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Issue 34



CoWatching Oil LA









Dianne V. Lawrence Associate Editor/Reporter

Renee Montgomery Staff Reporters

Carla Pineda, Chelsee Lowe, Dawn Kirkpatrick

TNN Staff L - R Back Row

Contributing Writers

Chelsee Lowe, Dawn Kirkpatrick, Carla Pineda

Michelle Mendieta, Laura Myers Photographer/Social Media/Website Assistant

Dawn Kirkpatrick

L - R Front Row

Layout & Design/Executive Ad Sales

Renee Montgomery, Dianne V. Lawrence



ince it's Valentine season can I get gushy and just say....I LOVE this job, I LOVE this community and people I've been so lucky to become a part of and contribute to, I LOVE the women I work with, each one so talented and easy to work with and passionate about our community, I LOVE the new people I am constantly meeting and the stories that keep coming my way and I LOVE you readers who keep telling me how much this has come to mean to you! I was recently asked to share my experience with some young journalism students at LA High School. Their instructor Cynthia Wald and I agreed to partner on shared articles. So our Featured Teen and School Beat will have some ongoing contributions from LA High. Our community continues to become a destination rather than a drive through with some exciting new additions. We report on Meruelo Media Broadcast & Studio Centers move to Pico just west of La Brea. The building will house their flagship station (MundoFOX22 (KWHY22.1) We also interview mover and shaker, artist Eve Kemp who has moved into the arts community on Pico east of Rimpau and reports on his excitement about contributing to and being a part of the eruption of creative activity in his neighborhood. Could it be that the ARTS are what will finally anchor our community as a 'go to' place? We report on the impressive power of pissed off neighbors who have rallied with force and quickly to counter some fast moves by a local oil drilling site. NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL ELECTIONS ARE UPON US. Read about what they have accomplished in your region over the last year and what you can do to get involved the least of which is to VOTE!

Contact us at: 323.871.8580 CONTENT 4 8

CoWatching Oil LA Residents Rally Against Oil Neighborhood Council 2013 Achievements


MundoFox22 Moves to Mid-City


RESTAURANT REVIEWS: Capital Burger Excerpts from All our Restaurant Reviews


SCHOOL BEAT: LA High Students Create a Greenspace


FEATURED TEENS: Evelyn Lopez, Jasmin Han


Communal Living In Mid-City


SEEN ON THE SCENE: Martin Luther King Parade ART IN THE CORRIDOR: Interview: EVE KEMP


IN MEMORY OF: Margeurite Poindexter LaMotte Fred Monroe Hudson



So don't let me hold you back any further, get your favorite beverage...perhaps a good cup of tea from the Blu Elefant on Washington and Harvard, put your feet up and take a little stroll through your community.



February/March 2014

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Residents Rally To Protect Community Swift Action By Community and Officials Temporarily Halts Oil Drilling

were now "unsuitable for aquatic life." The report was made available to The Times by the Environment Ministry."

Energized members from the community formed the Citizens Of West Adams for Transparency, Common Sense and Health In Natural Gas and Oil Industries Los Angeles (CoWatching Oil LA). They have rallied quickly around their concerns about the potential negative effects of the acidization techniques they believe the Murphy Drill site was getting ready to use. But Hance Myers, Vice President and Corporate Information Director for FMOG denies this method is being used. “We are not using acidization completion techniques on any of the wells at the facility.�

Photos by Dawn Kirkpatrick

Carla Pineda


reeport - McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc. is one of the largest producers of copper and gold in the world. In 2012 they bought out their oil producing sister company McMoRan Exploration Co. (a 1990's spin off from the main company) and in 2013 bought out Plains Exploration which owned three drill sites in our community on Jefferson, Washington and W. Adams Boulevards. The land of the 2126 W. Adams Murphy drill site (at St. Andrews Place) is currently owned by the Catholic Church. Government officials have listened to the complaints by residents surrounding this FreeportMcMoRan Oil & Gas (FMOG) location and have ordered it to pause its latest efforts.

Council President Herb Wesson, State Senator Holly Mitchell, Representative Karen Bass at Holman Church Rally

During a gathering at Holman Church the community garnered the support of State Senator Holly Mitchell who impressed many at the meeting with her clear grasp of the issues. She agreed to introduce a bill that bans all well stimulation methods until extensive environmental impacts are studied. Also present was Representative Karen Bass, who committed to working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Sen. Continued on Page 24

Neighbors in the apartment complex directly across from the Murphy Site became alarmed when they were kept awake well into the night by loud construction noises and heavy trucks moving in and out of the site. Other community members surrounding the site believed the site was preparing to use toxic chemicals to extract remaining oil, raising concerns that these chemicals might potentially be entering the groundwater. The community has a legitimate concern given Freeport-McMoran Copper and Golds checkered history of grievous environmental abuses. From a 2005 New York Times investigation into the company: "Letters and other documents provided to The Times by government officials showed that the Environment Ministry repeatedly warned the company since 1997 that Freeport was breaching environmental laws. They also reveal the ministry's deep frustration." and "A multimillion-dollar 2002 study by an American consulting company, Parametrix, paid for by Freeport and its joint venture partner, Rio Tinto, and not previously made public, noted that the rivers upstream and the wetlands inundated with waste


February/March 2014

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Our Neighborhood Council's 2013 Achievements MID-CITY NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL MINC


articipated in the Mayor’s Neighborhood Blitz - held a pothole lottery to determine which sections of road in MINC got repaired with our one-day street crew - CicLAvia - created a MINC hub and stop for CicLAvia vendors, food trucks, community groups all had a presence in Mid-City West Bridge anniversary celebration - banners - partnership with WAHA and OPNC. - MINC Meet your rep events (several of them throughout the year) at the Farmers Market - handing out chochkies - outreach - Taste of Soul event - outreach - Jazz in the Avenues - outreach - Body shop (5300 WA) - closed - instrumental in getting that done. - Outreach mailing campaign and MINC survey to reach every member of our community - bring in new participation to the NC. - St. Elmo music at the Farmers Market - weekly sponsor - Sponsored L.A. Drama club activities. - Sponsored half of library at New Los Angeles Charter school - Sponsored kids to summer camp from two schools (4 kids total) - Sponsored Arts Festival for at risk kids at the William Grant Still center. - Median at Cloverdale and Washington - instrumental in getting that in place despite issues. - Support upkeep of the planters on the DWP property at Apple and Fairfax. Continued on Page 28



rant to Moo Sool Won for kid's scholarship to learn Kung Fu - Repaired Potholes. - Community Grant for a Health Fair with California State University of Long Beach Nursing Department. - Oxford Square HPOZ Project - is a Grant provided to the Oxford Square Neighborhood Association for research into making their neighborhood a HPOZ. - Funds provided to the local Fire Department for new equipment in their station house. - The 3rd Annual Free Community Buffet Dinner - a retreat dinner that's geared to bring awareness of community, the businesses and unity in the neighborhood. We’re informing the stakeholders of the work done and future plans of OPNC. - Beautification project on the Olympic corridor - was a tree planting project from La Brea to Western Avenue and it was conducted by the Koreatown Youth and Community Center. - Grant to Los Angeles High Football team to purchase new


