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Issue 30

JUNE/JULY

2013

Leimert Park Station Approved 4th Ave Bridge Dust Up Maria's Cafe, Bowling Alley Pico Modern, Darren's Last Days Eye On Wesson Fast Food Exemption Deleted From Community Plan

Midtown Shopping Upgrade

and so much more....

Connecting Communities Since 2008


Publisher/Editor/Reporter

Dianne V. Lawrence Associate Editor/Reporter

TNN Staff L - R Back Row Deborah Charles, Chelsee Lowe, Dawn Kirkpatrick, Carla Pineda L - R Front Row Renee Montgomery, Dianne V. Lawrence

Renee Montgomery Staff Reporters

Carla Pineda, Deborah Charles, Chelsee Lowe, Dawn Kirkpatrick Contributing Writers Damien Goodman, Barbara Casey Proofreader

Dawn Kirkpatrick Layout & Design/Executive Ad Sales

Dianne V. Lawrence TO ADVERTISE OR SUBMIT IDEAS

Contact us at: 323.871.8580 theneighborhoodnews@yahoo.com

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PGRADE!! If there were ever a word to describe contemporary life, this would be it. With versions of this computer, that cell phone, this tablet, that website, being ugraded every 6 months, it is no longer an issue of "keeping up with the Jones'" as much as "keeping up with the technology". We at TNN are no exception. To that end we, once again, got lucky when Wendy Silva (Pg. 22) approached us about interning. She immediately got us up on Twitter - #midcityla_tnn - where we now upload community info regularly; Neighborhood Council meetings, community events, fun reminders....so stay in touch with Mid-City, West Adams info by following us. She also created a Pinterest account but we realized that for our purposes - trying to bring national and international attention to this often overlooked but fascinating aspect of Los Angeles history - it would be more useful to create a Facebook page. So I created a Vintage Los Angeles Mid-City Facebook page. We are in the process of uploading all of our history - architecture, people and stories - with links back to our website. We have 90 followers so far. Become one! Best of all we have revamped our website and it is FABulous. www.theneighborhoodnewsonline.net It has a link to all of our hardcopy issues online and a link to our Video library. Did I mention our video library? We take videos of community events, meetings etc. and upload them to our library. Among our current videos; The Koreatown Festival, interviews with local Spiritual leaders, local murals, a football game with the Wilshire Huskies, La High Homecoming Football game, Neighborhood Council meetings and more. And of course let us know if you want to be on our email blast list. Links to all of this can be found on our website. I know you will notice the upsurge in advertising in this issue. Strange as it seems, some people complain about "too many ads" apparently unaware that without the partnership with our local businesses...we would not exist. BUT I hope they will also notice that we never decrease the content and in fact...probably have more content than ever. More advertising means more issues published and more readers connecting. This issue we have printed 14,000 copies! So put your feet up new readers, drink a cup of yerba matte and take a leisurely stroll around your community.

CONTENT 6

Leimert Park Station Approved

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Midtown Shopping Upgrade Goodbye Bowling and Maria's

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Interview with John Morton MSIA

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Crime Watch

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4th Ave Bridge Kerfuffle

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Earlez Grille is Moving

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Pico Shopping Loses Pico Modern, Darrens

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Eye On Wesson - Fast Food Exemption Eliminated

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Laura Meyers Wins Martin Weil Award

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Seen On The Scene - CicLAvia

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Our Community: Country Club Park

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Pet Pause: Adoption; 17th Pl. Resident versus Billboards Cash In Your Lawn

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Art In The Corridor: New Murals

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Queen Anne Park Health Fair; Keepin It Clean; Intern Wendy Silva

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En Espanol; Musica Oaxacena

Cover Photo of mural by Rosario Martinez on restaurant Guelaguetz by Dawn Kirkpatrick

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It's a Sellers Market! Home prices are up 21% since the 1st of the year. NOW IS THE TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME! With the current low home inventory, there have been multiply offers placed on most homes, which means the best price for your home. -According to the California Association of Realtors; “The intense market competition led to more properties being sold above the asking price. In 2012, the share of homes sold with a price above the list price increased to 33.1 percent, more than doubled the long-run average of 15 percent over the last 20 years.” NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO SELL!

Source: U.S. Federal Housing Agency

GOOD NEWS FOR BUYERS ALSO: INTEREST RATES ARE AT AN ALL TIME LOW. Lenders are more open to working with buyers at this time than in recent years. This is the best time to find the home of your dreams. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE AWESOME RATES! The difference between seven percent and 3.3 percent in interest rates has a significant impact on the loan amount for which a household can qualify. For example, the minimum income required for a $350,000 home at a seven percent interest rate and a 20 percent down payment, would be $90,614. If the mortgage rate is reduced to 3.3 percent, minimum income required for the same home would be $65,151—a difference of $25,463, which is 28 percent lower than the income required for a seven percent interest rate loan. I AM HERETO ASSIST YOU WITH ALL YOUR REALESTATE NEEDS! GIVE ME A CALL FOR A FREE MARKET ANALYSIS.


Leimert Park Station Approved!

Rendering by RAW International

Damien Goodman

MTA Boardmember Mel Wilson. The Mayor whose support had been previously questioned for failing to support a motion to fund both the tunnel and station in May of 2011, said he wanted to use his final days in office to make clear of his intent to see a station happen. He specifically thanked Damien Goodmon in his remarks to the press after the vote. “One down and one to go,” concluded Goodmon. “Our battle to underground the 11 blocks on Crenshaw Blvd. from 48th – 59th Streets continues into the Garcetti Administration. This victory shows that when committed community advocacy combines with political courage, mountains can be moved.” Crenshaw Subway Coalition is a collaborative effort of residents, merchants and property owners working in coordination with resident-based groups in the Crenshaw Boulevard corridor along the MTA’s proposed Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Line. For more information about Crenshaw Subway Coalition go to www.CrenshawSubway.org

