Jun 232017

Dangerous Construction Debris Company Brought To A Halt



Operation was the Site of a 25-Foot High Pile of Construction Debris that Caught Fire and Smoldered for Six Weeks


City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office has successfully secured an injunction prohibiting further operation at a construction and demolition debris company in Boyle Heights that allowed an 11-million ton mountain of flammable materials to pile up to 25 feet high, catching fire and smoldering for six weeks. The site, the epicenter of multiple fires, required numerous City resources to contain.

“The injunction we’ve secured is a positive first step toward cleaning up this incredibly perilous fire hazard,” said Feuer. “The dangerous conditions at this facility posed a daily threat to residents, businesses and employees in this Boyle Heights neighborhood.”

The injunction approved by the court prohibits Clean Up America Inc., and its operators at 2900 East Lugo Street in Boyle Heights from hauling debris to the property or allowing additional debris to be placed on site. The defendants were also ordered to immediately establish accessible fire lanes as determined by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Further hearings are scheduled for June 30, 2017, to finalize the court’s order and ensure the facility is in full compliance with State, County and City fire and life safety laws. The City Attorney will also seek full restitution to LAFD and to the Department of Public Works, Sanitation Bureau for the cost of removing thousands of tons of debris during the 2016 fire abatement as well as all investigative costs.

The civil lawsuit alleges that over a period of two years, Clean Up America Inc. failed to sort and remove debris within its required 15 day period and instead allowed incoming debris to be piled on top of already existing debris. As a result, an 11-million ton mountain of construction debris was created measuring 250 feet wide by 250 feet long and more than 25 feet high. On September 18, 2016, three weeks after being ordered by regulators to stop accepting incoming material and remove all refuse from the site, the refuse caught fire and smoldered for over six weeks. Its immense size left no room for fire access lanes, hampering LAFDs ability to quickly put out the fire.

Clean Up America Inc. continued to bring debris to the facility despite repeated orders from regulators to stop.

Deputy City Attorney Jessica Brown and Deputy City Attorney Juliann Anderson are handling this litigation.




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Feb 082017

Winners of Great Streets Challenge

Mayor Garcetti announces winners of Great Streets Challenge

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the winners of the Great Streets Challenge, a program that will award a total of $2 million to community-driven initiatives to re-imagine Los Angeles’ iconic commercial corridors. The seven selected projects span from Panorama City to Watts, and from the Westside to Boyle Heights.

“Our streets belong to the people who use them every day, and the Great Streets Challenge empowers Angelenos to reimagine public spaces in their own neighborhoods,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “These grants will allow community groups to bring a vision to life — transforming streets across Los Angeles into vibrant, walkable spaces that reflect the unique character of their communities.”

Each community partner will receive up to $13,000 for community outreach, and will be supported by technical consultants and City staff in implementing transportation, economic, and cultural projects.

Four of the Challenge Grant projects will create temporary pop-up projects, while the other three will use the funds to make permanent street improvements.

“These grants will not only enhance the quality of our neighborhoods, but will also spur our local economy by increasing foot traffic along our busiest boulevards,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. who represents the 10th Council District. “The long-term benefits of these projects will not only provide for the residents of the tenth council district, but will serve Angelenos citywide for years to come.”

The City received 37 applications from 99 partner organizations. An external panel selected the winning teams based on the strength of their community outreach strategy, and alignment with the City’s health, mobility, and economic development goals.

Six of the seven project areas fall outside of the 15 Great Streets corridors announced in 2014 — a first for the Great Streets Challenge.

“I am thrilled the Mayor selected Robertson Boulevard as a recipient of the Great Streets Challenge grant, ” said Councilmember Paul Koretz of the 5th District. “I’ve been working with the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council to come up with creative ways to turn this major north/south thoroughfare into a safer, more walkable, artistic and vibrant center for everyone. The grant money will allow us to further our goals of creating, attracting, and providing more community access, reducing commercial vacancies, improving parking while enhancing safety for those by car, foot, transit or bike.”

The Great Streets Challenge builds on a series of neighborhood enhancement projects launched in recent months by Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative. Most recently, Mayor Garcetti unveiled safety improvements along a stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard.

View the full list of winners here.