February/March 2014

uniforms, helmets and other sporting equipment, because the old ones were broken, torn and unsafe to play in. - Grant to Los Angeles High Alumni Association for the Harrison Trust / Alumni on Campus needed matching funds to continue their LA High Living History Project and we were able to give them a matching grant to continue moving forward. - COUNTRY CLUB PARK ANNUAL BBQ – we partnered with Country Club Park Neighborhood Association, which is an HPOZ in the our district, and helped produce their Annual BBQ. It was a great time meeting our stakeholders and it turned out to be fun in the sun. - Community Grant to “CicLAvia” BIKE RIDE TO THE SEA – We co-sponsored a hub station with UNNC at Venice and San Continued on Page 28



unded the rehabilitation of the deteriorated window films on the Jefferson Park Library. - Washington Blvd. and Venice Blvd. clean ups with CD10. - Helped fund the CD 10 Movies in the Park at the Benny H. Potter Park. - Helped fund the Nosey Eye Neighbors annual summer block party. - Helped with funding for the 4th Avenue Historic Pedestrian Bridge clean up. - Was a partner in funding the creation and installation of Jefferson Park HPOZ signage. - Partnered with Jefferson Park Library to fund a day of art activities as part of The Big Draw L.A.. - Contributed funding for the annual CD 10 Winter Wonderland. - Partnered with Rec & Parks for the installation of a Dero Bike Fix Station in Benny H. Potter Park and made a commitment to fund repairs/maintenance for the next year. - Funded holiday celebration at the Leslie Shaw Park in Jefferson Park and is supporting ongoing efforts for the rehab of Leslie Shaw Park. Continued on Page 28

Wondering what your Neighborhood Council is up to? PICO NC, United Neighborhoods NC Olympic Park NC Mid City NC www.mincla.or

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February/March 2014

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State of the Art Broadcasting Studio Opens on Pico Boulevard

financial services, restaurants, food services, construction and engineering, real estate, hotel and casino operations, public and private equity.

D.V. Lawrence


id-City’s reputation as the new go to place for corporate business has just been given a huge boost with the opening of the Meruelo Media Broadcast & Studio Center on Pico just west of La Brea.

Photos by D.V. Lawrence

Angelina Hernandez. Master Control Operator

On Wednesday, January 15, Meruelo Media celebrated the grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the presence of more than 250 guests that included a number of elected officials including Council President Herb Wesson, Mark Ridley Thomas, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and representatives from the office of State Senator Holly Mitchell. Owned and operated by Meurelo Media the building will house

Mr. Meruelo stated, “Today is a very special day for my family; our media business continues to grow, making our voices louder in this community and this amazing building delivers that statement clearly.” President and Chief Operating Officer of Meruelo Media, Otto Padron said, “This building has one simple and powerful purpose: to provide a flexible and robust platform where we can super-serve our clients, advertisers, network partners and most importantly our community.” Ana Guerrero, community leader and Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti’s Chief of Staff, delivered a brief and compelling message, “This new broadcasting center will boost L.A.’s economy with 150 jobs and is helping solidify Los Angeles as the capital of Latino entertainment.”

Council President Herb Wesson Assists in the Ribbon Cutting

their flagship station MundoFOX22 (KWHY22.1) the local Los Angeles affiliate station of the MundoFOX Television Network. The Meruelo Group is a powerhouse that operates television stations in Los Angeles, Houston, Santa Barbara, the legendary Los Angeles radio station, 93.5 KDAY and a Super Station on its digital KWHY¬TV 22.2 stream with carriage on Time Warner Cable. It is a diversified holding and investment company owned and controlled by prominent U.S. Latino businessman Alex Meruelo, with a portfolio of companies in banking and


February/March 2014

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December/January 2013


Capitol Burgers #1 Best Laura Meyers


’ve lived in the community for three decades, and had driven by the burger shack countless, countless times. With hunger pangs and a growling stomach – and a recent appraisal naming Capitol Burgers the “best” classic burger stand in Los Angeles – I walked down the street to try it out. So glad I did (though perhaps a heart doctor would disagree!) No foodie-style pretensions here – no Angus beef, no truffleoil, no garlic aioli, no vegie burgers. No, Capitol Burger is one thing, and one thing only: a classic old school burger joint, serving up unadulterated grilled hamburgers, cheesy cheese burgers, egg sandwiches, chili dogs, pastrami, grilled cheese sandwiches, and fries, perhaps the best damn fries in MidCity. Burgers are served with fresh and crunchy iceberg lettuce leafs, crisp tomatoes, pickles, onions plus mustard and mayo, slathered with extra cheese if you want it, on a toasted bun. One order of the salty and seasoned hand-cut skin-on fries definitely is enough for two (women). The grilled cheese – add a tomato if you wish – sandwich was flawless, crisp on the outside, mouthfuls of melted cheese and onions (you have to ask for) inside, just the way you’d want it. Every order is wrapped in waxy paper and dished out to you in a sturdy cardboard box bottom for you to eat at the stand’s picnic tables. Greek immigrant George Stamouvlasis (Stamos) founded this neighborhood staple in 1965, and although George died last year, family-owned Capitol Burgers is still operated by his son, John Stamos, hopefully for many more years to come. 4301 West Pico Blvd. 90019 (Oxford Square) Cash only 323-936-0366 Open daily except Sundays (closed by 7 p.m.)

Excerpts from ALL OUR RESTAURANT REVIEWS Compiled by Dawn Kirkpatrick

My Two Cents “We ordered the shrimp and corn grits – a delicious creamy, cheesy concoction – that we thought could not be bested until we tried the black eyed pea stew, which was even yummier. The fried chicken was a boneless breast, nicely finished, served over greens (a mix of kale, collards and spinach), and topped with a tangy barbecue sauce.” 4 1/2 Stars on Yelp 5583 W Pico Blvd 90019 (323) 938-1012 Tue-Thurs., Noon - 9p.; Fri - Sat: noon to 4p and 6p - 9p: Sun, 11a - 4p

Papa Cristo's " You can step up to the deli counter and buy freshly baked bread, Greek feta and yoghurt, varieties of bulk olives, skewers of kababs, dips, spreads, pastries. We shared a salad, saganaki, zesty shrimp and veggie entrée they whipped up for the vegetarian in our group and the ultra popular – gyros pizza! I’ve grown up


February/March 2014

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loving those sandwiches, but this was gyros to the power of… GYROS! Drizzled with extra sauce, I was in heaven nibbling on the perfectly seasoned toppings and lightly crispy crust." 2771 West Pico Blvd. (N.E. corner of Pico and Normandie) Closed Mondays & Tuesdays Wed: 9:30a - 8p. Thurs: 9:30a - 8p Fri: 9:30a - 8p Sat: 9:30a - 8p Sun: 9a – 4p Family Night on Thursdays. Starts at 6:30 with live music, belly dancing, and a family feast with all your Papa Cristo's favorites. Call for more information and for reservations. (323) 737 - 2970.

