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Wiener’s housing bill shelved

Five other LGBT measures head for floor votes



Out State Sen. Scott Wiener (Blade photo by Karen Ocamb)

There was something of a legislative explosion in Sacramento heading to May 17, the deadline for the appropriations committees in both chambers to consider bills with costs attached. The Assembly committee looked at 721 bills to shelve or move to the floor while the Senate dealt with 355 bills.

Perhaps the most surprising bill shelved May 16 was SB 50 by out Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco. The housing bill would have allowed more density in an effort to impact the housing crisis. It had a wide coalition of support and was endorsed by the Los Angeles Times. But it had strong opposition, too, from groups such as the Coalition to Preserve LA, an AIDS Healthcare Foundation off-shoot, that believe developers would gentrify certain areas and forfeit local government control.

Senate Appropriations Chair Anthony Portantino, who represents Pasadena residents that strongly oppose SB 50, said he feared “unintended consequences” and made SB 50 into a two-year bill to be possibly resurrected in Jan. 2020.

Gov. Newsom said he was “disappointed” with the outcome and faced criticism with out Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, who backed her committee chair. “Short of significantly amending the bill and limiting its applications in large swaths of the state, there was no path to move forward this year,” Atkins said in the statement.

Five LGBT bills sponsored by Equality California survived the suspense file hearings while two—AB 650, LGBTQ Mortality Data, authored by Assemblymember Evan Low and AB 758, Strengthening California’s Equal Pay Act, by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, were killed in committee. 

The five headed to the floor for votes are: AB 493: Safe and Supportive Schools Act of 2019 by Asm. Todd Gloria (D-San Diego); AB 307: Homeless Youth Grant Program by Asm. Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-San Bernardino); SB 145: LGBTQ Young People Nondiscrimination in the Sex Offender Registry by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco); SB 159: PrEP and PEP Access Expansion by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Asm. Todd Gloria (D-San Diego); and SB 132: Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).

“Each of these bills would advance the health and well-being of LGBTQ Californians, while paving the way for other states to follow in California’s footsteps. We’re grateful to both Committees for their support of these critical policy priorities,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. 

Some of the bills still face twisted anti-LGBT opposition. SB 145, for example, is cosponsored by LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey but is described by the anti-LGBT Capitol Resource Institute as: “SB 154 actually provides an out for a sex offender that clearly intended to lure a minor for the sole purpose of committing a felony sex act on them, so long as the offender is 10 year or less in age to the minor.”

CRI got it wrong. A Myths v. Facts list prepared by Wiener’s office with the LA District Attorney’s office says: “FALSE. Senate Bill 145 does not protect anyone from luring children (under 14 years old) or teenagers (above 15 years old) with the intent to commit sexual assault. Furthermore, no one is shielded from registering if the minor is ever under 14 years old. This bill would not apply in that instance, per PC 288(a).”



CHP implements statewide Maximum Enforcement Period

Beginning May 26, the CHP implemented a statewide Maximum Enforcement Period in anticipation of increased traffic for this holiday weekend



CHP Patrol Unit near the Golden Gate Bridge. (Photo Credit: California Highway Patrol Media Affairs Office/Facebook) 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching, and many Californians are preparing to kick off the summer with a holiday gathering or road trip.

Forty-five people were killed in crashes in California during last year’s Memorial Day weekend, nearly a 30 percent increase from the same period in 2021.  The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has a plan to help people arrive to their destinations safely, while reducing the number of deadly crashes on the state’s roads.

Beginning at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, May 26, the CHP will implement a statewide Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) in anticipation of the increased traffic that often accompanies a holiday weekend.  The MEP will continue through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 29. 

CHP is launched a Maximum Enforcement Period this Memorial Day weekend to ensure the safety of everyone on the roads. (Photo Credit: California Highway Patrol Media Affairs Office/Facebook) 

“The core mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the communities we serve,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee.  “This holiday, motorists can expect to see additional CHP officers patrolling California’s roadways.  All available uniformed members of this Department will be on patrol during this Memorial Day MEP.  Our primary focus will be to enhance public safety, deter unsafe driving behavior, and when necessary, take appropriate enforcement action.”  
In addition to assisting motorists and looking for traffic violations that often lead to serious injury or death, such as failure to wear a seat belt, speed, and distracted driving, CHP officers will be paying close attention to people who are suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs and/or alcohol. 

