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    East Coast Family Searches for Young Man Whose Car Founded Abandoned in WeHo

    East Coast Family Searches for Young Man Whose Car Founded Abandoned in WeHo

    Mon, Oct 16, 2017

    Tommy Bertollo’s family and friends are looking for him. And they need your help.

    Bertollo, 35, left his home in New Jersey in July and drove to California “on a whim” according to a family friend.

    While his family believes Bertollo is suffering from mental illness, Joe Kennedy, the family friend, said they weren’t too concerned because “we had been in contact with him on a pretty regular basis even though it would be a week or two between contact.”

    “Fast forward to today and we haven’t been able to get in touch with him since early September,” Kennedy said in an email to WEHOville. “His phone doesn’t appear to be on anymore and it goes right to voicemail but he doesn’t have his mailbox set up. His car was towed from Cynthia Street on October 2nd and that’s the last lead we’ve had.”

    Bertollo is about 6’1″…

    More Cheer Comes to WeHo with a New Cheerleading Group (on the Eastside)

    More Cheer Comes to WeHo with a New Cheerleading Group (on the Eastside)

    Mon, Oct 16, 2017

    West Hollywood is full of cheer! That’s especially true with the upcoming launch of a third cheerleading group — West Hollywood Cheerleaders Eastside.

    Eric Schmidt and his partner Jack Cline, former members of the Hollywood Cheerleaders, hope to have the group up and running in December with an official “kickoff” in January of next year. (The Facebook page and website are coming in November.) The two existing groups are the 30-year-old West Hollywood Cheerleaders and the West Hollywood Elite cheerleading group, which was founded in 2014. Adult cheerleading groups typically are founded to raise money for charities and feature women and men (often dressed in drag) performing at everything from softball games to gay Pride parades.

    In an email exchange with WEHOville, Schmidt said he and Cline, his partner of 16 years, had been…

    WeHo Ranks 18th Among 88 Los Angeles  Cities in Property Value Increase

    WeHo Ranks 18th Among 88 Los Angeles Cities in Property Value Increase

    Mon, Oct 16, 2017 1 Comment

    Property values in West Hollywood have increased 8.3% since last year, the fourth highest rate of increase in all of Los Angeles County.

    The increase is noted in the L.A. County Assessor’s 2017 annual report, which was released on Friday and can be viewed online. The report lists West Hollywood as ranking 18th among Los Angeles County’s 88 cities in the assessed valuation of its property. That valuation is $11.4 billion.

    Every city in Los Angeles County recorded an increase in assessed valuation compared to 2016, according to the report.

    “I am pleased to report that the 6.04% increase in assessed property values in Los Angeles County represents the seventh consecutive year of growth,” said L.A. County Assessor Jeffrey Prang. The net assessed value, (excluding non-profit, homeowners’, and disabled veterans exemptions,…

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    California Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Address New Lane Splitting Law

    California Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Address New Lane Splitting Law

    Fri, Nov 18, 2016 5 Comments

    While it’s been practiced and accepted by law enforcement agencies in California for decades, lane splitting has never officially been declared legal or illegal. The controversial and highly debated practice was officially legalized on August 19, 2016, when Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill No. 51 into law. Many motorcyclists insist lane splitting is safe, […]

    Crosswalks on Santa Monica: Sidewalks and Street Signs to be Replaced

    Crosswalks on Santa Monica: Sidewalks and Street Signs to be Replaced

    Sat, Oct 14, 2017

    The City of West Hollywood is continuing its installation of four pedestrian crosswalks with traffic lights on Santa Monica Boulevard. The city expects to have the project, which began July 10, completed this month.

    This past week, the contractor continued working on the new traffic signals by installing the new traffic signal poles, signal gear, and cable. Southern California Edison completed the vault conduit connections and the meter service pedestals were installed. Traffic detection loops and striping were installed at night.

