WEHOville

    Editor’s note: We believe debating the issues relevant to our city helps foster an informed and engaged community, and that’s why we invite you to submit guest commentaries to editor@wehoville.com. Selected pieces will run below. Opinions, commentary and other essays posted in “Let’s Discuss” are wholly the view of the author. They do not necessarily represent the opinion of WEHOville.com.

    What’s WeHo Doing About the Homeless? Here’s What I’ve Learned

    What’s WeHo Doing About the Homeless? Here’s What I’ve Learned

    Mon, Dec 04, 2017 10 Comments

    Last week’s community forum on homeless, hosted by Councilmember Lauren Meister, offered a useful look into the complexity of the situation and how the city is responding

    Opinion:  Men Abusing Power with Drugs and Sex in Hollywood

    Opinion: Men Abusing Power with Drugs and Sex in Hollywood

    Tue, Nov 21, 2017 1 Comment

    “Requiem: A Memoir of Sex, Madness, and Self-Destruction” is my autobiographical account of growing up with a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic mother who attempted to kill my siblings and I based on a delusion that the devil desired our souls. It also touches on many taboo subjects – from the revelation of childhood sexual molestation, to incest brought about by my brother, who raped our mother under the influence of drugs, and to my bouts of homelessness.

    When I arrived in Hollywood in the winter of 2012, I seized an opportunity to adapt my story into film. Yet, beneath the façade of glitz and glamour there was a prevalent theme of systemic sexual abuse and sexual exploitation in the entertainment industry. And with it, powerful executive suits who love abusing their power, through means of sexual coercion, sexual assault,and…

    Opinion: Have WeHo’s Block by Block Security Ambassadors Gone Rogue?

    Opinion: Have WeHo’s Block by Block Security Ambassadors Gone Rogue?

    Fri, Nov 10, 2017 21 Comments

    I’m a seven-year West Hollywood resident, and part-time freelance news photographer. This past Saturday morning, during the course of gathering news, I overheard a radio transmission from a West Hollywood Security Ambassador. The Ambassador alleged he was punched in the face by a man on the street and was bleeding from his mouth.

    Upon arrival to the scene on San Vicente near Santa Monica Boulevard, I witnessed several Ambassadors dog-piled on top of a man on the ground. As soon as cameras arrived, the Ambassadors got up from on top of the man and moved a couple steps away. When the Ambassadors moved away, I noticed the man’s hands were handcuffed behind his back.

    There was no Sheriff’s deputy on the scene and I later confirmed with the Sheriff’s Department that it never received a telephone call for assistance. A deputy was…

    Worth a Look: WeHo’s Jim Chud Tells His Story of Opioid Addiction

    Worth a Look: WeHo’s Jim Chud Tells His Story of Opioid Addiction

    Thu, Nov 02, 2017 1 Comment

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Chud is an expert in artificial intelligence and an architect and has a master’s in psychotherapy. Chud, who has been HIV positive for more than half of his life, has served on WeHo’s Disabilities Advisory Board and on the L.A. County Commission on HIV. He also has launched a non-profit, AdvanceAbilities Inc., whose mission is to chronicle the stories of disable seniors in the United States and also to provide tools to help them better experience life. In October Chud received an Access Award from the L.A. County Commission on Disabilities. In this essay Chud talks about his own experience with opiate addiction and treatment services. Drug use is an issue in West Hollywood, where data from the L.A. County Fire Department shows 163 responses to drug overdoses from October 2016 to September 2017. A count by the…

    OPINION: Shielding the Kids from the Sexually Provocative in WeHo? Good Luck with That

    OPINION: Shielding the Kids from the Sexually Provocative in WeHo? Good Luck with That

    Thu, Oct 19, 2017 21 Comments

    Jake Lee, who wrote a recent Op-Ed titled “Is Tolerance a One-Way Street in WeHo?” made a legitimate point about trying to prevent his daughter from being exposed to sexually suggestive advertising. However, I think it’s easier said than done, especially in West Hollywood, where the human body is not considered obscene nor would such a sign in the window of a commercial establishment that caters to adult sexual enhancement products.

    Since Mr. Lee was born and raised in West Hollywood, I find it hard to believe that he didn’t or doesn’t understand that West Hollywood is geared toward its mostly adult population. Even those who’ve recently chosen to live here, know and understand this and in many, if not in most cases, that’s why they move here to live.

