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Bi Pride makes history in West Hollywood

A national first for the bisexual community

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Photo by Austin Mendoza.

History was made Saturday afternoon as the first bisexual pride celebration in the world, he Sat. Sept 22  in West Hollywood. It was sponsored by the City of West Hollywood.

The festivities included a bi visibility march and a party in the West Hollywood Auditorium, at which Mayor John Duran declared Saturday as “Bisexual Celebration Day” in the City of West Hollywood. Saturday’s festivities were capped by performances by spoken word performer Irene Suico Soriano and singer Torrey Mercer.

Robert Gamboa of the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board of the City of West Hollywood told the Los Angeles Blade that,“…this is the next big step in making the bi community feel welcome. September 23rd is Bisexual Pride Day around the world, so we decided to take that up a notch and create this event.”

The Advisory Board was joined in arranging Saturday’s events by social group amBi and by Human Rights Campaign LA.

After the several hundred-strong gathering met at the Auditorium, the revelers took to the busiest boulevards of West Hollywood. They chanted and made themselves seen and heard by the patrons of the clubs and restaurants on Santa Monica Boulevard – the triumphant sea of purple, pink, and blue extended for nearly an entire block. This feeling of visibility was hailed by many in the march.

“We don’t feel like we fit in either world, but we definitely should fit into the queer world. This parade is really helping us create awareness and for us to be seen by both the queer and straight communities,” said Katie Sharpe. “[Bisexuality] is not something that we’re trying on. It’s our lives and our sexuality, and it’s legitimate.”

Alana Rochay, also of the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, concurred. “We’re finally making a conscious choice to make the B visible in LGBTQ for once. We’re actually spotlighting it by making this amazing march and making it visible to everyone that bi people exist,” she said.

After finishing the march route, the attendees were treated to a party featuring booths, refreshments, and camaraderie. Many attendees welcomed having an event specifically celebrating bisexuality.

Amanda Price lamented that there were only two floats in this year’s LA Pride parade that highlighted bisexuality, and was glad to “…have a space where we can be proud of the ‘B’ in LGBT.” It would seem that the supportive cheers and horns from business patrons and cars passing the marchers do not translate to concrete actions or acknowledgements by the gay and lesbian communities.

This is surprising, considering that people who identify as bisexual actually comprise the majority of the LGBT community, according to the Pew Research Center.

“We’re always trying to prove that we’re enough for the queer community, and it’s nice to have spaces where we don’t have to do that,” said marcher Chelsie Uriarte. Attendee Maggie Jung also felt “empowered and validated to be surrounded by people who feel the same way about people as I do.”

Before making his Bisexual Celebration Day proclamation, West Hollywood John Duran related to the Los Angeles Blade that Bi Pride was “…about public education so that the public understands [more about the bi community].”

Indeed, public education on the existence and affirmation of a community often ostracized by the queer community at large is a laudable and historic step for the City of West Hollywood.

Amidst constant bi underrepresentation and erasure from broader society, “…to have something that acknowledges our existence is very important,” said Uriarte. Rachel McAllister was of a similar mindset, arguing the importance of “showing that there’s other people in the community” beyond the gay white males that often typify the LGBT community.

Now that West Hollywood has become the first city on the planet to sponsor an event specifically celebrating the bi community, the chance exists that more cities around the world will soon follow suit. Rochay certainly looks forward to this event continuing in the future, at least in West Hollywood: “I can’t wait for it to be bigger and better every year, because it’s going to be.”

Here’s hoping.

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

Moving Image Media Art Program, One Institute’s Circa: LGBTQ+ Histories Festival, AIDS Walk Los Angeles, and more

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West Hollywood City Hall (Photo credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott)

Meet City’s New Community Development Director, Nick Maricich, & Executive Team

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood will host three in-person community meetings for residents and businesses to meet the City’s new Community Development Director, Nick Maricich, and the City’s Executive Team. Community Meetings are free to attend and open to the public; no advance RSVP is required. Meetings will provide an opportunity for community members to share ideas and provide feedback about all City departments and services, especially the Community Development Department. Meetings will take place, as follows:

  • On Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at 6 p.m. a Business-Focused Community Meeting will take place at West Hollywood City Hall in the Community Meeting Room, located at 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard.
  • On Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at 1 p.m. a General Community Meeting will take place at the West Hollywood Aquatic & Recreation Center in the La Cienega Room, located at 8750 El Tovar Place.
  • On Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at 6 p.m., a Resident-Focused Community Meeting will take place at West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

The City of West Hollywood’s new Community Development Director Nick Maricich has a successful history of furthering successful urban planning in the Los Angeles region. In his most recent role, Maricich served as Principal City Planner overseeing functions of the Citywide Policy Planning Division for the City of Los Angeles. He also served for five years as the Director of Planning Policy and Development for former City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. He brings a wealth of experience in working with diverse Los Angeles neighborhoods in the areas of community planning and historic preservation. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Geography with a minor in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

The City of West Hollywood’s Community Development Department is responsible for managing the City’s urban environment and creating a livable community that balances the needs of residents, businesses, property owners and visitors. There are three divisions within the City’s Community Development Department that assist in creating and implementing the community’s vision: Current and Historic Preservation Planning; Long Range Planning; and Building and Safety. For additional information about the City’s Community Development Department, please visit www.weho.org/city-government/city-departments/community-development-department

For more information about the meeting, please contact Christine Safriet, Assistant to the City Manager, at (323) 848-6467 or at [email protected].

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

Neighborhood Conversations in September to Discuss Laurel House & Park Renovation

The City of West Hollywood invites community members to attend the fourth and fifth Neighborhood Conversations about the renovation of Laurel House and Park. The Neighborhood Conversations will be led by the architecture consultant team from Page & Turnbull in partnership with consultants Kimberli Meyer and Sara Daleiden who are guiding the development of the Artist Residency Program for the cultural resource.  The meetings will offer an opportunity to preview initial designs and provide feedback on the architectural plan development for Laurel House and Park Artist Residency Program.

On Tuesday, September 26, 2023 there will be an in-person Neighborhood Conversation from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Plummer Park Community Center, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard in Rooms 5 and 6. Drop-in; no RSVP is necessary. On Wednesday, September 27, 2023 there will be a virtual Neighborhood Conversation session from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. via Zoom. Register in advance for this virtual meeting using the Zoom platform.

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; and, 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. Page & Turnbull was awarded the architectural contract to begin schematic design development for the Laurel House and Park.

For additional information, please contact Alicen Bartle, City of West Hollywood Project Development Administrator, at (323) 848-6323 or at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Presents Artists and Icons Featuring Tim Sullivan

The City of West Hollywood’s Artists and Icons series will host a film screening of the short documentary, Relighting Candles: The Tim Sullivan Story, followed by a conversation and Q&A with advocate, activist, and candlemaker Tim Sullivan moderated by director, producer, choreographer, and author Adam Shankman.

The event will take place on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 7 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The event is free, but seating is limited. RSVP is requested via Eventbrite. Parking validation for the adjacent five-story West Hollywood Park structure will be available at the event (parking is limited to availability).

Tim Sullivan is a true West Hollywood hero. Ever since opening his candle shop in West Hollywood 25 years ago, Tim has employed people experiencing homelessness as well as newly sober people each December holiday season to help pour the thousands of candles ordered each year. Tim has been sober since 1981 and has never lost the spark to serve his community.

Relighting Candles: The Tim Sullivan Story is a short documentary by Zeberiah Newman and Michiel Thomas and executive-produced by Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy that chronicles the 82-year-old Sullivan’s inspiring journey from alcoholism to sobriety to employing unhoused and newly sober members of his community at Timothy Jay Candles.

The West Hollywood Artists & Icons series is a periodic event organized by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division that celebrates the lives and work of West Hollywood residents and artists who present their work in the City, and who have made significant contributions to local, national, or global culture. The series has previously focused on many local artists and icons including Lou Adler, Barbara Bain, Bette Davis & Mae West, Frances Taylor Davis, Dan Guerrero, and Michael McMillen.

For additional information about the Artists & Icons Series, please visit www.weho.org/community/arts-and-culture/about/west-hollywood-artists-icons.

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.

City Presents How To Hack Birth Control Screening and Q&A

The City of West Hollywood and its Women’s Advisory Board will present a free community screening of the award-winning digital series How to Hack Birth Control followed by a Q&A with the director and cast members and moderated by the City’s Mayor Pro Tempore John M. Erickson. The event will also include a reception, giveaways, and health information.

The event will take place on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at 4 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The event is free, but seating is limited. RSVP is requested via Eventbrite. Parking validation for the adjacent five-story West Hollywood Park structure will be available at the event (parking is limited to availability, alternative transportation is encouraged).

