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California

Evangelical university reinstates ban on gay relationships

Christian Azusa Pacific pledges to ‘uphold biblical values’

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Protesters wrote messages in chalk after APU reinstated a ban on same-sex relationships. (Photo by Brace Commons via Facebook)

A series of colorful messages, accompanied by drawings of rainbows, were chalked in front of academic buildings at the evangelical Christian Azusa Pacific University (APU) on Sept. 30. “You Are Meant To Be Here,” “Love Is Not Selective,” “Love Is Love.” 

The sidewalk art looked like a welcome for new LGBT students but, in fact, it was an act of protest after the university announced its plans to reinstate a controversial ban against same-sex romantic relationships. On Sept. 18, the school’s student newspaper reported that language regarding sexual orientation was removed from a policy governing student conduct, a move widely interpreted to mean students in LGBT relationships would no longer be subjected to disciplinary action.

Conservative evangelicals were upset. Accusations that APU had compromised its commitment to upholding biblical teaching on homosexuality appeared in influential outlets like Christianity Today and The Christian Post. Ten days later, the school reversed course, releasing a statement saying the university was trying to “find the best language possible to capture our heart and intent.” The Board of Trustees, APU said, never approved the change—and therefore the policy was amended again to restore the original language banning LGBT relationships. 

APU administrators denied that they were influenced by pro-LGBT forces, within or outside the university. “We pledge to boldly uphold biblical values and not waver in our Christ-centered mission,” the board wrote. APU will never “capitulate to outside pressures, be they legal, political, or social.”

APU has a history of discrimination against LGBT students and faculty. In 2013, transgender theology professor H. Adam Ackley was dismissed from APU after 15 years that included serving as chair of the theology and philosophy department. The university declined to comment on personnel matters but Ackley told the Huffington Post he believes he was fired because “other people, such as donors, parents and churches connected to the university will have problems not understanding transgender identity.” 

Last year, Mahesh Pradhan, a chef and supervisor at APU, filed a wrongful demotion lawsuit against the university, the fate of which is pending in the Superior Court of Los Angeles. The action alleges university officials physically and verbally assaulted him for his perceived sexual orientation and retaliated against him when he spoke out on behalf of others who encountered similar abuse. APU denies Pradhan’s allegations, but students rallied in support—a harbinger of the recent protests against the ban on same-sex relationships. 

Students, including representatives from the LGBT student group Haven, asked for an investigation last year in a letter that also demands APU officially recognize the club. Members of Haven were also in talks with administrators concerning the student conduct policy. Erin Green, an APU alum who is co-executive director of Brave Commons, an organization that offers supportive services for LGBT students at Christian universities, told the Los Angeles Daily News she was shocked by the university’s announcement Sept. 28 that the ban on same-sex relationships would be reinstated. 

“We poured our hearts out, were vulnerable and relived our trauma telling our stories, telling stories of previous students who were damaged or hurt in some way by the institution, which had action taken against them for being gay or being in a same-sex relationship. They looked us in the eye and said this policy is harmful, it’s discriminatory, it’s stigmatizing and we’re going to get rid of it. And we trusted them,” Green said of the meeting she and her peers held with university administrators.

Policies against LGBT “behavior,” including romantic relationships, are not unique to APU. Campus Pride, a nonprofit dedicated to LGBTQ college students and their allies, includes such policies in a ranking system, “Shame List: The Absolute Worst Campuses for LGBTQ Youth.” APU earned a spot on that list, along with 17 other universities in California. 

Campus Pride notes efforts by evangelical schools and universities to seek exemption from Title IX—the federal anti-discrimination law that applies to higher education—in order to discriminate against LGBT students on the grounds of religious freedom. California tightened allowable Title IX exemptions with the 2016 Equity in Higher Education Act, which effectively permits only seminaries and universities that train clergy/ministers to enforce policies that discriminate against LGBT students and staff. APU fiercely opposed the measure, which applies mostly to institutions that receive government funds or enroll students who receive financial aid from the state. 