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fter a 5-Year Battle MTA Board Agrees to Fund Leimert Park Village Station on Crenshaw/LAX Line. A station at L.A.’s African-American cultural center is added after over 5 years of community advocacy, and the political leadership of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas & Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In a historic vote, the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted 10-1 to fully fund an underground station on the soon to be built Crenshaw/LAX Line at Leimert Park Village, the African-American cultural center of Southern California. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014. “Today’s victory is the product of a lot of tireless nights and wise strategic decisions made over the past 5 years,” said Damien Goodmon, Executive Director of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition. The Coalition has led the community advocacy efforts for a Leimert Park Village station and 11-block Crenshaw Blvd tunnel on the Crenshaw/LAX Rail Line, by rallying public and political support for the cause. Since 2008, the group has held over twodozen community meetings attended by over 2,000 stakeholders, submitted hundreds of pages of documents to MTA, facilitated the delivery of multiple environmental studies, collected thousands of petitions, and built respect among elected officials. Crenshaw Subway Coalition members were joined at Thursday’s MTA board meeting with leaders in the faith, labor, civil rights and business community all supporting the investment in Leimert Park. “A Leimert Park station and Crenshaw Blvd. tunnel is exactly the type of stimulus the merchants need to help us continue making this a thriving center of African-American arts and commerce,” said Jackie Ryan, past president of the Leimert Park Village Merchants Association. The MTA board approved the motion as an amendment to their budget. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa championed the motion, which was kept under wraps until about 72 hours prior to the meeting. Additional co-sponsors included Supervisor Don Knabe, MTA Chair and Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Duarte Councilmember John Fasana and

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MIDTOWN SHOPPING CENTER UPGRADE

End Of An Era as Bowling Alley and Maria's Cafe Come to a Close. D.V. Lawrence

Barbara Casey

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idtown Shopping Center Associates (MTSCA) has acquired the land under Midtown Shopping Center plus two adjacent properties totaling 14.56 acres for $42.5 million from Catellus Development Corp. of Denver. The 185,000square-foot center at 4725 W. Venice Boulevard is bounded by Venice, San Vicente and Pico Boulevards in the heart of MidCity Los Angeles, minutes from affluent neighborhoods such as Hancock Park, Lafayette Square, Victoria Park and the historical West Adams District. Young Management Company, headed by veteran retail developer James R. Young, has over a 30-year history with Midtown Shopping Center. Young negotiated a ground lease with original owner Southern Pacific for 11 acres of the site and developed the center, attracting major national tenants including Ralph's, CVS, Orchard Supply Hardware and Bank of America. The Ralph's store is the first urban ‘Signature Store’ in Southern California and the highest quality store in the Kroger chain. This transaction gives MTSCA ownership of the land under the buildings they own as well as 3.5 additional acres that are on the site’s eastern and western edges.

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oincidently, as development changes are made at the Midtown shopping center, AMF Bowling's lease is up and they have decide not to renew. As a result Mid-City will be losing two of the communities beloved gathering places come this summer: The Bowling Center and Maria's Cafe. The alley's, Maria's and the small bar are historic design gems so if you haven't been there, now is the time to go and take a look. Maria's in particular will be missed. The large windows that fill the cafe with natural lighting, the 60's design, waitresses who remember your name, the opportunity to run into neighbors, the old school booths, comfortable counter chairs and most of all the affordable, extensive menu of classic cafe food mixed with Mexican options, made Maria's the comfort destination for our community. The developers hope that Maria's will find a way to stay in the center since they will be focusing on creating more restaurants for the center. Some community members are trying to find ways to help.

“I have been trying to purchase the land since 1978. I rebuilt this property after it was destroyed in the 1992 LA Riots as I have always had total confidence in the future of this community and its residents. This is a rapidly growing area of the city that is vastly underserved by retail standards,” said Young. “It is a dense residential area with a population of 1.2 million drawing from a five-mile radius versus the typical one to three mile radius. We are eager to develop the rest of the site and bring more national tenants to meet our community’s needs.” MTSCA, the investment group that bought the property, includes Young Management Company and its partners, James Young and Courtland Young. Young Management will be in charge of property management and leasing as well as redevelopment of the center. Plans call for making the center a more family-friendly meeting place with extensive pedestrian walkways, seating areas and outdoor dining. Young Management Company focuses on retail opportunities with potential for top national tenants within the Los Angeles area. Courtland Young has been with the company since 2007, directing management, a 2008 refinancing and the redevelopment of the property, which began in 2010.

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SOULFUL

An Interview with John Morton Spiritual Director of the Movement for Spiritual Inner Awareness D.V. Lawrence

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est Adams Blvd between Arlington and Crenshaw has been called Church Row, famous for it's many places of worship. A recent edition to the fold is the Movement for Spiritual Inner Awareness. When I called MSIA to request an interview with its Spiritual Director, John Morton, I was told he was in the middle of a heavy lecture schedule but to our luck he would be in town just before we went to press. They asked if I would mind interviewing him as part of their ongoing series of audio/visual feeds to listeners all over the world. "How brave" I thought, "an unedited live interview." We met at the beautiful Gausti mansion, their headquarters and the first of two historic homes on Adams they have purchased and lovingly restored. They are friendly and generous neighbors, who open their grounds daily for visitors to come and simply visit, stroll down to the incredible gardens, walk the labyrinth, or attend their many free lectures. The atmosphere is always cheerful, welcoming and friendly. TNN: John, thank you so much for spending time with us today. Can you tell us how this movement come about? JM: Such a simple question! (Laughter) Most directly it came about because of JohnRoger, our founder. His work started formalizing as an organization legally in 1971. He was doing a lot of informal events, talking to people in their homes, etc., and it became what we call a movement. We finally organized as a church but we consider ourselves nondenominational. We are actually celebrating 50 years of John-Roger doing this work, this summer at our annual conference. TNN: What got him started? Did he just start having dreams and wanted to talk about them? JM: Yes, and what I would call mystical experiences, things that are very challenging to explain let alone bring to the world in a way that is understandable. He has done a magnificent job in that way and has created a work that is worldwide. We have lots of people involved in our seminary, Peace Theological Seminary and College of Philosophy, which is also headquartered here [on Adams] and we have another building just down the street. The movement is very much alive.

