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John Marshall High School Considering Name Change

(LOS FELIZ) John Marshall High School (JMHS) is considering changing its name following other schools in California that have done so to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement by no longer using names related to slavery and racism. According to Dr. Gary Garcia, John Marshall’s principal, the process whether or not to make the change will take time, but if accepted by the community, the school could have a new name in the next few months. “The district has a process that we need to fo

Halloween 2020: Not Cancelled, But Different | Los Feliz Ledger

With Halloween falling on a Saturday and a full blue moon this year, haunting hopes were high until the COVID-19 pandemic hit the six-month mark, taking traditional Halloween activities off the table. But thanks to a bit of creativity and modern technology, all hope is not lost. Here are some coronavirus-compliant events guaranteed to be as safe as they are spooky: While Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights 2020 was cancelled—and along with it, a highly anticipated Stranger Things themed

L.A.’s Rank as #1 for Closures Seen Locally

Los Angeles tops all major cities in the United States for business closures since the pandemic began in March, according to a Yelp study released in September. Per Yelp’s data, Los Angeles has had 7,500 permanent business closures from March 1, 2020 through August 31, 2020, followed by New York City with 7,100. San Francisco ranks third with 2,900. California also tops the list for state closures, with 19,200—more than double the next reporting state, Texas, which has just under 9,000. Certa

[Small Business During Coronavirus] Smile + Wonder Preschool and Speech Therapy Center

On the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Vendome Street, a purple elephant sits atop a circular rainbow, making bubbles with his trunk. Behind him is a galaxy of shapes, motifs and colors, with cubism-inspired clouds scattered here and there. The mural adorns the side of Smile + Wonder, a preschool and pediatric speech therapy center that has been a source of adventure for children since it opened in 2017—even if those adventures look a bit different now due to COVID-19. When the pandemic starte

Arson Suspected in Los Feliz Fire

LOS FELIZ/SILVER LAKE—Two fires broke out in as many days on a one-block stretch of Riverside Drive, including one this morning near the Mulholland Fountain and a recently opened “Bridge Home” homeless shelter. According to a Fire Dept. employee at the scene, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not an authorized spokesperson, a man who is believed to have started this morning’s fire was taken into custody this afternoon for arson. Paul Breakfield, who lives in a home overlooking the

Lax Enforcement Makes Berendo St. “A Living Hell”

LOS FELIZ—A group of about two dozen Berendo Street residents have asked city officials to declare a “local emergency” in response to a growing homeless encampment they say has turned their street into a “living hell.” The encampment sprang up next to the now-vacant site of the Steve Allen Theater, which was torn down in 2017 to make way for a condo development. But construction on that project never began and what was once a sprinkling of tents, has now “morphed into a colony of violent transi

New Taix Design Rankles Locals

ECHO PARK—As plans to build a 6-story apartment complex on the site of Sunset Boulevard’s 93-year-old Taix restaurant move forward, locals are up in arms, while the restaurant’s owner says it’s the only way to keep his business afloat. According to owner Mike Taix, as less space was being used in the sprawling eatery and costs became too high for him to keep up, he sold the property to a developer to save his business. “Lunch is dead, people no longer use the meeting rooms, the banquet halls,

Some Say Encampment Spiraling Violently Out of Control

LOS FELIZ—Stabbing, assault, drug-dealing and vandalized property have become commonplace on Lyman Place and Berendo Street as homeless encampments in the area over the past few months have become the epicenter of an organized-crime group, forcing residents to move out of fear for their lives and their belongings, according to residents. One female Lyman Place resident, who did not want to give her name, said she was threatened with rape. Another male resident said he was attacked on June 4th

Marshall Honors Graduating Seniors With Car Parade

LOS FELIZ–For three hours today, the streets surrounding John Marshall High School’s campus buzzed with graduates dressed in robes and caps, wearing all their honors and distinctions. Next to decorated cars, parents and friends cheered them on. While Marshall graduates, like all Los Angeles Unified School District schools had a virtual graduation ceremony and a virtual prom organized by the school district, Marshall staff wanted to do more to celebrate their class of 2020. The school’s quad be

Local High Schooler Leads “Students for Floyd” Protest in Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD– A group of about 1,500 students led by the student body president of Los Feliz high school Immaculate Heart were among more than 4,000 protesters demonstrating today at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street to protest the murder of George Floyd by police during an arrest in Minneapolis. Shortly after noon, the gathering had split into two marches of at least several hundred people, both still peaceful. One group marched to Las Palmas and turned south, while another

