Melrose Action News

Multiple Sightings of Coyotes Roaming Wide Area, Neighbors Warned To Keep Pets Indoors.

In recent weeks there have been multiple reports of coyotes roaming area streets late at night.  From Plummer Park to Vista St, Willoughby, Gardner, Hampton, Sierra Bonita, Waring and many more.  Keep your pets indoors at night, if possible…

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Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch Meeting For October Set

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Earthquake! Are You Prepared?

Click or Tap Above Video To Watch A Short Reminder On Earthquake Safety
(https://youtu.be/h9hb0e-igTo)

Know your risk
What
An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated over a long time. Initial mild shaking may strengthen and become extremely violent within seconds. Additional earthquakes, called aftershocks, may follow the initial earthquake. Most are smaller than the initial earthquake but larger magnitude aftershocks also occur. Earthquakes may cause household items to become dangerous projectiles; cause buildings to move off foundations or collapse, damage utilities, roads and structures such as bridges and dams, or cause fires and explosions. They may also trigger landslides, avalanches, and tsunamis.

Where
All 50 states and 5 U.S. territories are at some risk for earthquakes. The risk is higher in identified seismic zones including the San Andreas Fault in California, the Cascadia Subduction Zone in western Oregon and Washington and Alaska, the New Madrid Fault Zone spanning areas in Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, and areas on the east coast including the mid-Atlantic, coastal South Carolina and New England..

When
Earthquakes can happen at any time of the year and occur without warning, although they usually last less than one minute. Aftershocks following the initial earthquake may occur for hours, days, or even months. Earthquakes cannot be predicted — although scientists are working on it!

Before An Earthquake
• Before an earthquake occurs, secure items that could fall or move and cause injuries or damage (e.g., bookshelves, mirrors, light fixtures, televisions, computers, hot water heaters. Move beds away from windows and secure any hanging items over beds, couches, cribs or other places people sit or lie.
• Practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On!”
• Plan and practice how to Drop to the ground, Cover your head and neck with your arms, and if a safer place is nearby that you can get to without exposing yourself to flying debris, crawl to it and Hold On to maintain cover.
• To react quickly you must practice often. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake.
• Store critical supplies (e.g., water, medication) and documents.
• Plan how you will communicate with family members, including multiple methods by making a family emergency communication plan.
• Consult a structural engineer to evaluate your home and ask about updates to strengthen areas that would be weak during an earthquake.When choosing your home or business to rent or buy, check if the building is earthquake resistant per local building codes.

During An Earthquake
If you are inside a building:
• Drop down onto your hands and knees so the earthquake doesn’t knock you down. Drop to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)
Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.
• If you are in danger from falling objects, and you can move safely, crawl for additional cover under a sturdy desk or table.
If no sturdy shelter is nearby, crawl away from windows, next to an interior wall.Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as light fixtures or furniture.
• Hold on to any sturdy covering so you can move with it until the shaking stops.
• Stay where you are until the shaking stops. Do not run outside. Do not get in a doorway as this does not provide protection from falling or flying objects, and you may not be able to remain standing.

If getting safely to the floor to take cover won’t be possible:
• If getting safely to the floor will be difficult, actions before an earthquake to secure or remove items that can fall or become projectiles should be a priority to create spaces..
• Identify an away from windows and objects that could fall on you. The Earthquake Country Alliance advises getting as low as possible to the floor. People who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices should lock their wheels, bend over, and remain seated until the shaking stops. Protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.

If you are in bed when you feel the shaking:
• If you are in bed: Stay there and Cover your head and neck with a pillow. At night, hazards and debris are difficult to see and avoid; attempts to move in the dark result in more injuries than remaining in bed.

If you are outside when you feel the shaking:
• If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires. Once in the open, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” Stay there until the shaking stops.

If you are in a moving vehicle when you feel the shaking:
• It is difficult to control a vehicle during the shaking. If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly and safely as possible and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
• Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that the earthquake may have damaged.

After an Earthquake
• When the shaking stops, look around. If the building is damaged and there is a clear path to safety, leave the building and go to an open space away from damaged areas.
• If you are trapped, do not move about or kick up dust.
• If you have a cell phone with you, use it to call or text for help. Keep a back up battery fully charged for your smart phone.
• Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle, if you have one, so that rescuers can locate you.
• Once safe, monitor local news reports via battery operated radio, TV, social media, and cell phone text alerts for emergency information and instructions.
• Check for injuries and provide assistance if you have training. Assist with rescues if you can do so safely.
• If you are near the coast, learn about tsunamis in your area. If you are in an area that may have tsunamis, when the shaking stops, walk inland and to higher ground immediately. Monitor official reports for more information on the area’s tsunami evacuation plans.
• Use extreme caution during post-disaster clean-up of buildings and around debris. Do not attempt to remove heavy debris by yourself. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, and sturdy, thick-soled shoes during clean-up.
• Be prepared to “Drop, Cover, and Hold on” in the likely event of aftershocks.

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UPDATED:: Coroners Report Released In 2016 West Hollywood Murder Case Involving Suspected Former Gardner St Homeowner

Originally Posted on May 27th 2016  – Melrose Neighbors Were Shocked To Learn Of Homeowners Possible Connection To (2016) West Hollywood Murder ABC7 EYEWITNESS NEWS REPORT POSTED ABOVE – CLICK OR TAP TO WATCH

UPDATE #2::  September 21, 2017  – L.A. Coroners Office Releases Report On Gruesome 2016 Murder of West Hollywood Woman, Suspect Is Former Homeowner of Melrose Village..

Back in May of 2016 news spread quickly that a homeowner from the 800 N. Block of Gardner St was arrested in connection to a grisly murder in West Hollywood. The incident occurred on Thursday May 26th, 2016 in a condo located on Holloway Dr.  30-year-old Iana Kasian was found dead inside. Her boyfriend at the time and father of her child, 35-year-old Blake Leibel, was arrested on suspicion of murder.