About the Great Streets Initiative
Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the Great Streets Initiative in October 2013 to transform streets across the city into more vibrant public spaces. A Great Street is a street that serves as the center of a neighborhood, where people can walk, meet, learn, and play on a daily basis. The Great Streets Initiative’s goals include improving safety and access, increasing economic activity, and encouraging community engagement. For more information, including a full list of Great Streets corridors and programs, visit www.LAGreatStreets.org.




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Oct 162016

CicLAvia Sunday 10/16/16

CicLAvia is on, again! Los Angeles is celebrating another car-free Sunday. Many streets in Downtown LA, Boyle Heights, Chinatown and Westlake will be closed to cars (from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m) while cyclists, skaters, runners and pedestrians enjoy a day of physical activity, socializing and fresh air.

Need more info? Download CicLAvia flier!

Don’t have a bike of your own? No problem! Try Metro Bike Share.

Can’t make the time? Long Beach is the next city to hold a cycling event:
Beach Streets Midtown
November 12, 2016
Saturday 9 AM – 3 PM



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Aug 162016

Fresh on the heels of the successful CicLAvia – Culver City Meets Venice which took place on August 9th 2015, CicLAvia is getting ready for the next!

Route of CicLAvia October 16th 2016

Route of CicLAvia for October 16th 2016. Map property of CicLAvia.

CicLAvia – Heart of LA is scheduled for October 16th 2016. It will feature its fifth-year anniversary route through the Heart of LA as Boyle Heights, Chinatown, DTLA, and Westlake will host the country’s largest open streets event! Streets will be closed to cars and open for cyclists, pedestrians, runners and skaters to use as a recreational space.

CicLAvia began as an idea with an uncertain outcome when it first removed cars from the streets of downtown Los Angeles on October 10, 2010. Now, five years, fourteen events and hundreds of thousands of participants later, CicLAvia is the largest open streets event in North America.

Heart of LA will have six miles for participants to explore by bike, foot, skateboard, wheelchair and other non-motorized traffic. The route will take people through Boyle Heights, the Arts District, Little Tokyo, Civic Center, Chinatown, Historic Core and as far west as MacArthur Park.

New to CicLAvia? Here are four things you need to know for October 16:

  • It’s FREE!
  • It’s not a race and you don’t need a bike to participate. You can walk or skate to your heart’s content.
  • There’s no beginning or end. You can start anywhere and go as far or as short as you want.
  • The flow of participants goes both ways, just like regular traffic.

For your safety:

  • DON’T RUSH: CicLAvia is all about relaxation, not competition
  • BE MINDFUL OF OTHERS: yes, there will be people on bikes, skateboards and kids
  • DON’T STOP WHILE ON THE ROAD: need a break? No problem BUT get on the sidewalk, why interfere with the road’s flow?
  • LET PEOPLE KNOW WHEN PASSING THEM and always pass on the left
  • WEAR A HELMET! It’s a rule for participants under 18 but even if you are 18 and half: you’ve got only one head!
  • BE MINDFUL OF CROSSINGS! Let people cross and respect the rules
  • COUNT ON CICLAVIA! Volunteers in bright blue and yellow shirts will be there to assist participants.

CicLAvia is a great idea and a cool organization. If you didn’t get involved yet, do: participate, volunteer or donate! CicLAvia is green, it’s good for Los Angeles, our lungs and our future!

Need more info? Visit CicLAvia’s Website.


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Jul 102016



Center Theatre Group continues its free play reading series with the reading of six plays at three public libraries in Boyle Heights. Continuing for the fourth year in a row, the series has expanded to twelve readings (the other six will be announced later this year) and will take place at Benjamin Franklin Library, Malabar Library and Robert Louis Stevenson Library from July 19 through December 15. Readings will be done in English and Spanish as noted below.

The first six plays to be presented are “Tsunami” by Jesús Castaños-Chima; “El Amante” by Tony Dúran; “A Mexican Trilogy: Faith, Hope, and Charity” by Evelina Fernandez; “The Last Firefly (A Kabuki Fable)” by Naomi Iizuka in both English and Spanish (as “La Última Luciérnaga”); “The jalapeño, heavy metal, baseball, Frosted Flake adventures of Mr. Henry Carrillo” by Juan E. Carrillo; and “Barrionetas” by Juan Jimenez Gutierrez, Epitacio Hernández, Héctor Dávalos and Mauro Mendoza with the music of Chava Flores. As a new component this year, all readings will include elements of music made possible by The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grant that Center Theatre Group received in February.