    This coming week the contractor will have daily lane closures in the immediate work areas between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. To accommodate the construction, parking meters in the immediate work area may have “Temporary No Parking” signs on them. Also, the crosswalk at Santa Monica Boulevard and…

    BMW, Missing a Front Tire, Slams Into a Truck on Sunset Boulevard

    BMW, Missing a Front Tire, Slams Into a Truck on Sunset Boulevard

    Fri, Oct 13, 2017 2 Comments

    A car travelling without a front passenger-side tire apparently rear-ended pickup truck and sent it crashing into another truck at a pedestrian crosswalk on Sunset Boulevard this afternoon

    West Hollywood Sheriff’s deputies and the L.A. County Fire Department were dispatched around 4 p.m. in response to reports of the collision. It is unknown if there are any injuries or transportation to medical centers of those involved.

    The crash took place on the north side of Sunset Boulevard between Hammond and Wetherly. Witnesses reported seeing a black BMW headed westbound without a front passenger side tire. A witness reported the vehicle was driving on its rim, scraping a portion of it off.

    According to a bystander, the BMW rear ended a white pickup truck, sending the pickup into the back of an AT&T work truck. The white pickup ended…

    L.A. Conservancy’s Appeal of 9080 Santa Monica Blvd. Ruling Goes to Court on Oct. 24

    L.A. Conservancy’s Appeal of 9080 Santa Monica Blvd. Ruling Goes to Court on Oct. 24

    Fri, Oct 13, 2017 2 Comments

    The Los Angeles Conservancy’s appeal of a judge’s decision to reject its challenge to the City of West Hollywood’s approval of the Melrose Triangle project will go before another judge on Oct. 24.

    In 2016, the Conservancy’s took West Hollywood to court, arguing that the city hadn’t properly considered alternatives that would have allowed the preservation of the Streamline Moderne building at 9080 Santa Monica Blvd. That building sits on part of a site where the Charles Company plans to erect three large buildings that will house shops, offices, restaurants and apartments, all part of what is is being called the Melrose Triangle project.

    Advocates for preserving the building argue that its design is architecturally significant. The building was built in 1928 and then renovated in 1938 in the Streamline Moderne style by…

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    WEST HOLLYWOOD CAR ACCIDENTS: WHAT TO DO IF IT HAPPENS TO YOU!

    WEST HOLLYWOOD CAR ACCIDENTS: WHAT TO DO IF IT HAPPENS TO YOU!

    Sun, Jan 31, 2016 3 Comments

    It’s summertime in Los Angeles, and drivers are distracted!  The top is down. The music is up. The sun is shining brightly, sometimes blindingly.  Guys and girls are strolling down the sidewalks in shorts, cropped tops or shirtless causing drivers to crane their necks to watch them go by.  Summer hours mean more partying, more […]

    OPINION:  Keep ‘Em Moving? How About Diverge and Re-Direct?

    OPINION: Keep ‘Em Moving? How About Diverge and Re-Direct?

    Fri, Oct 13, 2017 4 Comments

    Sic transit Gloria

    For much of recent history the mantra of traffic management has been “keep ’em moving!” One envisions an endless line of cars and trucks coming from someplace and going to someplace while onlookers stand in bewilderment. “Modern Times,” as social satirist Charlie Chaplin has depicted it, has enveloped us and we seem unable to both understand and cope with the developments.

    Thursday evening at Stuart Denenberg’s Fine Art Galley, the West Hollywood West Residents Association gathered with city officials and staff to discuss and consider possible solutions to traffic conditions on San Vicente Boulevard. This strip of “highway” through West Hollywood has been a constant topic of concern for the past 35 years – or as long as we have been a city. The possibilities of a fix for the most noticeable problem,…

    WeHo Offers Free Health Screenings on Tuesday

    WeHo Offers Free Health Screenings on Tuesday

    Fri, Oct 13, 2017

    West Hollywood and the city’s Disabilities Advisory Board are celebrating national Disabilities Awareness Month with free health screenings at Plummer Park.

    The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Plummer Park Community Center, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. near North Fuller.

    The services offered include flu shots, hearing exams, podiatry screenings, blood glucose screenings, HIV and STD testing, healthcare enrollment information and breast cancer screenings (which require an advance appointment that can be made online or by calling (909) 907-0862.