Students say they face serious consequences when Christian universities seek to discriminate against LGBT students and employees, from inner turmoil and depression to disciplinary action, often expulsion. “I am asked oftentimes by Christian universities to be patient while the universities are trying to make progress in this area,” Green told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, “but, as a gay Christian, honestly, I don’t think we have time for patience and for tolerance. People’s lives are at stake. If [LGBT students] aren’t self-harming or being harmed by others, they are dying on the inside.”

More than 200 students staged an hour-long demonstration the morning of Oct. 1, at the end of which they sang “No Longer Slaves,” with its chorus: “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.”

“We will not be silent. We will not be silenced,” Green wrote on her Facebook page. “We aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, Board of Trustees.”   

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Los Angeles County

Culver City Pride Ride & Rally

You’re invited to Culver City’s 4th annual Pride celebration. The party will place on Saturday, June 29th, 2024

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Photo Credit: Culver City Government

CULVER CITY, Calif. – The Culver City PRIDE RIDE will start at 4PM on Saturday, June 29th, 2024, from Syd Kronenthal Park and make its way over six miles through the neighborhood streets of Culver City. RSVPs are required for attendees of the PRIDE RIDE. Metro Bikes will be available for those who want to ride and do not have a bicycle.

The Culver City PRIDE RALLY, which is an evening street block party with Drag Performers, local speakers, Live DJs, dancing, a Family Art Experience, and so much more! Located on Main Street in Downtown Culver City from 6PM to 9PM.

In a press release a spokesperson noted: “You’re invited to Culver City’s 4th annual Pride celebration. The party will place on Saturday, June 29th, 2024. This event is known throughout for bringing our community together to celebrate what makes us unique and the values that unite us.”

Consider taking the bus or using other mobility options to attend the event including the City’s Circulator that connects Downtown to the Culver City ELine (Expo) Station! Plan your trip by calling 310-253-6500, visiting the Culver CityBus website, or using the Next CCBus app that provides real time bus locations, trip planning and bus occupancy levels. Learn more about the parking in downtown Culver City and please avoid parking in residential neighborhoods. To take the circulator, look out for “Board Here” signs!

For exact times, use the NextCCBus app or visit CulverCityBus.com.

For more information about the events and to RSVP for the PRIDE RIDE, please visit the Culver City Pride website.

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West Hollywood

WeHo Mayor John Erickson graces cover of THE FIGHT Magazine

This interview delves into his personal narrative, celebrating his identity and the vibrant LGBTQ+ community he now calls home

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Mayor John M Erickson on the cover of THE FIGHT Magazine (Paulo Murillo/WeHo Times)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – West Hollywood Mayor John Erickson has landed on the front page of The Fight Magazine.

In this issue, a shirtless Mayor, being interviewed by editor and publisher of WEHO TIMES, Paulo Murillo, speaks about the gay male experience while growing up in Ripon Wisconsin.

The Q&A is part of an ongoing media partnership between the two news outlets. Space is limited in print, so stay tuned for the full unedited online interview coming soon.

Mayor John M Erickson on the cover of THE FIGHT Magazine (Paulo Murillo/WeHo Times)

West Hollywood Mayor John M. Erickson grew up in the small town of Ripon, Wisconsin where he faced the challenges of understanding his sexuality amidst a backdrop of limited representation and societal expectations.

This interview delves into his personal narrative, celebrating his identity and the vibrant LGBTQ+ community he now calls home as we approach Pride Month in the City of West Hollywood.

How do you identify?

I identify as a very proud gay man. I identify with the historical struggle to come out as a member of what was then the lesbian and gay community or the gay community, and now the full beauty of the rainbow we have today… I’m comfortable in my own body that way, and I fought like hell to be this comfortable and this out with who I am.

When did you know you were gay?

I grew up in a really small town … population like 7,000 people, and I knew I was different at a young age. I want to say middle school. I probably knew I was gay as more versions of LGBTQ identity were coming out on TV. You’re always so fearful of what that is because you’re othered in so many communities. By the time I was in high school, I knew I was gay. And before I went to college, I came out privately to a few close friends. Then when I was a sophomore in college, I came out fully to my family.

How did your family react?

