30745e.letter 2.23.2014 - Change is Inevitable
- Feb 23, 2014
February 23, 2014
From many years ago when the Greek Philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus said "The only thing that is constant is change" to more recently when John F. Kennedy proclaimed that "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future" the inevitability of change has been recognized. My life experience has taught me that it is true, everything is in a state of flux. I try to combine the inevitability of change with the wisdom of what is known as the Serenity Prayer.
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."
TERA has a long history of understanding that Eagle Rock is always evolving, never staying quite the same. TERA continues to work within the confines of what is possible, to support change that makes Eagle Rock a better place. For those who protest change, and there are many, I invite them to also become change-agents, and crusade for the changes in which they believe. If this newsletter proves anything, it is things are changing. Don't just sit in the bleachers criticizing those on the playing field. Become a player!
State of the Town
Recently the Annual State of the Town meeting was held by TERA. Although I cannot identify the exact date on which TERA began the annual State of the Town meetings, typically the most popular public meeting of the year, I am confident that TERA has been hosting these important meetings for over ten years. My brief opening comments reflected on TERA's role of routinely meeting with developers and would-be business owners and establish a position of support or opposition. Included in remarks were mention of a couple of new exciting business that will come soon to our community; Milkfarm - an artisan cheese shop on Colorado Boulevard and Max City BBQ to be located on Eagle Rock Boulevard, TERA loves great new businesses coming to town and was pleased to provide letters of support for both of the new businesses.
I hope to be able to share the presentation made by the Councilmember in the near future.
Preparation for the meeting caused me to more broadly reflect on the past year. One of the outstanding realities in Eagle Rock last year was the collaboration between several community groups working for common goals. Probably the strongest example was found in the joint efforts of TERA / Take Back the Boulevard, the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council and the Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful. I am hopeful that the camaraderie and shared visions for Eagle Rock will continue and grow in 2014.
2013 was a busy year for TERA's individual efforts as well. A paramount role for TERA is to make the community's voice heard when needed - especially in topics that include land use, new businesses and other quality of life issues. After being present in the community for over 25 years, and with a sizeable membership, TERA is able to impact outcomes because it is recognized as an important voice of the community. Some of items that kept TERA busy in 2013 included the following:
• New Small Lot Subdivision at 2224 - 2228 Yosemite Drive (New home owners will live on land that is currently a vacant lot and an adjacent empty home in poor repair)
• New 7 - 11 at Tonawanda and York / Requested a permit to sell Beer and Wine for off-site consumption / open 24 hours a day. (Opposed - residents opposed, many close-by locations selling alcohol)
• New Retail Building at Colorado & Eagle Vista (previously Sightwaves auto sound. (Supported - structure is almost complete, corner looks better than it has for decades.)
• New development at 5370 - 5382 North Mount Royal Drive: (Opposed - strongly opposed by adjacent residents)
• Four Café - Application for Beer & Wine license (Supported - This establishment has brought a welcome youthful vibrancy to the Boulevard)
• Presence of Digital Billboards in Eagle Rock: (Opposed)
• Vons - Redevelopment of Figueroa and LA Loma site: (Supported - Worked with Vons for three years to lobby for the improved project)
Eagle Rock Boulevard - Coming of Age
Early indications are that businesses will continue to be attracted to Eagle Rock this year. TERA has already met with another new business owner who would like to open a business on Eagle Rock Boulevard. More to come on the outcome of that dialog in a future issue. As has been previously mentioned in this newsletter, Eagle Rock Boulevard has an abundance of business properties that typically rent for considerably less than is required for a Colorado Boulevard location. My prediction is that we will continue to see the further growth of businesses on Eagle Rock Boulevard. Colorado Boulevard has received a wealth of attention recently, and we're not done. But it is time to recognize the importance of Eagle Rock Boulevard to our community as well. Thanks to the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council. Based on their efforts in the future, we may see Eagle Rock street banners on both Colorado and Eagle Rock Boulevards.
Classical Music in the Air
Classical music was in the air in Eagle Rock on a recent weekend. Saturday night (February 8) the Twentieth Century Women's Club of Eagle Rock held a fundraiser. The evening featured a performance by local concert pianist Carl Matthes. We were happy to be there and pleased to see that virtually every chair was filled. This structure is one of the primary architectural and historic treasures in our community. The club is in the process of raising money for much needed maintenance on the building.
