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Trans Lives Matter protesters disrupt CNN town hall on LGBT issues

Buttigieg urges audience to recognize anti-trans violence

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(Los Angeles Blade photo by Daniel Sliwa)

Protesters demanding attention to ongoing violence against transgender women momentarily disrupted Thursday night the CNN town hall on LGBT issues just as Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg was taking the stage.

The protesters came on the stage just as an audience member was about to ask the first question of Buttigieg. Their numbers were hard to quantify from the vantage point of the CNN camera recording the event, as was their exact message, but they were clearly carrying a large transgender Pride flag and were chanting, “Trans Lives Matter.” Cheers were heard in the audience as the protesters approached the stage.

Anderson Cooper, who was serving as moderator for Buttigieg’s town hall, sought to tamp down any objections to the protesters, saying “It’s OK, it’s OK,” and “Be Cool.”

“Let me just point out there is a long and proud history in the gay, lesbian and transgender community of protest, and we applaud them for their protest,” Cooper said. “They’re absolutely right to be angry and upset by the lack of attention, particularly in the media, on the lives of transgender people,” Cooper said.

In response to something off stage, Cooper said. “I agree,” then, “I was not applauding.” Regaining control of the forum, Cooper returned to the questioner, Robbie Goldman, a Ph.D. student, who asked Buttigieg about meeting the LGBT community’s expectation for how a gay man should be.

Buttigieg took the opportunity to affirm the protesters’ concerns before addressing the audience member’s question.

“Thank you for your question, and before I turn to it, I do want to acknowledge what these demonstrators were speaking about, which is the epidemic of violence against black trans women in this country right now,” Buttigieg said. “And I believe, or would like to believe, that everybody here is committed to ending that epidemic.”

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Los Angeles County

LA County Sheriff’s Dept. seeks public’s help in missing person case

Jai Rmanii Hicks, or Rmanii, 23, Black female last seen on July 16, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. on the 200 block of West Woodbury Road in Altadena

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit investigators are asking for the public’s help locating Missing Person Jai Rmanii Hicks, also known as Rmanii.

She is a 23 year-old female Black who was last seen on July 16, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. on the 200 block of West Woodbury Road in Altadena.

Rmanii is 5’10” tall, 185 lbs, shoulder length red hair styled in dreadlocks, brown eyes, symbol of an ankh tattoo on back, picture of a girl tattoo on right thigh, and a tribal symbol tattoo below chest. She was last seen wearing a black shirt, black pants, and a brown backpack.

Her family is concerned with her well-being and is asking for the public’s help.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Unit at (323) 890-5500.

If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

‘All-Walk’ Phase Crosswalks Santa Monica & N. Robertson Blvds, Virtual Workshops, NextGen Summer Social, Women’s Equality Day – WeHo Takeover

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Photo by Uriel Malak Brewer/Facebook

City of West Hollywood Implements ‘All-Walk’ Phase at Crosswalks at Santa Monica and N. Robertson Boulevards on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Nights

WEST HOLLYWOOD – As part of an ongoing citywide effort to enhance pedestrian safety, starting on Thursday, August 11, 2022, the City of West Hollywood will implement a nighttime “all-walk” pedestrian-only phase for the crosswalks at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and N. Robertson Boulevard on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

This nighttime pedestrian-only phase temporarily stops all vehicular traffic in all directions, which then allows pedestrians to cross traditionally or diagonally. The aim is to enhance pedestrian safety and improve traffic flow. This concept was first tested at this intersection in 2019; this re-instates a pedestrian-only phase at this intersection, which is the most pedestrian-trafficked intersection in the City during certain evening hours, accommodating up to 2,000 pedestrians per hour.  

Standard traditionally phased signals at intersections are designed to offer vehicles and pedestrians the opportunity to move together in the same direction at the same time. Potential conflicts may arise when there is a high volume of vehicular traffic making left or right turns, which means that cars are able to pass through pedestrian crossings during green walk signals (though drivers of cars are always mandated to yield to pedestrians in accordance with state law).

The City of West Hollywood, in developing a nighttime pedestrian-only phase for the crosswalks at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and N. Robertson Boulevard, seeks to add an additional layer of pedestrian safety by eliminating all vehicle movement at the intersection at the times that pedestrian volume is the highest. During the day and on lower-volume nights when the intersection has a lower pedestrian count, the intersection will function with standard traditionally phased signals, which will offer longer periods of green lights for vehicles to ensure maximum traffic flow at commute hours, while still regarding pedestrian safety.

Intersection improvements are part of the City’s continuous commitment to explore a mix of measures to address safety. The constant movement of dense vehicular traffic and pedestrians in close proximity is an ongoing challenge not only in West Hollywood but in cities across the nation. The nighttime pedestrian-only phase for the crosswalks at this intersection joins a variety of improvements as part of comprehensive plan with three unique areas to improve pedestrian safety: Engineering, Enforcement, and Education.