CHP officers made nearly 900 DUI arrests during the Memorial Day MEP in 2022. Keep yourself and others who are on the road safe by designating a sober driver or using a ride-share service. 

If you see or suspect an impaired driver, call 9-1-1 immediately.  Be prepared to provide the dispatcher a description of the vehicle, the license plate number, location, and direction of travel.  Your phone call may save someone’s life.

The CHP’s Memorial Day MEP coincides with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ongoing Click It or Ticket campaign, which continues through June 4. Seat belts save lives. Take two seconds to secure your safety and buckle up. 

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

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Los Angeles County

Governor & First Partner visit VA campus, meet with Calif. veterans

Governor Gavin Newsom today also announced the appointment of Lindsey Sin as Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs



Governor Newsom and First Partner Siebel Newsom meet with veteran at West LA VA campus. (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

LOS ANGELES – Highlighting the state’s historic investments made in behavioral health and housing resources for veterans, Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom toured a new supportive housing site at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus and met with California veterans who are receiving services.

These services, such as housing, have led to unhoused California veterans experiencing behavioral health challenges successfully moving into stable, permanent housing with accessible and affordable services and care for them.

“Our veterans put their lives on the line to serve our country, now we need to serve them in return. Too many veterans can’t escape the battlefront, even here on the home front – and because of that, we have lost too many of these heroes to suicide, while many more struggle with other behavioral and physical health concerns,” said Governor Newsom. “California is building an accessible network of resources for veterans and their families, while we tackle the deadly stigma around mental health that isolates and endangers so many of our heroes. We are home to the nation’s largest population of veterans, who all deserve to be connected, respected, and protected.”

Governor Newsom meets with veterans. (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

“Veterans and their families make tremendous sacrifices, both physically and mentally in heroic service to our country,” said First Partner Siebel Newsom. “It is essential that we honor and support them by ensuring their needs, especially related to mental health, are met when they come home. As we remember and pay tribute to servicemembers we’ve lost, I’m proud that California has remained steadfast, through policies and investments, in our commitment to the veterans who call this state home.”

Governor Newsom meets with West LA VA leadership.
(Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

“As Memorial Day approaches, we honor our fallen – those who gave their lives in service to our nation,” said Russell Atterberry, Undersecretary at the California Department of Veterans Affairs. “We also remember their sacrifices by caring for the veterans who are still with us. California is creating more housing for veterans and investing in behavioral health services to ensure the well-being of our veterans and their families.”

California is home to 1.6 million veterans, the most in the nation. Governor Newsom’s investments led to CalVet expanding programs focused on veterans, particularly comprehensive behavioral and mental health services like those offered at the West Los Angeles VA campus.

Key Behavioral Health Programs for California Veterans

  • California Veterans Health Initiative (CVHI): $50 million investment to coordinate state, local, and community resources to amplify education and outreach efforts, while working to increase capacity so we can serve all our veterans in need. 
  • Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program (VHHP): Projects are required to provide onsite supportive services which include intensive case management, mental and physical health care, benefits counseling and advocacy, education and employment services, life-skills training, and peer support – an additional investment of $100 million.
  • Veterans Support to Self-Reliance Pilot Program: $25 million to help California’s most vulnerable veterans with the opportunity to age in place, by establishing a baseline of service that will enable them in stable, independent housing.
  • Behavioral Health Services Program: $1.27 million in ongoing funding to assist County Veterans Service Offices (CVSOs) in enhancing and expanding mental health services through projects that collaborate with the existing community-based system of care.
  • California Transition Assistance Program (CALTAP): Provides in-person and virtual trainings to service members, veterans and their families throughout the state.
  • Behavioral Health at the Veterans Homes of California: The eight Veterans Homes of California have hired more clinical social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists to ensure behavioral health staffing is commensurate with the needs of current and future residents.

Governor Gavin Newsom today also announced the appointment of Lindsey Sin as Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Lindsey is the definition of a public servant – never losing sight of who she is serving, and tireless in pursuing her mission,” said Governor Newsom. “She has dedicated over two decades of her career to our country and this state as an officer in the US Navy and a leader for veterans. She has delivered unprecedented resources to the California veterans’ community, with a particular focus on equity and inclusion for the needs of our women veterans. Lindsey’s unwavering care and compassion will make her a trusted leader to serve as CalVet Secretary, representing the largest population of veterans in our country.”