My mother probably took it harder than anyone, but that’s because she grew up at a time when LGBTQ people were further demonized than they are still today. My dad was very stoic and said, “Well, you’re just so good at sports. I don’t understand what’s going on.” He didn’t get it, but I came to be close to them in individual ways. My sisters were extremely supportive in bringing my parents around. Thank God they’re licensed therapists, so they were able to work through it with my mom and my dad. They had a toolbox, and now my parents are some of my biggest supporters. I can’t do what I do without them.

To read the rest of the interview click on the link below:

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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. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appea

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

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Los Angeles

Tens of thousands at LA Pride Parade & Block Party in Hollywood

The parade was hosted by “Good Morning America” weekend co-anchor Gio Benitez and ABC7 anchor Ellen Leyva. ABC7 broadcast the parade live.

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KABC interviews actor George Takei's (seated on trunk lid) husband Brad Takei at LA Pride Parade on Sunday. Takei and Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Kristin Crowley served as grand marshals of the 2024 LA Pride Parade in Hollywood. (Screenshot/KABC 7)

LOS ANGELES – The 54th annual LA Pride Parade kicked off Sunday morning as tens of thousands of Angelenos and visitors took over the streets of Hollywood, continuing a two-day celebration of Pride Month 2024.

Broadcast live and online by KABC 7, The band Mariachi Arcoiris kicked off the 2024 LA Pride Parade with a rousing performance in Hollywood.

KABC also caught up with grand marshal and “Star Trek” legend George Takei accompanied by his husband Brad Takei.

The parade began at 11 a.m. at Highland Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, then headed north on Highland, east on Hollywood Boulevard, south on Cahuenga Boulevard and back to Sunset.

Takei, who served as the Icon Grand Marshal told KABC: “As someone who has witnessed the struggles and triumphs of our community over the years, I am filled with gratitude for the progress we have made and inspired to continue the fight for full acceptance and equality for all.” 

Takei’s husband Brad compared him to the late Betty White joking about the actor being 87 years old having just had a birthday this past Spring.

KABC noted that Professional wrestler Cassandro, El Exotico served as the Legacy Grand Marshal, while Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Kristin Crowley — the agency’s first openly gay chief — was the Community Grand Marshal.

“These individuals epitomize this year’s theme of Power in Pride,’ not just through their own achievements, but through their unwavering commitment to advancing LGBTQ+ rights and visibility,” Gerald Garth, board president of event sponsor Christopher Street West, said in a statement. “As this year’s grand marshals, they embody the essence of empowerment, showing us that our differences are not obstacles but sources of strength. Together, they inspire us to embrace our identities, break barriers.”

In an interview with the Los Angeles Blade on Friday, Los Angeles City Fire Department Chief Kristin M. Crowley expressed her excitement about participating in the LA Pride Parade this Sunday.

“This feels like a whole other level, especially being part of the parade as a grand marshal of the Los Angeles Fire Department,” she said. “It’s very humbling. I have been proud to participate in the pride parade over the past few years, but this is extra special—being able to be out front and represent the department and our community as a whole.”

The parade was hosted by “Good Morning America” weekend co-anchor Gio Benitez and ABC7 anchor Ellen Leyva. ABC7 broadcast the parade live.

The LA Pride Block Party followed the parade beginning at noon and continuing until 8 p.m. on Hollywood Boulevard between Vine and Gower streets. The free event included vendor and information booths, a beer garden, food trucks and live entertainment.

Additional reporting by KABC 7 LA

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Los Angeles County

Dive into Summer with LA County Parks & Recreation!

Enjoy free recreational swim, exciting games, fun giveaways, music, delicious food, and so much more! Visit LA County Parks & Recreation today

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Castaic Sports Complex Aquatic Center offers a splash pad, recreational swimming pool, and swim lanes. (Mayra Vasquez/Los Angeles County)

LOS ANGELES – Join us for an epic series of pool parties happening at all our pools to kick-off our summer aquatics programs!  Enjoy free recreational swim, exciting games, fun giveaways, music, delicious food, and so much more!

Check out our website: parks.lacounty.gov/aquatics and find a pool party happening near you!
Don’t miss out on the fun! Bring your friends and family and let’s make this summer unforgettable! 

