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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

West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

Celebrate 38 years of Cityhood on West Hollywood Day, Tuesday, November 29, 2022, West Hollywood Marks World AIDS Day on December 1

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

City of West Hollywood Marks World AIDS Day on December 1

WEST HOLLYWOOD – Each year, the City of West Hollywood recognizes World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day originated at the 1988 United Nations World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention and is held each year on December 1. Every year, United Nations agencies, governments, nonprofit organizations, community groups, and others across the globe join together to campaign around specific themes related to AIDS. World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have passed away due to HIV/AIDS. The international theme of this year’s #WorldAIDSDay is “Equalize” and the slogan is a call to action for communities to address inequalities that perpetuate the HIV/AIDS pandemic.   

“The City’s annual recognition of World AIDS Day is an opportunity for us to remember loved ones lost over the last four decades to AIDS, as well as to support those living with HIV,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister. “Too many souls have left us much too soon due to HIV and AIDS. The City will continue to support access to medical and emotional care, prevention, and treatment, and to provide resources and support for those in need as our scientific community continues to work toward the day we can all celebrate the end of suffering and loss caused by AIDS.”

 This year, the City of West Hollywood will recognize World AIDS Day with special events and programming, including:

 The Paul Andrew Starke Warrior Awards presentation, which will take place Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at the West Hollywood Park Aquatics and Recreation Center in the San Vicente and La Cienega Conference Rooms, located at 8750 El Tovar Place, adjacent to West Hollywood Park. The event will feature an update on the City of West Hollywood’s HIV Zero Initiative from Aaron Celious, Ph.D. of the Maroon Society. The Warrior Awards are given to outstanding employees or volunteers of local agencies that offer HIV/AIDS and/or substance abuse prevention and care services. This year’s honorees are: 

  • Dr. Jesika Babajanian – Being Alive; 
  • Andres Diaz – AIDS Healthcare Foundation; 
  • Ruben Garcia – APLA Health; 
  • Gerardo Mendez – C.I.T.Y. x1 Youth Group; 
  • Francis Ocon – Men’s Health Foundation; 
  • Claudia Pacheco – Los Angeles LGBT Center; 
  • Robb Peters – The Tweakers Project; 
  • Sunnie Rose – The Life Group LA; 
  • John Walter – Friends Community Center; and 
  • Warren Wimmer – Alliance for Housing and Healing. 

The 24-hour electronic memorial to those lost to HIV, AIDSWatch, will be viewable on www.AIDSWatch.org beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, December 1, 2022. The AIDSWatch memorial will also be available for viewing from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

In addition to City of West Hollywood programming, the City has co-sponsored two World AIDS Day events. The Foundation for The AIDS Monument (FAM) and the Minority AIDS Project will be co-hosting FAM’s second annual STORIES Circle storytelling event LOVE, LIGHT & LEGACY, for World AIDS Day. The STORIES Circle event will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the future site of STORIES: The AIDS Monument in West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard, next to the West Hollywood Library. It is an opportunity for storytellers – survivors, activists, caregivers, community organizers, political leaders, and those who lost loved ones – to gather in circles and share their personal stories about HIV and AIDS.

The City of West Hollywood is also co-sponsoring amfAR’s screening of the film Yes I Am – The Ric Weiland Story at the Harmony Gold Theater, located at 7655 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The film tells the story of Ric Weiland, one of the original founders of Microsoft and a somewhat unknown queer philanthropist, who donated more than $200 million during his lifetime to many non-profit organizations and the LGBT community. Proceeds from the screening will be donated to amfAR in Ric Weiland’s name. amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is dedicated to ending the global AIDS epidemic through innovative research. Tickets are available at https://ricweiland.betterworld.org/events/yes-i-am-ric-weiland-story-scree#tickets

The onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic had a significant impact in West Hollywood. The disease’s elevated infection rate among gay men caused a devastatingly high number of deaths in the City. The City of West Hollywood was one of the first government entities to provide social services grants to local HIV/AIDS organizations. The City of West Hollywood sponsored one of the first AIDS awareness campaigns in the country in October 1985 and the City’s response to the AIDS crisis has been recognized as a model for other cities, nationally and globally.

The City of West Hollywood actively participates in the development of programs that can bring awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and services to people living with HIV/AIDS. In January 2015, the City announced its vision to become an ‘HIV Zero’ city. The City is currently implementing its HIV Zero Strategic Initiative.

For more information, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Social Services Division, at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6510.

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

City Celebrates the Holidays with 32nd Annual Toy and Food Drive

The City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station are partnering to help give back to those in need this holiday season. The 32nd Annual West Hollywood Toy and Food Drive will be accepting monetary donations until Friday, December 16, 2022 with the goal of providing as many families as possible with toys and holiday gift cards. Donations may be made online at www.weho.org/holidaydrive. New users must create an account and click on the Donations tab to contribute; existing users may simply login to start the donation process.

“Our generous West Hollywood community has helped provide nearly 10,000 local families who would have gone without with a holiday meal and toys over the last three decades,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister. “I send a huge thank you to the amazing people of the City of West Hollywood for helping to brighten the holidays for families in need through your contributions. I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.” 

The cost to help one family is $95; up to 10 families can be helped with $950. New unwrapped toys are also needed and gift cards to retailers such as Pavilions, Ralphs, Trader Joe’s, or Target will help families through the holiday season. Toy collection bins are now available at West Hollywood City Hall, located at 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard, and at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, located at 780 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The following hotels will also have collection bins: Andaz West Hollywood, Chamberlain West Hollywood, Chateau Marmont, Hotel 850 SVB, Le Parc at Melrose, The London West Hollywood, Montrose at Beverly Hills, Ramada Plaza West Hollywood, and Hotel Ziggy. There will also be a collection bin at the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, please contact City of West Hollywood  Recreation Leaders Cecilia Arvizu at [email protected] or (323) 848-6324 or Natalie Mignon at [email protected] or (323) 848-6321.

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

Celebrate ‘West Hollywood Day’ with a Community Meet & Greet and State of the Community Mixer

The City of West Hollywood invites the community to celebrate 38 years of Cityhood on West Hollywood Day, Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at two events highlighting West Hollywood’s community spirit and civic pride.

West Hollywood Day will kick off bright-and-early with a community meet and greet from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the West Hollywood City Hall Community Plaza, located 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard. Members of the West Hollywood City Council along with City staff will gather in the plaza, which is located between the automated parking garage and the City Hall entrance on N. Sweetzer Avenue, to connect with community members over coffee and snacks. RSVP is not required; community members are encouraged to drop in.

In the evening, the City of West Hollywood will host its annual State of the Community event with a reception and mixer from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the City’s West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center, located at 8750 El Tovar Place (next to West Hollywood Library). Join the City’s executive management team, staff, and officials to celebrate Cityhood and engage in a conversation about new initiatives, upcoming workplans, and major projects in West Hollywood. The festive event will include light appetizers, beverages, live entertainment, and a formal program. RSVPs are required at: Celebrate-WeHo.eventbrite.com. 

Nearly forty years ago, West Hollywood’s Cityhood was proposed by an unlikely coalition of LGBTQ activists, seniors, and renters — these groups came together to form a City like no other with progressive policies and strong tenants’ rights protections. Through tireless determination, the City of West Hollywood was officially incorporated as an independent municipality on November 29, 1984. Previously, West Hollywood had been an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County.

