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WeHo dog park closure for Oscar party ruffles some resident’s fur

The closure will allow for a “deep cleaning of the dog park,” WeHo asks residents to take their furry companions to the William S. Hart Park

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West Hollywood Park dog park (Photo by Troy Masters)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The 30th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party and Charity Fundraiser will be held at the West Hollywood Park, on March 27, 2022. Preparations for the event will close the dog park and basketball courts starting Wednesday March 16 with a reopening scheduled for March 31.

According to the City, the closure will allow for a “deep cleaning of the dog park area” and the city is advising residents to take their furry companions to the William S. Hart Park & off-leash dog park, which will be open during the closure of the West Hollywood Park Dog Park.

The Elton John AIDS Fundraiser will be co-hosted by David Furnish on March 27, 2022, marking its 30-year-anniversary. Since 2004, the City of West Hollywood has co- sponsored the Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Viewing Party and Charity Fundraiser.

Elton John/Twitter

The Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Academy Awards Viewing Party has grown from an intimate dinner in Beverly Hills to one of Hollywood’s most star-studded occasions, known for its performances, on-stage talent, and auction. All funds raised during the evening will support the Foundation’s network of partners and local experts across four continents to challenge discrimination, prevent infections and provide treatment as well as influencing governments to end AIDS.

Only a select few WeHo residents seemed unhappy with the closure of the dog park, one speaking with the Blade under condition of anonymity said;

“Too many residents and their pet companions are negatively impacted by this closure- it shouldn’t be closed for this long a period of time. Why are hundreds of residents and apartment dwellers who depend on the dog parks to exercise their furry companions be displaced by Hollywood celebrities? The City should revisit whether this private event, charity or not, should be moved or be less intrusive and disruptive.”

The City also noted the 2022 event will see street closures for San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue for event arrivals and departures from 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 27, 2022, through 6:00 a.m. on Monday, March 28, 2022.

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West Hollywood

Vinson is leading riders in 2024 WeHo Pride & Dyke march

This year, the call is on to gain more attention, greater participation and a call for women who ride to join the parade

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Photo courtesy of Katrina Vinson

By Catherine Eng | WEST HOLLYWOOD – In anticipation of Weho Pride 2024, WeHo resident Katrina Vinson sat with WEHO TIMES for an interview to discuss being the lead Biker and organizer of Pride Riders in this year’s WeHo Pride Parade on Sunday, June 2, 2024 and the Dyke March on Saturday, June 1, 2024.  

Over the years, the Dyke March took place on Fridays. After much lobbying, the L Project (Producers of Women’s Freedom Festival) were able to get the event moved to Saturday-  greatly increasing participation. This year, the call is on to gain more attention, greater participation and a call for women who ride to join the parade. We spoke to Katrina about this year’s event, how she came to lead the contingency and the outreach to riders.

Photo courtesy of Katrina Vinson


Q:  Hello Katrina! Let’s hear about your journey to the City of Weho;  where are you from, what brought you to the city and how long have you resided in Weho? 

I grew up in San Jose, CA.  About 15 years ago, while I was still living in San Jose, I had a long distance relationship with a woman living in Santa Monica. I would visit for about a week or more at a time and we would always go out to WeHo. I slowly started falling in love with the City. Years later, after we broke, I was offered a job in LA, and I moved to Palms, a short drive from WeHo. I quickly made friends and we enjoyed the WeHo nightlife weekly. After about 4 years in Palms, the opportunity opened up for me to move to WeHo and I never looked back. Once I moved here I began to learn and appreciate so much more about this City. I never loved a City that I’ve lived in as much as I love WeHo. I’ve been here for 8 years now.

Q:  What started your activism in our city?

I would have to say my former partner. I mostly supported her and attended events she was leading or participating in. She was unstoppable and the events and network grew immensely. Over time, she became heavily involved in the City, inspiring me and others along the way. Slowly over-time I got more involved. We all have different strengths in this life. Mine are far different from hers and I never considered myself an organizer or activist. I helped how I could with whatever strengths and resources I had. Over time, our whole network of friends became primarily activists and I showed up in whatever capacity I could. I must have picked up a few things along the way since more and more people are calling me an activist. I’ve always been diplomatic, and stuck up for what’s right, and cannot stand to see any injustice, racism, sexism, inequality, or bigotry. 

Q:    You formerly served on the City’s Planning Commission but you resigned after 1 year. Can you talk about this experience?

I had come to know Sepi Shyne quite well as well as volunteered in both her campaigns for City Council. She knew quite a bit about my education and experience in construction. I believe she trusted my moral compass and desire to do good. Once she was elected to City Council she asked me if I would serve on the Planning Commission as her appointee. I believe she thought I could bring something to the position given my construction experience. Unfortunately, I had some major life changes arise where my bandwidth changed and I knew I couldn’t give the Planning Commission the dedicated time that it deserved and needed. I do hope to serve again someday. 

Photo courtesy of Katrina Vinson

Q:   In your professional capacity – you hold some unique positions; both as a Commercial Construction Superintendent and as a Carpentry instructor @ LA Trade Tech College. Tell us about these roles, how you feel you’ve been able to trailblaze in these positions and what obstacles you’ve felt as a lesbian female in this field.

Oh boy, how much time do you have? Becoming a Commercial Construction Superintendent wasn’t easy. I worked my butt off going to Carpentry school full time while also working full time. I was doing 13 hour days but I absolutely LOVED it. LA Trade Tech College lit me up. I couldn’t get enough, I couldn’t absorb enough.That passion that was ignited in me along with my mechanical aptitude, and my skills at building put me at the top of my class. I won several carpentry competition awards and ended up graduating first in my class with honors and scholarships.

Given my love for the school and especially the Carpentry program, I made it known to the instructors, as well as the head of the department, that I hoped to come back and teach someday. After graduating, I was very saddened to no longer be involved with the program but I would have to work at least two years in the construction industry to even be eligible to be an instructor, not to mention that positions rarely ever opened up.

After being heavily recruited, I ultimately decided to take a job with a General Contractor as an Assistant Superintendent. I was only able to enter the construction workforce at such a high level due to my many years experience as an operations manager coupled with excelling so quickly in the Carpentry and Construction technologies. I was promoted from Assistant Superintendent to Superintendent in just one year and I’ve never looked back. Recently I completed a 10 million, 30,000 sq ft project with high end finishes. 

Luckily, after just over two years in the industry, I got a request from Trade Tech College to apply for an adjunct teaching position that was opening up. I wasn’t sure I could handle the load on top of my insanely demanding Superintendent Position but I knew I could not let the opportunity pass. Those positions almost never open up. I ended up getting the position and I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to make it work. There are plenty of female carpentry instructors at LATTC but I am the only queer carpentry instructor. I’ve had quite a few LGBTQ+ students in my class over the semesters and I think it’s important for them to see that representation.

I haven’t met many obstacles as a lesbian but more obstacles as a female in general in construction. The number of women in construction is growing but more in the office roles. Women make up about 10-14% of the workforce in construction but only 4% working onsite in the field and even less in a position as high as mine. There are very few female Superintendents in all of Southern CA. It’s hard to know how many for sure but my educated guess is that it’s less than 5. For the first 4 years, I was the only woman on my jobsite each and every day.  I’m constantly running into architects, clients, designers, and construction managers that say to me, “I’ve never met a female Superintendent before!” Mostly in an excited tone. That gets me excited and lights me up. I usually think, “and wait until you see what I can do”. It’s important to me to put my best foot forward, produce the highest quality of work that I can, and try everyday to blow people away knowing that I am representing women in the field. I have two goals/hopes. 1) To prove to the industry that women are valuable assets to the industry and bring different sets of skills, creativity, and points of view. 2) To show and inspire other woman to join the construction industry. 

Q:  You are the new lead of Pride Riders, the Motorcycle group which leads the Weho pride parade and the Dyke March. How exciting to see a new generation of riders!  How long have you been riding?  How did you come to lead this group for Pride?

I’ve been riding for 24 years now. I got my motorcycle license as well as my first bike when I was just 18. Organizing the motorcycle group for the March and for WeHo Pride was unexpected. The leader of the motorcycles in previous years has been a mentor of mine. I have spent years at her side helping her lead pride parades and the Dyke March. In 2022, she came down with covid the day before the parade and needed someone to step in to lead and pace the parade. She called me and I gladly accepted. I was honored. The following year in 2023, due to unforeseen circumstances the opportunity to lead a new contingent of bikers for the Dyke March presented itself when the leader of the motorcycle contingent withdrew  from the event.

Riders, who still wanted to ride, participate, and be seen; were left confused and didn’t know what to do or how to enter. They had less than a week’s notice and some riders had family flying to see them ride in the parade but were left stranded. I was torn. I needed to step up for the riders that were left stranded without an organizer. I worked with Jackie Steele to come up with the name Pride Riders so I could register us in the parade and I worked with The  L-Project to help organize riders for the Dyke March. If it wasn’t for The L-Project the Dyke March wouldn’t have happened and wouldn’t have been moved to a Saturday. Jackie helped organize the riders while I registered as the leader of Pride Riders. 

We had a pretty decent turnout of riders given the extreme short notice. The L-Project helped us in procuring parking for all the riders so they could stay for the day and enjoy the Women’s Freedom Fest prior to riding in the Dyke March. They also organized an amazing entrance for the riders to ride in as the Festival was ending and rev up the crowd to transition into marching behind us in the Dyke March. It was quite awesome. Riders were happy, spectators were happy, and the Dyke March got more exposure.

