Three Little Birds float designed by Mike Mera of Eagle Rock-based Mera Group marketing consultants | Photo by Joseph Ruiz

Editor’s Notebook January 2019

2019 Editions Editors Notebook January

Eagle Rock Consultant Wins Award for Rose Parade Float Design

Congratulations go to Mike Mera of the Eagle Rock-based Mera Group marketing consultants for designing an award winning float in the Rose Parade this year.  Mike designed the “Three Little Birds” float which captured the Mayor Award for the most outstanding float by a participating city (South Pasadena).  Mera Group also designed the memorabilia button for the 2018 Eagle Rock “Shop Small” event. (Photo by Dick Lem)


Fun things to do, important things to know, ways to get involved and events to put on your calendar.

Holiday Spirit in the New Year 

The most dramatic holiday attractions near Northeast Los Angeles remain open until Jan. 6.  So, there’s still time to visit “L.A. Zoo Lights” at Griffith Park (tickets are $11 to $21.95 for adults; $11 to $16.95 for children /; “Moonlight Forest” at the L.A. County Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Arcadia ($20 to $25 / (; and “Enchanted: Forest of Light” at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada ($28 to $30 for non-members /( Check the websites to buy tickets and confirm times before heading out.

Little Masters on Display

The Little Masters Exhibition at Center for the Arts Eagle Rock (CFAER) showcases art by participants in Imagine Studio!, the center’s after-school arts enrichment program for elementary and middle school students. The exhibition’s unique drawings, paintings, sculptures and mixed media attest to a striking abundance of talent. In 2019, the exhibition runs Monday through Friday, Jan. 2 to Jan. 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. CFAER / 2225 Colorado Blvd.

Eat Out More in January 

From Jan. 11 to Jan. 25, hundreds of restaurants in L.A. will participate in Dine L.A., an event by the L.A. Tourism and Convention Board to showcase L.A. as a premier dining destination. Participating restaurants will offer special menus for a fixed price, generally $39 for a multicourse dinner. Participants in NELA include Red Herring in Eagle Rock (1661 Colorado Blvd. / 323-739-0004), Café Birdie in Highland Park (5631 N. Figueroa St. / 323-739-6928) and Checker Hall in Highland Park (104 N. Avenue 56 / 323-509-7416).

Donate to the Homeless 

The Northeast L.A. Blanket Drive will take place on Saturday, Jan. 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Eagle Rock City Hall (2035 Colorado Blvd.). Clothes and toiletries are also needed.

All items will go to Recycled Resources for the Homeless, which runs drop-in centers in NELA where homeless people can access food, clothing, showers, laundry and other services.

Recycled Resources also operates “Casa de Clarke,” a six-month program to help selected groups of homeless people transition to permanent housing.

The annual Northeast L.A. Blanket Drive is sponsored by Council District 14 and the NELA Homeless Coalition, a group of community leaders and residents, businesses, nonprofits and faith-based organizations. If you can’t make it on Jan. 12, you can drop off items at the Eagle Rock City Hall on Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Learn Something New: Blacksmithing 

Adam’s Forge, a local nonprofit dedicated to teaching children and adults the craft of blacksmithing, will hold its Second Annual Forge Festival on Sunday, Feb. 10 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Audubon Center in Debs Park in Montecito Heights.

The festival – the Forge’s only annual fundraiser – will include blacksmithing demonstrations, musical performances and a marketplace for artisans to display and sell metal works and crafts.

There will also be instruction and practice in how to throw a tomahawk. Admission is free for children ages 12 and under; $25 for teens and adults. 

Adam’s Forge also offers blacksmithing classes at its site in Glassell Park at 2640 N. San Fernando Rd. For information on classes, visit: or call 323-303-4522.

EXPLORE L.A on the Cheap

The LA Natural History Museum

Checking out books is only one way to use your Los Angeles Public Library card. “Explore L.A.,” a new partnership between the library’s Discover and Go program and 18 cultural institutions, lets you use your library card to get free or discounted passes to top museums and other venues, including Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena, the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum on Wilshire Blvd’s Miracle Mile, the L.A. Zoo in Griffith Park and LA Plaza de Culturas y Artes in downtown L.A.

Each month, the participating organizations make a certain number of Explore L.A. passes available. Passes can be reserved, on a first-come, first-served basis, by entering your valid library card credentials at Each month, the supply of passes is replenished. Visit the site to see the full list of participating venues and rules on how to reserve your passes.


Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

Enrollment is now open at Buchanan Street Elementary School in Highland Park for “Expanded Transitional Kindergarten,” a free, full-day preschool program for children who will turn five between Dec. 2, 2018 and July 30, 2019 and enter kindergarten in Sept. 2019.

To get your child’s name on the enrollment list, call the school at 323-255-7118. In March, 2019, the school will send applications to families of children that meet the age requirement. The program starts in August of 2019. Buchanan Street School is at 5024 Buchanan Street (at N. Avenue 50).

Create More Public Space 

The L.A. Department of Transportation is taking applications now through Jan. 22 from community groups for the next round of funding in the “People Street Program,” an initiative to turn unused space in a neighborhood into parklets or plazas. (The York Boulevard Parklet at Avenue 50, completed in 2018, was a People Street project.)

Money is available to pay for one project in each City Council District, so Northeast L.A., which includes CD 1 and CD 14, could get up to two new public spaces. To get a project off the ground, interested residents should talk to their neighbors, neighborhood councils, chambers of commerce and other community groups.

There is no set limit to the amount of money that can be awarded to a project. For more information: visit

Become a Capital Fellow


If you are a college graduate (or will be by Sept. 1, 2019) and have a demonstrated interest in public policy-making, you can apply for a position in the 2019-2020 Capital Fellows Program, a paid fellowship ($2,698 per month) in state government in Sacramento.

The fellowships vary in length from 11 to 13 months, beginning in September for fellowships in the judicial branch and October for fellowships in the state legislature and the Governor’s office.In the 2016-2017 group of Capital Fellows, one was from Highland Park and one from Eagle Rock. In the 2018-2019 group, one of the fellows is from Boyle Heights.

More details and the application are at: The deadline for applications is Monday, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m.