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WeHo Jesus dead at 57

Kevin Short died last month

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WeHo Jesus (Kevin Short) – Photo by Karen Ocamb

To be sure, the victory for marriage equality was a civil rights issue. Religious recognition of a same sex relationship was the choice of the couple and whatever religious official might want to officiate, often a problem for religious institutions even after the Supreme Court ruling striking down Prop 8 and upholding Edie Windsor’s challenge to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013.

And yet, there was something warmly stunning about seeing Jesus standing alone above the crowd making their way into West Hollywood Park for a rally that June 26, 2013. “Marry Who You Love” said a sign he held close to his chest. Out-of-towners took photos, as if they, too, couldn’t believe their eyes. Here was the answer to that age old question: What would Jesus do? Or in this case, What would Jesus say about same sex marriage rights? “Marry who you love.”

Folks in West Hollywood, of course, know Jesus well. In fact, he’s known as “WeHo Jesus,” aka Kevin Short, or Kevin Lee Light—and news of his death from a lung problem last Dec. 13 shocked the community when it came to light on Wednesday. He was 57.

WeHo Jesus was a neighbor of mine on North Laurel Avenue in West Hollywood. I often saw him out on the street in his Jesus robe tending to the garden in front of the building on N. Laurel and Fountain Ave. There was something both so practical and yet so simultaneously spiritual about the image. He was close with another neighbor, actor Brian Hamilton, who posted a notice about Short on his Facebook page, with a photo of WeHo Jesus holding Hamilton’s sweet dog:

“I have just confirmed the sad news that my friend and neighbor Kevin Short, aka “WeHo Jesus” or Kevin Lee Light, has died after a brief illness. We’ve lived across the street from one another for over 20 years. I hadn’t seen him in a few weeks, so I tried calling him & voice mail was full. Then I sent an email. No response. Kevin’s neighbor Wes who also lives in the same building just confirmed he has died.

UPDATE: I just spoke to someone at Cedars Sinai who, although he “couldn’t release any info” did let me know that Kevin’s body has been claimed by a family member. I wanted to be sure he’s not unclaimed at the county morgue. When I have more info about a memorial or burial, I’ll share,” Hamilton wrote on Twitter.

Photo via Twitter

But one thing: whether on Laurel Avenue, or Sunset Boulevard or at a marriage equality rally—WeHo Jesus knew when his job transcended cheesy photos with fans.

Short was a member of the entertainment community, appearing in PSAs for his beloved West Hollywood and various music and comedy videos. “He appeared in the “Nose Business Like Show Business” episode of comedian Brody Stevens’ Comedy Central TV series “Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!” alongside Zach Galifianakis,” wrote Variety.  Stevens posted a tribute to Short to his Twitter account, which reads, “Beyond generous and supportive of all the comedians. He was part of The Comedy Store & Los Angeles…I’ll miss him.”

Actress Pauley Perrette tweeted: “Oh my heart. RIP #WeHoJesus Kevin was my pal. A beautiful creature. (If you don’t live here and didn’t know him, you’ll never understand)”

She re-tweeted a photo given her by a follower named Ken: Thank you! That was the pic I was looking for! #WeHoJesus marching with me and my church at Gay Pride. Kevin was love. RIP.

And a blessing on you, Kevin Short, WeHo Jesus, for sharing a light at times when it was needed the most. RIP.

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood will engage community in MLK Jr. Day of Service

Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, January 17, 2022, is the 27th anniversary of the Day of Service that celebrates his life & legacy

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WEST HOLLYWOOD – In January 2022, the City of West Hollywood will continue its tradition of joining hundreds of communities across the country in a National Day of Service to commemorate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day federal holiday by providing an opportunity for community members to make an impact locally with a donation drive for people who are experiencing homelessness.

The City of West Hollywood, in partnership with West Hollywood Elementary and Friends of West Hollywood Elementary (FOWHE), will be collecting monetary and gift card donations to support new socks, blankets, and sleeping bags for the City’s Homeless Initiative, which partners closely with nonprofit service providers, the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, and Los Angeles County agencies to provide a wide variety of services aimed at reducing homelessness and supporting community members who are experiencing homelessness.

This year’s City of West Hollywood Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service activity reflects the desires of students from West Hollywood Elementary to help those most in-need in the community.

Due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, this year’s City of West Hollywood Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service will take place as a two-week virtual donation drive instead of an in-person Day of Service event.

It will run from Saturday, January 15, 2022 to Monday, January 31, 2022. Donations can be made online at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/homeless or donations of physical gift cards or of personal checks made out to ‘City of West Hollywood’ may be mailed to:

West Hollywood Homeless Initiative/MLK Day of Service

West Hollywood City Hall

8300 Santa Monica Boulevard

West Hollywood, CA 90069

The City is, additionally, encouraging donations to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Youth Center, which has posted a “CARE 4 Youth Essentials” wish list on Amazon at lalgbtcenter.org/care4youth.