On May 31st 2016, Leibel, 35, was arraigned in a Los Angeles courtroom on charges of “murder, mayhem, aggravated mayhem and torture” after West Hollywood Sheriff’s Deputies discovered the wealthy Toronto native barricaded behind furniture and bedding at the murder scene with the corpse of his Ukrainian girlfriend, Iana Kasian inside.”Kasian was tortured and mutilated before she was killed and all of her blood was drained from her body,” the prosecutor’s office wrote in a statement.

Kasian’s mother Olga filed a $56 million wrongful death lawsuit against Leibel. She is now the guardian of Kasian and Leibel’s 1-year-old daughter.

Leibel is the author of a series of comic books, which he presented at Comic Con in New York in 2008. He is also the writer of the graphic novel “Syndrome” in which the book’s plot follows a rogue doctor’s quest to isolate the root of evil in the brain and fix it. Leibel had once worked alongside Hollywood legend Mel Brooks on an animated spinoff of the 1987 classic Spaceballs, but his career then took a few twists and turns. He co-authored a grisly graphic novel that explored “the root of all evil,” and wrote a screenplay about a serial killer called Psychopomp.

Leibel had for years been entangled in legal disputes with his estranged father, and repeated attempts to challenge his deceased mother’s will had apparently taken their toll. But these most recent, and dramatic, changes seemed to arrive out of the blue — and they were frightening.

According to the family friend, who has known Leibel and his ex-wife Amanda Braun for more than a dozen years, the director left Braun sometime in the summer of 2015 , then 38, when she was eight-and-a-half-months pregnant with their second child.

Within weeks, Leibel had filed for divorce, moved out of the couple’s Beverly Hills home and into a newly leased West Hollywood condominium on Holloway Dr and taken up with Kasian, a Ukrainian who, according to news reports, had studied law before coming to the United States. It was around that same time it appears that Leibel also bought a brand new home on Gardner St. in Melrose Village.

The Melrose Village Connection — Six days before the murder occurred — on May 20 2016, two-and-a-half weeks after the birth of his child with Kasian, police arrested Leibel on an unrelated charge of sexual assault that reportedly occurred on the 800 north block of Gardner St. against a third woman, whose name has not been released. He was released on $100,000 bail in that case just days before the murder. L.A. County records show that Leibel had purchased a home in the 800 block of Gardner St back in December of 2015 for $3.4 million. Soon after the home became the scene of repeated visits from the police and numerous complaints from neighbors of strange happenings and loud rooftop parties that would sometimes start at 2 a.m. A nuisance complaint was also filed with L.A. City attorneys office.

Apparently the Gardner home was put up for sale possibly by Leibels former wife Amanda Braun sometime in 2017 with records showing a sale closing in June of 2017 for $2.9 million, according to a search on real estate site Trulia.

In a 2016 article Leibel was also identified as an owner of a 6,143-square-foot mansion in Bel Air that Lady Gaga had leased at one time for $25,000 a month.

If convicted of first-degree murder and the special allegation charges make him eligible for the death penalty. Leibel, who is a son of a prominent Toronto real estate developer and former Olympian sailor named Lorne Leibel,

Location of 2016 Murder of Iana Kasian On Holloway Drive, West Hollywood

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Melrose Action Newsletter/Crime Report For 9/15/2017


In
 This September 15th 2017 Issue:  (Click or Tap Red Button To View)

•  Exclusive — Melrose Action Area Crime Blotter – Our Area’s Up-To-Date Crime Reports
•  Sign Up To Receive Our Weekly Newsletter/Crime Report
•  L.A.P.D. Latest Crime Map
•  Big Turnout for Coffee With A Cop At Starbucks!
•  Photos of The Park(ing) Day Cafe Event Hosted By Mid City West Community Council, the Melrose BID
•  Gnomes! Neighbors Share Their Positive Contributions To Our Neighborhood
•  At&t U-Verse Customers Experiencing Internet/Connectivity Issues
•  Keep An Eye On Crime – Crime Historically Trends Up In August and September
•  September is National Preparedness Month
•  City of Los Angeles Hosts Bulky Item Drop Off Locations This Weekend
•  Have You Seen This Woman?  Last Seen Nearly One Year Ago At Fairfax And Wilshire
•  Report Crimes Anonymously — L.A. CrimeStoppers
•  Lock It, Hide It, Keep It — LAPD Wilshire Says Recent Spikes In Thefts Are A Good
Reminder To Guard Your Valuables
•  Now on Facebook. Follow Us @melroseaction

CLICK OR TAP HERE TO READ LATEST NEWSLETTER/CRIME REPORT

We are launching a Private Security Patrol program for our area. It’s called MAPP. Details will be distributed shortly.

 

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UPDATED:: Suspect Arrested :: Apparent Stabbing/Homicide On 800 North Block of Fairfax Ave

 UPDATED #2 :: SUSPECT ARRESTED::

From LAPD Senior Lead Officer Inga Wecker 
“Last night there was a stabbing resulting in the death of a local transient. The suspect was also a transient. The motive for this homicide is till being investigated but I have received confirmation from the homicide detectives that an arrest has been made and the suspect has been booked into our jail.
Senior Lead Officer Inga Wecker
Wilshire Division 7A1
213-793-0708
*protected email*”

BREAKING:: UPDATE #1 Limited information…Yet another shocking incident tonight. Melrose Action hears that an area homicide occurred at 9:20 p.m. tonight (Saturday September 9th, 2017)… 9-1-1 operators got a call of an apparent assault with a deadly weapon on the west side of the 800 N. Block of Fairfax Avenue near busy restaurants. Victim appears to be a male, possibly–possibly a transient. A witness tells us that the victims articles were strewn on the sidewalk near the front of the new restaurant called Gesso that just opened a couple of weeks ago where PitfirePizza was located.. The victim was apparently severely cut towards the neck area and headed northbound on Fairfax and attempted to enter the Country Villa Convalescent Home at 855 N. Fairfax Ave (Click or Tap to Map it Here https://goo.gl/maps/ApHsimuw6Up). Sounds as if the person died at the door of that facility. Both directions of Fairfax were closed for a time. Southbound Fairfax at Willoughby will remain closed until the investigation is completed.  Both the Gesso Restaurant and The Fat Dog were forced to close early as a result of the incident.

