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At Home in the Arts District Downtown Residential Gets a Boost with the Arrival of the Amentity-Filled Aliso

JUNE 24, 2019 I VOL. 48 I #25

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a facelift for skid row parks

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low-key exhibits that pack a punch

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2 DOWNTOWN NEWS

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AROUND TOWN

New Cleaning Teams Announced As Part of Expanded Sanitation Efforts

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n response to the rising numbers of homeless individuals as well as a growing illegal trash dumping problem, the City of Los Angeles wants to launch new cleaning teams across the city. The CARE (Cleaning and Rapid Engagement) teams would each comprise four people, who would provide direct cleanings based on areas “with the greatest needs” according to the Bureau of Sanitation, and would complement comprehensive cleanups. The plan calls for a team assigned to each City Council district, as well as a citywide team and one dedicated to the Los Angeles River. The team members would also be trained in mental health awareness and homeless outreach and would distribute hygiene resources. “Our new CARE teams will help improve public health and strengthen the public good by providing a services-led approach,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a prepared statement announcing the plan on Wednesday, June 19. “We want to do more to connect homeless Angelenos with the resources they need, and

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bring added energy to the work of keeping our neighborhoods clean.” The city would also pilot a “mobile hygiene station” with showers and toilets that would be deployed across Los Angeles. The new plan also calls for increased surveillance and enforcement activities in response to the rise of illegal trash dumping in Los Angeles. Activist groups on Skid Row have routinely criticized the city’s approach to cleanings and sweeps in recent months. The plan is pending approval by the Los Angeles City Council.

Regional Sports Summit Coming to Downtown

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he Los Angeles Sports Council and the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games announced that the inaugural Los Angeles Sports Summit will be held in Downtown from June 24-26. The summit will take place at Omni Hotel and is expected to bring together 350 athletes, local leaders and industry stakeholders to discuss Los Angeles’ role in the sporting world. A major component of this year’s summit will be the release of the Los Angeles Region Sports Economic Impact Report, which measures the economic impact of the various sports organizations across Los Angeles. The last report was conducted in 2013, prior to the addition of two National Football League franchises, new stadiums and upgrades to existing venues.

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“Los Angeles is the place for sports—teams, leagues, owners, venues, events and players—so it’s only natural that we convene a yearly conference the brings them all together,” sports council President David Siegel said in a prepared statement. More information is available online at lasportssummit.org.

Downtown Expo Line Service Disrupted for Two Months

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wo Downtown Metropolitan Transportation Authority stations, the Seventh Street/Metro Center Station in the Financial District and the Pico Station near L.A. Live, began a two-month closure on Saturday, June 22, as Metro works on a $350 million project to overhaul its aging Blue Line. The closure will allow Metro to make necessary repairs and lay new track, which is expected to help shave off time on the Blue Line once the full scope of the upgrades are complete. The Expo Line will continue to run from the LATTC/Ortho Institute station. Metro finished work on the southern portion of the Blue Line last month before starting on the Northern portion that runs through Downtown in June. Improvements include new electric cables, tracks, signage and paint at some of the stations along the route. Expo Line service at the stations will restart in August, but the Blue Line will not fully reopen until upgrades on the northern

JUNE 24, 2019

portion of the route are completed in September. Metro has provided a fleet of shuttle buses to supplement the shuttered routes that will ferry riders along a route similar to the closed lines. Schedules and additional information for the shuttle buses can be found at metro.net.

15-Hour Concrete Pour Scheduled for The Grand

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lose to 1,350 trucks will descend on Bunker Hill this week, signifying the official start of construction at Related Companies’ $1 billion Frank Gehry-designed mega-development The Grand. Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 28, trucks will pour 13,478 cubic yards of concrete at the site on Grand Avenue, between First and Second streets and across from Walt Disney Concert Hall, creating the foundation for The Grand’s residential towers. The pour is the first of two that will occur at the site and will take 15 hours and 140 workers to complete. Over 1.8 million pounds of concrete will be poured during the effort and cranes and trucks will blow their horns to celebrate the start of the pour. Once construction is complete two towers will be erected at the site, a 39-story and a 20-story building housing over 400 residences, an Equinox Hotel and over 176,000 square feet of retail space. The project is expected to open in 2021. Continued on page 8


JUNE 24, 2019

DOWNTOWN NEWS 3

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New Basketball Court, Other Upgrades Made to Skid Row Parks Gladys Park Receives New Water Fountains, Charging Stations, and More By Sean P. Thomas pair of Skid Row parks is in the process of receiving a much-needed facelift thanks to efforts by the Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation and the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation. Both Gladys Park and San Julian Park are in the process of a slate of renovations including upgraded permanent bathrooms, improvements to the landscaping, and the inclusion of exercise equipment, new benches, solar-powered charging stations and new water fountains. Gladys Park also received an upgraded basketball court, part of a $10 million citywide effort by the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation to refurbish basketball courts at all of the city’s 350 parks. The majority of the improvements at Gladys Park have already been completed with the basketball court open; with San Julian, minor work has started, and the full facelift is expected to come in the near future. Department of Parks and Recreation Executive Director Belinda Jackson, who oversees both San Julian and Gladys Park said that the upgrades to the basketball courts were separate from the other additions that were already in the pipeline. Department of Parks and Recreation General Manager Mike Shull assigned Jackson to oversee the improvements and establish partnerships with nonprofits to provide free program-

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Thanks to a donation from the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation, all 350 city parks will receive new basketball courts, including Gladys Park in Skid Row.

photo by Sean P. Thomas

ming at the parks. “We wanted to do some renovations at both of these parks to bring some pride back into these areas,” Jackson said. “With the magnitude of people who do come to the park,

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we wanted to at least clean the parks up.” The improvements are the result of discussions that began in earnest in 2016, when official community meetings were held in the neighborhood to crowd source what the

community wanted for the parks. Gladys Park and San Julian Park are the only two parks in Skid Row and have historically served as a meeting place for members of the Continued on page 16