Q:   Do you remember your first Pride?  Where/when was it and how do you think that experience has shaped your development of Pride Riders/what you’re trying to create?

Barely. I was a gaybe back then. My first Pride was in San Francisco since I lived in San Jose. I remember the Dyke March especially. There’s nothing like Dolores Park and the Dyke March in San Francisco. I was in awe. It was a sea of queer women as far as I could see in every direction. We marched for what felt like forever but I didn’t want it to end. The community cheering for us was overwhelming. It was incredible. Then the next day I saw the Dykes on Bikes lead the parade and I knew I wanted to be one of them one year (I already had a motorcycle). It just wasn’t a thing I knew about or how to get into. All those years I lived in San Jose and went to countless SF Pride Parades and Dyke Marches and I never ended up riding my motorcycle in a parade or march until I moved to LA. I would LOVE to see that type of turnout here in WeHo and a big obstacle to the turnout was not having it on the weekend. Now that the Dyke March is moved to Saturday we hope the participation can finally grow and we can bring the Dyke March the visibility it should have. 

Dyke March 2023 – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

Q:  What are the goals for Pride Riders and the Dyke March?  What would you like to see from the city and the community,  as we prepare for this year’s Pride?  What are you most looking forward to?

Last year was such a success, we saw more diversity and so many folks joining for the march. The city shared that this was the most heavily attended Dyke March in years. Our goals are an even greater turnout, greater visibility, and greater diversity. It’s so important to be seen and heard and to celebrate with our community and share our herstory. All are welcome to join in and ride. 

I am most looking forward to this year’s Women’s Freedom Fest. Last year’s event was such a good program and line-up and just an overall good time! L-Project has an even better program in store for Pride this year. I’m really looking forward to that event as well as working with the L-Project to breathe new life into the Dyke March and bring it the exposure it deserves. 

Q: What outreach are you doing for more participation, greater awareness?
How can riders, or supporters, get involved? What actions from the community would enhance the Dyke March?

We promote on social media and the City promotes the events under the Overall Pride weekend advertising. We’d love for everyone to help get the word out. I attend motorcycle events to spread the word and I’m hoping this article will also help. Motorcyclists tend to have many friends who also ride so I’m hoping it will spread by word of mouth as well. L-Project is also a huge help in marketing and spreading awareness. It’s been great working with the L-project to link Women’s Freedom Fest with the Dyke March. It just makes sense to link the two and bring with it more participation.
(Note:  more info can be found here:  https://www.instagram.com/pride_riders_la/

Riders can register here: [email protected]

Q:  And finally – what hopes do you have for the future of West Hollywood? How do you see this city evolving?

My hopes for the City are for there to be greater diversity and equity here. I like to see less people priced out from living here and more gender equality and diversity across our residents,  businesses, patrons, boards, commissions, and city council. 

Thank you for engaging with us, congratulations on all your accomplishments and have a safe, successful Pride Ride.

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

Catherine Eng

Catherine Eng is a long time resident of the City of West Hollywood. She currently serves as a West Hollywood Business License Commissioner, was a journalism major, and is a supporter of Weho Times @thedamecat

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

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

Participant Application Deadline is April 15 for WeHo Pride Street Fair Exhibitors, Parade Entries, and Food Vendors

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

City of West Hollywood to Host Symposium: ‘Water Wise | Water Works’

WEST HOLLYWOOD – During Earth Month in April, the City of West Hollywood is working to focus attention on environmental efforts and initiatives and educational opportunities for the community. The City aims to elevate awareness about its programs and policies related to West Hollywood’s natural and built environments, ecology, and sustainability.

As part of this effort, the City of West Hollywood will host a free in-person symposium: Water Wise | Water Works. The event will focus on water as a natural resource, concentrating on its indispensable role in supporting urbanized environments. It will look ahead at issues, opportunities, and challenges in West Hollywood and the Greater Los Angeles region in the future.

The Water Wise | Water Works symposium will take place on Saturday, April 20, 2024 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The event is free and open to the public, RSVP is requested via Eventbrite. Limited validated parking is available in the adjacent five-story parking structure.

All life begins and ends with water. A precious resource, water is vital for a healthy and vibrant planet. Clean fresh water is not only essential for drinking and sanitation and providing for our crops, livestock, and industry, it is also the basis for creating and sustaining the ecosystems on which all humanity depends. Spending time in proximity to nature and water has been shown to have a direct effect on emotional well-being, reducing stress, anxiety, and heart rates as well as extending human life spans.

The Water Wise | Water Works symposium will explore the fundamental role that water plays in supporting urbanized settings and will look at some of the key challenges and opportunities that lie ahead concerning future sustainability, construction mitigation, climate change, ecological systems, and resilience goals.

Presentations scheduled for the symposium include an overview of current City programs and talks on the following topics:

  • Water Policy Happenings at the Regional & Local Scale with Kim Clark, Planning Supervisor, Resource Conservation & Resilient   

Communities, Southern California Association of Governments;

  • Resource Management and Underground Water: Technical Challenges and Opportunities Ahead with Laney Nelson, Water Engineer, ARUP, experts dedicated to sustainable development;
  • History of Water and Ecological Resilience in a Rapidly Changing Context with Dr. Edith Guzman, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation;
  • Power of Water-Centric Design with Water with Mariam Mojdehi, Architect, Founding Partner, MAAM Architecture & Design Studio; and
  • Water Wise Landscapes/Regenerating Nature with Hadley Arnold, Executive Director, Arid Lands Institute/Woodbury University.

Following the presentations, there will be a moderated panel discussion and a period for questions and answers.

The City of West Hollywood is dedicated to sustainability and preserving the environment, including its:

  • Participation in the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to mark the City’s commitment to saving the monarch butterfly and other pollinators through public awareness and expansion of pollinator gardens throughout West Hollywood; 
  • Designation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Green Power Community by meeting 65% of its 100% renewable energy use through voluntary green power that goes above-and-beyond the State of California’s standards. The EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that helps increase Green Power use among U.S. organizations to advance the American market for renewable energy and development of those sources as a way to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use. Learn more about how the West Hollywood community gets its Green Power;
  • Green Building Program, the first-in-the-state green building code, that builds upon state requirements and integrates locally specific requirements for new buildings and remodels to strive towards energy efficiency, improve the health of the environment and community, and help the City shape a sustainable future. The Green Building Program was updated in 2023 to include more aggressive standards for electric vehicle charging stations; and
  • Implementation of an organics collection program in compliance with SB 1383, a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants by reducing organic waste disposal.

The City of West Hollywood continues its work to implement its people-centered Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, WeHo Climate Action, which outlines the City’s intended path to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate while centering equity and quality-of-life outcomes for the community. The City launched a public dashboard that monitors progress under the Plan toward achieving carbon neutrality. To learn more about the City’s ongoing sustainability programs and initiatives as well as information and resources, visit WeHo Climate Action & Sustainability.

For more information about the symposium, please contact Michael Barker, Project Architect in the City of West Hollywood’s Urban Design and Architecture Studio Division, as (323) 848-6483 or at [email protected].

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

West Hollywood Celebrates Lesbian and Queer Women Visibility Week

The City of West Hollywood recognizes April 22, 2024 through April 28, 2024 as Lesbian and Queer Women Visibility Week. The City will display the Lesbian Pride flag in medians along Santa Monica Boulevard and West Hollywood City Hall and the lanterns over Santa Monica Boulevard will be lit in pink, orange, white, and red to reflect the shades of the Lesbian Pride flag.

Events during the week will feature a variety of gatherings produced with the assistance of the L-Project and Fan Girl Cafe including:

  • NextGen Coffee and Convo, featuring a panel on queer activism, challenges faced by LGBTQ women in business, and advocating for non-binary and gender-nonconforming identities with panelists Marquita Thomas, Chanel Lumiere, and Melanie Vesey. This free event will be held at Fan Girl Cafe, located at 8157 Santa Monica Boulevard, on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and will also feature an opportunity for community members to network and meet one another. 
  • Lesbian Speakers Series Film screening of the award-winning documentary Ahead of the Curve and Q&A with Franco Stevens and filmmakers Jen Rainin (Franco’s wife) and Rivkah Beth Medow. Ahead of the Curve captures the story of Franco Stevens, founder of the most successful lesbian magazine in the world and her fight to keep Curve magazine alive. This free event takes place on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at 5:30 p.m. at the City’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. This event will begin with a reception with light snacks and refreshments at 5:30 p.m. The screening will begin at 6 p.m. The Q&A will follow the film. 
  • The City invites community members to spend an afternoon at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard, for a Queer Art in the Park gathering on Sunday, April 28, 2024 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature lawn games, music, and queer arts and crafts vendors. Entry is free. Feel free to bring a blanket, yoga mat, lawn chair, sunscreen, and picnic accoutrements and meet new and old friends in the park. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/lgbtq

Since incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. No other city of its size has had a greater impact on the national public policy discourse on fairness and inclusiveness for LGBTQ people. More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and three of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly LGBTQ. The City has advocated for more than three decades for measures to support LGBTQ individuals and has been in the vanguard on efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Queer Women Visibility Week, please visit www.weho.org/lgbtq or contact Moya Márquez, the City of West Hollywood’s Community Programs Coordinator, at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6574.

