Kaya McLean - Actor, 3rd Grader at Dahlia Heights Elementary, making debut with LA's Kentwood Players.

Editor’s Notebook: February, 2020 – fun things to do, important things to know, ways to get involved and events to put on your calendar

2020 Editions Editors Notebook February


  • Kaya McLean, an 8-year old 3rd grader at Dahlia Heights Elementary in Eagle Rock, recently made her debut with the Kentwood Players, playing Lily in a production of The Giver. The production, which opened the Kentwood Players’ 70th season, marks Kaya’s first appearance on stage in a non-children’s theatre production.

It’s not the first time, however, that Kaya has won the admiration of Eagle Rock. In 2011, the year she was born, Kaya was the Centennial Baby in Eagle Rock’s centennial parade.

Performances of The Giver are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. through February 22.

Kaya will appear in all performances except February 14-16. / Westchester Playhouse / 8301 Hindry Avenue / L.A. / Tickets $22, with a $2 discount for seniors, students and service members. / For tickets, call 310-645-5156 or visit: boxoffice@kentwoodplayers.org.

Yorkdale Elementary in Highland Park and Rockdale Visual and Performing Arts Magnet in Eagle Rock were recently named as “California Distinguished Schools” by the state Department of Education.

The designation recognizes outstanding educational programs and practices, success in closing the achievement gap between student groups and exceptional student performance.

Yorkdale and Rockdale are among 39 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and 323 schools statewide to earn the designation.

As California Distinguished schools, Yorkdale and Rockdale are now in the running for a national ‘Distinguished School’ award which goes to schools that have excelled at improving education for all students through skillful and creative use of federal funds from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Oscar Season

KPCC In Person will hold its 18th annual Oscar preview event on Sunday, February 2, a week before the Oscars.

The event is a lively discussion moderated by Air Talk radio host Larry Mantle and featuring eight popular film critics who divulge, debate and defend their Oscar picks. / The Theater at Ace Hotel / 929 S. Broadway / Downtown / 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Doors open at 10 a.m.) / $12 to $15 / For more information and to buy tickets, visit: scpr.org/events

The museum at FIDM (which stands for “Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising”) will display its gorgeous collection of costumes nominated for Best Costume Design.

The exhibition also includes displays that honor Oscar-winning costume designers and explore the craft of costume design.

One not-to-be-missed display shows Ruth Carter’s groundbreaking Black Panther costumes.

FIDM Musuem / 919 S. Grand Avenue / Downtown / Tuesday through Saturday, February 4 to March 21 / 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. / Free

School Programs

In the Los Angeles Unified School District, children can attend their neighborhood school of residence or apply to public schools within the district that offer specialized programs in addition to the regular curriculum.

Specialized programs include Magnet schools that emphasize a particular academic discipline, Dual Language Education programs and Schools for Advanced Studies for gifted students. There are also single-gender schools and schools that offer concurrent college enrollment.

For the 2020/2021 school year, the late application period for admission to a specialized public school starts on February 3. For more information, visit: eChoices.lausd.net

Judson International School in Eagle Rock will host a STEM Fair on Thursday, February 13 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Exhibitors include local after-school STEM programs such as Barnabas Robotics, STEM World, Kumon Math and Learning as well as K-12 student STEM demonstrations.

The public is welcome. Dinner is available for purchase beginning at 5:30 p.m. / 1495 Colorado Boulevard / For more information, call 323 768-0900 or visit www.judsonschool.org.

Wine in L.A: A Rich History

The Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society will host a presentation by Stuart Douglass Byles, author of “Los Angeles Wine: A History from the Mission Era to the Present” on Tuesday, February 18 at 7 p.m. at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock (2225 Colorado Blvd).

Byles has traced L.A.’s wine history to the late 18th century, when Spanish missionaries harvested the first vintage at Mission San Juan and established enormous vineyards at Mission San Gabriel.

By 1848, L.A. had 100 vineyards, an industry that came to include vintners in the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys, Anaheim, Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula Valley and Malibu.

The presentation is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Tea, Friendship and Civic Purpose

The Eagle Rock Women’s Twentieth Century Club will hold its annual Founder’s Day Friendship Tea on Saturday, February 29 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. A light lunch will be served and there will be a short presentation of the club’s history and its civic and charitable accomplishments.

Anyone interested in joining the club is encouraged to attend. Tickets are $15 in advance at wtcc-er.org; $20 at the door, if space is available. RSVP by Saturday February 22 at rsvpwtcc@gmail.com or by calling 323-243-9868.

If you would like to decorate a table for eight, contact eaglerockwomensclub@gmail.com. / The Women’s Twentieth Century Club / 5105 Hermosa Avenue



Eat Out More Often

CaCao Mexicatessen in Eagle Rock is one of the top 10 restaurants for mole in Los Angeles, according to Patricia Escárcega, the L.A. Times food critic. In a recent article, Escárcega praised two “excellent moles” at the Mexican café: a tangy, refreshing verde made with tomatillo and nuts and a dark, slightly sweet Mission fig mole made with dried and fresh figs.

Escárcega also devoted an entire article to mole-making tips from Christy Lujan, the chef at CaCao Mexicatessen, including a recipe adaptation of Lujan’s fig mole. CaCao Mexicatessen / 1576 Colorado Boulevard / Eagle Rock / 323- 478-2791/cacaodeli.com