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Los Angeles County

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu is raising mental health awareness

The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu (BGCM) members are taking a steps towards addressing youth suicide with the “1 in 5” campaign

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(Photo courtesy of The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu)

MALIBU, Calif. – The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu (BGCM) are taking a steps towards addressing youth suicide with the “1 in 5” campaign, a youth-led initiative to raise awareness about mental health.

In light of research indicating that 20% (one in five) of teens seriously contemplate committing suicide and 9% have attempted it, BGCM members are determined to combat this pressing issue through their new thought-provoking clothing line.

“1 in 5” Campaign

Diego Alvarez, a BGCM member for ten years, along with two friends from the club, started the “1 in 5” clothing line to spread the word and remove the taboo surrounding youth suicide and mental health. Alvares and Violet Way, the Director of Education at BGCM and an alumna of the club, gave The Blade an exclusive interview about their recent efforts. 

The “1 in 5” apparel line, is a series of crewneck sweaters featuring thought-provoking statements like “Tomorrow Needs You.” 

“We want to spread awareness and end the taboo surrounding the topic of suicide,” Alvarez told The Blade. “We wanted it to be something for everyone. We created something that was timeless and that could capture the message,” said Alvarez.

The unique apparel line was unveiled at BGCM’s Third Space storefront last month on May 14, coinciding with National Mental Health Awareness Month. Proceeds from the apparel sales support the BGCM Wellness Center, allowing it to continue to offer no-cost mental health counseling and social support services. 

Alvarez emphasized the importance of the campaign’s message: “We definitely want people to reach out.”

Irina C., a BGCM member and mental health advocate, emphasized the importance of addressing suicide openly: “After everything we have been through, I refuse to let suicide be a taboo topic any longer. The more hidden it is, the more stigma there is around it. I want to help people be comfortable enough to talk about it in order to be able to reach for help without fearing judgment, and ‘1 in 5’ will do exactly that.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu

The BGCM Wellness Center serves as a vital resource for youth, families, and the aging population, providing comprehensive mental health services with a commitment to “no barriers to access.” This means that all students, from kindergarten to 12th grade, can access licensed clinical therapists and social workers every school day, free of charge. The clinical team also collaborates with educators to implement a social-emotional wellness curriculum, empowering students to understand and manage their mental health and recognize when peers may need support.

(Photo courtesy of The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu)

Alvarez, reflecting on his long-term involvement with BGCM, said, “It’s really a place I see as a safe space. You can be yourself.” The club, a nonprofit organization, offers a variety of services, including a completely free wellness center. Although there is a $90 fee for the school year, waivers are available, ensuring that everyone has access to its resources, regardless of whether they attend public school in Malibu.

As a child of immigrant parents, Alvarez acknowledges the gap in understanding the benefits of mental health wellness, particularly regarding suicide. “Parents don’t always know how to communicate with their kids and talk about this stuff,” he said. “I want people to know that even though it is hard to talk about, it is still possible to talk about.”

Way noted the club’s efforts to bridge this gap by providing services and workshops for parents, helping them better understand and support their children’s mental health. She also said she encourages open communication about mental health struggles. “It’s better to have a friend that is mad at you and alive,” she stated, emphasizing the importance of supporting friends who may be contemplating suicide and ensuring they feel safe to share their feelings.

BGCM encouraged community members to participate in National Mental Health Awareness Month by purchasing a “1 in 5” crewneck or making a direct donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu Wellness Center.

The Wellness Center, a trauma-informed facility, offers no-cost mental health and wellness services to youth, families, and the aging population. Services include mental health counseling, crisis intervention, trauma-informed case management, social and emotional learning, healthcare assistance, parenting support groups, and student workshops. For more information or to request support services, visit BGCM Wellness Center.

(Photo courtesy of The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu)

For 24 years, the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu has enabled young people to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. With four sites, including a Wellness Center and three Clubhouses, BGCM serves a membership of 700 K-12th graders and 1,700 youth through outreach programs.

The Wellness Center provides free mental health, wellness, and social support services to all Malibu Public Schools and is available to the community at large. Currently, the club services over 200 individuals from over 100 zip codes. BGCM’s programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, healthy lifestyles, and social and emotional wellness.

To learn more about the “1 in 5” initiative and purchase the apparel online, visit Third Space Malibu at link: (Here).