The City of West Hollywood continually sets new standards for other municipalities, not only as a leader in many critical social movements — including: HIV and AIDS advocacy; affordable and inclusionary housing; LGBTQ rights, civil rights, and human rights; women’s rights; protection of our environment; and animal rights — but also in: fiscal responsibility; city planning; infrastructure; social services programs; wellness and recreation programs; senior services and aging-in-place programs; public and community arts; and community engagement.

For more information, please contact Paolo Kespradit, City of West Hollywood Management Analyst, at (323) 848-6556 or at [email protected]

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

Initial Neighborhood Conversations to Discuss  Laurel House and Park Artist Residency Program

The City of West Hollywood invites community members to attend initial Neighborhood Conversations about an Artist Residency Program at Laurel House and Park.

On Friday, December 2, 2022 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Plummer Park Community Center located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard, a consultant team will lead a robust discussion about the site, the creative community in West Hollywood, and how an Artist Residency Program might contribute to the community.

On Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Laurel House and Park located at 1343 N. Laurel Avenue, the community is invited to drop-in to share thoughts with the consultant team and City staff.

The Neighborhood Conversations will be led by consultant team Kimberli Meyer and Sara Daleiden. Meyer and Daleiden will guide the development of the Artist Residency Program for Laurel House and Park. Meyer is an independent cultural producer, curator, writer, and designer working across the fields of art and architecture. She served as the Director the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, located at 835 N. Kings Road, from 2002 through 2016. Daleiden is a consultant who specializes in facilitating civic engagement using arts and cultural exchange strategies. She encourages local cultures to value neighborhoods, public space, civic art, and business development, as well as artist residencies, creative placemaking and media culture-making. 

The City-owned real property at 1343 N. Laurel Avenue known as Laurel House and Park consists of a 30,000-square-foot lot, a 7,177-square-foot former single-family dwelling, and an unattached accessory structure that is approximately 2,379 square feet and consists of a chauffer’s cottage and garages. The original portions of the structures were built in 1917. The conversion of the original single-family residence into four apartment units and the southerly four-car garage addition were completed in 1941. The property was designated as a Local Cultural Resource by the City of West Hollywood in 1994. 

In 2010, the West Hollywood City Council directed staff to develop a plan to open the grounds at 1343 N. Laurel Avenue as open space on a temporary/interim basis for public use. From 2013-2014, the City conducted an extensive community visioning process for the Laurel property. The community expressed support for several potential uses during the visioning process and prioritized several factors, including:

  • Access to more community gathering spaces.
  • Activation as an Arts and Cultural Center.
  • Maintenance and/or enhancements of the property’s use for peacefulness and beauty.
  • Preservation of the house and gardens, but activation through new features and programming.
  • Continued use for dog walking.

In 2018, the West Hollywood City Council received a report forwarded by the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission focusing on Artist-in-Residence programs, including consideration of the use of 1343 N. Laurel Avenue as a potential Artist-in-Residence site. This recommendation was forwarded to the Council Subcommittee for further review and consideration. In October 2022, in a feasibility study update, the City Council confirmed that the site should be used for arts and culture programs and it directed staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a qualified architectural design firm to continue the programming and design process.

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

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

Human Rights Speakers Series Presents a Q&A and Discussion, Roots of Peace, in Partnership with Roots/Shorashim/Judur

The City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series, in conjunction with Roots/Shorashim/Judur, will host a free discussion featuring special guest speakers Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger and Noor Awad.

The Roots of Peace event will take place on Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 6 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, next to the West Hollywood Library. The program will include a Q&A period with the attendees. The event is free, but seating is limited. RSVP is requested at bit.ly/HRSSDec2022. Validation for the adjacent five-story parking structure will be available at the event (parking is limited to availability).

Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger is an Orthodox rabbi and teacher who has been profoundly transformed by his encounters with Palestinians and the Palestinian people beginning in late 2013. In early 2014, Rabbi Hanan helped found Roots/Judur/Shorashim together with other Israelis and Palestinians. Noor Awad met Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger in 2016 and joined Roots/Shorashim/Judur. He currently organizes joint Palestinian-Israeli activities and speaks to visiting groups about his personal experiences living through the conflict as a Palestinian who has seen much tragedy, and in such conditions is motivated to work toward a political solution.

Roots/Shorashim/Judur is a Palestinian-Israeli Initiative for understanding, non-violence, and transformation. Roots/Shorashim/Judur has created and operates the only joint Israeli-Palestinian community center in the entire West Bank/Judea & Samaria. This center hosts social, religious, and educational activities for Palestinians and Israelis to come together to build trust and find mutual understanding. Based on mutual recognition of each People’s national identity and connection to the Land, Roots/Shorashim/Judur is challenging the assumptions their communities hold about each other, building trust and creating a new discourse around the conflict in their respective societies.

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 Andi Lovano, the City of West Hollywood’s Community & Legislative Affairs Division Manager, at (323) 848-6333 or at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Announces Launch of a New and Easy-to-Remember Toll-Free Phone Number for Block by Block Security Ambassadors Program: (833) WEHO-BBB  (833-934-6222)

The City of West Hollywood announces the launch of a new and easy-to-remember toll-free phone number for its Block by Block Security Ambassadors Program: (833) WEHO-BBB or (833) 934-6222.

The hotline manages incoming calls 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. While the phone number is voice-only at launch, a text function will be implemented in the future and will be announced.

The hotline is part of the expansion of the City’s Block by Block Security Ambassadors program, which has a direct positive impact on safety and neighborhood livability. 

In recent weeks, the City implemented four Block by Block kiosk locations throughout West Hollywood, which are staffed by Security Ambassadors. The Block by Block program has added personnel, as well; there are now approximately 85 Security Ambassadors in the City of West Hollywood. The addition of the new toll-free hotline will assist community members and visitors alike with a convenient way to get support regarding non-emergency and non-violent safety concerns by providing a direct point of contact to Security Ambassadors. 

The City’s Block by Block Security Ambassadors program is focused on safety, but also offers hospitality with an accessible presence where people shop, socialize, and enjoy recreation. Security Ambassadors at kiosks assist community members and visitors and, in emergencies, work in partnership with law enforcement personnel from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station.

Security Ambassadors work regularly to:

  • Maintain uniformed foot and bicycle patrols throughout all City neighborhoods, including a new program expansion into residential neighborhoods;
  • Provide in-person responses 24/7 to non-emergency and non-violent calls for service; support is available by phone at (833) WEHO-BBB or (833) 934-6222. For community members who prefer to communicate by text, a text-or-voice option is provided at (323) 821-8604;
  • Conduct safety escorts for residents, businesses, and visitors; and
  • Offer helpful guidance to community members and visitors about City information, directions, parking, and more.

About | Block by Block Security Ambassador Program – The City of West Hollywood partners with Block by Block on its Security Ambassadors program, which has a direct positive impact on safety and neighborhood livability. First established as a City program in 2013, West Hollywood Block by Block Security Ambassadors provide a highly visible uniformed presence at the street level and leverage the effectiveness of local law enforcement by working in collaboration with personnel from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station.

In addition to supplemental safety services, Block by Block Security Ambassadors get to know West Hollywood’s neighborhoods and assist in providing an extra level of hospitality to businesses, residents, and visitors and help to address and respond to quality-of-life concerns in the community.