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

WeHo Pride 2024 Participant Application Deadline is April 15 for WeHo Pride Street Fair Exhibitors, Parade Entries, and Food Vendors

The City of West Hollywood will close the Parade Participant, Street Fair Exhibitor, and Food Vendor application portals for its WeHo Pride 2024 celebrations on April 15, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Application portals can be accessed via the ‘Get Involved’ page on the WeHo Pride website: www.wehopride.com

 WeHo Pride Weekend will take place on Friday, May 31, 2024; Saturday, June 1, 2024; and Sunday, June 2, 2024 in and around West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The weekend will include a free Street Fair, the Women’s Freedom Festival, the Dyke March, the WeHo Pride Parade, and the ticketed OUTLOUD Music Festival @ WeHo Pride, as well as WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD.

The WeHo Pride Street Fair will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024 and Sunday, June 2, 2024. It will celebrate Pride with the diverse participation of LGBTQ community groups and allied organizations as part of visibility and expression. The Street Fair is free and will feature a vibrant variety of exhibitors along Santa Monica Boulevard. There will be live entertainment and performances on two stages along the boulevard, highlighting the LGBTQ community. The Street Fair is open to everyone. It is a great occasion to take part in WeHo Pride’s LGBTQ community experience. WeHo Pride Street Fair applications are also currently open for vendors, artists, performers, and more. The Street Fair promises to be bigger and better than ever before. With a wide range of activities and options, there is sure to be something for everyone. Organizations interested in applying to participate as an Exhibitor at the WeHo Pride Street Fair can apply here. Food vendors interested in participating in the event can fill out the Google form here.

Get festive as we roll down Santa Monica Boulevard for the WeHo Pride Parade on Sunday, June 2, 2024! The WeHo Pride Parade is an imaginative and colorful annual tradition along Santa Monica Boulevard that embraces LGBTQ representation, inclusion, and progress. Full of music, dancing, colorful floats, festive marching contingents, and creative flair, the Parade celebrates LGBTQ people and our contributions to community and culture. The Parade is a lively, energetic experience with good cheer and great vibes, and a whole lot of rainbows! Whether you participate in the Parade or join in the fun as a spectator, there’s something for everyone at the WeHo Pride Parade! Organizations and individuals interested in submitting an application to participate as an entrant in the annual WeHo Pride Parade can apply here. Get creative and think outside of the box! The WeHo Pride Parade welcomes floats, bands, drill teams, dance teams, entertainment entries, marchers, and more. 

There are a variety of ways for brands to sponsor this brand-new era of Pride in West Hollywood as well. From traditional activation spaces (street fair visibility and parade entries) to inclusion at one of the most diverse music events nationally, as well as creative customized opportunities, there are multiple outlets for brand visibility! Organizations interested in becoming a WeHo Pride sponsor can reach out to [email protected] 

Additional details about WeHo Pride 2024 will be posted as they become available at www.wehopride.com. Follow @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook and follow @officiallyoutloud on Instagram and Facebook.

About WeHo Pride and the City of West Hollywood Since its incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. Home to the “Rainbow District” along Santa Monica Boulevard, which features a concentration of historic LGBTQ clubs, restaurants, and retail shops, West Hollywood consistently tops lists of “most LGBTQ friendly cities” in the nation. More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and four of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly LGBTQ.

Pride is deeply rooted part of West Hollywood’s history and culture. In fact, Pride events have taken place in West Hollywood for more than 40 years (since 1979, five years before the City of West Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality). The City’s embrace of Pride is part of its advocacy for nearly four decades for measures that support LGBTQ individuals, and the City is in the vanguard on efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level. The City of West Hollywood is one of the first municipalities to form a Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board (now LGBTQ+ Commission) and a Transgender Advisory Board, which each address matters of advocacy. As part of its support of the transgender community, the City has a Transgender Resource Guide available on the City’s website.

In 2022, the City of West Hollywood inaugurated WeHo Pride with programming that represents a diverse array of LGBTQ community groups as part of visibility, expression, and celebration. West Hollywood is a community of choice for LGBTQ people from throughout the world and WeHo Pride embraces a source of deep connection for its LGBTQ history and culture.

For more information about WeHo Pride and the WeHo Pride Arts Festival, please visit www.wehopride.com.

For more information about Outloud @ WeHo Pride, please visit www.weareoutloud.com.

For inquires to the City of West Hollywood’s Event Services Division, please email [email protected].

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

‘Spring Fest’ at West Hollywood Park

The City of West Hollywood’s Recreation Services Division invites the community to splash into Spring Fest in the park and at the pool on Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Bring your family and friends for a fun day of outdoor activities. Limited parking is available in the adjacent five-story West Hollywood Park structure.

Activities will begin at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center and Great Lawn. There will be carnival games, music, performances, giveaways, egg hunts, face painters, and much more! You won’t want to miss this!

Three of the featured activities for the event are:

  • Youth Basketball Shoot Out (Ages 10 to 15) – register here ($7) – In the Shoot Out, the player shoots from five spots around the key: right corner, right wing, top of key, left wing, and left corner. At each spot: take one dribble in for a mid-range shot, dribble for a lay-up, and then end the game with a 1 & 1 free throw.
  • Duck Relays and Cardboard Boat Races – register here (free) – Duck Relays are a swim event using inflatable ducks to race relay-style across the pool in a team of four and Cardboard Boat Race are one- to three-person teams of all ages that will test their ingenuity in racing homemade boats made of cardboard and duct tape across the pool.
  • Themed Recreation Swim and Rubber Duckie Hunt – registration has reached capacity, waiting list is open here (free) – Themed Recreation Swim is full of adorable rafts of rubber ducks, water toys, floaties, and mighty merfolk of the sea and swimmers will be able to participate in a rubber duckie hunt.

Learn more about Spring Fest and recreation programming by visiting www.weho.org/recreation and selecting Rec Reader.

For more information, please call the City of West Hollywood’s Recreation Services Division at (323) 848-6534 or email [email protected] or [email protected].

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

Open Call for Arts Grant Program Applications

The City of West Hollywood has opened application opportunities for its 2025 Arts Grant Program. The City will host a virtual Arts Grant Program information workshop for those who are interested in applying to learn more about the City’s grant-eligibility requirements and application process, as well as to ask questions.

The Arts Grant Program information workshop will be held online via the Zoom platform on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at 1 p.m. First-time grant applicants and returning organizations with new development personnel are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop to become familiar with the application process. For more information, please visit www.weho.org/arts

The City of West Hollywood, through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, has managed the Arts Grant Program for 26 years. West Hollywood’s Arts Grant Program provides grant funding to individual artists, artist collectives, and nonprofit arts organizations for the production, performance, or presentation of art projects that take place in the City of West Hollywood as well as those that serve the West Hollywood community.

The City of West Hollywood invites and encourages artists and organizations representing diverse populations and diverse artistic disciplines to apply for these grants. As defined in the Cultural Equity Statement, diversity includes all ways in which people differ, including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, education, age, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, geography, citizenship status, religion, language, physical appearance, and the intersection of these various identities. The City commits to ensuring cultural equity in all arts policies and practices.

The Arts Grant Program categories with open application processes for 2025 are as follows:

Arts Project Grant — Supports the production, performance, or presentation of art projects that take place in the City of West Hollywood and that serve the West Hollywood community. The proposed projects should take place in the City of West Hollywood in 2025 and 2026. Proposed presentations may include, but are not limited to: comedy show, dance performance, drag performance, film screening, visual art exhibit, music presentation, poetry reading, and theatre presentation. The Arts Project Grant category is awarded in a two-year cycle [with one application, grantee can be awarded for 2 years]. The maximum grant award is $20,000 per grantee ($10,000 per year). The deadline for this category is Monday, July 1, 2024.

Community Arts Grant — Supports non-profit arts organizations with a history of supporting BIPOC, LGBQ, and/or female artists and audiences. Proposed projects should take place in West Hollywood in 2025. Proposed presentations can include an art centered presentation or performance, and/or an educational and participatory program (workshop) which engages BIPOC, LGBQ, and/or female artists and audiences. The maximum grant award for both artists and non-profits arts organizations for this category is $6,000. The deadline for this category is Monday, July 1, 2024. 

Transgender, Gender Diverse, Intersex, + (TGI+) Arts Grant — Supports and enhances the presentation of artworks in West Hollywood by transgender, non-binary, intersex, and gender nonconforming artists and non-profit organizations with a history of supporting artists in these communities. Proposed projects should take place in West Hollywood in 2025. Proposed presentations should include art presentations which engage transgender, gender diverse, and/or intersex artists and audiences. The maximum grant award is $6,500 for both artists and non-profit arts organizations. The deadline for this category is Monday, July 1, 2024.

WeHo Artist Grant — Supports the long-term development of an artist’s ideas by providing funds that increase the capacity for artists to realize work, advance the conditions of creation, and navigate the complexities of both making art and making a career. Eligible artists must reside in the City of West Hollywood. The grant award is $6,000 per year for five artists. The deadline for applications is Monday, July 1, 2024.

Artists and organizations interested in applying may visit www.weho.org/arts for more information.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Grant Program, please visit www.weho.org/arts or contact City of West Hollywood Grants Coordinator Eva Angeloff at (323) 848-6354 or [email protected].

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

West Hollywood Promotes Local Actions that Address Climate Change as it Celebrates Earth Month in April with ‘WeHo Takes Climate Action 2024’

In honor of Earth Month in April, the City of West Hollywood will celebrate WeHo Takes Climate Action 2024 to rally community members to collectively embrace sustainable practices and contribute to the City’s 2035 carbon neutrality goal. Community members are encouraged to share social media posts about taking sustainability action steps using the hashtag #WeHoClimateAction.

Starting in April, residents, businesses, and local organizations are encouraged to take various actions that support the City’s ambitious environmental goals. Through its @wehocity social media pages, the City will promote various steps relating to energy, transportation, zero waste, natural environment, and resilience that community members can take. The City will also share the latest information on its climate action initiatives to raise community awareness about City programs and policies related to its natural and built environments, ecology, and sustainability efforts.