Directed and written by Sassy Mohen, How to Hack Birth Control is a digital comedy series about navigating and taking charge in today’s contraception universe, starring Garrison Oliver Gross, Lauren Elizabeth Harris, Aisha Renee Holden, Jackie R. Jacobson, Brooke Ashley Rose Johnson, Micaela Martinez, Xanthe Paige, Spring Inés Peña, Cynthia San Luis, and Dash Kennedy Williams. 

Told through the sharp wit and perky charm of the narrator Ruth, How to Hack Birth Control takes a run at a hit list of ‘not supposed to talk about,’ scenarios. How do you get the morning after pill quickly and for free? Where can you hide your birth control? How do you get your doctor to listen to you? All of the things women want to know but are taught to be too afraid to ask.  How to Hack Birth Control has been an official selection at more than 60 film festivals, including the Nashville Film Festival, the Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film FestivalNewFilmmakers LA, and Harlem International Film Festival, and has won 21 awards. 

For more information, 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 Recognizes September as National Recovery Month and Invites Community to the Van Ness Recovery House Carnival Celebration

The City of West Hollywood recognizes September as National Recovery Month, which started in 1989 and is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life. Recovery month aims to increase public awareness surrounding mental health and addiction recovery and celebrate the gains made by those in recovery. Recovery Month has adopted the theme of Every Person. Every Family. Every Community. as its permanent tagline. 

The observance of National Recovery Month reinforces the City of West Hollywood’s commitment to providing social services, health education, and information to community members in-need and to improve quality of life. The City contracts with several agencies to provide substance abuse, recovery, and health and mental health services. In addition to the City’s work with contracted agencies, the City works to educate and raise awareness about the dangers of substance use. 

On August 31, 2023, the City joined the recovery community in recognizing Overdose Awareness Day, a global event held annually to remember and memorialize the lives lost to drug overdoses and to promote awareness about the importance of overdose prevention. West Hollywood City Hall was lit in purple, the color of recognition for Overdose Awareness Day, and also participated by sharing #OverdoseAwarenessDay messaging in @wehocity social media.

The City of West Hollywood invites the community to attend the Van Ness Recovery House Carnival Celebration on Saturday, September 30, 2023, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall and Great Lawn, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. In celebration of the Van Ness Recovery House’s 50th Anniversary, the ‘Carnival’ is being brought to the community to highlight the organization’s 50 years of work and service, and to recognize September as National Recovery Month. The Carnival is free and open to the community and will include food, games, and entertainment.  

The Van Ness Recovery House is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to meet the critical and expanding needs of the LGBTQ+ community through whole person care and integrated services that target drug and alcohol addiction, mental health concerns, and sexual health in a socially supportive environment. The 20-bed residential treatment facility opened in 1973 and was one of the first facilities to welcome people with HIV and AIDS into residential addiction recovery treatment.

Since its inception, the Recovery House has served thousands of individuals struggling with substance related disorders. The City contracted with the Van Ness Recover House beginning in 1992 and has referred thousands of community members and residents to the agency to receive services.

“The City of West Hollywood has made it an ongoing priority to address recovery services by providing funding for programming at a variety of agencies and by educating the public about substance use,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore John M. Erickson. “Congratulations to the Van Ness Recovery House for 50 years of amazing work and service to the community.”  

As part of its commitment to recovery services, the City of West Hollywood is working on next steps in the renovation of the historic Log Cabin building, which houses the West Hollywood Recovery Center (WHRC) on N. Robertson Boulevard. In late June 2023, the California State Legislature approved AB 102 Budget Act of 2023, which contains $1.15 million in appropriated funding to support the Log Cabin renovation project. On Monday, July 10, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 102 into law.

More information about the Log Cabin is posted here: www.weho.org/Home/Components/News/News/10917/23

The City of West Hollywood’s Human Services Division publishes a Substance Abuse Services Guide featuring information about addiction and recovery resources: www.weho.org/services/human-services/substance-abuse-addiction-recovery.

For more information about the City’s addiction and recovery resources, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Human Services Division at (323) 848-6510. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

For additional information about the Van Ness Recovery House’s Carnival Celebration, please contact Jasmine Duckworth, City of West Hollywood Community Programs Coordinator, at (323) 848-6559 or at [email protected]

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

AIDS Walk Los Angeles to Take Place in City of West Hollywood on Sunday, October 15

The 38th annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles returns to West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard, on Sunday, October 15, 2023 beginning at 10 a.m.

Due to the AIDS Walk, there will be limited street and lane closures in West Hollywood. Drivers should expect delays and plan accordingly.

Street closures will occur as follows on Sunday, October 15, 2023:

  • N. San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Santa Monica Boulevard between N. Doheny Drive and N. La Cienega Boulevard: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lane closures will occur as follows on Sunday, October 15, 2023:

  • Southbound lane at the intersection of N. La Cienega Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Both southbound lanes at the intersection of N. Doheny Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Both northbound lanes at the intersection of N. Doheny Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Westbound lane on Melrose Avenue between N. Robertson Boulevard and N. Doheny Drive will be limited to local access. (Vehicles will not be allowed to enter the intersection at N. Doheny Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard.)
  • N. Doheny Drive from Rangely Avenue to Melrose Avenue – (North side traffic will be diverted east on Melrose Avenue): 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • N. Doheny Drive from Carmelita Avenue to Santa Monica Boulevard – (South side traffic will be diverted West on Sunset Boulevard): 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

West Hollywood Park impacts will occur as follows on Saturday, October 14, 2023 and Sunday, October 15, 2023:

  • Basketball courts will be closed on Saturday, October 14 and Sunday October 15.
  • Dog parks will remain open on Saturday, October 14 with access via alternate gates.
  • Dog parks will be closed on Sunday, October 15 between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Dog park gates will reopen on Sunday, October 15 at 2 p.m. with access via alternate gates.

To avoid traffic and parking delays, event participants are encouraged to use alternative modes of transportation such as ride sharing services or Metro. Some public parking structures/lots will offer a limited amount of parking at the following locations for a fee on Sunday, as follows (please note that some locations are not immediately adjacent to West Hollywood Park):

  • Kings Road Parking Structure, 8383 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • La Jolla/Havenhurst Lot, 1043 La Jolla Avenue (metered)
  • Orange Grove Lot, 1114 N. Orange Grove Avenue
  • Spaulding Lot, 7718 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • Queens Lot, 8459 Sunset Boulevard
  • Sunset Lot, 8775 Sunset Boulevard
  • West Hollywood Park Five-Story Structure, 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard, enter from N. Robertson Boulevard/El Tovar Place (due to the N. San Vicente Boulevard closure).

AIDS Walk Los Angeles participants can hop on one of several Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) bus lines that connect to the City of West Hollywood, including: 4, 10, 30/330, 105, 212/312, 217, and 218. More information regarding lines is available at www.metro.net and Metro will post service advisories at www.metro.net/service/advisories.

AIDS Walk Los Angeles is the world’s first walk to fight HIV and AIDS and benefits APLA Health, which provides world-class LGBTQ+ empowering healthcare, HIV specialty care, food, housing, and other essential support services. 38 years ago, a group of fed-up activists, patients, advocates, and friends put their soles on the line to shake the government into action during the AIDS crisis.

Since that first Walk in 1985, hundreds of thousands of walkers and their supporters have raised more than $94 million to combat HIV and AIDS. These funds are a vital lifeline that sustains APLA Health’s programs and services benefiting more than 18,000 individuals living in Los Angeles County, which continues to have the second largest number of people living with HIV in the country.To register for AIDS Walk Los Angeles and for more information, please visit www.aidswalkla.org.

For more information, contact APLA Health by email at [email protected] or by phone/text at (213) 201-9255.

City of West Hollywood will Co-Sponsor the One Institute’s Circa: LGBTQ+ Histories Festival

The City of West Hollywood is a proud co-sponsor of the One Institute’s Circa: LGBTQ+ Histories Festival. The month-long festival will feature 70 programs throughout October beginning on Sunday, October 1, 2023 and ending on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. As part of the festival, 12 programs will be located in West Hollywood. Visit www.circafestival.org to view the schedule of events and to purchase tickets.

Circa’s unprecedented lineup honors LGBTQ+ History Month through thought-provoking exhibitions, readings, performances, panel conversations, and more, showcasing the trailblazing history and cultural contributions of the LGBTQ+ community. Festival programs spotlight the bold artistic talent of more than 200 community presenters representing every part of Los Angeles’ thriving arts and cultural landscape, from leading actors, writers, thinkers, filmmakers, and cultural organizations. 

Circa 2023 will open on Sunday, October 1, 2023 with the ONE Magazine at Seventy exhibition. This will highlight the story of triumph and courage surrounding ONE Magazine, the first nationally distributed LGBTQ+ magazine in the United States. Organized by One Institute, curated by One Archives at the USC Libraries, and co-presented with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the event will start at 3 p.m. at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza, located at 1125 N. McCadden Place in Los Angeles.