Security Ambassadors receive trainings on topics such as active shooters, cultural diversity and sensitivity, administration of Narcan to treat narcotic overdose, mental health first aid, sexual harassment, emergency/disaster preparedness, and more. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/bbb

About | Sheriff’s, Fire, Code, and Emergencies – The City of West Hollywood contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement and the Los Angeles County Fire Department for fire protection. The City’s Neighborhood & Business Safety Division oversees code enforcement.

For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/publicsafety. For anyone with public safety concerns, please reach out to the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station 24/7 at (310) 855-8850. In an emergency, always call 911. For concerns about the safety and well-being of community members experiencing homelessness, please call the City’s Homeless Concern Line at (323) 848-6590.

For more information, please contact City of West Hollywood Director of Community Safety Danny Rivas at (323) 848-6424 or [email protected].

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

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.

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WeHo Arts unveils new holiday street pole banner by Sophie Morro

The city has also installed annual holiday lights on street poles and around trees lining Santa Monica Boulevard to make the city festive

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Photo courtesy of the City of West Hollywood - Photo by Jon Viscott

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The annual holiday street pole banners went up this week throughout the city of West Hollywood. The City’s WeHo Arsts unveiled the new holiday artwork by artist Sophie Morro along Santa Monica Boulevard, San Vicente Boulevard, and Melrose Avenue.

A total of 29 of the new banners were produced this year and will become part of the annual collection of holiday street pole banners on display in WeHo to celebrate the holidays. Banners include past holiday artwork by Shag (Josh Agle) and Mosa Tanksley.

The city has also installed annual holiday lights on street poles and around trees lining Santa Monica Boulevard to make the city festive around the holiday and New Year’s celebrations.

Sophie Morro is an artist based in Los Angeles. Her oil paintings are largely informed by an autobiographical narrative with nods to spirituality, dreams and the otherworldly. Visit sophiemorro.com to learn more about the artist.

In April, 2022, the City of West Hollywood Arts Division made a call seeking a visual artist to provide artwork for the city’s annual winter / holiday card and street pole banner display. The deadline to submit their work to WeHo’s Performing Arts and Cultural Affairs Subcommittee was May, 2022.

Photo courtesy of the City of West Hollywood – Photo by Jon Viscott

The new artwork will also be used on the City’s annual end of year Winter / Holiday card, social media promotions along with the printed street pole banners. Artists were invited to submit existing work samples to demonstrate their style and technique.

The Request for Qualifications was open to artists who live in California. Artists who live in
West Hollywood and artists of color, women, artists with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ artists
were highly encouraged to apply. The artists who applied will remain eligible to be selected as semi-finalists for 3 calendar years without needing to reapply.

Photo courtesy of the City of West Hollywood – Photo by Jon Viscott

The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division and Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission believe
that all people in the City of West Hollywood have the right to celebrate and engage in meaningful and relevant arts and cultural experiences.

Each member of the community should have access to the arts which reflect and nurture individual identities, affirm personal value, and foster belonging in the community. The right to participate freely in the cultural life of the community is recognized as a basic human right.

The Division and Commission’s definition of diversity includes all ways in which people
differ, including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status,
education, age, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability,
geography, citizenship status, religion, language, physical appearance, and the
intersection of these various identities.

*******************************

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.

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

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West Hollywood expresses outrage in the aftermath of Club Q

“My heart breaks at the news of another senseless shooting, once again targeting our LGBTQ family, this time in Colorado Springs”

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Transgender Day of Remembrance gathering with a candle light vigil for victims of Club Q mass shooting (Blade photo by Troy Masters)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood is expressing outrage and sadness at this weekend’s deadly mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub, Club Q, in Colorado Springs, Colorado in which at least five people have been killed and 25 people have been injured. The City has lowered its flags to half-staff in remembrance of the lives lost in the mass shooting.

City officials are working with the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Block by Block Security Ambassadors program to expand patrols in the City’s Rainbow District. The City is asking its residents: If you see something, say something: anyone with safety concerns is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Station 24/7 at (310) 855-8850 or, in an emergency, always call 911.

“I’m horrified by the news of the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs,” said Mayor Lauren Meister. “The LGBTQ community, is, once again, being targeted. West Hollywood is a safe haven for LGBTQ people and we are committed to protecting our residents, businesses, and visitors. Sadly, mass shootings have become a reality in this country and we are working with our law enforcement and our businesses to heighten awareness and increase preparedness to ensure the safety of our community. Public safety must be our number-one priority. With haters emboldened by national politics and antiquated gun policies, the City must remain steadfast in its commitment to protect its LGBTQ community and LGBTQ rights. My thoughts today turn to the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims.”

“I woke up to the awful news of another mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne. “Five members of our community were killed and others were injured in Colorado Springs at Club Q. My heart goes out to their families. I feel so sad for the hate that our community continues to endure. West Hollywood stands united against hate and gun violence.”

“As Americans, we are all sickened by this attack,” said Councilmember John D’Amico. And instinctively we know that until sensible gun legislation and gun ownership regulations are in place these acts of domestic terror will not end.”

“My heart is broken for the victims and their families of the horrific attack in Colorado Springs on the eve Transgender Day of Remembrance,” said Councilmember John M. Erickson. “We can draw direct lines from the growing hatred and vile rhetoric about #LGBTQ people spread by extremists as the direct cause for this attack. I’m sending all my love to those individuals that put their bodies on the line to subdue the gunman and praying for everyone involved.”

“My heart breaks at the news of another senseless shooting, once again targeting our LGBTQ family, this time in Colorado Springs,” said Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath. “We must act boldly and with courage to root out hate and protect our community members, and to take on a culture that allows gun violence to ravage our country. The City of West Hollywood is taking action to evaluate whether any credible threats exist as a result of this senseless shooting, and to protect our community members at all times. Please contact the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station to report any concerns.”

News of the Club Q mass shooting comes as the City of West Hollywood and its Transgender Advisory Board recognize November as Transgender Awareness Month, and as the City hosted an in-person Transgender Day of Remembrance Ceremony which featured a reading of names to memorialize people who have been murdered as a result of anti-transgender violence.

This weekend’s mass shooting, for many in the LGBTQ community, carries echoes of the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida that left 49 people dead, 68 people injured, and countless other lives affected. That shooting became known as the site of the deadliest mass shooting in US history, as well as the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ people in the nation.

In a press release a city spokesperson noted that since its incorporation in 1984, WeHo has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and three of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly gay.

The City has advocated for nearly four decades for measures that support LGBTQ individuals. Additionally, the City has a longstanding history of supporting gun control measures aimed at curbing gun violence, enhancing public safety, and urging federal action on gun control.

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Vanderpump’s WeHo eateries: animal rights activists protest menu

The group was small, but effectively loud, holding up sign with photos of tortured chickens and yelling into bullhorns at diners inside

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Protest at Pump Restaurant West Hollywood (Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – Animal rights activist protested outside of Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurants this past Thursday evening, demanding that the British reality television personality, businesswoman and dog rescuer stop the sale of chicken at her restaurants, specifically Jidori chicken, and replace it with a plant-based vegan ‘chicken’ substitute.

