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Gemmel Moore investigation update

In The Meantime holds crystal meth discussions on Tuesdays

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Gemmel Moore died July 27. (Photo from Facebook memorial page)

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are looking for one or two men they believe may have information related to the methamphetamine overdose death of Gemmel Moore last year.

Detectives Ralph Hernandez and John Carlin are still gathering information and have interviewed multiple people, Lt. Joe Mendoza told the Los Angeles Blade in a March 1 phone interview about the ongoing investigation. “We’re trying to track down one or two people in the West Hollywood area” the detectives think might potentially have information pertinent to the case. So far their efforts have been unsuccessful.

Moore, 26, died July 27, 2017 in the West Hollywood apartment of Democratic politico Ed Buck. West Hollywood Sheriff’s deputies apparently found no direct evidence of foul play after interviewing Buck, 63, at the scene, checking his apartment and talking with numerous neighbors who told deputies that Moore frequently visited Buck’s apartment.

Deputies filed a death report and the LA County Coroner issued a report saying Moore accidentally overdosed after injecting methamphetamine.

But Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, and members of the community questioned whether the crystal meth OD was truly an accident, prompting Sheriff Jim McDonnell to order detectives to take a second look.

“Initially, like any of these cases, patrol went out and took an initial report that would then be looked at by both the coroner and follow up investigators,” McDonnell told the Los Angeles Blade last September.

“When we became aware of the concern by the family, we had Homicide [Bureau] take a look at it as well. And that investigation is still ongoing. We have some of our best investigators involved and following up on this. What the outcome will be, I don’t know at this point.”

Concerns raised by the family and news reports “were enough to ask our Homicide detectives to take a look at this case and report on it,” McDonnell said. “We felt it was our obligation to look into those issues.”

Buck’s attorney Seymour Amster told the LA Times that his client had “nothing to do with this young man’s tragic death.” Amster added that Moore’s overdose was “a self-imposed accidental death.” Buck has not yet publicly commented.

Mendoza confirmed to the Los Angeles Blade that the three-person investigation team has interviewed individuals granted partial immunity by the district attorney’s office “so they can speak freely.” Though the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department cannot grant immunity, they are willing to facilitate communication with the DA’s office to seek a letter granting partial immunity on a case-by-case basis.

“If somebody out there has information, please come forward,” Mendoza said. “If they have any fears or concerns, they can discuss that with Detectives Hernandez or Carlin and we can try to do the same thing for them. We can’t make those promises (of immunity)—that has to be worked out with the DA’s office. But we can facilitate that.” Please call 323-890-5500.

Jeffrey King, founder of In The Meantime Men. (Photo courtesy King.)

Meanwhile, Jeffrey King, founder of In The Meantime Men, has been holding open community meetings to encourage discussion of the use of crystal meth among young gay black men. And like so many others in the African-American community, King questions the nature of the sheriff’s investigation in the first place.

“If that incident had occurred in my home, the police would have kicked down my door, guns drawn and had me in handcuffs. There’s no doubt about it. That’s how it goes,” King told the Los Angeles Blade.

“That’s part of the bigger issue here. That guy was treated like a respectable citizen. But a drug-related accident occurred in a man’s house. He should have been taken down to the station and questioned, at minimum. This is a matter of race on a minimum level. The value of this kid’s life not the same as a prominent person’s child—he would have been handled different. The police would have been relentless; the DA would have been relentless; the whole system would have been relentless.”

King is trying to address addiction in the black gay male community through “Crystal Meth = Death” billboards and discussion groups. Brothers Reaching Brothers meets on Tuesdays from 7-9pm.

The discussions look at how treatment for crystal meth addiction has changed and therefore people must develop new skills to develop a new life. The dialogue also looks at the backgrounds of young people who get addicted, the power of addiction—the cravings and the cycles—supply and demand and how to help young people make different choices and decisions. “We focus on what steps we can take.”

In The Meantime Men’s Group meets at 2146 W. Adams Blvd. in Los Angeles. All are welcome to attend and bring a friend.

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West Hollywood

Settlement in lawsuit between WeHo trans activist & LASD

According to court docs “the parties advise the Court that a full and complete settlement of the case was reached on February 26, 2024”

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Annie Jump Vicente booing during the swearing in of West Hollywood Mayor John Erickson. (Photo by Paulo Murillo)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – A joint settlement has been reached in a legal case involving plaintiff Annie Jump Vicente, a trans activist and resident of West Hollywood, and defendants the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), the County of Los Angeles, and ten individual sheriff deputies identified as ‘Does.’

According to court documents obtained by WEHO TIMES, “the parties hereby jointly advise the Court that a full and complete settlement of the case was reached on February 26, 2024.”

Furthermore, “The parties anticipate that they will be able to finalize the settlement documents, provide the settlement draft to Plaintiff, and file a final stipulated dismissal of the entire case with prejudice within sixty (60) days.”

Jump, also known as Annie Vicente Jump, a transgender woman, filed the civil rights lawsuit against LASD, ten individual West Hollywood Station LASD deputies (referred to as Doe LASD Deputies), and the County of Los Angeles. The lawsuit stemmed from an incident on December 7, 2022, when Jump was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly obstructing Sheriff deputies from entering her apartment building while responding to a domestic violence call.

Jump faced charges under Penal Code § 148(a)(1) PC, which criminalizes willfully resisting, delaying, or obstructing peace officers or EMTs in the performance of their official duties. However, a Los Angeles County District Attorney Charge Evaluation Sheet dated December 21, 2022, concluded that “the defendant’s total conduct cannot be characterized other than a refusal to consent to a request to enter her apartment. Such conduct cannot constitute grounds for a lawful arrest or subsequent search and seizure… Refusal to stand aside and permit a requested entry, even when officers… had a right to force an entry… cannot constitute a violation of section 148.”

The civil case, number 2:23-cv8584, was filed on October 11, 2023, by the Law Offices of Christian Contreras. The list of complaints for damages included allegations of negligence, false arrest/imprisonment, assault and battery, violations of the Bane Act (Civil Code § 52.1) and the Ralph Act (Civil Code § 51.7), violations of the First Amendment for retaliation for protected speech (42 USC § 1983), violations of the Fourth Amendment for excessive force (42 USC § 1983), municipal liability for unconstitutional policy, custom, or practice, and municipal liability for failure to train.

The defendants retained the services of Collison, Daehnke, Inlow & Greco, a civil litigation defense firm specializing in various civil litigation matters.

Attorney Laura E. Inlow, with nearly 30 years of practice, leads the firm’s Governmental Entity Liability Practice Group, focusing on police misconduct and civil rights cases under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as professional liability, premises, and general liability matters. Attorney Lenore C. Kelly brings extensive experience in the aggressive defense of public entities, particularly in cases involving law enforcement use of force, civil rights violations, employment disputes, complex tort, and general casualty.

Jump alleged that she was attacked and arrested by unidentified LASD deputies on December 7, 2022, while officers were responding to a domestic violence call. The Complaint stated that upon returning home with groceries, Jump found LASD deputies demanding entry into the building to investigate a domestic violence incident involving her neighbors, who were out of town and requesting a search warrant. Jump was forcibly pulled out of her doorway, causing injuries. Two days earlier, Jump had criticized LASD’s negligence at a West Hollywood city council meeting.

Jump says the incident caused severe mental and emotional distress, including feelings of shame, disillusionment with the justice system, fear of law enforcement, and PTSD.

Related

In a recent development this month, West Hollywood Sheriff deputies arrested Ms. Vicente on Thursday, February 15, 2024, for a separate incident and is currently facing a felony assault with a deadly weapon (245 PC) for allegedly striking a Block by Block Ambassador on the head with a flashlight. Captain Moulder of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station stated that a second suspect is outstanding. Detectives are continuing to actively investigate this case.

During a recent West Hollywood City Council meeting, Ms. Vicente alleged that she had been sexually assaulted and battered by the Block by Block ambassador and asked the City to end its contract with Block by Block security. “He beat the shit out of me,” she said during public comment. “And then he had me arrested and charged with a felony.”

However, a video released by the West Hollywood Sheriff’s station shows a violent attack against the Block by Block ambassador. Two individuals assaulted him while he was on his lunch break according to Captain Moulder. One of the attackers was identified as Ms. Vicente and arrested. The other suspect is still at large as of the posting of this piece. LASD detectives released a Special Bulletin asking for the public’s help in identifying the second person.

Details on the recent settlement have not yet been disclosed, and there is no word yet on whether Ms. Jump will be filing another lawsuit for her most recent arrest.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

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The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

Women’s History Month; Getting Out the Vote; Strategic Plan Open House; Temp Closure of Sections of WeHo Park; plus more

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

City of West Hollywood Celebrates Women’s History Month in March

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood will celebrate National Women’s History Month in March with a series of events to recognize and honor women and women’s history.

