A recap of some of the past week’s scenes, sightings and stories from across the Eastside.
A retired doctor who had been accused of cheating in a marathon has turned up dead in the L.A. River. Firefighters near Cypress Park found the body of Frank Meza, 70, an East Los Angeles native who once headed Kaiser Permanente's East Los Angeles office. He spent free time helping with low-cost health care and mentoring Latino students. He was also assistant coach for track and cross country at Los Angeles Loyola High. The county coroner will determine the cause of death. The Eastsider
Lamps swayed and windows rattled from two earthquakes that were little more than a day apart from each other. Thursday morning saw a 6.6 earthquake centered in the Mojave Desert near Ridgecrest, with no immediate reports of injuries or damage in the Los Angeles area. Then just after 8 p.m. Friday, another quake centered in the same area registered between 6.9 and 7.1. Though the quake sparked fires and closed roadways in the state, no major damage or injuries have been reported in Los Angeles. CBS
A rise in the minimum wage kicked in for the city of Los Angeles last week. Employers with 26 or more workers must start paying at least $14.25 an hour - $1 an hour – or about 7.5% — more than the previous $13.25 minimum. The increase is the 4th bump under the Los Angeles Minimum Wage ordinance that will eventually raise the lowest wage in the city to $15 an hour by July 1, 2021. Employers with 26 or more workers also had to begin paying paid sick leave to eligible workers under the ordinance. Smaller employers with 25 or fewer workers and some nonprofits will be required to pay at least $13.25. The Eastsider
The Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs have done what pools sometimes do. They've turned green. The Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power has outlined upgrades for turning them blue again. In early 2020, they'll start pumping air to the bottom of the reservoirs to stir up the water. Another improvement project will bring new water from LADWP’s Pollock Well. Officials also said they are working on bringing water from neighborhood storm drains. Los Feliz Ledger
After years of planning, design efforts and delays, Madison Avenue Park and Community Garden opened to the public in a neighborhood where parks are scarce. In the front of the formerly vacant lot is a pocket park, and in back is the fourth largest garden overseen by the L.A. Community Garden Council. The Eastsider
An East Los Angeles man was injured in Compton when a possibly stolen pickup truck crashed into his vehicle during a police chase. Jose Mejia, 55, was hit near Long Beach and Compton boulevards last month. He had a back injury and numerous lacerations but is expected to recover. The suspect in the truck and a woman sitting at a bus stop were also injured. NBC 4
The new pool in Lincoln Park has finally opened, after a 10-year wait. The Lincoln Pool was rebuilt as part of an $11 million project. City parks commissioners had approved the new pool and bathhouse by 2015. But the bids came in way over estimates, prompting a delay until funds could be found and construction could finally begin. The Eastsider
Meanwhile, Occidental College's new pool is having its own delays. It won't open until October because of rain - and the Eagle Rock school needs to raise more money to pay for it. The cost was to be partially covered by $1.5 million from alums Jennifer Townsend Crosthwaite and Barry Crosthwaite, for whom it was to be named the Townsend Crosthwaite pool. But then The Occidental, the campus newspaper, revealed a yearbook photo of Jennifer Townsend Crosthwaite, ’84, in blackface with her friends, and a photo of Barry Crosthwaite, ’80, and friends captioned "The Aryan Alliance." Their donation has since been redirected toward scholarships. Boulevard Sentinel
The director and assistant director of a Silver Lake preschool are challenging allegations of being physically and verbally rough with children at the school. Meanwhile, the state is investigating three separate alleged instances of improper discipline. The director of P.L.A.Y. - Gabriel Ross - has been accused by some teachers of screaming and yelling at the preschoolers, and aggressively putting his hands on them. The assistant director, Annie Gekozyan, is alleged to have roughly pinched a child's face. LAist & Los Feliz Ledger
Echo Park's landmark House of Spirits - with its iconic neon sign - seems to be in a bad way. It has remained closed since a fire broke out in the back of the building during a December rain storm. Its liquor license has been "surrendered" to state authorities. And now, the parking lot in front of the store is fenced in. The Eastsider
A shirtless man in East Los Angeles took a stroll down the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 on Wednesday, against oncoming traffic. The avid pedestrian traveled an undetermined length of California’s signature Interstate during the morning rush hour before he found himself joined by the California Highway Patrol, which capped off his invigorating perambulation by taking him into custody. ABC7
Summer season is always power black-out season. But this year, a new system of texts and emails will be telling LADWP customers when outages have occurred, and when service will be restored. Customers can sign up through their LADWP account on ladwp.com.
Firefighters were called to Echo Park Lake to help a person in "unspecified medical distress" onboard a boat. One Twitter user at the lake said that the person fell out of a Swan-shaped pedal boat into the lake and was later put into a dinghy by boathouse workers until firefighters arrived. The Eastsider
A toy giveaway in Echo Park reached more than 400 children. The Dream Center on Bellevue Ave hosted the event, and nearly 40 companies - such as Disney and Nickelodeon - teamed up with the Toy Foundation and the Dream Center to supply toys and activities. "The children at this 'Play Your Part' event today, many of them are in foster care. Some of them have been neglected and abused, they're living below the poverty line," said Jane Butler, Director of the Toy Foundation. ABC7
For the first time in memory, pedal boats have been operating on Echo Park Lake in the evening - outlined now by in ribbons of LED lights. The Eastsider