The group was part of Slaughter Free Network, which is a network of activists around the world campaigning for a slaughter free, plant-based food system.

A group of about ten protesters stood outside Sur Restaurant, located at 606 N Robertson Blvd at around 6pm. The group was small, but effectively loud, holding up sign with photos of tortured chickens and yelling into bullhorns at diners inside Sur.

“Lisa Vanderpump, shame, shame, shame on you and what you do!” They chanted. “Hey Lisa Vanderpump, what do you say? How many chickens bled today?”

Nathalie Pouille, the co-owner at Sur tells WEHO TIMES that the group has been harassing her for months demanding that the restaurant remove all chicken from Sur’s menu and replace it with plant-based chicken.

“I got to the point where I removed Jidori chicken from the menu and I just have regular chicken because it is my right,” she said. “What they are trying to do is get me to sell their plant-based product, which I don’t know what that is. I respect vegans, I respect vegetarians, but this is not OK.”

When asked why Sur Restaurant was being targeted when there is a Mexican restaurant that just opened next door that also serves chicken, Pouille said she believes Lisa Vanderpump’s celebrity status makes her a target. “Of course, they are targeting Lisa,” she said. “She’s a name and they hope that by targeting her, it will give them publicity. I don’t want to give them attention.”

Protest at Pump RestauraLeah Goodwin (L) (Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES)

Leah Goodwin, who describes herself as an animal rights activist and organizer for Slaughter Free Network says she is not harassing Vanderpump’s restaurants, nor does she have a product that she is pushing, but is simply trying to get them to change to a plant-based chicken option.

She said she has been reaching out to all the owners of Sur and Pump to let them know of the cruelty that is Jidori and that she’s sent them photos on a bi-weekly basis showing them the bad conditions these animals face.

“Nothing is changing despite our claims and evidence,” she said. “Supposedly Jidori is the best of the best chicken, and they say they took it off the menu. They need transition into a plant-based option.”

Jidori is a Japanese homophone—words that sound the same—that have very similar meanings, which translates to “from the ground”. Jidori chicken refers to a type of mixed-breed domestic free-range chicken known for what is a described as a robust flavor and it’s high price ranging from $40-$60 per pound.

The original Jidori chicken began when a precious pure breed of chicken called Hinaidori was crossed with the Rhode Island Red to create Akita Hinai-jidori, with Akita referring to the prefecture of Japan, and Hinai referring to the town.

The chickens are said to be fed an all-vegetarian diet, including clover, tomatoes, and apples. They are delivered the same day of slaughter, insuring freshness — so much so that Hinai-jidori chickens are served sashimi-style, meaning raw.

After protesting at Sur Restaurant, the demonstrators rallied at Pump Restaurant located at 8948 Santa Monica Blvd., They called out statements demanding that Vanderpump care about all animals, not just dogs, referring to Vanderpump’s advocacy through her Vanderpump Dogs Foundation, which focuses on finding homes for dogs.

Protest at Sur Restaurant West Hollywood (Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES)

The reality star is known for her dog rescue efforts. Through Vanderpump Dogs, she also hosts World Dog Day in the City of West Hollywood, which celebrates dogs while raising awareness about global dog abuse, including the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. The Vanderpump Dog Foundation has rescued and adopted more than 2,300 dogs to their forever homes domestically, and hundreds more internationally.

“Why does Lisa have compassion for one animal, but none for other animals?” Goodwin asked. “She should denounce serving chicken completely. I truly believe she’s a hypocrite, but hopefully she will come around.”

********************************

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

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West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

Celebrate Halloween at West Hollywood’s One-of-a-Kind Bars, Restaurants, Clubs, & family friendly events, Historical Context Study, plus more

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

UPDATE: RAHA International has cancelled their panel event in deference to the timing of the start of the International Day of Protest for Freedom for Iran.  For more information, please contact RAHA International directly.

City of West Hollywood Reminds Community: Celebrate Halloween at West Hollywood’s One-of-a-Kind Bars, Restaurants, Clubs, Hotels, and More

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood is reminding the community and the region that Halloween celebrations this year will be celebrated throughout West Hollywood at its one-of-a-kind entertainment venues. The City of West Hollywood’s Halloween Carnaval will not take place in 2022, but West Hollywood is the place to be for Halloween.

West Hollywood loves Halloween and the City is working to ensure that community members, residents, businesses, and visitors continue to enjoy Halloween in West Hollywood with an alternative approach. The City aims to inspire entertainment venues and businesses to host celebrations with patrons by producing small-scale events. The City has approved the waiver of special event permit and associated fees for City businesses hosting events on October 28, 29, 30 or 31 in celebration of Halloween. Interested business may submit a special event permit application by Monday, October 24, 2022, for activations that do not require temporary structural review. For those special event permit applications that require temporary structural review, requests should be submitted by Friday, October 21, 2022. For details, please contact the City’s Neighborhood and Business Safety Division at [email protected] or by calling (323) 848-6437.

The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has published a “Halloween in WeHo” guide with an extensive list of West Hollywood businesses – including bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, galleries, collectives, and more – to promote Halloween costume contests; dance parties; movie screenings; food, beverage, and cocktail specials; drag events; art nights; and more to give rise to a fantastic Halloween. Details are posted at www.wehochamber.com/halloween2022; click on the “Halloween Guide 2022” for an up-to-date list of businesses.

First launched in 1987, West Hollywood’s celebration of Halloween is rooted in the City’s diverse culture and community. Year by year, what became known as the City’s Halloween Carnaval grew into an annual gathering of phenomenal costumes, entertainment, culture, and self-expression with a myriad of observers, revelers, exhibitionists, and performers with countless thousands of people in attendance each year. In 2021, the City of West Hollywood launched an alternative Halloween experience that encourages entertainment venues and businesses to celebrate with the community creatively and safely.

There will be no street closures or changes to parking regulations on Halloween or during the weekend preceding Halloween. Revelers are reminded not to drive under the influence; even one drink can impair safe driving. The City recommends ride-sharing services and transit options. The PickUp, the City of West Hollywood’s free weekend ride, runs on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. and on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. In addition to its regular service, The PickUp will also run on Halloween from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Details are available by visiting www.wehopickup.com. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) bus lines that connect to the City of West Hollywood include 4, 10, 30/330, 105, 212/312, 217, and 218. More information regarding lines is available at www.metro.net.

In order to ensure a safe Halloween weekend for everyone, the City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station are reminding residents, businesses, and visitors that public safety is the City’s number-one priority.

If You See Something, Say Something: members of the public are encouraged to reach out to the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station 24/7 at (310) 855-8850 with any safety or security concerns. Additionally, the City’s Block by Block Security Ambassadors program leverages the effectiveness of local law enforcement and works in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Station. The Block by Block Security Ambassador Hotline provides access to free, 24/7 support by phone or text at (323) 821-8604.

In an emergency, always call 911.Up-to-date details about Halloween 2022 will continue to be available at www.weho.org/halloween.

City of West Hollywood to Host Free Family-Friendly Kids Fair on Saturday, October 29

For kids and kids-at-heart, the
City of West Hollywood will host its 25th Annual West Hollywood Kids Fair on Saturday, October 29, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Admission is free and open to the public.

The Kids Fair is a no-cost event and is full of family-friendly activities and attractions, including face painting, arts and crafts, a public safety expo, environmental information, Drag Queen Story Hour, and more! Local schools, organizations, and arts programs will participate with booths, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department will have equipment and demonstrations available for children to learn and explore.