Shop In-Store or Online

Third Space
23357 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

[email protected]
Phone: 310-359-3224

Store Hours:
Tuesday-Friday 11am to 6pm
Saturday 10am to 6pm
Sunday 11am to 5pm

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San Bernardino County

Redlands joins growing list of SoCal cities banning Pride flags

Across Southern California display of the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag for Pride Month has been cloaked in acrimonious debate in multiple jurisdictions

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Mayor Pro Tem Paul Barich speaks just before Redlands City Council rejects proposal to fly Pride flag. (Screenshot/YouTube KCAL CBS LA)

REDLANDS, Calif. – After a contentious debate between Redlands City Council members this past Tuesday, a proposal to allow annual display of the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag on city property during June Pride Month was defeated in a 3-2 vote.

Mayor Eddie Tejeda, Councilmember Mario Saucedo and Mayor Pro Tem Paul Barich all voted against adopting the proposal while the amendment was supported by Denise Davis, the city’s first openly LGBTQ council member, who says she wants an even more inclusive flag policy that represents other marginalized communities too.

According to SFGate, Councilmember Davis described raising the flag as a “statement of our shared humanity,” but Saucedo — who opposed the measure — lamented that his friends now have “an issue” with him over his stance and that he’s been “called names on social media.”

“I am accepting of everybody,” he said.

Councilmember Jenna Guzman-Lowery described the debate as “exhausting” before voicing her support for the flag and describing it as a symbol of safety. Her tone visibly upseting and angering Mayor Pro Tem Barich who shot back with “it’s amazing how people say, ‘Well, you judge us.’ Unfortunately, a lot of people in this room judge more than anybody else.”

Barich argued that putting the flag up would create a rift in the community, and complained about people from other cities who have called Redlands about the issue. It’s “lazy just to [say], ‘Oh you’re a bigot or homophobic,’” SFGate reported the Mayor Pro Tem complained then added:

“Denise, have I always respected you? You know me personally,” Barich said, turning toward her. “This is not about me,” she responded.

In seeming justification prior to voting against the proposal Barich noted “One of my dearest, closest friends is gay,”

Across Southern California display of the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag for Pride Month in June has been cloaked in acrimonious debate in multiple jurisdictions. Last month after a tense back and forth between city council members, the city of Downey banned display of the Pride Flag, voting instead to implement a ‘neutral’ flag policy agenda item brought forward for a vote by that city’s Mayor Pro Tem Hector Sosa.

Three months ago the city of Huntington Beach voters passed a ballot measure that enshrines into the city charter an ordinance that would only allow the American flag, California state flag and the city of Huntington Beach flag to be flown or displayed on city property passed by the city council in February of last year.

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West Hollywood

Micky’s WeHo fined for Go-Go Dancer performances on Patio

Micky’s WeHo was fined $1,000 & a $75 administrative fee for lacking a special license permit to have go-go dancers in their patio dining area

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Micky’s WeHo at 8857 Santa Monica Boulevard was fined $1,000 & a $75 administrative fee for lacking a special license permit to have go-go dancers in their patio dining area. (Photo Credit: Paulo Murillo/WeHo Times)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – While local bars and restaurants in the Rainbow District hustled to make the most out of WeHo Pride weekend, one of their busiest times of the year, Micky’s WeHo at 8857 Santa Monica Boulevard was fined $1,075.00 when West Hollywood Code Enforcement issued an administrative citation.

This included a $1,000 fine and a $75 administrative fee for lacking a special license permit to have go-go dancers in their patio dining area.

The fine outraged Micky’s owner, Michael Niemeyer, who said he didn’t care about the money but found the policing of his LGBT bar inappropriate during a time meant to elevate and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community he serves.

Paulo Murillo/WeHo Times

“I’ve owned a bar since 1978,” he said. “I’ve had my face pushed up against the wall by police officers. I’ve had police batons under my chin while I was being made to produce our liquor license. I’ve seen people get thrown over the bar by police and ABC agents because they were ‘overserved.’ I think of all that when something like this happens. I remember police using their batons to lift women’s dresses to check if they were wearing female underwear. I’ve seen all of that.”