Grain Cafe “The veggie burger was truly the best I’ve had, heaped up with veggies, topped with avocado, with a side of salad, a generous Continued on Page 26

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February/March 2014


Editor Dianne V. Lawrence Appearing on Fox's 'America Now'


ocal resident Jeffery Copeland is a producer on the popular afternoon TV show "America Now" with hosts Lisa Gibbons and Bill Rancic. The show features informative short segments from around America that give people helpful information about a variety of subjects such as " Job seekers participate in 'reverse' job fair", " Determining legitimate 'work at home' opportunities" "The top ten dangers you could face in the workplace". After reading the interview with Ms. Lawrence in the 5th Anniversary issue he pitched the idea of featuring her in a segment and was given the greenlight. A three minute segment on Dianne's activities will air on FOX Channel 11 starting at 1pm on Feb. 21 and again on Aug. 22. It can also be seen on their website starting Feb. 21 on the main page and after the 21st just search "Neighborhoood Newspapers". http://www.

Join us on twitter @midcityla_tnn Check out our new website

There are two important market conditions to keep in mind. We started the year with a heated market that was at times described as ”a bubble”. Since the autumn, the housing market has cooled off. On one hand, due to decreased affordability and increased mortgage rates, demand for housing has subsided and bidding wars are not as frequent or as aggressive as we saw earlier in the year. Additionally, inventory of homes for sale has shown improvement with more homes on the market now. These two conditions suggest a more favorable market for buyers and one that resembles a shift towards a “normal” market.


February/March 2014

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December/January 2013


Walking a Tight Line Teens Manage Extracurriculars and Academics Michelle Mendieta, L.A. High Reporter


tress from school has sharply increased in the past years. Colleges are harder to get into, so students are adding more to their plate in order to make their college applications look better. They are doubling their workload and difficulty levels. But, how are they able to manage the workload?

Evelyn Lopez is in Color Guard. This requires her to stay after school for several hours and even give up some of her Saturdays. How is she able to keep the legacy of her school going, while not ruining her own? “I take advantage of the days we don’t have practice, so I can get ahead in school work and even though I’m tired after practice, I force myself to do my homework since it Evelyn Lopez was my decision to be in color guard, even if that means sleeping late,” she says. Lopez’s determined mindset allows her to have a clear view of her goals and not blur anything out. This way, she knows her priorities and nothing gets left out. Lopez’s willpower motivates her, as well as keeps out any negative thoughts that might become obstacles. Students, clarifying goals will let you know what you need to focus on. Jasmin Han, Student Body Vice President, and President of Junior Council is another student putting in tremendous amount of work, yet she still manages to stay on her “A” game. Being an officer is something that requires a lot of time on its own, especially when one is an officer for more than one major council. Time is always the problem for students like Han or Lopez. When it comes to school work, there never seems to be enough time. But, Han proves this idea wrong. “Balance? No way, it is a


February/March 2014

struggle 24/7. I find that keeping a schedule helps organize everything. I’m always exhausted, but because I enjoy everything I do, my hectic life doesn’t feel like a burden,” says Han. Instead of picking too many extra curricular activities, she chose those that she knows she enjoys. Therefore, she does not consider it extra work. A strong characteristic like this is what makes her both a great leader and student. Lopez and Han are just two of the many students attending Los Angeles Senior High School who successfully manage their academics as well as their extracurricular activities. Sometimes the amount of work they have to do seems impossible, but with the right mentality and focus, the students are able to overcome any obstacle.

Become an L.A. Public Library Teen Adviser


eens from ages 11 – 18 are needed to serve on the Advisory Council of the Washington Irving branch library. Fun duties include reviewing and recommending books and films for acquisition. Community service hours are available for this program which meets for one hour on the second Saturday of each month, year round. Teens will also help select fun programs such as the upcoming “UnValentine’s Day Party” on February 12 at 4 pm. Become an influencer of teen tastes! Complete an application at the Washington Irving Library located at 4117 W. Washington Blvd. L.A. 90018 323-734-6303

Jasmin Han

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Living in [Sync]hronicity Communal Living is Alive and Well in Mid-City Chelsee Lowe


n October of 2008, an intentional community known as Synchronicity L.A. planted roots in the Harvard Heights neighborhood in Mid-City. After approaching nearly 30 landlords citywide, the founding residents met a homeowner willing to rent his property – a two-story Craftsman on Westmoreland Boulevard – to a dozen college grads eager to live under one roof. The original twelve residents were close friends, and nine had attended Azusa Pacific University together. After feeling

neighborhood. She’s watched as more intentional communities have sprung up on the street in apartments and houses, and she said goodbye to a number of roommates set to start graduate school or get married and establish their own homes. A few residents have even left and returned – a good sign, as far as Jessie’s concerned. “I’ve found a place for myself in each group that’s come in,” Jessie said. “There are always a few roommates in their early 20s, but some of us older. We’ve gotten a little quieter, we party less, and we eat healthier. All of the changes that I see have been positive ones.” The house recently opened its doors to its youngest tenants yet – one of the roommates has shared custody of two kids and hosts them every other weekend at Synchronicity. Teachers, activists and artists are among the current group, and they’ve all come to the house via different paths. Ryan, a freelance videographer, was a “solitary liver” once upon a time, but an internship with TOMS, a shoe company known for giving a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased, introduced him to cooperative living. Interns were paid $50 a week and given room and board in a large house near the beach in Marina Del Rey. “If I wanted to do something fun, there was always four of five people willing to do it with me at a moment’s notice,” Ryan said. “Just before the internship ended, I was invited to dinner here. It seemed like a great transition after living with 15 people.” Continued on Page 28

House resident Ryan Maxey and visiting guest, photographer Cully

somewhat alienated during their stay at the evangelical Christian college, the group wanted to form its own inclusive community, one where people with diverse backgrounds and beliefs could live together with purpose. According to the house’s mission statement, residents aim to “enrich their lives and the lives of others by sharing resources and cultivating harmony, friendship, hospitality, and artistic expression.” Five years later, Synchronicity L.A. is thriving, with eleven residents occupying the rooms in the house. Jessie, the only remaining founding resident, has been witness to both large-scale changes and subtle shifts in the house and

What starts with an e but only has a single letter in it?

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February/March 2014


Martin Luther King Jr. Parade

Eve Kemp

Photo Essay by Dawn Kirkpatrick Bringing Cool, Color and Care to An Expanding Art Community D. V. Lawrence


Photos by D.V. Lawrence

e first met Eve Kemp when he strode into the Wellington Square Farmers market dressed in striking high style. Friendly and engaging we soon found out he was an artist who had recently moved into one of a series of storefront art studios in the Washington and Rimpau neighborhood in Mid-City. Exceptionally community minded, Eve immediately began connecting to the neighborhood by energizing the visuals of his block. He added large decorative signage, installed beautiful wooden doors and open windows that displayed his exuberant paintings and allowed people to look into a studio filled with artwork and artifacts. One imagines this is what a Paris atelier in the 1920’s may have looked like.