The City of West Hollywood would have hosted its tenth-annual clothing drive for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Youth Center on Highland in January 2022, but due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, this year the City is instead encouraging virtual donations of needed supplies that will be distributed to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth who are experiencing homelessness.

For more information about the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Youth Center, please visit www.lalgbtcenter.org/social-service-and-housing/youth.

The City of West Hollywood encourages community members who seek to make a difference to volunteer in response to the urgent call and unprecedented need for volunteers during these uncertain times.

To find out more about local volunteer opportunities with the City of West Hollywood’s community partners, please visit www.weho.org/volunteer.

For addition information about virtual and in-person volunteer opportunities to address critical needs, please visit California Volunteers at www.californiavolunteers.ca.gov/get-involved/covid-19 or call (888) 567-SERV; visit Volunteer Match at www.volunteermatch.org; or visit LA Works at www.laworks.com or call (323) 224-6510.

The City’s West Hollywood Homeless Initiative seeks to address homelessness with a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response. For more information about the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative, including ways to help and resources for those in need, please visit www.weho.org/homeless or call (323) 848-6590.

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, January 17, 2022, is the 27th anniversary of the Day of Service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day federal holiday was designated as a National Day of Service by Congress in 1994. Each year, the City of West Hollywood participates in this call to action.

For more information about MLK Day of Service activities and recognitions across the nation, please visit www.nationalservice.gov/serve-your-community/mlk-day-service

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service please contact Larissa Fooks, the City of West Hollywood’s Community Events Coordinator, at (323) 848-6413 or at [email protected].

For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

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West Hollywood

British tourists robbed at gunpoint in WeHo area caught on video

“I’ve never even seen a gun before, let alone have one at my head,” he added. “I honestly thought I was going to lose my life at one point”

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Screenshot via KTLA

WEST HOLLYWOOD – Two young British men who had been visiting a nightclub in the area of 961 N. La Cienega Blvd. were accosted by robbers as they left the club to catch an Uber.

Cellphone video by a witness caught the robbers struggling with one of the victims KTLA reported.

William Saunders, who identified himself as one of the victims in the robbery, said that he and his friend had just left a nightclub and were hailing an Uber ride when they were approached by the robbers.

“Guys with their hoods pulled tight, could hardly see their faces, jumped out at us, grabbed us,” Saunders said. “One of them had a small handgun on him, pointed it to my head, told me to give him my watch, my bag and my phone.”

Saunders said he threw his watch to the floor, pushed the robber and ran into a restaurant, where he learned that there was video of the assailants wrestling with his friend, ripping his bag off him and taking his watch.

Deputies from the West Hollywood substation patrolling the area responded immediately. In a statement, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that the victims were accosted by two suspects wearing hoodies and that a firearm was displayed. The suspects were able to get away with what one of the victims described as a bag that contained expensive watches, their passports and an unknown amount of cash, the Sheriff’s Department confirmed.

“We’re visiting from England,” Saunders told KTLA. “Only one night in L.A. and it has ended like this.”

“I’ve never even seen a gun before, let alone have one at my head,” he added. “I honestly thought I was going to lose my life at one point.”

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West Hollywood

Unprovoked attack in WeHo may be latest in a string of violent crimes

McGrath spent two weeks in the hospital and underwent multiple surgeries due to injuries that doctors told him were caused by a blunt object

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Matthew McGrath via GoFundMe page

WEST HOLLYWOOD – After an evening out with friends in West Hollywood at the Abbey on November15, Matthew McGrath found himself in hospital the next day with a fractured jaw and his wallet and mobile phone missing.

According to McGrath, who has lived in WeHo for five years, he was walking home along San Vicente Boulevard when he heard “some slurs, some profanity.” “I’m not exactly clear on what, [happened next] but sort of a few minutes later, I just felt a really blunt force to my head, blacked out and was knocked unconscious,” he told KTLA.

McGrath spent two weeks in the hospital and underwent multiple surgeries due to injuries that doctors told him were caused by a blunt object KTLA also noted.

He said that he has filed a report with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s substation about the assault and theft but as of Friday had not received a response.

KTLA also reported that the night after McGrath was assaulted, a person was beaten and stabbed on Santa Monica Boulevard. David Cook, 44, was arrested for that stabbing last month. There were also two similar attacks involving a different man using a baseball bat and a boxcutter on Nov. 18 resulted in another arrest last month the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station said in a statement posted to the webpage for the LASD.

“I’ve always felt safe in this neighborhood,” McGrath told KTLA. He observed that although his attack was unprovoked given the other cases and arrests the timing seems suspicious. “We get a crime here or there in West Hollywood, but I have never heard of it happening multiple days in a row,” he said. “Similar assaults, similar attacks, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

GoFundMe page has been created to help McGrath.

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WeHo attack leaves victim shaken, could be part of larger crime trend

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