UPDATE #1

The update we can add is that we are hearing the actual stabbing may, may have occurred in or near the west alleyway on 700 N. block of Fairfax…It’s more likely as of today the victim was a transient but not confirmed. Confirmed is that victim did succumb to his wounds at the front door of the Country Villa Convalescent Home. Apparently they did not let the victim inside fearing for their safety and that of their patients.

Scene at 855 N. Fairfax Avenue after apparent stabbing along the 800 N. block of Fairfax at around 9:20 p.m. Click or Tap Above Image To Enlarge

 

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Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch Meeting Yields New Information, Updates To Recent Crimes, New Concerns

Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch held it’s September Meeting on Crime at Poinsettia Park Wednesday evening. About 75 neighbors attended. Guests included our L.A.P.D. Captain Anthony Oddo, L.A.P.D. Burglary Detective Joe Alvez, a Sergeant from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, L.A.P.D. Wilshire Community Relations Sergeant A.J. Kirby, L.A. Council member Paul Koretz’ field deputy Robert Oliver, Executive Director of the Melrose Business Improvement District Don Duckworth, and Security Specialists security consultant Dan Kaufmann. Our Senior Lead Officer Inga Wecker could not attend due to a previous commitment.

Here’s what was discussed —

The Shooting at Sierra Bonita/Melrose

– L.A.P.D. Wilshire Captain Oddo spoke about the recent murder at Sierra Bonita and Melrose. He said that detectives are hard at work on the case – following leads, he said a detective from their Vice Unit was on the scene in seconds upon hearing the exchange of gunfire,  the victim was a known “Rolling 60’s” gang member, he seemed to express confidence the perpetrator(s) would be apprehended but stopped short of saying much more.  Also it was made clear that the incident did not involve any neighbor, merchant, nor was it random in nature. What connected the victim to the shooting suspect, he said, was still not established.

The Sexual Assault Case on 400 Blk of Ogden Dr

— Captain Oddo shared new information that certain evidence from the crime may, may be able to be tied to a suspect in another crime outside of the area and that details were being worked on by detectives and there’s hope for a solid connection to be made to that individual.

Robberies Involving Stabbings – Two or Three on Willoughby Ave And Possibly Others

— A number of neighbors at the meeting were very concerned about three recent robberies specifically on the 7300 blk of Willoughby Ave, one robbery just occurring on 9/2/2017 at 3:00 a.m., the two others on 8/24 when a stabbing occurred. The Captain said that there were active operations occurring in the area and that the stabbings were especially troublesome in that even after the perpetrators demanded and received property from the victims they still slashed or stabbed them.

Neighbors from the 600 blk of Vista St expressed serious concerns about nefarious “characters” frequenting that block and specifically the alley ways between Gardner and Martel — some fearing that strange “transactions” were occurring in the alleyways between vehicles and people on foot or bicycles.  They were frustrated and asked that attention from L.A.P.D. be put on the area.  The Captain said he would relay information to appropriate detectives to follow up on those concerns. Merchants on the north side of Melrose also say that unusual behavior has been observed in alley ways north of Melrose — also between Gardner and Martel.  It should be noted that the corner of Vista St and Melrose has seen a disproportionate amount of crime in recent weeks — noting numerous robberies, some starting out as thefts that were elevated to robberies.

Some merchants in attendance were hoping to hear that more resources would be headed to the Melrose Business district in terms of foot beat patrols etc after hearing that assets within the L.A.P.D. were being shifted to put more officers on the streets.

A neighbor asked the Captain about when is the use of a firearm on your property is legal and where on the property does your property become private and where is it public.  This is complicated issue and we do not want to misquote the law here so please research this with our law enforcement officials for detailed clarity.

Assault At 7/11 Santa Monica Blvd at Hayworth Ave Involving Man Using an Ax

A Sergeant from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station shared that the suspect in the ax attack that occurred on 9/2 at 4 a.m. at a 7/11 store at Santa Monica Blvd at Hayworth Ave (See video of the attack by clicking or tapping here) had been apprehended on 9/5  in public on Fairfax Ave near Santa Monica Blvd.  LASDWH officials tell Melrose Action that the suspect is a known transient that frequented the area of West Hollywood, Melrose, and Hollywood areas.  The victim is in serious condition with multiple wounds, serious head trauma…

Poinsettia Park

Neighbors living either adjacent or near the park report they see a rise in the transient population again, what they see as a rise of nefarious persons frequenting the park, they fear drug and other transactions are back, a lack of enforcement of the laws that govern camping, loitering, etc.  Neighbors asked for the Park Director but he was not present.

Home Burglaries

L.A.P.D. Wilshire Burglary Detective Joe Alvez shared information about home burglaries in and around the area. He highlighted that nearly 45% involved burglars gaining access to homes through open or unlocked windows and doors. The obvious is keep your doors and windows locked.  He emphasized that ignoring knocks at the door aren’t always a good idea as criminals use this tactic to see if anyone is home or not.  He did recommend home security devices that are on the market that act as a doorbell that can record video of visitors to your door. He also shared information from his counterpart – an Auto Detective at Wilshire Station that said if you own a late model Honda vehicle 2015 or later — they have seen a spike in break-ins seeking to obtain valuable airbags.