The City’s National Women’s History Month events will officially kick-off with the unveiling of two new women’s history month street pole banners honoring two notable women: transgender pioneer Marsha P. Johnson, one of the most prominent figures of the gay rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s and whose legacy continues to this day; and country music legend and actor Dolly Parton. The street pole banners presentation will take place at the regular meeting of the West Hollywood City Council on Monday, March 4, 2024 at 6 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library. Attendance is free; no RSVP is required. Limited validated parking will be available at the adjacent five-story structure. The City Council meeting broadcast will be available for viewing on the City’s website by visiting www.weho.org/wehotv or on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv.  

From Tuesday, March 5, 2024 through Friday, March 22, 2024, the globe lanterns above Santa Monica Boulevard will glow purple and gold. Throughout the month, a series of street pole banners that commemorate famous American women, civil rights leaders, and women’s rights activists will be on display along Santa Monica Boulevard. The City’s featured banners include: Gail Abarbanel; Maya Angelou; Ivy Bottini; Hillary Rodham Clinton; Midge Costanza; Marion Wright Edelman; Alicia Garza; Barbara Gittings; Dolores Huerta; Coretta Scott King; Wilma Mankiller; Michaela Mendelsohn; Patsy Mink; Zoe Nicholson; Connie Norman; Michelle Obama; Rosa Parks; Mary Pickford; Sonia Sotomayor; Nadia Sutton; Gloria Steinem; Elizabeth Taylor; Ruth Williams; Oprah Winfrey; among others. This year’s additions to the Women’s History Month banners are Marsha P. Johnson and Dolly Parton.

The City of West Hollywood and its Russian-Speaking Advisory Board will host a free program celebrating International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 3, 2024 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Plummer Park Community Center, rooms 5 & 6, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. The celebration will feature music, food, dancing, and a fashion show. For additional information call (323) 848-6826 or email [email protected].

Supported by the City of West Hollywood, the first annual Sexual Healing/Sexual Health Ladies’ Brunch is a sex-positive and age-positive experience to learn more about women’s reproductive and mental health, menopause, and sexual pleasure. The brunch will be held on Sunday, March 3, 2024 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at The Pleasure Chest and Hind Lounge located at 7733 Santa Monica Boulevard. This event is presented in partnership with The Pleasure Chest and Hind Bar and supported by the City of West Hollywood and its Women’s Advisory Board and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $45 and available for purchase both online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sexual-healingsexual-healthtickets-823196401597 and at the door. For additional information email [email protected]

Also on Sunday, March 3, 2024 the City of West Hollywood and its Women’s Advisory Board will co-sponsor Guaranteed Abundance: Guaranteed Income Advocacy Training presented by LA Voice and the National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles to be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Admission is free. To register visit bit.ly/GBIAdvocacy. For additional information email [email protected].

There will be a viewing party with artist Shaghayegh Cyrous to watch the moving image artwork, Xvarnah, on the digital billboard (Streamlined Arbor) at 9157 Sunset Boulevard on Sunday, March 3, 2024 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Artwork airs every 20 minutes beginning at the top of the hour.  Admission is free. This project is presented as part of the West Hollywood Moving Image Media Art Program (MIMA), an exhibition series administered by the City’s Arts Division, as part of its Art on the Outside program, and is presented with the City’s Sunset Arts and Advertising Program. Xvarnah will be on display through Thursday, May 30, 2024.

Women and Books is a book club that meets on the first Tuesday of each month to discuss books written by women authors. On Tuesday, March 5, 2024 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. the group will discuss The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher. Women and Books is co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood through its Women’s Advisory Board and by West Hollywood Library. Admission is free. This is a hybrid event and will be hosted in-person at the West Hollywood Library’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, as well as virtually on Zoom. To register, visit: https://lacountylibrary.webex.com/lacountylibrary/j.php?MTID=maa8a00d769f8b023cc81d2d603b7184c

MashUp Contemporary Dance Company’s annual International Women’s Day Dance Festival will kick-off in West Hollywood on Friday, March 8, 2024 with the LA Women in Dance Summit in WeHo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Plummer Park’s Great Hall, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. The event will feature guest speakers, master classes and an Industry Expo. Tickets prices range from $20 to $65. To register and find out more about the entire  festival, visit: https://www.mashupdance.com/tickets/international-womens-day-dance-festival. This project is supported in part by a grant from the City of West Hollywood. 

The City of West Hollywood and its Women’s Advisory Board will co-sponsor the Annual Herstory Awards & Reception, which is presented by the Hollywood Chapter of the National Organization for Women (Hollywood NOW) to honor a woman who has made exceptional contributions to the community and embodies the spirit of feminism. This year’s honoree is Abbe Land, former West Hollywood Mayor and City Councilmember. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at 7 p.m. at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Admission is free. To RSVP, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/849689954527?aff=oddtdtcreator.

The City and its Women’s Advisory Board will host the Women’s History Month Party to honor the contributions of women and the more than 30 years of service of the City’s Women’s Advisory Board on Friday, March 15, 2024 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room and Auto Court, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Admission is free, RSVP is requested by visiting www.weho.org/whm

On Wednesday, March 27, 2024, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the 27th Annual West Hollywood Women in Leadership Awards and Reception will take place at the Andaz West Hollywood, located at 8401 Sunset Boulevard. The event is co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood and its Women’s Advisory Board along with the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Admission is $25 and proceeds will benefit the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center. To RSVP visit www.weho.org/whm.

A full schedule of City of West Hollywood events and meetings is available at www.weho.org/calendar.For more information about Women’s History Month in the City of West Hollywood, please contact Larissa Fooks, the City of West Hollywood’s Community Programs Coordinator, at (323) 848-6413 or at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series Presents a Free Screening & Panel Discussion of  ‘Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom’

To recognize the tenth anniversary of the war and the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series will host a screening of the award-winning documentary film Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom followed by a panel discussion featuring Emmy- and Oscar-nominated director/producer Evgeny Afineevsky and Anna Zaitseva, film protagonist, activist and survivor. Crafted from stark footage and exclusive interviews with people displaced by the enduring conflict, Freedom on Fire reveals how the spirit of unity strengthens morale even amid the country’s darkest hours. 

The event will take place on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and opening remarks will take place at 6:30 p.m., followed by the film screening and panel discussion. The event is free, but seating is limited. RSVP is required at http://go.weho.org/hrss.

The City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series brings together diverse communities to learn about and discuss global, national, and local human rights issues in a supportive environment. The series reflects the City’s commitment to human rights and core value of Respect and Support for People.
For additional information about the Human Rights Speakers Series, please visit www.weho.org/hrss.For more information, please contact Joy Tribble, the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Specialist, at (323) 848-6360 or at [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

2024 Public Safety Awards & Luncheon

The City of West Hollywood invites community members to attend the 2024 Public Safety Awards & Luncheon as the City celebrates and recognizes its organizational partners in public safety organizations that have made significant efforts towards enhancing community safety in West Hollywood.

The Public Safety Awards & Luncheon will take place on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at 11:30 a.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Lunch will be served in the Auto Court area outside the Chambers followed by the awards presentation inside. Admission is free; no RSVP is required. Parking will be available in the adjacent five-story structure, accessible from the El Tovar Place entrance off N. Robertson Boulevard.

This year, the Public Safety Awards will be presented to members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood Station, Los Angeles County Fire Department Stations 7 and 8, and to West Hollywood Block by Block Security Ambassadors.

These award recipients have made extraordinary efforts in public safety programs and events, strengthened community partnerships; and have demonstrated leadership in multiple ways that have contributed to a safer community.For more information about the City’s Public Safety Awards & Luncheon, please contact Anita Shandi, the City of West Hollywood’s Public Safety Manager, at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6446. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

Temporary Closure of Sections of West Hollywood Park will Take Place in February/March to Accommodate Special Event

From Wednesday, February 28, 2024, to Thursday, March 14, 2024, there will be a temporary closure of certain sections of West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard – including the small dog park and basketball courts – to accommodate the annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party and fundraiser.

Additionally, there will be intermittent lane closures on N. San Vicente Boulevard, one full street closure, and impacts to certain West Hollywood Park facilities, as follows:

Intermittent lane closures will occur on Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and PDC Drive on the following dates:

  • Friday, March 1, 2024 Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #1 & #2 lanes will be closed from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.;
  • Saturday, March 2, 2024 Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #1 & #2 lanes will be closed from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.;
  • Monday, March 4, 2024, through Thursday, March 7, 2024 (Daily) Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #2 lane will be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
  • Friday, March 8, 2024, through March 10, 2024 Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #2 lane will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.;
  • Monday, March 11, 2024 – Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #2 lane will be closed from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #1 lane will be closed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.;
  • Tuesday, March 12, 2024 Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #1 & and #2 lanes will be closed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

A full street closure will occur on Northbound and Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue starting on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at 12 p.m.; the street will reopen on Monday, March 11, 2024, at 5 a.m.