Lindsey Sin, of Sacramento, has been appointed as the Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, where she has served in several roles since 2011, including Deputy Secretary of Communications and Deputy Secretary of Women Veterans Affairs.

She was a Veterans Benefits Advisor at California State University, Sacramento from 2010 to 2011. Sin was Lead Veterans Affairs Coordinator at American River College from 2008 to 2010.

She was served as a Cryptologic Technician Interpretive in the Arabic language at the rank of Petty Officer First Class with Naval Aviation Warfare and Naval Aircrew designations in the United States Navy from 1997 to 2005.

Sin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from California State University, Sacramento, and a Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship from Drexel University.

This position requires Senate confirmation.

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West Hollywood

WeHo Recovery Center mourns loss of Board VP John O’Neil

“John dedicated himself to service to our community & uplifting those that were suffering. We are so grateful for the time we had with him”



John O’Neil/WeHo Times

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The West Hollywood Recovery Center and Log Cabin (WHRC) Board of Directors are mourning the loss of Board Vice President John O’Neil, who passed peacefully Monday evening, May 22, 2023, following an aggressive cancer diagnosis. He was surrounded by family and close friends at Cedars Sinai. He was 61 years old.

John O’Neil lived and worked in the City of West Hollywood for many years. He was a pillar in the recovering community. He recently celebrated 35 years of continuous clean and sober time on March 1, 2023. He was an inspiration and touched many lives in the West Hollywood community.

The official statement from the WHRC Board reads as follows:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Vice President of the West Hollywood Recovery Center board member, John O’Neil. If you knew John, you knew love. You knew what it felt like to be seen. You knew you were safe and accepted exactly as you were. You knew laughter, you knew joy and you knew that you were in the presence of someone special.

John dedicated himself to service to our community and to uplifting those that were suffering. We are so grateful for the time we had with him and will miss him dearly. Thank you John for your Light, your service and for the love you’ve given all of us.”

A memorial service date is currently pending.

About the West Hollywood Recovery Center/Log Cabin:

The mission of the West Hollywood Recovery Center & Log Cabin is to provide a meeting place for 12-Step groups and to provide assistance with addiction recovery, and prevention, education to those in need; to act as trusted servants; to provide positive social exposure and a meeting place for 12-step programs and their interests; to host 12-step meetings and related social activities within this environment; to foster 12-step programs and the 12 traditions associated with these programs as a way of life; to create a safe, nurturing environment for persons engaged in any 12-step program; to share experience, strength and hope; and abide by the “12 Concepts For World Service” as set forth in the service manual for Alcoholics Anonymous.​


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


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

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Southern California

Triple A: Gas prices tick up before holiday weekend

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.81, which is two cents higher than last week



Screenshot/YouTube (NBC News Today)

LOS ANGELES – Southern California travelers filling up for Memorial Day trips in record numbers this weekend will be paying the second highest gas prices ever for this holiday, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.81, which is two cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.57, which is three cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.87 per gallon, which is four cents higher than last week, six cents lower than last month, and $1.22 lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.85, which is three cents more than last week, six cents lower than last month, and $1.17 lower than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.86, which is three cents higher than last week, four cents lower than last month, and $1.17 lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.78, which is two cents higher than last week, six cents lower than last month and $1.20 lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.83 average price is two cents higher than last week, five cents lower than last month, and $1.18 lower than a year ago today.

“Gas prices are more than a dollar a gallon lower than this time last year, but are still the second highest on record for this holiday,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Local residents taking out-of-state road trips through Nevada will pay about 60 cents less per gallon on average when filling up there, but those going through Arizona will see very similar prices to Southern California in many areas because of an ongoing supply issue. We recommend that travelers use a tool like the free AAA Mobile app to find the least expensive gas along their routes.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on May 25, averages are:


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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



Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

The County Department of Mental Health’s School Threat Assessment Response Team (START) program has launched a new educational campaign that features social media ads and in-school posters to encourage high school students to contact START if they witness concerning or threatening behavior by a fellow student. The START program consists of mental health professionals who work with schools and law enforcement and respond to calls about concerning behavior that could potentially lead to school violence. When contacted about a student who might pose a threat to themselves or others, the team comes in to assess the level of risk and provide targeted intervention to the student.