The musical component promises a more multifaceted, immersive experience for those who attend. All readings will begin at 6 p.m. Readings of “Tsunami” and “El Amante,” presented in Spanish by Grupo Apolo, will take place Tuesday, July 19 at the Benjamin Franklin Library; Wednesday, July 20 at the Malabar Library; and Thursday, July 21 at the Robert Louis Stevenson Library.
“Tsunami” is an account of the tragedy that devastated Japan in 2011 and shows that, despite the magnitude of the events, the country has managed to be reborn from the rubble.

The second reading of “El Amante” follows the title character (translated as “The Lover”) as he plays out the adventures that befall him in his search for love through music, song and magic. Readings of select scenes from The Latino Theater Company’s “A Mexican Trilogy: Faith, Hope, and Charity” will take place on Tuesday, August 16 at the Benjamin Franklin Library; Wednesday, August 17 at the Malabar Library; and Thursday, August 18 at the Robert Louis Stevenson Library.

“A Mexican Trilogy: Faith, Hope, and Charity” is an American story that follows the Morales family over the span of 100 years, highlighting the Latina/o experience in the U.S. Musicevokes era and mood as the three parts of this play—Faith, Hope and Charity—paint a canvas of universal family struggle that depicts the eternal sense of belonging we all crave: to family, to culture, to country.

CTG Programs Play Readings, July – December 2016 – 2 The Spanish readings of “The Last Firefly (A Kabuki Fable),” or “La Última Luciérnaga (Una Fábula Kabuki),” will be presented by Off The Tracks Theater Company on Tuesday, September 13 at the Benjamin Franklin Library; Wednesday, September 14 at the Malabar Library; and Thursday, September 15 at the Robert Louis Stevenson Library.

The English readings of “The Last Firefly” will be presented by Artists at Play on Tuesday, December 13 at the Benjamin Franklin Library; Wednesday, December 14 at the Malabar Library; and Thursday, December 15 at the Robert Louis Stevenson Library. Inspired by Japanese folktales, “The Last Firefly” follows the journey of a young boy named Boom who is trying to find his missing father—who may or may not be Thunder. Boom’s quest takes him through a fantastical world where trees talk, spiders weave clouds and boys punch holes through the sky. It is a story about parents, children and what is found when they discover where they came from and who they really are.

Presented by SuperCity, readings of “The jalapeño, heavy metal, baseball, Frosted Flake adventures of Mr. Henry Carrillo” will take place Tuesday, October 11 at the Benjamin Franklin Library; Wednesday, October 12 at the Malabar Library; and Thursday, October 13 at the Robert Louis Stevenson Library.

“The jalapeño, heavy metal, baseball, Frosted Flake adventures of Mr. Henry Carrillo” is a solo performance piece featuring guitar that follows first grade teacher Mr. Carrillo as he navigates through the sometimes contradictory realms of heavy metal, Mexico and the classroom in East L.A., where he was born and raised. Readings of “Barrionetas” will be presented in Spanish by Teatro y Cuento and will take place Tuesday, November 15 at the Benjamin Franklin Library; Wednesday, November 16 at the Malabar Library; and Thursday, November 17 at the Robert Louis Stevenson Library. “Barrionetas” explores the problems and circumstances of one neighborhood in Mexico City—as well as the resilience and passion for life of the people who live there—with the music of Chava Flores woven through.

The Benjamin Franklin Library is located at 2200 East 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033

The Malabar Library is at 2801 Wabash Ave., Los Angeles, 90033

The Robert Louis Stevenson Library is at 803 Spence St., Los Angeles, 90023

For reservations to the readings, contact Jesus A. Reyes at jreyes@ctgla.org or call 213-972-8028. More information on CTG’s community programs can be found at www.centertheatregroup.org/community.

The play readings are presented by CTG’s Education and Community Partnerships department, led by Leslie K. Johnson. CTG frequently partners with local artists, organizations, schools, libraries and other groups to enrich cultural conversations in L.A. neighborhoods and to encourage Angelenos to bring the art of theatre deeper into their lives and use it to share and explore their own stories.

Through free workshops, events, productions, discussions and other activities that take place at traditional and nontraditional venues, Center Theatre Group is working to connect with community members and artists throughout L.A. and to facilitate inclusive and thoughtful cultural conversations.



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