For more pics go to our website and click on 'Food and Fun' then 'Seen on the Scene'


February/March 2014

TNN: How did you discover our community? EVE: I was invited to an event in Beverly Hills that invited business owners to look at footage of super charities and consider which ones they wanted to participate in and I was the artist that was asked to come and be a part of it. I was there with another friend of mine and this couple seemed to take notice and commented on how I looked. He said, "Hey, I'm working on a project and maybe you could come and take a look at it." I said, "Why don’t you come and see what I'm doing as well." He drove down to South Central, came to my place and he said, "Look, this is exactly what I was hoping for. I bought a building, [s.w. corner of Washington and would you come in and take a look at it," and I said, "Okay." I came over and took a look at it and that was this building. I discovered Mid-City at that point really. It was always an area I just drove through. TNN: EVE:

That’s an issue with our community. It's very much the issue. I realized I was one of those

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people who would always travel through it and not quite notice what was here. So right away when I came here I had that in the back of my mind and realized maybe I could add something to the community. I thought the building had character from the '20s and it would be great to have the French doors and even to expose the wood beams. My original idea was "Hey, this could be the Chelsea Hotel in New York.” and thought “this is it." Then I discovered that there were great artists who have been living here for 12, 13, 15 years. TNN: Like Charles Garabedian, who has been here much longer than that. EVE: Yes. I was like, "Wow," and across the road there's one of the biggest designers in Los Angeles. I got to know Bert across the street, who has been here 15 years or something, another painter. The filmmakers were over here Saturday night in the corner building and they were doing a major film shoot. I'm also next door to the mothership of Washington Boulevard as far as I'm concerned, which is the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. One of the major photographers of Casting is directly across from there. This whole area already has artists and it has 4 galleries. I thought "this is a goldmine and something is happening here and I like to think that I could come in and help give it feathers." My version of me to me is I'm a peacock. The peacock can’t help what its feathers are and I thought I could just spread my wings and help give it feathers and maybe more people would understand the beauty of this city. Continued on Page 25

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February/March 2014



rom her Obituary: “Marguerite was the baby of a family of seven children born to Leon and Amy Poindexter of New Orleans, LA. She flourished in a segregated Louisiana school system and graduated from Xavier Preparatory High School and the YMCA Business College in New Orleans. At age 18 she was appointed Director of Spaulding Business College in Baton Rouge. She took classes on a parttime basis at Southern University and was awarded the BA degree in Education, Summa Cum Laude in 1961. She completed her Master of Education Degree in 1965 from Louisiana State University. She was the first African-American woman to serve as Visiting Professor LSU Undergraduate School of Education.” Ms. LaMotte arrived in Los Angeles in 1973 and began working at Drew Junior High where her passionate focus on turning failing students around to scholastic success put her on the promotional fast track. By 1991 she was Principal at Washington Preparatory High. From her website: “Under her direction, Washington Prep received an Outstanding Accreditation Review by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges for a maximum 6-year period. She credits staff with developing an innovative Study Skills Program for school-wide success. In addition a standards-based lesson guide was produced, which placed Washington Prep in the forefront of schools using common lesson plans and curriculum mapping.“ In 2003 Ms. LaMotte was elected to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to represent District 1 where she became a staunch supporter of the teacher’s union and public schools and a critic of the growing Charter School movement. “LaMotte, whose death was reported by The Times on Thursday afternoon, will be missed as a fierce champion of directing more resources to the largely black and Latino students within the district she represented. She understood the community well, though she differed sharply with the reform movement about the best ways to help that community.” - Karin Klein from the OP-Ed of the Los Angeles Times LaMotte served as President of the Los Angeles Council of Black Administrators (COBA); President of the L.A. Chapter of Southern University Alumni, Los Angeles Chapter; President of the Assault on Illiteracy Program and as a volunteer and member of numerous community and civic organizations. She was an active member of her church and leaves behind two children and four grandchildren.


February/March 2014

Fred's Utopia Barbershop


r. Fred Monroe Hudson, age 77, of 4256 Victoria Ave., Los Angeles, CA, passed away Friday, December 27, 2013, in Los Angeles California. Mr. Hudson was born in Floyd County Georgia on April 7, 1936, son of the late Edward and

Photos by D.V. Lawrence

Margeurite Poindexter LaMotte 1933 - 2013

Fred Monroe Hudson 1936 - 2013

Annie Bell Hudson. Fred completed his education in Buffalo, New York where he attended Barber College and Photography School. He then opened his own barber shop and photography studio. In 1962 Fred moved to Los Angeles, California and in 1966 he opened Fred’s Utopia Barber Shop on Pico Blvd., where he served the community as owner and operator for 47 years. In December of 2009, TNN featured a story about Utopia which can

be found on our website under Local People – Featured Business. “When I stepped in the front door I was transported back to the days when I accompanied my dad to his barber shop with it's relaxed and welcome atmosphere, the conversations, the lived in environment. Fred's wall was covered with pictures that reminded guests of the long history of this popular community center. On my way out I stopped in the front room where the two barbers, Fred and Jerry, were getting customers presentable for holiday festivities. One customer was playfully chiding Fred for 'getting in his business". I laughed and added, "Isn't that what goes on in the barbershop?"

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Eye On Wesson D.V. Lawrence

Top 10 Responses Councilman Wesson Might Give 16th Place


n January 14th, 16th Place Residents, in an effort to get some kind of response from their elected city council representative Herb Wesson, regarding the serious degradation of their community by the Midtown Crossing Plaza and the now illegal signage overwhelming their views, went to an open-mike at City Hall and spoke to him directly: "My name is Robert Portillo; I am here today representing the 16th Place Neighborhood Association and leaving a petition for you which reads: During the first week of June 2011 we asked Mayor Garcetti, then City Council President, for his help regarding the development of Mid-Town Crossing and CIM, the developer – he suggested that since you were our Councilman, Wesson, we should work with you. You (Councilmember Wesson) have ignored us and today marks our 50th request for your help. It has come to our attention that CIM, the developer of MidTown Crossing, has failed to obtain 11 signage permits required by Building Code, thus the signage is in non-compliance and flagrantly illegal, since July 12, 2013 – importantly, this signage was in violation in early October 2012 during its initial framing construction and when we appealed to you Councilmember Wesson to investigate (photos are on page 4 of the documents you’ve been handed). As it is apparent that there has been no proper investigation, we the undersigned petition you to investigate these blatant violations, ensure that the law is enforced, and remove the illegal signage. This brazen disregard of public decency violates our privacy and derogates our quality of life by pitching commercial propaganda into our homes and neighborhood, and breeches the long established good relations between our small community and the other businesses nearby who have shown us the respect that is lacking with CIM. The signage advertises directly to us not to motorists as designed. We are affronted by the arrogance in this behavior. Why has Mid-Town Crossing been allowed to become a public nuisance and why isn’t anything being done about the permit violations?" Despite evidence that illegal signage is directly facing into their windows, despite his long ago promise of help, despite sending him, to date, 49 emails requesting a response, they have been met with a wall of silence from the Council Office for over a

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year. Why? Since CD10 won't tell us, we are left with our imagination...

Top 10 Responses we imagine Councilman Wesson might give 16th Place. 10 - "Hey residents. Get over it! I have." 9 - "So you lost a view and gained smog, noise and billboards. Look at the glass half full, you gained a convenient shopping plaza! :-) " 8 - "More exhaust fumes and dust in your houses? Stop whining. You should see what I have to deal with at City Hall. :-( " 7 - "Hey, I think the graphics on those billboards staring into your windows are nifty. I can see them from my house!" 6 - "Gee...just not high profile enough...sorry." 5 - "This wasn't my fault. Why should I fix it?" 4 - "There's a lot I could do...but I'm just not feelin it, can you feel me?" 3 - "Noise levels increased? Have you tried turning the TV up?" 2 -"Aren't you friends with that annoying Neighborhood News publication?" and the #1 reason we imagine why Council President Herb Wesson won't respond to the 16th Place Residents: "I don't care, I don't have to. I'm Council PRESIDENT. Thanks for helping me get here."