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

LA County Economic Opportunity Grant Deadline Extended


No business is too small! Deadline to apply for LA County’s Economic Opportunity Grant program has been extended to May 31!

Microbusinesses, small businesses, and nonprofits can still apply for grants ranging from $2500 to $25k to help with post pandemic recovery efforts.
Applicants can access live multilingual webinars, instructional how-to-apply videos and demos, one-on-one application support, and in-person support events across the County to verify eligibility and submit successful applications.

Visit to get started!

Equity in Infrastructure


Los Angeles County Public Works is undertaking its Equity in Infrastructure Initiative which includes its recent website launch. The new initiative is guided by extensive policy review, investment analysis, and community engagement with a focus on addressing historical disparities in communities that have not had a voice.

Public Works has launched an anonymous survey and wants to hear from you to improve important services in your community, such as but not limited to road repairs, flood control, water quality, bike lanes, and waste removal. Your feedback will be used to help inform recommendations to improve the infrastructure of all LA County communities. All County Residents are invited to share their thoughts. Completing the survey will take approximately 10–15 minutes. Visit the Equity in Infrastructure Initiative website to take the survey and find additional information and resources at

At Your Service

LACOE Helps Delete the Digital Divide 


The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) benefit program that helps ensure that income eligible households can afford the home internet service they need for work, school, healthcare and more.

If you or someone you know needs help signing up for the ACP, call the LACOE ACP Help Desk at 562-940-1776 or email [email protected].

Out and About

Fair Chance Business Convening: Sports, Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation.


Team DEO has partnered with LeadersUp, Root & Rebound and TaskForce to host a free in-person information session for all business owners and employers who want to leverage the power of Fair Chance hiring. Hear from experts, connect with like-minded employers, and learn strategies for an effective and sustainable Fair Chance hiring program.

Hiring system-impacted individuals is not only the right thing to do, but it is also good for business. Learn why at the Fair Chance Hiring information session on May 25th at Culver City Parks & Recreation. Don’t wait to reserve a spot today! Click here to RSVP.

Join Department of Health Services in Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month



Join The Department of Health Services in Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month! Visit the newly renamed LA General Medical Center to watch two beautiful performances. Catch the Taiko performance from 12:15-12:30pm and the Lion and Dragon dance from 12:30-12:45pm. 

Both performances will be held in the courtyard. You won’t want to miss them!

Photo Finish

Thriving Through Wellness event at San Antonio Family Center
(Photo Credit: Los Angeles County / Mayra Beltran Vasquez)

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

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Los Angeles

North Hollywood parents protest Pride event at elementary school

According to a statement released by the LAUSD, LGBTQ+ issues are an ongoing conversation within the district



Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood (Screenshot/YouTube KTLA)

LOS ANGELES – A group of parents have taken to social media and distribute flyers to protest a scheduled June 2 LGBTQ+ Pride event at Saticoy Elementary School on 7850 Ethel Avenue in North Hollywood.


The group called for other parents to protest outside of the school on June 2 at the start of the school day. “We respect everyone, but some things are appropriate for children (of) that age, and some things are not,” George Dzhabroyan, who is among the Saticoy parents unhappy with the school, told KTLA 5. “Hopefully the message gets across and people understand that parents should be the primary contact of what their children should be exposed to and shouldn’t be exposed to.”


A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) confirmed that the event will include a book reading by faculty of British author Mary Hoffman titled ‘The Great Big Book of Families. The book covers families of different colors, single parents, grandparents, two mothers, two fathers, and adoptive families.  It also addresses family sizes, different homes, different ways to go to school, different ways parents work, the holidays families take, the food people eat, clothes, pets, and hobbies.

The school also has an assembly planned for that day.

According to a statement released by the LAUSD, LGBTQ+ issues are an ongoing conversation within the district:

“As part of our engagement with school communities, our schools regularly discuss the diversity of the families that we serve and the importance of inclusion,” the LAUSD said in a statement. “This remains an active discussion with our school communities and we remain committed to continuing to engage with families about this important topic.”