Melrose BID Update

The executive director of the Melrose Business Improvement District Don Duckworth briefly shared that the Melrose BID does listen to the concerns of the neighborhood and is actively working to continue to improve the Melrose Business District incrementally. The BID covers Melrose from Fairfax to Highland Avenue.  Mr. Duckworth said the BID is committed to public safety and employs a security ambassador on bicycle.

Melrose Action Agrees To Promote Partnership With Private Security Firm That Will Offer Private Security Services To Area

Neighbor Danielle Schenker from the Beverly Grove area has started recruiting neighbors for a private security patrol program in that area.  So far they’ve signed up 80 neighbors at a fee of around $50/month. =Security Specialists Dan Kaufmann spoke that while they are not a replacement for our invaluable L.A.P.D. Wilshire officers – his patrol cars and their security officers can be an additional deterrent to crime. Their service is NOT an alarm service but a patrol service. They do not offer home alarm monitoring per say.  They do however respond to your home if your home alarm is triggered for some reason. They are armed patrolmen. They also offer checks of your property as part of a monthly fee. Vacation checks are included in the fee.  They can monitor your home video security system as well. Since you need an alarm company — they would simply be added to your contact list by each homeowner that signs up.  They can also help save on false alarm fees.  The more neighbors that sign up for the service, the lower the monthly price for the private patrol will be.

We at Melrose Action think this service adds a layer of options that might help the crime situation in our particular area.  Of course this is not a replacement for the invaluable work that our L.A.P.D. officers do for us every day. But it’s no secret that their resources are limited all over the city.  Neighbors in the Melrose Village area as of today can start signing up for this service.  The monthly fee is around $50. We will be posting more information on this in the next day or so.

National Preparedness Month – Volunteer for CERT training

Neighbor Bob Abrahams spoke about the need for volunteers to join the CERT program for disaster preparedness.  Since its’ National Preparedness Month – it’s a great time to step up and get trained to help in case of a natural disaster!  Find out more here

In addition, a neighbor expressed frustration that a few blocks in the area north of Melrose Avenue and east of Sierra Bonita do not have access to the area’s permit parking program because some neighbors when the program was being considered lobbied to have some streets omitted from the new district recently created.  The neighbor was adamant that permit parking provides a deterrent to crime and suspicious vehicles parking in front of our homes and said he’s seeking to get some or all of those blocks re-included in the new parking district 132.

Another neighbor asked about instituting a block captain program or block contact for each block within our area. That program will be implemented and merged into the Melrose Action digital platform.

The meeting lasted a little over an hour. The next meeting is already scheduled for Wednesday October 18th at 7 p.m. at the Blu Jam Cafe.  Thank you to our volunteers Neil Loden, David Reed, and Ana Benko!  Follow up on crime concerns with our L.A.P.D. Senior Lead Officer Inga Wecker at (213)793-0708 or email her at eniln1508568606o.dpa1508568606l@0851508568606731508568606

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Melrose Action Newsletter/Crime Report 9/1/2017


To View The Latest Melrose Action Weekly Newsletter/Crime Report, please click or tap link below.
September 1, 2017 Issue http://mailchi.mp/melroseaction/melrose-action-newslettercrime-update-912017
In This Issue:
•  Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch Meeting – September 6th • 7:00 p.m.
•  Shooting/Murder on Sierra Bonita/Melrose Av.
•  Sign Up To Receive Our Weekly Newsletter/Crime Report
•  Exclusive — Melrose Action Area Crime Blotter – Our Area’s Up-To-Date Crime Reports
•  LAPD Wilshire’s Latest Crime Map
•  West Hollywood Sheriff’s Weekly Crime Report
•  At&t U-Verse Customers Experiencing Internet/Connectivity Issues
•  Keep An Eye On Crime – Crime Historically Trends Up In August and September
•  September is National Preparedness Month
•  Suspect in Area Sexual Assault Case Still Outstanding
•  Have You Seen This Woman?  Last Seen Nearly One Year Ago At Fairfax And Wilshire
•  Report Crimes Anonymously — L.A. CrimeStoppers
•  Lock It, Hide It, Keep It — LAPD Wilshire Says Recent Spikes In Thefts Are A Good
Reminder To Guard Your Valuables
•  Terrorism: It Can Happen Here. Be Extra Vigilant. See Something,Say Something.
•  Now on Facebook. Follow Us @melroseaction

To Receive Our Weekly Newsletter And Crime Update – Click or Tap to Sign Up Here

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REVISED:: September Meeting on Crime Wednesday – Venue Changed

NOTE: We’ve moved the meeting location to Poinsettia Park Recreation Center

Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch hosts our September meeting this Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Blu Jam Cafe at the Poinsettia Park Recreation Center, 7341 Willoughby Avenue   (Click or Tap Here To Map Location Here).

Items on the agenda for this months meeting:  Homicide on Sierra Bonita Ave at Melrose, Burglaries, Graffiti, and Presentation Regarding Hiring A Private Security Patrol For The Neighborhood Surrounding Melrose.  Special Guests Include L.A.P.D. Wilshire Station Commander/Captain Anthony Oddo, Detective Joe Alvez, Robert Oliver from Council member Paul Koretz’office, Don Duckworth Executive Director of the Melrose Business Improvement District,Neighbor Danielle Schenker and Private Security Firm Consultant Dan Kaufmann, Cert lead Bob Abrahams, Yvette Neal from Pacific Graffiti Solutions, and more. Follow up meetings are scheduled for October, November, and December.  Our October meeting will happen as planned at the Blu Jam Cafe. Thank you to our awesome host and longtime community supporter Kamil Majer, Owner/Chef of the Blu Jam Cafe and his amazing staff!