Events in West Hollywood will begin on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. with Stories of Sex Work at The Mic at Micky’s, located at 8857 Santa Monica Boulevard. Other events in West Hollywood will include panel discussions, pop-up exhibits, lectures, and various workshops occurring throughout the month. More information and tickets for all events happening in West Hollywood can be found at West Hollywood – Circa (circafestival.org)

Participating organizations include the ACLU of Southern California, Celebration Theatre, Gender Justice LA, the Getty Research Institute, the Goethe-Institute, Lambda Literary, Museum of Neon Art, William Grant Still Arts Center, Williams Institute, and more. Program participants include groundbreaking actor Michael Kearns, Making Gay History podcaster and author Eric Marcus, Lambda Literary Awards winner Abdi Nazemian, pioneering cleric and activist Reverend Troy Perry, trailblazing photographer body artist Sheree Rose, cultural anthropologist Dr. Gayle Rubin, TransLatin@ Coalition founder Bamby Salcedo, founder of the Black AIDS Institute Phill Wilson, artist Dorian Wood, young artist and activist Mars Wright criminal defense attorney and civil rights activist Mia Yamamoto, and many more. 

Founded in 1952, One Institute is the oldest active LGBTQ+ organization in the country, dedicated to telling LGBTQ+ history and stories through education, arts, and social justice programs. One Institute serves as the independent community partner that supports ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the University of Southern California (USC) Libraries, the largest repository of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) materials in the world. One Institute’s mission is to elevate queer and trans histories and embrace emerging stories through collaborative education, arts, and cultural programs. Moreover, ONE Institute envisions a world motivated by social movements of the past to take action toward queer and trans liberation.

In addition to the festival, an exhibition in celebration of One Magazine’s 70th Anniversary will debut on Sunday, October 1, 2023 at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Advocate & Gochis Galleries and Courtyard. Exhibition materials will highlight iconic artifacts from ONE Magazine’s history such as the October 1954 issue that became the focal point of the landmark Supreme Court case ONE, Inc. v. Olesen, which was the first in U.S. history to rule in favor of LGBTQ+ freedom of speech and expression. 

The curatorial and educational choices made by One Institute are guided by a commitment to social equity and justice. One Institute engages with the complexity of LGBTQ+ history and representation through highlighting the intersectional narratives of Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), women, gender-nonconforming and transgender people, people of various abilities, youth, and elders across all socio-economic classes.

To learn more about the One Institute, please visit www.oneinstitute.org.

West Hollywood Presents Go Tell It on the Mountain (Adapted 2023) by Artist Ray Anthony Barrett and Silent Homeless Lamp (2023) by Artist Iván Navarro

The City of West Hollywood proudly presents the next exhibitions in the Moving Image Media Art (MIMA) program. Go Tell It on the Mountain (Adapted 2023), a short film from artist Ray Anthony Barrett, will make its worldwide debut on the Streamlined Arbor billboard located at 9157 Sunset Boulevard, and will air at the top of every hour for 10½ minutes. Silent Homeless Lamp (2023), a short film from artist Iván Navarro, will make its debut at 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 approximately five minutes. Both works will be on exhibition from Sunday, October 1, 2023, through Wednesday, January 31, 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 communication, and enhance the human experience of the Sunset Strip. 

Go Tell It on the Mountain (Adapted 2023) is Artist Ray Anthony Barrett’s months-long expedition across the majestic vistas of the western United States. An artist, writer, photographer, and chef, Barrett’s Homeric odyssey coalesced as his restaurant was scheduled to open the day California went into the COVID-19 lockdown. Go Tell It on the Mountain (Adapted 2023) is a Black man’s existential journey to erase the erasure of Colonialism, to reclaim agency around food security, and to reconcile his complex relationship with the land to which his history and existence are so inextricably linked.

Ray Anthony Barrett is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice encompasses filmmaking, photography, sculpture, and writing. He has presented his soul food popup Cinqué in collaboration with The Underground Museum, approaching the culinary project as an artistic undertaking. Barrett exhibited at the 2010 Dakar Biennial and has been profiled in the Los Angeles Times. He earned a BA from the University of Missouri in 2003 and an MFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2011. Barrett lives and works in Los Angeles. 

Iván Navarro uses the quotidian of the things we take for granted to illustrate how difficult it is to address a problem to which we are so willfully blind. As Navarro searches for an outlet, his fluorescent-bulb shopping cart (an ode to Dan Flavin on wheels) strolling through an affluent neighborhood, doesn’t receive a single glance. With Silent Homeless Lamp (2023), Navarro uses what has become the universal symbol of transience – a shopping cart – to allegorize our collective complicity and the draining of resources that it requires to address something that, if seen, could have been prevented. Navarro’s cart persists, lit with a blinding white glow. A beacon of hope, a lamp, to light the way for all.

Iván Navarro graduated with a BFA from PUC University of Chile, Santiago, in 1995 and has been living and working in New York since 1997. In 2021, Navarro held his retrospective exhibition PLANETARIUM in Paris, a collaboration between Centre Quartre and Gallerie Templon. Navarro’s solo exhibitions have been on view worldwide, including Brussels, New York, Paris, Santiago, and Seoul. Navarro’s group exhibitions have also been held around the world, including in New York, New Zealand, San Francisco, and Santiago. 

The Moving Image Media Art Program (MIMA) is a City of West Hollywood 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. 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. https://go.weho.org/mima

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.

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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

ONE Archives Foundation changes name to One Institute

One Institute produces unique exhibitions and public programs that connect LGBTQ+ history with contemporary culture to effect social change

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Graphic by One Institute

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – ONE Archives Foundation, the oldest active LGBTQ+ organization in the United States, announced today that the nonprofit has rebranded itself and has changed its name to One Institute.

The rebrand coincides with the milestone 70th anniversary of the publication of the organization’s groundbreaking ONE Magazine, the first widely distributed LGBTQ+ magazine in the U.S. This launch precedes its inaugural Circa: Queer Histories Festival, scheduled throughout LGBTQ+ History Month in October 2023.

The rebrand includes a new logo, tagline, website URL, and social media handles, all reflecting One Institute’s ongoing commitment to envisioning a world motivated by social movements of the past to take action toward queer and trans liberation. The new design captures the essence of the organization’s rich heritage while fostering connections with younger generations.

The new logo honors the organization’s 70+ year roots by using the font of the original ONE Magazine logo, which symbolizes the boldness and advocacy of that design. This rebrand celebrates the organization’s historic past while also looking toward its exciting future.

Founded in 1952 as ONE, Inc., the LGBTQ+ organization originally established One Institute as its educational arm. Today, the organization is embracing “One Institute” as the nonprofit’s name, along with the tagline “Queer and Trans History in Action.”

“One Institute was originally established to educate and bring together queer and trans communities, and to fight against institutions attempting to control and police our identities,” said Chiedu Egbuniwe, Board Chair, One Institute. “We’re thrilled to reclaim a name that reflects our history, and our mission of elevating queer and trans histories and embracing emerging stories through collaborative education, arts, and cultural programs.”

“All of us at the USC Libraries are excited about this new chapter for One Institute, which draws on the Institute’s storied history as a leader in LGBTQ+ educational initiatives and public programs,” said Dean of the USC Libraries, Marje Schuetze-Coburn. “We look forward to building on and strengthening our collaborations with One Institute through efforts like the ONE Magazine at Seventy exhibition that will launch Circa. The exhibition features a wealth of original and rarely seen materials from ONE Archives and underscores the tremendous possibilities for what our organizations will achieve in the coming years by working closely together.”

Explore the new look and logo of One Institute in their new website at oneinstitute.org. Stay connected with them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube at their new social media handle, @oneinstitutela.

About One Institute

One Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating queer and trans histories and embracing emerging stories through collaborative education, arts, and cultural programs. Founded in 1952, One Institute is the oldest active LGBTQ+ organization in the United States. One of the organization’s initial programs was the publication of ONE Magazine in 1953, the first widely read LGBTQ+ magazine in the country.

One Institute produces unique exhibitions and public programs that connect LGBTQ+ history with contemporary culture to effect social change

Additionally, the Institute assists in promoting the materials within ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, which houses the largest collection of LGBTQ+ materials in the world. Through distinctive K-12 teacher training, lesson plans, and youth mentorship programs, we empower the next generation of teachers and students to bring queer and trans history into classrooms and communities.

One Institute is among the select few California nonprofits that offer K-12 teacher training and lesson plans to implement the FAIR Act and integrate queer history into California public school classrooms.

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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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Grindr loses 45% of staff due to Return-to-Work policy

Company mandated that workers return to in-person work for two days a week last month at designated “hub” offices or face termination

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Photo Credit: WeHo Times

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – Grindr had a significant reduction in its workforce, with approximately 45% of its employees quitting rather than adhere to a return-to-office policy.