Corner of Hauser and Pico Comes Alive


ack in 2011 we reported on the groundbreaking ceremony for a new development corner mall on the S.W. corner of Pico and Hauser. Well things are finally hopping. Here's what's new: • PRC Advantage (PRC), an executive recruiting/staffing firm started business operations in March 2013. • Hound Dog & Cat, a fabulous organic pet food & supply store in March 2013. Hound Dog & Cat started business operations from July 2013 and is driving a lot of traffic into the area from adjacent neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and Hancock Park. • Café Picfair, an organic French bistro style cafe in April 2013 which started the operation in December 2013. • Taco Flame, a kosher Mexican restaurant, on second floor in November 2013 leased two units one as the restaurant and the other one as a children play room. Taco Flame will start its operation by the beginning of March 2014. • Hollywood Make Up Studio, a make-up art salon and class in January 2014 which will start operations in the beginning of March 2014. • Daily Shake, an organic healthy shake store as meal replacement in January 2014 which will start operations by the beginning of this summer. There are still two spaces available in the plaza and Landlord is willing to give good incentives to right tenant who can also access lots of resources from Economy Development Bureau of City of Los Angeles. Contact Moshe Gideon 818-674-8434

February/March 2014


COMMUNITY/OIL Continued from Page 4

Barbara Boxer, to study the site’s health impacts. Council President Herb Wesson, also in attendance, notified the meeting that a suspension on oil drilling at the site had been ordered and he has requested an investigation by several regulatory agencies, including the California Department of Conservation, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. The review was requested to ensure that residents near all Los Angeles oil production sites are protected. Both, the city and state, have granted exemptions to oil and gas companies in the past and they lack the regulatory framework to assess fracking and acidizing techniques, according to the January 10 resolution. FMOG disagrees. “As a general rule, oil operations in California and the L.A. Basin specifically are subject to the strictest regulatory policies over oil and gas production in the nation,” Myers said. Similar to fracking, a process that extracts natural gas from the earth by drilling a chemical fluid cocktail into fractures thousands of feet below the land surface, acidization unlocks resources by pumping a highly concentrated chemical cocktail into existing wells to dissolve dense rock, release trapped oil and allow it to flow up through the well. According to the San Francisco Lawyer Blog writer Greogory J. Bord “Hydrofluoric acid, the particular acid used in acidizing, is highly corrosive, capable of breaking down steel as well as rock, and it can also damage lungs and cause serious burns to the skin. When hydrofluoric acid exceeds 67 degrees it forms a vapor cloud that lingers near the ground, according to energy experts. A high-profile example of the deadly nature of the acid arose last September, when a hydrofluoric acid accident at a South Korean chemical plant killed five people.” And “While state officials say they are not aware of any serious accidents involving the use of hydrofluoric acid as an acidizing agent to extract petroleum in California and there have been no recorded incidents of the acid seeping into groundwater, lawmakers in Sacramento are moving to include acidizing in legislation to regulate fracking. More specifically, the bill would require oil companies to secure permits for acidizing as well as fracking of wells, and it would authorize a study of the potential environmental perils of the two extractive techniques.” Myers claims "the use of any chemicals at FMOG sites is controlled, performed by trained personnel, and the quantity is comparable to the amount found in household cleaning products". This was confirmed during a discussion with a local geologist who preferred to remain anonymous for this report. In November, the oil company reported a leak that caused brine water to collect at the intersection of La Cienega Boulevard and Blackwater Street. Although a number of local and state agencies responded and determined the liquid never entered


February/March 2014

the flood control channel and the company cleaned up the spill, Councilmember Paul Koretz ordered an investigation on the event and its risks.

Some Concerned Residents at the Holman Church meeting

CoWatching Oil LA would like the site to shut down, but if FMOG does not move out, they are requesting that the oil company maintains a dialogue with neighbors and provides them with information about activity on the Murphy Drill site via regular, public meetings, websites and bulletin boards that inform and address community concerns. The group also requests FMOG provides air emissions, water safety, and contingency plan reports in addition to transparency about the government entities that have received funding from Freeport. FMOG responded it is committed to engaging with all communities where it operates and contributing to local charitable programs. FMOG has complied with the more than 15 inspections in the past three weeks and no issues have been identified in the assessment of approximately 3,500 potential leak points, according to Myers. “The results of the recent inspections are the best proof that the site is being operated in proper compliance with the law and does not present any sort of risk to the community. “ The site, active as an oil production facility since the 1960s, has produced less than half of the oil that is available. The recent drilling was approved in 2007 and included consultation with the local neighborhood council, Myers said. The state is placing a greater emphasis on regulating these oil and gas production projects to ensure public safety. On January 1, the state Conservation Department established an emergency regulation that requires oil and gas operators to test the effects and notify the public before beginning an oil stimulation project. This is an interim rule until a more comprehensive Senate Bill 4 goes into effect in 2015 and requires operators to obtain a State permit before any well stimulation occurs. According to the Los Angeles Building and Safety website, the Murphy site has not gotten the L.A. building and safety permits required to do the work they are doing. FMOG, which operates five facilities in Los Angeles, including the Inglewood Oilfield in Baldwin Hills, has opened a 24-hour toll-free phone number for residents to log any complaints at (800) 766-4108. For a more detailed article read the excellent "West Adams Oil Blues" by Leslie Evans in collaboration with Michael Salman at

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EVE KEMP Continued from Page 20

TNN Tell me about what happened the other day. [Saturday, Jan.11] EVE: The uncle on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air passed. I had met really close friends of his the night before and it came to my attention that they were having an honorary memorial for the actor at the Nate Holden Theater. They said they were all going to be over here, including people like Queen Latifah. This was going to be a big event so I opened my doors, as I normally do on Saturday and by 2:00, there were literally 400 people [at the event] and the street was flooded and immediately after the memorial, people started to flood in here. Then across the road the fashion designer was casting for her show so all the casting people came over. Then 3 doors down a new gallery was opening. That event had been promoted by the guys in the building, who are from MOCA and LACMA. Then old friends came by because there had been a bunch of openings in Culver City and they were on their way to an opening in Chinatown and stopped here when they saw what was happening. TNN Wow! Very exciting. EVE: It was very exciting to see our blocks crowded, people walking, lights are lit up, everyone was lit up and it was a really wonderful Saturday. TNN When the artists move in things really start happening. Our community has been struggling to become a destination for people, not just a drive through community. So it's very exciting to hear about this event and this art community. Let me ask you a little bit about your art work. What's your background as an artist? EVE: Basically, I'm self-taught. My experience has been by travel and living in cultures. I used a lot of recycled materials. I began by taking nothing and turning it into something. A few years ago I met an art historian, John Onians a professor at the University of East Anglia in the UK, who wrote about my work and described it as human expressionism because what I paint is my everyday experience. I don’t document the bad of our society. I pretty much document what is a real experience for me. Every painting in here pretty much has a one-on-one real experience with my life . I'm a 21st century artist so I don’t have the experience of the cotton field. I don’t have the experience of slavery. I don’t have the experience of police pulling guns and throwing me on the ground, that’s not my life story. My life story is traveling to Europe with $9 in my pocket. My life story is being at peace with a tree as a kid that was my best friend, a tree in my backyard so I have a relationship to nature. Those are big parts of my story, real individuals, real living things. That’s where using recycled materials and things like that and actually living in cultures is an expression of my work. Sometimes it’s as a simple as a tree because that was the deepest experience of that time and I find it really important that no matter what I do as a painter I have some real experience in relation to it. TNN EVE:

no idea that painting would overtake my life as it has. When I discovered this, I was coming out of the music industry and it was a self-expression of writing poetry and drawing and painting. I can remember very clearly when I discovered a moment of, "Oh, hey. This is cool. This is something I could do when I'm 65," that was pretty much it. I had no other ambitions about it or what it might be. For me, painting became a life force. I learned along the way that wow it was less chaotic. I had more peace and clarity. I thought more about my community. I thought more about how I could help humanity when I painted and so that became a big part of life. I think art is really a healing. I have a true experience of a 15-year-old coming in here last week. She's come by a couple of times. She came in. She's very, very low and I said to her, "I know you've been dreaming of being an artist. Have you been painting," and she said, "No." I said, "Why not?" She said, "I'm really confused right now. I'm thinking about suicide." Then I sat down with her and I said, "Look, here's the first thing we need to do before we even have a word." I put out some envelopes, I put out some paint, I threw it on the floor and I said, "We're going to paint while we talk." She started to paint and we started to talk and I learned some of her life experience of this has been and issues in her life that have never been really dealt with. The parents just wanted to cover it. I said, "No. You have to learn how to express this and you can put it in your work." TNN: Have you seen her since? EVE: She's passed by here every day for the last couple of weeks, smiling and telling me about the new painting she has done and the things she's doing. To me that’s why I'm here. I believe that’s why we're here, I do. Some of us, we forget that but at the end of the day the artists are here to liberate, to tell people to show them the freedom and the hope of tomorrow. Everything that I do now here, my doors are being opened, are for the community to dream again. I go out, I sweep the roads, I pick up the trash. I painted this building white. Everybody told me, "What are you doing?" I put flowers around the edges of it. You see it all around the building. They said, "They're going to kill those flowers." Guess what, my building is not tagged. It's white. I said, "I don’t care. If they tag it, I'll repaint it," but nobody is tagging my building. Nobody is killing the flowers. To see more of Eve's work go to or

How long have you been painting? Right now, I could say it's been about 22 years. I had

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February/March 2014




portion with mixed greens and veggies. The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) became my favorite for several weekends, once again stuffed with veggie chicken, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato and a special sauce that tipped the scale from ‘mmmmmmm’ to ‘deeeeeeeliCIOUS!” Except for the “chicken” (which they marinate), they make all their own veggie meats including bacon, chorizo, sausage and even tuna.” 4222 West Pico Blvd. 90019 (just west of Crenshaw) (323) 931-4034 Fax: (323) 931-4036, Monday – Saturday 6a. –10p, Sunday 8a. – 9p. They Deliver! (within 2 miles)

Salads are surprise combinations like the cole-dorf, a delicious combination of a coleslaw and Waldorf salad or orrechiette with butternut squash and goat cheese. How about a basil-infused Limeade drink? If you love quiche…run don’t walk to Grocerie, sit and order. The BEST quiche I have ever tasted. That day the quiche was huge, moist, light and frothy, with roquefort cheese, small bits of mushroom and leeks and a perfectly flaky light crust. 1107 S. La Brea 90019, Parking in lot off Edgemont 323.934.9403 Tues-Sat 9:30a -6p Closed Saturday and Sunday

Mondo Taco

The Normandie Bakery - Vivé La France!

"Craving a Southern BBQ chicken taco? Check. Moroccan lamb with chimichurri sauce? Check. India-inspired coconut shrimp with a curry sauce? Check. Tempura fish, grilled shrimp, short ribs, pulled pork? Check, check, check, check. Soyrizo, tempeh and other vegetarian options? Of course. " 1292 S. La Brea 90019 (323) 939-0161 M.-F. 11a. to 9p.

Mariscos "El Gringo" "The bowl of avocado, tomatoes, onion and cilantro had just the right amount of tart, spicy and fresh and I polished it off by the time my main meal, the Camarones Gringos, arrived. Served on a large square platter, I knew I would not be hungry when I finished. The plate contained lightly shredded red cabbage topped with croutons and drizzled with a very delicious homemade sesame dressing all sitting next to slices of cucumber and tomato topped with avocado slices, a small bowl of tasty dip made from blending salsa, mayonnaise and few other ingredients, a compact mound of white rice all in a big wrap of foil. I opened it up to a steaming mixture of flayed open shrimps, potatoes, red peppers and onions in a flavorful broth that I sopped up with the rice." 373-9727 Tue-Sun 11a -11p. 4229 W. Washington Blvd., Ste. 104 (corner of Crenshaw Ave.)

Vien Cafe “We started with shrimp and fresh vegetable spring rolls delicately wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper. We followed it with Banh Xeo, a crepe made from mung bean and coconut batter filled with chicken, shrimp, sauteed onions and wrapped around bean sprouts. Helen showed us how to take portions of the crepe, wrap them in the lettuce and mint and dip in the sour dipping sauce. Soooo good! I followed this with the simple classic hearty Pho Tai, a delicious beef broth with rice noodles and slivers of rare steak, while my dining partner went with the Vegetarian Pho, rice noodles served in a vegetable broth and loaded with strips of fried tofu, black mushrooms and carrots, garnished with green onions, bean sprouts, jalapeno peppers, lime and aromatic Vietnamese basil.” 6118 West Pico Blvd. (323) 651-2888, Sun.-Thurs. 11:30a–10 p; Fri.&Sat 11:30a – 11p; closed Mondays.

"The menu was extensive, very affordable and choosing was difficult. There was French onion soup and escargot, chicken mint salad, quiches, blood sausage with eggs, omelettes with names like Campagnarde and Macrocaine. My mouth watered over the descriptions of the Gratin Dauphines (slices of layered potatoes made with cream and cheese) and the smoked salmon plate." 3022 S. Cochran Ave. 90016 (at Jefferson). 323.939.5528 Mon-Fri 7a–5p; Sat. 7a-4p; Sunday Brunch 8a-3p.

The Cork Bar and Grill "The popular fish tacos did not disappoint, offering a burst of satisfying flavors. They recently introduced their first-time appetizer menu featuring Louisiana style dirty rice and Jupiter’s stuffed avocado. Some of the more popular drinks are the Cadillac Margarita and the Long Island Ice Tea (sip at your own risk)." – even better, stop and go 4771 West Adams Blvd. 12p.-1a. 90016 (323) 731-2030

Jacks N Joe "The incredibly delicious pancakes ($6.75) have names like Hula Girl (pineapple topped with coconut), Ruby Belle (cinammon apples, pecans and brown butter sugar), WTF? (crazy shaped pancakes with sweetened cream cheese and seasonal berries) and Totally L.A. (thin pancakes with fresh fruit and sweet lemon butter). You can choose from an assortment of omelets with names like Maui Wowie (portuguese sausage and spam) and Adams N Fig (special JNJ potatoes, bacon, sausage and jack cheese)." 2498 S Figueroa St 90007 West Adam’s community on Figueroa just ½ block north of Adams in a little side mall) 213-748-4565 Mon-Fri.- 7a-2:30p Sat.-Sun.- 8a-3:30p