    In a small city of nearly 35,000 people, 19,293 (57%) are male, and 41% or so…

    OPINION: Homelessness in WeHo

    OPINION: Homelessness in WeHo

    Thu, Oct 19, 2017 16 Comments

    If you would have asked me a few years ago what issues concerned WeHo residents most, I would have said, traffic, parking, overdevelopment… but that’s changed. As the number of homeless has increased over 20% countywide this past year, the issue of homelessness has hit hard in WeHo.

    Working to find solutions –

    As a member of the city’s Homeless Initiative subcommittee, I, along with Mayor Heilman, am committed to finding solutions. Solutions will require working across our borders. I also serve as Chair of the Westside Cities Council of Government, which allows me to work directly with my peers in Beverly Hills, Culver City, Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Finding a solution to homelessness is a priority for all cities.

    What we know –

    The city’s homeless count showed a substantial increase since last year’s count –…

    OPINION: When It Comes to Hotels, It’s All About Location, and WeHo Has Many

    OPINION: When It Comes to Hotels, It’s All About Location, and WeHo Has Many

    Wed, Oct 18, 2017 3 Comments

    In hotels as in real estate, one simple axiom applies: location, location, location! And if the booming hotel construction in West Hollywood is any indication, the market in our little city is hot, hot, hot!

    Along Sunset Boulevard, we just opened the Jeremy Hotel, the 8500 Sunset project is slated for conversion into hotel rooms, The Edition and Sunset Time are under construction, and two or three more projects are in the development pipeline, including one just announced earlier this month.

    But concerns about a room glut in our local hotel market may be limited to the area where most of the hotel construction is happening—the Sunset Strip.

    The truth is, West Hollywood is a collection of distinct neighborhoods and business districts. It is also a collection of micro-markets for the hospitality industry.

    Would you put a gay…

    OPINION: Is Tolerance a One-Way Street in WeHo?

    OPINION: Is Tolerance a One-Way Street in WeHo?

    Sun, Oct 15, 2017 51 Comments

    I’m a 47-year-old straight man born and raised in West Hollywood. I own a home in WeHo, have a wife and a 9-year-old daughter. Back in August, my wife and I were driving with our daughter on Santa Monica Boulevard during the middle of the day when traffic forced our vehicle to stop in front of the Pleasure Chest, the local sex shop on the east side.

    As we casually glanced over at the store front window facing the street, we noticed an advertisement that filled the giant 8-foot-high by 8-foot-wide window with NINE GIGANTIC photos of FULLY NAKED ASSES! Some were male, some were female, some were bent over, others had Lollypops next to them, some had whipped cream on them and some had colored sprinkles that one would normally garnish on a scoop of ice cream.

    Written in the center of the banner In GIANT letters was the announcement…

    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,…

    OPINION: Cast a Giant Shadow?

    OPINION: Cast a Giant Shadow?

    Fri, Oct 13, 2017 11 Comments

    The “Sunset Tower” at 9034 Sunset Blvd. Not Jeff Klein’s Sunset Tower Hotel, a truly historic landmark, but the latest proposal for a hotel on the Sunset Strip.

    No one is mentioning this is 19 stories – almost 2,000 feet tall. Per the city’s Sunset Specific Plan, the maximum height allowed for this site is 60 feet, or roughly six stories. The 9000 Sunset Blvd. building is 16 stories. The Sunset Doheny hotel is 13 stories. This will tower over both, no pun intended.

    The hotel on the empty lot at Hilldale and Hammond will be six stories. The Hustler/Arts Club project will be seven or eight stories. The London is 10 stories. The Aahs! gift store site next to it has recently been sold and anything built there can go to 10 stories but the developer will undoubtedly ask for more.

    Soon Sunset will be a solid wall of towers….

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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, […]

    OPINION: Is Tolerance a One-Way Street in WeHo?

    OPINION: Is Tolerance a One-Way Street in WeHo?

    Sun, Oct 15, 2017 51 Comments

    I’m a 47-year-old straight man born and raised in West Hollywood. I own a home in WeHo, have a wife and a 9-year-old daughter. Back in August, my wife and I were driving with our daughter on Santa Monica Boulevard during the middle of the day when traffic forced our vehicle to stop in front of the Pleasure Chest, the local sex shop on the east side.

