Streetcar Route Moving into Environmental Stage
The Downtown Los Angeles Streetcar project is taking another significant step forward by concluding its Federal Transit Authority (FTA)-required Alternatives Analysis (AA) process. The formal report on the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) was received by Metro this week and means the Streetcar route can now begin its environmental process, which is expected to take nine to 12 months.
The LPA selected – referred to as Alternative 7 – was the highest scoring of all routes considered. The selected route proceeds south on Broadway from 1st Street to 11th Street, west to Figueroa Street, north to 7th Street, east to Hill Street, and north, terminating at 1st Street. The route would also include the ability to travel up 1st Street and into Bunker Hill on Grand Avenue as funding becomes available.
A variation on this route, which travels east on 9th instead of 7th, is also being considered as part of the environmental review. CRA/LA funded the environmental efforts and the related consultant work performed by HDR, Inc.
Check out the LAist story here.
Broadway’s Hollywood Comeback
With a slate of recent Broadway announcements, such as the Ace Hotel’s purchase of the United Artist Theatre, Tarina Tarantino’s Sparkle Factory, and Figaro Bistro opening soon, The Hollywood Reporter did a two-page layout linking Broadway’s entertainment past to its present and acknowledging that like many great stars, Broadway is definitely making a comeback.
Read Hollywood Reporter Story here.
Also, check out:
Umamicatessen and SiLo Vodka and Slider Bar New In Downtown L.A.
L.A. Brewing Company Opens
Eagle Rock Students First to Enjoy Free Metro Student Field Trips
As a member of the Metro Board, Councilmember Huizar voted to support Mayor Villaraigosa’s plan to offer school children free public transportation for field trips to 18 locations throughout Los Angeles County. The program kicked off recently with students from Eagle Rock Elementary School visiting Chinatown via Metro bus line and the Gold Line light rail system. Councilmember Huizar expanded this idea last year when the Metro board supported his plan to help the Girls Scouts of America by offering free Metro public transportation for their annual "Girltopia" event at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
For information on signing up your school for Metro’s free Student Field Trip program visit metro.net/about/metro-student-field-trip/ or Contact Jacqueline Martinez, Transit Education Programs, at (213) 922-4050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the Eagle Rock Patch.com story here.
Restoring Estrada Court Murals and LA's History
Ernesto De La Loza recently restored his "Organic Stimulus" mural at Estrada Courts in Boyle Heights with the help and support of the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA). Estrada Courts is home to dozens upon dozens of historically, culturally and artistically important murals and helped put Los Angeles on the map as the “Mural Capital of the World.”
Councilmember Huizar joined a “who’s who” of the Chicano Mural Movement from the last 40 years at a recent Estrada Court dedication and vowed to do all he could to help restore other murals at Estrada Courts so this important artistic history can live on.
Councilmember Huizar is also working with MCLA, artists, the LA Conservancy and the Planning Department on a new mural ordinance so Los Angeles can regain its rightful place as the Mural Capital of the World.
Read TheEastsiderLA story here.
Garvanza Park Reopens with Area’s 1st Stormwater Capture Facility
& New Exercise Equipment
Councilmember José Huizar and Garvanza and Highland Park community members joined city officials and North East Trees to celebrate the completion of stormwater infrastructure and park enhancements at Garvanza Park. The $3.8 million underground stormwater system diverts runoff from entering the nearby Arroyo Seco and drains the water, cleanses it of trash, oil and other pollutants, and stores it in two detention tanks with a combined capacity of 1 million gallons per rain event.
As he did in 2007 to help build the Garvanza Skate Park, Councilmember Huizar championed additional resources to enhance the improvements to the Garvanza Park greenscape – this time identifying funds for the installation of new outdoor exercise equipment to help promote fitness in the Garvanza, Highland Park community. Councilmember Huizar has installed similar equipment in numerous parks in his district, with plans on adding more.
Read Highland Park-Mt.Washington Patch.com story here.
Council Supports Huizar’s Proposal to Support Historic Preservation
The City Council unanimously showed its support recently for historic preservation as it adopted Councilmember Huizar’s legislation to raise the cap for the Mills Act, providing tax relief for preservation of historic properties, which can cost considerably more to restore than non-historic properties. The Mills Act is an important tool in restoring historic properties in Downtown and designated historic zones like Highland Park and Garvanza.