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TNN: How does MSIA differ from other spiritual organizations? JM: It embraces teachings that are true for the spiritual consciousness, the soul. We do our way of spiritual awareness, soul awareness. This obviously is something that other organizations or other teachers have previously brought out. TNN: One thing I’ve noticed is that there is a real emphasis on a discussion of the soul as opposed to just alluding to the soul. JM: Everyone is invited to have their direct experience and we consider that a responsibility, not just an opportunity. Our teachings are very much about going within and finding your experience because it is available, so don’t believe what we are saying. There is a trust in something that goes beyond understanding. Everyone needs to find it in their own personal way. TNN: Your group often refers to the “traveler.” Can you explain this? JM: JM-Roger identifies it as the “Mystical Traveler Consciousness.” That is the name he chose to refer to a consciousness that has tremendous ability, that is of a divine nature. How do we make personal contact with our god, our divine nature? It has an ability to assist us on all levels, not just in this world but in the worlds to come wherever that may be, and assist us in awakening spiritually. TNN: How do your members practice your spiritual path? JM: It is much more a process of experience than a "do this, eat this, point in this direction and you will find the magical keys". Continued on Pg. 24


Shootings Dawn Kirkpatrick

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wo unrelated shootings occurred on May 1 and May 22 near and in Queen Anne Park, according to LAPD Senior Lead Officer Ruben Gonzales. The May 1 incident occurred around 6:15 p.m. when an LAPD patrol car patrolling the Queen Ann Park area stopped a driver and his passenger at the 1100 block of West Blvd. The driver surrendered but the passenger tried to fire a Tek-9 machine gun at the officers. It failed to fire. “At the same time, fearing for their lives, an officer involved shooting occurred” and the suspect dropped the gun and ran eastbound through the neighborhood. The officers eventually arrested him. The driver and passenger “were from a gang that has no nexus to this area,” reported SLO Gonzales. The other shooting happened in Queen Anne Park, 1240 West Blvd., May 22 at approximately 7:40 p.m. While people enjoyed the park, according to SLO Gonzales, one man from a group of male gang members, also hanging out, began to fire shots at “a white possible Chevy Tahoe” nearby. “After the shooting, the Tahoe drove off…towards Pico Blvd and the suspect and his group ran westbound through the Park,” SLO Gonzales reported. Wilshire officers arrived at the scene but didn’t find any suspects or victims. As of this printing no arrests have been made. As a result of the shooting, however, “There will be a high visibility presence at the Park.” If you have any information about these incidents, contact Wilshire Gang detectives, (213) 473-0444 or SLO Gonzales (213) 793-0715. You may remain anonymous.

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4th Avenue Bridge Unites Communities Divides Neighbors D. V. Lawrence

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he 4th Ave. Bridge, (located west of Arlington) unites communities north and south of the Santa Monica freeway. By day, bike riders, locals and school kids use it regularly. By night, it's a different story. According to residents adjacent to either side of the bridge, it becomes a haven for drug activity, prostitutes, graffiti and toilet use. These residents, tired of being witnesses to and victims of the nefarious nighttime activity, began Photo by Dawn Kirkpatrick advocating for a closure of the bridge at their local block club. The slow beating of the drum pulled others to their cause and created a groundswell that resulted in a community meeting at the Council District 10 office on May 20th, Monday evening. Approximately 50-60 affected residents were deftly managed by CD10 deputy Kimani Black. He began the meeting by letting everyone know he would not allow for any of the contention that had been taking place in emails flying back and forth and that closure of the bridge was not going to be the outcome of this meeting. It would only be allowed as a last resort if other efforts failed. Instead he praised the sense of “community ownership” of the bridge and wanted to use the meeting to focus on identifying the problems in order to come up with solutions. He also conveyed Councilman Wesson’s commitment to installing more effective lighting on the bridge. He suggested the possible use of cameras monitored by the police and accessible to community members.

once he got there. " Jeff Camp, a United Neighborhood Neighborhoods council member shared that UNNC might have cameras available and encouraged people to approach the council to fund community projects that would help them reclaim the bridge, perhaps a mural or plantings to discourage the graffiti. Bernie Oliver wondered why police presence wasn’t more aggressive. Kimani suggested that if neighbors became more involved in patrolling, the police would also step up their patrols. Another resident made the point that closing the bridge would mean less people paying attention thereby giving criminal’s more opportunity for mischief. He supported creating more bike lanes so that you would have increased positive use of the bridge night and day. The meeting lasted well over an hour and ended with an optimistic call by Kimani for neighbors to start becoming active, get together, join each other's Facebook pages, network, pool Continued on Pg. 21

This seemed to please those in favor of keeping the bridge open (strangely, some of whom had fought successfully to close their own streets for similar reasons but who now wanted to continue enjoying the easy access of the bridge) and frustrate those who were experiencing the nighttime consequences. One resident complained that people parked in front of his property, then walked across the bridge only to return later. “Why?” he wondered alluding to the use of the bridge for illegal activity. “Close it” was his response when asked for a solution. Another neighbor expressed concern with what his kids were witnessing, including someone urinating on their lawn as they pulled up in their car one evening. But other neighbors claimed the issues were overblown. One resident created laughter when he claimed “We’ve all stopped and wondered ‘what kind of poop is this' but closing the bridge would have forced his disabled son to walk out of his way to get to the park, leaving him exhausted

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But Will Likely Move to Crenshaw Square Early Fall Chelsee Lowe

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Continued on Pg. 25

Photo by Chelsee Lowe

s Metro moves forward with plans for the Crenshaw/ LAX line, Hildred Earle-Brown and her sons Duane and Carey prepare to move their business, Earlez Grille, to a new home. “We aren’t leaving due to eminent domain, as some people have said,” Earle-Brown told TNN this week during a meeting at the restaurant. “This property was leased [by us] with the option to buy about 5 years ago, but we knew Metro was coming eventually. We were not forced to move, but we’re aware we have to move.”

urban centers with public transit lines. People of all ages must use the systems responsibly for the benefit of the whole population. Another point of contention is that original plans for the Crenshaw/ LAX line did not include Co-owner Hildred Earle-Brown Left a stop in Leimert Park, and employee Claudia C. a fact that Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas and others have been fighting. “Leimert Park is our only African American community in LA, not only with its residents but [with] 99% of the businesses there Photo by Chelsee Lowe