The LA TIMES and Bloomberg Business report that this policy was introduced in response to a majority of employees expressing their intention to unionize.

The LGBTQ dating app company based out of West Hollywood mandated that workers return to in-person work for two days a week last month at designated “hub” offices or face termination. This led to the resignation of around 80 out of 178 employees, as reported by the Communications Workers of America in a statement released on Wednesday.

Additionally, Grindr provided severance packages to staff who couldn’t relocate, a move criticized by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) as an attempt to stifle workers’ voices concerning their working conditions. The CWA filed a new labor complaint against the company, marking the second such complaint in approximately a month.

CEO George Arison stated that he expected staff attrition resulting from the mandate during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology conference in San Francisco. He indicated that the downsizing of the team would positively impact the company’s short-term financials, emphasizing the efficiency and leverage achieved with a smaller workforce. Arison acknowledged that staffing expenses were a significant cost factor for the company, second only to fees paid to app distribution platforms like Apple and Google.

The situation at Grindr underscores the broader tension between employers and employees as companies transition back to in-office work after adopting flexible remote work policies during the pandemic.

In August, the CWA informed the National Labor Relations Board that Grindr’s policy was a retaliatory response to the unionization efforts initiated by workers on July 20. The labor organizing campaign, which is ongoing and has not yet received official recognition from the company, enjoys substantial support among a proposed bargaining unit of approximately 100 employees, according to pro-union staff.

According to the LA TIMES these workforce challenges, Grindr recently increased its full-year revenue and profit margin outlook, citing strong demand for its new weekly subscription offering and other features. The company’s shares have risen by 17% this year.

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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

September events, programs, city services, Free Theatre in the Parks, September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month plus more

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West Hollywood City Hall (Photo credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott)

City of West Hollywood to Begin Annual Tree Pruning

WEST HOLLYWOODTrees make our cities greener, cleaner, and healthier. The City of West Hollywood has approximately 12,500 trees that require maintenance and care. The City of West Hollywood will begin its annual program of tree pruning on Monday, September 11, 2023 and work is expected to continue through February 2024.

The City’s contractor, West Coast Arborists, is beginning pruning work along Sunset Boulevard, taking care not to disrupt Westbound lanes until after 10 a.m. in order to minimize the impact on morning commute traffic.

During the coming weeks, crews will move to other commercial areas on Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Boulevard, and other arterial streets. Following commercial area trimming, work will commence on residential arterial streets. Each day, trimming will start at 8 a.m. and work will be finished by 3 p.m. 

The City will communicate to residents, businesses, and motorists in advance of pruning work, using several methods:

  • “No parking” signs will be placed a minimum of 24 hours in advance of work. The signs will reflect scheduled trimming activities for each day and they will be broken down into two time segments: before 12 p.m. and after 12 p.m. Parking spaces will be reopened as soon as possible after work is completed;
  • Door hangers or postings on trees will be placed a minimum of 72 hours in advance of residential tree-trimming activities;
  • Electronic message boards may be placed at strategic locations several days before trimming, as well as during trimming activities, in order to provide commuters with advance notice so they can plan route changes; and
  • Notification of trimming activity will be posted on the City’s website and on the City’s social media pages @WeHoCity.

For more information, please contact Sam Estrada, the City of West Hollywood’s Urban Forest and Landscape Maintenance Supervisor, at (323) 848-6867 or at [email protected].

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

West Hollywood Recognizes September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

The City of West Hollywood recognizes Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September. As part of raising awareness, the City will, from September 1, 2023 through September 10, 2023, light West Hollywood City Hall and the lanterns along Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood in the color teal.

While breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, ovarian cancer is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers, with a mortality rate of more than 50 percent. This is because early ovarian tumors are extremely difficult or impossible for even the most skilled examiner to identify through a normal gynecological exam.

Other screening tools and tests must be employed to detect ovarian cancer in women who don’t have any symptoms, including genetic testing to help determine a woman’s risk or likelihood of developing ovarian cancer.

It is imperative that all high-risk women, even those without symptoms of ovarian cancer, be identified and given the opportunity to receive the most up-to-date screenings as recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). 

Despite ovarian cancer rates being highest among white women, Black women are more likely to die from this disease due to lack of access to health care, socioeconomic disparities, and other causes still under study.

All women, regardless of socio-economic status, race, or ethnicity, should be provided with resources needed to protect themselves and their families such as education, outreach, and testing. 

The City of West Hollywood has been instrumental in the growth and success of The Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired by Robin Babbini since the organization’s inception in 2011. The Circle, founded by Paulinda Babbini, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization aimed at expanding the ring of networking, education and support for women of all ages and their families and friends who may be affected by this disease.

Robin Babbini, Paulinda’s daughter, was the inspiration for The Circle. Robin succumbed to ovarian cancer at the early age of 20. As a teenager she worked for several years as a staff member at the City of West Hollywood for the Tiny Tots and Tot Time Program. Lack of an early diagnosis and access to readily accessible public information concerning ovarian cancer contributed to the advancement of her disease and ultimate death.

Since its inception, The Circle has raised more than $1 million for ovarian cancer research. The West Hollywood City Council will present a proclamation to Paulinda and The Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired by Robin Babbini at its meeting on September 18, 2023 in recognition of the extraordinary work they do. 

For more information, please contact Jennifer Del Toro, the City of West Hollywood’s Community and Legislative Affairs Supervisor, at (323) 848-6549 or at [email protected].

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

West Hollywood Announces Temporary Art Installation: ‘Falling on Deaf Ears’ by Julio Sims at West Hollywood City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room Lobby Area

The City of West Hollywood will debut the temporary art installation Falling on Deaf Ears by artist Julio Sims on Monday, September 11, 2023 at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room lobby area, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

The art installation is part of the City’s Art on the Outside program and it will remain on view at this location through Wednesday, January 10, 2024. 

Falling on Deaf Ears by Los Angeles-based artist Julio Sims is a free-standing folding screen mural, measuring 6′ high x 22′ long x 1′ deep, depicting individuals using American Sign Language (ASL) to express the following concept: “What if a tree falls and no one hears?”

The artwork will be installed facing the 22′ length of windows to the left of the building’s entrance and will be viewable from outside the building. The pleated surfaces will display three sets of dual images conveying each ASL sign creating a lenticular effect of the illusion of movement for pedestrian passersby.

Julio Sims is a professional artist based in Los Angeles with four permanent public art commissions in the collection of the City of Los Angeles, the City of Culver City, and the New Roads School in Santa Monica. Sims has exhibited in both solo and group shows in non-profit and commercial art galleries nationally. His visual set designs have also appeared in dance performances internationally.

The Art on the Outside program is the City’s temporary art program that installs rotating artworks throughout the city. The artworks can include sculpture, murals, digital art, and other outdoor works. Most exhibitions remain on display between six months and three years.

All projects are subject to the Art on the Outside Program Review and Approval Process. The program is funded through the Public Beautification & Art Fund. 

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, Summer Sounds + Winter Sounds, Urban Art (permanent public art), WeHo Pride Arts Festival, and WeHo Reads. 

For more information about City of West Hollywood arts programming, please visit www.weho.org/arts.  For more information, please contact Marcus Mitchell, City of West Hollywood Public Art Administrator, at (323) 848-3122 or at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Invites the Community to One-Night-Only Pop-Up Art Exhibition: ‘HB7: Cruising’ by High Beams

The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division will present a one-night-only pop-up art exhibition as part of its Art on the Outside program on Saturday, September 16, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Plummer Park’s North Parking Lot. Limited parking will be available at the south entrance to the park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. 

Presented by High Beams, a Los Angeles-based curatorial collective, HB7: Cruising is a one-night exhibition featuring sculpture, installation, painting, video, and performance artworks by 20 artists. Parking lots have traditionally been stopping points for “cruisers” to meet-up with friends, regroup before a party, or even to hook-up with a sexual partner. 

While undeniably tamer than their historical analogs, the “cruisers” expected at HB7 will be able to walk through a temporary art garden that is

wide-ranging and interactive, reflective of a City as diverse as the work, while paying homage to West Hollywood’s legendary nightlife. The themes associated with much of the work are varied, though commonalities include trauma, an impending planetary crisis, body autonomy, and eco-feminism. Other artists have chosen to work with themes around hedonism, pleasure, and simple comfort to distract from the endless parade of anxiety-inducing news.

High Beams is a five-person curatorial group run by artists Carl Baratta, Dani Dodge, Alanna Marcelletti, Sean Noyce, and Katya Usvitsky, who have collectively organized six exhibitions together. Baratta and Usvitsky are also lead curators at Tiger Strikes Asteroid – Los Angeles (TSALA), and have organized

numerous exhibitions around the globe. Baratta is also the lead curator for B-LA Connect, a Berlin-Los Angeles curatorial exchange that includes more than 40 galleries from both cities. Dodge, Marcelletti, and Noyce are lead curators at Durden and Ray, and have also organized exhibitions locally, nationally, and internationally. 