Limited free parking is available at the adjacent West Hollywood Park 5-Story Garage located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. There are also paid parking meters in the surrounding area.

For more information about the Kids Fair, please contact Dee Saunders, City of West Hollywood Social Services Specialist, at (323) 848-6833.

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

City of West Hollywood Encourages West Hollywood Residents And Businesses to Spread ‘Shade’ by Registering for a Free Tree

The City of West Hollywood is hosting a Tree Giveaway program for participants to receive one tree and one water bag free of charge. The City’s Tree Giveaway program webpage features information about the program and application process, as well as educational information about how to plant and maintain these young trees. The deadline to apply for the City’s Tree Giveaway program is Thursday, December 1, 2022 in order to provide City staff sufficient time to acquire the trees. The Tree Giveaway program application is located on the program webpage and via this link: https://wehoforms.seamlessdocs.com/f/WeHoTrees.

The Tree Giveaway program is open to all West Hollywood residents and businesses with suitable tree planting conditions. Participants will select their preferred tree species (first choice) and an alternative (second choice) from a list with more than 50 options. The list provides a hyperlink to review in-depth species information and it notes each species’ characteristics, preferred site conditions, sun exposure, water rating, canopy size at maturity, native tree status, and type(s) of wildlife it will attract. Overall, the list has 42 climate-appropriate and 9 California native tree species from which to choose. Changes to preferred species will not be accepted after the application deadline.

All trees will be in a 15-gallon container and approximately 6’ feet tall. The application form requires participants to agree to a Tree Steward Pledge and the City’s Waiver of Tree Liability. Participants will also be asked to select one pick up date on the application form. There will be two tree pick-up dates: Friday, January 13, 2023 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.; and Saturday, January 14, 2023 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Trees must be picked-up from the City of West Hollywood’s Operations Center, located at 7317 Romaine Street. City Staff will work with participants that require special accommodations in advance of tree pick-up dates.

The Tree Giveaway program page includes an array of young tree care best practices educational videos, which will assist tree owners in maintaining strong and healthy trees into maturity, including: tree planting and watering guides; how to stake and tie a tree; how to mulch; how to prune; how to avoid tree root damage; how to check for tree pests; how to hire a Certified Arborist; and much more. 

Through this effort, the City hopes to raise awareness about the benefits trees provide and to increase the City’s local tree canopy on private properties. “Tree canopy” or tree canopy cover refers to the proportion of land area covered by tree crowns over the ground when viewed from above. Tree canopy is an important measure of the urban forest resource. 

Trees provide a myriad of environmental and community benefits because of the ecosystem services they provide — such as filtering air pollution including particulate matter, producing oxygen, sequestering carbon dioxide, providing shade, regulating temperatures (cooler ambient air), absorbing and retaining water runoff/stormwater runoff, improving water quality, reducing erosion, providing beauty, improving physical and mental human health, providing food and habitat for wildlife, and increasing nearby property values. Trees reduce heating and air conditioning (HVAC) loads which decreases energy consumption and reduces costs for building occupants. Additionally, the more tree species populating an area increases urban biodiversity and builds local resilience against tree-related pests and disease. 

The City of West Hollywood is dedicated to sustainability and preserving the environment. One of the City of West Hollywood’s core values is Respect for the Environment, and the City has a strong record of developing and instituting progressive and forward-thinking environmental policies. In September 2019, the City adopted its Urban Forest Management Plan to sustain, protect, and enhance the urban forest in the City of West Hollywood. The tree giveaway supports the plan’s Goal No. 8 to encourage good tree management on privately-owned properties. 

In December 2021, the City adopted its people-centered Climate Action and Adaptation Plan  — an effort called “WeHo Climate Action” — to champion local actions needed to meet the challenges of a changing climate. The plan recognizes trees as a valuable asset and makes recommendations to add to the urban forest, such as planting more shade trees and encourages tree planting on private property. Although climate change is a global problem, the City recognizes that strategies to adapt to a changing climate are best enacted at the local level. The plan empowers the community to play an active role in creating a sustainable future and supports a vibrant and sustainable city for current and future generations. To learn more, visit www.weho.org/climateaction.

For more information, please contact City of West Hollywood Senior Administrative Analyst Erin Hamant at (323) 848-6859 or [email protected].

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

West Hollywood to Host Feedback Opportunity about San Vicente Streetscape Improvements During the West Hollywood Kids Fair on Saturday, October 29 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The City of West Hollywood invites community members to provide feedback as part of the visioning process for forthcoming San Vicente Streetscape shared street and plaza improvements.

There will be a feedback opportunity on Saturday, October 29, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the West Hollywood Kids Fair, which will take place at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Community engagement about the San Vicente Streetscape Plaza space will take place at the West Hollywood Park Great Lawn.

N. San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue is oftentimes the location for City-sponsored programming and other City-permitted events. This results in approximately 20 to 30 days of partial or full street closures each year and there are some existing challenges with this stretch of N. San Vicente Boulevard, when it is used for public gathering purposes.

The City of West Hollywood is working with renowned landscape architecture firm !melk to develop a conceptual vision for a new “shared street” that would allow for temporary, partial, or full closures on N. San Vicente Boulevard and would be designed as a micro-climate inspired ecosystem. This reimagined area would emphasize shading, resource management, and pedestrian-oriented wayfinding in support of city-sponsored or otherwise approved programs and events, permitted activities, and organized or impromptu gatherings.  

At times, N. San Vicente Boulevard experiences drivers that exceed posted speed limits. Beyond traffic safety issues, serious public health concerns – particularly during the summer – can potentially arise when individuals may spend significant time in direct sun and are subjected to effects from what is known as a “heat island” while standing on hardscape concrete and asphalt surfaces. Heat islands are generally urbanized areas that experience higher temperatures than outlying areas. Structures such as buildings, roads, and other infrastructure absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat more than natural landscapes that include trees or water elements and water bodies.

The intent is to have a space that can provide new flexibility and transform seasonally and situationally. If carefully crafted as a “streetscape plaza,” this bookended and protected area could operate as either a programmatic extension of West Hollywood Park, as a useful companion to the forthcoming STORIES: The AIDS Monument, or as an independent civic or public event space itself. Centrally located within the City’s westside, the San Vicente Streetscape Plaza would be well buffered from a sound standpoint from residentially zoned areas nearby yet still be very walkable and in close enough proximity from the diversely scaled neighborhoods that surround it.

The project will have additional opportunities for the community to provide feedback at various stages as part of a comprehensive outreach plan.For additional information, please contact Garen Yolles, City of West Hollywood Architectural and Urban Designer in the City’s Urban Design and Architecture Studio, at (323) 848-6827 or at [email protected].

For people who require hearing assistance or other forms of accommodation please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

City Invites Community Members to an Information and Engagement Session about the City’s Historical Context Study

The City of West Hollywood invites the community to attend an in-person Information and Engagement Session about the City’s Historical Context Study.

The Historical Context Study is a project to develop an in-depth analysis of the historical context of West Hollywood and research racially and culturally discriminatory policies that existed in the area from the 19th century until present day. It will also identify the history of Indigenous peoples and demographic shifts of inhabitants. The findings of the study will inform the City on next steps in establishing initiatives to address social and racial equity. 