Earlez Grille Still Cooking,

Though the community is upset to see Earlez Grille go, EarleBrown is taking it all in stride. “When you’re moving from one place to another there’s always a bit of an upheaval. But we can ride it. The boys and I will be fine,” she said with a smile. She and her sons agree that the train line will benefit the nearby community and the entire city. “As far as I’m concerned [the train] is needed,” says EarleBrown, who spent years in New York riding the subway to and from work. “I am used to the subway, and the subways always got us conveniently from point A to point B with thousands of people for all walks of life, from the executive to the man on the street. I’m not used to continuously driving all the time. A train from here to LAX, with the price of gas and the state of the economy, is a good thing, I think.” As of now Metro plans to construct an underground train tunnel from the intersection of Exposition and Crenshaw down to 48th Street, at which point the train will come above ground and travel to LAX via Crenshaw, Florence, and Aviation Boulevards. Safety is always a concern when a stop is proposed in a given area. Earle-Brown explained how locals are chiefly worried about pedestrians, particularly youth disregarding signage and running in front of trains. But these risks are not unlike those faced by other

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PICO SHOPPING DISTRICT

The Clock Is Ticking on Pico D. V. Lawrence

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s we head into the summer shopping season, the Pico Shopping district (between La Brea and Fairfax) is saying good-bye to two TNN advertisers. During Don Sanfrey's six year residency as the proprietor of Pico Modern, a destination for lovers of midcentury artificats, he has witnessed the growth of Pico Blvd., between La Brea and Fairfax, as a shopping destination. He is moving with his wife to Northern California. “I’ve really enjoyed being a part of Pico Blvd’s rebirth and want to thank the many positive local residents and vendors that have made me feel very welcome. I hope the economy keeps growing and helps this community to continue to blossom and attract the new businesses the area really needs.” Owners of Darren's Unique Gifts, Debby Matsushita and Ellen Love are "transitioning" and will be leaving their location next to Sky Taco's. "We aren't closing our business, just changing the way we do it." Check out both stores for great discounts before their doors close. (see adjacent ads)


EYE ON WESSON D.V. Lawrence

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n our last issue we reported on efforts by CD 10's Councilman Wesson to try and get fast-food restrictions exempted from the community plan for portions of our CD 10 district. These exemptions were to be included in the final report by the L.A. Planning Commission...but there was one more community meeting before the final presentation to City Council. Here is a press report on the results of this meeting on April 11 2013, from The Community Health Council, a nonprofit, community-based health promotion, advocacy and policy organization; LOS ANGELES, CA — Los Angeles City Planning Commission today listened to the voices of community residents and recommended eliminating the exemption proposed in the draft West Adams New Community Plan. The draft plan proposed exempting the Council District 10 portion of the West AdamsBaldwin Hills-Leimert Park New Community Plan from the fastfood density policy. The policy restricted new standalone fast-food restaurants within a ½ mile of an existing fast food restaurant. CD 10 constitutes more than half of the total West Adams plan area and nearly 80% of the plan area’s population, stretching from Vernon Blvd north to Pico, west to Culver City and east to Arlington/Van Ness. Nearly 200 people attended today’s early morning hearing with the majority there to oppose lifting the restriction on fast-food development. A resident asked that the restrictions remain in place for her health and her family’s, citing how her addiction to fast food led to a weight of 240 pounds. Others indicated they wanted to eat healthy, but have to go outside their community to find healthy choices. In reaching their decision, the Planning Commission said they heard residents’ demands for healthy, walkable, attractive communities. The Planning Commissions’ recommendations will be sent to City Council. The next step in the New Community Plan process is a hearing before the Planning & Land Use Management Committee, which is expected to take place before July 2013. Final approval rests with the City Council. Community Health Councils was established in 1992. Their mission is to promote social justice and achieve equity in community and environmental resources for underserved populations.

It will be interesting to see if Councilman Wesson will use his powers as the Council President along with his backroom dealing skills to somehow get the issue back on the table for a vote by City Council. We will keep our eye on it.

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Preservationista Laura Meyers Wins Coveted Martin Weil Award

their lives. Audiences hike through the beautiful cemetery as the tour guide points out special graveyard features while directing them to the various gravesites where costumed actors deliver their historic story. It is one of the favorite community events of the year. To read more about the different Living History Tour events, go to our website and under "History" click on "Our History" and find our reports on the various events.

D.V. Lawrence

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aura Meyers is a dedicated, effective and passionate preserver of West Adams architectural heritage. On May 5 at the Annual West Adams Heritage Association (WAHA) Preservation Brunch, she was recognized for her untiring efforts to defend against the encroachment of unenlightened development, to maintain the historic, architectural integrity in West Adams and to keep ongoing awareness of these issues front and center in the community by being awarded the Martin Weil Award. Martin Weil, who passed in 2009, was a local luminary in the world of preservation. Among his numerous accomplishments, he was a founding member of the Los Angeles Conservancy and a member of WAHA. WAHA created the award to honor Weil, making him the first recipient while he was still alive. It now honors the local heroes and heroines of preservation.

Laura has been a prime instigator and/or partner in getting 21 local buildings awarded Historical Cultural Monument (HCM) status. The South Seas House on Arlington below the 10 freeway was referred to as the Witch’s House for many years because of its crumbling roof and ragged peaked gables and dilapidated exterior. It was headed for demolition before Laura and others stepped in, found the money and team for construction and began to plan the rehab. Councilman Nate Holden and members of the Council District 10 office stepped up, found over a million dollars to help restore it, and the house opened as a community resource for Parks and Recreation in 2003. Laura is especially interested in the rich African American history embedded in almost every neighborhood in West Adams. She coordinated the research, writing and editing of WAHA’s “West Adams Landmarks of African American History,” which tells the stories of nearly 150 local sites associated with black history and personages. One of her most beloved projects is the annual Living History Tour which takes place in the Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, one of the oldest cemetaries in Los Angeles, located on Washington and Normandie. As one of the WAHA coordinators of the event, she is tasked with researching the historic people buried there, finding actors to play them and writing the monologues about

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CicLAavia!

Mid-City Neighborhood Council community leaders Lora Davis, Valaida P. Gory and Lorraine Genovese. MINC organized and sponsored the hub that provided a respite for cyclists, walkers, skaters navigating from downtown to the ocean. "What an amazing neighborhood!" was often heard as riders stopped for refreshments and bike repair.