The City of West Hollywood has a strong record of developing and instituting progressive and forward-thinking environmental policies and, as a city committed to reducing its carbon footprint, West Hollywood recognizes the importance of individual actions in making a substantial impact on the health of the planet.

 “One of the City of West Hollywood’s most critical core values is Responsibility for the Environment,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John M. Erickson. “West Hollywood has steadily led the way in developing and applying policies that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, and promote sustainability. As we take next steps in realizing the goals of our Climate Action Plan, Earth Month in April is a wonderful opportunity for all us of to do what we can to make individual steps that add up to big community impacts and help our city to reducing our carbon footprint, which will better prepare us for the future effects of climate change.”

In the spirit of proactive initiatives, the City of West Hollywood is gearing up for Earth Month with a variety of community events and programs in April:

  • On Saturday, April 20, 2024, the City will host a free in-person symposium, Water Wise | Water Works, which will explore the fundamental role that water plays in supporting urbanized settings. It will examine some of the key challenges and opportunities that lie ahead with respect to future sustainability, climate change, ecology, and resilience goals that are pursued at the local and state levels. The symposium will take place at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information is available on the City website calendar
  • On Saturday, April 20, 2024 the City will host an annual Tree Planting at 9 a.m. in the public parkway at 1146/1148 Formosa Avenue. Four paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia) trees, which are widely planted throughout Southern California and are native to Australia, will be planted. The paperbark is a rounded, evergreen tree with a maximum height of 40 feet. It has a low water use rating and features exfoliating bark and oblong leaves with seasonal flower displays in the summer and fall that will attract pollinators and birds. Sun exposure ranges from partial shade to full sun. West Hollywood community members are invited and encouraged to participate in this year’s annual tree planting event. Drop in; no RSVP is needed. Supervision, instruction, tools, and gloves will be provided. The event will start with a short ‘how-to’ planting session, followed by a discussion on the benefits trees provide to the urban environment.

To showcase the City of West Hollywood climate actions in energy, transportation, zero waste, natural environment, and resilience programs, the City will highlight its sustainability programs and share information about how community members can get involved via social media and more, including the following:  

  • The City’s newly launched Green Business Certification program is a recognizes and encourages efficient, profitable, and sustainable business operations. To support businesses, West Hollywood’s Green Business Program and its services are being offered at no cost. Visit go.weho.org/greenbusiness for more information.
  • Electrify WeHo is the City’s new web resource on electrification with resources to help community members transition into an all-electric home which can improve indoor air quality, lower your energy costs, modernize your home, and help WeHo reach its 2035 carbon neutrality goal. Learn about the benefits and incentives to help make the switch at Electrify WeHo.
  • Go Solar West Hollywood is a City-sponsored program encouraging property owners to go solar. The City has partnered with online marketplace EnergySage to help property owners receive and compare quotes. 
  • The City’s new Resilience Efforts webpage provides the public with information on resilience and centralizes the City’s resiliency efforts to serve as a resource for community members. 
  • The City of West Hollywood encourages community members to leave their automobiles at home and take alternate forms of transportation when possible while traversing the City, including by using scooters, bicycles, walking (the City is only 1.9 square miles!), or via the City’s free transit options. Please visit www.wehopickup.com or www.weho.org/cityline for more information.
  • Responding to a statewide effort to reduce emissions associated with organic waste disposal by diverting waste from landfills, the City has worked with Athens Services to establish an organic recycling service throughout West Hollywood. Community members are encouraged to visit the City’s organic recycling webpage to learn how to sort waste and recycle.
  • In January 2024, the West Hollywood City Council adopted the new Tree Canopy ordinance regulating the preservation, removal, relocation, and replacement of existing mature canopy trees. 
  • The City’s Heritage Tree program promotes identifying specimen trees, promotes tree awareness, advocates for the protection of mature tree benefits, and educates community members about the City’s heritage trees and proper maintenance practices. All great trees start small! Visit the City’s webpage about young tree care best practices. The WeHo community is encouraged to check out resource videos and take the tree steward pledge!

Finally, the City will continue to implement its people-centered Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (WeHo Climate Action), which outlines the City’s intended path to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate while centering equity and quality-of-life outcomes for the West Hollywood community. The City s biannually updates its WeHo Climate Action public dashboard that monitors progress toward achieving carbon neutrality and its 60 programs and projects. To learn more about the City’s active sustainability initiatives and public dashboard, visit WeHo Climate Action & Sustainability.

The City of West Hollywood will, additionally partner with The Center for Early Education to provide a day of service for school children. This private event will take place at Kings Road Park and programming will feature monarch butterfly conservation education and activities, planting nectar and other foliage, and park cleanup. Visit the City’s educational Monarch Butterfly Conservation webpage to learn more about monarch butterfly conservation and City efforts.

For more information about West Hollywood’s Earth Month 2024, please contact Andi Lovano, City of West Hollywood Community & Legislative Affairs Manager, at (323) 848-6333 or at [email protected].

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

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For up-to-date information about City of West Hollywood news and events, follow @wehocity on social media, sign-up for news updates at www.weho.org/email, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at www.weho.org/calendar. West Hollywood City Hall is open for walk-in services at public counters or by appointment by visiting www.weho.org/appointments. City Hall services are accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via website at www.weho.org. Receive text updates by texting “WeHo” to (323) 848-5000.

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David Cooley makes emotional exit as owner of The Abbey WeHo

Video captured by longtime patron Edgar Alvarez shows a tearful Cooley hugging his staff and patrons as he made his way out of The Abbey WeHo

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Actress & singer Jennifer Lopez with David Cooley, the founder and now former owner of The Abbey WeHo in January of 2024 at an event honoring Cooley. (Photo Credit: The Abbey WeHo/Facebook)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – David Cooley, the founder and former owner of The Abbey WeHo and The Chapel at The Abbey, made a tearful exit on his last day as owner of two of West Hollywood’s most iconic nightclub on Thursday night. He officially turned over the reins over to new owner Tristan Schukraft.

The final hurrah was a low-key affair. According to a witness, at one point all the bartenders lined up to bid their former boss a final farewell, but Cooley took too long to come out from the back, so they eventually went back to work.

David Cooley’s Final Day at the Abbey – Photo courtesy of Edgar Alvarez

Video captured by longtime patron Edgar Alvarez shows a tearful Cooley hugging his staff and patrons as he made his way out of The Abbey WeHo. The crowd clapped and cheered, and people can be heard thanking him as he made his final exit.

@wehotimes David Cooley, the founder and former owner of The Abbey WeHo and The Chapel at The Abbey, made a tearful exit on his last day as owner of two of West Hollywood’s most iconic nightclub on Thursday night. He officially turned over the reigns to new owner Tristan Schukraft. The final hurrah was a low-key affair. According to a witness, at one point all the bartenders lined up to bid their former boss a final farewell, but Cooley took too long to come out from the back, so they eventually went back to work. Video captured by longtime patron Edgar Alvarez shows a tearful Cooley hugging his staff and patrons as he made his way out of The Abbey WeHo. The crowd clapped and cheered, and people can be heard thanking him as he made his final exit. As a joke, and perhaps a final nod to Cooley’s longstanding relationship with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, a sheriff’s deputy vehicle waited for him out front and then whisked him away in a dramatic exit while people on the sidewalk waved goodbye. #wehotimes #wehonews #wehocity #weho #westhollywood #wehonightlife #westhollywoodnightlife @The Abbey ♬ original sound – WEHO TIMES

As a joke, and perhaps a final nod to Cooley’s longstanding relationship with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, a sheriff’s deputy vehicle waited for him out front and then whisked him away in a dramatic exit while people on the sidewalk waved goodbye.

The Abbey Food & Bar and The Chapel at The Abbey were sold to entrepreneur Tristan Schukraft—a technology entrepreneur turned hotelier, nightlife aficionado, and well-known member of the West Hollywood LGBTQ+ community.

The Abbey and The Chapel add to Schukraft’s portfolio of businesses that enrich the LGBTQ+ community across the United States, which includes MISTR, the largest telemedicine provider of free online PrEP and long-term HIV care serving all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. More recently, Schukraft acquired and is in the process of reimagining Tryst and Circo, LGBTQ+ hotel and nightlife venues in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“I’m excited to build on the legacy that David Cooley created over the last 33 years at The Abbey. David built a small coffee shop on an unknown side street into one of the most famous gay bars in the country, if not the world. This is both an honor and a significant responsibility,” explains Tristan Schukraft. “I plan to respect and honor The Abbey’s history while bringing new ideas that reflect our evolving LGBTQ+ community and my personal approach to hospitality. We’re not just maintaining a legacy business and an international landmark; we’re adding to the future of LGBTQ+ nightlife.”

David Cooley’s last day at The Abbey WeHo truly marks the end of an era.

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

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

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Cyndi Lauper is Lifetime Ally Icon for WeHo Pride Parade 2024

WeHo Pride 2024 will kick off on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 with the José Sarria Drag Pageant on Harvey Milk Day

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WeHo Times/Los Angeles Blade graphic

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD | The City of West Hollywood and WeHo Pride producer JJLA today announced that Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning artist Cyndi Lauper will be the WeHo Pride Parade’s Lifetime Ally Icon.

Renowned for her groundbreaking contributions to music, activism, and LGBTQ advocacy, Cyndi Lauper epitomizes the ethos of pride, inclusivity, and resilience. WeHo Pride will honor Lauper for her work in bringing the LGBTQ community and social justice issues to the forefront, as well as expanding queer representation in mainstream pop culture.