Click or Tap Above Image To View Larger

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UPDATED:: L.A.P.D. Asks For Publics Help Regarding Homicide Investigation

UPDATE 3:: Wednesday, August 30th • 4:50 p.m.

L.A.P.D. West Bureau Homicide Detectives are asking for witnesses to contact them at (213) 382-9470 if they have any information regarding this case.  Melrose Action heard from neighbors and business owners after the incident and they might have details important to the investigation.

UPDATE 2:: Tuesday, August 29th 11 P.M. LAPD STATEMENT ADDED  • UPDATE 1 Video added – one witness account 

“Exchange of Gunfire Leaves One Man Dead in the Melrose District NR17251dm”

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department West Bureau Homicide detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect, or suspects, responsible for killing a 27-year-old man.

On August 28, 2017, around 5:45 p.m., an undercover police officer was patrolling in the area of Melrose Avenue and Sierra Bonita Avenue when he heard numerous gunshots fired.

The undercover officer located a shooting victim in the street. The victim had suffered numerous gunshot wounds, and there was a firearm near his body.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded and pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

The suspect is described as a male Black between the ages of 20-25 years old. He stands approximately 5 foot 10 inches to 6 feet tall and was wearing a dark jacket. The suspect was seen driving away in a black SUV, east through the alley just south of Melrose Avenue.

The motive of this shooting is unknown.

Anyone with information regarding this shooting is urged to contact West Bureau Homicide Investigators at (213) 382-9470. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

PREVIOUS:: Melrose Action heard from several witnesses about this crime and this is what we’ve pieced together. We do not have confirmation from LAPD as to exactly what transpired so this story will likely be updated.

At around 5:48 p.m. on Monday, August 28th – some sort of altercation began between what was thought to be two passengers of a black Range Rover SUV and a driver of a black Toyota Solaris. What relation these two vehicles and the occupants have to each other is not known at this time. Witnesses heard what they thought was the exchange of gun fire between the two parties on the 600 N. Block of Sierra Bonita Ave just south of Melrose Av. At some point the victim — the driver of the Toyota Solaris — got out of his vehicle and was then shot several times apparently by someone in the SUV. The victim then fell to the ground. One person exited the SUV and began picking up what was thought to be bullet casings and also (according to a witness) grabbed the victims cell phone. That suspect also physically touched the victim to see if he had expired or not — again — according to a witness.

That suspect then quickly got back into the SUV and it sped away. LAPD officers who were in the area arrived quickly at the scene. Another LAPD unit stopped another SUV close by the incident matching the general description of the one used in the shooting but quickly realized it was not the one they were looking for. The suspects got away and are still outstanding. If you have any information or security camera footage of something you think might be related to this incident please contact the LAPD Wilshire division detective desk at 213-922-8205.


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Canter’s Deli Suffered Recent Closure After Health Department Inspection, Violations

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health inspectors found numerous health code violations during a recent inspection at the iconic Canter’s Deli on Fairfax Avenue. Health inspectors observed cockroaches and rodent droppings in the restaurant’s storage area and flies in the food preparation area during a routine visit on Aug. 7.

The inspection yielded 11 violations that resulted in the closure of the restaurant on Aug. 7. The popular deli remained shut down for a total of three days. During that time, county officials reinspected the deli twice before it approved it’s reopening on Aug. 10th.

Other violations included allowing “food to contact unclean equipment and using dirty utensil for scooping soup,” according to an public health official who responded to Melrose Action’s request for comment.

Also noted during the inspection, county officials said that they noticed “accumulated grease or food debris on the non food-contact surfaces of equipment, shelving, cabinets, and fryers.” One employee was also observed drinking from an open cup in the food preparation area and food that was not in good, safe and unadulterated condition, according to the LA public health department.

Overall, the health department gave Canter’s a 72.0 health score, which is equivalent to a “C.”

In a statement that was posted on ABC7’s website by the restaurant’s co-owner, Jacquelyn Canter, the eatery’s age was pointed out.

“When people ask, we are an 85-year-old restaurant and are having some growing pains as we evolve,” Canter said. “We messed up and the basement wasn’t up to our standards and we won’t let it happen again”

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Longtime Melrose Village Restaurant Maison Richard Closes It’s Doors, New Place Opening Soon.


Melrose Village sadly lost another one it’s eateries recently with the closure of the Maison Richard Restaurant and Bakery located on the 700 block of Stanley Avenue just north of Melrose.  The good news is that the space won’t be closed for long as its new owner, Chef Josette of Normandie Bakery (Farmer’s Market) will open her next endeavor in its place on or around September 1st.

Maison Richard was owned by Huguette Coffyn who opened the Melrose location in 2010 after closing it’s longtime spot at 301 Robertson Blvd.  Huguette’s husband Andre Coffyn was murdered at the Robertson location during a robbery there in July of 1989.

Huguette Coffyn and Chef Michel Richard

The Coffyn’s bought the former location on Robertson in 1986 after world renowned Chef Michel Richard opened the celebrity heavy and wildly popular restaurant Citrus which was located further east on Melrose at Citrus Ave. Richard was also behind the ultra famous Citronella in Washington, D.C that hosted the likes of presidents, the politically famous and celebrities. The restaurant world was stunned when Richard passed away from complications of a stroke in the summer of 2016.

Maison Richard was still under Coffyn’s ownership until just recently.

A Statement from Maison Richards Facebook page reads…

“After 32 years of operations, and an amazing ride, Huguette, the owner of Maison Richard is retiring from the business. The Maison Richard brand and company has officially ended its operation on August 13th 2017. Chef Josette, owner of Normandie Bakery, is taking over the restaurant and french bakery location starting mid-august with her existing Normandie brand and products. Chef Josette’s new concept on the same Melrose and Stanley avenue location will officially launch on September 1st. We would like to thank everyone for having been part of the journey that was started with Michel Richard in 1977. While the original Michel Richard products will no longer be carried past August. The existing location will continue to operate as restaurant and bakery with some similar offerings with Josette’s own French style.”