Community Activist Gavin Glynn, Olympic Park Neighborhood Council President John Jakes and daughter Jayla with OPNC Board member Marisa Wolf. OPNC provided food benches, the awesome DJ and the Bike Repair station.

The Neighborhood News Editor/Publisher Dianne V. Lawrence and staff writer Dawn Kirkpatrick

John Patterson, President of West Adams Heritage Association Aaron Paley, Executive Director of CiClavia

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Photo's by D. V. Lawrence

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Country Club Park

The elaborate mansion was also once the home of H. Claude Hudson, a dentist who also earned a law degree to help with his civil rights work. He became one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Hudson

Dawn Kirkpatrick

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n a 1985 Los Angeles Times’ article, Country Club Park resident Katherine Miller is quoted as saying, "So many people are unaware this neighborhood exists.” A little over a quarter of a century later, this still seems to be true. Country Club Park began as the Los Angeles Golf Club in 1899. In response to its popularity with the wealthy of Los Angeles, the Club was moved from a location near Vermont Ave and Pico, to the corner of Pico and Western. Stables were constructed, grounds were improved “with new ‘comforts and conveniences'" and the Club became one of the largest west of Chicago, patronized by Los Angeles' most prestigious citizens. After the turn of the century, a syndicate known as the Country Club Park Corporation headed by such wealthy notables as developer, Issac Milbank, bought the area and subdivided it for residential development. The Club itself subsequently Women golfing moved to an area near Beverly Hills in 1910 and the neighborhood has been known as Country Club Park ever since. Bordered by Pico Boulevard to the south, Olympic Boulevard to the north, Western Avenue to the east and Crenshaw Boulevard to the west, the neighborhood is primarily made up of gracious, stately single-family residences, multi-family residences and institutional buildings. The homes, some of which were constructed as early as 1902, are Craftsman, Tudor Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Colonial Revival and Mediterranean Revival in style.

Rosenheim Mansion featured in American Horror Story

was actually Country Club Park’s first black homeowner, a distinction he earned after successfully challenging Country Club Park’s restrictive racial covenants in the mid 1940s. Readers may also recognize another famous Country Club Park home, the Alfred F. Rosenheim mansion, which was featured in the recent cable TV series American Horror Story. The house Continued on Pg. 25

Milbank Mansion One of the neighborhoods most famous residences used to be Country Club Park developer Issac Milbank’s mansion constructed in 1913 by noted architect G. Lawrence Stimson. It is located at 3340 Country Club Dr. in an area of Country Club Park that is considered the “the jewel” of the neighborhood. Readers may recognize the house from such movies as Ali, Running with Scissors and Daddy Daycare.

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They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot.....With Billboards

Pet Adoption Brinsley Is Lookin' For Love

D. V. Lawrence

Renee Montgomery rinsley, handsome and clever brindle (striped) chiweenie (dachshund/chihauhau) puppy with gorgeous golden eyes, is 9 months old, waggy, playful, and flirtatious.

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Reliably housebroken. Experienced with gentle kids, cats, birds, rabbits, and dogs of all sizes. Once he gets over his initial shyness with a new person, you will find he has a "big" character, but at 8 lbs, is a perfect travel-sized "pocket pup." Loves to sleep in the human bed with his person and successfully communicates his desires through hypnotic eye contact! He loves to dismantle squeaky toys/chewies with business-like intensity. He gathers all the pieces together like a magpie and hides them in his bed. Although he is equally good with cats, Brin would love to go to a home with another dog, as he adores gallivanting in the yard with, or curled around, the other dogs in his foster home, licking or cuddling them. He was raised in a puppy mill kennel which abandoned Brin and 14 other puppies like him as "unsold stock" at a shelter where we rescued him from the euthanasia table. He is great with his own human "pack" and has special human friends at the park he loves to greet. If you have been dreaming about a dog like Brinsley Contact: Dachsund Rescue of Los Angeles, 323.857.0086 or print out an application from dachsundrescueoflosangeles.com and email to dachsundrescueoflosangeles@gmail.com One free training consultation for anyone who adopts Brinsley.

Cash In Your Lawn!

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et a Rebate up to $4,000 with this Limited Time Offer. LADWP launched the California Friendly速 Landscape Incentive Program in 2009, which involves replacing turf grass with low water using plants, mulch, and permeable pathways. Since turf grass is very expensive to maintain, requiring heavy water use and lots of attention, the California Friendly Landscape Incentive Program is a great way for LADWP residential customers to save money and, more importantly, save water.

As of April 1, 2013, the LADWP increased this rebate from $1.50 to $2.00 per square foot of residential turf replaced with water efficient landscaping. The California Friendly Landscape Incentive application must be pre-approved before starting the project. Customers can see examples of landscape retrofit projects, and download the application package and guidelines for eligibility at www.ladwp.com/cf.

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nce upon a time in the not too distant past, 16th Place residents living atop the hill at the junction of San Vicente and Venice, looked north and enjoyed a million dollar view of the Hollywood Hills, Hollywood sign and all. Some of you will remember our reports on their rude awakening when the new shopping plaza, Midtown Crossing, erected a huge gray wall, housing a parking lot - literally overnight and without warning - and turned the million-dollar view into a prison wall. Despite the early involvement of residents with promises from the city and the developers that no views would be compromised, once the wall went up there appeared to be little recourse. Better to ask forgiveness than permission? Efforts to get Councilman Wesson involved resulted in a tepid response and some tree planting. Well this last month insult was added to injury when huge billboards were erected onto the blank gray walls. Because of the way the wall is situated, drivers can only see the billboards above and to the side of their cars affording them a fleeting glimpse of the information. The only people who can get a good full view....are the residents on the hill across Venice. The beleagured and furious neighbors are now investigating whether or not these billboards violate the billboard ban ordinance. They will if they fall under the "off-site" category...there is no store for the product within the building although they may get around this if the product is sold within the store. Or if they do not "benefit the community" or are the wrong size. Apparently promises were made to the community to not install billboards and a CIM representative claimed that the signs weren't officially "billboards" but considered "wall hangings" because of the way they were installed. Residents have appealed to the Department of Building and Safety who have assigned Principal Inspector Frank Lara who is with DBS Code Enforcement's, Sign Enforcement Bureau. Robert Portillo, a 16th Pl. resident wonders "how can this super nova size signage (it broadcasts directly into our yards and homes) and the nature of this signage be of benefit to our neighborhood as outlined in the code? We are waiting for the code investigation results, I'll update you once we've received them." Stay Tuned.