Re-Opened Trails Worry Beachwood Residents

Things seemed to be calming down in Beachwood Canyon—once a quiet neighborhood nestled beneath the Hollywood Sign in Griffith Park, until the advent of GPS-enabled phones brought a crush of tourists to the area—thanks to hiking trail closures in March and April due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to local residents, the closures brought a temporary reprieve, restoring the area to its pre-smartphone calm—but that peace was short lived, as the city’s May 9th reopening of public hiking trai

Summer Camp Still on for Some, Others Opt to Close

With a COVID-19 vaccine at least a year and a half away, if scientists are able to make one at all, and several recent incidents of youth Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome linked to the coronavirus, many summer schools and camps have been cancelled, while others will look significantly different than they did last year. At a May 22nd briefing, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said guidelines for reopening schools and summer camps were pending, though such had not yet been released at press time. “

Keeping the Faith, With Fewer Worshippers

Local places of worship are preparing to reopen at 25% capacity as early as June 3rd after the county yesterday adopted state guidelines for resuming services safely. According to Mary Hickey, the office manager at Our Mother Of Good Counsel, a Catholic Church at the corner of Vermont and Ambrose avenues, the church has been busy preparing for an eventual safe reopening since March. “We’ve been preparing for reopening since we closed. We are going to remove song books, tape-mark the six-foot d

[Small Businesses in the Age of Coronavirus] BlueCollar Working Dog

(ECHO PARK) What started in January as a food pantry for pet owners in need of some help, has transformed in the last few months into a community necessity for many BlueCollar regulars. But due to COVID-19, the store now struggles to obtain free food to help these who need it the most. The store, on Glendale Boulevard, offers training and equipment of all sorts for working canines as and regular old housedogs. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon had already started to cut into their sal

While Some Local Restaurants Plan for Reduced Dine-In Service, Others Say It’s a Non-Starter

While some local restaurants have begun planning to reopen for dine-in service at a reduced capacity as coronavirus restrictions start to loosen, others say they are firmly against it, citing financial and safety concerns. According to Rockwell Table and Stage owner Wayne Elias, he plans to reopen the Los Feliz eatery’s patio at a reduced capacity once it is allowed. What that will look like depends on the city’s guidelines, he said. “We will be opening once we have the green light,” said Elia

Coronavirus Outbreaks Hit Six Local Nursing Homes

Six local nursing homes or long-term care facilities had COVID-19 outbreaks in April, totaling 264 cases and 20 deaths at press time according to data from the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health and all have had prior safety violations according to Medicare records. East Hollywood’s Brier Oak on Sunset Boulevard had the highest number of cases in the area, in part, because, authorities there say they have tested all residents and staff. Three patients at the facility have died to date wh

Low Local Vax Rates Cause COVID Concerns

With researchers working around the clock to fast-track a vaccine for the novel coronavirus—and the majority of public health experts saying the development of such is essential to the resumption of normal life—previous reports of low immunization rates among some local schools have raised concerns about whether anti-vaccine sentiment could hurt efforts to reach so-called “herd immunity” to the virus. After a Los Angeles County measles outbreak last fall shone a spotlight on the dangers of vacc

[Small Business in the Age of Coronavirus] PostalWorks

A few months shy of its 22-year anniversary, PostalWorks in Silver Lake is now more likely to get customers seeking face masks and hand sanitizer than postage stamps and packing tape. But adapting to change is nothing new for the shipping supply store, whose unassuming white and yellow sign belies an unexpected neighborhood hub for local artists and writers. For more than two decades, PostalWorks has grown and changed along with the neighborhood, becoming a hidden gem at the busy intersection of

Some Local Restaurants Soldier On Amid Coronavirus Challenges, While Others Shut Their Doors

The local restaurant landscape continues to change amid the coronavirus pandemic and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s mid-March Safer at Home order, as some eateries that were open for takeout have closed, others have reopened, and all are trying to weather the financial storm while keeping their employees safe. Hillhurst Avenue’s Alcove, a local favorite for al fresco brunch, has been closed since March 15th, opting to temporarily shut their doors rather than offering takeout or delivery as o
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