Huguette and her establishment were a vital part of the Melrose community and supporters of Melrose Action’s efforts.  They will be greatly missed!

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Neighborhood Under Siege : Barricade Situation Paralyses Area For Hours : Suspect Resident of West Hollywood

At around 4 p.m. Wednesday, 911 operators received a call about a man at a home in the 600 N. Blk of Edinburgh Avenue threatening harm to himself and possibly other occupants of the property. Persons at the same address were believed to have been the subject of an FBI investigation the day before.

LAPD Wilshire officers were immediately dispatched to the location. It was established that the incident was a particularly serious one and that LAPD divisions like SWAT, the Bomb squad, and thongs of other assets from LAPD divisions all over the city were consequently dispatched to our area. Melrose Avenue was closed not long after and filled with emergency personnel, a mobile command post, and an endless amount of LAPD vehicles. Additional streets were closed around the area, causing gridlock conditions — at the height of rush hour.

Crisis negotiators and a SWAT team on site attempted communication with the suspect as fire department rescue personnel remained staged close by.

A woman and child who were inside the property with the suspect got out of the building safely about 7:30 p.m. At around 11 p.m. neighbors and the news media reported hearing flash bangs and some detected the smell of tear gas in the air.  It was thought that the stand off at that time was coming to a conclusion. Sirens blared again, police helicopters again circled the area intensely as they had done consistently for over 8 hours. The area was besieged with media helicopters that hovered overhead for hours up until around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. Many neighbors specifically complained about the added noise and disruption as a result of the media coverage from the air.

Officials say that the LAPD SWAT officers entered the residence about 2 a.m. Thursday and found the body of Johannes Marlie, who was 32 years of age and a resident of the city of West Hollywood, according to the coroner’s office.

Ironically, just south of the same area, a power outage occurred just after this incident started — knocking out electricity to around 2000 homes and numerous traffic signals — adding to an incredibly challenging situation for residents and police.

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Melrose Action’s National Night Out Neighborhood Event This Tuesday!

Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch together with the L.A.P.D. Wilshire Station and Council member Paul Koretz’ office will bring our community’s participation in National Night Out to Poinsettia Park! The event is Tuesday August 1st, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.  In our 9th year –  it will feature all kinds of new surprises! Everyone is invited! Its all free and it’s at Poinsettia Park located at 7341 Willoughby Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Map it here

New to the event is In-N-Out burger! Courtesy of Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch and our generous neighbor contributors like Ana Benko and Neil Loden (Please thank them!) – neighbors will have a chance to get a free burger, chips and a drink (or maybe a grilled cheese sandwich) from the massive “cook out trailer” that will be onsite — while supplies last! They will be in limited supply and only our L.A.P.D. Wilshire station officers and officials will have the coveted tickets to get a burger. So – to get an In-N-Out burger you’ll have to meet and ask a cop!  Tickets will be distributed at random while they last.

Also new — get your photo’s taken at the Melrose Avenue Business Improvement Districts (aka the Melrose BID) cool new Photo Booth that will be stocked with props to get your picture taken with your favorite friends, cops, neighbors, and family!

Pink’s Hot Dogs returns to the event offering up their coveted awesome hot dogs, chili dogs and all the condiments! Also free and while supplies last!

Radio station Jack-FM will be on site offering up some of their great music along with some giveaways. Other participants include sampling booths from our supporters like Blu Jam Cafe, Melrose Umbrella Co., Kimberly Synder’s Glo-Bio Organic Juice store, the new LA Chouquette Bakery Shop, Organic Luscious Lemonade by Molly Bassler, Target, Just Food For Dogs, Starbucks, free water from Trader Joe’s, the Mid-City West Community Council, CERT and many more!!

Free trees!! Help green up our neighborhood or your yard by getting a free tree from City Plants LA! All that’s required is photo i.d. that shows your a resident of the city of Los Angeles!

Adopt a Pet! GRFF – the Ghetto Rescue Foundation will be on site with pets available for adoption! Please help provide a forever home to a wonderful pet!!

RING! – the home security device that can help protect your home will be at the event with special product discounts and demonstrations to answer your questions!

Please join us! This event’s sole purpose is to help build a stronger community and police partnership in a really positive way!

We want to thank everyone for their participation and contributions to this years event! Please feel free to forward this to neighbors and repost on your social media spaces.

Tap or Click To Enlarge Flyer

Tap or Click To Enlarge List of Supporters!

 

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Meeting On Crime Date Set In Response To Recent Sexual Assaults In Area

Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch will hold a Meeting On Crime Wednesday, July 26th 2017 at the Blu Jam Cafe on Melrose at 7 p.m. in response to the recent sexual assaults and other crimes that have occurred in our area. The Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Station and the office of Los Angeles city council member Paul Koretz and the Mid City West Community Council are all co-sponsors and their respective representatives will be there. Map the location of the meeting here https://goo.gl/maps/8M2gin1qw2F2

Our community cop LAPD senior lead officer Inga Wecker along with a lead detective specializing in sex related crimes will also be there. Our neighborhood prosecutor from the L.A. city attorneys office has also been invited. Seating is limited. Guests are advised to arrive early. Melrose Action would like to thank all involved for coming out to support our neighborhood! A special thank you to Kamil Majer and the staff at the Blu Jam Cafe for their amazing generosity and ongoing support!