    As we casually glanced over at the store front window facing the street, we noticed an advertisement that filled the giant 8-foot-high by 8-foot-wide window with NINE GIGANTIC photos of FULLY NAKED ASSES! Some were male, some were female, some were bent over, others had Lollypops next to them, some had whipped cream on them and some had colored sprinkles that one would normally garnish on a scoop of ice cream.

    Written in the center of the banner In GIANT letters was the announcement…

    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,…

    OPINION: Cast a Giant Shadow?

    OPINION: Cast a Giant Shadow?

    Fri, Oct 13, 2017 11 Comments

    The “Sunset Tower” at 9034 Sunset Blvd. Not Jeff Klein’s Sunset Tower Hotel, a truly historic landmark, but the latest proposal for a hotel on the Sunset Strip.

    No one is mentioning this is 19 stories – almost 2,000 feet tall. Per the city’s Sunset Specific Plan, the maximum height allowed for this site is 60 feet, or roughly six stories. The 9000 Sunset Blvd. building is 16 stories. The Sunset Doheny hotel is 13 stories. This will tower over both, no pun intended.

    The hotel on the empty lot at Hilldale and Hammond will be six stories. The Hustler/Arts Club project will be seven or eight stories. The London is 10 stories. The Aahs! gift store site next to it has recently been sold and anything built there can go to 10 stories but the developer will undoubtedly ask for more.

    Soon Sunset will be a solid wall of towers….

    Opinion: We Respond to Harvey Weinstein’s Violation of White Women, Why Not to Ed Buck’s of Black Boys?

    Opinion: We Respond to Harvey Weinstein’s Violation of White Women, Why Not to Ed Buck’s of Black Boys?

    Tue, Oct 10, 2017 8 Comments

    Cannick, a writer and commentator on political, race and social issues, asks why Democratic politicians, including those on the WeHo City Council, haven’t rejected the money they have received from Ed Buck.

    Opinion: Why Do We Hate West Hollywood’s Homeless?

    Opinion: Why Do We Hate West Hollywood’s Homeless?

    Mon, Oct 02, 2017 39 Comments

    Late one morning I was sitting in Joey’s, my favorite WeHo diner, waiting for Pedro to deliver the huevos rancheros to my table. The door opened and in walked a disheveled man, his face dirty, the scruff on his face not as neatly groomed as that of WeHo’s stylish gay men. He was carrying a blanket over his shoulder.

    “I’m sorry sir, but you’ll have to leave,” said one of the staff members.

    “But I want to buy a cup of coffee,” the man said, putting an emphasis on the word “buy.”

    “I’m sorry sir, but you’ll have to leave,” the staffer repeated, stepping forward to escort the man out the door.

    It happened quickly, and at first I felt ashamed for not having stepped forward and offered to buy the man a cup of coffee myself. But then I realized that being able to pay for the coffee wasn’t the issue. The…

    Opinion: Why West Hollywood Should Be More Creative in Helping the Homeless

    Opinion: Why West Hollywood Should Be More Creative in Helping the Homeless

    Mon, Oct 02, 2017 3 Comments

    A city that has constructed a narrative around welcoming streets for the LGBTQ community, West Hollywood has quietly turned a blind eye on its homeless, many of whom are LGBTQ people.

    Opinion: It’s Time for GLAAD to Close and EQCA to Come Home

    Opinion: It’s Time for GLAAD to Close and EQCA to Come Home

    Thu, Sep 21, 2017 6 Comments

    It’s long past time for GLAAD to close its doors. And it’s not too late for Equality California to come back home.

    Nonprofit organizations such as GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and EQCA were created for good reasons. GLAAD, founded in 1985, was created to combat bias against LGBT people in the media and to educate journalists about cultures and communities that many of them didn’t understand. EQCA was founded in 1998 to fight for civil rights for LGBT people in California.

    But over the past couple of decades, GLAAD has devolved into an organization known best for its celebrity award events, which it uses to suck up money that should go to more important LGBT causes. EQCA continues to do good work in California, a beacon for LGBT rights in the United States. But EQCA has decided to extend its reach…

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