The Art on the Outside Program is the City’s temporary art program that installs rotating artworks throughout the city. The artworks can include sculpture, murals, digital art, and other outdoor works. Most exhibitions remain on display between six months and three years. All projects are subject to the Art on the Outside Program Review and Approval Process. The program is funded through the Public Beautification & Art Fund. 

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, Summer Sounds + Winter Sounds, Urban Art (permanent public art), WeHo Pride Arts Festival, and WeHo Reads. For more information about City of West Hollywood arts programming, please visit www.weho.org/arts.  

For more information, please contact Marcus Mitchell, City of West Hollywood Public Art Administrator, at (323) 848-3122 or at [email protected].

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

West Hollywood Presents Free Theatre in the Parks: Pacific Opera Project’s Hansel and Gretel

The City of West Hollywood is bringing back its popular Theatre in the Parks programming with an operatic take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, with a magical score by Englebert Humperdinck, playing at Kings Road Park for six-performances-only beginning Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 4 p.m. and running Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, September 24, 2023. Kings Road Park is located at 1000 N. Kings Road. Attendance is free; seating is first-come first-served. RSVP is requested at https://hanselandgretel-weho2023.eventbrite.com

This free theatre experience is presented by Pacific Opera Project (POP) and the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Pacific Opera Project’s operatic take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Hansel and Gretel is the fantastical story of two siblings lost in an enchanted forest who stumble upon a delicious looking gingerbread house. Little do they know that its owner is an evil witch.

POP’s production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is directed by Jack Zager and will feature cast members Milena Gligic, Tiffany Ho, Jared Jones, Christine Li, and Erin Theodorakis. It can be enjoyed by the entire family, with a running time of 75 minutes, and will be sung in English.

Founded in 2011, Los Angeles’s Pacific Opera Project (POP) provides quality opera that is accessible, affordable, and entertaining. POP hosts hundreds of new opera-goers each season, while welcoming back a growing number of opera enthusiasts, producing close to 50 operas in just over 11 seasons. 

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, Summer Sounds + Winter Sounds, Urban Art (permanent public art), WeHo Pride 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 Free Theatre in the Parks, 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.

City of West Hollywood Announces Nick Maricich as New Community Development Director

The City of West Hollywood announces the selection of a new Community Development Director. Nick Maricich will begin at the City of West Hollywood on Monday, September 18, 2023.

Maricich joins the City of West Hollywood with 16 years of service to furthering successful urban planning at the City of Los Angeles. In his most recent role at the City of Los Angeles, Maricich has served as Principal City Planner overseeing functions of the Citywide Policy Planning Division at the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. He also served for five years as the Director of Planning Policy and Development for former City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. He brings a wealth of experience in working with diverse Los Angeles neighborhoods in the areas of community planning and historic preservation. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Geography with a minor in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and he holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Nick’s dedication and innovative approach to community planning and historic preservation during his time at the City of Los Angeles are commendable. His leadership and insights will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the City of West Hollywood and our community,” said City of West Hollywood City Manager David Wilson. “His unique perspective and proven track record will undoubtedly contribute to our ongoing efforts to create a vibrant and sustainable urban environment for our residents and our city will continue to advance its forward-thinking planning work.”

The City of West Hollywood will schedule a series of Town Hall meetings in September to introduce Nick Maricich to the community, along with speaking with and hearing from community members as the goals and vision of the Community Development Department are advanced under the direction of the new Director.

The City of West Hollywood’s Community Development Department (which for several years had been called Planning & Development Services Department) is responsible for managing the City’s urban environment and creating a livable community that balances the needs of residents, businesses, property owners and visitors.

There are three divisions within the City’s Community Development Department that assist in creating and implementing the community’s vision:

1) Current and Historic Preservation Planning;

2) Long Range Planning; and

3) Building and Safety.

The City’s Community Development Department also serves as a leader in coordinating and focusing multi-departmental work efforts to address the wide number of planning and development concerns in West Hollywood. For additional information about the City’s Community Development Department, please visit www.weho.org/city-government/city-departments/community-development-department

For more information, please contact Janet Jimenez, City of West Hollywood Administrative Services Director, at (323) 848-6376 or at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood to Host Historic Preservation Celebration: ‘Plummer Park Through the Years’

The City of West Hollywood’s annual Historic Preservation Celebration, Plummer Park Through the Years, will celebrate the stories, events, and memories that have unfolded within the historic buildings of Plummer Park. The event will take place on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at 11 a.m. at Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. Admission to the event is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served. 

In addition to the City’s annual historic preservation celebration, the City has partnered with the California Preservation Foundation for their second annual Doors Open event. Great Hall, Long Hall, and Fiesta Hall will be open from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. where attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about the groups that have played a pivotal role in fostering community unity within the historic buildings of Plummer Park. 

The City of West Hollywood, which was incorporated in 1984, recognizes and values the importance of preserving its cultural resources. The City’s Current and Historic Preservation Planning Division works with the City’s Historic Preservation Commission to identify and protect historic resources in West Hollywood. The City adopted an Historic Preservation Ordinance in 1989 and it has designated over 100 structures as cultural resources. For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s historic preservation efforts, please visit the City’s Historic Preservation website at www.wehopreservation.org.

For more information about the Historic Preservation Celebration or about historic preservation efforts in the City of West Hollywood, please contact Doug Vu, City of West Hollywood Senior Planner, at (323) 848-6318 or [email protected].

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

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For more information, please call the City of West Hollywood’s City Council Offices at (323) 848-6460. 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 event kicks off start of countdown to 2024 Paris Olympics

The USA Olympic team kicked off the one-year countdown to the Paris games in a temporary tattoo parlor Monday

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The USA Olympic team kicked off the one-year countdown to the Paris games in a temporary tattoo parlor Monday in WeHo. (Photo by Roby Sobieski)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The USA Olympic team kicked off the one-year countdown to the Paris games in a temporary tattoo parlor Monday. 

The venue, Ephemeral Tatoo at 131 N La Brea Ave, resembles a tech startup with all-white cubicles and clean, streamlined decor. The parlor specializes in “real tattoos without the commitment” made from ink that generally fades after about two years. 

Inside the event, guests were offered a complementary tattoo from a selection of team USA-themed designs, including the team’s logo and phrases like “go for the gold.” On the patio, guests lingered around the open bar and Mexican-style buffet. 

(Photo by Roby Sobieski)

Olympians such as Rugby player Marcus Tupuola, Para Swimmers Ahalya Letteinberger, Haven Shepherd, and Lizzi Smith, and Track and Field star Colleen Quigley casually meandered through the venue, making time to mingle and take photos with guests. Media crew also wandered through the event with cameras and boom mikes, capturing fan interactions with their favorite athletes.

Los Angeles Blade reporter Simha Haddad interviewing Team USA Track and Field star Colleen Quigley. (Photo by Roby Sobieski)

Quigley, whose training partner, Nikki Hiltz, is nonbinary and competing on the women’s team, shared her thoughts on Hiltz’s journey with The Blade. 

“I’m a blond-haired, blue-eyed, cisgender straight woman,” said Quigley. “I don’t get a lot of hate. When I go on my Instagram page, all I have is love and support. I thought that was the same for everyone until I saw the comments on Nikki’s page.”

Quigley said she was shocked at the constant hate hurled at Hiltz for being nonbinary. 

“It’s hard enough to compete without all that,” said Quigley. “We all love Nikki, and no one on the team has a problem with them competing. This is all coming from the outside.”

Quigley, a top 8 Olympian and the current World Record holder in the 4×1500 meters relay (set July 31, 2020), also shared that this will be her last time running before switching to her new career as a triathlete.

“It’s like senior year of college,” said Quigley. “I’m ready to close the door on running and open the door to triathlon.” 

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Man collapses in West Hollywood from Fentanyl overdose

Accidental overdose deaths caused by fentanyl can be prevented by fentanyl test strips and a life-saving medication called Naloxone

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First responders working on a man who had collapsed near a bus stop at the intersection of Santa Monica and La Cienega Boulevards. (Photo Credit: WEHO TIMES)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – A man had a medical emergency in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard Thursday afternoon. First responders were on the scene after reports that a man had collapsed near a bus stop on the intersection of Santa Monica and La Cienega Boulevards. He was unconscious and foaming at the mouth when paramedics arrived. 

The incident occurred at roughly 4:45 p.m. A West Hollywood sheriff deputy confirmed that the man was high on fentanyl and unresponsive. The man was revived and transported to a nearby hospital.