On August 31, 2022, the City held a virtual Community Listening Session for the City’s project consultant, Architectural Resources Group, to provide an overview of the goals and objectives of the study.  The in-person Information and Engagement Session will allow the Architectural Resources Group to provide the community with an overview of the goals and purpose of the study, including project updates on findings and discoveries thus far. It will also provide an opportunity for the community to provide input on individual/lived experience with discrimination in West Hollywood or knowledge of past discrimination perpetrated against groups/individuals living or working in West Hollywood. 

The in-person Information and Engagement Session is free and open to everyone and will take place on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 at 6 p.m. at the Plummer Park Community Center, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard, in Rooms 5 and 6. 

If community members are interested in providing input but are not able to attend the in-person Information and Engagement Session, a public comment form is available at the Community Services section of the City’s website

If special assistance to participate in this meeting is required, please submit your request at least 48 hours prior to the meeting to [email protected]

The City of West Hollywood has an unwavering commitment to responding proactively to the unique needs of its diverse community, creatively finding solutions to managing its urban environment, and is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the well-being of the community. The City strives for quality in all actions in setting the highest goals and standards. Two of the Core Values of the City are: Respect and Support for People and Responsiveness to the Public. The City recognizes and celebrates the diversity of its community by treating all individuals with respect for their personal dignity and by providing a wide array of specialized services. The City promotes mutual respect, courtesy, and thoughtfulness in all interactions. The City holds itself accountable to members of its community and is committed to actively seeking public participation. The City promotes a public process whereby it can respond to the community’s needs while balancing competing interests and diverse opinions.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s Historical Context Study or about the upcoming Information and Engagement Session, please contact Jasmine Duckworth, City of West Hollywood Community Programs Coordinator, at (323) 848-6559 or [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Recognized by The SCAN Foundation with a 2022 Innovation Award for the City’s Aging in Place/Aging in Community Initiative

The City of West Hollywood has been recognized by The SCAN Foundation with its 2022 Innovation Award for the City’s Aging in Place/Aging in Community (AIP/AIC) Initiative. The SCAN Foundation is an independent public charity devoted to transforming care for older adults in ways that preserve dignity and encourage independence.

Organizations considered for this year’s SCAN Foundation Innovation Award were tasked with demonstrating ways they have incorporated the California Master Plan for Aging (MPA) Local Playbook and sharing how local leaders are using data to build upon existing efforts with age-friendly models and initiatives aligning with community needs.

The City of West Hollywood formalized its local aging strategy by engaging Senior Advisory Board members and other community leaders/stakeholders, utilizing local data from the City’s Community Study and Demographic Survey, and integrating existing global and national models of the World Health Organization and AARP to create the City of West Hollywood’s AIP/AIC Initiative and corresponding Strategic Plan. The City’s application for The SCAN Foundation award included many of the AIP/AIC policies, activities, and pilot programs that exemplify the MPA’s Plays in the Local Playbook and highlighted important MPA goals and strategies.

The City of West Hollywood has taken an integrated approach to making West Hollywood a more age-friendly community by:

  • Continuing to create City policies and programs that guide and direct successful aging in place;
  • Providing ongoing community engagement opportunities in decision-making processes;
  • Continually seeking collaboration and support from non-profit organizations, businesses, and other government programs and services; and
  • Securing additional funds from philanthropic foundations to support expanded programs that advance the AIP/AIC Strategic Plan. 
  • Designing pilots to address emerging needs of older adult community members. 

A key goal of the City of West Hollywood’s Aging in Place/Aging in Community 2016-2020 five-year strategic plan was supporting the quality of life, health, and well-being of older adults. The vision for the Strategic Plan was to help the City of West Hollywood evolve as a community where aging is embraced, and where people can remain in their housing for as long as possible. The Plan built on the City’s existing policies and programs, such as arts and cultural events, lifespan-friendly housing, social services, and other approaches to wellness, while responding to the demographic trend of people living longer. The Plan also supported individuals’ independence and safety to live at home within a community they know and where they are comfortable. This approach offers many benefits to adults as they live longer lives, including a stable sense of community, more life satisfaction, and better health and self-esteem, all of which are central to successful aging.

To continue to build on the successful efforts, as well as address evolving community needs, the City’s future work on the AIP/AIC Initiative will integrate, as well as coincide with, the California Master Plan for Aging’s Goals. The future efforts will include the following: 

  • Continue to offer innovative transportation options, inviting and accessible community and outdoor spaces for intergenerational activities, opportunities to learn about and prepare for emergencies (including climate change), and preserving and expanding affordable housing options, including ADU’s (Aligns with MPA Goal 1: Housing for All Stages and Ages);
  • Continue to offer programming (Be Well WeHo classes and workshops) and social services (physical/mental health/HIV prevention and treatment/substance abuse treatment-harm reduction) services for physical and mental health that promote lifelong aging in community, all while raising awareness of services before resources are needed (Aligns with MPA Goal 2: Health Reimagined);
  • Continue to work on closing the digital divide (device access, internet availability and increasing technology skills via peer and intergenerational mentorship) to ensure inclusivity (age, race, socio-economic status), socialization, civic/community engagement, and prevent isolation by paying special attention to connect with those who may be socially isolated (Aligns with Goal 3: Inclusion and Equity, not Isolation);
  • Continue to provide support and resources for caregivers and specifically raise awareness about resources for those caring for people living with Alzheimer’s/Other Dementias (Aligns with MPA Goal 4: Caregiving that Works); and
  • Continue to increase older adult community members’ opportunities for economic security – increase access to government benefits, explore additional guaranteed income pilots, identify additional resources to prevent/reduce homelessness. (Access Center to connect people experiences homelessness to services, implementation of the Care Team as first responder for behavioral health crises and explore the creation of additional interim and permanent housing) (Aligns with MPA Goal 5: Affordable Aging). 

For additional information about the City of West Hollywood’s Aging in Place/Aging in Community Initiative, please visit www.weho.org/aging.

For more information, please contact Corri Planck, the City of West Hollywood’s Strategic initiatives Manager, at (323) 848-6430 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.

The City of West Hollywood remains in a declared local emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 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. The City’s coronavirus updates are available at www.weho.org/coronavirus.

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

ShakeOut Earthquake Drill on October 20, dineL.A. and Eat + Drink Week, LGBTQ History Month Event, Annual Youth Halloween Carnival plus more

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

City of West Hollywood to Participate in the Great California ShakeOut Earthquake Drill on October 20

WEST HOLLYWOOD Following recognition of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) “National Preparedness Month” in September, the City of West Hollywood will participate in the Great California ShakeOut Earthquake Drill on Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 10:20 a.m. The City encourages community members to join the more-than-eight-million participants who are registered for the drill throughout the state.

The Great California ShakeOut Earthquake Drill is part of International ShakeOut Day, which is recognized globally each year on the third Thursday of October (this year on October 20). Everyone – everywhere on the planet – should know how to protect themselves during earthquakes. Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are an annual opportunity for people in homes, schools, businesses, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes and to improve emergency preparedness.