Niemeyer is furious that Code Enforcement entered the establishment during pride weekend, an event he says has been watered down in the past ten years and lost its meaning due to political correctness.

“It’s a big day of the year for us, but there’s a reason for the season,” he said. “People stood up and fought back. Over thirty years ago when I first opened Micky’s, there was sensitivity from the sheriffs and the city. They understood where we were coming from. They can do their fire inspections and safety checks, but don’t do it in the middle of everything. Stay the f*ck out during the pride celebration.”

According to an employee, Micky’s WeHo has always been allowed to have go-go dancers in their patio area for two main West Hollywood events: the WeHo Halloween Carnaval and WeHo Pride weekend. He said they have never needed a special permit nor have they ever been fined in the past 30-plus years, so he doesn’t understand why this year was different.

“They have never fined us before,” he said, asking to remain anonymous. “Meanwhile, look at the hot dog vendors all over the street. Why aren’t they being fined? I saw go-go dancers in the outdoor patios at Beaches WeHo, Heart WeHo, and Stache. Why aren’t they getting fined?”

Paulo Murillo/WeHo Times

Director of Community Safety Danny Rivas stated that information-sharing on code enforcement matters is limited. “What I can share is that City staff received a reported concern last Friday evening, May 31, that businesses in the Rainbow District may have been performing entertainment in areas where they had not received approval,” he stated. “The City’s code enforcement team works with businesses when concerns emerge, and the team always makes attempts to gain voluntary compliance.”

According to Rivas, a warning was provided on Friday evening, May 31, regarding entertainment occurring in an area without approval. “The following day, on Saturday, June 1, Micky’s continued with entertainment in the area for which they had been warned the day prior. As a result, City staff issued a citation on Saturday, June 1.”

He added that Beaches WeHo had acquired a special event permit allowing entertainers to perform, and City staff was not made aware of any concerns regarding Stache.

“Regarding street vendors selling hot dogs, City code enforcement officers were deployed,” he added. “They addressed unpermitted street vending, among other issues, on Friday, May 31; Saturday, June 1; and Sunday, June 2, each day between the hours of 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. The City did receive reports of unpermitted street vending prior to the 6 p.m. deployment on Saturday, June 1, and we immediately responded to those reports upon conclusion of a late afternoon public safety briefing that day.”

Rivas also stated that it is important to remind the community that it is extremely challenging to address unpermitted street vending, as the State of California passed Senate Bill 946 in 2018 and Senate Bill 972 in 2022. These bills have placed limitations on the ability of municipalities to address unpermitted street vending.

Niemeyer says he disagrees with the citation. He thinks it is incorrect and inconsistent with past years, and he has every intention of contesting the fine with West Hollywood City Hall.

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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. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appea

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

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Los Angeles

LAFD Chief Kristin M. Crowley is a LA Pride Parade grand marshal

The Out LAFD Chief will lead department personnel in the LA Pride Parade this Sunday June 9, with the theme “Power in Pride”

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City of Los Angeles Fire Chief Kristin Crowley (center) & Chief Deputy of Emergency Operations John Drake, (back row far left) visit firefighters assigned to Fire Station 29 in Hancock Park. (Photo Credit: LAFD)

LOS ANGELES – In an exclusive interview with the Los Angeles Blade, Los Angeles City Fire Department Chief Kristin M. Crowley expressed her excitement about participating in the LA Pride Parade this Sunday.

“This feels like a whole other level, especially being part of the parade as a grand marshal of the Los Angeles Fire Department,” she said. “It’s very humbling. I have been proud to participate in the pride parade over the past few years, but this is extra special—being able to be out front and represent the department and our community as a whole.”

A firefighter of over 25 years who took the oath of office on March 25, 2022, Chief Crowley leads a diverse team of approximately 3,400 sworn personnel and over 350 civilians. Her leadership extends across the vast and varied landscape of Los Angeles, where the LAFD responds to over 1,300 emergency calls daily.

(Photo Credit: LAFD)

Chief Crowley emphasized the importance of visibility and community support, especially in the current political climate.