Pips Pizza, Pasta and Salad "The alfredo sauce was delicious, perfectly creamy, noodles al dente with large, flaky, generous salmon pieces. My friend ordered salmon laid on top of a salad filled with a variety of leaves, feta, vegetables and a great seasoned house dressing. It earned repeated exclamations of approval and “uncommonly good!” I ran into several locals including Johnny and Theresa Green, owners of Continued on next page


February/March 2014

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the Eureka Cafe. Theresa ordered the house specialty Pesto Pizza and had great praise for the thin crust, balanced combination of pesto, garlic and tomatoes and an inventive addition of sliced almonds." 1356 S. La Brea Ave. 323-954-7477 Tuesday: 5p- 12a Wednesday: 5p - 12a. Thursday: 5p - 1:30a. Friday: 5p - 1:30a Saturday: 5p - 1:30a. Sunday: 11a - 4p 4 Stars on Yelp

beans, rice, vegetables, fried plantains and a simple dumpling sort of item that could become quite addictive. Natraliart’s seasoning enhances the food without overpowering it and the plantains weren’t greasy but plump and fresh which is just how a fried plantain should be cooked.” 3426 W. Washington Blvd., a few blocks west of Arlington at 6th Tuesday through Saturday, 11a - 9p

Vees Café

Pamore Pizza (formerly Pronto Pizza)

"The paninis are especially scrumptious - fresh bread that is grilled to make it crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The tastily rich Caprese Grill, like the un-grilled Caprese Sandwich, is full of fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil, and perfect tomatoes. For a spicier kick, the Spicy Chicken Panini has a yummy homemade jalapeno dressing, avocado, provolone, lettuce, and tomato. There are more traditional options like tuna salad or turkey melt as well. And every sandwich comes with a side salad." 5418 W. Adams Blvd. 90016 (323) 931-8337 M-F 6a-9p, Sat-Sun 7a-7p

Chulada Grill Hard and soft shell tacos, burritos, tortas, quesadillas, salads, enchiladas, soups, combination plates, wraps, even hamburgers. Beer, wine, margaritas. I took a friend who’s sick of heavy Mexican food and he was delighted with the light, healthy food choices, like fish tacos. Truly something for all tastes. 5607 San Vicente 90019, corner of Hauser (323) 954-7570, Open every day, 9a - 5p

Palm Grove “I took a friend who had eaten in Ethiopia with an honest-toGod Ethiopian princess. She thought the cuisine was very tasty, authentic and, most importantly, less expensive than the Ethiopian restaurants on Fairfax. I recommend the vegetarian or chicken/beef sampler platters. The hors d’oeuvres and desserts were delicious, too. Check out the $12 Sunday lunch buffet and the Ethiopian coffee and tea. Yay! Another affordable, informal, interesting restaurant in our neighborhood! Support it!” Southwest corner mall at Washington Blvd. and Western Avenue. (323) 730-0094 11:30a.-9:30p except Mondays.

El Porvenir “After wrestling with their generous menu, I finally settled for sweet corn tamales with cream and cheese ($4.99), cactus with scrambled eggs ($4.99) and a fresh squeezed beet, celery and carrot juice ($4.00). The juice arrived first. They have single servings ($3) of mango, strawberry, cantaloupe, banana, papaya or combinations ($4) of celery with orange and pineapple or strawberry, banana and orange or orange and carrot and more. Fresh, all natural and incredibly satisfying, I almost drained the whole glass with the first sip.” 2273 W. Washington 2 blks west of Western 323.735.6323 Monday-Friday 7:30a.-6:00p. Saturday 8a-6p Closed Sunday

“We ordered a veggie pizza and hung out talking to Derek, the owner, and in just minutes, were presented with a big fragrant box, weighed down with more pizza than we could shovel in for dinner. The mushrooms, peppers, onions, olives and tomatoes were bursting with freshness. The cheese was delicious, but the crust blew me away! Beautiful chewiness with light crusty edges and a soft interior. This is what real dough made into real pizza is meant to be. We tried to be virtuous, but this pie made me want to wolf down the whole thing! You can go crazy at Pronto, add garlic sauce, meat, and even nibble on cheese bread or chicken wings while you’re waiting.” 2190 W Washington Blvd 90018 (s.e. corner Western), Mon-Wed 10a.-11p. Thurs 10a -10p. Fri-Sun 10a. -11p. (323) 766-8868

Kaboom "Chicken, Beef, Goat, Oxtail, Vegetarian, Shrimp, Fish. Sticking to traditional Curry Goat proved to be a great recommendation when I received a very fragrant mound of rice and peas, steamed cabbage and fried plantain slices sidelining the saucy entree. With most dishes coming in small and large, the “small” was more than enough for my late dinner. The extremely tender chunks of goat meat are seasoned in sinus-clearing Indian curry and flavorful herbs and spices. My companion’s Jerk Salmon was piled high with a steamed fusion of diced veggies and rubbed with spices that complemented the mouth watering flaky filet. Apparently no first-time Jamaican food experience is complete without some callaloo on the side and I couldn’t get enough spoonfuls of the buttery, steamed leaf vegetable over my rice and peas. The beverage list is flush with Jamaican options, such as Pink Milk, June Plum and Baba Roots." Kaboom Jamaican Flavor, 4641 W. Washington Blvd., (east of Rimpau) 90016, (310) 710-0038. call for hours

Ch e ck o u t o u r Ne w We bsi te ! w w w.t h e ne ighb or h o o dne ws on li ne .ne t Follow us on twitter @midcityla_tnn or

Natiliart “I took my dinner to go, got home and found a fresh and perfectly cooked red snapper (head on) with a generous portion of red

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Answer to Riddle: Envelope February/March 2014



UNNC - UNNC continues to be a strong advocate for the community in UNNC tackling Zoning and Planning issues and engaging our community on such issues as: - Actively involved with CD 10 and the Planning Dept. regarding the West Adams Baldwin Hills Leimert Park Community Plan Revision and reaching out to our community to become involved. MINC - Garage problem on La Brea & 20th/21st - instrumental in keeping on top of this issue w/ CD-10 - Cal Trans cleanup along the freeway entrances in MINC - after years of work with CD-10 - Crosswalk at La Cienega and Alvira in Arts District - got this installed. - West Blvd. speed sign - got this installed - Signal at Marvin & Washington - got this installed - Vigilant re: marijuana dispensaries in the neighborhood - Increased LAPD awareness of fireworks issue in Mid-City OPNC Vicente where we greeted the bikers and runners as they came down Venice to our hub station. They were greeted with food, music and a bike repair post. It was a great partnership for health in the community. - Community Grant to “ECO-LOGICAL ART” PROJECT FOR THE KIDS - This grant has allowed intercity kids to interact with professionals to create art freely, in a controlled environment for free. Community Grant to the WILSHIRE POLICE DEPARTMENT This grant was to help upgraded the department aged break room. When completed, OPNC break room will be its official name.