For additional information about the City of West Hollywood’s efforts to improve pedestrian safety, please call the City of West Hollywood’s Department of Public Works at (323) 848-6375. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

City of West Hollywood to Host Two Virtual Workshops at the End of August to Seek Community Input on the Vision for the Willoughby, Kings, Vista/Gardner Greenway Project

The City of West Hollywood is hosting two virtual community workshops at the end of August 2022 to seek community input on the vision for the Willoughby, Kings, Vista/Gardner Greenway Project. The workshops will be a guided discussion led by project partners, Here LA, to provide more information about the pilot project traffic calming strategies that were installed along Willoughby Avenue in April and to discuss the future vision of the streetscape for the Willoughby, Kings, Vista/Gardner Greenway Project. The City seeks community’s input about a streetscape plan as the project progresses into the final stages and implementation.

Community members are invited to attend one of two free virtual workshops, pre-registration is highly encouraged:

·       The first virtual workshop will be held on Thursday, August 25, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. register on the Zoom platform.

·       The second virtual workshop will be held on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. register on the Zoom platform.

For individuals who wish to provide input about the project but who are not able to attend the virtual workshop, the City is providing a number of other ways to provide feedback (via text message, via an app accessed with QR codes at the sites of the temporary installations, or via a web submission form). More information about these feedback opportunities, a brief animated video about the project, and RSVP links for the upcoming virtual community meetings are available at www.weho.org/city-government/city-departments/planning-and-development-services/long-range-planning/mobility-planning/willoughby-vista-gardner-street-design-project.

The pilot phase of the Willoughby, Kings, Vista/Gardner Greenway Project began in April 2022 and consists of temporary traffic improvement strategies such as a traffic diverter at Ogden/Willoughby, corner curb extensions at Spaulding/Willoughby, and a mini-roundabout at Curson/Willoughby. These traffic calming measures were installed, temporarily, to model the impacts of street designs which intend to slow and/or divert traffic in order to make the residential corridor safer for local residents, pedestrians and cyclists.

            For more information about the Willoughby, Kings, Vista/Gardner Greenway Project, please contact Bob Cheung, City of West Hollywood Senior Transportation Planner, at [email protected] or (323) 848-6346.

For assistance regarding the virtual workshops and registration, please contact Paige Portwood, City of West Hollywood Associate Planner, at [email protected]

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

‘CicLAvia—Meet the Hollywoods’ will Take Place in the City of West Hollywood on Sunday, August 21

CicLAvia—Meet the Hollywoods Presented by Metro will take place on Sunday, August 21, 2022. The City of West Hollywood, and the City of Los Angeles neighborhoods of Hollywood and East Hollywood will be transformed into car-free open streets for the day.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 21, 2022 from the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the City of West Hollywood’s inclusive pride crosswalks, everyone is invited to come along for the ride and walk, bike, roll, and stroll through along the area’s most iconic streets. The event will close Santa Monica Boulevard from N. La Brea Avenue to N. San Vicente Boulevard to vehicle traffic and thousands of cyclists will fill the streets. 

The City of West Hollywood invites CicLAvia participants to make a day of it in West Hollywood and attend the City’s free Summer Sounds Concert Series finale on Sunday, August 21, 2022 at 5 p.m. at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard, featuring M&M The Afro-Persian Experience. The Afro-Persian Experience is a duo featuring Persian kamancheh master Mehdi Bagheri and artist/percussionist Marcus L. Miller. The music consists of all original compositions created by Bagheri & Miller and is deeply rooted in the traditions of ancient Persia and Africa. Their unique sound results from the natural contrast of their individual musical styles as well as the expression of their passion for the music. This concert is presented in partnership with Grand Performances supported by an arts grant from the City of West Hollywood.

For those who wish to attend without attending CicLAvia, Summer Sounds concert parking will be available in the Plummer Park north lot off Fountain Avenue at N. Vista Street; CicLAvia will provide north-south vehicle crossings for through traffic at N. La Brea Avenue and N. Fairfax Avenue. 

CicLAvia is a nonprofit organization that catalyzes vibrant public spaces, active transportation, and good health through car-free streets. CicLAvia engages with people to transform our relationship with our communities and with each other. Inspired by Bogotá’s weekly ciclovía, CicLAvia temporarily closes streets to car traffic and opens them to Angelenos to use as a public park. Free for all, CicLAvia connects communities to each other across an expansive city, creating a safe place to bike, walk, skate, roll, and dance through Los Angeles County. 1.6 million people have experienced CicLAvia; it is the biggest open streets event in the United States.

For additional information about CicLAvia—Meet the Hollywoods, please visit www.ciclavia.org/hollywood22.