“Cyndi Lauper embodies the spirit of inclusivity, unity, and vibrancy that has defined West Hollywood throughout its history,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John M. Erickson. “Her unwavering dedication to advocacy throughout the years, coupled with her unparalleled musical legacy, makes her a perfect fit for this moment in time as Lifetime Ally Icon as we celebrate WeHo Pride 2024.”

A tireless advocate for LGBTQ rights, women’s issues, and social justice, she co-founded True Colors United in 2008, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating homelessness among LGBTQ youth. In response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Lauper launched the Girls Just Want to Have Fundamental Rights Fund, housed at the Tides Foundation, to support women’s rights and health. With a career spanning decades, Lauper has left an indelible mark, especially within the LGBTQ community. From her iconic hits like True Colors and Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Lauper’s repertoire resonates as a poignant soundtrack of the LGBTQ equality movement and beyond.

The WeHo Pride Parade will step off at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 2, 2024, beginning at N. Crescent Heights Boulevard at Santa Monica Boulevard, and will travel westbound along Santa Monica Boulevard into the heart of City’s Rainbow District to N. Robertson Boulevard.

Full of music, dancing, colorful floats, festive marching contingents, and creative flair, the WeHo Pride Parade is free and open to the public, embracing LGBTQ representation, inclusion, and progress. The parade celebrates diversity, love, and resilience in the heart of West Hollywood. Each year, Parade Icons are selected for their significant contributions to the LGBTQ community, visibility, community involvement, and advocacy.

Pride Starts Here. For nearly four decades, the City of West Hollywood has been home to one of the largest Pride celebrations in the nation. Hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people and allies from around the world traditionally make West Hollywood their regular destination during Pride season.

WeHo Pride Weekend will take place from Friday, May 31, 2024 to Sunday, June 2, 2024 and, in addition to the WeHo Pride Parade, will include the free WeHo Pride Street Fair; WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD; the OUTLOUD Music Festival; the Women’s Freedom Festival; the Dyke March; and more.

WeHo Pride will kick off on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 with the José Sarria Drag Pageant on Harvey Milk Day. The WeHo Pride Arts Festival will take place from Friday, June 14, 2024 to Sunday, June 16, 2024. WeHo Pride celebrations will include a diverse array of LGBTQ community group programming from May 22 to June 30 as part of visibility, expression, and celebration.

Additional information about WeHo Pride 2024 is posted at www.wehopride.com. OUTLOUD Music Festival information is posted at www.weareoutloud.com. Follow @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook and follow @officiallyoutloud on Instagram and Facebook. Sign up for WeHo Pride text updates by texting ‘Pride’ to (323) 848-5000.

Since its incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. No other city of its size has had a greater impact on the national public policy discourse on fairness and inclusiveness for LGBTQ people. Home to the “Rainbow District” along Santa Monica Boulevard, which features a concentration of historic LGBTQ clubs, restaurants, and retail shops, the City consistently tops lists of “most LGBTQ friendly cities” in the nation.

More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and four of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly gay. The City has advocated for nearly 40 years for measures that support LGBTQ individuals and the City is in the vanguard of efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level. #WeHoPride @WeHoCity

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

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

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Neon dog gets forever home on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood

WeHo CLASSIC is BACK! The Neon Dog is fully restored & installed at its new forever home at William S. Hart Park & off Leash Dog Park

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Neon Dog West Hollywood (Photo by Paulo Murillo/WEHO TIMES)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – A City of West Hollywood CLASSIC is BACK! The Neon Dog is fully restored and installed at its new forever home on The Sunset Strip by the entrance of William S. Hart Park & off Leash Dog Park.

On Wednesday, September 14, 2022, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission unanimously approved the proposed Neon Dog project for installation at William S. Hart Park, a property leased by the City of West Hollywood, but owned by the City of Los Angeles. There were three reviews that went before the city of Los Angeles to obtain the full permission to install the project.

Neon Dog West Hollywood – Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The neon dog was connected to Collar & Leash. On January 21, 2020, the City Council accepted a gift of the neon dog sign from Joseph Chan and Charles Chan Massey. The neon sign was restored and conserved very much like the Rocky & Bullwinkle sculpture that is also on display on Sunset Boulevard.

@wehotimes A City of West Hollywood CLASSIC is BACK!!! The Neon Dog is fully restored and installed at its new home on The Sunset Strip. On Wednesday, September 14, 2022, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission unanimously approved the proposed Neon Dog project for installation at William S. Hart Park & Off Leash Dog Park, a property leased by the City of West Hollywood, but owned by the City of Los Angeles. The neon dog was connected to Collar & Leash. On January 21, 2020, the City Council accepted a gift of the neon dog sign from Joseph Chan and Charles Chan Massey. The neon sign was restored and conserved very much like the Rocky & Bullwinkle sculpture that is also on display on Sunset Boulevard. #wehotimes #wehonews #wehocity #weho #westhollywood #neon #neonart #wehoarts #art #streetart #thesunsetstrip @weholove @Paulo Murillo @City of West Hollywood @CityofLosAngeles ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

The Neon Dog is a reconditioned, electrically rotating neon sign in the shape of a dog (10’6” high, 10’9” at its widest), and part of the City of West Hollywood’s Urban Art collection. The proposed project includes the installation of the Neon Dog atop a 12’-tall vertical support pole (with corresponding structural foundation and electrical connections) at the Park’s Sunset Boulevard entrance located between North Kings Road and North Sweetzer Avenue. The proposed art installation would located at a nook to the right of the park entrance. The sign will stand on long pole above arms reach, sitting at about 12 feet above ground. A trashcan and bench would be removed from the area.

Neon Dog West Hollywood – Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES
Neon Dog West Hollywood – Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The famous Collar & Leash neon dog sign was originally located at 8555, Santa Monica Boulevard. A crane removed it from the Collar & Leash parking lot on Tuesday, June 24, 2020. It was uninstalled and carefully placed in the back of a truck and was taken to Ontario California for much needed repairs in preparation to become a permanent art installation in West Hollywood.

William S. Hart Park & Off Leash Dog Park is a fenced-in park between Sunset Boulevard and De Longpre that allows dogs to play off-leash in a tree-lined space with mulch on the ground, located at 8341 De Longpre Ave, West Hollywood.

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

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

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West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

National Poetry Month in April, Green Business Certification Program, Applications for Youth Scholarship Program plus more

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

OUTLOUD Music Festival at WeHo Pride

WEST HOLLYWOODOUTLOUD Music Festival returns to the City of West Hollywood anchoring the entertainment of WeHo Pride’s weekend of programming. The electrifying three-day outdoor music festival will take place Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2, 2024, at West Hollywood Park. This year’s Saturday and Sunday headliners include Kylie Minogue, Janelle Monáe, and Diplo.

To purchase OUTLOUD Weekend or VIP Passes, visit www.weareoutloud.com. Passes will go on sale Friday, March 15, 2024, at 10 a.m. PDT, starting at $139 + fees for weekend General Admission and $249 + fees for weekend VIP. Individual day schedules and daily tickets will be released in the coming weeks. To find out additional information about WeHo Pride, visit www.wehopride.com

Produced by award-winning events and entertainment agency JJLA, this year’s OUTLOUD Music Festival features a stellar lineup of queer entertainers and artists. The weekend’s full lineup of talent includes Doechii, Ashnikko, Noah Cyrus, Trixie Mattel (DJ Set), Keke Palmer, Channel Tres, Yaeji, Big Freedia, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and VINCINT, with exciting sets from emerging artists Snow Wife, Destiny Rogers, Black Polish, Salina EsTitties, Doug Locke, Jimi The Kween, and Zee Machine. OUTLOUD is hosted by personalities Ryan Mitchell, Hannah Rad, Arisce Wanzer, Neverending Nina, and Billy Francesca. The OUTLOUD Music Festival features a second dance music stage in partnership with SUMMERTRAMP, with more performances to be announced.

Previous artists OUTLOUD has welcomed to its main stage include Grace Jones, Adam Lambert, Carly Rae Jepsen, Years & Years, Jessie J, Lil’ Kim, Idina Menzel, Jessie Ware, Hayley Kiyoko, and more.

“West Hollywood is the epicenter of queer culture and entertainment, and we are a proud and vibrant hub where acceptance is embraced and diversity thrives,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John M. Erickson. “The City of West Hollywood takes immense pride in fostering LGBTQ+ community and joy, and we’re excited to bring people together to celebrate at OUTLOUD and WeHo Pride. Not only will we showcase incredible queer talent, we will also embody the spirit of inclusivity and unity, which is the core of what defines our city.”

WeHo Pride Weekend will take place from Friday, May 31, 2024 to Sunday, June 2, 2024 and will include the free WeHo Pride Street Fair; WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD; the OUTLOUD Music Festival; the Women’s Freedom Festival; the Dyke March; and the WeHo Pride Parade.

Details about performers at WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD will be announced in the coming weeks.

WeHo Pride will kick off on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 with its José Sarria Drag Pageant on Harvey Milk Day. The WeHo Pride Arts Festival will take place from Friday, June 14, 2024 to Sunday, June 16, 2024.

WeHo Pride celebrations will include a diverse array of LGBTQ+ community group programming from May 22 to June 30 as part of visibility, expression, and celebration.

Since its incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. The City has, for nearly four decades, been on the vanguard of efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level. With more than 40% of community members identifying as LGBTQ and four of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council identifying as LGBTQ, Pride is a deeply rooted part of West Hollywood’s history and culture.

