Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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East Kensington

Charupha Wongwisetsiri, the nine-year-old girl who was shot while standing in the kitchen of her home, died on Tuesday. If you read the stories in the LA Times, you know she was an immigrant, with her mother, from Thailand and that a pair of gang members have been arrested but as of yesterday had not been charged. She lived on East Kensington, in Angeleno Heights, a curving street on a hill that is lined with Victorian and 20s era houses, many now converted to apartments. Every fifth or sixth structure bears the three-or-four color recent paint job that signals its restoration. The others tend to be tidy, on the verge of getting run-down. Today I drove down the block where the shooting ocurred -- the 800 block -- and saw no sign that anything was out of order. No police tape. No shrine visible from a slowly moving car. No sign that a group of residents were emailing each other with the news. The street looked almost exactly as it did ten years ago when I sometimes visited times a friend who lived in an apartment on the same block. The only difference is probably a higher proportion of renovated properties, which wasn't immediately apparent. It's one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city -- the houses are protected by an HPOZ. The residents aren't.

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