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Graffiti Grows Up Deborah Charles

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You may recall a few issues back; TNN featured an article about Graffiti Artist/Muralist, Mr. Brainwash, whose building is dedicated to graffiti art. Another Graffiti Artist/Muralist has emerged in our community with his colorful and vibrant artwork. He goes by the name Dytch66 (pronounced “Ditch”66). His artwork can be seen in our Mid-City community on the south east and west sides of La Brea Ave. at San Vicente Blvd. Dytch66 would pass the major intersection on his way to work and saw how lackluster and non-descript it was - in his words “an eye sore,” with the buildings occupying the space often vandalized by graffiti known as “tagging.” Dytch66 decided to approach the owners. Armed with his extraordinary portfolio and resume, he volunteered to transform their outside space with his unique artwork. The owners of the buildings did not hesitate. I spoke with the owner of VIP Automotive whose business occupies the south/east corner of La Brea and San Vicente, he said the experience was amazing to see the artist and his small group of assistants, create an art piece with spray paint cans. He said he could not be more pleased with the outcome.

Photo by Dawn Kirkpatrick

Photo by Dawn Kirkpatrick

raffiti has often been a negative topic of discussion in city business meetings as well as community block club meetings. The negative view of graffiti is beginning to change with the proliferation and recognition of graffiti art – a whole different animal.

buildings on trendy Melrose Avenue between La Brea and Fairfax for twenty years. His goal is to educate people on graffiti art and the positive impact and the change in city environment it can make in our communities. He inspires today’s youth by educating them through workshops and high school art classes. If you would like to learn more about the artist, please visit his website at www.dytch66.com. 4th AVE. BRIDGE Cont. from Pg. 12

resources and come up with solutions. Some of the meeting members later reported to TNN they had gone over to see the problems for themselves. One noticed that none of the houses next to the bridge entrances on either side provided any night lights which could be used to shed some light on the matter. Another reported the bridge looked fairly clean but noticed that 23rd St., the short block long section of 23rd that ended at the entrance on the north side of the bridge, was strewn with litter and graffiti. She wondered how you could focus on keeping the bridge clean if adjacent streets were unkempt. At the end of the meeting two neighbors were overheard in the following conversation…. “Well looks like the bridge stays open” followed by “Oh this was only the opening salvo.”

Upon the completion of the mural, which took only 4 days, his building has become an attraction for people stopping to take photos, and he has not been plagued with tagging since. Dytch66 is no novice; he makes his living as a commissioned artist and doing television and film projects. He is a successful artist and philanthropist. His art work has adorned the sides of

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Keeping Our Communities Healthy at Queen Anne Park Health Fair

Keepin It Clean

Dawn Kirkpatrick

D.V. Lawrence

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he Olympic Park Neighborhood Council and California State University (CSU) Nursing Students held a community health fair at Queen Anne Park Saturday, May 11. With one semester left in their program, the nursing students of CSU’s nursing program, put the Fair together as their culminating project, said Cherie Forsha, Cal State Long Beach nursing instructor. The project was designed to show the Mid-City community how to have a healthy lifestyle and to help the nursing students “learn how to partner” with communities in efforts to keep community members informed about healthy living, Forsha Photos by Dawn Kirkpatrick added. To inform attendees at the Fair, nursing students arranged for vendors from such organizations as Planned Parenthood and the American Heart Association to appear at the event. The nursing students also arranged f or representatives from Cross Bull Ranch Permaculture and Preparedness Retreat Center to participate. Ranch director, Ben Lawson, explained the Center’s basic permaculture methods and other disaster preparedness techniques to Mid-City community members. He demonstrated the process Permaculture directior Ben Lawson Photo by Dawn Kirkpatrick of seed sprouting as a way to prepare for disasters, which consists of taking seeds and rinsing and soaking them for 3-5 days in a jar until they sprout. To get the maximum nutritional benefit from the sprouts,xxs you eat them raw, he told Fair attendees. “I’m mostly a walking sprout person,” he said emphasizing the health benefits of sprouting. Also taking place at the Fair were free confidential AIDS, blood pressure and diabetes testing. Arts and craft tables were set up for children to watercolor, make collages and have their faces painted with colorful designs. CSU nursing students also provided games for children to play and music for attendees to listen to as they moved from vendor to vendor.

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ongtime Western Heights resident Krishna McCain takes pride in the community he was raised in. Often seen with a broom in hand he takes it upon himself to clean up forgotten pockets of his community. A neighborhood walkway, ignored by local residents after it had been gated, became overrun with debris and overgrowth, creating an eyesore and hazard. With support from local artists, LAFD Station 26 and some hired assistants, Krishna got it done. An ex-gang member, Krishna turned his life around and is now a member of the L.A.F.D. Emergency Response Team and an engaged community activist. TNN Salutes You!

Shout Out to Our Intern D.V. Lawrence

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endy Silva a student from Otis College of Art & Design came on board The Neighborhood News, rolled up her sleeves and jumped in. She assisted with community surveys, got us up on Twitter and Pinterest and encouraged the creation of our new Facebook page "Vintage LA Mid City." As you can see she is also a talented painter. Thanks for your help Wendy! The right talent at the right time!

www.wendysilva.net

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Para Los Vecinos Que Prefieren en Español Musica Oaxaceña Conecta a Angelinos a Sus Raizes Carla Pineda