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EDITORIALS

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JUNE 24, 2019

TAKE MY PICTURE GARY LEONARD

Downtown Needs More Elementary Schools

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he school year has ended and kids have moved on to summer vacation. A vacant LAUSD school board seat has been filled and on June 4 voters shot down the parcel tax Measure EE. For the time being, people are taking a break from thinking about education. In Downtown Los Angeles, at least, that is a mistake. That’s because the community just finished its first academic year without a local free elementary school that appeals to the legions of people moving here. Downtown is in the midst of a localized education crisis that almost no one is talking about. Yet the community should be discussing this topic frequently, publicly, and at high levels, because the lack of a quality school, and ideally multiple schools, threatens to hamper the neighborhood’s evolution into a place that welcomes and supports families. Many parents won’t consider existing Downtown LAUSD schools to be viable options because of location or other factors. Thus, local leaders need to make recruiting and facilitating top-notch elementary schools, potentially including charters, a priority. Whether this comes in the form of a task force organized by elected officials, or a panel helmed by members of local business and community groups, or something else, this is an urgent matter. Downtown should not be in this situation. In 2013, the community celebrated when a group of parents opened Metro Charter Elementary School, with kindergarten-second grade students occupying office space in a local hospital. Metro Charter expanded by a grade a year. Parents were thrilled to have a school they could reach on foot or by DASH bus. Yet the hospital was never intended to be a permanent home, and as school brass looked for a site to buy or lease long-term, they were stymied by Downtown’s red-hot real estate market. Although Metro Charter representatives began negotiations on dozens of sites, they fell victim to property owners who saw more profit potential in saving space for tenants able to pay more money. The result was that the school bounced to different locations and for one academic year had a split campus. Last fall Metro Charter moved to Lincoln Heights; that’s near Downtown, but not in Downtown. There is little public heat to rectify the situation. The developers of some large projects have proposed setting aside space for an elementary school, and while we appreciate the civic-minded sentiment, none of these projects have even broken ground. We don’t see any imminent solution to the problem. This may not seem like a big deal to many people, but for young parents who start a family, it’s crucial. Some parents might pay for a private school or drive their kids outside Downtown each day, but others will choose to live in a different neighborhood with better education options. And forget luring people with school-age kids to Downtown if the status quo persists. Downtown needs its brightest minds on the matter, with parents, education experts, dealmakers and real estate industry players working to solve this problem. A true family-friendly community needs walkable, high-quality schools.

Broadway & Fourth Street

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June 13, 2019

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COMMENTS

Regarding the article “Regional Connector Delayed Four Months,” by Nicholas Slayton You would think that with all the money Metro has gotten out of taxpayers’ pockets, they could find a better way to “ease traffic” on time. Come on Metro, do better. —Patryk Strait Regarding the article “Homeless Property Settlement Imposes New Rules for Skid Row, Surrounding Areas,” about the “Mitchell” case, by Nicholas Slayton I believe this is being done to bring down the price of the land and eventually they’re going to have actors stage some crisis in the area. Then they will implement a law preventing any kind of homelessness there. The price of land will be so low. It will be bought up, and then stacked and packed with buildings. No one but the wealthy will ever own any land around Downtown. —Oscar Guzman Wait a minute! José Huizar has been the City Councilmember representing Skid Row for the past 14 years and at the end of the article he complains about the City of Los Angeles having difficulty creating “sound homelessness policy.” Well, isn’t that his job? The councilman should have been chasing solutions. Now homelessness EDITOR: Jon Regardie STAFF WRITERS: Nicholas Slayton, Sean P. Thomas CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Tom Fassbender, Jeff Favre

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is out of control and all of Downtown is suffering. Next year’s election for the next CD 14 councilperson can’t get here fast enough. —“General” Jeff Page So much for the “rebirth” of Downtown. —Marc D. Carlson Regarding the editorial “The High Cost of Bridge Housing Patrols” Housing people at whatever the cost is still better, and four times cheaper, than leaving them to die on the streets! —Linda Lucks

Hey You! Speak Up! Downtown News wants to hear from people in the community. If you like, or dislike, a story or editorial, let us know. Or weigh in on something you feel is important to the community. Participation is easy. Post a comment online at the bottom of any story, or go to downtownnews.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the “Letter to the Editor” link. For guest opinion proposals, email regardie@downtownnews.com. DISTRIBUTION MANAGER: Salvador Ingles DISTRIBUTION ASSISTANTS: Lorenzo Castillo FOUNDER EMERITUS: Sue Laris ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Lake Trout

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©2017 Southland Publishing, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Southland Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles Downtown News has been adjudicated as a newspaper of general circulation in Court Judgement No. C362899. One copy per person.


JUNE 24, 2019

DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM

DOWNTOWN NEWS 5

The Bungling Boondoggle of Behested Payments Everyone Likes Charitable Donations, But When They Come Through Political Power Plays and Obfuscation, Things Get Tricky By Jon Regardie n May 22, the City Council approved a motion that could lead to a drastic change in political campaign donations in Los Angeles. If everything goes as these things normally do, then we should see a significant tightening

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THE REGARDIE REPORT of the rules and improving of the system in about six to eight nevers. I hate to be cynical, but it’s only logical to expect the council to break the record for slow-walking a piece of unloved legislation. Just consider the framework: We’re asking City Council members, whose political livelihood depends on receiving buckets of campaign donations from people they work with, to be in charge of altering the process of receiving buckets of campaign donations from people they work with. This is like asking a scuba diver to consider coming up with an alternate form of breathing while he — and I write “he” because the L.A. City Council still has 13 men and only two women, which is a whole other problem — is 25 feet underwater and staying alive thanks to a rubber tube, a mouthpiece and an oxygen canister. Sure, he may be game to

create a better apparatus, but if the current one gives him what he needs, then change isn’t coming until he has resurfaced and is chilling on a lounge chair with a margarita, and someone else is submerged. The idea of campaign finance reform in Los Angeles is just about the simplest thing that ever got deliberately misinterpreted as a really complex thing. Ultimately the solution should take about 10 minutes and involve two basic components: 1) logic, and 2) a consideration of what would enhance public trust. The primary topic of conversation in finance reform involves a proposed ban on contributions from developers who have projects before the city. Of course these should be prohibited, as the practice of elected officials going thumbs up or down to someone who gives money — or opts not to give — when they need something approved doesn’t pass the smell test. It stinks of pay-to-play. The more interesting element in the motion pushed by Fourth District Councilman David Ryu concerns behested payments, or donations that office holders solicit to benefit charitable organizations. A host of local politicians are already vigorously protesting any tightening, which means it’s probably worth