West Hollywood Park facilities impacts/closures will occur as follows:

  • West Hollywood Park small dog park and basketball courts will be closed from Wednesday, February 28, 2024, through Wednesday, March 13, 2024; and
  • West Hollywood Park large dog park will be closed from Friday, March 8, 2024, through Monday, March 11, 2024;
  • West Hollywood Park Five-Story Parking Structure will be closed all day on Sunday, March 10, 2024; the structure will reopen on Monday, March 11, 2024, at 5 a.m.

The City of West Hollywood has proudly supported the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and its Academy Awards Viewing Party over many years. This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.For inquiries related to the City of West Hollywood and temporary impacts on West Hollywood Park, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Event Services Division at [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

West Hollywood Invites Community Members to Participate in Upcoming ‘WeHo 40’ Strategic Plan Open House

The City of West Hollywood will host a community open house to kick off the development of West Hollywood’s next citywide strategic plan, WeHo 40. This free event will include a brief program, food, and live entertainment. It will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2024 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kings Road Park, located at 1000 N. Kings Road. Community members are encouraged to stop by at any point during the event to learn more about the project, to provide feedback, and to connect with fellow community members. Translation services will be available in Spanish and Russian. Advance RSVP is not required. 

This community open house will be the first in a series of community feedback-gathering events, which are central to developing WeHo 40. This event will focus on visioning and goal setting, including the identification of potential goals and priorities. Attendees will have the opportunity to contribute their experiences, ideas, and insightful perspectives to support the development of the strategic plan. The program will include a brief presentation followed by small group discussions and exercises. These activities will be repeated several times over the course of the open house; participants are encouraged to drop in at any time to participate. 

WeHo 40 is the City of West Hollywood’s forward-looking strategic planning process. Rooted in 40 years of municipal history – and looking ahead toward 2040 – WeHo 40 will engage residents, community members, and local businesses in setting priorities to create an inclusive and equitable roadmap for the City’s future and build upon the successes of the City’s past strategic plans.

For nearly four decades, the City of West Hollywood has been engaging in the collaborative development of strategic plans in order to shape forward-thinking policies and priorities. The City developed its first strategic plan in 1990. In 2003, the City launched its second strategic plan, Vision 2020. The development of Vision 2020 included the participation of more than 250 community members and helped shape the City’s Mission Statement and Core Values.

Visit engage.weho.org/wehostrategicplan to learn about the latest WeHo 40 updates and sign up for project-specific announcements. For more information, please contact Paolo Kespradit, City of West Hollywood Management Analyst, at (323) 848-6460 or [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

City of West Hollywood is Getting Out the Vote: Presidential Primary Election Voters May Vote In-Person, Vote by Mail, or Use Ballot Drop-Off Boxes through 8 p.m. on March 5, 2024

As part of the City of West Hollywood’s continuous efforts to increase voter participation, the City reminds community members that each vote counts and your voice matters in the upcoming Presidential Primary Election.

Key Dates for the March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary Election:

  • February 1: Vote by Mail begins & Drop Boxes Open 
  • February 20: Last Day to Register to Vote & Receive a Vote by Mail Ballot 
  • February 24: Same-Day Registration and 11-Day Vote Centers Open (City of West Hollywood Plummer Park Vote Center, located in Fiesta Hall, 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard) 
  • March 2: 4-Day Vote Centers Open (City of West Hollywood West Hollywood Park Vote Center, located in the Aquatic and Recreation Center San Vicente/La Cienega Rooms) 
  • March 5: Election Day

The State of California allows for conditional day-of registration and allows that voter to cast a provisional ballot. Vote by Mail postal mail-in and ballot-drop-off voting for registered voters began on February 1, 2024. Many LA County Vote Centers will begin operating on February 24, 2024; there will be two City of West Hollywood Vote Centers (Plummer Park opens on February 24 and West Hollywood park opens on March 2). 

Vote Centers are open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the pre-Election Day voting period. On Election Day, Tuesday, March 5, 2024, Vote Centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For all LA County Vote Center locations and estimated wait times, visit https://locator.lavote.gov/locations/vc

The City of West Hollywood provides two free options for residents who need transportation assistance to vote in person at a Vote Center. Cityline makes regular stops at or within a short distance of voting locations. For a route and schedule, visit www.weho.org/cityline. Dial-a-Ride is a rideshare service for West Hollywood residents over 62 or who are living with a disability (of any age) available between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by reservation. Advance registration is required; to register, call toll-free (800) 447-2189.

In addition to postal Vote by Mail and in-person voting at Vote Centers for the March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary Election, the City of West Hollywood has worked with LA County to establish three Ballot Drop Box locations in West Hollywood. These Ballot Drop Boxes are bright yellow and clearly marked. They feature safety and security features, such as 24-hour electronic monitoring. Locations are as follows:

  • West Hollywood City Hall, located at 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard

(Ballot Drop Box located behind City Hall, off of N. Sweetzer Avenue)

  • West Hollywood Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard

(Ballot Drop Box located on the west side of the street, in front of the library)

  • Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard

(Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Plummer Park Community Center)

The City of West Hollywood encourages every eligible voter to have a vote plan with the following tips:

  • Check your voter registration status or register to vote at www.lavote.gov/vrstatus or call (800) 815-2666;
  • Decide how you would like to vote: Fill in your ballot and drop off a ballot at a Ballot Drop Box or a Vote Center; or, Vote in-person at a Vote Center;
  • Educate yourself about the issues and then vote as soon as you receive your ballot;
  • Encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to vote or register to vote;
  • Assist those who need help with their mail-in ballot or offer to take a homebound senior to a Vote Center; and
  • Track your ballot. You can sign-up to receive personalized text messages, emails, and/or automated voice messages on your Vote-by-Mail ballot (whether sent by mail or dropped off at a Ballot Drop Box or Vote Center) by subscribing to Where’s My Ballot. This is a free service available to all registered voters that provides updated information about where your ballot is and when you can expect to receive it. Sign up to be notified of the status of your ballot at california.ballottrax.net/voter.

City of West Hollywood voters receive complete ballot information by mail directly from the LA County Registrar-Recorder. More election information is available at www.weho.org/elections.  

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For up-to-date information about City of West Hollywood news and events, follow @wehocity on social media, sign-up for news updates at www.weho.org/email, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at www.weho.org/calendar. West Hollywood City Hall is open for walk-in services at public counters or by appointment by visiting www.weho.org/appointments. City Hall services are accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via website at www.weho.org. Receive text updates by texting “WeHo” to (323) 848-5000.

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WeHo hosts V-Day & One Billion Rising anti-violence outreach

Vice-Mayor Chelsea Byers joined members of the LA Sheriff’s Department, Block by Block Security Ambassadors & LA LGBT Center’s WeHo Life

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V-Day and One Billion Rising Anti-Violence Outreach. (Photo Credit: WEHO TIMES)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood hosted a community outreach event as part of its annual recognition of V -Day, the global activist movement to end violence against all women (cisgender, transgender, and those who hold fluid identities that are subject to gender-based violence), girls and the planet.

Community members distributed materials to help to promote a message of consent with its “Only Yes Means Yes” public awareness campaign, distribute drink-spiking test strips, share domestic violence awareness information and human trafficking prevention and awareness information as well as general safety information and resources.

V-Day and One Billion Rising Anti-Violence Outreach – WEHO TIMES

West Hollywood Vice Mayor Chelsea Lee Byers joined members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s West Hollywood Station, Block by Block Security Ambassadors, members of the LA LGBT Center’s WeHo Life group, members of the City of West Hollywood’s Women’s Advisory Board, Public Safety, and City staff members in WeHo’s Rainbow district, to pass out awareness and prevention materials at various nightlife locations in the city. Members of the public are invited to stop by and pick up materials at a table on Santa Monica Boulevard.

V-Day and One Billion Rising Anti-Violence Outreach – WEHO TIMES

“Today we’re passing out drink test strips,” Vice-Mayor Byers told WEHO TIMES. “It’s an initiative that the city’s been really proud to partner with the LA LGBT Center and APLA Health. We’ve been out here passing out test strips to the community, and people at the bars on the Saturday afternoon. We’re having a conversation with them about the risks that are inherent in that activity and the ways that they can better protect themselves. We’re really excited to be engaging in that way as a community.”