Erik Adamian, the President of the Board of Directors of GALAS LGBTQ+ Armenian Society in an email to the Blade said:

“Identities are formed at a very young age. It is critical to have expansive and inclusive language within schools that depict how different our identities, family structures and lives can be and how that is okay.  LGBTQ+ children face a disproportionate amount of challenges, with amplified feelings of isolation and loneliness during teenage years. The inclusion of LGBTQ+ voices is a matter of saving lives; it is a matter of presenting children with critical support, rather than barriers, toward flourishing into healthy adults.”

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West Hollywood

Harvey Milk Day kicks off WeHo Pride season

City of West Hollywood kicked-off pride season with its six-week WeHo Pride Arts Festival hosting the first ever José Sarria Drag Pageant



Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

By Mike Pingel | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood kicked-off pride season on Harvey Milk Day this Monday as part of the its six-week WeHo Pride Arts Festival. This year, in light of the wave of anti-drag legislation and protests across the nation, the City hosted the first ever José Sarria Drag Pageant.

The José Sarria Drag Pageant was organized by the City of West Hollywood and HIT, and co-sponsored by the Imperial Court. The event took place at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center’s Respite Deck, located at 8750 El Tovar Place, adjacent to West Hollywood Library.

José Sarria Drag Pageant – Photo by Mike Pingel

The event was hosted by Maebe A. Girl, who became the first drag queen elected to public office in the United States, after being elected to the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council in 2019. Pageant judges included: Queen Mother Karina Samala and Emperor Eugene Maysky of the Imperial Court; Ebony Lane; City of West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne; and Kiki Xtravaganza.

Judges of the José Sarria Drag Pageant – Photo by Mike Pingel
Maebe A. Girl – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

Mayor Pro Tem John Erickson, and council member Chelsea Byers were also at the event for the earlier part of the pageant.

Drag Kings and Queens were invited to compete for the crown in three rounds: Formal Wear, Question and Answer, and Talent.

The event provided a live DJ, voter registration table, a Harvey Milk photo opportunity, milk and cookies, information tables from local organizations, and custom typewritten poetry provided by Pride Poets.

José Sarria Drag Pageant – Photo by Mike Pingel
José Sarria Drag Pageant – Photo by Mike Pingel
José Sarria Drag Pageant – Photo by Mike Pingel

And the Winner is…


First runner up was Virgina X, third runner up was Aunda, and fourth was Roger-Roger. Girlie won a crown and a cash prize. There were nine contestants in total

Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES
José Sarria Drag Pageant – Photo by Mike Pingel
Photographs by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

José Julio Sarria was the first openly gay man to run for office in the United States when he ran for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1961. He was unsuccessful in his run, but he garnered 6,000 votes and set in motion the idea that a gay voting bloc could wield real power. In this way, he helped pave the way for Harvey Milk’s successful run for office. José Julio Sarria was also a well-known drag performer under the name Window Norton, and founded the International Imperial Court System which is one of the oldest and largest LGBT organizations in the world.

Harvey Milk Day was established in 2009 by the California State Legislature and it was signed into law by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2015, West Hollywood became the first city in the nation to observe Harvey Milk Day as an official holiday and has held events commemorating the day since 2010. Harvey Milk became the first openly gay elected leader in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. (Out lesbian Kathy Kozachenko was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council in Michigan in 1974 — becoming the first openly gay person elected to political office in the United States.) In November 1978, Milk was assassinated by Supervisor Dan White after only 11 months in office. In 2009, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Harvey Milk with a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contribution to the LGBT movement.

More information about the WeHo Pride Arts Festival is available at Information about WeHo Pride Weekend, which takes place June 2-4, 2023, is available at


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

His official website is


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

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Los Angeles County

LA vs Hate presents ‘Summer of Solidarity’

A Series of Events That Will Address Rise in Hate Violence by Promoting Unity While Uplifting the Diverse Communities and Cultures of LA



LA vs Hate (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – Today, LA vs Hate announced a summer-long celebration of Los Angeles County’s cultural diversity, called LA vs Hate: Summer of Solidarity. Through partnerships with community-based organizations, LA vs Hate’s festivities will uplift and celebrate cultural moments and traditions – all to showcase that unity is stronger than hate.