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According to a report from the City Ethics Commission, in a five-year period starting in January 2014, a total of 597 behested payments worth $49.7 million were made in the city. About $26 million came from lobbyists, contractors or others with business before the city.

considering, if not passing immediately. Helping Monkey Island As with almost everything in City Hall that causes raised eyebrows these days, the idea of addressing behested payments pops

up because of the travails of 14th District Councilman José Huizar. Ever since the FBI raided his home and offices last November, people have been speculating about what Huizar may have done (no arrests have been Continued on page 6

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MONEY, 5 made and no charges have been filed). The L.A. Times on Nov. 30 reported that his wife, Richelle Huizar, had been a paid fundraiser at the councilman’s alma mater, Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Boyle Heights, and that real estate developers, billboard companies and other entities with business before the city had donated big bucks to the school. (Richelle Huizar launched a campaign for her husband’s seat last September, then dropped out two months later.) Los Angeles politicians, like all politicians going back to Nero, have used their influence to raise money for their favorite charities (I admit I didn’t fact check the Nero part). While it’s hard to begrudge any worthy nonprofit of a needed infusion of cash, this is a murky wink-wink world with plenty of room for exploitation. In the darkest path, funds donated to a charity work their way back to an officeholder or that person’s spouse or another family member. Or maybe an elected official leaves office and winds up later working at said favored charity. There are all sorts of creative ways to mess with things. Behested payments are big in L.A. The City Ethics Commission in February proposed a suite of campaign finance regulations and also documented local behested payments. It found that, in a five-year period since January 2014, a total of 597 behested payments worth $49.7 million were made in the city. About $26 million, or 52% of these, came from lobbyists, contractors or others with business before the city. I like the idea of behested payments because they sound like something from royal times. I can just imagine an aristocrat in a powdered wig and shoes with silver buckles bending before the throne and stating, “Sire, I heed your bequest to donate 10,000 pieces of gold to the Monkey Island charity. I thank my lord for the opportunity.” A modern behested payment probably starts with a phone call from a politician or his representative to a developer, consultant, fixer, lobbyist or businessperson. It then goes something like: Politician: Rich dude! How’s it going? Rich Dude: Great! Just trying to move my project forward. What can I do for you today, Mr. Powerful Politician? Politician: As you know, I’ve always been a big supporter of Monkey Island. They do great work for monkeys. And islands. They’re having their fundraiser next month, and I was hoping you might make a donation, possibly at the Gold Level. You get a free monkey with that. Rich Dude: I’m always happy to support your causes Mr. Powerful Politician. But I don’t need the monkey. Just send the information over to my assistant and we’ll get a check out. Politician: Thanks. And keep me up to date on your union-approved project. I look forward to speaking at the groundbreaking. Then the phone clicks. The politician makes a checkmark and dials the next number on the list. The Rich Dude directs his assistant to write a four- or five-figure donation from the “Cost of Doing Business in L.A.” account. It’s a very fat account.

JUNE 24, 2019

Question of Disclosure A big problem with behested donations is that, in L.A., they don’t have to be disclosed unless they are worth more than $5,000. The Ethics Commission in 2014 sought to get the threshold lowered to $1,000, which would increase transparency, but as the Ethics Commission stated in February, “The City Council declined to implement the recommendation at that time.” Now the push for a $1,000 limit is on again. Vegas has not yet set odds on its passage, but the smart money is betting on the fail. Many council members hate the idea of banning or limiting behested payments, and point out how they benefit certain neighborhoods and causes. Eighth District Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson hit that point during a recent Downtown appearance before the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum. He was persuasive and impassioned, saying that behested payments in his district allow for Thanksgiving turkey giveaways and help cover the cost of the annual Martin Luther King Day parade. “The idea that that activity would be in the same category as taking money from a developer who has a project that’s being considered, to me that’s just, one, way beyond the pale,” Harris-Dawson stated, “and totally ignores the conditions in certain parts of the city where there are organizations that frankly wouldn’t exist, or activities that wouldn’t exist without us doing that.” Harris-Dawson has a point, and no good-government type wants to strangle charitable donations. But there’s a big difference between funding a parade and a politician using his or her clout to compel money to flow to a favored cause — particularly when that very action cements the power of the office holder. If an elected official calls someone with a “request” to make a donation, and that person even occasionally does business with the city, how can the individual possibly say no? He or she knows that they might need a yes vote in the future, or high-level backing on a tricky project, and will seek to maintain good graces. I get that the poor-little rich consultant/ developer may not evoke sympathies, but why should a council member decide which institutions in the district get connected money? I’m sure numerous schools in Huizar’s territory would benefit from Salesian-sized donations from affluent individuals and businesses, but what happens when they’re not on a council member’s list of pet places? Is that fair? Even if a politician’s heart is in the right place, the number of L.A. office holders who were elected or re-elected because of their charitable skills is precisely zero. This just isn’t on the public’s list of priorities — we elect politicians to provide safe streets, clean streets, speed bumps on streets and a few things that have nothing to do with streets. There is a place for giving, but a donation needs to make sense, needs to be about more than ego (think of those huge signs of an office holder’s mug that appear anytime an elected official facilitates an event) and needs to occur in a manner where people on the outside won’t look askance. Again, it’s not complicated — you know in an instant if something reeks of pay-to-play. regardie@downtownnews.com


JUNE 24, 2019

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JUNE 24, 2019

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By Nicholas Slayton arlier this month the Los Angeles City Council announced new funding for homeless services in Downtown’s Skid Row. A motion, approved on June 14, allocates a total of $2.7 million from the $20 million given to the city in funds from the state’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program (or HEAP) for multiple uses in the neighborhood . The largest amount, $779,000 would go to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to fund two engagement teams that would operate on Skid Row for two years, helping to connect homeless individuals to resources. Most of the money is directed at hygiene and sanitation. The People Concern will receive $750,000 to expand toilet and shower services at 526 S. San Pedro St. The funds will allow the nonprofit to provide 24-hours services; the wellness center is currently open 16 hours a day. A quarter of a million dollars would add at least five drinking fountains, set up adjacent to automatic public toilets. In addition, $266,000 is allocated to expand bathroom access at St. Vincent de Paul’s Skid Row location for two years and $593,250 will go forward improving the building at 538 S. San Pedro St., which will become the new home for “The Bin,” a warehouse full of storage bins where homeless individuals can store their property. The Bin is expected to open at its new home by the end of year, per Council District 14. Also on June 14, Huizar introduced two motions, one calling for another $2.7 million in HEAP funds to go toward services on Skid Row, and to relocate the Skid Row Community ReFresh Spot, a 24-hour hygiene center offering toilets, showers and washing equipment. The space is currently located at 557 Crocker St. but will close soon when the Weingart Center develops the site into permanent supportive housing. Those motions are still pending a decision from the City Council. nicholas@downtownnews.com