V-Day and One Billion Rising Anti-Violence Outreach – WEHO TIMES

Drink-spiking test strips are designed to detect the possible presence of “date rape” drugs, such as GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) or ketamine. Outreach staff from the WeHo Life program began test-strip distribution efforts in October 2022 to inform and educate community members and businesses that drink-spiking test strips are a tool for personal safety that can be used anywhere at any time.

First launched in 2016, the #onlyYes campaign is a public-awareness campaign to encourage people in the community to be more aware of sexual assault and to promote a message of consent.

For over 20 years the City has participated in V-Day.  V-Day was founded on the belief that when art and activism come together, they have the power to transform systems and change culture. Founded by V (formerly Eve Ensler), activist and author of the The Vagina Monologues, V-Day has inspired women all over the world and raised collective consciousness about how violence and gender intersect. V-Day is a movement and an example of how the power of art can be used as a liberating tool for transformational holistic education and social justice. www.vday.org

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

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The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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WeHo trans activist Annie Jump Vicente arrested for felony assault

Jump facing a felony assault with a deadly weapon charge for allegedly striking a Block by Block Ambassador on the head with a flashlight

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West Hollywood resident and trans activist, Annie Jump Vicente, shown here in this file photo, speaking before the WeHo City Council.

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – West Hollywood resident and trans activist, Annie Jump Vicente (also uses the alias Annie Vicente Jump) was arrested on Thursday, February 15, 2024 and is facing a felony assault with a deadly weapon (245 PC) for allegedly striking a Block by Block Ambassador on the head with a flashlight.

Captain William (Bill) Moulder the commanding officer of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station stated that a second suspect is outstanding as of the publishing of this piece. Detectives are continuing to actively investigate this case.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Inmate Information Center, booking number 6762311 states that Jump was arrested on February 15, 2024, at 2:00 a.m. by West Hollywood Sheriff Deputies and booked at 2:45 a.m. She was released the following day.

A source familiar with the incident tells WEHO TIMES that Ms. Jump (who was booked as male) assaulted the Block by Block ambassador near Santa Monica Boulevard and N. Vista Avenue.

Full details on the incident are not yet available, however Jump has a court date scheduled for March 7, 2024.

Jump_Booking Record Details – Inmate Information Center

Ms. Jump spoke during public comment Tuesday night at a regular city council meeting to tell her own version of what happened that night.

“As I’m sure you heard by now, one of your security ambassadors, or goons as they are, crossed paths with me,” she said tearfully. “He’s actually, he then sexually assaulted me and battered me. He beat the shit out of me. And then he had me arrested and charged with a felony. I was asked about my genitalia by the deputies. I was assigned male, though my identification states I’m female. They put me with the men. Imagine what it’s like to be a trans woman incarcerated with men. Unfortunately, you can’t.”

She alleged that this is not the first time Block by Block assaulted her. “Security ambassadors touch me. They violate me and they punch me and if you recall from your inauguration [Mayor] Erickson, I played a video where one of your city paid goons threatened to kill my dog. She was unfortunately there that night on Valentine’s Day and she had she was an absolute angel. She was so scared and helpless to get around. I had to get her out of there before they killed my dog.”

Twitter account @TransinWeho believed to belong to Ms. Jump posted an edited video she had with a Block by Block Security ambassador. In the video, she is shown aggressively confronting and following a security ambassador as he tries to flee the scene.

Jump was also arrested by West Hollywood sheriffs on December 7, 2022, and charged with a misdemeanor for blocking deputies from entering her building responding to a domestic violence call. Jump was arrested and charged for violation Penal Code § 148(a)(1) PC which makes it a crime to willfully resist, delay or obstruct peace officers or EMTs who are performing their official duties—however, a Los Angeles County District Attorney Charge Evaluation Sheet dated December 21, 2022, concluded that “the defendant’s total conduct cannot be characterized other than a refusal to consent to a request to enter her apartment. Such conduct cannot constitute grounds for a lawful arrest or subsequent search and seizure… Refusal to stand aside and permit a requested entry, even when officers… had a right to force an entry… cannot constitute a violation of section 148.”

She has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), ten individual West Hollywood Station LASD deputies (referred to as Doe LASD Deputies in the lawsuit), as well as the County of Los Angeles.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

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The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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The Abbey Food & Bar faces suit over alleged breach of contract

The lawsuit alleges multiple causes of action, including breach of written contract, money had and received, accounting, and conversion

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The Abbey Food and Bar in West Hollywood - WEHO TIMES

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – A legal development concerning the Abbey Food & Bar, located at 692 N Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood, has revealed that 3 Corners Holdings LLC, a California-based limited liability company, has filed a lawsuit against Abbey Restaurants and Bars USA LLC, its Delaware counterpart Abbey Restaurants and Bars USA-LA LLC, Cocorio Inc., and ten unnamed defendants.

The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles, alleges multiple causes of action, including breach of written contract, money had and received, accounting, and conversion.

The plaintiff, 3 Corners Holdings LLC, asserts that it entered into a written profit interest agreement with the defendants on August 15, 2010. The agreement stipulated that Abbey Restaurants and Bars USA-LA LLC would pay 3 Corners Holdings LLC a 25% share of the “Operating Cash Flow” of The Abbey WeHo, formerly known as the best gay bar in the world. This arrangement was to continue until the defendants or their affiliates no longer owned a direct or indirect interest in The Abbey.

However, 3 Corners Holdings LLC alleges that despite their adherence to the agreement’s terms, the defendants have “failed and refused, and continue to fail and refuse,” to pay the owed profits interest, resulting in damages of no less than $1,600,000. Furthermore, the complaint accuses the defendants of failing to provide necessary documents requested under the agreement’s audit rights, thereby breaching the contract and depriving the plaintiff of its entitled profits.

The legal battle sheds light on the complex financial and operational dynamics between The Abbey, a cornerstone of West Hollywood’s vibrant nightlife, and its stakeholders. The lawsuit also underscores the complexities of managing partnership agreements and profit-sharing models in the hospitality industry.

Legal experts suggest that the case could have broader implications for how profit interest agreements are structured and enforced in California’s competitive restaurant and bar scene. “This lawsuit highlights the importance of clear and enforceable contracts in business partnerships,” said Daniel Medyoni, an attorney representing 3 Corners Holdings LLC. “It also serves as a reminder for companies to diligently uphold their financial obligations to their partners.”

Additionally, The Chapel at The Abbey WeHo was sold to Tristan Schukraft, a notable figure in the LGBTQ+ community and an entrepreneur with various business interests. This sale marks a significant change in ownership for these iconic West Hollywood venues.

Furthermore, allegations of druggings and sexual assaults at The Abbey have resurfaced, highlighting concerns about patron safety at the venue. These legal and public issues present a complex picture of the current state of affairs surrounding The Abbey Food & Bar.

As the case progresses, it will undoubtedly be closely watched by legal and business professionals for its potential to set precedents in contract law and partnership agreements within the hospitality industry. The defendants have yet to publicly respond to the allegations.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

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The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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Drag Queen Story Time: A new season begins in WeHo

Drag Story Hour is a Series of Saturday-Morning. Story Time Readings by Drag Performers for Children of All Ages

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The West Hollywood Drag Story Hour series is produced by Pickle the Drag Queen, who was recently appointed as the City of West Hollywood’s first Drag Laureate. Pickle is one of only two Drag Laureates in the United States.( Photo Credit: Drag Queen Story Time with Pickle)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood begins its 2024 season of Drag Story Hour on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 11 a.m. featuring drag performer Miss Barbie-Q at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The program is free to attend, RSVPs are not necessary.

Drag Story Hour is a series of Saturday-morning story time readings by drag performers for children of all ages presented by the City of West Hollywood in partnership with West Hollywood Library. The program aims to create a safe and welcoming space for children and their families to explore the beauty of diversity, acceptance, and self-expression.

All 2024 season Drag Story Hour events are scheduled to take place on Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. Mark your calendars for future 2024 Drag Story Hour events: Saturday, April 13, 2024; Saturday, June 29, 2024; Saturday, August 10, 2024; Saturday, October 5, 2024, 11 a.m.; and Saturday, December 7, 2024. Check the LA County Public Library calendar of events for updates.

Drag Story Hour was created by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions in San Francisco in 2015. In 2017, the City of West Hollywood, through its Arts Division, funded the first Drag Story Hour at West Hollywood Library, which is part of LA County Public Library.

The West Hollywood Drag Story Hour series is produced by Pickle the Drag Queen, who was recently appointed as the City of West Hollywood’s first Drag Laureate. Pickle is one of only two Drag Laureates in the United States.