In 2022, the City of West Hollywood inaugurated WeHo Pride. West Hollywood is a community of LGBTQ people from throughout the world who identify with the community’s deep connection to groundbreaking LGBTQ history and culture and hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people and allies from around the world make West Hollywood their destination during Pride.

Details about WeHo Pride 2024 are posted as they become available at www.wehopride.com. OUTLOUD Music Festival information is posted at www.weareoutloud.com. Follow @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook and follow @officiallyoutloud on Instagram and Facebook. Sign up for WeHo Pride text updates by texting ‘Pride’ to (323) 848-5000.

For more information about WeHo Pride and the WeHo Pride Arts Festival, please visit www.wehopride.com/contact.

For more information about the OUTLOUD Music Festival, please visit www.weareoutloud.com/get-involved.

For inquiries to the City of West Hollywood’s Event Services Division, please email [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Begins Accepting Applications for Youth Scholarship Program

 The City of West Hollywood has opened applications for the 2024 Youth Scholarship Program. The program awards $2,000 to graduating high school students who are West Hollywood residents and who are pursuing a post-secondary education at an accredited college, university, or trade/vocational school. Students must have completed 150 verified hours of community service to be considered. The Youth Scholarship Program application period is open through Friday, May 10, 2024. The scholarship money can be used for any expense incurred in pursuing post-secondary education at an accredited college, university, or trade/vocational school.

To qualify for a youth scholarship, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Residency – Applicant is a West Hollywood resident at the time the scholarship application is submitted and awarded. Please visit www.weho.org/city-government/contact-us/map-of-weho for a map of West Hollywood.
  • Secondary Education – Applicant is a high school senior ready to graduate or an individual receiving a GED. 
  • Post-Secondary Education – Applicant is planning to attend a college, university or trade/vocational school and has proof of acceptance to a post-secondary institution.
  • Community Service – Applicant has performed and provided verification of 150 hours of community service.

More information, application instructions, and the application link are available by visiting www.weho.org/youthscholarship.    

The Youth Scholarship Program is organized by the City of West Hollywood, but scholarship funds come entirely from individual and community donations. The City has awarded more than 40 youth scholarships since the program began in 2007. To support the program, the City encourages donations from community members, organizations, and area businesses. Community members wishing to donate to the Youth Scholarship Program may do so at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/youthsco.

The City of West Hollywood’s Youth Scholarship Program is one of the first municipal government sponsored programs of its kind in the country. The Youth Scholarship Program recognizes the importance of education to our community and encourages and supports local students interested in pursuing their education beyond high school. 

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

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

Next Steps in Log Cabin Renovation

The City of West Hollywood is moving forward with the next steps in the renovation of the historic Log Cabin building, which houses the West Hollywood Recovery Center (WHRC) on N. Robertson Boulevard. At its regular meeting on Monday, March 18, 2024, the City Council of the City of West Hollywood received a design update for the Log Cabin renovation project, which included direction to move forward with the design concept. High-resolution design renderings and current photos are available on the City’s official Flickr site. More information about the project, including a preliminary project schedule and FAQ, can be found on the City’s website: https://go.weho.org/logcabin

The Log Cabin renovation plan provides a long-term facility for the West Hollywood recovery community, improves onsite health and safety, and meets accessibility and historic preservation standards. More than $7.5 million in funding has been provided to date to support renovations of this historic space, which is vital to safeguarding recovery services in the West Hollywood community.

The design upgrades will include:

  • Expanded meeting rooms, food preparation areas, and storage capacity to support local recovery services;
  • New mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, which help to contribute to an enhanced onsite experience;
  • ADA-compliant bathrooms;
  • Improved streetscape and landscaping; and
  • New electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and solar panels.

The West Hollywood Recovery Center (WHRC) hosts more than 90 separate addiction recovery meetings a week, more than 4,500 meetings a year. For additional information about the WHRC, please visit https://thewhrc.org/home.

The Log Cabin building, itself, has a long and interesting history spanning nearly a century. The building was built on property purchased in 1928 by the City of Beverly Hills. The north portion of the property was leased to the Lions Club in 1936, which constructed the Log Cabin in its style as a Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”) clubhouse.

In the early 1970s, the Lions Club subleased the building to the West Hollywood Recovery Center for use for addiction recovery group meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. In 2019, the City of Beverly Hills indicated its wish to sell the property and the City of West Hollywood entered into a lease with the City of Beverly Hills with the option to purchase the property. In 2022, the City of West Hollywood exercised its option to purchase the property and the City began a feasibility analysis with the West Hollywood Recovery Center to determine a renovation plan.

With the design concept approved, the City will take the next steps to move toward construction, which is anticipated to begin in October 2024. Construction is expected to be completed by December 2025.

For detailed information, please visit https://go.weho.org/logcabin.

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

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

West Hollywood Launches Green Business Certification Program As part of its WeHo Climate Action Plan

The City of West Hollywood announces the launch of its free Green Business Certification Program, which is one of the commitments in the City’s 2021 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, WeHo Climate Action. The Plan outlines the City’s intended path to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate while centering equity and quality-of-life outcomes for the West Hollywood community. 

The Green Business Certification Program will operate under guidelines established by the California Green Business Network (CAGBN), which connects approximately 50 California cities and counties to a statewide standard of criteria for businesses to achieve a Green Business Certification. In the state, more than 4,700 businesses have achieved CAGBN Green Business Certifications reducing 49.9 million kWh of electricity, 93.6 million gallons of water, 17.3 million pounds of materials from landfills, and 64.6 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Offering this program free of charge to West Hollywood businesses is one of a wide range of steps the City is taking toward attaining climate action goals. Each West Hollywood business that registers for the program can qualify to receive up to a $1,500 rebate to offset extra costs associated with implementing green measures. The City is working with local nonprofit organization Sustainable Works, which has administered green business programs for several Southern California cities since 2001. Sustainable Works will develop and administer the program. It has previously worked with the West Hollywood business community providing water efficiency and urban runoff prevention devices.

The Green Business Certification Program is designed to help businesses operate sustainably and receive public recognition for their efforts. Becoming a Certified Green Business requires implementing practices that reduce energy and water consumption, prevent pollution, divert waste from landfills, and assist businesses in creating a cleaner and healthier environment for their employees.

The City of West Hollywood’s Green Business Certification Program offers two certification tiers. Entry Level is an introductory certification for small businesses and Certification Level is for small or larger businesses, depending on capacity to make procurement changes and perform minor retrofits if needed. To achieve either level, businesses must implement a minimum number of measures in the areas of water and energy conservation, clean energy, waste reduction, pollution prevention, and sustainable transportation.

Green Business Certification is provided free of charge to West Hollywood businesses. Program coordinators provide step-by-step guidance to achieve criteria and connect businesses with resources and incentive programs available to help them go green.

For more information about the Green Business Certification Program and to register to participate, please visit go.weho.org/greenbusiness.     

With a core value of Responsibility for the Environment, the City of West Hollywood has long been dedicated to sustainability and preserving our environment. For additional information about WeHo Climate Action, please visit www.weho.org/climateaction. To learn more about resources to Go Green, please visit www.weho.org/gogreen.

For more information about the Green Business Certification Program, please contact Christine Shen, City of West Hollywood Senior Planner, at (323) 848-6803 or at [email protected].

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

West Hollywood Celebrates National Poetry Month in April

The City of West Hollywood will celebrate National Poetry Month in April with innovative events, including a poetry spa day and public exhibitions honoring poets and the art of poetry. National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world. 

Throughout the month of April, the City of West Hollywood will honor living poets by featuring selections of their poetry on street pole banners along Santa Monica Boulevard. Currently, there are 49 poets honored, and each year the West Hollywood City Poet Laureate selects two additional poets to honor. This year’s honorees are Shonda Buchanan and Mariano Zaro:

  • Shonda Buchanan is a Pushcart Prize nominee, Oxfam Ambassador, USC Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow, and City of Los Angeles (COLA) Department of Cultural Affairs Master Artist Fellow. She is the author of five books, including the award-winning memoir, Black Indian, which won the 2020 Indie New Generation Book Award and was chosen by PBS NewsHour as a “Top 20 Books to Read” to learn about institutional racism. About to enter a 3rd printing, Black Indian begins the saga of her family’s migration stories of Free People of Color communities exploring identity, ethnicity, landscape, and loss. Buchanan is also a faculty member in Alma College’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Buchanan is the recipient of the Brody Arts Fellowship from the California Community Foundation, a Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, several Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grants, the Denise L. Scott and Frank Sullivan Awards, and an Eloise Klein-Healy Scholarship. Consulting Curator Poet for The Broad Art Museum, Buchanan is also a Sundance Institute Writing Arts fellow, a PEN Center Emerging Voices fellow, and a Jentel Artist Residency fellow. 
  • Mariano Zaro is the author of six books of poetry: Decoding Sparrows, Padre Tierra, Tres letras/Three Letters, The House of Mae Rim/La casa de Mae Rim, Poems of Erosion/Poemas de la erosion, and Where From/Desde Donde. His poems have been included in the anthologies Monster Verse, Wide Awake, The Coiled Serpent, and in several magazines in Spain, Mexico, and the United States. Zaro’s short stories have appeared in Portland Review, Pinyon, Baltimore Review, Louisville Review and Magnapoets. He is the winner of the 2004 Roanoke Review Short Fiction Prize and the 2018 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Short Fiction Prize. Since 2010, he has been hosting a series of video-interviews with prominent American poets as part of the literary project Poetry.LA. He is a professor of Spanish at Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier.