During the self-led drill, participants are urged to practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” Endorsed by first responders and emergency officials, the safest response to an earthquake is to immediately:  

  • Drop where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby;
  • Cover your head and neck with one arm and hand;
  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath for shelter;
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows); and
  • Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs;
  • Hold On until shaking stops;
  • Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand and be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts; and
  • No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

 Although most of California’s earthquakes are small in magnitude and cause little or no damage, California experiences more than 100 earthquakes per day. Many notable shakers – moderate or major earthquakes in California – have made history and are still remembered and talked about today, such as the 6.7 Northridge earthquake in 1994, and the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California during the 1989 baseball World Series.

While the location and time of a major earthquake are nearly impossible to predict in advance, scientists have said that a large magnitude, damaging earthquake is likely to hit along California’s San Andreas Fault within the next 30 years. Damaging earthquakes can occur at any time wherever we work, live, or travel within the region and beyond.

The Great California ShakeOut Earthquake Drill is free and anyone can take part. Participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. To take part in the Great California ShakeOut, individuals, groups, and organizations are asked to register at www.shakeout.org/california. Once registered, participants will receive regular information about how to plan a drill and how to become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters. Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills will also take place in locations throughout the nation and in several countries. More than 14.6 million people around the globe are anticipated to participate.

Knowing how to prepare for – and survive – a major earthquake will be critical in California at some time in the coming years. Prepare in advance by:

  • Planning on fending for yourself for at least three days, preferably for one week. Electricity, water, gas, and telephones may not be working after an earthquake. Law enforcement and fire personnel are likely to be occupied with emergencies.
  • Stocking your emergency supplies. You’ll need food and water (one gallon each day per person); a first-aid kit; a fire extinguisher suitable for all types of fires; flashlights; a portable radio; extra batteries, blankets, clothes, shoes, and cash (ATMs may not work); medication; an adjustable or pipe wrench to turn off gas or water, if necessary; baby food and pet food; and an alternate cooking source (barbecue or camp stove). This list can also be applied to other disasters, such as floods or wildfires.
  • Deciding in advance how and where your family will reunite if separated during an earthquake. Do in-home practice drills. You might choose an out-of-the-area friend or relative that family members can call to check on you.
  • Securing hazards and big appliances. This includes water heaters, major appliances, and tall/heavy furniture to prevent items from toppling. Additional hazards include storing flammable liquids and heavy objects. Breakables on low shelves and in cabinets should be secured.
  • Discussing earthquake insurance with your agent. Depending on your financial situation and the value of your home, earthquake insurance may be a worthwhile investment.

Additional information and resources are available by visiting the Great California ShakeOut website at www.shakeout.org/california.

For more information, please contact Margarita Kustanovich, the City of West Hollywood’s Emergency Management Coordinator, at (323) 848-6419 or at [email protected].

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

West Hollywood’s Restaurants Showcase Delicious Specialties in October For dineL.A. and Eat + Drink Week

West Hollywood boasts some of the best dining and cocktail options in Southern California. In October, two culinary showcase events – dineL.A. and Eat + Drink Week – are providing an excellent opportunity to explore many of the City’s delicious and diverse culinary options.

dineL.A. kicked off on Friday, October 14, 2022 and runs through Friday, October 28, 2022. Diners who are eager to discover new culinary delights or enjoy restaurants they already love will enjoy plenty of options to choose from within the City of West Hollywood, including:

  • B-Side Pizza at Hotel Ziggy, 8462 Sunset Boulevard
  • Connie and Ted’s, 8171 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • Conservatory West Hollywood, 8289 Santa Monica Boulevard 
  • E.P. & L.P., 603 N. La Cienega Boulevard
  • Gracias Madre, 8905 Melrose Avenue
  • Granville West Hollywood, 8701 Beverly Boulevard
  • Izakaya Tora, 8908 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • La Bohème, 8400 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • Soulmate., 631 N. Robertson Boulevard
  • SUR Restaurant & Lounge, 606 N. Robertson Boulevard
  • Tesse, 8500 Sunset Boulevard
  • The Fitting Room at The Chamberlain, 1000 Westmount Drive
  • WeHo Bistro, 1040 N. La Cienega Boulevard

Participating restaurants for dineL.A. will offer specially priced prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner; no tickets or passes are required. A complete list of participating restaurants and their dineL.A. menus are viewable online at www.discoverlosangeles.com/dineLA. Prices and meal periods will vary by restaurant and exclude beverages, tax, and gratuity.

Eat + Drink Week 2022 will take place Friday, October 21, 2022 through Sunday, October 30, 2022. This 10-day event will showcase a variety of culinary and cocktail experiences unique to West Hollywood. Options to choose from within the City of West Hollywood will include:

  • B-Side Pizza at Hotel Ziggy, 8462 Sunset Boulevard
  • Conservatory West Hollywood, 8289 Santa Monica Boulevard 
  • Design Lounge at the La Peer Hotel, 623 N. La Peer Drive
  • Eveleigh, 8752 Sunset Boulevard
  • Gelato Festival, 8906 Melrose Avenue
  • Granville West Hollywood, 8701 Beverly Boulevard
  • Issima at the La Peer Hotel, 623 N. La Peer Drive
  • Kitchen 24, 8575 Santa Monica Boulevard 
  • La Bohème, 8400 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • Rosaliné, 8479 Melrose Avenue
  • Tesse, 8500 Sunset Boulevard
  • WeHo Bistro, 1040 N. La Cienega Boulevard

Participating restaurants, lounges, and clubs for Eat + Drink Week will provide a variety of special offers ranging from prix fixe menus or items to a 10% discount. More participants are regularly being added, visit www.eatanddrinkweek.com for the latest list. Prices and meal periods vary by venue and exclude tax and gratuity. Eat + Drink Week menus are offered during various meal periods.

For more information, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Business Development Division, at (323) 848-6856 or at [email protected].

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

West Hollywood Invites Community Members to an LGBTQ History Month Event: RAHA International’s ‘I-Ran Out of the Closet – The Change Makers’

The City of West Hollywood invites the community to RAHA International’s I-Ran Out of the Closet – The Change Makers, a free panel discussion on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 11 a.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The event will be an opportunity for the broader LGBTQ and ally communities to hear the stories and perspectives of Iranian activists and to create community with people inside and outside of Iran’s borders.  

In honor of LGBTQ History Month, I-Ran Out of the Closet – The Change Makers will feature a panel discussion consisting of six generations of Iranian LGBTQ activists who have sown the seeds of change for the community, including: Erik Adamian; Mahsa Hakimi; Mona Khadem; Arya Marvazy; Houman Sarshar, and shawndeez. This dialogue is significant and is particularly important at a time when Iranian LGBTQ activists have received death sentences in Iran for promoting equal rights.  

RAHA International is a community-based organization committed to positively impacting its members’ lives by connecting Iranian LGBTQ+ people through their cultural identity. RAHA is dedicated to helping its members free themselves from cultural and social alienation and to creating a deeper space for understanding. RAHA hosts events throughout the greater Los Angeles area to honor, celebrate, and embrace Persian culture.   

The City of West Hollywood has consistently been on the forefront of human rights issues and has hosted recent Human Rights Speakers Series (HRSS) events to help raise awareness about human rights abuses in Iran, which include a panel discussion, Women’s Rights Violations in Iran, in March 2022, and a panel discussion, Anti-LGBTQ Policies in Iran in September 2021. These HRSS panel discussions are available for viewing on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel; links are accessible by visiting the City’s website at www.weho.org/hrss.