Local classical music opportunities continued on Sunday. If you like classical music, enjoy high-quality live performances, prefer tickets that are under $30, free parking and for the performance to be within, at the most, three miles from your home, you either were at Occidental College - Thorne Hall on February 9, or you messed up. Once again the Santa Cecilia Orchestra led by Sonia Maria De Leόn de Vega delivered an incredible program that included selections written by Dvorάk, Mάrquez and Tchaikovsky. The conductor / director, Ms. De Leόn de Vega, always develops a program of extraordinary music that is often a blend of the familiar and the unfamiliar. Mexican and/or Hispanic composers are often part of the program and part of what is unfamiliar but always a pure delight to me. Standing ovations are not uncommon. In addition to the pleasure these performance bring, the Santa Cecilia orchestra and Ms. De Leόn de Vega strongly support a musical outreach to schools. The next concert is on April 6, 4PM at Thorne Hall for a little Mozart, Verdi, Bizet, Gounod and Beethoven. I cannot wait. Go to the http://www.scorchestra.org/ for more information.
The June 3rd primary will be here before we know it. Eagle Rock has a proud tradition of being unusually involved in the voting process. It is my fervent hope that once again, Eagle Rock voters will flock to the polls. But I also hope that we do the work to become informed voters and not make choices simply and solely based on the "D, R, or I" following the candidate's name. It's not too early to begin our homework. Partially a result of term limits, several key offices will be in play. The coming election has been characterized as "the biggest influx of newcomers to Los Angeles County government." Vote wisely!
Thanks to Ute de Lara / Montessori Schools
Eagle Rock was recently given a great gift by TERA member, Ute de Lara of the Eagle Rock Montessori Schools. The gift is especially important because it recognizes one of the aspects that diminish our neighborhood, billboards.
Fewer billboards in Eagle Rock would be a great gift. However, the reality of asking a property owner to discontinue a contract for a billboard is usually the same as asking the property owner to not charge rent from some portion of their property. Property owners derive income from billboards; income which is sometimes considerable. Therefore, it is understandable when a property owner declines to consider eliminating the billboard. Many thanks to Ute de Lara and Montessori Schools for making the decision to not renew the billboard contract part of the rehabilitation plan for their property on the south side of Colorado. The billboard will be removed in early March.
Don't Keep Your Garden a Secret
The planning for TERA's 2014 fundraiser is progressing well under the leadership of Board Member, Michelle Espinosa Coulter. The event, which will be loosely based on a traditional garden tour, has taken an interesting turn. As we have searched for gardens that could be considered for the event, we have stumbled on many garden surprises in our community. Nontraditional gardens, gardens in highly unusual locations, gardens that no one would have suspected exist have come to our attention.
All of this does not mean that we aren't interested in your garden. If you have a garden that is your pride and joy, please consider supporting TERA by sharing your agricultural gem with others in Eagle Rock. Contact Michelle at mecoulter@... and make her know about your garden.
Do it Now:
Did you know that TERA members make public meetings, such as the recent State of Town meeting possible? It is through their membership support that we are able to cover the typical meeting expense of approximately $500. If you are one of the many newsletter readers who is not a member, I hope you will consider joining TERA at this time. If you would like a membership packet mailed to you send an email to Marina Rimer, our membership coordinator (membership@...). Otherwise, please go to our website at http://www.tera90041.org/join_tera_or_renew_using_paypal0.aspx and join using PayPal. Become a member now!
As always, a huge THANKS to all the TERA members who make TERA's efforts possible.
Bob Gotham, President
In This Issue
Become a Member
Land Use Update
Take Back the Boulevard Update
More About TERA
Subscribe to the TERA e.letter
Visit the e.letter archives
Visit the TERA website
Become a Member
Membership Has Benefits! Discounts are available for TERA Members at participating merchants (see list below.) Look for the TERA Membership Decals at merchant locations. Just show your active membership card. Click on http://www.tera90041.org to see the member benefits offered by each merchant. If you are a merchant and would like to participate in this program, which includes free advertising in the e.letter, please email us at president@....
* Animal Health Care Center
* La Fuente
* Armon's Restaurant
& Coffee Shop * Leanna Lin's Wonderland
* Auntie Em's Kitchen
* Letters from LA
* Bellissimo Cafe
* The Loft Hair Lounge
* Camilo's California Bistro
* Media Noche
* Capri Italian Restaurant
* Mission Property Services
* Coffee Table
* Old 55
* Colorado Wine Co.
* Owl Talk
* Sir Michael's Party Rentals & Limousine Service
* Danny Reyes CPA
* Dave's Chillin and Grillin
* Eagle Rock Music Studio
* The Eagle's Nest
* XTC Gym
* Four Café
Support TERA - Become a Member: Join now at http://www.tera90041.org. Memberships begin at only $15.