“The political environment right now definitely heightens my sensitivity to the issue, and visibility is even more important. What I love about the pride parade, especially from the lens of being in the parade, is that you get to see the joy light up in people’s eyes and feel all the support… I especially love seeing families who come out to support our community. People are showing up. It’s purposeful action; they are showing up to celebrate pride.”

Chief Crowley has been with her wife for 20 years, and together they have three teenage daughters. Her wife, a retired firefighter, met Crowley on the job. Their family’s support has been a cornerstone of her journey, both personally and professionally. While Chief Crowley told The Blade that she feels supported in her life as a queer wife and mother of three, her journey to this moment has not been without challenges.

“I was not comfortable in my skin for a long time,” she said. “It took several years at the department for me to come out. Being able to be visible, comfortable in my skin, and represent who I am is significant. People at the department were supportive of my coming out, and now I can be open about my marriage and my family.”

In addition to her role as Fire Chief, Crowley has been instrumental in the LAFD’s youth development programs and various leadership roles within the department.

She has served on the executive boards of the Chief Officers’ Association and The Women in the Fire Service, chaired the Fire Code Committee for Los Angeles, and is an instructor and facilitator at the Los Angeles Fire Department Leadership Academy.

As she prepares to march in the pride parade, Chief Crowley looks forward to participating in a celebration she has long held dear. “I take this as a humongous honor and can’t wait to be able to celebrate with everyone on Sunday,” she said.

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Los Angeles County

New on the LA County Channel

You can watch on Channel 92 or 94 on most cable systems, or anytime here. Catch up on LA County Close-Up here

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

New on the County Channel

The Los Angeles County Channel has been nominated for two LA Area Emmy® Awards. Hoop Dreams on a Roll was nominated in the Feature Segment category and Pathway Home was nominated in the Informational Series category. Check out the nominated segments here

The awards will be presented in July at a ceremony in Beverly Hills.

You can watch more stories like this on Channel 92 or 94 on most cable systems, or anytime here. Catch up on LA County Close-Up here.

In Case You Missed It

Celebrating Advocacy, Resiliency, and Empathy

The Los Angeles County Justice, Care and Opportunities Department is hosting a Father’s Day event on Sunday June 9 from 12:00 P.M. to 4 P.M. at Earvin Magic Johnson Community Center. There will be entertainment, Games, resources booths, food and more!

To RSVP click here.

At Your Service

Free Gun Safety Locks

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Office of Violence Prevention, in collaboration with LA County Library, is distributing 1,000 gun safety locks to the public at five library locations across the County; free, no questions asked. An LA County Library card is not required to obtain a free gun safety lock.

To obtain a free gun safety lock online – please visit lockedandunloaded.org.

For more information about LA County Library’s gun safety lock distribution as well as other Library resources, visit LACountyLibrary.org/gun-violence-awareness.

Out and About

Beach Movie Nights Return!

Beach Movie Nights is returning to Dockweiler Youth Center on Fridays, starting June 7th!

Enjoy FREE family-friendly movie screenings on the sand, by the waves, and under the stars at the Dockweiler Youth Center, Friday nights this summer! Be sure to bring blankets and bundle up.

Click here to learn more.

Photo Finish

The Pride Lifeguard Tower in Hermosa Beach. (Photo: Los Angeles County/Mayra Beltran Vasquez)

Click here to access more photos of LA County in action.

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Southern California

Triple A: Statewide gas price average drops below $5 a gallon

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.98, which is 11 cents lower than a week ago

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Triple A Auto Club/Los Angeles Blade

LOS ANGELES – The California gas price average dropped below $5 a gallon for the first time since late March, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.98, which is 11 cents lower than a week ago. The average national price is $3.48, which is eight cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.93 per gallon, which is 12 cents less than last week and the same price as last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.95, which is 12 cents lower than last week and six cents higher than this time last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.02, which is eight cents lower than last week and 12 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.95, which is 11 cents lower than last week and three cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.04 average price is eight cents less than last week and 17 cents higher than a year ago today.

“According to Oil Price Information Service, Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices are dropping as large supplies of imported gasoline continue to arrive in Southern California,” said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe. “A few Southern California gas stations are now charging less than $4.10 a gallon for regular unleaded.”

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on June 6, averages are:

060624 CA

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