In 2021, the City of West Hollywood adopted a Resolution in support of freedom for political prisoners in Iran and condemning the act of honor killings. In September 2022, the City of West Hollywood lit its City Hall in Green, White, and Red in solidarity with the women of Iran who are fighting for their freedom and human rights and the City was home to a Candlelight Vigil at West Hollywood Park, organized by the Iranian American Women Foundation (IAWF), which attracted hundreds of participants.

For more information, please contact Jasmine Duckworth, Community Programs Coordinator for the City of West Hollywood, at (323) 848-6559 or [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood to Host Annual Youth Halloween Carnival

The City of West Hollywood’s Recreation Services Division will host its annual free Youth Halloween Carnival on Saturday, October 22, 2022, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Plummer Park’s Vista Lawn, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. 

Youth Halloween Carnival highlights include games, a trackless train, a pumpkin patch, and a haunted maze. Entertainment includes music, dancing, costume showcases, and entertainment by community groups. Children are welcome to show off their Halloween costumes to participate in raffles. For a fur-raising good time, pets are also invited to display their “Howl-O-Ween” best (following Plummer Park rules to always remain on a leash). Attendees are encouraged to carpool or walk, as parking at Plummer Park is limited.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s Youth Halloween Carnival, please contact the City’s Recreation Services Division at (323) 848-6530 or at [email protected].

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

West Hollywood Debuts a Virtual Video Tour of  Select City Public Artworks from 12 Artists: ‘City of West Hollywood Art Tour’

West Hollywood announces the debut of the City of West Hollywood Art Tour, a virtual video tour of 12 of the City’s public artworks, including interviews with the artists about their work. The full 38-minute video can be viewed on the City’s Arts Division YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/wehoarts.  

The release is timed to coincide with October’s National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM) — a collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. NAHM was launched by Americans for the Arts more than 30 years ago and in 1993, it was reestablished by Americans for the Arts and national arts partners as a month-long celebration, with goals of: focusing on equitable access to the arts at local, state, and national levels; encouraging individuals, organizations, and diverse communities to participate in the arts; allowing governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and raising public awareness about the positive impact of the arts and humanities in our communities and lives.

The City of West Hollywood Art Tour features artworks from the Art on the Outside temporary art projects and the Urban Art Collection permanent artwork collection. Viewers will see artists interviewed in their studios, learn about the concepts behind the artworks, and gain a better overall understanding about the City’s public artworks on display. Artists and artwork included in the City of West Hollywood Art Tour include:

  • Tanya Brodsky, Yolki Palki, located at Plummer Park Community Center, 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • Shauna Davis, BLACK.ECO, Digital Billboard located at 8743 Sunset Boulevard
  • Janet Echelman, Dream Catcher, located at 1 Hotel, 8490 Sunset Boulevard
  • Scott Froschauer, Relax UR OK and ONE LOVE, located on the median at Santa Monica Boulevard and Holloway Drive
  • Rebecca Lowry, Regard., located throughout the City
  • Michael McMillen, Backlot, located at The Lot, Santa Monica Boulevard at Poinsettia Place
  • Bill Oberlin, Rocky & Bullwinkle, located at the traffic triangle at Sunset Boulevard and Holloway Drive
  • Peter Shire, Murano and Rockin’ Angel, located on Santa Monica Boulevard at Palms Avenue
  • Phillip K. Smith III, Parallel Perpendicular, located at West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard, past the dog parks near the corner of Santa Monica and Robertson Boulevards
  • Richard Turner, Riddle of the Sphinx, located at Plummer Park Community Center, 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • Paul Tzanetopolous, Floraform, located at Kings Road Parking Structure, 8383 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • David Wiseman, Plantus Bibliotechalis, located at West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard

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, Free Theatre in the Parks, Human Rights Speaker Series, Library Exhibits, WeHo Pride LGBTQ 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 the virtual City of West Hollywood Art Tour, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Manager, Rebecca Ehemann, at  [email protected] or (323) 848-6846. 

City of West Hollywood Invites the Community to Participate in Dedication of Phillip K. Smith III’s Parallel Perpendicular  Art Installation at West Hollywood Park on November 2

The City of West Hollywood invites the community to a public art dedication event for the urban artwork Parallel Perpendicular by artist Phillip K. Smith III, on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. at West Hollywood Park, adjacent to N. Robertson Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue.

Parallel Perpendicular is a permanent public artwork organized by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division and commissioned in tandem with the City’s Aquatic and Recreation Center. The City unveiled the sculpture in February 2022 but delayed the dedication event until Los Angeles County entered the a low community transmission level for COVID-19.

Parallel Perpendicular by artist Phillip K. Smith III is comprised of five freestanding mirrored volumes composed of parallel and perpendicular planes that hover above a 40-foot diameter circle of green landscaping. Parallel Perpendicular is meant to be an entirely interactive piece. By day, these forms reflect the park visitors and environment as well as the surrounding West Hollywood views. By night, the mirrored surfaces illuminate to become pure fields of color that slowly move through a custom color choreography. These colors reflect off each other, merging upon colors creating new spaces of color.

The scale of Parallel Perpendicular, 40’ diameter x 11’3” high, is in direct response to the more intimate atmosphere of the Robertson Gardens section of West Hollywood Park. This beautifully situated area serves as a park entry and connector to the N. Robertson Boulevard/Santa Monica Boulevard retail and neighborhood zones. Parallel Perpendicular is the focus of this section of West Hollywood Park to draw people in both during the day and in the evening. Photos of Parallel Perpendicular are available on the City’s official Flickr account.

Artist Phillip K. Smith III received his Bachelor of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. From his Palm Desert, CA-based studio, he continues to push the boundaries and confront the ideas of modernist design. Drawing inspiration from the cold rigidity of the Bauhaus movement, the reductive geometries of minimalism, and the optic sensation of California’s Light and Space movement, Smith III attempts to resolve the complex challenge of finding a natural state of life and spirit within these ideological aesthetic constrictions. The results are deceptively simple and compelling objects that seem to breathe and move as you observe and interact with them.

Featured in hundreds of online and print publications, Phillip K. Smith III is known for creating large-scaled temporary installation such as Lucid Stead in Joshua Tree, Reflection Field and Portals at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, ¼ Mile Arc in Laguna Beach, and The Circle of Land and Sky at the inaugural 2017 Desert X exhibition. His public artworks can be viewed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kansas City, Nashville, Oklahoma City and beyond. The artist’s work is also included in the forthcoming exhibition and catalog Unsettled organized by the Nevada Museum of Art and artist Ed Ruscha.

Parallel Perpendicular is a permanent public artwork organized by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. The Urban Art Program, established in 1987, is the City’s permanent art program that provides a mechanism to integrate free and accessible art into the urban fabric of the City. Most new developments in the city require a developer to contribute 1% of the project value to an on-site artwork or payment of an in-lieu fee to the West Hollywood Public Art and Beautification Fund. For more information about City of West Hollywood arts programming, please visit www.weho.org/arts.

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, Free Theatre in the Parks, Human Rights Speaker Series, Library Exhibits, Summer Sounds + Winter Sounds, Urban Art (permanent public art), WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, and WeHo Reads. For more information about City of West Hollywood arts programming, please visit www.weho.org/arts. 

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

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

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