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AROUND TOWN, 2 Alamo Drafthouse to Open Next Month

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fter a long wait and a few delays, Los Angeles’ Alamo Drafthouse will finally open in Downtown next month. No exact date has been set for the Austin-based cinema chain’s arrival at The Bloc shopping center, but representatives for the 12-screen space say a soft opening will happen in early July. Alamo Drafthouse is known for its strong mix of blockbusters, independent releases and documentaries, as well as its full kitchen and bar, with a selection of craft beers. The Downtown location will also include “Video Vortex,” a bar and video store where customers can rent Blu-Ray and DVDs for free. The Los Angeles outpost will have 4K laser projectors as well as one cinema with a 35mm film projector. The deal to bring the cinema to The Bloc was first announced in 2014.


JUNE 24, 2019

DOWNTOWN NEWS 9

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The Aliso Takes Root In the Arts District Massive Development With 472 Apartments Adds to Momentum in the Community

The five-building Aliso, from Legendary Development and Fairfield Residential, adds 472 apartments to the Arts District. They are arranged in five buildings placed around a central courtyard.

photo by Gary Leonard

By Nicholas Slayton n recent years a lot of attention has focused on the Arts District, as the once sleepy neighborhood has attracted a slew of housing, cultural and culinary projects. But almost everything that has come online in the past decade pales in comparison to The Aliso, a five-building complex at Third Street and Santa Fe Avenue that has 472 apartments. Coincidentally or not, that time period — a decade — is almost as long as the developer has been trying to get the project built.

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The massive effort comes from Legendary Development, which initiated the project, and its partner Fairfield Residential. Move-ins began in February at the complex at 950 E. First St., on six acres adjacent to the SCI-Arc campus and across Third Street from the Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles gallery. Designed by Kava Massih Architects, the buildings are now all open. The project is currently about 14% leased. Dilip Bhavnani, managing partner with Legendary Development, would not disclose the full budget for The Aliso, but ac-

knowledged that costs went $21.5 million over the initial plan (an early figure had the price tag at $215 million). He said this resulted from changes the development team made to suit the wave of people moving in to work in the creative and tech industries opening at the eastern edge of Downtown. Legendary acquired the site in 2010 after a previous owner’s plan to build condominiums fell apart in the recession. Legendary presented its initial plans a year later, faced community backlash over a design that included a faux brick exterior and a new alley for cars, then went back to the drawing board. The project broke ground in early 2016. Bhavnani, who is also working on an office tower adjacent to the A+D Museum in the Arts District, said that as the Arts District changed, so too did The Aliso. The biggest shift involved adding amenities. “When we looked at the area, from start to finish, we made a lot of upgrades along the way,” he said on a recent tour of the project. “We understand that things have changed in the Arts District and that people want a higher level of experience.” Community Impact The buildings, which are all five or six stories, are arranged in an oval pattern around a central courtyard. The largest building, on the west side of the project, houses The Aliso’s amenities including a pool deck. On the east side of the site, adjacent to SCI-Arc, a paved paseo links Third Street to Traction Avenue. This allows direct access to the nearby street, rather than the roundabout routes people would need to walk between them. The paseo was added after the community outcry, replacing a path planned for vehicular use. Miguel Vargas, executive director of the Arts District Business Improvement District, expects the project to have a major impact on the community, as it is the first large-scale development to open in about three years. The most recent similar additions were the nearby One Santa Fe, which has 438 apartments and opened in 2016, and the Garey Building, a 320-unit project that debuted in 2016 at 905 E. Second St. “With just the size of this project, people are going to feel the Continued on page 11

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Legendary Development head Dilip Bhavnani began working on the project nearly a decade ago. The site at 950 E. Third St. is now a central point in a buzzing neighborhood.

The Aliso has studios to two-bedroom apartments, as well as 42 live/work units. Prices average $3.50 per square foot.

photo by Gary Leonard

ALISO, 9 impact, whether it’s residents or visitors coming to patronize the businesses,” Vargas said. The size also stands out for Dana Brody, senior vice president for capital markets with the real estate brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle, which was not involved in the development. She said that while numerous projects are underway in the area, having a large developer like Fairfield Residential — a company active in 17 states as well as Washington, D.C. — invest in the community demonstrates viability and demand. “We’ve seen larger developers like Fairfield coming to the Arts District. That’s a huge change,” Brody said. “And this is large enough and has the retail component to make a real insular community, in a way that there hadn’t been before.” The project has studio to two-bedroom apartments. Units have quartz countertops, electric stoves, LED lighting and washer and dryer systems; there are different finishing options, depending on a resident’s tastes. A 479-square-foot studio starts at $2,330. Rents average $3.50 per square foot, according to Steve Basham, managing analyst with the real estate firm CoStar. He said that the price is slightly below other buildings that came online in the last year in Downtown; some had rents of $4.50 per square foot. One unique element in The Aliso is the 42 live/work apartments. The two-story units are on the first floor of the buildings, and look

inward at the central courtyard. 1,157-squarefoot live/work apartment starts at $3,555. An In-Demand Area Bhavnani said that he expects the project will appeal to people working for the technology and media companies that are relocating to the Arts District; he cited Warner Music Group and Spotify specifically. He also thinks that The Aliso will bring in empty nesters, as well as students attending SCI-Arc. Most of the amenities are in the building on the west side of the project. In addition to the pool and the deck with cabanas and a hot tub, there is a two-story gym, game room, lounges with full kitchens and play areas for dogs. All buildings have landscaped rooftop decks. Some features are unusual. The Aliso in-