    Learn  WeHo Bike Share Basics Next Week at Plummer Park

    Learn WeHo Bike Share Basics Next Week at Plummer Park

    Thu, Oct 12, 2017

    A heavy lunch? Consider instead taking that 90 minutes to shed some calories and learn to ride a bike.

    CycleHop is sponsoring a “WeHo Pedals Bike Share Basics” class at noon on Oct. 26, which will be taught by Sustainable Streets, an organization that promotes sustainable active transportation throughout the Los Angeles area, with a focus on bikes.

    Bike Share Basics is a free 90-minute class whose participants will learn all the features of the WeHo Pedals Smart Bikes, basic rules of the road and tips for riding the Smart Bikes safely and lawfully in the roadway. Smart Bikes are provided along with free ride time. All participants will receive a free helmet. WeHo Pedals is the City of West Hollywood’s bike share program, which allows people to rent bicycles stationed on the street for short rides and commutes.

    Participants…

    Yippee Ki Yay! The WeHo City Council Will Consider a Coyote Management Plan

    Yippee Ki Yay! The WeHo City Council Will Consider a Coyote Management Plan

    Thu, Oct 12, 2017 2 Comments

    Residents of some West Hollywood neighborhoods are going to be shouting “yippee ki-yay” if the City Council on Monday endorses a proposal to better manage the city’s coyote transients.

    The Council will consider a proposal initiated by Councilmember Lindsey Horvath to develop a plan that will include “information on coyote behavior, management strategies, recommended responses to coyote encounters and attacks and other pertinent information,” according to an item on the Council agenda.

    As WEHOville reported in August, residents living just west of Plummer Park have been seeing a group of three to four coyotes regularly since June. These coyotes seem to be most frequently sighted in the area north of Santa Monica Boulevard between Curson and Genesee avenues.

    Those residents report being stalked by coyotes and hearing…

    Activists Pushing Investigation Into Gemmel Moore’s Death Are Back in WeHo Next Week

    Activists Pushing Investigation Into Gemmel Moore’s Death Are Back in WeHo Next Week

    Thu, Oct 12, 2017 4 Comments

    A group formed to push for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a young black man from a drug overdose in the apartment of WeHo’s Ed Buck will hold a meeting on Oct. 21 to give the community an update on the investigation into the matter.

    According to an announcement of the event, it is being presented by “Justice4Gemmel + All of Ed Buck’s Victims.” Gemmel Moore is the 26-year-old man who was found dead of a methamphetamine overdose on July 27 in the apartment of Ed Buck on Laurel Avenue. Buck, 63, is known locally for his successful efforts to the get the West Hollywood City Council to ban the sale of fur products and as a donor to local, state and national political candidates.

    Those attending the community event include LaTisha Nixon, Moore’s mother; civil rights attorney Nana Gyamfi and…

    Vanity, Drinking or Tourists? Whatever, WeHo Ranks No. 2 in #HappyHour Pics on Instagram

    Vanity, Drinking or Tourists? Whatever, WeHo Ranks No. 2 in #HappyHour Pics on Instagram

    Thu, Oct 12, 2017

    Is it our drinking or our vanity? Or just that we have a lot of happy tourists? Whatever the reason, West Hollywood ranks second in the nation (and the world) when it comes to posting photos on Instagram that celebrate “happy hour.”

    That’s according to a study by Redfin, the real estate news and analysis company, which calculated the number of Instagram photos with the #HappyHour hashtag posted in cities and communities around the United States and in major cities overseas.

    Redfin ranked West Hollywood No. 2 in terms of number of #HappyHour photos per capita posted from 2010 to 2017. WeHo had 31,470 #HappyHour photos on Instagram per hundred thousand residents in that period. Given that we’re a city with roughly 35,000 residents, that would mean the actual number for WeHo was a little more than 11,000.