LA vs Hate is a system that partners with organizations across all five County districts in efforts to end hate, and this new campaign of events will utilize culture, dialogue and connection to address the root issues of hate and division. The Summer of Solidarity will include monthly art-led and community-centered events that will run throughout the County all summer long.

“We are thrilled to announce LA vs Hate: Summer of Solidarity, in part because this day is also a global celebration of culture – it’s UNESCO’s World Cultural Diversity Day for Dialogue and Development,” said Robin Toma, Executive Director of the LA County Commission on Human Relations. “We chose to start Summer of Solidarity on  this day as both campaigns seek to highlight not only the richness of the world’s cultures, but also the significant role that intercultural dialogue, community connection and the arts play in creating peace and safety in our neighborhoods. LA vs Hate has continually placed the arts and culture as an important focal point of their work, emphasizing the power of art to address unity and division, trauma and healing, and peace and hate.”

The campaign kicked off earlier this month, as LA vs Hate marked Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month by celebrating at LA Galaxy’s home team game at Dignity Health Sports Park.

In collaboration with AAPI Equity Alliance and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California, LA vs Hate was the match’s official community partner. The organizations conducted outreach to fans at the pre-game Soccer Fest, engaging with the community around LA vs Hate’s mission to end hate as well as distributing posters, shirts, and free resources.

Now through September, LA vs Hate will unveil monthly murals in all five County districts that celebrate each County’s cultural diversity. In the creation of each mural, LA vs Hate and its partners collaborated closely with each district, involving community-representing artists, selecting anchoring locations, and hosting public workshops to collectively determine the desired content and themes.

Each mural unveiling throughout the summer will celebrate each community’s respective rich cultures and histories, featuring dance, music and food, all bringing diverse people together through the unifying power of art. These events will also serve as educational moments to uplift the resources that LA vs Hate provides to the public, including the ability to call 211LA to report hate and receive resources to heal from hate.

May is also Jewish American Heritage Month, and one of the first events will celebrate the Jewish Community. In partnership with the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation, LA vs Hate has commissioned a mural in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood by Cloe Hakakian, an Iranian-Jewish muralist and native Angeleno. The mural is set to be unveiled on Sunday, June 4th at 3PM at The Mark at 9320 W Pico Blvd.

The Summer of Solidarity is also partnering with LA County Parks, LA County Libraries and LA County Beaches & Harbors to produce events for the public. The following are just a sampling of events that will celebrate different communities across the county, with more to be announced soon:

  • Asian Youth Center AAPI Heritage Month Celebration at Blossom Market Hall | May 25th – 5:30PM – 6:45PM
  • Hate Crime Clinic at Heritage United Methodist Church | June 3rd – 10AM – 1PM
  • Juneteenth Celebration & Resource Fair at Ciclavia South LA | June 18th – 9AM – 4PM
  • LGBTQ Mural unveiling at Bixby Park, Long Beach | August 5th at 10am

The campaign seeks to unite communities across the County’s districts, not only through in-person events, but through community outreach and empowerment. LA vs Hate has created an online hub for Summer of Solidarity that details the calendar of events, as well as sharing different ways for individuals to promote solidarity and cultural appreciation in their communities, such as organizing a service day, hosting a community potluck, setting up a panel on social justice and anti-racism.

The online hub also provides communities with a variety of digital content and tools for them to organize their own events and to share messages of solidarity, cultural appreciation and peace across their communities both online and in-real-life.

For more information, visit, and for the full calendar of events, visit

About LA vs Hate

LA vs Hate is a community-centered system designed to support all residents of Los Angeles County. Led by the Human Relations Commission, LA vs Hate partners with community partners from all five County districts, representing a diverse coalition of voices committed to ending hate. The system aims to address the normalization of hate and inspire people to stand up to it, build understanding about what constitutes a hate act and how to report it, as well as support individuals and communities as they heal from the trauma of hate. By tracking and reporting hate, we can ensure that resources are allocated appropriately, that those targeted by hate receive the support they need, and that together, we can build respectful and resilient communities.

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West Hollywood

LA Drag Nuns: 1st public appearance after LA Dodgers controversy

The LA Sisters were removed from participating in the baseball team’s 10th Annual Pride Night event at Dodger Stadium



LA Drag Nuns - Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

By Mike Pingel | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The LA Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence–known as the LA Drag Nuns on social media–made their first public appearance at Micky’s WeHo on Friday night to “spread some community love and blessings” following the Los Angeles Dodgers controversy where the LA Sisters were removed from participating in the baseball team’s 10th Annual Pride Night event at Dodger Stadium.