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To sign up for our weekly newsletter and major crime alerts click here.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook @melroseaction

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L.A. City Attorney Criminally Charges Genesee Apartment Building Owner For Allegedly Operating “Short Term” Rentals

“In a city with a profound shortage of affordable housing, unlawfully converting rental units to operate hotels has got to stop,” said Mike Feuer – City Attorney for the city of Los Angeles.”

According to a complaint filed by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office — Carol Jean Alsman, the owner of a 4-unit property located at 500 N. Genesee Avenue, was charged with six counts in a criminal case alleging:  failure to comply with an order to comply, zoning violations; illegal use without proper building permits, failure to file notice of intention to re-rent, failure to offer rental to displaced tenants, and renting property within five years after withdrawing from the rental market under the Ellis Act.

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Looking Deeper

Just how big is the “sharing economy” in our area? Check out the screen shot showing the airbnb’s on the market — See for yourself here http://insideairbnb.com/los-angeles/

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CRIME ALERT: Two Women Sexually Assaulted During Break-in, Police Release Sketch of Suspect

Scroll Down for Crime Alert

400 Blk of Ogden Ave. Suspect Armed With Handgun Entered Apartment, While Inside Tied Up Two Female Victims And Sexually Assaulted Them 

Here’s the official L.A.P.D. Statement:

Fairfax District: Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, Special Assault Section, are seeking the public’s awareness and assistance in a case involving a sexual predator that has attacked two adult females.

On Monday, July 3, 2017, around 11:50 p.m., Wilshire Area officers responded to a “hot prowl, burglary” radio call around the 400 block of North Ogden Drive in the City of Los Angeles. Officer’s investigation revealed that the suspect was armed with a handgun and entered the victim’s apartment. The suspect tied both of female’s hands and sexually assaulted them. Once one of the victims began to scream the suspect fled the location.

The suspect is described as a 30 to 40-year-old White male, 5 feet 10 inches tall to 6 feet tall. He weighs approximately 160 to 180 pounds and has a short grey beard.

Anyone with information, including any possible additional victims of this suspect, are urged to Detective Daniel Aguirre or Detective John Macchiarella, LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division, Special Assault Section, at 213-486-6910. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call The LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

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Disturbing Video Shows Early Morning Assault Along Oakwood Ave, Police Issue Crime Alert

On the morning of Monday, May 22nd, 2017 an elderly man was walking westbound along Oakwood Avenue (west of La Brea) when he was — without provocation — brutally attacked by what police say was a transient. L.A.P.D. detectives issued a crime alert flyer with a description of the suspect. Watch the video by clicking or tapping the window below. Scroll down to see a photo of the suspect. If you have any information about this crime, please contact L.A.P.D. Detective Mayer at (213) 922-8260.

To Watch The Video Below — Click or Tap link here > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewPvicAmxQs

Click The Crime Alert Flyer Above – Help Capture This Suspect — Share This Post On Your Social Media Outlets.

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L.A.P.D. Wilshire Station Issues Crime Alert Tips As A Result of Recent Robberies

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Help get the word out — please share via your Facebook, NextDoor, or Tumblr resources.  Social media icons below make it easy.

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UPDATED Crime Alert:: Be Aware — String of Street Robberies Hit Area

 UPDATED CRIME ALERT: A rash of at least seven street robberies hit our area in the overnight early morning hours on Wednesday, April 12th and on Tuesday, April 11th. One occurred on Thursday, April 13th at 1:30 p.m.  It appears that at least three occurred within a short time frame.  As always: if you have any information about these crimes, please contact L.A.P.D. Wilshire Detectives at (213) 922-8263. This is a clear reminder to keep aware of your surroundings and your valuables — such as mobile phones — out-of-sight while walking neighborhood streets. LAPD Wilshire officials said that in some of these particular incidents it appears that people were either walking or running alone were targeted.  We will update this story once more info is available from LAPD Wilshire. Two of the robberies were handled by West Hollywood Sheriff’s.

Here’s a list of the recent robberies:

MELROSE AV & FULLER • 4-13-2017 @ 1:30 PM

WARING & SIERRA BONITA • 4-12-2017 @ 2:40 AM – This was an armed robbery committed by two male Hispanics in their 20s. No shots fired and no one was hurt. The victim was walking on the street when the crime occurred. According to LAPD Wilshire — the three incidents on 4/12 appear related.

POINSETTIA & WILLOUGHBY • 4-12-2017  @ 1:45 AM – This was an armed robbery committed by two male Hispanics in their 20s. No shots fired and no one was hurt. According to LAPD Wilshire — the three incidents on 4/12 appear related.

FULLER & WARING • 4-12-2017 @ 1:30 AM – This was an armed robbery committed by two male Hispanics in their 20s. No shots fired and no one was hurt. According to LAPD Wilshire — the three incidents on 4/12 appear related.

FORMOSA & WARING • 4-11-2017 @  10:40 PM

GARDNER ST & ROMAINE ST • 4-11-2017 @ 11:50 PM (West Hollywood) A man was riding his bicycle SB on Gardner Street when 2 men approached him armed with a handgun and demanded his property. The victim complied and dropped the bike. The bike was taken by the suspects but recovered a short time later by responding West Hollywood Sheriff deputies.

LAUREL AVE & ROMAINE ST • 4-11-2017 @ 11:45 PM (West Hollywood)  A woman was walking her dog NB on Laurel Avenue when a man approached her armed with a handgun and demanded her property. The victim complied.

Reminder — there will be a Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch meeting coming up on Thursday, April 27th at 7:00 p.m. at the corner of Curson and Waring.  Click here for more info

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First Outdoor Neighborhood Watch Meet-Up With LAPD Wilshire Set

Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch and the L.A.P.D. Wilshire Station will hold it’s first outdoor “Meeting At Your Corner” coming up on Thursday, April 27th at 7:00 p.m.  The location to start off this year’s anti-crime initiative — the corner of Curson Avenue and Waring Avenue. Click here for map location.  The outdoor
“meet up” concept allows for neighbors to get together with our law enforcement first responders — specifically the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Station officers and commanders that service our area.  This is a great chance to share your safety/crime concerns and nuisance issues.