    So who beat WeHo?…

    Part 4: Jews from the Former Soviet Union Adjusting to American Life and WeHo Rents

    Part 4: Jews from the Former Soviet Union Adjusting to American Life and WeHo Rents

    Thu, Oct 12, 2017 3 Comments

    EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the fourth in a series of five articles from a piece written by Lynn Kronzek and commissioned by the City of West Hollywood that provides a snapshot circa 2000 of the city’s population of Jews from the former Soviet Union. It is illustrated with photographs taken in West Hollywood by Steven Gold, a professor in the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. Note that some of those mentioned have died or otherwise moved on.

    Helen Levin is Executive Director of the Russian Community Center, which offers information and referral, advocacy (intervention on behalf of clients), translation, and a host of problem-solving services. When asked about the rapid exodus out of West Hollywood, Levin replied: “It was correct, but nowadays we’re seeing more people staying– more and more families with…

    Part 3: Why WeHo Was a Destination for Jews Migrating from the Former Soviet Union

    Part 3: Why WeHo Was a Destination for Jews Migrating from the Former Soviet Union

    Wed, Oct 11, 2017 2 Comments

    EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the third in a series of five articles from a piece written by Lynn Kronzek and commissioned by the City of West Hollywood that provides a snapshot circa 2000 of the city’s population of Jews from the former Soviet Union. It is illustrated with photographs taken in West Hollywood by Steven Gold, a professor in the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. Note that some of those mentioned have died or otherwise moved on.

    West Hollywood originally attracted the Russian-speaking Jewish population in no small measure due to its proximity to the Fairfax district, L.A.’s oldest surviving Jewish neighborhood and heart of the community for the past half-century. Groups with a longstanding and steadfast concern over the plight of Soviet Jews established headquarters here. The Jewish Federation…

    WeHo Launches HIV Stigma Survey and ‘Pop-Ups’ on Wednesday

    WeHo Launches HIV Stigma Survey and ‘Pop-Ups’ on Wednesday

    Tue, Oct 10, 2017 6 Comments

    The City of West Hollywood is seeking feedback about stigma experienced as a result of sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status. The C\city’s Social Services Division is conducting a short survey as part of efforts to implement the city’s “HIV Zero Strategic Plan.” Community members, regardless of HIV status, are encouraged to provide feedback. A goal of the survey is to understand how stigma impacts access to care and overall health and wellness. The survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/hivzerosurvey.

    In addition to the online survey, staff members from the city’s Social Services Division will host two HIV Zero “pop-up” events in October. The first will be held on Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the West Hollywood Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The second will be on Oct. 18 from 8 to…

    Overall Crime in WeHo Last Month Was Flat, Except for the Surge in Car Break-Ins

    Overall Crime in WeHo Last Month Was Flat, Except for the Surge in Car Break-Ins

    Tue, Oct 10, 2017

    While the rate of serious crimes in West Hollywood last month was flat compared to the same month the year before, car break-ins continued to climb.

    A report from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station 170 incidents of serious crime reported last month, up only slightly from the 167 in September 2016.

    However, there were 33 vehicle burglaries, a 32% increase over the 25 in September 2016. Fifteen of those occurred on the city’s Westside, a 200% increase over last year. Thirteen occurred in the Center City area, an increase of 117%. On the city’s Eastside, car burglaries were down 64% with a total of five reported.

    Petty theft, defined as the theft of property valued at less than $950, accounted for most of the cities serious crime, with 57 incidents. That was pretty much equal to the 57 reported in September 2016. The…

    LA LGBT Center Hosts Hearing on Homeless Young People

    LA LGBT Center Hosts Hearing on Homeless Young People

    Tue, Oct 10, 2017

    State Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblywoman Blanca E. Rubio will hold a hearing at the Los Angeles LGBT Center today to discuss the causes of homelessness among young people and the need for solutions, including funding, to get young people off the streets.

    The hearing will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Renberg Theater at the Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place.

    It will be a joint informational hearing of the state Senate and Assembly Human Services Committees, which Senator Wiener and Assemblywoman Rubio serve on as chairs. At the hearing, service providers, researchers, advocates and young people will testify about what they see every day and how the legislature and the state government can help.