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photo by Gary Leonard

cludes a recording studio, a “green screen room” for people working in creative industries, and a karaoke room. Bhavnani said those were added to appeal to the changing demographics in the area. Basham said that The Aliso is likely not a catalytic project for the Arts District, but rather one that points to the demand for new residential options in the area. He said the complex reshapes Third Street and Santa Fe Avenue, a point Vargas echoed. The intersection had already been emerging as a destination with the opening of shops and restaurants. “Now the main drag is going to be extended

more,” Vargas said. “People were walking over. The Aliso further completes this main retail stretch. Third and Seventh streets are very clearly the centers of attraction in the Arts District.” The project comes online at an interesting time in the Downtown residential market, according to experts. Basham said The Aliso follows the debut of a wave of projects that brought about 3,000 units to Downtown, many in South Park neighborhood. The Aliso comes at the tail end of that wave, he noted, but it may only been an indicator of what is to come in the Arts District. nicholas@downtownnews.com

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JUNE 24, 2019

By Sean P. Thomas owntown Los Angeles is celebrated for, among other things, its collection of notable museums with heavyweight shows. Just glance across the community and you’ll see, for instance, The Broad’s lauded Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983 or the Museum of Contemporary Art’s just-opened The Foundation of the Museum: MOCA’s Collection, which shows masterworks from the last 40 years. It continues all summer at MOCA’s Little Tokyo outpost. Perhaps the only downside of the big shows is that they threaten to overwhelm some of the “smaller” exhibits on display in other locations in Downtown. But don’t let the big names or prominent institutions fool you, as other exhibits, some in unexpected places, pack quite a visual, cultural and emotional punch. Below, Los Angeles Downtown News runs down a quartet of exhibits that, while they may lack a high profile, still offer plenty to see and think about. Each is proof that being under-the-radar is different than being overlooked.

photo courtesy Visual Communications

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“Marielena La Fabulosa” a repurposed Marilyn Monroe Statue, is one of the 135 works on display in Linda Vallejo Brown Belongings, currently on display at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes.

“Marielena La Fabulosa” by Linda Vallejo

A Quartet of Downtown Museums And Galleries Has Thoughtful Exhibits Touching on History, Culture And More

Linda Vallejo: Brown Belongings Through Jan. 13 at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes For nearly a decade, Chicana artist Linda Vallejo has explored the meaning behind the color brown. She has addressed the hue numerous times, including in the attention-grabbing collection “The Brown Oscars,” which recast famous Hollywood figures in Brown skin. The 2016 project included actors like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Audrey Hepburn and Cate Blanchet. Now, some of Vallejo’s work, including never-before-seen pieces, is on display at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Brown Belongings opened June 1 at the facility near Olvera Street and is the museum’s first solo exhibit for a female artist. Featuring 135 paintings, drawings and sculptures from the Los Angeles-based Vallejo, the exhibit examines race and color, and its impact on our perception of cultures. It also asks the viewers to resist stereotypes and assumptions of Latinx people. Former senior curator Erin M. Curtis, associate curator Mariah Berlanga-Shevchuk, and assistant curator Esperanza Sanchez curated the exhibit. Berlanga-Shevchuk said that she hopes attendees pick up on the themes of inclusivity in Vallejo’s work. “We have a long way to go,” Berlanga-Shevchuk said. “There has been a lot of work done, but there is still a long way to go.” The museum will hold a series of public programs around the exhibit, including a walkthrough led by Vallejo and panel discussions. On July 18, Vallejo will lead guests through the exhibit while she discusses the themes and process behind her work. At 501 N. Main St. or lapca.org. At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America Through Oct. 20 at the Japanese American National Museum Throughout most of American history, the word “Oriental” was a widely accepted term for an entire group of people. In the 1970s, Asian Pacific Americans said no more. Utilizing more than 100 archival videos and hundreds of thousands of images doc-

A woman lights a candle at memorial in remembrance of the dropping of the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The image is just one of the hundreds of thousands of shots that can be viewed at the Japanese American Museum’s new exhibit At First Light: The Dawning of the Asian Pacific American.

umented by Visual Communications, the first Asian Pacific American media organization in the United States, At First Light explores the rise of Asian Pacific American political identity in Los Angeles. In the process, it demonstrates how people rose up and recast the description “Oriental” as decidedly un-American. The show is documentarian in nation, and includes 30 short videos documenting landmark events in the community. This includes a video showing the first Asian American march in the country against the Vietnam War, along with a sculpture displaying never-before-seen photographs of life in World War II internment camps. At 100 N. Central Ave. or janm.org. Fantasy World: Italian Americans in Animation Through Jan. 26 at the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles People rarely think of ethnicity when watching kids’ cartoons, but a new exhibit at the Italian American Museum shines a light on the role that Italian Americans have played in the field for decades. Fantasy World celebrates the achievements of individuals including Joseph Barbera, the son of Italian American immigrants who settled in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan. If the name sounds familiar, it should: Alongside William Hanna, he founded the animation studio Hanna-Barbera, which would go on to create and produce programs groundbreaking cartoons such as “The Flintstones,” “Scooby-Doo” and “The Jetsons.” The exhibit also shines a light on Italian American women who paved the way for females working in the animation field. That includes Bianca Majolie, Disney’s first female story artist, Grace Godino, who worked on the 1938 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Adriana Caselotti, who voiced Snow White in the film. Additionally, the exhibit explores Italian Americans in the comic book field. It mentions Carmine Infantino, who co-created the second version of the Flash, and John Romita Sr., who worked alongside Stan Lee on Spider-Man. The exhibit includes artifacts such as storyboards, rare comics and original scripts. Marianna Gatto, executive director at IAMLA, said that the number of Italian Americans who figured prominently in the animation world struck her as she was doing research for the exhibit. “There were a lot of immigrants that were a part of the early history of these studios,” Gatto said. “To be able to shed a light on how immigrants impacted these industries was really a story worth telling and provides us with an understanding of the various talents that made Hollywood what it is today.” At 644 N. Main St. or iamla.org. On Assignment: Ansel Adams in Los Angeles Through Oct. 20 at the Central Library’s Annenberg Gallery People normally go the Central Library to pick up a book. But the Continued on next page


JUNE 24, 2019

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Downtown Is the Canvas In New Noir Novel Los Angeles Times Journalist Jeffrey Fleishman’s Crime Novel Pits a Detective Against a Killer Architect in a Changing Central City By Nicholas Slayton effrey Fleishman has Downtown on his mind. The area fascinates the Los Angeles Times reporter and Downtown resident so much that he made it the setting for his first crime novel. My Detective, which came out this spring, follows detective Sam Carver, as he times to hunt down a brutal killer, Dylan Cross. Cross in turn becomes fascinated by him. The novel is told in alternating chapters, switching between Carver and Cross’ perspectives. Fleishman sat down with Los Angeles Downtown News at Grand Central Market earlier this month to talk about the novel and his influences. The interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