Emergency vehicles blocked the right lane on Santa Monica Boulevard to tend to the person, creating a traffic jam during 5pm rush hour. The traffic conjestion lasted a little over a half-hour.

Photo Credit: WEHO TIMES

The City of West Hollywood recently announced that it is joining the recovery community in recognizing Thursday, August 31, 2023, as Overdose Awareness Day, a global event held annually to remember and memorialize the lives lost to drug overdoses and to promote awareness about the importance of overdose prevention. West Hollywood City Hall will be lit in purple, the color of recognition for Overdose Awareness Day. The City will also participate by sharing #OverdoseAwarenessDay messaging in @wehocity social media.

Originating in 2001, Overdose Awareness Day has become the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdoses and stimulate action and discussion about evidence-based treatment and harm reduction. Numbering nearly 110,000 overdose deaths, 2022 saw the highest recorded deaths in a calendar year in the United States, compared with 109,179 in 2021, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid, has been a significant factor in the rise of deadly overdoses and accidental drug poisonings. 

Photo Credit: WEHO TIMES

Fentanyl overdoses continue to be a significant and growing public health problem that impacts people across race, ethnicity, and the socioeconomic spectrum. The City of West Hollywood contracts with many agencies to provide programming and services for people with substance use disorders and has taken steps to educate and raise awareness about the harms of fentanyl.

In 2019, the City began partnering with its contracted and collaborative agency partners to distribute fentanyl test strips to the community. In 2022, more than 10,000 fentanyl strips were distributed during WeHo Pride weekend and more than 5,000 were distributed during the 2022 December holidays leading up to New Year’s Eve. In 2023, freefentanyl test strips and Naloxone/Narcan were available throughout the 2023 WeHo Pride Street Fair.

Accidental fentanyl overdose deaths in Los Angeles County increased 1,280% from 109 deaths in 2016 to 1,504 deaths in 2021. Fentanyl is an addictive and deadly synthetic opioid that has been found in counterfeit pharmaceuticals and illicit substances such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy. It is especially dangerous because people are often unaware of Fentanyl contamination within the substances they are using. The potency of fentanyl (as high as 50 to 100 times the potency of morphine) greatly increases the risk of overdose.

Accidental overdose deaths caused by fentanyl can be prevented by fentanyl test strips and a life-saving medication called Naloxone (or by the brand name Narcan). The fentanyl test strip is a harm reduction tool used to test substances for trace amounts of fentanyl and it provides an indicator of how lethal the substance might be prior to consuming it. Naloxone/Narcan quickly reverses an overdose by blocking the effects of opioids and it can restore normal breathing within minutes in a person whose breath has slowed or stopped due to an overdose. The most common form of Naloxone/Narcan comes in an east-to-use nasal spray that allows bystanders to help stop a fatal overdose from occurring prior to the arrival of emergency services personnel.

The City of West Hollywood is working on next steps in the renovation of the historic Log Cabin building, which houses the West Hollywood Recovery Center (WHRC) on N. Robertson Boulevard.

In late June 2023, the California State Legislature approved AB 102 Budget Act of 2023, which contains $1.15 million in appropriated funding to support the Log Cabin renovation project; in July 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 102 into law.

More information about the Log Cabin history and renovation project, visit the City of West Hollywood: https://www.weho.org/Home/Components/News/News/10917/23.

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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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Mobile phone thieves caught at Heart Club in WeHo… again

Deputies also arrested two females– in a separate incident of phone thefts at Rocco’s WeHo located across the street from Heart WeHo

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Heart dance club & nightclub, 8911 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood. (Photo Credit: Heart WeHo/Facebook)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – A video shared with with WeHo Times at early Sunday morning, alleges that pickpocket thieves were caught stealing cell phones and the phones were recovered and returned to their rightful owners, who were customers at Heart WeHo.

As depicted in the video a man is detained and women are heard screaming, one woman calling him a “broke ass bitch.”

“We enforce the law here,” read the story about the incident posted in Heart WeHo’s official Instagram account. “If you steal, we will catch you.”

According to a person familiar speaking with the WeHo Times, “They have been caught before. Keep coming back. They don’t arrest them unless they have more than 8 phones on one person. So we catch and release. Return the phones to the owners. They always work in teams, 2-3.”

This isn’t the first time pickpockets have been caught at the WeHo hotspot. Two individuals were arrested for stealing phones inside Heart on Friday, February 17, 2023. “More pickpockets arrested last night,” read a social media post. “If you come to and try to steal from our guests, we will catch you and you will be arrested!”

The video shows a male and female in custody at the venue located at 8911 Santa Monica Boulevard. According to the short footage, a man who was visiting from New York had his phone stolen by one of the individuals. We also see a group of people standing outside waiting to have their phones returned to them.

“He was here visiting from New York and his phone was stolen from his back pocket by the same people who steal cell phones every single time,” says the person behind the video.

“The duo right here was once again detained by our security. Hopefully we won’t be seeing them back in two weeks. Thank you to the sheriff’s department and code compliance who are always first to show up. All these people are waiting for their stolen phones. I’m sure they did it in multiple venues across the city. They are stealing from our community–our queer community who come here for a safe space and have their phone stolen. We will catch you and you will be arrested.”

Deputies from the LA County Sheriff’s Department’s WeHo Substation arrested two individuals–both female–in a separate incident of phone thefts at Rocco’s WeHo located across the street from Heart WeHo.

That incident occurred at roughly 1:30am on Sunday morning. A LASD spokesperson was not able to provide more information citing an ongoing investigation.

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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

Special Meeting of City Council & Public Safety Commission, August 14; Book Signing: ‘Zev’s LA; Women’s Equality Day – WeHo Takeover + more

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West Hollywood City Hall (Photo credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott)

Outreach to Residents and Property Owners about ‘Good Neighbor’ Policies

WEST HOLLYWOOD The City of West Hollywood’s Neighborhood and Business Safety Division’s Code Enforcement team works to maintain neighborhood livability by being responsive to complaints and concerns received from the community. The team 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.

To respond to an uptick in community concerns, the City is increasing outreach to residents and property owners to remind them:

  • Leaf-Blowers — The use of gas-powered leaf-blowers by residents or gardeners is prohibited; electric or battery-operated leaf-blowers are the only leaf-blowers permitted in the City of West Hollywood. Violations found by Code Enforcement Officers will result in the issuance of citations ranging from $100 to $500, with a $75 administrative fee applied. 
  • Trash and Recycling Bins — Leaving trash and recycling bins next to the curb indefinitely is prohibited. Bins may only be placed at the curb after 5:30 p.m. the day before collection; they must be at the curb by 6 a.m. on collection day and removed by 8 p.m. on collection day. Violations may result in a fine ranging from $250 to $1,000, with a $75 administrative fee applied.
  • Overgrown Parkways/Hedges — Vegetation that is not cut back and extends into the sidewalk or street areas causes an obstruction for pedestrians and vehicles. More importantly, this prevents and/or hinders pedestrians and people who use a wheelchair or a walker from properly accessing sidewalk areas. Allowing vegetation to protrude into sidewalks and streets is a violation and may result in a fine ranging from $250 to $1,000, with a $75 administrative fee applied.
  • Bulky Items — For large items that need to be picked up, call Athens Services at 1-888-336-6100. You can also email your request (including the item to be picked up, address, contact information, etc.). Make sure to place your item on the curb on your regular trash day after scheduling pickup. Athens also has an online Bulky Item form, available at https://athensservices.com/bulky-item-pickup/.

The City’s Code Enforcement team actively addresses a range of residential neighborhood concerns, such as 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). Community members who may have concerns are encouraged to reach out to the City’s Code Enforcement team by submitting a Service Request, which is a first step in investigating potential violations of the Municipal Code. The primary goal of Code Enforcement is to gain voluntary compliance so that residents 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 use of a gas leaf blower was observed. If you wish to receive a call back, please also leave your contact information. For more information, please contact Vyto Adomaitis, Neighborhood and Business Safety Manager, at (323) 848-6531 or [email protected].

Annual WeHo Rec Expo on Saturday, August 19 at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center

The City of West Hollywood’s Recreation Services Division will host its annual WeHo Rec Expo on Saturday, August 19, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center, located at 8750 El Tovar Place. The event is free and attendees can learn more about the City’s recreation programs and events for children, adults, and older adults. Those who visit the Expo will enjoy demos, giveaways, and exciting activities sure to be fun for the entire family. 

Additionally, there will be a rodeo-themed recreation swim; space is limited, and reservations are required for this activity. To register, please visit www.weho.org/pool or call (323) 848-6308 for additional information.

Limited parking will be available at the West Hollywood Park Five-Story Parking Structure, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library.For additional information about the WeHo Rec Expo, please call (323) 848-6497 or email [email protected].

OutLoud Sports Festival Dodgeball Tournament

The City of West Hollywood will host the OutLoud Sports Festival Dodgeball Tournament as part of a two-day sports festival over Labor Day Weekend which includes multiple sports at locations throughout Southern California.

