Rachel Uranga is a Los Angeles-based writer

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