The meeting’s purpose gives neighbors the opportunity to personally meet our LAPD Wilshire “community cop” senior lead officer Inga Wecker, welcome our new station command staff, along with our new field deputy from Los Angeles City Council member Paul Koretz’ office — Robert Oliver, plus our neighborhood prosecutor from the L.A. city attorney’s office – Nooshi Zahiri.

Our supporter — the Melrose Umbrella Co. will be on hand to provide free refreshments (while supplies last). Grab a free slice of pizza while you can– courtesy of Melrose Action and our neighbor CVS Pharmacy — again while supplies last.

Please share/forward this with your neighbors and area friends. Repost where applicable.  Download the flyer here.  Sign up to get our crime alerts and newsletter including up-to-date crime information for our area here.

 

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Los Angeles Police Commission Wants You To Weigh In On L.A.P.D. Body Camera Video Policy

Melrose Action heard from the Deputy Director at the Policing Project at NYU Law — that is helping the Los Angeles Police Commission gather input from the community on the LAPD’s Body Camera Video Release Policy. This is very important and your views matter.

As you may know, the LAPD’s current policy is not to release body camera videos after there has been an officer-involved shooting. The Commission is considering whether to change the policy, and is looking for public input on what the new policy should be. 

This is a really important opportunity for people to provide input on a policy that undoubtedly will have a significant impact on both the community and the police. 

We are asking for input in two ways:
– Through an online questionnaire at – (click the link) www.LAPDVideoPolicy.org — the website also has a brief video we put together explaining some of the pros and cons of releasing video, as well as a comment portal in case you would like to submit more detailed comments. 

At community forums across Los Angeles. The West Bureau forum is on April 12 at 6:30pm at the (map it here >) Seoul International Park Recreation Center.

Click here to download the flyer to your desktop.  This is important policy that can shape our future — PLEASE SHARE this post

Posted in Area News Blog Archive


Trespass And Squatting Issues Continue To Plague Melrose Area. Does It Contribute To Crime?

If you live in the Melrose/Fairfax district then you’ve probably been affected in some way (or know someone that has) by prolific trespassers and squatters. Some swear that the proliferation of “McMansions” is the chief cause of these encampments. Could the unprecedented amount of homes and apartment buildings sitting vacant for extending periods of time awaiting demolition be harboring unsavory characters in our neighborhood? A majority of neighbors near these properties say resoundingly — yes in fact they are. Some are quick to point out that the new construction of homes — that typically last several months — play a larger role because they offer new, unmonitored premisses, free access to electrical power, portable restrooms, and even brand-new swimming pools,spas, and roof top decks.

Anywhere in the area that a home or building is vacant for a time — chances are — trespassers, transients, squatters etc have either scaled a fence, broken down a door, or smashed a window to gain entry to that property and set up shop.

Neighbors on either side of Melrose Ave say that they’ve seen encampments on top of garages underneath low hanging trees, underneath occupied homes in crawl spaces, behind garages of homes, residing on outdoor furniture at night, living inside vehicles parked along Waring or Willoughby, in the alley ways, hot-wiring electricity in some cases, and so much more.

The bigger question is — are these people dangerous? Are they committing crimes? Using drugs? Having sex on our property? Are they entering our homes when our back doors or windows are open and unattended? Again — the answer more likely is — its very possible. Why? Because this area is a transient urban area and some neighbors have no clue who lives here and who doesn’t. Piling on to the “transient” theme is the phenomenon that so many homes and apartments are now full time Airbnb night-to-night hotel-like rentals and you can see that it only gets more difficult to gain a grip on who’s an actual neighbor and who isn’t.

What can you do to protect yourself?  First and foremostcall the police if you see unusual, repetitive activity around properties that are empty, new or old. Notify our community cop — our Los Angeles Police Department Senior Lead Officer Inga Wecker and or our L.A. City Attorney Neighborhood Prosecutor Nooshi Zahiri. Contact the L.A. department of building and safety if homes or buildings under construction are not secured properly when unattended. Always check your property when you return home or before you go to sleep at night. Look for tampering of your door locks, windows or garages. Keep your fences maintained and your trees and shrubs trimmed. Install motion lights in your yards. Have a good security system. Think about a security camera system. Adopt a dog from a shelter for added safety. Try and get to know your neighbors. Keep your car doors locked at all times. Walk the area with your mobile devices hidden. The adage goes “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING”! Be part of the solution, not the problem.

Click on the video (or link here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OCpmcYzmho&t=26s) below to see what’s been prowling around yards and homes in the 700, 800, and 900 blocks of Vista St. Be sure to attend our first Meeting on Crime this Tuesday, March 21st at 7:30 p.m. at the Blu Jam Cafe. Click here for more info

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Trader Joe’s Returns…

Melrose area neighbors will get their Trader Joe’s location back — soon — finally.  Trader Joe’s is slated to re-open it’s long standing (East) West Hollywood location this coming April.  The brand-new store will be located in the massive Avalon-West Hollywood mixed use development just wrapping up construction at Santa Monica Blvd and Poinsettia Pl.  Three bedroom apartment units are ready for occupancy March 17th for the tony price of around $6000/month.

Studio, one and two bedroom apartments go live this summer starting around $2400/month.  A new Wells Fargo Bank is also said to be a tenant of the complex. Trader’s was hoping to open March 31st but ran into some last minute issues and now are setting their sights on a mid-April grand opening.

Posted in Area News Blog Archive


BREAKING NEWS FROM MELROSE ACTION

Thieve Targets Shoppers At Area Markets – WATCH VIDEO

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