    Nearly one-third of the nation’s homeless youth live in California, which equals almost 12,000 young…

    WeHo West Residents Will Meet to Discuss San Vicente / Rosewood Collisions

    WeHo West Residents Will Meet to Discuss San Vicente / Rosewood Collisions

    Tue, Oct 10, 2017 2 Comments

    Residents of the West Hollywood West neighborhood will meet on Thursday with city officials to discuss issues with the intersection of San Vicente Boulevard and Rosewood Avenue.

    That intersection has been the site of a number of car collisions.

    The meeting will take place at Denenberg Fine Arts, 417 N. San Vicente Blvd. Those attending will include WeHo City Councilmember Lauren Meister; Oscar Delgado, Director of Public Works; Walter Davis, Traffic Management Specialist;
    Bob Cheung, Senior Transportation Planner, and Richard Giesbret, president of the West Hollywood West Residents Association.

    Part 2: What Motivated the Migration of Jews from the Former Soviet Union to WeHo?

    Part 2: What Motivated the Migration of Jews from the Former Soviet Union to WeHo?

    Tue, Oct 10, 2017 1 Comment

    The following is the second in a series of five articles from a piece written by Lynn Kronzek and commissioned by the City of West Hollywood that provides a snapshot circa 2000 of the city’s population of Jews from the former Soviet Union. It is illustrated with photographs taken in West Hollywood by Steven Gold, a professor in the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. Note that some of those mentioned have died or otherwise moved on.

    The journey of the latter-day “Russian Jews” to West Hollywood has consumed almost four decades, and was motivated by changes both internal and external to the USSR. As early as 1952, with Stalin dying, Israel established a liaison bureau to work through foreign embassies behind the Iron Curtain to make contact with Soviet and Eastern European Jews. By 1965, this underground…

    WeHo Hosts ‘Play Ball’ on Sunday to Celebrate Baseball

    WeHo Hosts ‘Play Ball’ on Sunday to Celebrate Baseball

    Mon, Oct 09, 2017

    The City of West Hollywood is participating in the nation’s “favorite pastime” with Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Play Ball initiative, which encourages cities across the nation to engage community members in events that generate enthusiasm and broad participation for the game of baseball and baseball-related activities.

    As the MLB playoffs are in full swing, the West Hollywood’s Recreation Services Division invites adults and kids of all ages to come out and play ball on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Plummer Park’s Vista Lawn, located at 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. City council members, city staff members, local public safety personnel and community members will all participate.

    The first pitch will be thrown at 11:15 a.m. by West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station personnel; the “Home Run Derby” will begin at 11:20…

    Almost There! This Week’s Work on Santa Monica Blvd.’s Pedestrian Crosswalks

    Almost There! This Week’s Work on Santa Monica Blvd.’s Pedestrian Crosswalks

    Mon, Oct 09, 2017 2 Comments

    The City of West Hollywood is continuing its installation of four pedestrian crosswalks with traffic lights on Santa Monica Boulevard. The city expects to have the project, which began July 10, completed by the middle of this month.

    This week the contractor will be removing existing striping by wet sandblasting on Tuesday night. This work will create some noise and dust. On Wednesday and Thursday night, the contractor will install all new striping and signage within the entire work area. The work will take place between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

    Traffic synced stoplights on Santa Monica Boulevard at Westbourne ready to be turned on.
    The contractor will have daily lane closures in the immediate work areas between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Actions taken during the rest of this week include:

    — Monday: The contractor will pull…

    A Tour of Formosa Café to Spark More Votes for Preservation

    A Tour of Formosa Café to Spark More Votes for Preservation

    Mon, Oct 09, 2017 1 Comment

    Dozens upon dozens of West Hollywood residents and preservationists from other places turned out on Saturday for a tour of West Hollywood’s Formosa Café that was intended to encourage more votes in a campaign now underway for preservation funding.