On Monday, April 1, 2024 at 6 p.m., the City Council of the City of West Hollywood will issue a commemorative National Poetry Month proclamation, which will be received by West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng. The presentation will be viewable as part of the City Council meeting broadcast on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube Channel. The City Poet Laureate Jen Chang will also debut a new poem that celebrates the City of West Hollywood, titled Recipe for Creativity, Blessed by Ghosts of the Greats (below, at end of news release). 

With the support of an arts grant from the City of West Hollywood, Women Who Submit (WWS) presents Transformation – A Book Release Party on Saturday, April 13, 2024, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Plummer Park’s Great Hall, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. Transformation is WWS’ third anthology and features poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama from 42 women and nonbinary contributors across the world. The event will feature readings from Erika Ayón, Lisa Cheby, Liz González, Monona Wali, Aruni Wijesinghe, and Sandy Yang, music by DJ Langosta, and an expo of literary organizations and booksellers. For more information, please visit the City of West Hollywood’s website calendar

The WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa event will take place on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Respite Deck of the West Hollywood Aquatic and Recreation Center (ARC), located at 8750 El Tovar Place, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library. From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the public is invited to explore poetry at “spa stations” including Feng Shui Poetry, Poemaroma (essential oils), Lotus Poetry (origami), and other poetic experiences. At 7:30 p.m., attendees will gather at the Grand Staircase at sunset to hear all the poets share their words. Poetry Spa is a concept created by Brian Sonia-Wallace during his term as 2020-23 West Hollywood City Poet Laureate and is curated by current West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng.

WeHo Reads is a literary series produced by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division and BookSwell. Additional support is provided by UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and Poets & Writers, with media partnerships from Book Soup and Los Angeles Review of Books. Books will be available for sale by historic West Hollywood retailer Book Soup. This event is free to attend and RSVPs are requested. For more information and to RSVP please visit: www.weho.org/wehoreads.  

Poets participating at the WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa event include:

  • Terry Wolverton, author of eleven books, including her latest, Season of Eclipse, hosts the Poemaroma spa station.
  • K. Toney is a griot, writer, musician, and educator who hosts the Listening Libations spa station where attendees get to mix poetry with soothing sounds.
  • Brian Sonia-Wallace, author of Poetry of Strangers hosts the Poetry Bath spa station.
  • Pride Poets members Timothy Nang will host the Lotus Poetry spa station and Jose Rios will host the Poetry Bingo spa station.
  • West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng hosts the Feng Shui Poetry spa station which guides attendees through the Five Elements.

Attendees will receive raffle tickets for a drawing to win a grand prize tote bag containing work from the poets which include Jen Cheng’s Braided Spaces, Timothy Nang’s Lotus Children, Brian Sonia-Wallace’s Maze Mouth, Terry Wolverton’s Ruin Porn, and A. K. Toney’s album Neo Griot & The Afrocentric Prince.

The community is also invited to visit Poetry Walk, a public art installation, located on the traffic median of Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny and Almont Drives. This temporary public art installation, which was installed in April 2023, displays poetry next to pre-existing empty concrete plinths where sculptures are usually displayed. The poetry excerpts reflect on absence, longing, and that which is unseen or uncelebrated. Contributing poets are former West Hollywood City Poet Laureates Brian Sonia-Wallace, Steven Reigns, Kim Dower and Charles Flowers; and Tonya Ingram, a young poet who passed away in December 2022. The Poetry Walk can be experienced as written word or by listening to audio recordings. Members of the public were invited to submit their own short poems reflecting on absence, longing and the unseen, and select poems are posted on the City website

During the month of April, with the support of an arts grant from the City of West Hollywood, Greenway Arts Alliance will present the 8th Annual LA Get Down Festival at the Greenway Court Theatre, located at 544 N. Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Past years’ programming has included open-mics, workshops, poetry slams, performances, and more. As part of this festival, West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng welcomes the community to join her at the Greenway Court Theatre for a free writing workshop, Feng Shui Poetry, on Saturday April 20, 2024 at 12 p.m. More information and links to purchase tickets for the LA Get Down Festival can be found at https://greenwaycourttheatre.org/la-get-down

The City of West Hollywood began formally celebrating National Poetry Month in 2015 after launching its City Poet Laureate program in 2014. The West Hollywood City Poet Laureate serves as an ambassador of West Hollywood’s vibrant literary culture and leads the promotion of poetry in the City, including assisting with its annual celebration of National Poetry Month. 

For more information about the West Hollywood City Poet Laureate program or National Poetry Month activities, please contact Mike Che, the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Coordinator, at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6377.

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

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Gay man brutally assaulted in West Hollywood

“He’s bashing my head and and has his knee on top of my chest, trying to smash my head into the street–‘Die faggot, die,’ he kept saying”

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Image courtesy of David Velasquez.

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – A man was physically assaulted in West Hollywood Sunday night. The attack occurred in front of the Tender Greens cafe on Santa Monica Blvd at the Hancock Drive intersection. The same suspect is believed to have assaulted others at random.

David Velasquez says he was already having a bad day while others celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in West Hollywood’s LGBTQ Rainbow District. He landed in Cedars Sinai earlier that day due to bad cold symptoms and had stopped by Pavilions in WeHo to get medication. He was riding his personal scooter on the sidewalk because he had almost been hit by a car earlier that day and was afraid a lot of people driving drunk.

“I was right there in front of the Tender Greens–the one on Santa Monica and Hancock–and then, like, I was passing by this random guy, and he just like out of nowhere slapped me with his left hand and smacked my helmet off smacked me in the face.”

According to Velasquez he confronted the guy and asked him what was his problem. There was a back and forth argument. “then the next thing I know, he’s hitting me and wrestling me, trying to throw my phone into the street,” he said. “He’s bashing my head and and has his knee on top of my chest, trying to smash my head into the street–‘Die faggot, die,’ he kept saying.”

He says his attacker stopped when a man who jumped out of a Chevy Suburban intervened. Velasquez managed to run away up Hancock Avenue. “A girl came up to me afterwards and said she wanted to press charges. He assaulted her also. Just slapped her for no reason. She was a black girl with two Latino friends. So that’s when I called the police. They came and got me an ambulance. I’m over here at Cedars Sinai again.”

According to Velasquez, he has a cut lip and some head trauma.

The assailant is described at a 6ft tall caucasian male in his 30s with a muscular build and a beard. He was described as nicely dressed seemed to be very inebriated.

A report was filed with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s substation regarding the assault however it is not yet known if there is any information leading to the suspects’ arrest.

If you see something, say something. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. If you see something, say something. Anyone with information can also drop a tip at https://www.lacrimestoppers.org.

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

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

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Kylie Minogue to headline WeHo Pride Outloud Music Festival

WeHo Pride celebrations during WeHo Pride Weekend and during May and June 2024 will include a diverse array of LGBTQ+ community groups 

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Kylie Minogue Performing at White Party Palm Springs - Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – JJLA has announced Australian pop singing sensation Kylie Minogue will be headlining this year’s WeHo Pride Outloud music festival, scheduled to take place on the weekend of June 1-2, 2024 with a Friday Night free ticketed event on May 31. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, March 15th at 10:00 a.m. PDT.

Minogue is the highest-selling female Australian artist of all time, having sold over 80 million records worldwide. She has been recognised for reinventing herself in music as well as fashion, and is referred to by the European press as the “Princess of Pop” and a style icon. Her accolades include two Grammy Awards, four Brit Awards and eighteen ARIA Music Awards.

In addition to Kylie, JJLA also announced that Janelle Monáe, Diplo + Friends, Doechii,  Ashnikko, Noah Cyrys, Trixie Mattel, Keke Palmer, Channel, tres, Yaeji, Big Freedia, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, VINCINT, and many more will be taking the stage for WeHo Pride weekend to kickoff pride month.

The City of West Hollywood announced dates for WeHo Pride 2024 in May and June.

“Pride starts in West Hollywood! WeHo Pride 2024 will be nothing short of fabulous. There will be something for everyone under the rainbow,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John M. Erickson. “From May 22 to June 30, West Hollywood will be brimming with celebrations and LGBTQ+ community activism, representation, and joy. I can’t wait to celebrate with everyone!”

WeHo Pride 2024 programming dates will be as follows:

·       Harvey Milk Day will serve as the kick-off of WeHo Pride on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 and will feature the 2nd annual José Julio Sarria Drag Pageant. Details will be published on www.wehopride.com in the coming weeks.

·       WeHo Pride Weekend will take place on Friday, May 31, 2024Saturday, June 1, 2024; and Sunday, June 2, 2024 in and around West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The weekend will include Friday Night at OUTLOUD, the WeHo Pride Street Fair, the Women’s Freedom Festival, the Dyke March, the WeHo Pride Parade, and the ticketed OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride music festival.

  • WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD, with free tickets for the community concert on Friday, May 31 in West Hollywood Park. Attendance will require an RSVP to secure complimentary tickets, as event capacity is limited. More information and a link to RSVP will be available at www.wehopride.com in the coming months.
  • OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride,produced by JJLA, is the flagship music festivaland concert experience of WeHo Pridefeaturing a star-studded lineup of musical acts! It will take place on Friday, May 31, 2024Saturday, June 1, 2024; and Sunday, June 2, 2024 at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard with a star-studded, high-energy line-up celebrating and advocating for queer voices in music. Information on the performers will be released in the coming weeks. For more information, please visit www.weareoutloud.com.
  • The WeHo Pride Street Fair will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024 and Sunday, June 2, 2024 and will celebrate Pride with diverse participation of LGBTQ+ community groups and allied organizations as part of visibility and expression. The Street Fair is free and will feature a vibrant variety of exhibitors along Santa Monica Boulevard. There will be live entertainment and performances on a community stage, highlighting the LGBTQ+ community. The Street Fair is a family-friendly event and is open to everyone. It is a great occasion to take part in WeHo Pride’s LGBTQ+ community experience. Applications to participate in the Street Fair as an exhibitor will be published on www.wehopride.com in the coming weeks.
  • The Women’s Freedom Festival presented by the L-Project Los Angeles is planned to take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024. The 2024 event will feature emerging LGBTQ and BIPOC women and non-binary musicians, comedians, poets, and activists. More information will be available in the coming weeks at www.wehopride.com.
  • The Dyke March is planned to take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024. For people who are interested in marching, stay informed at www.wehopride.com for route and timing information!
  • Get festive as we roll down Santa Monica Boulevard for the WeHo Pride Parade on Sunday, June 2, 2024! The WeHo Pride Parade is an imaginative and colorful annual tradition along Santa Monica Boulevard that embraces LGBTQ+ representation, inclusion, and progress. Full of music, dancing, colorful floats, festive marching contingents, and creative flair, the Parade celebrates LGBTQ+ people and our contributions to community and culture. The Parade is a lively, energetic experience with good cheer and great vibes, and a whole lot of rainbows! Whether you participate in the Parade or join in the fun as a spectator, there’s something for everyone at the WeHo Pride Parade! Information on how to participate as an entrant in the parade will be published on www.wehopride.com in the coming weeks.

·       WeHo Pride Arts Festival will take place Friday, June 14, 2024 to Sunday, June 16, 2024 at various locations throughout the City of West Hollywood. First launched in 2008, and formerly known as the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, this year’s Arts Festival will feature a stellar range of LGBTQ+ dance, visual art, performance, literary arts, and more. More information will be available in the coming weeks at www.wehopride.com.

·       WeHo Pride celebrations during WeHo Pride Weekend and during May and June 2024 will include a diverse array of LGBTQ+ community groups as part of visibility, expression, and celebration. The City of West Hollywood invites community groups to take part in WeHo Pride 2024. Through an application and review process, community groups may apply to request City funding for an independent Pride event, produced entirely by the group or organization. The application and more information related to the program will be published on www.wehopride.com in the coming weeks.

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

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

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39th annual Los Angeles Marathon to make its way through WeHo

Celebrating its 39th running, the Los Angeles Marathon course will begin at Dodger Stadium and it will conclude at Century Park

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LA Marathon - Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The 39th Annual Los Angeles Marathon, Presented by ASICS, is returning to West Hollywood. Runners will be making their way through the City of West Hollywood on Sunday, March 17, 2024 as part of a 26.2-mile Stadium to the Stars course.

Celebrating its 39th running, the Los Angeles Marathon course will begin at Dodger Stadium and it will conclude at Century Park in Century City. The portion of the route that runs through the City of West Hollywood remains unchanged.

The Los Angeles Marathon route for 2024 will guide runners westbound into the City of West Hollywood along Sunset Boulevard at Marmont Lane, just west of N. Crescent Heights Boulevard. From the Sunset Strip, runners will turn left (south) onto N. San Vicente Boulevard; then right (west) onto Santa Monica Boulevard; then left (south) onto N. Doheny Drive, where they will enter the City of Beverly Hills. The Marathon will run through West Hollywood between miles 14 and 15 of the course.

To ensure the safety of the large numbers of Los Angeles Marathon runners, there will be several street closures in the City of West Hollywood on Sunday, March 17, 2024 from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.; crews will work to reopen roads to vehicle traffic as quickly as possible as the Marathon moves through the City of West Hollywood:

  • Sunset Boulevard between Marmont Lane and Clark Street/N. San Vicente Boulevard (the route enters the City of West Hollywood from the City of Los Angeles west along Sunset Boulevard from Marmont Lane, just west of N. Crescent Heights Boulevard);
  • N. San Vicente Boulevard between Sunset Boulevard and Melrose Avenue;
  • Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega Boulevard and N. Doheny Drive;
  • N. Doheny Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Beverly Boulevard (the route exits the City of West Hollywood to the City of Beverly Hills south along N. Doheny Drive).

Parking will be strictly prohibited along the Los Angeles Marathon route. “No Parking” signs will be posted prior to the event. Vehicles in violation will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

Los Angeles Marathon spectators and community members who are searching for alternative parking solutions in West Hollywood during the Los Angeles Marathon are encouraged to visit the City of West Hollywood’s website, where a directory of parking structures and municipal lots with hours of operation and rates is available online. Members of the public are encouraged to carpool and to use public transportation, taxis, or ridesharing options.

For additional information regarding the 2024 Los Angeles Marathon Presented by ASICS, including details about road closures and alternate access routes, community members may email, call (213) 542-3000, or visit the Los Angeles Marathon website. Members of the media interested seeking media credentials for the event should apply directly with McCourt Foundation.

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

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

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Settlement in lawsuit between WeHo trans activist & LASD

According to court docs “the parties advise the Court that a full and complete settlement of the case was reached on February 26, 2024”

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Annie Jump Vicente booing during the swearing in of West Hollywood Mayor John Erickson. (Photo by Paulo Murillo)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – A joint settlement has been reached in a legal case involving plaintiff Annie Jump Vicente, a trans activist and resident of West Hollywood, and defendants the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), the County of Los Angeles, and ten individual sheriff deputies identified as ‘Does.’

According to court documents obtained by WEHO TIMES, “the parties hereby jointly advise the Court that a full and complete settlement of the case was reached on February 26, 2024.”

Furthermore, “The parties anticipate that they will be able to finalize the settlement documents, provide the settlement draft to Plaintiff, and file a final stipulated dismissal of the entire case with prejudice within sixty (60) days.”

Jump, also known as Annie Vicente Jump, a transgender woman, filed the civil rights lawsuit against LASD, ten individual West Hollywood Station LASD deputies (referred to as Doe LASD Deputies), and the County of Los Angeles. The lawsuit stemmed from an incident on December 7, 2022, when Jump was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly obstructing Sheriff deputies from entering her apartment building while responding to a domestic violence call.

Jump faced charges under Penal Code § 148(a)(1) PC, which criminalizes willfully resisting, delaying, or obstructing peace officers or EMTs in the performance of their official duties. However, a Los Angeles County District Attorney Charge Evaluation Sheet dated December 21, 2022, concluded that “the defendant’s total conduct cannot be characterized other than a refusal to consent to a request to enter her apartment. Such conduct cannot constitute grounds for a lawful arrest or subsequent search and seizure… Refusal to stand aside and permit a requested entry, even when officers… had a right to force an entry… cannot constitute a violation of section 148.”

The civil case, number 2:23-cv8584, was filed on October 11, 2023, by the Law Offices of Christian Contreras. The list of complaints for damages included allegations of negligence, false arrest/imprisonment, assault and battery, violations of the Bane Act (Civil Code § 52.1) and the Ralph Act (Civil Code § 51.7), violations of the First Amendment for retaliation for protected speech (42 USC § 1983), violations of the Fourth Amendment for excessive force (42 USC § 1983), municipal liability for unconstitutional policy, custom, or practice, and municipal liability for failure to train.

The defendants retained the services of Collison, Daehnke, Inlow & Greco, a civil litigation defense firm specializing in various civil litigation matters.

Attorney Laura E. Inlow, with nearly 30 years of practice, leads the firm’s Governmental Entity Liability Practice Group, focusing on police misconduct and civil rights cases under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as professional liability, premises, and general liability matters. Attorney Lenore C. Kelly brings extensive experience in the aggressive defense of public entities, particularly in cases involving law enforcement use of force, civil rights violations, employment disputes, complex tort, and general casualty.

Jump alleged that she was attacked and arrested by unidentified LASD deputies on December 7, 2022, while officers were responding to a domestic violence call. The Complaint stated that upon returning home with groceries, Jump found LASD deputies demanding entry into the building to investigate a domestic violence incident involving her neighbors, who were out of town and requesting a search warrant. Jump was forcibly pulled out of her doorway, causing injuries. Two days earlier, Jump had criticized LASD’s negligence at a West Hollywood city council meeting.

Jump says the incident caused severe mental and emotional distress, including feelings of shame, disillusionment with the justice system, fear of law enforcement, and PTSD.

Related

In a recent development this month, West Hollywood Sheriff deputies arrested Ms. Vicente on Thursday, February 15, 2024, for a separate incident and is currently facing a felony assault with a deadly weapon (245 PC) for allegedly striking a Block by Block Ambassador on the head with a flashlight. Captain Moulder of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station stated that a second suspect is outstanding. Detectives are continuing to actively investigate this case.

During a recent West Hollywood City Council meeting, Ms. Vicente alleged that she had been sexually assaulted and battered by the Block by Block ambassador and asked the City to end its contract with Block by Block security. “He beat the shit out of me,” she said during public comment. “And then he had me arrested and charged with a felony.”

However, a video released by the West Hollywood Sheriff’s station shows a violent attack against the Block by Block ambassador. Two individuals assaulted him while he was on his lunch break according to Captain Moulder. One of the attackers was identified as Ms. Vicente and arrested. The other suspect is still at large as of the posting of this piece. LASD detectives released a Special Bulletin asking for the public’s help in identifying the second person.

Details on the recent settlement have not yet been disclosed, and there is no word yet on whether Ms. Jump will be filing another lawsuit for her most recent arrest.

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

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

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