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Los Angeles Downtown News: You already wrote two books, but nothing in the crime fiction genre. What’s the origin of My Detective? Jeffrey Fleishman: My wife and I moved here five years ago, I had spent most of my time overseas. Los Angeles was a new world to us and I was really struck by Downtown when we got here. I just really noticed the foreignness of the city, being so new to it. But there’s also the mythology of the city, these places of noir and crime. I said, let me try to set a crime noir story in Los Angeles that deals with the alleged quote unquote renaissance happening in Downtown. And what better way to epitomize that aesthetic than to make the killer an architect? Q: My Detective follows detective Sam Carver, what’s his story? A: I wanted to keep one foot in the hardboiled genre, I wanted to make him more tied to the legacy of Downtown. I wanted Sam to be a thinking man, somebody who plays the piano on the side. His mother is going through dementia. I wanted him to be a very introspective person who internalizes a lot of things, like his bruised relationship with his father, so he’s dealing with all of these things. He’s also has this righteous sense that every crime must be solved, but Dylan throws him at a kind of curve in how he looks at killers and suspects.

DOWNTOWN NEWS 13

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Wine Tastings, Wine Festivals, Wine Tours & More at our Los Angeles Winery Location. photo courtesy Jeffrey Fleishman

Jeffrey Fleishman’s first crime novel sets his detective in a rapidly changing Downtown Los Angeles. Fleishman said he is fascinated by the transformation he’s seen in the area since moving to Downtown five years ago.

Q: Tell us about Dylan Cross. What drives this killer architect? A: What I wanted to do with Dylan was put her in the milieu of architects who believe — and she’s not one of these people — there are people who see a city and think they know what it should look like. I wanted her to be motivated by two things, vengeance, but I wanted her to be a character who was questioning the crime. Q: What Downtown locations specifically factor into the story? A: Right here, Grand Central Market, for one. Carver and his captain Ortiz would come, and Ortiz would just fume about how the city has changed. He talks about all of these shops and how the city is losing its grit and soul. Carver disagrees a little. Over in front of the old Clark Hotel, there is one of the characters, Esmeralda, a homeless woman. When Carver can’t sleep he comes down and sits with her and they drink tea and scotch. Walt Disney Concert Hall factors into it, and all of these places. Of course there’s a beach scene and a San Gabriel scene, but much of the book is set in Downtown. Q: You said Carver is very in the mold of the hardboiled detective. So like those classic ones, does he have a favorite watering hole? A: Yeah, when Carver can’t sleep he

Financial District landmark also has a revolving series of thoughtful art exhibits. That includes Ansel Adams in Los Angeles, which opened April 25. Adams, of course, is known as perhaps the world’s premier landscape and nature photographer, and from the 1920s-’50s he shot unforgettable images of Half Dome at Yosemite National Park, the Rocky Mountains and Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone National Park, among other. What many people don’t know is that, in order to pay his bills, Adams took up assignments outside of his natural wheelhouse. That included a trip through burgeoning Los

goes to the Last Bookstore and thumbs through chapters of his favorite authors, and then he walks over to the Little Easy across the street. The Little Easy factors in a lot. He’s in there pretty often. Q: It sounds like you really wanted to explore Downtown’s transformation. A: I think anybody living in Downtown is both startled and amazed by what’s happening. The “new L.A.” is pushing in; it’s this mix of homelessness, developers and the hipsters. Look at [Grand Central Market]; five years ago it was all Latino markets, now you can get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for $10. That’s what really intrigued me. I want to put this into a book. Q: You have another Carver novel out next year. Should we expect more Downtown? Killer hipsters? A: Hipsters factor into both books. Sam riffs on hipsters in My Detective, when he’s walking between Whole Foods on Grand Avenue and [Grand Central Market] and he goes off. He kind of admires them, but feels behind the times. The second book, it’s called Last Dance, deals with the death of a famous Russian ballerina in the Spring Street Lofts and really takes in Downtown and Hollywood. My Detective by Jeffrey Fleishman is out now through Blackstone Publishing. nicholas@downtownnews.com

Angeles in 1940 for Fortune Magazine. The library was given the collection as a gift in 1962, and is currently displaying 51 of the photographs in the Annenberg Gallery on the second floor. The exhibit is mostly centered around Los Angeles’ growing aerospace industry during the lead-up to the United States’ entry into World War II, including old amusement parks, now-defunct airplane factories and the workers who came to Los Angeles to work in the new industry. At 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7000 or lapl.org. sean@downtownnews.com

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EVENTS MONDAY, JUNE 24 Mystic Monday Comedy Resident, 428 S. Hewitt St. or residentdtla.com. 8 p.m.: The live music and stand-up comedy showcase is back once again. TUESDAY, JUNE 25 Gothic Book Club The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., (213) 488-0599 or lastbookstorela.com. 9:30 p.m.: It’s a night of ghost stories as the club dives into Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw.” As always, wear black. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26 Ragen Moss: Speed, Graphite, Moisture Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1717 E. Seventh St. or theicala.org. 7 p.m.: Artist Moss reviews Lucas Blalock’s photography in discussion with the audience. THURSDAY, JUNE 27 Mega 64 Teragram Ballroom, 1234 W. Seventh St. or teragramballroom.com. 6 p.m.: The video game-based comedy show is back in Downtown.

MORE LISTINGS Hundreds of listings of fun and interesting things to do in Downtown Los Angeles can also be found online at ladowntownnews. com/calendar: Rock, Pop & Jazz; Bars & Clubs; Farmers Markets; Events; Film; Sports; Art Spaces; Theater, Dance and Opera; Classical Music; Museums; and Tours.

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JUNE 24, 2018

Frontman Rob Halford and the other core members of Judas Priest might be pushing 70, but the heavy metal kings can still bring the same level of energy that made them one of the most influential acts of heavy metal’s heyday. Part of an updated version of their North America tour “Firepower,” the U.K. rockers are partnering with Uriah Heep for a eardrum rattling show at the Microsoft Theater on Thursday, June 27. To keep things fresh, the group is expect to release new cuts of old classics including “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” and “Breaking the Law.” The concert begins at 8 p.m. At 777 Chick Hearn Ct. or microsofttheater.com.

photo courtesy Javier Guillen for Grand Park/Music Center

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Dog Day Afternoon Fig@7th, 735 S. Figueroa St. or downtownla.com. Wednesday, July 10 6 p.m.-9 p.m.: Downtown Los Angeles residents, workers and their dogs are invited for a night of mingling, music, and pet-related vendor displays at this annual free community event!