The OutLoud Dodgeball Tournament is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center located at 8750 El Tovar Place, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library. The Dodgeball Tournament is free for all spectators; interested participants can register via the League Apps website at OutLoud Sports Festival 2023: Dodgeball Tournament, Recreation Division : OutLoud Sports: Tournaments (leagueapps.com)

Day one of the Dodgeball Tournament, on September 2, 2023, will consist of seven 12-minute matches to determine seeding. Day two, on September 3, 2023, will be a single-elimination tournament concluding with the Championship Match. Teams can consist of a maximum of 13 players with 10 players playing on the court per team. Registration is open to anyone over the age of 21 through August, 21, 2023 by visiting OutLoud’s Los Angeles Sports Festival — OutLoud Sports. Registration is $60 per person through August 10, 2023 and will increase to $70 per person for registrations from August 11, 2023 through August 21, 2023. 

OutLoud Sports is the nation’s original Queer recreational sports league, founded in 2007 and proudly representing more than 45,000 Queer and allied athletes across the United States and OutLoud offers inclusive year-round activities, games, and sporting events. The Sports Festival consists of tournaments of the following sports: kickball, dodgeball, tennis, pickleball, soccer, sand volleyball, and bowling at various locations in surrounding cities.  More information regarding the Festival, events, and OutLoud Sports can be found at www.outloudsports.com.

City of West Hollywood will Convene a Special Meeting of the City Council and Public Safety Commission on August 14 at 6 p.m.

The City of West Hollywood will convene a Special Meeting of the City Council and Public Safety Commission on Monday, August 14, 2023 at 6 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

Topics of the Special Meeting will include:

  • An assessment and related presentation from the Center for Policing Equity (CPE), which has announced the release of a data-driven analysis that identifies racial disparities in law enforcement interactions; and
  • An update on various public safety equipment, technology, and security enhancements, as well as a drone and fixed-camera pilot program with a real-time watch center to help support community safety efforts.

In 2021, the City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department began a partnership with the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) to examine racial disparities, where they may exist, in law enforcement interactions. The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station shared data with CPE in order to receive analyses intended to support community and law enforcement collaboration on data-informed efforts to enhance equity in public safety. CPE has announced its West Hollywood Justice Navigator Assessment, which provides this assessment in an interactive digital platform. CPE’s approach to assessing racial disparities in policing uses population benchmarking in combination with other strategies that allow it to perform standardized analyses across law enforcement agencies. Population benchmarking cannot account for out-of-town visitors – though it is not known whether any disparity observed would appear larger or smaller if the non-resident population were fully accounted for. West Hollywood has approximately 35,000 residents, but its population swells each day with visitors.

In recent years, the West Hollywood City Council has provided direction to expand and upgrade public safety technology, equipment, and security in West Hollywood. With the advent of new and existing technology, the City is working toward new goals to prevent or deter certain crimes before they take place and to enhance security citywide. This Special Meeting will provide an opportunity to review a variety of technology recommendations and to collect feedback.

Details about the Special Meeting of the City Council and Public Safety Commission are available on the City Council Meeting Agenda website area, under the Current Agenda Packet link at www.weho.org/councilagendas. The Agenda contains information about how to attend and/or view the meeting, how to provide written correspondence or an e-comment, and how to provide public comment.

The Special Meeting will be available for viewing through the City’s WeHoTV website area at www.weho.org/wehotv. To provide additional access to the City’s public meetings, WeHoTV broadcasts are also available as a courtesy within the City of West Hollywood on Spectrum Cable Channel 10; on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv; and on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Roku streaming platforms by searching for “WeHoTV” using search functions.

The City of West Hollywood’s Community Safety Department provides oversight of law enforcement and coordinates community programs to reduce crime and increase public safety and the quality of life for citizens, businesses, and visitors to West Hollywood. The City contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement, the Los Angeles County Fire Department for fire protection services, and Block by Block for security ambassador services. The City and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station urge anyone in the community with public safety concerns to reach out to the Sheriff’s Station 24/7 at (310) 855-8850. In an emergency, always call 911.

The City’s Community Safety in the City of West Hollywood information resource provides extensive detail about the City’s proactive approach to Community Safety and related programs. This guide is available on the City’s website at www.weho.org/publicsafety.For more information, please contact Danny Rivas, City of West Hollywood Director of Community Safety, at (323) 848-6424 or at [email protected].

Women’s Equality Day with a Pop-Up Experience: Women’s Equality Day – WeHo Takeover

The City of West Hollywood and its Women’s Advisory Board will present the City’s annual celebration of Women’s Equality Day honoring the optimism, tenacity, and unrelenting spirit of the people who worked to secure women’s right to vote, and to illustrate how much can be achieved in a democratic society by the collective efforts of citizens committed to political reform.

Women’s Equality Day – WeHo Takeover is a pop-up experience featuring signage and giveaways celebrating women mobilizing for equal rights and recognizing the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. The pop-up will take place on Saturday, August 26, 2023 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and N. San Vicente Boulevard in West Hollywood.

The celebration will also highlight the centennial and relevance of the Equal Rights Amendment, which was first introduced in 1923 and ratified in 2020 but remains unpassed to this day. Community members can participate in the event by picking up free sashes, buttons, voter information, and more, as well as by taking photos to share via social media promoting voting rights, pay equity for women, and support for the Equal Rights Amendment.

West Hollywood businesses are invited to participate in the Women’s Equality Day – WeHo Takeover by displaying signage, sharing messaging, and offering themed promotions. Participants are asked to post to social media using the hashtag #WomensEqualityDay. For more information, please visit www.weho.org/19th

In addition to the Women’s Equality Day – WeHo Takeover, the West Hollywood City Council will issue a proclamation and West Hollywood City Hall and the City’s lanterns over Santa Monica Boulevard will glow in the colors of purple and yellow in recognition of the women’s suffrage movement. 

 For more than two decades, the City of West Hollywood has commemorated Women’s Equality Day in a variety of ways. The City of West Hollywood was the first city in the nation to declare itself pro-choice and it has continually supported state and federal legislation protecting and advancing women’s reproductive rights and access to healthcare. The City supports the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and has a strong record of supporting initiatives that call for equal pay for equal work. The City’s Women’s Advisory Board and is involved in a myriad of programming and events that recognize and support women in the community.For more information, please contact Larissa Fooks, Community Programs Coordinator at (323) 848-6413 or at [email protected].

Book Soup Present Discussion and Book Signing: ‘Zev’s Los Angeles: From Boyle Heights to the Halls of Power’ Featuring Former Elected Official Zev Yaroslavsky

The City of West Hollywood and Book Soup present a special evening with former Los Angeles City Councilperson and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky discussing and signing Zev’s Los Angeles: From Boyle Heights to the Halls of Power.

The event will take place on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at 7 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The discussion is free. Books will be for sale by Book Soup for an after-event signing with Yaroslavsky. To RSVP and for more information, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/zev-yaroslavsky-discusses-zevs-los-angeles-tickets-676183642477

Zev Yaroslavsky, a young social activist, became one of Los Angeles’ most powerful and consequential elected officials, taking on established power brokers and sparking major reforms in policing, transit, land use and fiscal policies. In a Los Angeles political career spanning four decades (LA City Council 1975-1994, LA County Board of Supervisors 1994-2014), Yaroslavsky played a central role in shaping America’s largest metropolitan areas. Health care, transportation, arts and culture, the environment, and fiscal policy were his domain.For more information, please contact Jennifer Del Toro, City of West Hollywood Community and Legislative Affairs Supervisor, at (323) 848-6549 or at [email protected].

For more information, please call the City of West Hollywood’s City Council Offices at (323) 848-6460. 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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New data shows racial disparities in West Hollywood policing

Deputies used force against Black and Latinx people at disproportionate rates compared to their shares of the population

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DUI Checkpoint in West Hollywood - WEHO TIMES

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The Center for Policing Equity (CPE), the City of West Hollywood and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) West Hollywood Station announced the release of the West Hollywood Justice Navigator Assessment report.

The data-driven analysis identifies racial disparities in police interactions with the community. This assessment builds upon recent work to create more equitable policing systems in the City of West Hollywood and was born out of a continued partnership that began in 2021 when the LASD West Hollywood Station proactively joined CPE’s National Justice Database.

The Station shared data with CPE in order to receive analyses intended to support community and law enforcement collaboration on data-informed efforts to enhance equity in public safety.

All assessments are housed within CPE’s Justice Navigator, an interactive digital platform that provides streamlined access to public safety analyses, policy insights, and community resources. The analysis is a step in a collaborative process between municipal leaders and community members in an effort to build and support more equitable public safety systems.