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uestra cultura natal vive en el alma de todo extranjero que reside en Los Ángeles. A pesar de estar a miles de kilómetros de distancia, el encontrar una panadería que hornea el pan igual que la panadería de nuestra niñez, bailar un son que nos recuerda de “nuestros tiempos,” escuchar misa al estilo de la iglesia donde crecimos: esos detalles nos acercan un poco a

nuestras tradiciones Latinas a pesar de estar miles de kilómetros lejos. Para los estudiantes de la escuela Clarinetito, la música de viento conecta a sus jóvenes miembros a el pasado de sus padres y brinda un refugio a los padres que extrañan su tierra. El orgullo le brotaba de los ojos a la madre de Jocelyn Peinado Luna, cuando la niña de 10 años de edad toco en su primer concierto en una exposición de negocios Latino-Coreanos el Sábado, 18 de Mayo. Tocando por primera vez en publico con la banda Alma del Valle de la escuela Clarinetito, la niña reconocio estar emocionada con su participación después de ensayar por mas de un año. Su madre Sinaloense le encanta que su hija se mantenga ocupada en recreaciones instructivas y que aprenda de sus raíces Mexicanas a la misma vez. Originalmente, Clarinetito fue un proyecto para reunir originarios de Oaxaca a tocar música regional Oaxaceña. Oaxaca es uno de los 31 estados Mexicanos y esta localizado en el sudoeste de la nación. Los Ángeles es la destinación de la mayoría de Oaxaceños que emigran a los Estados Unidos. Con un estimado de entre 50,000 y 250,000 Oaxaceños habitando en Los Ángeles, el fundador Hedilberto Policarpo (Tito) sabia que encontraría paisanos fácilmente. Un músico de herencia, Tito comenzó a tocar el clarinete desde los 6 años de edad en su pueblo natal San Miguel del Valle en Oaxaca. Tito convirtio su interés musical en su carrera profesional;

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Toco con tecno bandas populares y compartió escenarios con artistas como Ramón Ayala, Banda El Recodo, la Arroyadora Banda Limon, Polo Urias, Banda Arcángel R15. Hace 4 años, Tito reemplazo la música comercial por un grupo de niños cuando unos colegas se reunieron en su deseo de formar una banda que representara el valle de Oaxaca. “Me apasiona mucho trabajar con niños. Me orgullece,” dijo Tito. Tito se toma la misión de Clarinetito —el instruir a jóvenes en la música de viento para conservar las raíces y tradiciones culturales — muy en serio. “Estamos en un país multicultural… Es muy triste que hacemos raíz aquí, creamos a nuestros propios hijos y se nos olvida inculcarles de donde venimos nosotros,” dijo Tito. El currículum de los estudiantes incluye reseñas informativas de las canciones que tocan para darles contexto cultural a las enseñanzas. Por ejemplo, los niños aprenden que la canción “Dios Nunca Muere” de Macedonio Alcala, fue escrita en un momento muy triste de la vida del compositor. Entre sus logros, la escuela ha recibido múltiples reconocimientos y certificados de agradecimiento de parte de grupos gubernamentales y culturales que aprecian las contribuciones y conciertos de la escuela. Viendo así a el futuro, Tito tiene una meta que se eleva mas allá de cantidad de inscripciones o conciertos. Se proponen enseñar a por lo menos a un niño que lleve la cultura Oaxaceña y los esfuerzos de sus paisanos a plataformas mundiales dentro de siete a diez años. “Muchos hermanos Oaxaceños van trabajando y empezando desde un garaje. Y de ahí, va a salir un músico de renombre. Estoy seguro de eso!” dijo Tito. Si esta interesado en inscribirse en la escuela Clarinetito, por favor visite www.clarinetito.com o llame al 310-613-3797.

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JOHN MORTON Continued from Pg. 10

We have what we call spiritual exercises. That’s our core practice. We make sure people understand it is not passive; it’s active and dynamic. It’s something we need to do with full consciousness, full awareness; be alert, be awake, and be ready. We do a lot to encourage people to be open, to be on your way with your own personal levels of experience. Trust yourself. Find your own strength and wisdom. It’s very practical. TNN: What are the consequences, the results of having this greater connection to the Traveler, or this interior Divine intelligence…other than just becoming a really nice person? (Laughter) JM: Well, that’s quite an accomplishment! (Laughter) But beyond that, it is practical. It is much more about finding who you are in the truest sense of what that is, so that you are selfidentified. You are self-awake. You are self-reliant. There are many things that I would call blessings. Probably the simplest way I would say it is people develop more health, wealth, and happiness, although its not about getting those things. It is a path that moves our consciousness so that we can create those kinds of results. TNN: The ‘60s was love’s generation…… JM: I was like that. I’m part of love’s generation. (Laughter) TNN: Then you know what I’m talking about! There was the notion that all you needed was love and what the world needed now was love, sweet love. There were love-ins and a spirit burst into our consciousness and became part of a revolution of increased consciousness and a desire for truth. This also brought out greater awareness of the dark elements in our world. Can you talk about some of the ways you may perceive how this spirit of love and truth has grown and changed our world since the ‘60s, if you think it has? JM: I definitely think it has. When we open up spiritually, we find our strengths but we also find what would challenge our strengths. There is a force of opposition that is going to test us in our resolve to be true to ourselves and live according to our spiritual nature rather than things that would invite us to be harsh, angry, disturbed, shut down, live in fear, or live in doubt. These are like two forces – in a simple way, a positive and negative – that we are all called upon to work out. We are encouraging people to find the most positive, the most uplifting of our spiritual nature. I’m probably not quoting Charles Dickens, but it is something like “They were the best of times and they were the worst of times.” This is what I see. It is intensifying; our world has more intense issues. There is more pollution and yet there is more effort to clean up the world to come back into harmony and balance. Clearly there is a need to restore balance, restore qualities in the earth that allow us to live together. Not just cohabitate or survive, but live together in peace and upliftment. We have that potential. That’s part of what we are encouraging people to find and then to make a contribution. We encourage community service, service of all kinds. That’s part of waking up spiritually. It is an opportunity. It doesn’t always make the news. The news often wants to focus on the most sensational or the most disturbing because often that is interesting. That’s