The City of West Hollywood delivers a broad array of arts programs including Art on the Outside (temporary public art), Arts Grants for Individuals and Nonprofit Arts Organizations, City Poet Laureate, Drag Laureate, Free Theatre in the Parks, Library Exhibits and Programming, Summer and Winter Sounds, WeHo Reads, WeHo Pride Arts Festival (formerly called the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival), and Urban Art Program (permanent public art). More information at: www.weho.org/arts.

For more information, please email [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.


Drag Story Hour is a Series of Saturday-Morning
Story Time Readings by Drag Performers for Children of All Ages

For More Information Please Visit: go.weho.org/dragstoryhour

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WeHo LASD Sheriffs respond to two separate vandalism rampages

WeHo LASD deputies found themselves pursing and apprehending two men in 2 separate violent vandalism incidents Saturday night

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LASD Deputies arrest a suspect who went on a rampage Saturday evening in WeHo's Rainbow District. (Photo by Paulo Murillo/WEHO TIMES)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – Minutes after West Hollywood Sheriff’s deputies cleared a chaotic situation at a local Bank of America on Santa Monica Boulevard, where a man went on a violent rampage through local businesses before breaking a window and engaging in a standoff with WeHo deputies, another incident unfolded involving a man wielding a hammer. The man smashed the glass of a Metro bus shelter and then threatened other community members.

Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

At around 5 p.m., Sheriff deputies apprehended the suspect on Robertson Boulevard near The Chapel at The Abbey. He was eventually tased to neutralize him for the safety of law enforcement. Paramedics were called to the scene to check on him before he was removed from the scene.

Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES
Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

“We don’t know what’s happening tonight,” said one deputy. “There must be something in the water. I hope this is not the result of a bad batch of drugs, because that’s two incidents back-to-back where the individuals decided to smash things.”

@wehotimes Shortly after West Hollywood Sheriff deputies concluded a standoff at Bank of America on Santa Monica Blvd, at roughly 5pm, they were called to the scene of a separate incident down the street on Robertson Blvd, where a man wielding a hammer smashed a Metro bus stop shelter and threatened community members. He was tased in front of The Chapel at The Abbey. Paramedics tended to the individual who also seemed to be having a psychotic episode. #wehotimes #wehonews #weho #westhollywood #lasd #lasdweho #wehocrime #rainbowdistrict #wehocity ♬ original sound – WEHO TIMES

No one else was reported hurt in the incident.

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Remember, if you see something, say something. Anonymous tips can be reported to Crimestoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. Anyone with information can also submit a tip at https://www.lacrimestoppers.org.

Your identity is always encrypted and anonymous. No personal information, phone number, email, IP address, or location is ever requested, saved, traced, tracked, or monitored. Period.

The purpose of Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers is to prevent and reduce crime by fostering a partnership among the community, law enforcement, and the media to offer anonymity and cash rewards to anyone providing information leading to an arrest.

Crime Stoppers encourages community members to assist local law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime by overcoming the two key elements that inhibit community involvement: fear and apathy.

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station polices the City of West Hollywood and the unincorporated communities of Franklin Canyon, Universal City (including Universal Theme Park, Studios, and Citywalk), and the Federal Enclave in West Los Angeles.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

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The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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One Institute hosts exhibition featuring works by LGBTQ+ students

Chair of the LA County Board of Supervisors Lindsey Horvath, WeHo Mayor John Erickson, & WeHo Vice-Mayor Chelsea Byers attended

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WeHo Mayor John Erickson takes a selfie with LGBTQ+ students during the One Institute History Within Us event (Photo Credit: WEHO TIMES)


By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – One Institute hosted “History Within Us,” a one-day exhibition showcasing creative research projects by six LGBTQ+ high school student leaders from the Institute’s 2023-24 Youth Ambassadors for Queer History program on Saturday, January 29, 2024, at One Gallery in West Hollywood. Each student made a presentation describing their projects before a packed room.

Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Lindsey Horvath, City of West Hollywood Mayor John Erickson, and City of West Hollywood Vice-Mayor Chelsea Byers, presented each student with certificates of recognition for their efforts.

One Institute History Within Us Event – WEHO TIMES
One Institute History Within Us Event – WEHO TIMES

Led by Programs Manager Trevor Ladner, “History Within Us” is part of One Institute’s Youth Ambassadors for Queer History program. The goal is to ignite LGBTQ+ high school students’ passion for queer and trans history through in-depth archival research, field trips, workshops, and conversations with LGBTQ+ scholars, activists, artists, and community leaders. Utilizing materials from the digital collections at ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, as well as the insights and skills they gain throughout the semester-long program, students are encouraged to create a final project that showcases both their creativity and historical knowledge.

“I’m so deeply grateful to be in a community that values inclusivity and invests resources in queer and trans youth,” said Ladner. “It’s crucial for young LGBTQ people to have these kinds of spaces, inside and outside of school, where they can find mentorship and friendship, learn about the challenging and joyful parts of our history, and find pathways of opportunity.”

One Institute History Within Us Event – WEHO TIMES

“Walking around this room and seeing history, seeing our experiences, and seeing everything lived out through our current generation, our future generation, our past generations, but always coming out and remembering our history–that’s what the City of West Hollywood has done so well,” said Mayor Erickson. “We’re going to keep doing that with the support of One Archives… We are dedicated to preserving our history and pushing it forward. This space matters, and that’s my brother’s faces pattern.”

“I think it’s more important than ever that we have a connection to our history,” said Vice Mayor Chelsea Byers. “I’m really grateful that it’s another set of young leaders in our community that are helping us forge a deeper connection to our past so we can better move forward. The creativity that we see on these walls is inviting us into it, and I think that’s important because the work ahead is serious.”

One Institute History Within Us Event – WEHO TIMES

“Thanks to the One Institute for making today possible,” said LA County Chair Horvath. “This is so inspiring and moving. We had the opportunity to work with One Institute on a very beautiful project from the beach you may have visited, what is sometimes known as Will Rogers Beach, but we know it as Ginger Rogers, now officially signified by beautifully painted lifeguard towers, in partnership with the One Institute with plaques that captured highlighted moments of our LGBTQ history in Los Angeles County and up the beach. We thank you for your partnership and making it not just something that people can see but an actual experience and understanding of history. The more we create opportunities like these to really understand what the history has been a can help inform and support our future in ways that we know and in ways that we’ll never understand but are so critically important.”

One Institute History Within Us Event – WEHO TIMES

“History Within Us” included a digital zine on lesbian publications in the 1960s and 1970s, an investigation into the impact of corporate funding on grassroots LGBTQ+ activism, and a deep dive into LGBTQ+ student organizations in colleges and high schools, among others. The installation also included a “Letters to ONE” display, featuring students’ responses to archival letters sent by ONE Magazine readers in the 1950s and 1960s. Visitors were invited to view the exhibition while enjoying light refreshments, including rainbow and transgender flag-colored conchas from the LGBTQ-allied Los Angelitos Bakery.

Rainbow and transgender flag-colored conchas from the LGBTQ-allied Los Angelitos Bakery

Learn more about Youth Ambassadors for Queer History at oneinstitute.org/youth-ambassadors-for-queer-history.

About the Projects

“Queerly Important: Exploring the Impact of Queer Student Unions” by Cora, 15, is an interactive photo gallery that examines how LGBTQ+ student groups— such as the Gay and Lesbian Student Union at Los Angeles City College or Project 10 in LAUSD— have served as vital resources for inclusivity, expression, education, and support of LGBTQ+ youth from the 1960s to today.

“Follow the Money Trail” by Luca, 15, is a visual presentation that explores funding of LGBTQ+ movement from the 1980s to the present, questioning how sources of LGBTQ+ funding today, such as large corporate grants, have impacted movement goals compared to the grassroots fundraising of activists such as ACT UP Los Angeles in the 1980s and 1990s.

“Dear Robert” by Jojo, 16, is a poetry series that probes various perspectives and ethical questions in the case of Robert Rosenkrantz, who— as a Calabasas High School student during the anti-gay hysteria of the 1980s AIDS crisis— was incarcerated for murder in 1986 after fatally shooting a homophobic bully, his case garnering national LGBTQ+ attention through an article in The Advocate.

“Forever Queer: The Hidden Rainbow Inside of Neverland” by Star, 17, is a visual art series that celebrates the trailblazing performance of Maude Adams— actress, production designer, and lesbian— who originated the role of Peter Pan on Broadway in 1905, a story which itself continues to inspire young, queer imagining.

“Here Before Us” by Joshua, 18, is an ofrenda, or altar, honoring the storied lives of queer Latinx individuals and institutions in California, including candidate and drag queen José Sarria, activist and journalist Jeanne Córdova, the popular nightclub Circus Disco, and Gay and Lesbian Latinos Unidos.

