Tag Archive for: echo park improvement association

The Echo Park Improvement Association (EPIA) is hosting a forum for candidates running for neighborhood council positions on Thursday, October 4, 2012. The forum takes place during the EPIA’s regularly scheduled town hall meeting at 7:00 pm in Williams Hall, Barlow Hospital.

The Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council (GEPENC) elections are just around the corner, on Saturday, October 6 (at the Edendale Library from 10am-2pm). This is your opportunity to hear directly from the candidates as they seek your vote to represent you in the neighborhood council. All positions are up for grabs, including all the board positions (President, VP, etc.) and District Representatives.

Click here to view the candidates who have filed, their statements, and more information about the elections on the Empoyer LA website.

More coming soon about these GEPENC elections and why they’re important!

Imagine what it would be like if the 2 Freeway, right where it dumps onto Glendale Boulevard, were a smooth flow of traffic each day, from the freeway itself and down Glendale Boulevard. Exiting the freeway, cars would slowly make their way (at a reasonable speed) into Echo Park.

Sound wall mockup along Allessandro Street, via the "Green Echo Park" Facebook page

As if!

When they first started building the 2 Freeway way back in 1959, it was intended to continue all the way through Echo Park to the 101 Freeway. The community said no to extending the freeway, and the flyover that was initially supposed to be a temporary flyover remains today.

Unfortunately, there is an incredible amount of unplanned-for congestion. For decades now, Metro and community members, groups and activists have been planning and re-planning what to do with the SR2 Terminus. The Echo Park Community Action Committee (EPCAC) and the Echo Park Improvement Association have long been a part of the design process for the terminus, coordinating the council office, distributing petitions, and offering community-supported recommendations for the renovations.

However, last year Metro decided to go its own route with a “hybrid” design despite community opposition. The plan would remove all parking on the west side of Glendale Boulevard south, creating a big parking and access issue for businesses along that corridor. It’s also a silly proposition – existing no-parking restrictions during high-traffic times don’t solve the congestion problem.

The hybrid plan includes removing the left turn lane from the off-ramp on the east side of Glendale Boulevard, so no more access to Glendale Boulevard south from that ramp.

In case you’re not horrified enough, they are also proposing putting up a few sound walls, including around the St. Teresa of Avila school, and along Allesandro Street (pictured) – to the dismay of neighbors.

The bottom line is the project (the “hybrid” version) is not an improvement to what we have now.

Tonight, LA Metro will be the guest speaker at the Echo Park Improvement Association town hall meeting, hopefully providing the community with some updates since we last heard from them in 2011. This is an issue that affects all of Echo Park, so be there!

Echo Park Improvement Association town hall
Thursday, April 5 at 7:00 pm
Williams hall at Barlow Hospital (2000 Stadium Way)

How much do you love Echo Park? Bring a tee along and get it silk-screened on for everyone to see!

Echo Park resident Josh Post (also running for office in CD13, and is an EPIA committee member) is teaming up with The Warehouse LA and CD1 for a cleanup of Sunset Boulevard this Saturday, March 31, along the east end the community.

I’ll be there as well – helping make sure you supplies, breakfast, and a t-shirt before heading out to clean up the neighborhood! We’ll be covering Sunset Boulevard from Elysian Park Avenue to Beaudry Avenue – a much-neglected portion of Echo Park that could use a little trash cleanup, sidewalk improvement, and graffiti removal (provided by the CCAC). Meet up at The Warehouse for some morning goodies provided by local Echo Park businesses, bring your favorite light-colored tee to get our now infamous “I Heart Echo Park” logo printed on it.

Office of Ed Reyes, Council District 1, is provided trash bags and supplies, but we recommend dusting off those work gloves and bringing them along! Bring the kids, your neighbors, and friends.

Our last cleanup of Glendale Boulevard in November was a huge success, bringing out over 50 people from all over the community (including schools and churches). Come out and have some fun!

Sunset Boulevard cleanup
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Meet at The Warehouse LA at 9:00 am, located at 1197 W Sunset Boulevard
Bring a tshirt for silk-screening!

A Chango mural concept

One of the iconic symbols of Echo Park, and one that residents take a lot of pride in, are the colorful murals that decorate our streets. The Sunset Boulevard and Echo Park Avenue mural is one of the most iconic, but look around a little more and you’ll start to notice a myriad of new and old designs that give this neighborhood a colorful background.

Cock-fight mural. Flickr photo via Michael Taft

You may have noticed some changes happening at Chango, which is undergoing minor renovations under new ownership (Jenna Turner, who owns a Susina Bakery on Beverly Boulevard, and Fix Coffee owner Marc Gallucci). But the new owners weren’t prepared for the community’s reaction when they white-washed the property’s cock-fight themed mural. We’re glad they arrived at last night’s Echo Park Improvement Association’s Neighborhood Issues Committee meeting to address any concerns, and assure everyone that they didn’t mean to offend anyone by painting over the mural.

That corner has been through a couple of murals the past decade or so – first there was the more infamous painting of chickens by artist Aaron Donovan, a piece painted because of the corner’s “Chicken Corner” nickname. The original mural was removed when Chango put in windows at that wall. Then a few years ago, the cock-fighting themed mural took its place.

Jenna assured committee members last night that they did, indeed, get permission from the original muralist Richard Meinhardt via the new artist, by the name of Axis,  to remove the piece. Pictured above is a new concept (not the final, final one yet) the new owners designed for the new mural, but at the EPIA meeting said that they were open to including a chicken in there somewhere.