The LA Dodgers also snatched their Community Hero Award a following complaints from some Catholic priests and a U.S. Senator Marco Rubio who weighed in all the way from Florida.

LA Drag Nuns – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

The team faced a double backslash from LGBT groups like the LA LGBT Center and LA Pride following their decision to cave in to pressure from religious groups and a Republican Senator.

Micky’s was packed with supporters inside who wanted to greet the sisters. They asked for selfies and shared a laugh over cocktails on an early Friday night.

A media frenzy took place at 8857 Santa Monica Blvd. There was a long list of local media outlets on the sidewalk and inside the patio interviewing the sisters individually.

LA Drag Nuns – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

One Sister said she was overwhelmed by the love on her walk to Micky’s WeHo. She said people were clapping for her on the street.

A lot of the supporters who showed up were members from the leather community who are also known to fundraise for LGBTQ causes.

The evening was supposed to a bar crawl, but the Sisters spent most of their time at Micky’s WeHo.

LA Drag Nuns – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence describe themselves as a charity organization and human rights activists. “Our mission is to uplift our community and all marginalized groups, especially the ones ignored by larger organizations, spiritually oriented or otherwise,” reads a recent statement.

“We are queer nuns serving our people just as nuns of other cultures serve theirs. We are not solely male; our membership includes all genders, religions, and romantic affiliations. Though we both serve the transgender community and have transgender members, we are not an exclusively trans organization. We unequivocally support the rights of people born transgender. We are both silly and serious. We use our flamboyance in service to our charity work and our message, which is, ‘There is room in our world for each person to be who they are, as they are, free from shame or guilt, and alive in joy and love for their own self.”


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

His official website is


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

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Orange County

Anaheim invites drag group rejected by Dodgers to Angels Pride

Two prominent L.A. groups withdraw from Dodgers event to show support for The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence



Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken (Photo Credit: City of Anaheim)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Just days after being dropped by the Dodgers Major League Baseball team from its Pride Night event, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence nonprofit organization has found an angel of sorts, waiting in the wings, to welcome them. 

As KABC-TV reported, the mayor of Anaheim invited the group to Angels Pride Night in a tweet Saturday that threw shade on the Los Angeles ballclub for its controversial decision.

“I’m inviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to join me for @Angels Pride Night at Anaheim Stadium on June 7. Pride should be inclusive and like many, I was disappointed in the Dodgers’ decision,” tweeted Mayor Ashleigh Aitken.

Anaheim’s mayor is the latest in a growing list of politicians, organizations and everyday people criticizing the Dodgers for caving to pressure from an anti-LGBTQ Catholic group and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, as the Los Angeles Blade reported.

Earlier this week, the team disinvited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence because of complaints from the Catholic League and Rubio for allegedly “mocking” the Roman Catholic faith. 

“The ‘sisters’ are men who dress in lewd imitation of Roman Catholic nuns,” Rubio wrote. 

He was following the call of the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue to write to the baseball commissioner to protest the Dodgers’ plan to award the Sisters its Community Hero Award. 

The next day, the team changed that plan. 

“Given the strong feelings of those who have been offended by the sisters’ inclusion in our evening, and in an effort not to distract from the great benefits that we have seen over the years of Pride Night, we are deciding to remove them from this year’s group of honorees,” the team said in a statement it also tweeted

The backlash over that decision keeps growing, as The New York Times reported. The Los Angeles LGBT center and L.A. Pride pulled out of the Dodgers Pride Night celebration scheduled for June 16. 

The Sisters organize fundraisers and volunteer at LGBTQ+ community events, and sometimes dress-up as nuns. But members of the group reject the claim that they are anti-religious. In an interview with KNBC-TV, Sister Unity said the group’s focus is on community service, ministry and outreach for marginalized populations. She said the group uses humor to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt.

KNBC-TV reported Saturday that the Sisters have accepted Mayor Aitken’s invitation to meet in Anaheim on Monday to discuss next month’s Pride Night celebration at Angel Stadium.

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