What do Ludwig Beethoven and The Beatles have in common? If you ask the California Philharmonic, apparently quite a bit, which might explain why the Pasadena-based music group will loop the two music giants together for an extraordinary concert experience at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, June 30. Part of Cal Phil’s summer series, Cal Phil’s founder and musical director Dr. Victor Vener will partner with America’s favorite Beatles tribute band the Fab Four to explore the crowd-pleasing works from John, Paul and Ludwig. The concert begins at 2 p.m., but there is a preconcert talk at 1 p.m. At 111 S. Grand Ave., (213) 972-7211 or calphil.com. photo courtesy California Philharmonic

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One of Britain’s most prolific musicians is coming stateside for a show at the Orpheum Theatre on Friday, June 28. Singer-songwriter David Gray is currently touring in support of his 11th studio album, Gold In a Brass Age, which flips the script on his normal folk styling in favor of more atmospheric and moody tones. The concert also comes on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the release of his seminal folktronica album White Ladder, which catapulted the singer to the top of the U.K. and U.S. music charts during the 2000s. Expect to hear a healthy mix of new and old from the talented musician once the concert kicks off at 8 p.m. At 842 S. Broadway, (877) 677-4386 or laorpheum.com.

Now’s your chance to pick up a few dance moves in an al fresco, low-pressure setting. Dance DTLA is back for the summer at the Grand Park lawn and for the first time in the event’s 15 year history, it’s all about the Dominican Republic-based dance genre Bachata. On Friday, June 28 from 7-11 p.m., attendees can dance the night away alongside a live DJ or take part in a dance lesson from a local dance instructor. There will also be food and beverage vendors during the evening as well if you happen to get a little peckish. At 200 N. Grand Ave. or musiccenter.org.

photo by Derick Santini

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Judas Priest isn’t the only aging rock group grasping at a second wind this week. The Misfits, the original horror punk band, is aiming to please the blackclad masses at the Banc of California Stadium on Saturday, June 29. Original members Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only will belt out the classics including “Teenager From Mars” and “Horror Business,” hopefully churning the pit into a frenzy. If The Misfits aren’t your thing, there are plenty of eyebrow raising openers including The Distillers, Anti-Nowhere League, Rise Against and the CroMags. The concert begins at 5 p.m. At 3939 S.Figueroa St. or bancofcaliforniastadium.com/events.

Send information and possible Don’t Miss List submissions to calendar@downtownnews.com.


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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST for wholesale jeweler. Mail to Jewels Connection, Inc. 510 W 6th St., #600, Los Angeles, CA 90014.

LEGAL FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2019 146413 The following individual(s) is (are) doing business as: (1) PIZZA BANDIT, 6201 WHITTIER BLVD. #6, LOS ANGELES, CA 90022 LA COUNTY, are hereby registered by the following registrants: (1) PIZZA BANDIT LLC, 6201 WHITTIER BLVD. #6, LOS ANGELES, CA 90022. This business is conducted by a Limited Liability Company. Registrant(s) began to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above: 05/2019 This statement was filed with DEAN C. LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on May 24, 2019.

NOTICE—This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14411 et. seq. Business and Professions Code). Pub. 6/24, 7/1, 7/8 and 7/15. FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2019 139164 The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: (1) ZERO4 GALLERY, 453 S. SPRING STREET, M6, LOS ANGELES, CA 90013 LA COUNTY are hereby registered by the following registrants: (1) ANDREA BOGDAN, 818 OCEAN VIEW AVE. MONROVIA, CA 91016 (2) RICHARD BROWN, 818 OCEAN VIEW AVE. MONROVIA, CA 91016. This business is conducted by a Married Couple. Registrant(s) started to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above: 05/2014. This statement was filed with DEAN C. LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on May 17, 2019. NOTICE—This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14411 et. seq. Business and Professions Code). Pub. 6/10, 6/17, 6/24 and 7/1. FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2019 143914

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DOWNTOWN NEWS 15

DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: (1) V DTLA, 5776 LINDERO CANYON ROAD, SUITE D401, WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA 91362 LA COUNTY (2) V DTLA, 21600 OXNARD ST SUITE 2000, WOODLAND HILLS, CA 91367 are hereby registered by the following registrants: STOCKHOLM SOCIAL LLC, 5776 LINDERO CANYON ROAD, SUITE D401, WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA 91362. This business is conducted by a Limited Liability Company. Registrant(s) started to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above: N/A. This statement was filed with DEAN C. LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on May 22, 2019. NOTICE—This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14411 et. seq. Business and Professions Code). Pub. 6/3, 6/10, 6/17 and 6/24. FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2019 146398 The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: (1) DERAILED LLC, 4143 MOUNTAIN DRIVE, SAN BERNARDINO, CA 92407, LA COUNTY are hereby registered by the following registrants: DERAILED LLC, 4143 MOUNTAIN DRIVE, SAN BERNARDINO, CA 92407 This business is conducted by a Limited Liability Company. Registrant(s) started to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above: 01/2019. This statement was filed with DEAN C. LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on May 24, 2019. NOTICE—This fictitious name statement expires five years

from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14411 et. seq. Business and Professions Code). Pub. 6/3, 6/10, 6/17 and 6/24. POLICE PERMIT NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR ZONING AND USE CLEARANCE FOR POLICE PERMIT Notice is hereby given that application has been made to the Board of Police Commissioners for a permit to conduct a DANCE HALL, 1457 W. WASHINGTON BLVD., LOS ANGELES, CA 90007. NAME OF APPLICANT: BANQUET HALL PLAYA LAS TUNAS RESTAURANT, INC. DOING BUSINESS AS: BANQUET HALL PLAYA LAS TUNAS RESTAURANT, INC LOCATED AT: 1457 W. WASHINGTON BLVD., LA, CA 90007 Any person desiring to protest the issuance of this permit shall make a written protest before JUNE 24, 2019 to the: LOS ANGELES POLICE COMMISSION 100 West First Street., 3147 Los Angeles, CA 90012 Upon receipt of written protests, protesting persons will be notified of date, time and place for hearing. BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS Pub. 6/3, 6/10, 6/17, 6/24/2019. NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR ZONING AND USE CLEARANCE FOR POLICE PERMIT Notice is hereby given that application has been made to the Board of Police Commissioners for a permit to conduct a CARNIVAL/RIDES MECHANICAL NAME OF APPLICANT: RUBEN CABALLERO DOING BUSINESS AS:

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CIRCO HERMANOS CABALLERO LOCATED AT: 2650 E. OLYMPIC BLVD., LOS ANGELES, CA 9/0023 Any person desiring to protest the issuance of this permit shall make a written protest before JUNE 13, 2019 THROUGH JUNE 24, 2019 to the: LOS ANGELES POLICE COMMISSION 100 W. First Street #147 Los Angeles, CA 90012 Upon receipt of written protests, protesting persons will be notified of date, time and place for hearing. BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS Pub. 6/17 and 6/27/2019 NOTICE OF SALE NOTICE OF SALE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the undersigned intends to sell the personal property described below to enforce a lien imposed on said property pursuant to Sections 21700-21716 of the Business & Professions Code, Section 2328 of the UCC, Section 535 of the Penal Code and provisions of the Civil Code. The undersigned will sell on

the 25th day of June 2019 at 11: 00 A.M. on the premises where said property has been stored and which are located at Thriftee Storage Company LLC, 1717 N. Glendale Blvd. in the city of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, State of California, the following:

Personal effects $1551.00 Chuck Lawson DD-1 Personal effects $635.00 Juan Navarro c-41 Personal effects $277.00

Name of owner: Space number Description of goods Amount

Joshua Mark Spafford A-4 Personal effects $640.00

Rebecca Weinstein L-4 Personal effects $517.00

Purchases must be paid for at the time of purchase in cash only. All purchased storage units with the items contained herein are sold on an “as-is” basis and must be removed at the time of sale. Sale subject to cancellation in the event of settlement between Thriftee Storage Co. and obligated party.

Stephen Chandler U-64 Personal effects $420.00 Derrick Bradley D-85 Personal effects $715.00 Anabella Dante S-27 Personal effects $1001.00

Thriftee Storage Company LLC Dated at Los Angeles, CA by Felipe F. Islas / Manager June 17, 2019

Monique Rodriguez D-18, D-25

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Legal Advertisement MORLIN ASSET MANAGEMENT, LP, a Delaware Limited Partnership as Agent for the JOINT MANAGEMENT COUNCIL, an unincorporated association, will receive qualifications packages from general contractors wishing to become pre-qualified for an available bidding opportunity at Los Angeles Union Station. It is the intent of this Joint Management Council to select a firm that will provide construction services at Los Angeles Union Station at the best overall value. In order to be fully considered for prequalification and subsequent bidding opportunities, please proceed to the RFIQ questionnaire at: https://forms.gle/M5EEA4EKeKExKfATA. Completed forms are due on or before close of business by July 24, 2019. Submissions received after 5:00pm on July 24, 2019 will be rejected.

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16 DOWNTOWN NEWS

JUNE 24, 2019

SKID ROW PARKS, 3

TRILOGY

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Skid Row community. Numerous Skid Row programming are held at the parks, including the Festival for All Skid Row Artists, the Skid Row Job Fair and the Skid Row Carnival of Love. “General” Jeff Page, a local Skid Row activist who was involved in those early talks and said that chief amongst the community’s wants for the park was permanent bathrooms and positive public programs for the residents. “These parks are everything,” Page said. “As a Skid Row activist, you realize that both parks are vital. If anything positive is going to happened in Skid Row, it’s going to start with these parks.” Construction at Gladys Park began in 2018 and wrapped up in May. Jackson said that the department has already spent upwards of $200,000 on the project. In addition to the physical improvements, Jackson said that the department was able to partner with local nonprofits to provide events like a summer movies in the park and assign additional maintenance crews to the locations to monitor the new bathrooms. “There were no facilities and the parks were in dire need of maintenance especially,” Jackson said. “We have made some major headways and improvements to the maintenance by just having a dedicated staff.” Play Ball While the facilities improvements were highly needed, the upgrades to the basketball court at Gladys Park are also likely to receive plenty of attention thanks to the vibrant Skid Row 3-on-3 Streetball league that calls the park its home. The league was founded by Manuel “OG Man” Compito in 2006 as a way to teach teambuilding skills and provide an outlet for the Skid Row community. The renovations include resurfacing the courts and installing glass backboards, as well as the addition of new rims, nets and scoreboards. The Clippers Foundation also added benches for the players, who previously would have to sit at the same bench as the audience in between play. Talks to renovate the basketball courts began in February of last year, when Mayor Eric Garcetti began looking for partners to help upgrade the city’s roster of aging basketball courts. According to Carolyn Ramsay, executive director of the L.A. Parks Foundation, the city first started reaching out to multiple partners for the undertaking. Then Steve Ballmer, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, and his wife Connie Ballmer, stepped in and expressed interest in donating funds to renovate all of the city’s indoor and outdoor basketball courts. In April 2018 the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation announced a $10 million donation to the Los Angeles Parks Foundation to help complete the endeavor. Ramsay said that having one donor tied to the project allowed the city to begin work on the project at a quicker pace, by skirting the back-and-forth with multiple entities that would often occur with other donor funded projects. “To have one donor come through with a donation that covers all of one sport citywide is unusual and really demonstrates the Ballmer’s commitment to sports in Los Angeles,” Ramsay said.” Ramsay said that as of the last week, 60% of the improvements have either been installed, or scheduled for renovations.   Jackson said that the team was able to get Gladys Park near the top of the priority list because of the other upgrades planned by the city. By completing all of the upgrades around the same time, the city was able to avoid a slate of park closures that would have impacted the skid row community. “I think because we were working on this, we were like, let’s just make it happen,” Jackson said. “With the basketball renovations, it closed half of the park, we didn’t want to have to keep doing that so it made sense.” Jackson said that they hope to have a ceremony for the parks by the end of June or in July, but that there is still plenty of work to be done, including finding additional funding to bring more services and upgrades to the park, and the completion of work at San Julian Park. sean@downtownnews.com

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06-24-19  

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