“Those Lesbians are Everywhere” by Sophie, 18, is a digital zine that celebrates lesbian activism and identity in the 1970s through 1990s through an exploration of queer women’s publications, including The Lesbian Tide and Kitchen Table Press, as well as the role of lesbian organizers in political groups, such as the National Organization for Women and ACT UP Los Angeles.

Learn more at oneinstitute.org, and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @oneinstitutela.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

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The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

WeHo Pride 2024 Opens Participant Application Portals, Multifamily Property Inspection Pilot Program, West Hollywood Receives Grant from SCAG

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

WeHo Pride 2024 Opens Participant Application Portals for WeHo Pride Street Fair, WeHo Pride Parade, & WeHo Pride Grants for Community Organization Pride Events

WEST HOLLYWOODThe City of West Hollywood has opened the application portals for its WeHo Pride 2024 celebration in May and June. WeHo Pride Weekend will take place on Friday, May 31, 2024; Saturday, June 1, 2024; and Sunday, June 2, 2024 in and around West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The weekend will include a free Street Fair, the Women’s Freedom Festival, the Dyke March, the WeHo Pride Parade, and the ticketed OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride music festival and Friday Night at OUTLOUD.

The WeHo Pride Street Fair will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024 and Sunday, June 2, 2024 and will celebrate Pride with diverse participation of LGBTQ+ community groups and allied organizations as part of visibility and expression. The Street Fair is free and will feature a vibrant variety of exhibitors along Santa Monica Boulevard. There will be live entertainment and performances on a community stage, highlighting the LGBTQ+ community. The Street Fair is a family-friendly event and is open to everyone. It is a great occasion to take part in WeHo Pride’s LGBTQ+ community experience. WeHo Pride Street Fair applications are also currently open for vendors, artists, performers, and more. The Street Fair promises to be bigger and better than ever before. With a wide range of activities and options, there is sure to be something for everyone. Organizations interested in applying to participate as an Exhibitor at the WeHo Pride Street Fair can apply here, no later than April 16, 2024. Food vendors interested in participating in the event can reach out to [email protected] for more information. 

WeHo Pride Weekend: May 31 to June 2 

Friday Night at OUTLOUD: May 31

OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride: May 31 to June 2

WeHo Pride Parade: June 2

WeHo Pride Street Fair: June 1 to June 2

Women’s Freedom Festival & Dyke March: June 1

WeHo Pride Arts Festival: June 14 to June 16

WeHo Pride Community Group Events: May 22 to June 30

Updates and Details are Available at www.wehopride.com

Get festive as we roll down Santa Monica Boulevard for the WeHo Pride Parade on Sunday, June 2, 2024! The WeHo Pride Parade is an imaginative and colorful annual tradition along Santa Monica Boulevard that embraces LGBTQ+ representation, inclusion, and progress. Full of music, dancing, colorful floats, festive marching contingents, and creative flair, the Parade celebrates LGBTQ+ people and our contributions to community and culture. The Parade is a lively, energetic experience with good cheer and great vibes, and a whole lot of rainbows! Whether you participate in the Parade or join in the fun as a spectator, there’s something for everyone at the WeHo Pride Parade! Organizations and individuals interested in submitting an application to participate as an entrant in the annual WeHo Pride Parade can apply here, no later than April 15, 2023. Get creative and think outside of the box! The WeHo Pride Parade welcomes floats, bands, drill teams, dance teams, entertainment entries, marchers, and more. 

WeHo Pride celebrations during WeHo Pride Weekend and during May and June 2024 will include a diverse array of LGBTQ+ community groups as part of visibility, expression, and celebration. The City of West Hollywood invites community groups to take part in WeHo Pride 2024. Through an application and review process, community groups may apply to request City funding for an independent Pride event, produced entirely by the group or organization under the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Pride brand. If selected, your event will enter into a co-sponsorship agreement with the City and be a part of the City’s Official WeHo Pride program, occurring between May 22, 2024 and June 30, 2024. Applications can be found here, and must be submitted by February 29, 2024. 

There are a variety of ways for brands to sponsor this brand-new era of Pride in West Hollywood as well. From traditional activation spaces (street fair visibility and parade entries) to inclusion at one of the most diverse music events nationally, as well as creative customized opportunities, there are multiple outlets for brand visibility! Organizations interested in becoming a WeHo Pride sponsor can reach out to [email protected] 

Additional details about WeHo Pride 2024 will be posted as they become available at www.wehopride.com. Follow @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook and follow @officiallyoutloud on Instagram and Facebook.

About WeHo Pride and the City of West Hollywood Since its incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. Home to the “Rainbow District” along Santa Monica Boulevard, which features a concentration of historic LGBTQ clubs, restaurants, and retail shops, West Hollywood consistently tops lists of “most LGBTQ friendly cities” in the nation. More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and four of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly LGBTQ.

Pride is deeply rooted part of West Hollywood’s history and culture. In fact, Pride events have taken place in West Hollywood for more than 40 years (since 1979, five years before the City of West Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality). The City’s embrace of Pride is part of its advocacy for nearly four decades for measures that support LGBTQ individuals, and the City is in the vanguard on efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level. The City of West Hollywood is one of the first municipalities to form a Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board (now LGBTQ+ Commission) and a Transgender Advisory Board, which each address matters of advocacy. As part of its support of the transgender community, the City has a Transgender Resource Guide available on the City’s website.

In 2022, the City of West Hollywood inaugurated WeHo Pride with programming that represents a diverse array of LGBTQ community groups as part of visibility, expression, and celebration. West Hollywood is a community of choice for LGBTQ people from throughout the world and WeHo Pride embraces a source of deep connection for its LGBTQ history and culture.

For more information about WeHo Pride and the WeHo Pride Arts Festival, please visit www.wehopride.com.

For more information about Outloud @ WeHo Pride, please visit www.weareoutloud.com.

For inquires to the City of West Hollywood’s Event Services Division, please email [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

City of West Hollywood to Begin Proactive Multifamily Property Inspection Pilot Program

The City of West Hollywood’s Neighborhood and Business Safety (NBS) Division Code Enforcement team works to maintain neighborhood livability by being responsive to complaints and concerns received from the community. The NBS Division is responsible for enforcing all provisions of the City’s laws and ordinances, as governed by the West Hollywood Municipal Code and it actively addresses community concerns about a variety of regulated issues. 

Beginning in February 2024, the City’s NBS Division will begin conducting proactive and systematic inspections of multifamily properties in West Hollywood. This will include low-income housing and inclusionary units within multifamily properties. Two Code Enforcement Officers will be assigned to this proactive pilot program and will perform outreach to property owners and tenants before inspections are completed. The proactive pilot program will begin on the Eastside of the City and will gradually move west across the community.

The goal of the proactive multifamily property inspection pilot program is to inspect multifamily properties once every three years to ensure City rental housing properties are being maintained in compliance with West Hollywood Municipal Code standards. A multifamily property in West Hollywood is considered a building with three or more units. 

Inspections will be initially focused on exterior property conditions (e.g., landscape, carports/parking areas, paint, fences/gates, roof, doors, etc.) and common areas of multifamily properties, such as hallways, courtyards, staircases, elevators, recreation rooms, etc. Code Enforcement Officers assigned to the proactive multifamily inspection pilot program will also be checking for any potential vacation (short-term) rental activity being advertised at a property they are currently inspecting. Vacation (short-term) rental concerns that are reported to the City’s NBS Division outside of the proactive multifamily inspection pilot program will continue to be responded to responsively.

Additionally, as part of the outreach process for the proactive pilot program, Code Enforcement Officers will be posting flyers in the mailrooms and common areas of multifamily properties, informing tenants of the ability to voluntarily schedule inspections within the interior of their own units. Interior inspections of tenant units will only occur as part of this proactive pilot program if a tenant schedules an inspection directly with the Code Enforcement team assigned to multifamily inspections. Interior inspections of tenant units that are performed when a tenant reports an issue in their unit to the City’s NBS Division outside of the proactive multifamily inspection pilot program will continue to be responded to normally. 

If a tenant voluntarily schedules an interior inspection of their unit as part of this proactive pilot program, assigned Code Enforcement Officers will be checking for habitability concerns such as plumbing leaks, lack of heat, lack of hot water, deteriorated electrical outlets, and missing or inoperable smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. 

Code Enforcement Officers assigned to the proactive pilot program will also be checking multifamily properties with five or more units or with 16 or more units for various noticing requirements in compliance with the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). These required RSO notices provide tenants with emergency numbers to contact, information about protections related to eviction, harassment, and rent limits, and business hours for onsite managers. 