One mural that was saved, probably due to public outcry from coverage on news websites like The Eastsider LA, was the Logan Street mural decorating the former Pescado Mejodo restaurant. Senior Fish has been renovating the corner restaurant for quite some time now, but surprised residents when workers started sandblasting the mural.

Jesse Pimentel represented Senior Fish at the EPIA meeting, saying “We certainly didn’t intend to offend anyone.” Today they will have a retoucher, who has worked on the mural, bring back the mural to its state before the sandblasting began.

The lesson here is that Echo Park loves its murals, and there are many community resources like the EPIA if there are questions about the neighborhood murals. We have to give kudos to the recently opened Red Hill, which kept a colorful mural on the Montana side of its building even after a complete renovation.

As for Senior Fish opening, they are expecting a (hopefully successful) visit from the health department next week, and may open as early as one month from now. Chango is re-opening on Saturday, and will keep the same staff along with the menu.

The Echo Park Improvement Association is holding itss regularly scheduled Neighborhood Issues Committee meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, December 21). The agenda includes a presentation by representatives from 7-11, who were also present at the last committee meeting. They’ll likely be addressing the same concerns by the neighborhood, including parking, the beer and wine permit, and traffic, among other issues.

With an approval by the neighborhood council, and the corporation’s willingness to work with neighborhood organizations means our magic ball predicts 7-11 will get the space. We’ll see what happens with the vote by the city after the start of the new year.

Also on the agenda are the developers from the Morton Village project, which has been left uncompleted for quite some time now.

Echo Park Improvement Association Neighborhood Issues Committee meeting
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Williams Hall, Barlow Hospital, 2000 Stadium Way

Photo by Josh Post

The recent issue of EPIAn Ways (for which, for full disclosure, I am the editor) highlights a problem we’ve always noticed but didn’t think we could do anything about: The dilapidated state of a stretch of Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park.

Glendale Boulevard is a far cry from what it started out as – it was the site of our first film studio, where Red Cars once ran, and the main thoroughfare into Echo Park from neighborhoods and cities north of the ‘hood. Now it’s a freeway for commuters, peeling paint on buildings, chain-link fences, empty lots and “for rent” signs. Most probably don’t even notice great businesses on that part of Glendale Boulevard, such as the music space Bedrock Studios, and the soon-to-be home of Echo Country Outpost, let alone what Echo Park is like beyond the main street.

Thankfully, Echo Park resident Josh Post has not only taken notice, he’s doing something about it. In the EPIAn Ways article, he calls the area between Berkeley and Duane Street a “dead zone,” where “trash clutters sidewalks, graffiti adorns dilapidated/empty warehouses, overgrown empty lots sit litter-filled behind chain-linked fencing, and not one tree is planted along this four-block stretch. The area has become the antithesis of ‘urban renewal.'”

He started by getting together with the Echo Park Improvement Association about cleaning up Glendale Boulevard – the short term goal to clean up trash, remove graffiti, and improve sidewalks. The long term goal to get businesses along Glendale Boulevard to actively participate in keeping it clean, to plant trees and other decorative elements to revitalize the area. He even proposed having a silent movie theater to “pay homage to the corridor’s history” (we LOVE that idea!).

So what drove Josh to take action? “Echo Park is my home,” he said in an email. “I want the most visible part of this community to be more representative of the true beauty and character of the neighborhood. I quickly realized on my daily jogs down Glendale Boulevard that nothing is going to get done to improve this area unless we, as community members, take action.”


If you agree, spend some time with myself, the Echo Park Improvement Association, and other neighbors and activists in a truly grassroots effort to clean up Glendale Boulevard:

Echo Park Community Cleanup: Glendale Boulevard
Saturday, November 5, 2011
9:00 am – noon
Meet at 9:00 am at the Jack in the Box

Tonight is a very delicious meeting hosted by the Echo Park Improvement Association (which I am a member of) – it’s the annual potluck!

Bring your favorite dish and join us at Barlow Hospital in Williams Hall, 2000 Stadium Way at 7:00 pm tonight!

Last year’s Echo Park Night at Dodger Stadium (aka Community Night) was a lot of fun – we got to meet new friends who live in the community and watch a Dodgers game. This year’s community night is coming up fast – Saturday, May 28 at 7:10 pm.

Hosted by the Echo Park Improvement Association, Community Night is an annual tradition you shouldn’t miss out on! Plus, half of the proceeds to the Echo Park Historical Society to aid in the restoration of the Jensen’s Recreation Center sign.

Tickets are just $10 for reserve seats.

Click here to contact the EPIA to reserve your tickets, or email epiamail@yahoo.com. You can also call the message line at 877-860-EPIA.

Please provide your full name, phone number, email address, and the number of tickets you’d like to purchase. The EPIA will follow up with directions on how to pick up/receive your tickets.

See you there!

I am very much looking forward to the meeting/social/fundraiser/mixer tonight for the Echo Park Improvement Association (as a committee member, I’ve been involved in the organization and this event).

At this particular meeting, the EPIA will have representatives from CD1, CD13, and the Northeast and Rampart Divisions to provide updates on community issues. Oftentimes there will also be input from other community members for event announcements and other comments. In between those agenda items, there will be cocktails, raffles (lots of great stuff from local eateries and businesses), and other goodies. It’s a great way to get involved!

Hope to see you tonight at 7:00 pm at Taix!!