For general information about CicLAvia, please visit www.ciclavia.org.

For more information, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Event Services Division at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Commemorates 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. It will take place on Saturday, August 27, 2022 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and N. San Vicente Boulevard in West Hollywood. Community members can participate by picking up free sashes, buttons, and other mementos, as well as by taking photos to share promoting voting rights, pay equity for women, and support for the Equal Rights Amendment. Face masks are encouraged for attendees. West Hollywood businesses are invited to participate in the Women’s Equality Day – WeHo Takeover by displaying signage, sharing messaging, and offering themed promotions. For more information, please visit www.weho.org/19th

In addition to the Women’s Equality Day – WeHo Takeover, 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 is involved in a myriad of programming and events that recognize and support women in the community.

For more information, please contact Yvonne Quarker, City of West Hollywood Director of Community Services, at (323) 848-6408 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 ‘NextGen Summer Social’ at the New West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center Respite Deck Overlooking the City on Monday, August 29

The City of West Hollywood will host a NextGen Summer Social on Monday, August 29, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center Respite Deck, located at 8750 El Tovar Place. The event will be an opportunity for West Hollywood’s Next Generation to meet neighbors and local business owners, learn more about the City’s NextGen initiative, and provide feedback about upcoming programming and events. People who live, work, and play in West Hollywood are encouraged to come, mix, and mingle.  

NextGen is a civic participation initiative aimed at engaging constituents under the age of 40 who would like to get involved with civic life, and particularly people who are interested in being involved in the evolution of government programs and services in West Hollywood over the coming decades. The event is aimed at NextGen community members, but is open to everyone. Attendance at the NextGen event is free, but advance RSVPs are requested. To RSVP, please visit https://nextgensummersocial.splashthat.com

In 2016, the City of West Hollywood launched the NextGen initiative aimed at enhancing outreach and engagement with the City’s 40-and-under population.  The movement represented an intentional shift in the way the City engages with the new generation of residents and community members. Nearly half of residents in the City of West Hollywood are under the age of 40. Yet many younger people in the City are not actively engaged in local decision-making. The NextGen is passionate about a myriad of issues, yet this age group is disproportionately underrepresented at all levels of governmental leadership, as well as in the voting electorate.

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

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

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Los Angeles County

LACFD Lifeguard Div. announces death of Ocean Lifeguard Derek Traeger

Trager, 28, whose guard/patrol area was the beaches of Santa Monica North, had worked for the department for the past six years

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Ocean Lifeguard Derek Traeger (Left) (Photo Credit: LACFD Lifeguard Div./Twitter)

LOS ANGELES – On Monday, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Lifeguard Division announced that the department lost an active-duty Ocean Lifeguard Derek Traeger on Sunday, August 14.

Trager, 28, whose guard/patrol area was the beaches of Santa Monica North, where the Pacific Coast Highway leads to Malibu, had died on in a freeway accident the L.A. County coroner’s office said in a statement. The cause of death was listed as blunt trauma. Details about the crash were unavailable according to the Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office.

Trager had worked for the department for the past six years. It’s not an easy job NBC News had noted. The county requires viable candidates to perform a 1,000-meter ocean swim and then undergo 100 hours of training — and some lifeguard organizations have had a hard time staffing up for summer.

The division is responsible for 72 miles of coastline, from the Orange County line to its border with Ventura County, and a typical year can demand 10,000 or more ocean rescues.

Traeger was born and raised in San Pedro where he learned to swim and surf. He was a LA County Junior life guard for 9 years, a Cadet for 2 years. He swam for San Pedro High School and was captain of the San Pedro High surf team. He has been a swim instructor since 2011. He was a student at California State University Long Beach, an online bio read.

Julia Almanzan, Principal Deputy Los Angeles County Counsel and the parent of a child assisted by Traeger posted a noted of gratitude on Facebook with a photo of the Ocean Lifeguard and her kid:

Julia Almanzan/Facebook

“This 28yo @lacolifeguards Derek Traeger passed away on Sunday. I only know him from his assistance in treating and caring for @lucasalexanderah in my absence during @summerofsurf at Santa Monica beach in July. Derek was really good with kids, especially mine…and really good with moms who are far away from their kids during medical emergencies. I’m so sad such a good human has left this earth too soon. May he Rest In Peace. A huge thanks to @monica.mihaly.5 @christophermihaly for also caring for Lucas pending my arrival, and capturing this helper in action. There couldn’t be a better set of caring people circling Lucas at such an unfortunate time.”

In a Twitter thread, the department noted;

OL Traeger understood better than most what it means to wear the red trunks. His passion for life, art, the ocean, and his lifeguard family was evident in every moment he lived,” the tweet read. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, & colleagues of OL Traeger.”

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