Tenants interested in getting their units inspected from the proactive multifamily inspection team, when the team is conducting inspections at their property as part of the pilot program, may contact the City of West Hollywood’s Neighborhood and Business Safety (NBS) Division at (323) 450-7115 or at [email protected]. The City’s NBS proactive multifamily inspection team will operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. excluding holidays.

Community members who may have concerns about noise, property maintenance, vacant properties, construction, zoning (short-term rentals and land use activities), and impediments in the public right-of-way (sidewalk, parkway, alley, or street) are encouraged to reach out to the City’s NBS Code Enforcement team by submitting a Service Request, which is a first step in investigating potential violations of the West Hollywood Municipal Code. The primary goal of Code Enforcement is to gain voluntary compliance so that residents and businesses better understand their responsibilities in maintaining their properties and preserving quality of life.

Service requests may be submitted on the City’s website at www.weho.org/servicerequest or by using the City of West Hollywood Official App, which may be downloaded on an Apple device from the iOS App Store or as an Android App on Google Play; search for “West Hollywood Official App.”

Complaints or questions may also be submitted through the Code Enforcement hotline at (323) 848-6516 or email at [email protected]. When reporting a complaint, please include the address, the day of the week, and the approximate time when the issue was observed. If you wish to receive a call back, please also leave your contact information.

For more information about the City’s proactive multifamily inspection pilot program, please contact Eugene Alper, the City of West Hollywood’s Code Enforcement Supervisor at (323) 848-6432 or at [email protected].

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

For More Information, E-mail [email protected]

City of West Hollywood Receives Grant from SCAG, the Southern California Association of Governments, to Expand Approaches for Achieving Affordable Housing

The City of West Hollywood has received a $150,000 funding award from SCAG, the Southern California Association of Governments, which aims to support the City’s efforts to achieve housing goals. Funding is part of SCAG’s allocation of $45 million in Lasting Affordability Program funding in support of 14 innovative housing finance projects across Southern California.

The $150,000 SCAG grant for the City of West Hollywood will be dedicated to a feasibility study for the creation of a community land trust within West Hollywood. The City’s Long Range Planning Division will explore the creation of a community land trust to expand approaches for achieving affordable housing and affordable homeownership. The anticipated outcome from forming such a community land trust includes progress toward meeting the City’s objective of creating 500 new affordable housing units by 2029.

The Lasting Affordability Program is one of the three funding areas in the Programs to Accelerate Transformative Housing (PATH) program, which is part of SCAG’s REAP 2.0 Program Framework. REAP 2.0 is a statewide grant administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) that aims to accelerate progress towards state housing goals and climate commitments. It makes $45,000,000 available to support programmatic level investments in housing trust funds, community land trusts, and catalyst funds. 

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, representing six counties, 191 cities and nearly 19 million residents. SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to plan for a livable and sustainable Southern California now and in the future.

For more information about SCAG’s regional efforts, please visit www.scag.ca.gov

For more information about this project and Long Range Planning in the City, please contact Francisco Contreras, the City of West Hollywood’s Long Range Planning Manager at (323) 848-6874 or at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Presents Xvarnah by Artist Shaghayegh Cyrous and  Child of the Screen by Artist Nathan Hirschaut As Part of the ‘Moving Image Media Art’ Exhibition Series

The City of West Hollywood announces the debut of the next exhibitions in the City’s Moving Image Media Art (MIMA) program. Xvarnah, a short film from artist Shaghayegh Cyrous makes its worldwide debut on the Streamlined Arbor billboard, locate at 9157 Sunset Boulevard, and will air at the top of, 20-minutes past, and 40-minutes past every hour for 3½ minutes. Child of the Screen, a short film, from artist Nathan Hirschaut will debut on the Invisible Frame billboard, located at 8743 Sunset Boulevard, and will air at the top of every hour and 30-minutes past every hour for 5½ minutes. Both works will be on exhibition from Thursday, February 1, 2024, through Thursday, May 30, 2024. 

MIMA is an ongoing exhibition series of moving image media artworks on multiple digital billboards at various locations along Sunset Boulevard. The goals of the MIMA program are to foster cultural equity, expand accessibility, inspire conversation, and enhance the human experience of the Sunset Strip. The historically significant building that sits at the base of the Streamlined Arbor at 9157 Sunset inspires artwork as an authentic reexamination of cultural identity, by amplifying the voices of those silenced and marginalized. 

Xvarnah translated from the 12th Century means glory of light and the divine illumination of truth in the search for justice. Dancing is forbidden in Iran; it’s recognized as too fertile a breeding ground for female consciousness. The artist believes that Xvarnah is what will ultimately prevail: life, freedom, and the light of truth. 

Shaghayegh Cyrous is an Iranian American multi-media artist based in Los Angeles. Cyrous earned an M.F.A. at California College of the Arts and a B.F.A. in visual arts from the Science and Culture University of Tehran. In 2023, Cyrous received recognition by the Cultural Inclusion Foundation as one of 40 ‘Culturally Diverse Women Making a Difference.’ Cyrous is a 2021 Gold Art Prize finalist. She has exhibited and performed internationally at venues such as Tehran MOCA, British Museum in London, Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, Institut für Alles Mögliche, Berlin, Germany, Anchorage Museum in Alaska, and Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.

The Invisible Frame billboard, located at 8743 Sunset Boulevard displays artwork that addresses issues of transparency, inclusion, privacy, and media.

Child of the Screen is Nathan Hirschaut’s charming tribute to early silent film, extrapolating the concept of a human parented and puppet-mastered by a giant hand. Enchanting and eerie, Child of the Screen asks do we control our screens, or do they control us?

Nathan Hirschaut began his artistic career as a dancer and choreographer, graduating with honors from Julliard in 2020. Most recently, Hirschaut founded 10+ Multimedia Productions, a media incubator specializing in the creation of experimental films that have been recognized at the Short Shorts Film Festival, Tokyo; Dance on Camera, Lincoln Center, NYC; and Dance Camera West, Los Angeles. Nathan’s films have been featured on NPR, and in The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times

The Moving Image Media Art Program (MIMA) is a City of West Hollywood exhibition series administered by the Arts Division, as part of its Art on the Outside Program, and is presented with the Sunset Arts and Advertising Program. MIMA offers artists the opportunity, and the funding, to create immediate, and ambitious works of art that engage with the unique visual landscape of the Sunset Strip. 

MIMA enables artists to occupy, contest, and play with the definition and uses of public space and manifest moments of connection and spectacle. Artists exhibited in the program are selected from the MIMA Prequalified List, a rolling, open-call for moving image media artists, curators, and non-profit arts organizations, with applications reviewed bi-annually by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, in May and November. The MIMA Prequalified List includes a diverse list of artists of all career levels; from emerging to internationally recognized. Visit www.weho.org/community/arts-and-culture/visual-arts/mima for more detailed information.

The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division delivers a broad array of arts programs including Art on the Outside (temporary public art), Arts Grants, City Poet Laureate, Drag Laureate, Free Theatre in the Parks, Human Rights Speaker Series, Library Exhibits, WeHo Pride Arts Festival, Summer Sounds + Winter Sounds, Urban Art (permanent public art), and WeHo Reads. For more information about City of West Hollywood arts programming, please visit www.weho.org/arts.  

For more information about MIMA contact Rebecca Ehemann, City of West Hollywood Arts Manager at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6846. 

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

City of West Hollywood’s 2024 ‘WeHo Reads’ Series “Creative Intersections” Launches in February

The City of West Hollywood launches its WeHo Reads 2024 literary series with three Spring events. The theme for this WeHo Reads season is Creative Intersections.

The series opener WeHo Reads: Inspirations and Intersections will take place virtually on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This Black History Month event features authors celebrating their inspirations and examining how their work intersects with literary luminaries. Questions explored will include: How do breakthrough writers pave the way for a more inclusive publishing landscape? How do contemporary writers want their work to be received? Where do literary legacies and ambitions intersect?

Participating writers will include: Rachel Howzell Hall, the bestselling author of multiple crime novels, including What Never Happened; Lisa Teasley, author of Fluid: Stories and librettist of The Passion of Nell, commissioned by the Long Beach Opera; Jervey Tervalon, an award-winning poet, screenwriter, lecturer, and dramatist, who is the author of Monster’s Chef and All the Trouble You Need; and Tamika Thompson, a writer, producer, and journalist, who is the author of the speculative fiction collection Unshod, Cackling, and Naked.

This online event will take place on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wehoarts. Members of the public can RSVP and be sent a direct link to view the event by visiting the WeHo Reads webpage on the City’s website at www.weho.org/wehoreads.