“Our partnership with the LASD West Hollywood Station and the City of West Hollywood has been productive,” said Sean Eldridge, Director of CPE Law Enforcement Initiatives. “Captain Bill Moulder and his staff have been transparent with their data, and enthusiastic about the public rollout of their results. They have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that the policies, procedures and culture of the West Hollywood Station help achieve equitable outcomes and centering the West Hollywood community in these developments. We look forward to joining the City of West Hollywood and West Hollywood Station in presenting this assessment to the public and discussing it with the community.”

“We are deeply appreciative of the work that CPE is doing to highlight racial disparities in interactions where they may exist,” said City of West Hollywood City Manager David Wilson. “The effort of examining such disparities builds upon decades of proactive work that the City of West Hollywood has led with the LASD West Hollywood Station to ensure that law enforcement in our community is effective, responsive, and connected to the city’s core value of respect and support for all people. West Hollywood has a small residential population that is outsized by an exceptionally diverse array of visitors. As we analyze this data, it is our hope that the city and the station can leverage this information to make a positive impact and that we can also look at additional ways to help us get a true picture about disparities. Our ultimate aim is to know about issues where they exist and to continue to work to address issues with solutions.”

West Hollywood Station Captain Bill Moulder stated, “Working with the Center for Policing Equity has been a pleasure. The LASD West Hollywood Station is continually seeking to raise awareness and make improvements. The Station has a diverse workforce, and we engage in a range of training programs that help Sheriff’s personnel to gain understanding and connect with community. CPE data will help in our efforts to better serve our West Hollywood community.”

This analysis is the latest effort made by the LASD West Hollywood Station to build more equitable systems of safety and take a community-centered approach to public safety. These efforts include the 2018 launch of the Mental Evaluation Team (MET), an alternative policing response system that includes a specialized deputy and an LA County Department of Mental Health clinician, which diverts clients away from jail in the field and at booking counters countywide.

The city also approved the exploration of ceasing or reducing low-level traffic stops in West Hollywood in the interest of increasing efficiencies in the police force and reducing any and all opportunities for biased policing.

LASD’s West Hollywood assessment is the result of a thorough analysis of the Station’s use of force data from 2017 – 2021, traffic and non-traffic stop data from July 1, 2018 – December 31, 2021, and calls for service and officer-initiated activity data from 2017 – 2021.

A few key findings from this assessment include:

  • Deputies used force against Black and Latinx people at disproportionate rates compared to their shares of the population. Black people made up 3.6% of the population of West Hollywood, but 28% of all use of force incidents. Latinx people made up 11% of the population, but 22% of all use of force incidents.
  • Deputies searched Black and Latinx drivers more often than White drivers, even though searches of drivers in each racial group resulted in similar rates of contraband being found. Black drivers were searched five times more often than White drivers, despite being found with contraband at about the same rate. Latinx drivers were searched three times more often than White drivers, even though they were less likely to be found with contraband.
  • Black and Latinx drivers were stopped more often than White drivers for vehicle integrity issues, like broken tail lights, or license/registration checks, while White drivers were stopped more often for moving violations. 63% of stops of Black of drivers and 55% of stops of Latinx drivers were equipment stops or license/registration checks—which are often unrelated to public safety or otherwise employed by officers to conduct speculative investigations— compared to 48% of stops of White drivers. 52% of stops of White drivers were recorded as moving violations, which pose immediate threats to public safety, compared to 36% of stops of Black drivers and 45% of stops of Latinx drivers.
  • Deputies stopped Black and Latinx pedestrians at disproportionate rates compared to their shares of the population. Black people made up 3.6% of the population of West Hollywood, but 33% of all pedestrians stopped. Latinx people made up 11% of the population, compared to 22% of all pedestrians stopped.
  • Only 13% of all recorded police activity involved reports of bodily harm, property harm or threats, including both officer-initiated activities and police responses to calls for service. More than 80% of calls for service that officers responded to were for requests related to public assistance, nuisances, traffic incidents, or medical/fire assistance. Some of these events may have been addressed by the department’s alternative or co-response teams, but findings suggest further opportunities for addressing public safety needs via community-centered response models.

Details on these findings and more information on the numerous existing programs within LASD and related initiatives intended to create better policing outcomes can be found in the Context Assessment section of the Justice Navigator Assessment.

CPE will present key findings from West Hollywood’s assessment and discuss areas for further exploration in a public event on August 14, 2023 at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time at the West Hollywood Public Park Meeting Room’s Council Chambers: 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, California, 90069. 

View the presentation event live: West Hollywood Justice Navigator Public Rollout.

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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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Vanderpump’s sued as Venice’s Roosterfish expands to WeHo

Vanderpump’s husband, Ken Todd, is being sued for nearly $1 million for allegedly breaching his rental contract with the landlords

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Roosterfish is moving to Pump Restaurant - WEHO TIMES

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – Lisa Vanderpump’s husband, Ken Todd, is being sued for nearly $1 million for allegedly breaching his rental contract with the landlords of the former Pump Restaurant located at 8948 Santa Monica Boulevard.

As of August 1, 2023, a legal case was initiated by 8948 Santa Monica Partners LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, against P U M P, LLC, another California Limited Liability Company, along with other parties. The lawsuit, falling under the category of “Other Contract,” was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Courts, specifically at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles. The current status of the case is listed as pending.

Page Six reports that The company 8948 Santa Monica Partners claims that Pump – of which Todd is the guarantor – has failed and refused and continues to fail and refuse to keep and perform” their lease conditions.

The company pursuing the legal action is seeking $750,000 in damages for the alleged breach of contract and an additional $200,000 due to purported failure to transfer a liquor license, which holds an estimated fair market value of $150,000, among other claims.

Ken Todd and Lisa Vanderpump – WEHO TIMES

In a statement provided to Page Six, the owners of 8948 Santa Monica Partners LLC expressed their determined pursuit of damages, emphasizing Todd’s full liability in the matter.

P U M P was expected to transfer the liquor license to the next tenant upon surrendering the property on July 13, 2023. However, it is claimed that Todd, at 77 years old, has retained the liquor license, causing a delay in the opening of a new restaurant on the premises. This delay is said to have incurred monthly losses of around $56,500 in base rent and related charges for the landlords.

The property owners assert that Todd engaged in deliberate and malicious fraudulent activities when entering the lease contract in 2013. They believe that Todd’s actions were carried out with a disregard for ethical and legal standards.

Responding to these allegations Todd stated that when they took over the location, known as Pump, a decade ago, it was a vacant parking area. He maintained that they had planted olive trees and installed antiques like chandeliers, which he claimed to have carefully removed when they vacated the property. Todd also insisted that the liquor license in question had been in use by their business for the past decade and was rightfully theirs, although he expressed a willingness to sell it to the other party at a fair market value.

Pump Restaurant closed its doors in West Hollywood on Wednesday July 6, 2023.

ET reported this week that Roosterfish will be taking over the spot as soon as next month

Roosterfish is coming to West Hollywood. It turns out the rumors are true that the Venice watering hole is opening a new location at 8948 Santa Monica Boulevard, which was formerly home to Lisa Vanderpump’s PUMP restaurant.

ET reports that Roosterfish, which currently has a space located at 1302 Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, will open another location on the corner on Santa Monica Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard made famous by Lisa Vanderpump and her reality TV show Vanderpump Rules. They are hoping to open as soon as next month.

A source tells ET, “Roosterfish has already started construction and if everything goes as planned, it will open next month.”

The new location will be different from the original, which used to mostly be known as a gay watering hole. Roosterfish West Hollywood will serve food. “They’re going to be doing lite casual Italian fair,” reports a source to ET.

The Venice gay bar closed on May of 2017, after being open for 37 years. Owners announce it was re-opened back in September of that same year. They hosted a pop event to raise funds for Venice Pride.

According to its website the original Roosterfish no longer identifies as gay:

When [Roosterfish] first opened, it quickly claimed itself as a gay bar, welcoming only patrons of similar sexual orientation. With this safe haven claimed, patrons were able to drink in peace without judgment from an archaic-minded society…with modern-day Roosterfish, its doors have reopened, welcoming in all walks of life. As one of the original bars along Mr. Kinney’s boulevard, is a part of a rare collective of original restaurants along Abbot Kinney, embracing the openness that makes Venice, CA as unique and special as it is! Roosterfish was one of the first progressive bars for the community and the new owners have kept its namesake in respect to the history Roosterfish has undergone.”

Lisa Vanderpump announced PUMP restaurant was closing on May 4th via a statement, in response to rumors and reports that the space had been listed for lease on LoopNet, the online marketplace for commercial property, which listed the 2,865 SF space as a storefront retail.

The listing has been removed from LoopNet as Roosterfish gets ready to move into the restaurant space known for its courtyard covered with olive trees.

The closure of PUMP restaurant was filmed for season 11 of Vanderpump Rules.

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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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