Boyle Heights News Roundup: Car Thefts, Graduations, UCLA Studies

Theodore Roosevelt High School Students at the Shrine Auditorium for their graduation. Photo from Mariana Ramirez

There’s been graduations, rise in car thefts, and new research that has come out recently about Boyle Heights. So let’s get to it.

Rise in Car Theft

Car theft has been an issue lately in Boyle Heights.  Grand theft auto is up 43 percent in the Hollenbeck Division, which includes Boyle Heights, compared to last year, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Police report many of the stolen cars that are found are unscathed, leading them to believe that some people steal cars as a form of transportation.

Boyle Heights Beat reported  that between the beginning of the month and May 18th there were 26 auto thefts and eight burglaries from vehicles in Boyle Heights alone. Some of the highest rates of incidents occurred along the Lorena corridor between 1st and 6th streets in Boyle Heights.

Anyone with information about an incident can call LAPD Hollenbeck Station at (323) 342-4140.

UCLA studies look at Boyle Heights Gang Boundaries, and Jewish History

A UCLA-led study published in this month’s Criminology showed how the boundaries of rival gangs in and surrounding Boyle Heights were the site of most gang-related crimes. Using an 80-year-old math model that would determine the hunting range of competing animals, the social science researchers were able to see that deep within gang territory was not as dangerous as the borders of rival gangs, with the highest concentration of conflicts (58.2 percent) happneing within less than two blocks of the boundaries.

As part of a five-year study by UCLA researchers to map Jewish history in Los Angeles, one portion is looking at Boyle Heights through historical maps to see the neighborhood’s demographic change over time, the Jewish Journal reports. The project showed how in 1939, the area was redlined, a practice of designating an area as unfavorable to live in for factors such as low-income, high crime or the presence of minority groups. At the time, Boyle Heights had a demographic made up of  Eastern European Jews, Mexicans, Japanese, Greeks, Italians and Slavs. The “drill down” maps will be included in an exhibit in May 2013 at the Autry National Center.

Congrats grads: Boyle Heights Beat youth reporters reflect on their journalism experience and look toward the future

Boyle Heights Beat started roughly a year and a half ago, and now many of youth journalists have graduated and are headed to college. Whether it’s been looking at the volume of alcohol vendors in the neighborhood, explanatory articles about bike infrastructure, or the impact the economic recession has had on mariachis, the youth journalists at BHB, with the help of professional journalists, have led the way in starting this conversation about what the neighborhood is, and what its future will be.

Online editor Jessica Perez talked with the recent high school graduates about their experience at the paper, including Emmanuel Bravo, who graduated from the Mendez Learning Center. He explains how his experience at BHB made him care about what happens in Boyle Heights: “As a journalist, you analyze closely and learn a lot about what’s really going on in the real world, and the changes that come after it. I made many friends, acquired new skills, made close connections, and enjoy what I do. It’s very valuable to me because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to write about your community and you see things in your perspective and others.”

And to all Eastside high school graduates, congratulations on your achievement.

Weekend Activities

  • Proyecto Pastoral is hosting a fundraiser tonight, June 28, at Salon de la Plaza (1866 E 1st St, Los Angeles, California 90033-3411) to raise funds for school buses rentals for their summer field trips for youth. Click here for more information.
  • Proyecto Jardin is offering a two-day landscaping class this starting this saturday, June 30, where participants will build raising beds, and terraces using recycled concrete. Click here for more information.
  • Council member Jose Huizar and Casa 0101 Theater will host the 6th annual Boyle Heights concert and fireworks show at Hollenbeck Park. The concert will start at 4:30 p.m., and the firework show will start at 8:30 p.m. To check out the flyer, click here.