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understandable, but there is great, great good going on in my lifetime, in your lifetime, our lifetimes. TNN: I would like you to think of some of the people that you know that you consider to have a lot of soul. What is it about them … what qualities do they share in common? JM: Well, my view is that everyone has not just a lot of soul but complete soul. There are a lot of great examples of people who are expressing opening in their true nature which embraces our individuality, our culture, all of that; our ancestry. When we really come forward and express a soulful nature, then it is a very readable expression. I find it expresses through caring and loving, through respect and honoring. Also, tremendous freedom is a part of the soul awakening. It comes out as a freedom of expression and freedom of consciousness. It is liberating and also necessary for our well-being, for our happiness. JM-Roger basically is the person in my life who has demonstrated that the most. I am very close to his work. There are so many people I could look to as demonstrating that. TNN: Most people don’t want to change. When we walk on a true spiritual path we are inspired to change, sometimes consciously, and sometimes unconsciously. What are some of the big changes that you personally have experienced… like when you look back and you go, “I’m really different now” … in what ways? JM: Most important is the willingness to change in a direction that is contributing to the positive strengthening in values that bring nurturing, bring contribution to the world around us. That can be in very simple of ways of just helping somebody or helping something. It’s these ways that come forward. This gives real satisfaction that brings fulfillment. One of the great turning points for me was when I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. When I graduated from college I looked around, I didn’t know of a single person who I thought well, there’s a person who understands themselves and knows what they are going to do with their life and has a plan. I just felt as though nobody was fully aware of themselves. I felt I was at a loss. I started on a search and I realized in that process I was looking for someone who knew this world and what was going on, a real teacher. That’s how I found John-Roger. It has been a path that requires tremendous letting go, releasing our past identification and being open to brand new ways of expression. For me, this path of spiritual awakening requires our strength of endurance, requires great courage because at times it appears that Old Man River is full of peace and grace, and then around the bend might be the rapids and here we go again, where we have a sense of I don’t know who I am. I don’t know where I am. We are looking all over again for those values that give us clear direction, a sense of “I’m on the right path.” One of the keys to that process is the willingness to go within, the willingness to be true. John-Roger did a campaign for five years which was focused on integrity. We gave integrity awards to a variety of people – Mother Theresa, Lech Walesa, and Stevie Wonder. There was just a range of people who were identified as expressing their integrity. He defined integrity as having the courage to go with the truth as you know it; a heartfelt response

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with care and consideration for others. To me, that’s a recipe for a great life; each of us to have that willingness. He felt he needed to say the part “with care and consideration” because sometimes people interpret the truth that hey, my truth is that I’m going to knock you over so I can do what I want. If it hurts people, there is something out of alignment. TNN: Can you always avoid hurting people when you are standing in your truth? JM: I have found that hurt is something that we can eliminate, even at an emotional level, or you could say conceptually. Sometimes a thought hurts and it is very disturbing to think a particular way, or to lose something or consider we are losing something. We can minimize it by doing things that restore, nurtures, forgives so that we have a consciousness that is willing to make amends, to let go of a conflict. These are very important qualities. TNN: Humans are relatively new on the planet. Last 30 seconds if you look at the whole of the planet as an hour. There is the idea that we are actually still evolving, that we are in beginning stages, and that our evolution is not over. Do you want to talk a little bit about your thoughts on the evolution of humans? (Laughter) JM: I would love to. (Laughter) One of the aspects of spirituality I find, and I’m sure John-Roger has revealed that in his experience, there is a mysterious quality to our life that in some ways remains mysterious. It’s always a challenge to comprehend. One of the mysteries to me is that it appears that our life has a destiny. You could say it is predestined; it’s already worked out. It also has this quality of evolution, that we are growing. It seems that these two things are integrated so sometimes it is as though it won’t matter what I do because my destiny will make sure I will do what I need to do. Then it is as though every little choice, every single choice, every thought also impacts. Our way of looking at it is there is growth; there is spiritual growth, there is personal growth. In my view, the opportunities for growth are better than ever in whatever you would call this, this epoch, this 30 seconds of our existence. I do consider that we are in a place where we need to change, we need to evolve where we get along in very simple terms. Now it is vitally important that we find ways to mutually harmonize and mutually get along in ways that contribute instead of take away. I think we are being compelled and if we don’t there will be natural conclusions. The laws of nature are supreme in terms of our options. We can’t break these laws. We have to cooperate with them. To read the full interview go to our website Click on "Community Info" choose "Spiritual Community". To view our unedited video go to the homepage of our website.

COUNTRY CLUB PARK Cont. from Pg. 19

was designed by L.A. architect Alfred F. Rosenheim in 1910 and declared a Historic and Cultural Landmark by the city of Los Angeles in 1999. A three-story mansion, it has such elaborate features as six bedrooms, Tiffany stained-glass windows, a gold leaf dining room ceiling and rich mahogany floors. Not only is Country Club Park filled with stunning examples of some of L.A.’s best early 20th century architecture but it is also currently home to a racially and culturally diverse population. That wasn’t always the case, however, as H. Claude Hudson’s fight to live in the Milbank mansion shows. Like many neighborhoods in the early history of Los Angeles, Country Club Park had strict racial covenants and was strictly reserved for whites. Homeowners not only sued Hudson but also sued other African Americans who tried to move into the wealthy neighborhood. Oscar Award-winning actress Hattie McDaniel, of Gone with the Wind fame, for example, was sued when she tried to move into the neighborhood in 1945. McDaniel successfully defeated the lawsuit, however, and gained the right to live in the exclusive area. In general, other ethnic groups met with less resistance than African Americans when they tried to move into Country Club Park. In 1948, the Supreme Court put an end to racial covenants and Country Club Park subsequently became more diverse and home to more ethnic groups. It also became home to more wealthy ethnic celebrities, such as the recently deceased Lena Horne, Korean-American actor Philip Ahn and gospel great Mahalia Jackson. Country Club Park was designated a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) in 2010. EARLEZ GRILLE Cont. from Pg. 14

being owned by African Americans. We were sorely omitted from the plans.” Leimert Park residents and activists are waiting to hear if a stop will be added to the plan. (See our article about this decision on Pg. 6) As for Earlez Grille, remaining a part of the Crenshaw District is of the utmost importance. Spaces in Leimert Park were considered, but Earle-Brown thinks that new meters would make parking tricky for customers, many of whom visit on their lunch hour. Now it’s likely the restaurant will relocate to Crenshaw Square, where there is ample parking without meters. A lease has already been written up and reviewed by attorneys. “Still in the Crenshaw District, with the same support for the community that’s supported my sons for so many years and kept a roof over their heads. We appreciate it and we will not leave,” says EarleBrown. Until the official moving day arrives, customers will find Earlez Grille staff members grilling outdoors in the parking lot, taking in the pleasant summer weather and serving great chili dogs, fries and more to the community, just like they always have. 3630 Crenshaw Blvd 90008 (323) 299-2867 http://www.earlezgrille.com

Answer to Riddle: Darkness

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TNN ISSUE #30