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VIDEO: LAPD's Mark Allen Talks Crime in Garvanza

Check out news and notes from Wednesday evening's Garvanza Improvement Association Meeting.

The Garvanza Improvement Association has been active in the community for years, but it wasn't until Wednesday evening that their held the first ever public meeting at Luther Burbank Middle School. 

"I used to hold neighborhood watch meetings at my house, and this was a way to get everybody together," Rivas said.

Wednesday evening's meeting focused on public safety, with Los Angeles Police Department Northeast Senior Lead Officer Mark Allen breaking down crime statistics in the neighborhood over the last six months.

Property Crime:

Allen said the most prevalent type of crime in Garvanza was property crime. He said the most effective measures to prevent that type of crime was for people to not leave their valuables in plain sight in their cars, and to install alarms in their homes that will alert neighbors in the case of a break-in.

Homelessness:

Among the community concerns among Garvanza residents, according to GIA Co-President Tina Gulotta-Miller, was a perceived increase in panhandling, drug dealing and drug use among homeless people around the Rite-Aid, 99-Cents Only Store and public sidewalks.

Allen said that many of the homeless people in Highland Park grew up in the neighborhood, and have declined services outside of the area.

"They don't want to go, and we can't force them," Allen said.

As far as the concerns around the 99-Cents Only Store and Rite-Aid, Allen said those were privately owned properties and that it was up to the owners to address panhandling and drug use.

"If the owner tells you to go pound sand, then he's not doing his job," Allen said.

Allen said that LAPD Northeast has been struggling for years to curb drug dealing and drug use in the Rite-Aid parking lot, including encouraging the owners to install a rolling fence around the large and often unused segment of its rear parking lot and sending a security guard to patrol the lot.

"We are not going to move this mountain ourselves," he said. "We have to move the mountain as a community."

Street Safety:

Community members raised concerns about safety at the intersection of York Boulevard and Avenue 63, where motorists are notorious for failing to stop for pedestrians.

Council District 14 Field Representative said he was aware of the community concerns about the crosswalk, and had even witnessed an accident first hand. However, he said it was unlikely a speed bump would be installed in the area due to the city's budgetary restrictions.

Holiday Events:

LAPD Northeast will hold a holiday toy drive at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15. Anyone who wants to receive a toy through the drive, or knows someone who would like to receive one, is asked to call LAPD Northeast at 323-344-5701.

710 Town Halls:

Metro and Caltrans will host a series of town halls in January to dicuss SR-710 extension route alternatives.

Those alternatives include:

  • No Build
  • Transportation System/Transportation Demand Management
  • Bus Rapid Transit
  • Light Rail Transit
  • Freeway Tunnel

The meetings are scheduled for:

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013
6-8pm
Maranatha High School
169 South Saint John Av
Pasadena, CA 91105

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013
6-8pm
San Marino Community Church
1750 Virginia Rd
San Marino, CA 91108

Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013
9-11 am
Cal State Los Angeles

Golden Eagle Building – Ballroom
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032

The MOG December 08, 2012 at 07:15 AM
I attended the City Coalition Of Churches today, at one of the Stadium Club Suites at Dodger Stadium. (VERY nice venue,btw!) Capt. Murphy recieved our 2012 Leadership Award. My friend Bishop Cruver, of The Pillar Of Fire Church, and I discussed the GIA Meeting Agenda. I reported that I was pleased that SLO Allen's approach seemed to be one of common sense, & compassion. In a private conversation with Mrs. Rivas (by coincidence she actually lives in the house my Great Aunt onced owned) she expressed that she, too, "has nothing against" the Homeless. As far as drugs, I suggested she follow the heavy cloud of smoke hanging over the skate park. She concurred. As far as Rite-AID is concerned, how many were aware that this corner of the lot has been rife with drug dealing "for years"? I didn't either... It's pretty hard to imagine an area so out in the open, being used as a shooting gallery. However, Charles Miller's wife, Tina, asserted that she collected 16 hyperdermic needles and a dz used condoms in that lot... the only thing I can conclude is that someone has been parking there late at night. Because the only thing that goes down in that lot during the day, is beer drinking. Far away from Rite Aids Entrance, and thier customer lot. I also wondered why Rebecca Prine was not in attendence. Niether was Pastor Rudy, who serves the weekly homeless lunch, at the old Church Of The Nazerine. Rudy told me that he was not informed, and was unable to attend due to a prior commitment...
The MOG December 08, 2012 at 07:23 AM
I must say, I was mildly amused in the way SLO Allen explained that 63 & Fig. was a major highway, with the 134 to the North, the Arroyo Seco to the East, and South, that there is liable to be some traffic. Tina Miller made the point that the proposed 710 project is technicly an extention of an EXISTING Highway. Even though Highland Park people may not view scenic Ave. 64 as a Highway.

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