    Bud Coffey, a volunteer docent with the Los Angeles Conservancy, led multiple tours of people through the restaurant, calling out the history reflected in its design and pointing where the famous mobster Mickey Cohen liked to dine. In a feature titled “The Formosa Café: The Grungy Glamour of a West Hollywood Icon,” KCET described the Formosa’s allure to celebrities such as Ava Gardner, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe. “Elvis Presley once gave a waitress a Cadillac as a tip,” it noted.

    The celebrities who turned out Saturday were much more local…

    Part 1: ‘Magazine Means Store’ – the Story of WeHo’s Jews from the Former Soviet Union

    Part 1: ‘Magazine Means Store’ – the Story of WeHo’s Jews from the Former Soviet Union

    Mon, Oct 09, 2017

    EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article, from a story written by Lynn Kronzek and commissioned by the City of West Hollywood, provides a look at the lives circa 2000 of Jews from the Soviet Union living in West Hollywood.

    WEHOville recently came upon Kronzek’s story in researching another story on the death of Yefim Stolyarskiy, a prominent member of the city’s Russian-speaking Jewish community. While some things have changed (for example, in addition to Stolyarskiy’s death, Daphne Dennis has retired as WeHo’s social services manager) Kronzek’s story still offers an insightful perspective on a segment of West Hollywood’s population that often is overlooked and not understood.

    This is the first in a series of five excepts from Kronzek’s work, published with her permission and illustrated with photographs taken in West…

    Man Found Dead in Car at 7-Eleven Parking Lot

    Man Found Dead in Car at 7-Eleven Parking Lot

    Sat, Oct 07, 2017 10 Comments

    A man was found dead in his car this afternoon in the parking lot of the shopping plaza that houses the 7-Eleven store at 7950 Santa Monica Blvd. near Hayworth.

    That 7-Eleven store was the scene of an incident on Sept. 2 in which an apparently homeless man named Kisu Brady Brown attacked a man outside the front door with a hatchet. Brown was arrested on Sept. 6 on a charge of attempted murder.

    Sheriff’s deputies responded around 4:30 p.m. today to a report that there was a dead man in a car in the parking area near the Los Tacos restaurant, which is adjacent to the 7-Eleven convenience store. A detective on the scene said there was no evidence of trauma. Homicide detectives are continuing their investigation at this point.

    Developer Plans to Demolish Five Apartments on North Croft to Build 16-Condo Building

    Developer Plans to Demolish Five Apartments on North Croft to Build 16-Condo Building

    Fri, Oct 06, 2017 2 Comments

    A developer is planning a four-story building with 16 condominium units at 1017 N. Croft Ave. according to the Real Deal, the real estate industry publication.

    The Real Deal identified the developer as Madison Group, which is building a similar condo building on 829-831 N. Croft Ave.

    The 1017 N. Croft property lies just outside the southern border of the City of West Hollywood. Currently there is a five-unit apartment building on the lot.

    In a filing with the City of Los Angeles, London Capital Group is listed as the applicant on the filing. “It has ties to real estate investment firm Madison Group, led by Robert Neman and Farhad Farahmand, which owns other condominium projects in the Los Angeles region, including a 16-unit property at 11715 Chenault Street,” the Real Deal reported.

    U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Monday Could Have Impact on WeHo’s Affordable Housing

    U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Monday Could Have Impact on WeHo’s Affordable Housing

    Fri, Oct 06, 2017 9 Comments

    UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to carry over its decision on this matter to its Friday meeting.

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday will decide whether to consider a lawsuit filed against the City of West Hollywood that could have a major impact on how WeHo funds housing for low- and moderate-income people.

    616 Croft Ave. LLC vs. the City of West Hollywood is a challenge to a city law that requires developers to set aside 20% of the housing units in a building of 10 units or more as affordable housing or to make a payment into a fund the city has established to fund affordable housing.

    In the early 2000s, Shelah and Jonathan Lehrer-Graiwer, the couple behind 616 Croft Ave. LLC, bought two houses on adjacent lots at 612-616 Croft, which is between Rangely Street and Clinton Avenue, with the idea of replacing them with a…

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