Land Use Update
Dog Park: TERA has provided a statement supporting those who are working for the addition of a dog park to our community. TERA's letter of support said "Dogs play an important role in the lives of many Eagle Rockers, including several TERA Board members. Dog parks not only improve the quality of life for our pets, but the parks provide a special opportunity for community building among dog owners." For those who also share the hope that Eagle Rock dogs can enjoy a greater sense of canine community go to and express your support.
5370 & 5382 Mount Royal Hillside Development: As has been previously communicated, responding to wide-spread and strong community opposition, TERA has written to the City Planning Department and the Council Office opposing this project. Based on information recently received, it appears that the Los Angeles City Planning Department Hearing will not be scheduled until June. TERA is prepared to speak at the Hearing if needed.
Take Back the Boulevard Update
Los Angeles - Great Streets Initiative
With these introductory words, Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the great Streets Initiative:
"Los Angeles must carefully consider how to leverage and invest our scarce resources, and we must strategically coordinate our investments in a manner that has the most meaningful impact on the City and its residents. Our street network stretches 6,500 centerline miles, making it the largest municipal street system in the United States. As the City's largest public space asset, covering approximately 13% of our land area, streets reflect and drive the economic and social vibrancy of our neighborhoods. Accordingly, I am launching the City of Los Angeles Great Streets Initiative. This Initiative will focus on developing Great Streets that activate the public realm, provide economic revitalization, and support great neighborhoods Goals."
TBTB's long term goal to implement medians on Colorado Boulevard between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Sierra Villa Drive is fully in synch with the Mayor's Great Streets city-wide program. Over and over Eagle Rockers have understood the benefits of medians when they have campaigned for better maintenance of the existing Colorado Boulevard medians east of Eagle Rock Boulevard. New medians west of Eagle Rock Boulevard will offer safety benefits including traffic calming and more pedestrian crossing refuge areas. The varied and attractive shopping alternatives found east of Eagle Rock Boulevard is more likely to spread to the west as the Boulevard is made more pedestrian friendly.
The hope for new medians, which was included in José Huizar's address at the recent State of the Town meeting, is an expensive goal. The estimated cost of a new median is $1,000 per foot, well above $100,000 per block. TBTB will send an appeal to the Great Streets Initiative requesting that our goal be included in those financially supported in 2015. It is hoped that the comprehensive vision plan that is already developed will provide a compelling argument for including our community in the 2015 funding approvals.
Caltech- Occidental Orchestra - March 1 & 2 (Concerts are free)
Saturday March 1st at 7:30 pm - Occidental's Thorne Hall 1600 Campus Road, Eagle Rock. (323) 259-2785
Sunday March 2nd 3:30 pm - Caltech
Ramo Auditorium. 332 S. Michigan Avenue, Pasadena. (626) 395-3295
The Caltech-Occidental Symphony Orchestra, under the musical direction of conductor Allen Robert Gross, continues its 2013-2014 season.
• Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue, featuring soloist Jonathan Joo
• Haydn - Cello Concerto in C Major, featuring soloist Justin Choi
• Shostakovich - Symphony No. 5
Peace Walk - March 29
Eagle Rock Neighborhood (ERNC) Election - Saturday, April 26
Saturday, April 26, 10AM - 4PM, we will once again elect representatives to the ERNC. It seem as if it was just yesterday that I was at a meeting at Greater Los Angeles Association for Deafness (GLAD), with the candidates for the ERNC on the stage, sharing with the audience their vision for the future of Eagle Rock. Our current ERNC is one of the strongest and most dedicated groups I have seen in years.
An important aspect of the first term experience is the learning factor. The better understanding of how to accomplish goals in spite of the complexity of how business is done within the City environment is unfortunately lost when members leave. My hope is that many members will stay on, providing the continuity and insight that is so valuable. Historically many members do not run for a second term. This is your opportunity to get involved and make a difference. The deadline for expressing interest in running for a seat on the ERNC is March 12. The latest election news is available at www.ernc.la. Any questions - send an email to: info@...
TERA could not exist without the generous support of its members. Thank you to all listed below as new members or those who have renewed their memberships.
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TERA, The Eagle Rock Association | | president@... | http://TERA90041.org
PO Box 41453
Eagle Rock, CA 90041
TERA, The Eagle Rock Association | PO Box 41453 | Eagle Rock | CA | 90041