Read earlier Downtown News Story here.
Arts District Medallions Beautify & Identity Area
Councilmember José Huizar joined the Arts District Business Improvement District (BID) as they hosted an unveiling of 39 beautiful public medallions marking the Arts District as a distinctive neighborhood.
The project is part of the BID’s Public Art Medallion Project, featuring a series of colorful aluminum medallions that will provide a block-by-block trail for visitors to reflect the 60-block area as it was in the 1850s, as if seen through an opening of the 1930s-era Fourth Street Bridge.
Designed by local artist Valerie Mitchell, the Medallion Project will bring a welcomed aesthetic and a sense of identity to the Arts District by clearly and artistically marking its borders. A big congratulations to the Arts District BID and Valerie Mitchell on this fantastic project.
Read blogdowntown post here.
New Industrial Trucks Reduce Pollution by 97 Percent
Utilizing a program through the AQMD and Environmental Protection Agency, the Ace Beverage plant in Boyle Heights unveiled 25 new green trucks that will reduce its trucks’ pollution in Boyle Heights by 97 percent.
As part of Councilmember Huizar’s Clean Up Green Up campaign, which aims to create green opportunities for businesses in heavy industrial areas such as Boyle Heights, the Councilmember is hoping to create policy that can create similar results on a wider scale throughout the City.
Celebrating the Chinese American Museum’s 11th Annual Lantern Festival
Councilmember Huizar and his family recently enjoyed the festivities at the El Pueblo Historic Monument marking the Chinese American Museum's 11th Annual Lantern Festival.
The Lantern Festival is a Chinese tradition going back more than 2,000 years and is marked by participants celebrating by lighting lanterns with riddles on them and honoring their ancestors. Councilmember Huizar encourages all Angelenos to visit the Chinese American Museum at El Pueblo to learn and appreciate the history of Chinese Americans in the City of Los Angeles.
State of Hermon is Great
Touting the lowest crime statistics in all of Hollenbeck Division and collaboration on community projects such as improvements at Hermon Dog Park, Councilmember Huizar recently gave a “State of the Town” speech in the Hermon community.
While Hermon is a relatively small community, its residents are incredibly active and involved in community issues and regularly work with Councilmember Huizar and his office on addressing the community’s needs.
Beautiful New Boyle Heights Apartment Complex Instills Pride in Residents
Boyle Heights is now home to the Lorena Heights Apartment complex – a beautiful new $40-million affordable housing complex supported by Councilmember Huizar, which is sure to instill pride in all who will live there.
In addition to the 112 apartment units offering two and three bedroom units for working families, property highlights include a picnic area, playground, a subterranean parking garage, and a community recreation center that features the restored façade of a historic church that once occupied the site.
The Michaels Organization and its non-profit development partner LINC Housing collaborated in building the new units with support from Councilmember Huizar’s office.
5th Annual Senior Snowball Dance Honors Seniors
Well over 500 seniors from all over CD 14 enjoyed a great lunch, a dance with live music and a free prize winning raffle – all to show Councilmember Huizar's appreciation to our seniors, including veterans, for all the sacrifices they have made. A big thank you to all our sponsors and the CD 14 staff for their generosity and hard work in making this annual tradition a great success.
Check out KPCC blogpost with photos here.
Photo by Corey Bridwell/KPCC
Councilmember Supports Reducing Alcohol Use in Boyle Heights
Councilmember Huizar strongly supports the Boyle Heights Coalition for a Safe & Drug Free Community’s efforts to reduce alcohol-related uses in Boyle Heights. The coalition issued a study last week funded by Congressmember Lucille Roybal Allard’s office, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the number of alcohol-use locations in Boyle Heights.
Councilmember Huizar called the study a “call to action” and has vowed to work with the coalition and other community stakeholders on solutions to reduce the overall numbers of alcohol uses in Boyle Heights.
Due to poor planning in decades past and loopholes in state law, the community has an over-abundance of alcohol-related locations, particularly liquor stores.
While largely regulated through the state’s California Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) liquor license program, Councilmember Huizar has sought to limit the amount of new liquor licenses granted in Boyle Heights by opposing a strong majority of those requests that come before him.
To file specific complaints or violations against a liquor-use location, please notify the California Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) office at (562) 924-2827, or via email at: CEO.Direct@abc.ca.gov.