A recap of some of the past week’s scenes, sightings and stories from across the Eastside.
City transportation officials want to make Rowena Avenue's road diet permanent. The City 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. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation and other studies have found that this lane reduction lowered the number of 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. The City Council is set to vote later this year on making the lane reduction permanent. Curbed L.A. and Los Feliz Ledger
The Los Angeles Times’ Editorial Board endorsed former mayoral aide Heather Repenning for the District 5 school board seat vacated by charter school 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. The Times board favored Repenning's more consensus-driven style over Goldberg's more ideologically driven one. The Times had earlier dismissed Repenning for lacking experience and saying she had nothing original to say. But this time they said that, 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 driver of a pick up truck who struck a light pole in Boyle Heights managed to keep driving for 20 feet with the pole embedded in the hood of his vehicle. The pole ended its travels at the intersection of Soto Street and East Olympic Boulevard. The driver was a man in his 30s. No injuries were reported, and authorities said drugs or alcohol did not seem to be a factor in the crash. No power outages were reported in the area. KTLA 5
A jury rejected the wrongful death claims over a man fatally shot by a Los Angeles Police Department officer after a chase through Boyle Heights in 2016. The case stemmed from the shooting of 36-year-old Omar Gonzalez by Officer Eden Medina. Gang Enforcement Detail officers had tried to stop a possibly stolen Nissan Altima in which Gonzalez was a passenger. Police chased the Nissan to the end of a cul-de-sac on Atwood Street, and Gonzalez got out and ran up a home. Medina said he was fighting with Gonzalez when he saw the man holding a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun by the slide on the top. Gonzalez dropped the gun into a gutter, but then picked it up. Medina said when he fired the shots, he did not know if Gonzalez was pointing the gun at him or his partner. Medina was involved in another shooting in Boyle Heights less than two weeks after shooting Gonzalez. MyNews LA
Highland Park-raised teen pop star Billie Eilish slayed Coachella. At one point in the 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 Magazinethat “I don’t like smiling .... It makes me feel weak.” Sounds like a typical teenager. LA Times, Variety and CNN
Multiple vehicles caught fire parked in an open lot in Boyle Heights. Firefighters hosed down the fire at the 1700 block of Indiana Street, and prevented it from spreading to nearby commercial buildings. It was extinguished in about half an hour. The fire department did not say how the fire may have started or if any injuries were reported. The Eastsider
A 32-year-old man in Lincoln Heights was stabbed multiple times in the stomach and back. A call came in about 7 am Saturday from a passerby to alert police of the stabbing victim near Barranca Street and Avenue 23. The victim was taken to hospital, and his condition is unknown. The Eastsider
Also in Lincoln Heights, a man in his 20s was shot several days earlier while sitting in the driver seat of his car. Police said two assailants walked up to the victim who was parked near an alley along the 3400 block of Manitou Avenue and fired several rounds at about 4:45 a.m. Police did not not say how many times the victim was shot but he was hospitalized and in stable condition. The Eastsider
The County Board of Supervisors voted to release $5.2 million for ongoing efforts to clean up the lead contamination from the closed Exide battery recycling facility in Vernon. The leak affected hundreds of thousands of people in various part of parts of Los Angeles, including Boyle Heights. As of last year, only a few thousand of those homes had been cleaned by the California Department of Toxic Substances. L.A. Taco