Other upcoming spring events include:

  • WeHo Reads: In-Person Poetry Spa and Program, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Respite Deck of the West Hollywood Aquatic and Recreation Center, located at 8750 El Tovar Place, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library. Celebrate National Poetry Month and lounge with a poet at the City’s 2nd annual Poetry Spa Day at the Respite Deck of the City of West Hollywood’s Aquatic and Recreation Center at West Hollywood Park. From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., explore poetry at “spa stations” such as Feng Shui Poetry, Poemaroma (essential oils), Lotus Poetry (origami), and other poetic experiences. At 7:30 p.m., gather at the steps to hear all the poets share their words. Poetry Spa is a concept created by Brian Sonia-Wallace during his term as 2020-23 West Hollywood City Poet Laureate. This year’s event is curated by current West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng, and the spa stations and poets include:
  • Terry Wolverton, author of eleven books, including her latest, Season of Eclipse, hosts the Poemaroma spa station.
  • A. K. Toney is a griot, writer, musician, and educator who hosts the Listening Libations spa station where attendees get to mix poetry with soothing sounds.
  • Brian Sonia-Wallace, author of Poetry of Strangers hosts the Poetry Bath spa station.
  • Pride Poets members Timothy Nang will host the Lotus Poetry spa station and Jose Rios will host the Poetry Bingo spa station.
  • West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng, author of Braided Spaces, hosts the Feng Shui Poetry spa station which guides attendees through the Five Elements.

This event is open to the public and free to attend; RSVPs are requested at www.weho.org/wehoreads.  

  • WeHo Reads: Asian Pacific Diaspora Talk Story will take place in-person on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. at the West Hollywood Library Community Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Hear from a panel of poets and writers during Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month as they share their stories, connect across the diaspora, and discuss what it means to be from the Asian-Pacific diaspora. Musical guest Jett Kwong opens this event celebrating the panel of Asian/Pacific American authors (to be announced). This event is free to attend, and RSVPs are requested at www.weho.org/wehoreads

WeHo Reads is the City of West Hollywood’s literary series presenting authors of interest to the West Hollywood community since 2013. Past participants have included: André Aciman, Andrew Rannells, Arlene and Alan Alda, Armistead Maupin, Bianca Del Rio, Bryan Fuller, Carrie Brownstein, Charles Phoenix, Charles Yu, Chris Kraus, Danez Smith, Dasha Kelly Hamilton, David Ulin, Eileen Myles, Eloise Klein Healy, Emma Donoghue, Erwin Chemerinsky, Henry Rollins, Imani Tolliver, Jacob Tobia, James Sie, Lester Graves Lennon, Josephine Giles, LeVar Burton, Lillian Faderman, Lloyd Schwartz, Lorna Luft, Luis J. Rodriguez, Lynell George, Lynne Thompson, Michael York, Michelle Visage, Myriam Gurba, Natalie Goldberg, Natasha Deón, Nina Revoyr, Patrisse Cullors, Patt Morrison, Peter J. Harris, Randa Jarrar, Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco, Ryan Gosling, Ryka Aoki, Sarah Silverman, Seymour Stein, Shonda Buchanan, Stephen Chbosky, Tananarive Due, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, and Walter Mosely.

WeHo Reads 2024 is presented by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division and is produced by BookSwell, LLC, , a literary events and media company dedicated to lifting up writers from historically excluded communities. All events are free to attend.

For additional information about these events and to RSVP, visit www.weho.org/wehoreads.

For more information about WeHo Reads, please contact Mike Che, City of West Hollywood Arts Coordinator, at (323) 848-6377 or at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood is Getting the Word Out About Cryptocurrency Fraud and Scams

The City of West Hollywood is launching an effort to help inform community members about how to protect themselves from cryptocurrency fraud and scams. Cryptocurrency is digital currency acquired through an app on a phone, a website, or at a cryptocurrency Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Bitcoin and Ether are some of the most well-known cryptocurrencies, but there are many others. Scammers may use cryptocurrencies because they do not have the same legal protections as credit cards or debit cards, and payments usually cannot be reversed.

Here are some tips to avoid cryptocurrency scams:

  • Only scammers demand payment in cryptocurrency. No legitimate business or government agency will demand any type of payment with cryptocurrency; that is a scam.
  • Never pay a fee to get a job. If someone asks for upfront payment to secure a job with cryptocurrency or any other type of payment; that is a scam.
  • Never mix cryptocurrency and online dating. If a potential online date asks for cryptocurrency or wants to “help” invest in crypto; that is a scam.
  • Do research on companies and organizations before investing or sending money to avoid falling victim to an illegitimate company or website. When companies or websites (fake or not) have look- or sound-alike names to well-known organizations, the potential confusion created for consumers is real. Attempting to take advantage of such confusion is a tactic employed by bad actors looking to profit from unsuspecting consumers.

The State of California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has announced the launch of a Crypto Scam Tracker to help Californians spot and avoid crypto scams. The tracker details apparent crypto scams identified through a review of complaints submitted by the public and allows California consumers and investors to do their own research and prevent harm to themselves and others. The site features a database that is searchable by company name, scam type, or keywords to learn more about the crypto-specific complaints the DFPI has received. An accompanying glossary aims to help consumers better understand common scams. As reports of new crypto scams emerge, the DFPI will continually update this tracker to promptly alert and protect the public.

Cryptocurrency is Digital Currency Acquired Through a Phone App, a Website, or at a Cryptocurrency ATM

For community members who believe they have been a victim of a scam or fraud, or hear about a scam that is currently not listed on the Scam Tracker, please notify the DFPI immediately by filing a complaint with the DFPI online at https://dfpi.ca.gov/submit-a-complaint or by calling toll-free: (866) 275-2677.

For more information, please contact Anita Shandi, the City of West Hollywood’s Public Safety Manager at (323) 848-6446 or at [email protected].

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

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For up-to-date information about City of West Hollywood news and events, follow @wehocity on social media, sign-up for news updates at www.weho.org/email, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at www.weho.org/calendar. West Hollywood City Hall is open for walk-in services at public counters or by appointment by visiting www.weho.org/appointments. City Hall services are accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via website at www.weho.org. Receive text updates by texting “WeHo” to (323) 848-5000.

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West Hollywood

RuPaul Pays tribute to West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip

RuPaul’s Drag Race revealed the cast of 14 new queens for the show’s season 16 competing for the show’s 16th regular-season crown

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RuPaul standing on Sunset Boulevard in front of giant billboard promoting the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16, which premiered on Friday, January 5, 2024. The billboard is above Pink Dot, located at 8495 Sunset Blvd. (Photo Credit: RuPaul/Instagram)

By Mike Pingel | WEST HOLLYWOOD – In an Instagram post, dated January 5, 2024, RuPaul Charles, the star and host of RuPaul’s Drag Race reminisced on his love for The Sunset Strip in West Hollywood dating back to his childhood in the 70s.

“In the ’70s, my family knew how much I loved the brilliant billboards that lined the Sunset Strip,” wrote RuPaul on his official Instagram account. “When we drove up to LA, they would drop me off on the corner of Fairfax and Sunset Boulevard, and for hours, I’d walk up and down the Strip, captivated by the dazzling billboards featuring icons like Cher, Donna Summer, and Diana Ross. I’d pray that one day, l’d be among them. Dreams come true, and although I’ve had billboards here before, each new one feels like the first. DragRace 16 returns tonight, and remember, If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

A photo shows RuPaul standing on Sunset Boulevard in front of giant billboard promoting the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16, which premiered on Friday, January 5, 2024. The billboard is above Pink Dot, located at 8495 Sunset Blvd.

RuPaul’s Drag Race revealed the cast of 14 new queens for the show’s season 16. Competing for the show’s 16th regular-season crown, a $200,000 prize, and the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar across the two-part premiere is an eclectic mix of drag styles from around the country, including season 13 star and All Stars 8 finalist Kandy Muse’s drag daughter, season 14, who was Miss Congeniality winner Kornbread’s drag sister from the House of Jeté.

The show’s two-part premiere introduced a new twist, as two groups participate in maxi challenges divided into themes: MTV’s Spring Break and the Queen Choice Awards. Following the talent show performances, the queens will be tasked to Rate-A-Queen and rank each other’s performances. This will determine the tops and bottoms of the challenge. The new episodes are followed by regular episodes of Untucked.

RuPaul’s Drag Race – Season 16 – TV Series | MTV

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Mike Pingel has written six books, Channel Surfing: Charlie’s Angels & Angelic Heaven: A Fan’s Guide to Charlie’s Angels, Channel Surfing: Wonder Woman, The Brady Bunch: Super Groovy after all these years; Works of Pingel and most recently, Betty White: Rules the World. Pingel owns and runs CharliesAngels.com website and was Farrah Fawcett personal assistant. He also works as an actor and as a freelance publicist. His official website is www.mikepingel.com

The preceding article was previously published by the WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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