If you would like to get your own copy of TNN on your computer and if you want to get all of our eblasts (community events, business offers, story updates, community alerts) when it first comes out, just email us and put INCLUDE ME in the subject line or JUST MAGAZINE if you just want to receive a desktop copy. Or call us and leave your email 323.871.8580


February/March 2014

COMMUNAL LIVING Cont. from Pg. 19

Other residents of the house arrived by way of mutual friends or Craigslist postings. Sarah, a campaign coordinator with Mercy for Animals, originally lived in a different intentional community but found herself spending a lot of time at Synchronicity. Within two months, she’d taken a vacant spot in a shared room. “[The other house] wasn’t as intentional or organized,” she said. “One person seemed to be making the decisions and just letting people know. Here, we have goals for what we want this space to be. We want to be hospitable, share with each other, and have space to be creative.” To help meet these goals, the house holds communal dinners Monday through Thursday, and the residents take turns cooking. Visitors are always welcome, and there are usually one or more guests in the spare room known as the hospitality room. There is no fee to stay overnight. Instead, guests are asked to contribute to the house in a nonmonetary way. “We call it an energy exchange,” Ryan explained. Cooking dinner is a common form of payment, but some guests think bigger. The dining room table was an energy exchange project – a hulking, rectangular thing that seats more than a dozen people. The guest who built it spent days salvaging, cutting and staining the wood. Another project was the backyard solar-heated shower, made so residents could rinse off before jumping into the hot tub. Other backyard fixtures include a serious bike collection, an outdoor lounge area, and a well-equipped art studio. Through the room with sewing tools and an editing bay is a music room and fully functioning recording booth. This studio is where Synchronicity’s salons – monthly art nights – were held, before the audience got too big and the event was moved to the living room. “Salons began as a few people sharing incomplete works,” Ryan said. “The event gives us incentive to express ourselves, and that is a huge centerpiece of this house – to keep creating. Over time, the salons have evolved into more of an open-mic event. There are more people, so it’s less intimate and less of an environment where someone vulnerable can share something incomplete. That’s a struggle we’ve had.” Challenges are bound to arise in any house, but consistent systems and structures keep Synchronicity running smoothly most of the time. Residents pay $400 a month for rent, plus an additional $100 for community fees that cover food, utilities, Internet and creative project subsidies. Household duties, from grocery shopping to turning off lights, are assigned to those best suited for the work. There’s even a resident beer czar, responsible for keeping the fridge fully stocked with beer. Besides sharing chores, residents maintain open communication lines through weekly meetings and check-ins. “In 10 months living here, I don’t think I’ve been pissed at anyone,” Sarah said over dinner. “That’s unheard of – I’m always

w w w.t h e ne ighb or h o o dne t

mad at people. But here, anything that could be a big deal is never a big deal because we talk about it.” The roommates also follow one important rule: All changes in the house must be agreed upon. That’s not always easy in a family of 12. The latest complicated negotiation surrounded buying a Christmas tree. “A simple idea like that can lead to a multi-day, multi-email discussion,” Ryan said. “Is buying a tree the most environmentally friendly option? Do we want a tree that can be replanted? How about no tree at all? That process requires patience. That’s part of what it takes for 12 people to live in harmony.” Ryan can recall only one time when the house couldn’t overcome a problem – last year, when a roommate struggling with the consensus model was asked to move out. It was the only time in the house’s history that someone had been asked to leave. “The person ended up causing a lot of hurt in the house,” Ryan said. “The whole process was hard and emotionally draining. But following that, multiple amazing people came in. There was this burst of love and energy.” For Synchronicity’s residents, the benefits that come with living with so many friends – constant support, after-dinner conversations about viral videos and beer – outweigh the obstacles. Ryan imagines that even when he has a family and owns property, he’s likely to share the land with others. “We all have unique interests – some of us even have opposing interests,” Sarah said. “But overall, that’s a strength of our house. We all add to the mix. And having a plate saved for you at dinner? That’s one of the best things ever.” The owners of the house, Steve Wallis and Eileen Ehmann, also live on Westmoreland Boulevard, and they believe Synchronicity LA plays an integral role in the transitional neighborhood. “They bring a vibrancy to the street,” said Wallis. “When I first moved here, all the people who could contribute positively to the neighborhood seemed to stay indoors. Now Sychronicity and other communities like it put their energy out. Some neighbors may not know the intentional communities by name – they just call them ‘the kids’ – but they speak about them with smiles on their faces. It’s wonderful to see how other people react to their presence.” In March, Synchronicity will have housed the same 12 residents for a full year – a record since its inception. To find out more, visit, attend a salon, or reach out to the residents and attend a communal dinner. You can also check out the short documentary video about them at Note: Synchronicity L.A. and four other intentional communities in Harvard Heights form a loose-knit community known as the BLVD Collective. Members strive to meet once a month to get to know one another and to organize community projects. One of those projects, bringing more attention to a struggling local restaurant, was featured in the 2013 December issue of TNN.

The Neighborhood News Community Distribution Sites WHERE CAN I GET A COPY!? WASHINGTON BLVD. BLU ELEFANT COFFEE Washington and Harvard PAMORE PIZZA 2910 W. Washington (s.e. corner Western) WASHINGTON IRVING LIBRARY 4117 W. Washington (e. of Crenshaw) MARISCO RESTAURANT. N.W. corner of Washington/Crenshaw EBONY REPERTORY THEATRE 4718 W.Washington (e. of Rimpau) KABOOM RESTAURANT 4641 W. Washington VENICE WILSHIRE POLICE STATION 4861 W. Venice (e. of La Brea) MIDTOWN COFFEE KIOSK in Midtown Shopping Center PICO TOM BRADLEY FAMILY CENTER 5213 W. Pico (e. of Cochran) CJ’s RESTAURANT 5501 W. Pico (w. of Hauser) PINKY ROSE BOUTIQUE 5730 W. Pico (e. of Hauser) CULTURAL INTERIORS 5406 W. Pico. (next to Sky Taco E. of Hauser) MY 2 CENTS 5583 Pico (w. of Hauser) CORDIALLY INVITED 5571 W. Pico (w. of Hauser) RALPH’S (Pico and Farifax) PAPER OR PLASTIC 5772 W. Pico (e. of Fairfax) ADAMS VEES CAFÉ

5418 W Adams Blvd (w. of La Brea)

LA BREA MONDO TACO 1292 S. La Brea (corner of San Vicente) LIBRARIES WASHINGTON IRVING LIBRARY 4117 W. Washington (e. of Crenshaw) BALDWIN HILLS BRANCH LIBRARY (2906 S. La Brea s. of Adams) MEMORIAL BRANCH LIBRARY (4625 W. Olympic. E. of Rimpau) Plus 10-11,000 on resident doorsteps. If you would like to get your own copy on your computer when it first comes out, just email us and put INCLUDE ME in the subject line if you want to get all of our eblasts (community events, business offers, story updates, community alerts) or JUST MAGAZINE if you just want to receive a desktop copy when it comes out. Or call us and leave your email address. 323.871.8580

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February/March 2014



“We discovered three restaurants and Amazing Grace Conservatory for our daughter within your pages. Keep it pushin!” Cozette Lyons Jones & Noel Jones

80% of surveyed readers used one or more advertisers. 13 - 14,000 copies on doorsteps, in libraries, restaurants, etc. $25 EMAIL BLASTS TO OVER 500 REGISTERED READERS. Free to Print Advertisers


Tnn Issue#34 Feb/March 2014  

CoWatching Oil LA - Residents rally against local drilling. All our local restaurant reviews, Eye On Councilman Herb Wesson, Artist Eve Kem...

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